2003 February 3

(entry last updated: 2003-02-03 09:33:54)

  • Slashdot has an article inviting commentary on the Salon NARAS piece posted on Saturday, when we were all focused on other things.

  • Doc Searls points to a new Janis Ian op-ed in yesterday’s LATimes on the RIAA/Verizon fight.(Slashdot article)

    The Internet means exposure, and these days, unless you’re in the Top 40, you’re not getting on the radio. The Internet is the only outlet for many artists to be heard by an audience bigger than whoever shows up at a local coffeehouse. The Internet allows people like me to gain new fans; if only 10% of those downloading my music buy my records or come to my shows, I’ve just gained enough fans to fill Carnegie Hall twice over.

  • The NYTimes has an article on Sirius radio – digital radio by subscription.

  • Not sure how long it’ll be a free service, but check out BigChampagne which seems to chart song swapping on P2P networks in a fashion directly akin to the BillBoard charts. How they are related to slyck.com, which seems to track network usage, is not clear.

  • The release of the Microsoft DRM toolkit was greeted with some suspicion a couple of weeks ago; ZDNet looks at the current state of play (CNet version) after people have had a little more time to digest the implications of the offering. (In a related bit, ZDNet discusses the use of the Liberty Alliance tools, vs Microsoft’s Passport, for some web logins for some Wall Street businesses)

  • The Fake CNN WWW site has been shut down, according to Wired News.

  • Wired also has an interesting commentary by Lauren Weinstein that takes Michael Powell’s description of the TiVo as “God’s machine” as a jumping-off point.

    Broadcasters and their program suppliers have had almost total control over how we view their products since the dawn of TV. The real magic with TiVo and other PVRs isn’t the ability to skip commercials, but rather the unprecedented opportunity to wrest nearly absolute control over the time and manner in which programs will be viewed. Skipping or deleting commercials is but a cherry on the sundae.

    This level of consumer control is so new to users that it’s proven enormously difficult for the manufacturers of these systems to effectively market PVRs. Promoting these systems as digital VCRs is like describing a modern automobile as a horse and buggy without a horse — accurate, but utterly insufficient.

    A complete change in viewing behavior is implicit in the use of PVRs. That difference is especially scary to broadcasters, advertisers and those who have built their careers and livelihoods on maintaining the status quo.