My latest Guardian column, "Streaming will never stop downloading," argues against the idea that streaming can "solve the copyright problem" because "no copies are made." This is technically untrue, and the more we pretend it isn't, the worse it will get for us.
First of all, while streaming music from Last.fm is a great way to listen to music you haven't discovered yet, there's no reason to believe that people will lose the urge to collect music.
Streaming will never stop downloading
Indeed, the record industry seems to have forgotten the lesson of 70 years' worth of radio: people who hear songs they like often go on to acquire those songs for their personal collections. It's amazing to hear record industry executives deny that this will be the case, especially given that this was the dominant sales strategy for their industry for most of a century. Collecting is easier than it has ever been: you can store more music in less space and organise it more readily than ever before.
People will go on using streaming services, of course. They may even pay for them. But people will also go on downloading. Streaming won't decrease downloading. If streaming is successful - that is, if it succeeds in making music more important to more people - then downloading will increase too. With that increase will come a concomitant increase in Big Content's attacks on the privacy and due process rights of internet users, which, these days, is pretty much everyone.
If you want to solve the "downloading problem" you can't do it by waving your hands and declaring that a totally speculative, historically unprecedented shift in user behaviour - less downloading - will spontaneously arise through the good offices of Last.fm.
On the left: a Colby Walkmac, “the first battery-operated Macintosh computer and first portable Mac with a LCD display.”
Media artist Michael Naimark writes: In 1990, right as the first VR wave was swelling, Stewart Brand and Grateful Dead manager Jon Mcintyre concocted a scheme to produce an invitation-only 24-hour VR event modeled after the Electric Cool-Aid Acid test. They convinced Colossal Pictures, the largest soundstage in San Francisco, to host it. Dozens of […]
In Wired, BB pal Kevin Kelly wrote a definitive feature about the current (and future?) state of virtual reality, technology that many of us first tried in the late 1980s but took nearly thirty years to be ready for prime time. I first put my head into virtual reality in 1989. Before even the web […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]