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Sunday, November 29 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Legal (??) Music Downloads. Boooyah!

May 06, 2004, 2:30pm

I know lots of friends who are waiting for Apple to get their shit together (or is it CIRA, the Canadian equivelant of RIAA, getting their shit together?) and offer iTunes downloading service in Canada.

But you know what? Fuck Apple. Fuck restrictive downloads. Fuck the new increased restrictions Apple has put on iTunes 4.5. If you want to download songs more or less legally, (well, it's very gray :)), check out All of MP3, the new Russian-govt and Russian Music Association approved, download by the pound (er, megabyte) service!

I just signed up yesterday and it Rox on many different levels.

  • pick and choose your download formats, from ogg to even Apple's format (for your iPod).
  • pick and choose your bitrate. Now that's sweet. I think ogg vorbis, at Q4 is almost perfect until you pick up a pair of $300 Sennheiser headphones)
  • your cost is by the mb. 50mb costs $0.50.
  • worried about giving your credit card info to the Russian mob? They also accept paypal!

You just gotta love global markets. Screw RIAA and restrictive downloads. :)

As a side note, in case you forgot, I'm all about paying artists for their work. If a band is independent or indie label, and I like their stuff, I always buy the CD.

I'm not so much for paying giant music corporations that don't properly compensate their hired musicians for their work, while making mega, obscene profits on music, and while they begrudgingly allow some kind of downloads where you are severely restricted on how you can use said download. Maybe if iTunes charged a buck a song, but said "do what you will with it, other than distribute it to others", I'd think a bit differently. But paying $10 for a CD, or a buck a song that is in a restrictive format? Fuggettaboutit, no matter how "liberal" Apple iTunes may be compared to services like Sony's new venture, or other proprietary, restrictive downloads.

And, in Canada, I pay a "levy" on every blank CD, DVD, cassete, or MiniDisc I buy. That levy,  from $0.30 to $1.20 or more depending on the media, goes to CIRA - the Canadian representive of big labels. Since my company plows through about 300 CDs a year for burning our data, not music, I figure I'm perfectly entitled to at least $90 of music a year. So I use Kazaa. I don't download much music though - in the last six months, probably 40 songs; I still like buying CDs.

But this new Russian service. The legalities are still very gray; they do claim that artists are compensated thru the global / Russian music industry watchdogs. I also found out recently that people in countries like Russia (or most Asian countries) pay a hella lot less for legit music CDs, and the studios take much less of a cut... but they still get their cut. I'm comfortable with the cut that Sony et al get from my new Russian friends. :)

Rock on!

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