Small Clusters?

A rather interesting news item came up yesterday, and the PunkNews.org people hipped myself (and the rest of its readers to it):

According to this article, Warner Music Group is going to start an e-label where they'll let the artists retain their copyrights, and do "quarterly releases" of three or four-song "clusters", rather than full albums.

Unless there's some fine print in the contract preventing the artists from doing physical pressings of these recordings on their own, the part about artists retaining their copyrights is a smart one. Every artist should to begin with.

The dumb part is the "clusters".

Uh, earth to Edgar Brontman (WMG chairman), those clusters you're referring to? Those are called EP's. As in extended-play singles. Things that have existed for at least as long as rock and roll itself. They're nothing new. I'd rather see full-length albums there, with downloadable artwork (something iTunes does.

Neither is your hypothetical digital model. Two names: iTunes and eMusic. You're welcome.

And no, don't bring up Rhapsody, the new Napster, or whatever else is out there unless they're servicing both Windoze and Mac users. If you're cutting out certain groups of computer users, you don't deserve the money in the first place. Hopefully, Warner Music Group will keep this in mind.

Also hopefully, I hope the format they choose won't be those horrid, shitty sounding Windoze Media Player files. Any music service that relies solely on that format can shove - excuse me, upload - their service up their digital asses. iTunes' AAC (m4p) format files have always sounded very nice to my ears, and eMusic uses variable bit rate mp3 files rather than a standard bit rate (I usually convert these to either 128kbps mp3s or AACs using the iTunes program anyway).

That's how I'd run a downloadable music service, but hey, what do I know? I just buy music.


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