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MacBytes
Jul 11, 2004, 09:40 PM
Category: Reviews
Link: One Song, One Cent; The Future of Music?
A new way to stream tracks sounds intriguing. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040711224041)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Keynoteuser
Jul 11, 2004, 10:33 PM
Not all that usefull if you have an iPod. I listen to music more when I am away from my Mac than when I am at it.

Nermal
Jul 11, 2004, 11:09 PM
Likewise, not very useful if you don't have broadband. I don't know what coverage or pricing are like in Europe, but here in NZ broadband is ridiculously expensive (good coverage though).

ITR 81
Jul 12, 2004, 02:44 AM
Likewise, not very useful if you don't have broadband. I don't know what coverage or pricing are like in Europe, but here in NZ broadband is ridiculously expensive (good coverage though).

Reg. broadband here is priced around $1 dollar more then dialup but the coverage sucks..well unless you want to spend twice as much for sat. broadband...then you can get it anywhere.

I may go to sat. broadband in the next few yrs if I can't get DSL or Cable here at home. I can atleast get BB at work though..so it's not that bad.

shamino
Jul 12, 2004, 01:51 PM
His numbers make sense - a penny per play can easily be cheaper than $1 per track. Especially if you have a large collection.

But the argument falls down in three places:

1: You have to be on-line to use streaming
If you are away from your computer - in the car, for instance, you can't stream anything. Given how long it's taking pay-radio (e.g. XM and Sirius) to catch on, I doubt we'll be seeing a mobile-streaming solution (other than cellular broadband, which is expensive) any time soon.

2: ITMS isn't the cheapest way to get music
If you're the kind of person that likes whole albums (or likes what he can find in off-the-shelf compilations), buying CDs from discount stores, music clubs and web sites is much cheaper. As a personal example, I typically pay around $7-8 per disc for stuff I buy from the BMG record club. If each disc has about 10 tracks (typical for individual albums) then we're looking at about 70-80 cents each. If each disc has about 18 tracks (typical for compilation albums) then we're looking at 39-44 cents each. Comparing streaming to ITMS is not necessarily a fair comparison - for me, it only takes about 45 plays to break even, not 100.

3: It assumes that the streaming service won't go away
When I rip a CD into my Mac or buy from ITMS, it's there for good. If I stream a song, I can only play it for as long as the service and the song are made available. If the service goes away, or if they remove the song from their catalog, I can no longer hear it. Case in point: when mp3.com got bought by Universal, their entire catalog of songs (many of which were free) went off-line.

Loge
Jul 12, 2004, 07:05 PM
I read that the bitrate of the streamed tracks would be 32 kbps (initially at least), which makes it unlikely to be a serious competitor to download purchases. I think record companies would be unlikely to offer high bitrates for streaming at that price, at least not for long. In any case many users would just record the stream.

shamino
Jul 13, 2004, 11:07 AM
I read that the bitrate of the streamed tracks would be 32 kbps (initially at least), which makes it unlikely to be a serious competitor to download purchases. I think record companies would be unlikely to offer high bitrates for streaming at that price, at least not for long. In any case many users would just record the stream.
Ugh. I've played around with streaming radio (via iTunes) and the stations with bitrates below 56K are painful to listen to (unless they're talk/news stations). Even the 64K stations don't usually sound better than AM radio.

King Cobra
Jul 13, 2004, 11:53 AM
2: ITMS isn't the cheapest way to get music
True. There is always www.buymusic.com :D

But, seriously, iTunes is going to be around for a very long time, since it's the most widely used service out there. It's mentioned on the radio, on television, and it's only getting bigger. People want to have access to the song they want even if they aren't online. What the guy from the article says make a nice point about cost effeciency, but [A] how would services make money other than redundant and overly used advertising, and/or expensive fees, and [B] people on dial-up - about 80% of the internet world - would be pretty much Screwed with a capital S.

shamino
Jul 13, 2004, 11:34 PM
True. There is always www.buymusic.com :D

But, seriously, iTunes is going to be around for a very long time, since it's the most widely used service out there. It's mentioned on the radio, on television, and it's only getting bigger. People want to have access to the song they want even if they aren't online. What the guy from the article says make a nice point about cost effeciency, but [A] how would services make money other than redundant and overly used advertising, and/or expensive fees, and [B] people on dial-up - about 80% of the internet world - would be pretty much Screwed with a capital S.
You should read my statement in context instead of quoting one line in isolation.

I mentioned that ITMS isn't cheapest, not to discourage people from shopping there, but to point out that the original article's claim that you need to stream a song 100 times to make up the cost of purchasing it is not true. Depending on how you get your music (even if it's just album-purchases from ITMS, for some albums), the number of plays to break even may be much smaller than 100.