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Napster Blames Microsoft For Own Failures

Napster CEO Chris Gorog is blaming Microsoft for his company’s inability to gain market share on Apple. Really? If I had to assign blame it would go in this order:

      1. Some awful devices
      2. Terrible marketing by Napster
      3. Terrible software by Napster
      4. Microsoft DRM

Microsoft’s DRM isn’t great, but it is pretty good. You don’t hear a lot of people saying, “I would buy that Samsung device, but Windows Media is just so awful!”

I guess, since Microsoft is using their DRM as a rallying point for the anti-Apple crowd, some people are going to try to blame them. They’re wrong, but they’ll try. The fact of the matter is, Apple is on top for reasons beyond Microsoft’s control. Well, beyond their control so far…
(via Slashdot)

March 2nd, 2006 Posted by | General, Windows Media | 4 comments

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  1. I recently heard Napster had ads saying “Napster still feels like stealing”.

    Funny. Because I don’t think any P2P user sharing unlicensed media wants to steal. They just want uncrippled music, or cheaper music.

    And, as a matter of fact, I was looking for a good MP3 player, but I couldn’t find any good ones that were DRM-disabled, so Samsung potentially DID lose sales.

    (N. B.: to blaim? New verb?)

    Comment by Tim | March 2, 2006

  2. Dammit. I hate that word. Corrected.

    Why would you shop for an MP3 player based on whether it didn’t have DRM? If it has DRM, that DRM only works if you buy DRM content, so for MP3 content it makes no difference. Just buy the best player, and if you want to use a DRM music service, then and only then do you need to worry about that.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | March 2, 2006

  3. Incidentally, I’ve just got a new iRiver H10, and I’ve got to say, with subscription music services (like Napster to Go), I can’t see why one would complain about DRM.

    Of course, I always thought it was stupid that I could buy music for my old mp3 player and not be able to use it how I want (after all, it became my music when I purchased it. Fair use). Now, I’m renting music, and I’m fine with the limitations.

    That said, as much as I like the unlimited downloads (which are pretty much Microsoft’s doing, rather than Napster’s, what with DRM10), Napster is the worst music manager I’ve yet used. Any update of a playlist seems to force a transfer of every song in the playlist again. I’m going to try Rhapsody after this trial period is up (2 days left).

    Comment by Michael Akerman | March 2, 2006

  4. Well, it’s quite simple. I don’t want to touch DRM with a 10 mile pole. I don’t want to be counted in the sales numbers. I don’t want to be provided as a reason “consumers don’t mind DRM”. I have already found out about the negative aspects of DRM. Besides, it’s the paying customers that are being harassed. The people downloading stuff without a license will not have the limitations!

    DRM’s sole purpose is to remove capabilities. That’s anti-competitive. But because of the monopolistic art/media/music market (how are you going to have competition between artworks? That’s impossible, in my opinion), DRM is still going strong.

    This might be extreme: but if I would be a powerful political person, I would [try to] force media to be available in a fully documented file format, and ban Digital Restrictions Management entirely. DRM is contrary to our market basics that embrace competition. And competition is what sets us apart from communism, basically.

    This must’ve sounded like I’m some kind of open-source fanatic. Heh. That’s not true – open source just seems to be the solution to DRM.

    Comment by Tim | March 3, 2006

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