DRM is a stupid idea

While Bill Gates is busy making a total fool of himself, Steve Jobs has been thinking about music and DRM. In a (quite unusual) post on Apple.com, named “Thoughts on music“, he shares his thoughts on DRM and the music industry.

Like the fact that 90% of all music sold is infact without DRM. It’s called CDs.

And that there are three options for Apple when it comes to DRM: Continue as today (with DRM in iTunes), license FairPlay (not an option, says Jobs) or third: Get rid of the whole DRM thing:

Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.

Impressive. It will be very interesting to see if any music industry leaders react to this. Do they even put their thoughts online like this? Also interesting to see Steve Jobs doing it. It has been a rather strict Apple policy to not “blog”.

Note to Eirik: Steve is on your side. ;-)

Update: Gruber

And as always, John Gruber has an excellent analysis:

In other words, the music industry wants a magical DRM format that gives them — not Apple, not Microsoft — complete control over all digital music. And a unicorn and a rainbow.

Change Photoshop serial number from XP to Mac

…or the other way around. I applaud Adobe for doing this!! If you have a Windows license of Photoshop, and then switch to Mac OS X, you now can contact Adobe, and get a working serial for OS X. Or the other way around. Excellent! John Nack of Adobe has the good news on his blog:

In response to very popular demand (to the tune of 150+ requests on the Labs CS3 forum), I’m happy to say that Adobe is now making it possible for Windows customers of Photoshop CS2 to get a Mac CS3 beta serial number, and vice versa. To request a number, you can send mail to photoshopcs3beta@adobe.com & include your CS2 serial number.

We made this decision a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t want to publicize it widely until the staff was back at full strength after the holiday break. Please note that this is a manual process on our side right now, and we appreciate your patience as we handle requests.

Related: If you find that you want to switch an Adobe product license from Mac to Windows or vice versa, please contact Adobe Customer Service. They’ll walk you through the process.

Record companies – listening?

I wish more companies were thinking like this. The principle here is simple: We have a customer who bought something from us, and now he/she wants to change the carrier of the product. It’s almost no cost for Adobe. They will get good PR. And probably sell more software because people know they can change platform if they want.

Now imagine if records companies could start acting this clever? Stop acting like idiots and announce the following:

Do you have a huge stack of LPs you never play anymore? Sure you do. And you paid for those. The artists have already got their money for the making of the music. Now guess what: We are going to start being nice! As of monday 29. January 2007 you can upgrade your music. You have already paid for the art, so you only pay for the actual CD (or downloadable DRM-free file if your prefer), shipping and a small handling fee.

Go to www.musicupgrades.com, check if your LPs are covered with the new MusicUpgrades Plan, order stickers to the nearest central. We have one in most European countries and USA/Canada.

Yes, sure… Anyday now…

Beatles on iTunes

Ok, so the big news on CNN today is that Beatles will be on iTunes soon. At the same time, BBC reports that the copyright in Britain will NOT be extended:

But an independent review is to recommend the terms are not extended, a well-placed government source has said.

Gee, let me think. So “Love me do” will be out of copyright in 2012? Out of copyright as in f-r-e-e? Hmmm. Better start selling…

Songbird

Songbird is a new media player for Mac, Windows and Linux, built on the same platform as Firefox. Beta is out now. Looks promising! Wonderful icons and website (let the world be beautiful!).

Get Songbird

Watch the screencast to have an idea of what it does. I just imported the whole iTunes library. Wicked fast and no problems.

BPM for your iTunes songs

I just bought a iPod Nano and an Nike Sports Kit for it. I’m going to use it for running and bicycling, and I’m thrilled by it already. A full report coming soon!

So when I heard about Tangerine, an application that scans my iTunes library and figures out the BPM – Beats Per Minute – on all my tracks, I downloaded it immediately.

Perfect for running

I would use it like this:

  • Scan all my tunes, and get BPM for all of them
  • Make a test run, and figure out which pace that fits the running I’m doing
  • Make playlists that starts at a certain pace, and speed things up at the end
  • Or make playlists that mix paces, slow at the start, then faster, slower again etc.

Tangerine does all this. Tags my tunes with the right BPM. Make playlists. Very cool!

Except that it doesn’t work. It doesn’t find my iTunes music library. It may be because I have an Norwegian version of OS X, so the music folder is called “Musikk”. But other apps using the iTunes music library finds it, so it’s just a guess.

Tangerine is still in Beta, and others reports having the same problems as I do. Others tell that it works flawlessly. I’m really looking forward to the next version and hope that it will find my music library and start tagging it.

Do it manually (or maybe not…)

In the meantime, I’m using the bpmWidget. It works like this: Download and install (as a widget). Start a song in iTunes, and tap the widget with the beat for some seconds. Then hit the small note icon to copy that BPM value to the current song playing in iTunes. Repeat 8 000 times for all your songs. Sigh… Tangerine! Where’s that next version?!

It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

52 channels and nothing on? Soon you’ll have millions of channels and the traditional tv-channels will be in BIG trouble. I totally agree with what Eirik writes today:

When the internet really starts to shift the flow of money in the media industry we are up for some groundbreaking change…

I’m not sure that the flow of money needs to change before the groundbreaking change. Two things have happened the last days that gives a hint of the change to come:

Evidence #1: iTV

Apple does something very un-Apple: Talking about a product before you can actually buy it. The name will change, but it is a box that takes videos and music from your computer and plays them on your tv screen (and plays the sound on your tv or stereo). MacWorld explains:

Enter the iTV, which connects to your television and stereo and provides the remote-control-driven interface of Front Row without the keyboard-and-mouse issues of a full-fledged computer. Once it’s hooked up, the iTV connects to the network in your house and displays, right on your TV, a menu of options, all geared toward letting you play back digital content—stored on a computer in your house or somewhere out on the Internet—while sitting in your living room. That content includes movies, TV shows, and music downloaded from the iTunes store; other audio and video content you’ve loaded into iTunes; movie trailers from Apple.com; and perhaps other kinds of stuff that Apple hasn’t talked about yet.

So the videos don’t have to be stored on your computer. They can be streams from websites. And this is where your head is supposed to go “bing!!!”. This means that you’ll have thousands, maybe millions of channels available from day one. In no time there will be channels for every single interest, hobby, subject or event imaginable. The adult industry will of course be running ahead of all the others, but then you’ll have video streams with knitting, kittens, collecting stones, hybrid cars, wool socks and klingon language classes. And as always when the revolution comes: The ones who starts first will get the best seats. So which traditional tv-companies will get this first? And deliver their quality content via the web? Formatted for this kind of “television”? And compete? I’m not sure if they will understand it at all in the beginning. They’ll just notice that their younger audience is disappearing.

tv - by horrortaxi
(TV by Horrortaxi)

There are reports that Apple and Google already are negotiating about putting Google Video on the iTV from day one. Which means that when you turn on the iTV in your living room, you’ll have everything on Google Video available on your tv-screen with a remote. Think about it.
Continue reading It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

Simple Minds – Live at Rockefeller

I’ve just posted a few pics from the Simple Minds concert at Rockfeller Music Hall in Oslo, February 19, 2006. I didn’t take them myself as my T630 camera… well sucks.

Simple Minds - live at Rockefeller in Oslo - February 19, 2006

So these are taken by Kai who has a much better cameraphone. There are five pictures in all.

It was a great concert. Ever since Harald Are Lund at NRK played a track from New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) on my crappy radio back in 1980 or something, I have loved Simple Minds. I play all their records on my iPod, but must admit that New Gold Dream still is my favourite (and the one giving the name to this site).

We came early, and without trying hard at all, we ended up at the front row. Which was brilliant. Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill singing and playing a meter away.

After the concert we were standing outside, talking. Then a friend of mine, let’s just call him Gunnar, wants to have a beer. It’s sunday, it’s almost 23:00 at night, and all of us are going to work at 7:00 next morning. For some strange reason Gunnar wins the discussion, and we cross the street heading for the pub. Next thing that happens is that Jim Kerr, Mel Gaynor and Charlie Burchill comes out, passes the spot where Gunnar wanted the bear, and heads for the band bus.

Thanks, Gunnar. I promised to remind you about everytime we talk about music, concerts or drinking for the rest of my life, so consider this a start. ;-) Who knows, maybe even nice people like Jim and Charlie wouldn’t have stopped for a chat with five fans outside a venue in the cold February night in Oslo… Or maybe they would have.

Where’s my iPod?

Andy Rosen rock photos

Simon Le Bon by Andy Rosen

Andy Rosen posts awesome photos from his rock photographer era in London, 1976-1984. The above shot of Simon Le Bon is one of the over 60 great photos so far. Other include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Clash, Boy George, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode and Malcolm Maclaren.

Overtime I will post the entire collection online. There is a mass of stuff. I’ve already discovered a fogotten 10 rolls of the Clash playing to 50 people and Billy Idol at Bob Geldofs 21st birthday bash both in swimming trunks. I also have a very rare collection of the characters at the Blitz Club, a very creative scene that followed punk, which was led by Steve Strange.

On his blog “Andy Rosen Punks”, he posts stories for some of the photos.

Grundig PSW 5000

This is coolest looking gadget I’ve seen for a long time. The Grundig PSW 5000 is a wireless speaker. Hook up the small unit to your stereo, iPod, computer whatever. And the big one where you want your tunes to be heard. It’s wireless, waterproof and has a “360° surround sound system”, according to the Grundig PSW 5000 product page. I want one for my iPod!

Grundig PSW 5000

Available from may 2005. I wonder how long the batteries run? Or is it rechargeable? And how much rain does it stand? And wouldn’t it be cool to have it in other colors? How about a silver and black one…?

Risk

From the track “Cozy Prison” on a-ha‘s latest album “Analogue”:

So if you’re careful
You won’t get hurt
But if your careful all the time
Then what’s it worth?

Replace “get hurt” with “lose the game” or “get tired” or “get a ‘no'” or “feel stupid”.

Depeche Mode – live in Oslo

Depeche Mode played live in Oslo Spektrum today. 8 000 people made it to the venue, trough piles of snow and cold wind here in Oslo. The concert started of a little disappointing. Bad sound mix, and the band didn’t manage to connect with the audience. The stage was modern and huge, with live and processed images of the band and the audience, mixed with lots effects and video footage. Very impressive.

Image

(Image by elle-enne, from their concert in Milano, 19th February 2006).

About half way through the concert Martin Gore and David Gahan managed to wake up the audience. Or rather, managed to communicate. As the band’s biggest hits came, people starting jumping, singing and participating. After two extra sets, Depeche Mode ended the concert with a poetic goodnight song. During the two hours, we heard all their biggest hits, and Oslo Spektrum was hot and singing the last 30 minutes of the concert.

Cold to warm

David Gahan ran around dancing, showing off his perfect body, Martin Gore sang four or five songs, and the other three on stage didn’t do much except playing their huge synths and drums. The band is a little cold on stage, and it was almost boring the first half of the concert. They turned on the heat in the end, but it was a huge contrast to Coldplay who played the same venue some months ago. Chris Martin and Coldplay managed to connect with people from song one, and had a much easier road with that.

As I said, the visuals were great. Lots of realtime processing of live cameras, with overlays, distortion, graphics and video clips. One of the best shows I have seen.

If I were to give it a score, 2 on the dice the first half, 5 in the second half. 5 for the visuals. Overall: A strong 4 (of 6).

Did you see this concert or any other Depeche Mode concerts on this tour? What do you think?

BTW, here’s the Wikipedia entry on Depeche Mode.

Continue reading Depeche Mode – live in Oslo