Online music still not ready for prime-time

In CNET today:

Liquid Audio to evaporate. The company’s board of directors votes unanimously to dissolve the company and distribute its cash reserves to shareholders.

Pretty pathetic. Liquid was one of the very first innovators to attempt to make a legal online music system in the Napster age. The fact that they’ve gone out of business shows just how stupid the recording industry is. Without a cheap, widely available alternative to getting illegal music from Kazaa or Gnutella, people are going to continue to violate copyright and copy music.

I’m willing to pay between 10 and 25 cents a song. Charge my PayPal account to avoid the overhead of credit card transactions and subscription models. RIAA, are you listening?

1 thought on “Online music still not ready for prime-time

  1. Sander van Zoest

    Liquid Audio was always a format that didn’t give the consumer the capabilities they have gotten used to, and in this day and age, expect. The format was always pro-big five, although it wasn’t too cheap to impliment from a label point of view. The other issue was related to the fact that the record labels did not have a good record of their back catalog and many times didn’t even know what was in their back catalog.

    These are probably the main reasons Liquid Audio didn’t make it. It wasn’t as integrated in Real Networks or Quicktime as much as they might have wanted. They never got off the ground with the later addition of Windows Media either.

    I think the biggest drawback was that it simply wasn’t as flexible as MP3 (or now Vorbis) for the consumer.

    Since they did sell most of their patentable assets to Microsoft expect some of their DRM technology to show up in Windows Media.

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