The CNET Lounge forum

General discussion

New Music format

by George Gray / September 22, 2008 11:32 PM PDT

Molly, Molly, Molly!
You are missing the boat with the new 'format'. I rather like the idea of physical media. I DON'T necessarily want everything in or from the 'cloud.' Case in point: iTunes. I had an old account where I had downloaded lots of videos. Recently, my wife got an iPod classic so I setup a new account for that. Well, I also had to re-install Windows (due to hardware problems) and when I re-installed iTunes, guess what? I can no longer play that older content because the bloody thing says I have five computers authorized. You know long I've had this mess? Forever, it seems. I can't boot the old Windows to deauthorize it. So now I have old content I can't use. At least the memory card would STILL be useable. Plus, with physical media, I don't need to worry about the authorization servers not being around. Unless the memory card requires it. If that's the case, never mind.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: New Music format
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: New Music format
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I totally agree
by milkky / September 22, 2008 11:58 PM PDT
In reply to: New Music format

With all the examples of sites and companies disappearing or changing so that stuff that previously worked no longer does, why do so many people continue being trusting that it won't happen to them this time? Give me the physical media so I can start over if I need to.

All the points about whether we need this media (I really wish we weren't calling it a "format"--looks to me like these are mp3's so the format hasn't changed, just a new delivery system)like how do you tell them apart and how awfully easy they would be to lose--are all totally legit and are why I probably won't be buying any of these. But, in a general sense, having more options is usually better!

Although, now that I think about it--some of those concerns won't matter as much if you just copy the songs onto your player instead of using the card. Then, put the card in a safe place in case of future need and you're all done--the songs, whatever art, etc. will all be on your player just like all the things you got on the cloud. No functional difference in that regard. Ends up easier than getting a cd and having to go thru the extra step of ripping it actually, doesn't it?

Collapse -
Every example you gave was because of DRM
by minimalist / September 24, 2008 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: I totally agree

Other than iTunes, not a single online music seller I know of is selling music with DRM anymore (and even iTunes has some of its music DRM-free). If the files on these SD cards are the same as the files we can download from the web why do we need to go to the store to buy yet another format ?

We already have CD's for older people set in their ways or for audiophiles who want the best quality. We have mp3's for younger people who long ago gave up physical media for their music (and HIGHER than CD quality downloads are already beginning to be available at some audiophile sources so the difference between these markets is already beginning to close). And Vinyl purists would never buy a CD much less a fingernail size piece of plastic containing music files.

So who exactly is this new format designed for?

Collapse -
To replace the dwindling CD market.
by Fe1d / September 24, 2008 2:04 PM PDT

I agree with most of your argument that the future mass market is in downloads, and other markets are well-defined. In Molly's thread on the same topic, I described how a similar attempt called DataPlay failed miserably. Still, the recording industry is highly motivated to get out of the CD business, while still catering to CD buyers. Let me explain.

There will always be those who prefer to buy stuff at brick-and-mortar stores with cash; no, not everybody, but a few. Billions of people still buy CDs (nobody on this forum, but billions). Many millions of them buy used CDs, rip them to iTunes, then sell them right back into the resell market. The problem, from the RIAA's perspective, is that labels make *no money at all* from such consumers, because they only see a profit when media is sold brand spanking new. SlotMusic may be able to reverse that trend. How?

Traditional shoppers can buy SlotMusic just like a CD for $7-$10, rip it to iTunes once. They could spend $4 in petrol to sell it used for $2-$3, or just reuse it as digital film, which they probably need anyway. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

For computer users, if MicroSD becomes ubiquitous, it could eventually allow laptops to ditch slow, inefficient optical drives. DVD-RWs could be replaced by 4GB MSDs (currently $20). Movie DVDs could be replaced by 8GB MSDs (currently $30-$40). SlotMusic's 1GB capacity is large enough to hold an 800MB CD at full quality with 200MB left over for a 320kbps MP3 version with liner notes. Blank 1GB cards are $4. Retail software and games could theoretically be sold on MicroSDs, too. Such a transformation won't happen this year, but it could happen as prices drop.

Recording industry execs wants to phase out mylar (CDs) even more completely than they phased out vinyl (LPs), but this time they aren't trying to get you to repurchase your whole music collection. They aren't offering higher quality or more longevity. More portability is merely a side-effect of the pre-existing media. What are they offering? Reusable online-y media at retail stores in a format they believe will be more advantageous to THEM than CDs were.

Again, I personally haven't bought a CD in many, many years, and am not likely to buy SlotMusic even if they end up selling like hotcakes. But, I am eager to do my part to speed the demise of clunky optical drives. If MicroSD will help me make DVD burners obsolete, I'm all for it.

Collapse -
So basically you think consumers will
by minimalist / September 24, 2008 2:29 PM PDT

just go out and buy new equipment to play a format that only benefits the recording industry ? Not a chance.

Formats don't just happen because the industry want them to happen. They have to offer something new and compelling to gain mass market acceptance. And there is nothing am SD card can offer that a download can't already do.

Collapse -
Not what I said, even remotely.
by Fe1d / September 25, 2008 2:13 AM PDT

> just go out and buy new equipment to play a format that only benefits the recording industry ? Not a chance.

No. I very clearly said that's not what the industry wants. Most multicard readers already read MicroSD cards. The technology is already accepted. Very few people will probably play music off of the cards, just use the cards to get the music into an iPod via a computer, then use the cards in their cameras.

> Formats don't just happen because the industry want them to happen. They have to offer something new and compelling to gain mass market acceptance.

Usually, but maybe not this time. MicroSD cards already have a huge market; volume has driven price of a 1GB card down to $4 and less.

When studios stop offering back catalog in CD, only MicroSD, there's nothing consumers can do but bid for old CD/vinyl/8-tracks on eBay. At that point, the writing is on the wall.

> And there is nothing am SD card can offer that a download can't already do.

MSDs can be bought in a store like a CD, downloads cannot. The whole point of my post was SlotMusic isn't intended to compete with downloads, just CDs.

My apologies if you were replying to a different post and it accidentally got attached to mine.

Collapse -
But where is this consumer demand to find a CD replacement?
by minimalist / September 25, 2008 6:59 AM PDT

People who listen to CD's are perfectly happy with them. CD players are cheap and ubiquitous. They are already in in your car, in boom boxes, DVD players, CD players, computers, game machines, clock radios, etc. I probably have 12 devices that play CD's in my household. But I have only one thing that uses SD cards and that's my point and shoot camera. The 2 laptops and the desktop, the two smartphones, the 4 mp3 players, the digital SLR, the xbox 360, the blu-ray player... not ONE of them has an SD card slot. So much for ubiquitous.

If a consumer wants music files for their computer then they are already downloading the files. If they resist that system because they want a physical object with liner notes then a CD can be bought at any store and just abut every computer in the world can already transfer this format into their mp3's if they so desire.

So other than the gimmick of getting a free SD card with every purchase why would anyone bother buying these things?

Collapse -
Good points.
by Fe1d / September 25, 2008 5:39 PM PDT

> People who listen to CD's are perfectly happy with them.

Many are, some aren't. Many of the CDs sold today immediately get ripped to an iPod because it's more convenient to carry around than a file box or ten of CDs. Many who don't have iPods wish they could carry a larger selection of music without breaking their backs.

> CD players are cheap and ubiquitous. They are already in in your car, in boom boxes, DVD players, CD players, computers, game machines, clock radios, etc. I probably have 12 devices that play CD's in my household.

Absolutely right. Me, too. But, these devices wear out and get replaced. The RIAA has enough influence to ensure most of the replacements in MP3-CD-capable units have cheap memory card readers as well. With enough pressure, we could all end up with dozens of MP3-SD players in everything whether we really wanted them or not. Over time, of course.

> But I have only one thing that uses SD cards and that's my point and shoot camera. The 2 laptops and the desktop, the two smartphones, the 4 mp3 players, the digital SLR, the xbox 360, the blu-ray player... not ONE of them has an SD card slot. So much for ubiquitous.

But, one SD device, a camera, is all you need for their evil plan to work. You dump your tunes to the computer just like you would photos, then you can do whatever you want with your tunes, even burn mix CDs for older cars or Audio DVDs for older home theaters, if that's your thing.

So, you are a good case in point that MSDs are ubiquitous enough for the SlotMusic scheme to work, assuming enough early adopters like cheap solid state media enough to try it.

> If a consumer wants music files for their computer then they are already downloading the files.

Many, but not all. It may seem a quaint practice to those of us who haven't bought music CDs in a decade, but about half of CDs are still purchased for ripping into a computer and syncing to an iPoddy thingy, with the CD as backup. Whether or not we think it's the smartest thing to do (i backup Amazon MP3s to cheap HDs), enough people still do it for it to be a viable part of a potential SM market.

> If they resist that system because they want a physical object with liner notes then a CD can be bought at any store and just abut every computer in the world can already transfer this format into their mp3's if they so desire.

...and MSDs won't be any better or worse in that regard. Like you said, your camera can get MSDs into your computer already. Most new laptops and desktops include memory card readers. Many MSDs are bundled with USB readers or SD apapters. It's "The Gillette model." If this gains any traction at all, access hurdles won't be a problem.

> So other than the gimmick of getting a free SD card with every purchase why would anyone bother buying these things?

Because no media format is dominant forever, and solid state media beats the ever-loving pants off optical disks, technologically. Economics may follow.

Optical disks are not even remotely as fast, power-efficient, portable, flexible, and easy to customize as solid state media. Everyone knows that unless technological advancement grinds to a screeching halt, solid state media (or something better) will definitely, without a doubt, become more dominant than optical disks in the future.

We don't know exactly what the next dominant format will be or how long it will take to surface. Considering 1GB MSDs are now $3-$4 and have a sizable installed base, the recording industry is testing it out as a possible successor. I'm cool with that. Won't be buying any SlotMusic myself, but blank MSDs? Maybe.

Optical discs will loiter around us long after their prime, just like tape and vinyl. MSDs may not be the next top media format. I have serious doubts about MSDs, too. Even if MSDs win, some day our children or grandchildren will start calling it "silicon" or "gallium arsenide" as it fades into history to be replaced by holographic or bio-neural media. Or maybe pigeons carrying strips of bacon with data imprinted in its DNA. Yum!

I choose not fear technological advancement, but to embrace and guide it. And I, for one, welcome our new silicon overlords, and remind them that as a trusted Intertubes personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground gallium arsenide mines...

Gee, how did the silliest fan in buzztown become so darn serious as to author a veritable library praising a format I've already doomed to failure? Fast fingers and insomnia, my friends. Fast fingers and insomnia. And insanity. Any further responses shall be less windy. We can all hope.

Collapse -
Then I muddied things up in my reply
by milkky / September 25, 2008 4:01 AM PDT

My two main points were really that I like the security of having a piece of physical mnedia that lets me start over in case of catastrohic failure and whether or not the company I bought it from survives, AND that I think that most people would only really use this media once while transferring the music to their player and computer, so who cares about having to worry about losing it since you wouldn't be carrying it around anyway. Only the part about being independant of the company is a DRM issue, I think.

I don't think only old people care about those issues, so I was a bit surprised to hear you take that route. Now that Molly talked about how many cd's she still buys, I would think that helps argue against that position.

Collapse -
which is more secure:
by minimalist / September 25, 2008 9:17 AM PDT

1. a box full of wafer thin fingernail sized cards?
2. a backup of your entire collection to dvd and/or external hard drives that can be kept on or off site?

You can have the box full of cards if you like but my guess is that this format would prove even less popular than Sony's doomed UMD movies for the PSP.... there simply was no need to mess around with it if you already had a computer and a DVD drive for ripping.

Formats require broad adoption to become established standards. This one just ain't gonna get it.

Collapse -
RE: which is more secure:
by Fe1d / September 25, 2008 6:06 PM PDT
In reply to: which is more secure:

Let's compare apples to oranges:

> 1. a box full of wafer thin fingernail sized cards?

The fair analog is a box full of wafer-thin CDs.

> 2. a backup of your entire collection to dvd and/or external hard drives that can be kept on or off site?

Something that can be done just as easily using MSDs as CDs. Most of us who already but DRM-free downloads go this route.

> there simply was no need to mess around with it if you already had a computer and a DVD drive for ripping.

Especially when said theoretical people are so set in their ways that they'd rather not try something new and far technologically superior using readers they already own.

> Formats require broad adoption to become established standards.

True, but SD readers have a huge advantage over previous attempts in that they already have a significant installed base.

> This one just ain't gonna get it.

Here I suspect you could be right. Although most of the original patent and DRM problems have been overcome one way or another (OLPCs have completely open drivers), there are still a huge number of memory formats to choose from, and SD isn't among my favorites. But, here again, the fact that the music industry is trying this out could tip the scales in microSD's direction, we'll have to wait and see.

Collapse -
iTunes: deauthorize all computers
by fishbonesonwhite / September 23, 2008 4:05 AM PDT
In reply to: New Music format

Just a quick note to George you can deauthorize all your computers from your iTunes account and then reauthorize the ones you want. Here's a link to steps you through it.

http://www.macworld.com/article/49193/2006/01/deauthorall.html

Oh and about the micro SD music stuff, who cares! Whatever floats your boat. Just don't buy content with DRM (I know that's hard with video over the web) and you won't have a problem, since it sounded like you want the physical media don't buy video from iTunes just buy the dvd's.

Peace

Collapse -
de-authorize iTunes on all pc's
by George Gray / September 24, 2008 5:10 AM PDT

Thanks for the tip, that's good to know.
Still, it does not excuse Apple or any other DRM pusher (including Zune/Microsoft). I suspect there will come a time when servers go away or you get to a point where no player supports the DRM'ed format.

Sigh

Collapse -
DRM has nothing to do with SD card music being a bad idea
by minimalist / September 24, 2008 12:17 PM PDT
In reply to: New Music format

I agree that the iTunes activation nonsense is a big pain in the butt (FYI you can wipe your account clean once a year in case you've used up all your activations).

But almost all music is available without DRM digitally these days. The problem you had wasn't the format it was just the DRM.... which aside from the iTunes store is pretty much gone away. So why go to the store to buy a sd card containing the same files you could download via the net?. If its a quality thing just sell high quality tracks right on the web.

The SD card scheme makes Sony's attempt to sell movies on UMD seem like a brilliant move. Its like they are throwing darts in the dark in hopes that they might regain control over our buying habits. But the genie is out of the bottle.

Collapse -
that's fringe reasoning...
by robstak / September 25, 2008 11:57 AM PDT
In reply to: New Music format

just use amazon mp3, drm isnt a good reason for physical media...

those things are tiny and annoying to carry around with you. just download drm free tracks from now on...

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

CNET FORUMS TOP DISCUSSION

Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?