Chauffeuring teenagers – DRM is too complicated

So one of the most interesting parts of parenting teenagers is driving them around. I try to mostly just shut up and listen to them talk. Educational and hilarious both.

Anyway, yesterday I gave my son and a friend of his a ride and the subject of music came up. A discussion ensued that made it quite clear that the rules that DRM try to enforce make zero sense to this audience. They are not really interested in finding out the background either. Basically, only people in the music industry can really fathom the technology and the rules associated with different DRM solutions. And that is really the problem. It is a problem that plagues consumer offerings in general: overestimating the audience and its sophistication. The PC and CE industry persist in making things that are too hard to use. One thing you have to give Apple credit for is making iTunes/iPod somehow manageable for the unwashed masses. I still think it is too hard to use which actually is an opportunity for someone else to do something cooler and simpler.

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