Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Internet Radio - R.I.P.

I know I'm supposed to be blogging about the VT shooting, and the media wants me to become obsessed with the gory details, but you can find that elsewhere. This close to the tragedy, it's mostly pure speculation, and I refuse to buy into it.

Big story today - Internet radio is doomed. Bankrupt. Goodbye. I'm especially sad because sites like Pandora and Last.fm are excellent ways to discover new music. Music that I will eventually purchase, and by artists that I will support. Pandora is really the cream of the crop here - you just type in the name of songs and artists of a genre that you like, and it plays a list of similar stuff. I have no idea how I'm supposed to discover obscure Motown artists anymore. And you thought the internet was about sharing information! Well, we've gotta protect our existing industries rather than let new ones grow, right? Right! There's a petition and more info here, and I'll be sending an email to my Rep and Senator as well. Actual, honest-to-goodness letters are even better.

Anyway, chalk one up for our current intellectual property laws, which are one of the things which will hurt the United States' ability to compete and innovate in the global economy. It's a shame, too, that we can't take advantage of our educational, cultural, and capitalist strengths.

Chalk another one up for the RIAA, whose obsession with maintaining a vertically-integrated market will implode an entire industry. Sorry guys, if you want to sell product, you've gotta adapt to new ways that your product is delivered and consumed. Technology will always be one step ahead, and your willingness to sue anyone who doesn't fit into your strategy is essentially self-defeating.

EDIT: Yes, there are parallels to be drawn between this issue and the Vonage issue. Quick (and simplistic) rundown: Verizon was engaged in some patent-trolling - applying for patents for VOIP technology. Did they actually USE their patents? No. They just wait for someone ELSE to do so, then sue the bejesus out of them. Vonage made a product which allowed calls to be made over the internet. Vonage gets smacked for patent infringement. Vonage is no longer allowed to get new customers. Verizon keeps a competitor out of the market, continues to own (and not use) patents, and YOU cannot get cheap long distance via the internet.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Guy, Could you help me find a recent tech story (from the past week) about software that allows you to hum a tune into your computer and it tells you the name of it? Really. Am I dreaming? I thought I read about it on the internet, but now I can't remember where. Maybe I need that kind of short-term memory software too.

antonymous said...

Actually, I think I heard about that on NPR awhile ago. I can't remember the name of the software, but I'll look for it when I get a chance.