Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
The Beatles sell their music on 30,000 apple-shaped USB drives in FLAC 44.1KHz 24bit—higher than 16-bit CD quality—and 320Kbps MP3 files but worry about illegal file sharing
Earlier this month we reported about digital music store BlueBeat being sued by EMI for releasing Beatles songs as Mp3s without a license. Since then the big record label has triumphed in court against the US site and all the matter is now water under the bridge but another issue is yet to be cleared – what exactly keeps The Beatles music unavailable over the big net?
ArsTechnica has took on answering this question – founded in January 1968 by The Beatles themselves, Apple Corps Ltd. is the multimedia corporation that owns currently the band’s songs. So far the company has not accepted any deal that has been proposed by labels including EMI as they failed to meet its conditions.
What conditions are those, you ask? – Well, it seems that illegal downloading is a major issue for the surviving Beatles as they don’t want to give up their demand for compensation in case their music gets to p2p file sharing sites; on the other hand, who wants to take the risk of having to pay The Beatles for all the times one of their tracks leaks on BitTorrent, especially since leading vendors such as iTunes and Amazon offer at this time non-encrypted MP3 and AAC files.
Here’s an interview with Paul McCartney (given a few months back) posted by ArsTechnica which says “it helps to know that EMI was acquired by private equity firm Terra Firma a few years back, and the group installed Guy Hands as EMI’s chief executive.”
I met Guy Hands on a plane once. His crew bought EMI. I refer to them as Terracotta but I believe it’s Terra Firma. I said: ‘What is the problem? I want to do it, we all want to do it.’ And he explained that in the deal that we want, they feel exposed. If [digitised Beatles music] gets out, if one employee decides to take it home and wap it on to the internet, we would have the right to say, ‘Now you recompense us for that.’ And they’re scared of that.
This ‘insurance’ against piracy is at least awkward if one takes a second to think further – as ArsTechnica points out, The Beatles music has been available on CDs for years (newly remastered versions that just appeared in stores) at a better-quality than the one offered by the aforementioned online music vendors, and it has reached, as expected, the p2p networks because, of course as soon as they’ve bought the albums, file sharers have made them available on the Web. So why the big fuss over piracy then?!
Oh, this concern over not losing any money – it kind of gets the best of us, doesn’t McCartney?
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
As the digital era with its mighty ruler – the Mp3 are swallowing everything around leaving no room for other contenders, artists are coming together to have their say in this and save high-fidelity audio formats. Adhering to “la resistance” are artists like Neil Young, Trent Reznor (NIN), John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett.
Burnett (photo right) has done more than oppose the death of high fidelity formats – he founded Code, with which he intends to set standards that would guarantee top quality sound. According to Rolling Stone, the first album to be released by Code is John Mellencamp’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom (produced by Burnett), and is due on July 15th. The album will be offered in a special package containing a standard CD and an audio-only DVD with superior sound quality compatible with any standard DVD player. Additionally, the package will also “throw in” iPod-playable AAC files ripped straight from the masters, which according to Burnett offers better quality sound.
Further on, Burnett seems confident about his venture and not at all “intimidated” in his initiative by the ever growing popularity of iPods. Even with past negative examples of better-than CD formats such as SACD failing, the experienced producer and musician relies on the impact the superior quality of sound will ultimately have on the public – “Nobody knew they wanted high-definition television until they saw it,” and calls on fellow artists to give up being passive about it “We need musicians to stand up for pure sound. It’s unthinkable that we’re still hung up on this 25-year-old technology of CDs
Blu-ray discs, on the other hand, are preferred by Young (a well-known opposer to digital sound) as they have a larger storage space than even DVDs: “CD quality is very low-resolution, just a step above MP3s” (…) “That was a crime, to make that a standard for so many years” said the artist.
You can check for more on this issue here – “The Death of High Fidelity: In the Age of MP3s, Sound Quality Is Worse Than Ever”