Sunday, April 3, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Media

digital super fight
by contributing editor, GuyverV


[channeling michael buffer] we are going to witness the most anticipated battle in the history of digital media for the heavy weight championship of the world. are you ready?! music fans, are you ready?! for the millions of .mp3s in attendance on your hard drive and for the millions waiting to move to the internet cloud; let's get ready to rumblllllllllllllllllle.

no, seriously, i've been waiting for this for a long time. while it ain't muhammed ali vs. rocky marciano, hot damn, it'll do. for those of you that don't know, amazon ate the lunch of google and apple by launching a music service called
cloud drive that allows you to not only store your music in their digital locker, but also stream it to any computer or android device. google and apple have reportedly been working on this for years. recently it's been rumored that google was testing a similar service internally. the hold up? google and apple were negotiating with the record labels to acquire specific type of license to do this.

amazon decided they didn't need any stinking licenses and has offered the service without consulting the record labels.  the service provides 5gb of space for free, 20gb for $20 a year, 50gb for $50, etc. while none of the record labels have come out and called amazon's service illegal, they're groaning loudly. in response to those groans amazon stated to ars technica: 
"[W]e do not need a license to store music in Cloud Drive. The functionality of saving MP3s to Cloud Drive is the same as if a customer were to save their music to an external hard drive or even iTunes."

i, for one, couldn't be happier. the battle between the old laws and the new tech is truly raging.  the implications of this fight will be far reaching  as content providers have been struggling with the conundrum of streaming content for quite some time. i'm hoping the record labels limp away a bloody mess to tell the movie & television studios it's time they rethink their business models. don't blink, amazon. don't blink.



*In response to GuyverV:
I think this is a good move, also.  Amazon is taking a bold step in the media industry, and showing us just how fast technology is progressing.  Unlike generations past, we are ready to see things change in much shorter spurts.  Records, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs had far longer shelf lives than the innovation of today.  We need new and we need it now.

The music industry, as well as its movie and literary cousins, must realize the "obvious" prong in patent law is much more broad than it used to be.  Digital innovation is rapid, and anything making our entertainment enjoyment is sure to please....and not so farfetched technically.

We'll keep a watch on this as it unfolds.  Good luck, Amazon!
V., J.D. 

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