Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The topic that my boss and I most often "discuss" when down the pub after work is that of digital rights management in the music industry. We are both of the opinion that this is impossible, that in the digital age you cannot fully protect music from being copied digitally. This will eventually also apply to movies which currently enjoy the protection of being too big to move around easily, at least for the majority of people.

Recently though I have been thinking about where the music industry should go with this in mind. Quite simple the actual music itself is right now a loss leader for the record labels, whether or not they will admit this even to themselves. They should take advantage of this.

In some ways the movie industry has the advantage over the record labels in that they have saw this happening to them with the advent of TV and video and have taken steps to rectify this. Already it is often the case that a film will make more from DVD sales than from it's release in cinemas.

I believe that the record labels should follow this approach. The should not be affraid of giving away the actual music, and then offering to consumers a product that they actually see value in, because right now people are seeing less and less value in the songs themselves. DVD singles should be the release format of choice, with high definition sound in both Dolby Digital and DVD-Audio MLP format, along with videos, features of the recording sessions, interviews, lyrics and more. All of this material is already created for most singles anyway, and DVD replication costs have come down enough to make this a feasible thing to do.

If the labels take this on board completely, as in the idea of the songs themselves as loss leaders, then they can pre-empt the illegal transfer of music by including mp3 versions of the songs in a DVD-ROM section of the disc. This would go a long way to winning over the hearts and minds of consumers.

Anyway, this is my theory, I'm sure a lot of other people have their own. What do you all think?

Sunday, December 21, 2003

So here I am, back at work on a Sunday again. Still worrying about next year. Why is it that the changing of a year is sooo important to us all, just the the millenium. None of it should matter, it's just an arbitrary counting system which has been changed a lot of times over the years. But I guess it does matter somewhere deep inside the human consciousness.

I think we have to split up time into chunks just so that it doesn't all bleed into one, and once we measure things we attach meaning to those measurements, even if there is none.

So will next year be the one that changes everything for me? Probably not, yet I will hope. I already know how the year will start, more horrible deadlines at work, just like last year. Come March my nephew will be born, that will be a big change for the family, one for the better I think.

Supposedly one of my friends will finally escape from his parentle home make the move down to London, as he has been threatening to do for 3 years. If he does he will be staying with me for the first two months at least. So that much of next year is certain, but none of it seems too life altering for me. But then you never know do you....

Saturday, December 20, 2003

So I'm sitting here at work on a Saturday reading Kieron's blog. I'm not a great blog reader, or in fact poster as you can tell, but Kieron is a mate and I found his blog by accident which makes it more fun to read.

Anyway he's been posting thoughts on the turn of the year and it's something that's always plays on my mind. I guess I'm far too fucking introspective for my own good, but then it's a hobby that you can do anytime, amyplace which is always nice. So how's this year been? Well....

... it's been the "Year of the Matt". Now don't get me wrong, it's not some massive ego trip, quite the opposite. The previous year had been soooo bad that I felt I had to do something big to turn things around. It all started last New Years Eve, I was trudging up a hill about to be very sick (you should know that I don't drinnk this was just from getting ill) looking back over a year where I split up from a fantastic girl because I'm crap at relationships and am affraid of commitment. A year where I'd thrown myself into my work, not spent anywhere near enough time with friends and family. A year where I'd simply lived day to day on a diet of junk food, and coffee. I was well on my way to a heart attack before 30.

So I decided to turn it around. I quit the junk food, no more burgers or chocolate or pizzas. Joined a gym, much to the ammusement of my friends and tried to generally get my shit together.

Has it worked? I hear you all cry, well I guess that's why I'm shit scared about next year. You see you can do all of this for yourself, and feel a lot better about it, but when it comes to getting out there and trying to be a better you with other people it's a whole other matter. I'm not sure if things are better or not, I guess next year will tell.
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