Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

Downloading Good Sense

June 14, 2002

The Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have finally grasped that a 14-year-old Weezer fan can download the hit song "Dope Nose" from the Internet as a high-quality MP3 computer file and share it with a pal as easily as he can schedule a date on his Palm.

Instead of unsuccessfully trying to stop people from downloading music without paying, the companies will offer songs online at 99 cents apiece and, more significantly, will allow customers to burn--in effect, to record--the purchased songs onto compact discs.

This probably will not deter the kids, college students and adults who have gleefully participated in the digital music revolution. Most of these users left moral concerns aside long ago and take free and fast downloads for granted.

This new system, however, does have the potential to attract millions of music lovers who had the scruples not to lift MP3 files without paying.

Though this new plan is risky for entertainment conglomerates, it is a win for the consumer. Two industry leaders are finally offering a fair deal to the average buyer who, for years, has paid exorbitant prices for albums.

In allowing customers to burn their own CDs, Universal and Sony are conceding that MP3 files, without the cool cover art and liner notes, are not necessarily as valuable as the same music on a store-bought disc. Which is why whole albums will sell for about $9.99.

This also means that one-hit wonders such as Sum 41 will no longer be able to produce albums with a single catchy song and expect consumers to pay for the remaining, infuriatingly mediocre tracks. Artists and record companies will be compelled to produce albums worth buying and listening to.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|