Internet Radio – Record Label Rant

The four major record labels have launched another lame attempt to control the way listeners listen to music with SlotMusic. SlotMusic is DRM free music sold on a microSD card, that can fit into a SlotMusic player, or other devices such as mobile phones. Reportedly, these cards will sell for $15-20 bucks for high quality sounding music from your favorite artist. Just like CDs, or cassette tapes, records, or 8tracks.

According to SanDisk’s press release, “The effortless player doesn’t require a PC, Internet or any time spent managing music. Consumers simply choose their slotMusic or music-filled microSD card, pop it into the device and will be enjoying their favorite tunes in seconds…”With no need for computers or cords, the Sansa slotMusic Player gives consumers more time to play, and less time to worry about managing or downloading their music,” said Daniel Schreiber, senior vice president and general manager for SanDisk.

Are they kidding? I saw a full page ad in the New York Times newspaper this week for SlotMusic which claims that this will revolutionize the industry. Memo to Sandisk, EMI Music, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group: It’s over! There is not a way to go back to the days when listeners purchased their music on albums packaged in large or small disks or rectangles. Internet radio and mp3 players have changed all of that forever. Stop throwing money away on new file formats and full page ads for them. Instead, how about focusing on the platforms listeners like – such as Internet radio. Why are you so interested in partnering with a bad idea like SlotMusic, and are doing everything you can to stymie the growth of Internet radio stations?

It would be great if the record companies would join us in the year 2008 and spend their time thinking of ways to let digital music flourish rather than trying to repair and build higher fences around their products.

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