Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Legal MP3s

Legal MP3 Download Service
  [vote for,

You download a low quality version for free and then if you like the song you download the full version for a small amount, say, 5p/10c, with the majority of the money going direct to the artist.

Morally, this is how things are supposed to work...

Because of the reduced cost per song compared to current "legal" systems, people might actually be tempted away from the File Sharing servers by the ease of use, easy of finding what you are looking for, reliability and guaranteed quality and bandwidth.

CasaLoco, Jan 08 2003

(sorta) baked http://emusic.com/
[egnor, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

What to do about copy-protected CDs in the UK http://ukcdr.org/issues/cd/quick/
I imagine many other countries have equivalent Trading Standards laws [friendlyfire, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Crappy Legal Music Downloads http://www.halfbake...20Music_20Downloads
Baked, methinks. [Ander, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I doubt anyone would pay for something that is free, even for slightly better quality. If an MP3 you download has poor quality, find another one with better quality. The bandwidth guarantees don't really mean much either, since if you can find someone who has a song you want on the free programs, you're likely to find someone else as well to speed up the download.
Bert6322, Jan 08 2003

       I'm amazed at how many people are content with bad audio and video. The quality can be extremely poor, but "it's free".
My neighbor is paying for a "digital satellite TV" subscription, a compressed picture that looks like a pirate video CD. That costs a small fortune and it's still acceptable to most people.
The market for a "high-quality" MP3 would be limited to picky people like me. And even I can't hear the difference between a CD and a 128kbps MP3.
But if a music service can deliver (let alone find) the tunes I like, bring it on!
Amos Kito, Jan 08 2003

       [jutta] The protection is relatively easy to get through (so I've read, I've never bought any protected CDs) if you have the right program or something (maybe digital-analog-digital conversion would work?). By somehow working around the protection, one supports the artist by buying the CD but gets around the protection idiots.   

       I agree with you about the annoying advertisements, but programs can be found that eliminate them and streamline the interface for many file-sharing programs.   

       Owning the CD (at least used to) make any copies used personally, including MP3s, legal from what i understand of the laws. I'm not sure if this is still true, but I believe it should be and I don't feel like searching lawbooks to find the answer.
Bert6322, Jan 08 2003

       This reminds me of an idea I had before. Actually it was about the same.   

       But can we have the option of downloading in Ogg? :-)
ironfroggy, Jan 08 2003

       Don't lots of online CD stores offer low-quality sample tracks that you can listen to? Perhaps the quality is worse than you'd like and the selection is limited but those seem like details. That's one half, the other half is legitimate for-pay MP3 download; see link.   

       In any case, people have been suggesting this for about as long as the "MP3 problem" has been around, right?
egnor, Jan 08 2003

       I actually wrote the RIAA and they responded back with a lame excuse. I wrote them about the solution to their problem.   

       Put out a version of every song in their respective libraries for free on a website organized nicely. Even make 'packages' of hundreds of songs in 'genres' for people to download on their MP3 (iPod rules) players.   

       Heres how they would make money:   

       Put a 3-5 second commercial at the front of each song. They could sell the commercial to big companies who would buy because they would realize that their commercial would be there forever. People wouldn't mind listening to a short blurb before their song for the comfort of knowing their legitimate and the ease of finding their songs in one place.   

       See.. Simple.   

       If the music industry loses money and / or goes out of business, they have only themselves to blame. I gave them the solution. I dont really feel sorry for them. They're just lazy and running their business like a group of old, technophobic turtles.
Real Estate, Jan 09 2003

       That's the first reasonably doable (and legal, and pleasing to the pro-MP3 people) idea I've heard. Free is good too. The only problem I can see is that songs would forever have commercials at the beginning. The record companies would probably take that idea and put commercials on CDs as well.
Bert6322, Jan 09 2003

       "Make them free by sticking ads on them" is not "the" solution. It's not "a" solution. It almost never is.
Monkfish, Jan 09 2003

       [Real Estate] My next idea will be an MP3 player that allows you to automatically skip the first 3-5 seconds of the song...   


       RE:This idea The free to listen copies would be low quality mono copies. You could simply play the songs and if you like the song thats playing, click "buy" and it is automatically downloaded and you account (eg Paypal) is billed.   

       The reason people would be prepared to pay to use this service rather than file sharing apps is simle - no virus risk, far easier to use, faster, more reliable, easier to find what you want and so on.   

       File sharing (I use WinMX - adfree!) is great for people with broadband prepared to leave there machine on all day looking for a decent quality version of a song, but normal people would find that undesirable. (Ask your dad..)   

       And extra option could even allow you to choose your songs and have them cut onto an audio cd and sent to you for £5/$10.   

       Additional revenue could be gained by clevel dual marketing. You buy the latest CheekyGirls song, and it offers you discount concert tickets, an A2 poster for £3 extra, or a sick bag for £5. Merchaniding is where the money is. Geogre Lucas told me....
CasaLoco, Jan 14 2003

       I've used emusic for quite some time - with no complaints whatsoever. It started out with only "Independent" - which included heavy rep from the likes of Stax, Fantasy/Riverside, Shenatchie/Yazoo, etc. - Vivendi Universal brought in it's arsenal of subsidiary (read: bought out a gong, gong, time alo) labels which, like the performers, are household names.
If you sign up for the service, you'll get 50 downloads free - if you like it - then get on whichever payment plan you like. If you don't - keep the 50 you downloaded. Can't lose either way, as the performer gets royalties, as does the label, and you have no unkind restrictions.
thumbwax, Jan 14 2003

       Do I get an award for an idea that becomes a mass-market product?
CasaLoco, Feb 12 2004


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