Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

The Red Tide

Ashley Norris over at the Guardian becomes one of the first mainstream journos to sample the All Of MP3 “samples” (that’s full length, unprotected samples in the format of your choice, bud). He offers some unintentional (we think) black humour.

There was no way on earth I was ever going to give my credit card details to the site, so I went for the more secure option of paying via PayPal.

…These guys are about to give him access to gigs of cheap western music (a service he can’t actually receive in his own country), they’re not even insisting on a direct view of his credit card number and yet he still implies that his bank account will be emptied before a young Moscow bride turns up on his doorstep a month later. Whereas those stalwart fellows at Paypal have proved to be a model of capitalist restraint and consumer rights in the past, haven’t they?

”…if you can square it with your conscience…”

“Conscience, is it OK if I download stacks of cheap MP3s?”
Yeah alright, if you promise never to buy another overpriced CD.
“Cheers, you’re a pal!”

For most users too the iTunes, Connect and Napster services, when they finally launch in the UK, will more than suffice.

…Yes, being granted temporary asylum in the paradise of earthly MP3 delights before eternal exile to DRMed, Microsoft format Hell will be plenty sufficient for we folk of simple tastes. We’re sure consumers will say “Thank christ I can now pay an arm and a leg for a lousy play-once WMA file that I can only listen to in mono on Fisher Price headphones at a volume too low to drown out the coked-up giggles of record company execs as they receive another bevy of high class hookers! That cheap Russian MP3 site was an unholy threat to civilisation that ranked alongside Mr Bin Laden!”

Of course, if you download from All Of MP3 then the artists won’t see a cent either - so it’s marginally worse than a standard record contract then. On the other hand, a self-financed independent artist with their own label is much worse off. Remember: it’s not stealing if you only download tracks belonging to huge multinational conglomerates with myopic and questionable business practices. It’s more like…justice.

Rather like Matt at Debris, BB’s quandary is that there’s nothing we actually want from the site (so our contribution cancels out, as there’s nothing we want from the record store either). However, we’re tempted to download a few Coldplay tracks just in case this technology really is killing muzak (mental image of Chris Martin shrinking and crying out “I’m meltiiiinnnnngggggg!!!”).

(Somehow, we resisted the urge to title this entry “All Of Your MP3 Are Belong To Us”, but we’re sure others won’t.)