DRM, music and music player apps

The end of DRM for music is a great thing!  As I said before DRM is a road-block to reviving music sales and to new business models in the music industry  (Ian Rogers says it very eloquently here).  The king is dead!  Long live the king!

One symptom of the battle for supremacy in the music platform business was the attempt by Apple, Microsoft and others to own the user experience around the consumption of music.  This battle had the side effect of choking off competition in the media player space as each entry in the music player space (iTunes, WMP, Zune Player, Rhapsody, YME) basically just let you get music in their DRM-flavor from their back-end service.  DRM-free music opens up the media player landscape again and hopefully some innovation will happen in this space again.  BTW I don’t think any of the above media players are necessarily that great.  They did not have to be because competition and innovation was throttled by the mediaplayer-to -service ties.  Of course, iTunes is now the 900-pound gorilla but again as software goes it really is not that great.  I believe there are some big scenarios that the current media players completely miss and I for one would like to see these addressed.

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