Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sage Advice From Harold Macmillan

There are many ways that my Sugarzine columns can look stupid. There's the lack of care in writing, the lack of care in typing, and the rather pedestrian subject matter. But it is rare for my columns to be derailed by EVENTS.

But this happened yesterday. I had submitted a relatively sparky little article to Sugarzine regarding my experiences with eMusic a week or so back. I didn't mind eMusic at all, but I fetishise physical CDs, and eMusic doesn't get quite a few indie bands quickly enough to encourage me to go digital.

But I certainly hate this digital rights management business, because I have absolutely no idea what the rights holder will want to do with the music I bought a few years down the line, or whether the rights holder will still be around. CDs, on the other hand, tend to be futureproof and pretty.

So what does the dear old CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, do yesterday, but reach an agreement to sell of EMI's catalogue on iTunes free of any restriction whatsoever, and at a very small premium to the current protected stuff one will find on iTunes. It doesn't invalidate all of what I've written, yet, and I have yet to find any indication that labels other than EMI will be able to sell their music on iTunes without restriction. But it does mean that eMusic is VERY close to being squished by iTunes.

And for this lurch by some of the article into irrelevance I'm sorry. You can, in any case, read it here, now with added hyperlinks.

I was also about to say that, actually, it's rare for any music journalism to be derailed by events. But then, during the course of writing this post, my plans for next month's column in Sugarzine were derailed by news that the putative subjects are splitting up. Nice.


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