Dell starts a music service. I’ve worked at Dell, so I have opinions. First, it’s a bold idea and the time is right before any music service gets established. For a long time Dell has been beholden on Microsoft products for its profits, so it’s good that Dell is looking for additional revenue channels.
They’ve correctly identified the problem as a storage and file management problem, not a legal problem, and they’ve permitted sharing among 3 computers (and using the Media Player’s DRM) to migrate files. On the other hand, unless the prices are significantly lower than iTunes (like 25 cents), it seems unlikely that people will abandon p2p altogether. Dell also needs to disclose how much of the cut goes to singers. Americans are no longer tolerant of musicians getting screwed. Also, if the only songs available come from the big labels, then it really defeats the purpose of having an online music service. The net should broaden our tastes, not limit it to the major players. Also, I really want to see how much of the backlisted songs get included in the music roster. We don’t need protections on eminem songs. We need ways to buy songs from 1940’s blues singers whose songs are long out of print.
Also: Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed by David Dvorkin.