It is important that history be remembered in order to get an understanding of just where online music is headed. Think about how popular music downloads were first. In the early Napster days, it was inspired to me. Everyone was ready to grab any and all the music they could find without any impact. The RIAA then went on to say “wait guys that is our copyrighted content you are downloading.” Since then, the RIAA has been fighting an upward battle for a breach of copyright.
After the Napster start, a recent collection of sites that provide legal music downloads came up with peer to peer file Sharing. Even Napster has signed legitimate agreements with major labels to guarantee unrestricted access to their services. The record industry had to think of a way to safeguard their investments in order to make this a reality.
Digital rights management has been adopted (DRM). To limit access to media, new DRM tools have been used. Essentially, you can download and listen to so many songs as you want, for example, as long as you subscribe to Rhapsody. Even on your mp3 player you can play them (excluding Zune and iPod). When you cancel a subscription, the DRM enters by limiting the amount of devices on which you have full access and cutting access.
Companies have also agreed to operate their own DRM brand. This means that your options are incredibly restricting when you buy an iPod or perhaps Zune player. Apple and Microsoft are doing what they can to put pressure on you to use iTunes and Zune.
Things have changed a little over the last couple of years. DRM free music download dealings are signed by online retailers such as Wal-Mart and Amazon with the major labels. You pay a fee here, however you get the sounds without any DRM limitations on each MP3 song that you download. DRM free downloads also began to be available in iTunes.
The ISP’s fight to lower network traffic and thus reduce the congestion at peak periods will be another obstacle for online media companies. The absence of network facilities, particularly in the United States, is a major concern. Customers might drive away from Comcast and Time Warner while throttling traffic or maybe charging customers with metered access. It’s not a world of static websites and text email. Sites now deliver a rich content including video and audio streaming, social integration and an immersive atmosphere for people to meet just as you would at your nearest watering hole. It is hopeful that consumers will voice their concerns and that ISP will extend their network infrastructure to meet our increasing bandwidth requirements.
Where is that leaving us, then? I remember learning about the enthusiasm about the future of online downloads before my rants. Digital music portals look to the future. You can get a chance to access the new songs from anywhere from anywhere by being able to stream songs to your PC, your cell phone or any other Web-enabled gadget. Places such as eMusic, Amazon MP3 and Wal Mart Music have shown that free DRM music is undoubtedly the way forward. The next move will be to provide web pages like Napster or Rhapsody with a monthly subscription fee that provides unrestricted access to DRM free music. I am the first person to admit that this is simply not an easy task but one that in this increasingly digital era will prove extremely lucrative for the music industry.
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The enthusiasm goes beyond music, as Netflix provides subscribers a vast selection of free movie downloads. We don’t even talk about simply watching your PC. You can download movies on your TV with a set top box. Industry experts say you won’t rent the latest DVD movies in your local video store within a few years. You are just going to look at them on request, via download, instead. All right, so I can hear some of you say yes audibly, but how long are the films to download? I tell I can start looking at Netflix for around 30 seconds after the download starts. The bulk of the film I enjoy is downloaded.
Finally, web media shine brightly in the future. The cost habits of consumers will help record labels and ISPs agree that the future of music and films is not just in video and record stores, but also online. It is enough to give me instant pleasure to have access to millions of thoughts or perhaps movie songs, and watch them a minute later. Take it simple, let yourself be loosened and enjoy the future.