In yesterday’s Guardian I read an article which follows the suit of many others in putting a lot of faith into the new Music DNA files.
The new file type was created by those who gave us the MP3 and basically revolutionised music as we know it and bringing us into the iPod dominated era we now live in. However it also gave rise to a surge in illegal music downloads, which is only going to become more of a problem as people become more tech-savvy.
The reason Music DNA is being touted as the big successor to the MP3 is that it gives user more than just an audio file. The technology incorporates artist images, video, lyrics and artwork, as well as blog and Twitter updates and tour information, everything a fan could want from their favourite artist and more.
But as impressive as all this sounds, I can’t really see it making huge amount of difference, at least not in the near future. Call me sceptical, but I don’t believe that putting an even more expensive download on the market is going to stop people getting their freebies when they are so easily available. P2P and torrent software is incredibly easy for any internet user to get their hands on and learn how to use. I think companies need to stop trying to find ways to deter users from downloading illegally and start giving them real reasons to download legally.
Takes iTunes for example. iTunes has already come under attack for charging UK and European customers more than their American counterparts, and last year increased prices even further to ‘test how much people were willing to pay for digital music’. Many users have over 1000 songs in their library, and expecting them to pay 99p or more for every song they have would make their libraries ridiculously expensive.
How about instead of offering people an even more expensive Music DNA file to download (which will also become a nightmare for those with small hard drives who don’t have to room for such large files) companies instead just reduce their overpriced MP3′s? I can’t help feeling this is another case of spending millions on a space pen when all you need is a pencil…*
(* which I know is an urban myth, but a pretty fun one…)