I’m : a web and mobile developer based in the Manning Valley, Australia.

You own nothing...

I was cleaning up my Inbox this evening and came across Michael's Minutes for 28 April 2005 entitled "You own nothing".

Quite an interesting read as he goes on about the "choices" that we have in our electronic world these days and for a specific example he uses Apples iTunes. As most people know (or do they?) is that music that has been purchased via iTunes is only accessible via the iTunes client. Granted you are allowed to burn the item to an audio cd so that you can listen to it elsewhere - but you are only given so many burns. What happens once you've exhausted that?

The iTunes terms of use also advise that Apple is allowed to change what "rights" you have to your purchased music at any stage. You can assume that whatever you agreed to before has changed - more than likely for the worse.

The average consumer of DRM music, including iTunes and Windows Media, really might not understand these things at first and only realise it when it comes to biting them in the behind. Worse still you can only listen to iTunes purchases on an iPod and vice versa for Windows Media. So if you decide to change devices you kind of stuck.

Queue Michael Robertson's LSongs! where you can buy music in mp3 format (read no DRM) for just $0.88 a song or $8.88 for a full album. This sounds really great but you soon discover that it's not as great as it sounds (well for me anyway) as you will more than likely not recognise any of the music available for purchase at mp3tunes

We are still at a loss for buying DRM free "commercial" music. Best bet would be to buy the physical Audio CD and attempt to mp3 the files up - provided that the CD is not filled with evil things to prevent that.

Hmmm are you allowed to download a mp3 from kazaa if you own the CD?

One day we will look at all of this and think "how on earth did we live like that!".