Streaming less, enjoying it more.

Thursday, June 5th, 2003

Children we have it right here, it’s the light in my eyes. It’s perfection and grace, it’s the smile on my face. But it’s mostly me getting up early-ish in the morning and making some coffee and listening to Gaucho (in lovely AAC fidelity) on my rehabilitated Sennheiser headphones.

And where yesterday my eyes were burning—a full-fledged allergy attack, today I’m feeling mo’better, thanks.

I’m up and around and messing with Steely Dan stuff on Gordy’s birthday in anticipation of the fine new album from the fiftyish forefathers of precision rock’n’roll. I believe it’s called Everything Must Go, and for those who can’t wait five days, several tracks are on sale now at the iTunes music store.

Yeah, we use that iTunes quite a bit around here, and like many who hold true that more is more and less is less, we were a bit concerned when Apple release iTunes 4.01, which restricted the cool feature that 4.0 offered—where you could stream songs from your home machine to your work machine—or to perfect strangers across the country. It didn’t take long for developer-enthusiasts to hack together ways to actually save those streaming songs, and thus form the architecture (with Apple’s software) of yet another person-to-person sharing system.

This of course would raise the hackles of copyright fanatics like the RIAA, and would probably engender a lawsuit that could do anything from close Apple’s music store to putting the whole damn company finally out of business.

So Apple closed the loophole, and after taking a deep breath, I downloaded and installed the update that incorporated those changes.

So we stream merrily throughout out house (or if you park out in front), but beyond our subnet, it’s no go. And I can live with that. In fact, I think it’s only prudent, because I want reasonable e-commerce to survive and thrive—especially e-commerce that gives artists a goodly share of the profit. I like the 99 cent per song model. I like the fact you can buy songs a la carte. I like that the DRM (Digital Rights Management) system imposed is not draconian—it allows you to have these songs on all the burnt CDs and all the iPods you want—and it allows you to have the music on up to three computers.

Fair enough for 99 cents. And most importantly: it’s yours. it won’t go away if Apple does.

There’s a report that Apple is holding some sort of event today or tomorrow that is likely to announce a deal with a bunch of indie labels—and again, count me in, that’s great.