Sony's inane offline/online music proposal

Sony wins the Dumbest Online Move award for 2008, and we're only a week into it.

The answer is "Yes." Sony, as Techcrunch reports, is set to allow DRM-free online music...with the inane requirement that you visit a physical store to buy your online music.

DRM free music from Sony BMG will be available from January 15 to those who purchase a plastic card called the "Platinum Music Pass" for the album they want from a retail store for $12.99. Buyers will then have to visit and enter a code to download the DRM free album they selected in the store.

Astronauts have reported spotting Sony BMG executives on Mars, tuning into their Zunes and watching old re-runs of Hogan's Heroes. They have not been to Planet Earth for many, many years.

What is the point of "online" music if you must purchase it offline? The premise underlying the digital revolution is speed, convenience, and flexibility. I'm more likely to buy software if I can download it directly from my shopping cart. I'm more likely to buy music if it's a click away. I do not want to get into a car so that I can drive to a store to select an album that I will then drive home to download.

This is asinine, Sony. Visit the earthlings. Learn about us.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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