Legal music downloads aren’t working

Michael Robertson of writes today in the Register that legal digital music distribution is commercial suicide. I thought I’d comment on my feeling towards digital music.

I used to love listening and collecting music. Although I used to baulk at buying CDs (at UK prices), every now and then I would indulge. However, in the last few years my music purchases are rare, and I loathe spending the money on something I believe is over-priced.

The music industry is still trying to convince us that we should pay more for digital music than we did for CDs (£0.99 x ~15 tracks = album cost). I don’t download music, because I don’t feel it’s fair to the artist, and therefore my only option is to stop buying new music in protest. I’ll have to stick with what I paid handsomely for over the years before I realised I was being ripped off.

The entire industry is a sham. The consumer is being used, abused and totally screwed. I’d be happy to pay an equitable price for music, and might even get back into collecting music again if I thought I wasn’t being ripped off anymore.

Digital music has no fixed physical value, because it requires no physical product to be produced, packaged or distributed. There is no scarcity factor, supply is boundless and demand is fickle. The resulting price should naturally fall very low. Basic economics…

It is kept artificially high through lack of competition, quasi “pricefixing“, politicians “persuaded” by industry lobbyists and expensive cartel lawyers with sharp teeth. None of which the savvy customer really appreciates.

The music industry needs to remember, that without us buying the crap they pump out – they are screwed. Maybe they should consider that next time they are snorting cocaine off a whores tits, funded by us mugs here in consumer-ville.

Chrome is coming – Finally a real challenger to the Microsoft browser throne

Google premature announcement of its new browser platform called Chrome has some interesting implications, that have not been discussed widely in the blogosphere.

I would not be surprised that if we revisit this article in two years time, that Chrome would have a larger market share than Firefox, and will have severely dented Microsoft’s Internet Explorer domination. Chrome has the advantage that it has an easier download path compared to Firefox. At present the majority of Firefox enthusiasts are certainly more technically aware, but these people are in the minority on the internet as a whole. The “average” user is unlikely to ever visit the Firefox download website and install the Firefox. Opera has the same problem, regardless of whether they are good browsers or not.

Microsoft’s download route is obviously the most direct, downloaded via Windows Update on XP and Vista, but Google’s download route will be a close second. Prepare to see it packaged in the same manner as the Google Toolbar, hence, straight off the Google front page (to an extremely wide audience) and embedded in other “free” software such as Adobe Flash and Reader.

Assuming the final release of Chrome is bug free, and works, CSS friendly et al, the internet community will quite quickly switch to the new preferred default browser.

Of the top 10 global websites, over half are pushing the bounds of JavaScript in today’s browsers. Google apps (Gmail, Docs, etc), Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Youtube, and Myspace, have the potential to work better, faster and be more stable under Chrome. Firefox and Internet Explorer, will not be able to compete in this areas, in their current builds anyway. This is due to the unique threading sandbox model, and compiled JavaScript code, Chrome will employ.

Chrome also plugs in Google Gears, which gives it an advantage out of the box, so it inherently will support Gears where no other browser does.

Google has found a place from which they can attack the Microsoft domination of the browser market in a way that Netscape, Firefox and Opera were never been able to do.

Finally, although this is not apparent in Chrome at the moment, it stands to reason that it could also display advertising in a way that the other browsers have not done so to date. It would not be out of the bounds of reality, for Google to have a advertising sidebar that loads based on EVERY page you view. At a minimum, it gives Google advertising tracking that other ad-networks can only dream of, and which Google Toolbar gives them partially at the moment.

Watch this space….