Thursday, March 31, 2005

EP: Status update

4 of the 5 tracks are now in the final stages. They're being worked over at soul kitchen studios.

Arstechnica: Grokster gains ally with deep pockets

Grokster gains ally with deep pockets: "For the most part, [the RIAA and MPAA] have chosen to respond by abandoning the principles of the free market and instead focus their attention litigating and legislating the market in line with their vision."

A good article on Arstechnica about the MGM vs. Grokster case.

Another good quote.

Are the stakes really that great? To say that this is the most important copyright case to make it to the SCOTUS since the original Betamax decision is not much of an exaggeration.

Google Prefetching

Google Blog: "When you do a search on these browsers, we instruct them to download your top search result in advance"

You know, this smells a little bit like Google doing what this post from Raymond Chen outlines.

Google is making everybody's website with a high google rank slower because somebody "might" click on it and we want that to be fast. It's nice that you can opt out on your end, but what if the website owner wants to opt out of this behavior because google searches are slamming their site with incoming requests that people aren't following through it.

I guess if the google search algorithm is perfect then there's no problem, because people will always choose the top link... but how often do you "feel lucky"?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Music: What's the core business model

The business model that I'm talking about here on this blog is the business model of music in the internet age. How do artists make money off of music in a way that embraces the realities and benefits of the internet.

I thought it was time to reiterate the core business model since I've done a lot of talking about how the features of the system might work. I think those are compelling pieces that will make the whole thing go, but I don't want to forget the core.

-- File sharing is inevitable.
-- Artists wont make music without compensation (or at least as good of, or as much music).
-- People want music.

Business Model:
Users pay a subscription fee to support artists. They designate the artists they wish to continue making music by rating their music higher than others.

That's it, that's the core model. Subscription fees getting disbursed through the rating system.

Blogging the EP: Equipment costs

Here is the equipment we've used on the CD.

Protools Digi 002 - $2200
Custom PC for PT - $1500 (we spent a little more but I adjusted the price to today's market)
Reason 2.5 - $250
Drum Sound Library - $40
AT 3035 Mic - $200
Monster Cable Mic Cable - $40
Mic Stand - $50

Total equipment costs - $4280

We only used 1 channel on the 002, and so we could've used an mBox instead of the 002 and probably saved $1600.

Minimum equipment costs - $2680

Now that's money I spent a while ago and have used on other projects, so that cost could be amortized instead of lumped into this one project.

Music: Blogging the EP

So here's the latest and "greatest" idea.

I'm going to blog our EP release. I'll start out with the expenses, both the one time, and the recurring costs. We'll set a price for the CD and calculate how many we need to sell to break even on the project (excluding one time equipment costs, and maybe including one time equipment costs).

As we release the EP I'll be posting updates for how many downloads we've had vs. how many purchases and anything interesting that is happening on the marketing front and how that effects those two numbers.

Music: DRM-free iTunes: wash, rinse, repeat?

DRM-free iTunes: wash, rinse, repeat?: "Yesterday, Apple thought they had fixed the problem. The company said that they would require iTunes 4.7 for all interaction with the store, and apparently considered the case closed. In an almost Keystone Kops-esque turn of events, the same people behind PyMusique have done it again. Yes, in about a day's time, Apple's solution has been torn to shreds."

As an industry, how much are we going to spend on this problem before we recognize it's nothing more than a giant waste of time and money.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Music download prices could be going up

Music download prices could be going up: "According to industry sources, the current wholesale per-track price of around 65¢ was set at that 'low' price to stimulate demand."

Ah ha... now we have a price to work with. Apple's music store is making a profit (or breaking even) earning $.34 per download. That's fascinating. I wonder how that 34 cents per song gets spent.

Also.... the fact that the music industry is raising their prices is fascinating. What are they doing that worth so freaking much per song... oh yeah, they own the copyright...

The Globe and Mail: Would you pay 5 cents for a song?

The Globe and Mail: Would you pay 5 cents for a song?

They almost get it... almost.

You have to get rid of DRM completely though in order for it to work, and you can't charge per download. You could possibly charge for bandwidth, since that is a cost, but there are ways to solve the bandwidth problem technically (*cough* bittorrent).

EP coming out soon

Been a little quiet on the blog front lately... (I wonder what percentage of blog posts include a statement like the previous one)

Gwen and I have been busily working on an EP that we want to release by Easter. We're going to try something a little different with the release. We'll be releasing it online under some kind of creative commons license, and then sell the physical media at "above market value". (above market value is still to be determined)

This way you can check out our music online and decide if you want to purchase the CD. If you like the music and want to support it, then buy the CD. Even though you're paying more for it, you can know ahead of time whether it's going to be a waste of your money, or money well spent.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Kevin Schofield's Weblog

Kevin Schofield's Weblog: "There is clearly no correlation between command of the English language and higher thinking."

A choice quote from Kevin Schofield, made famous (at least to me) from his interviews on channel 9.