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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:28 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Regarding the DRM encumbered music and proprietary players there was a clear conflict of interest. Consumers did not want DRM but because Sony had divisions involved in both the music and movie industries, internal loyalties required that they included it. Consumers voted with their feet. I remember when digital music players were first taking off, long before the days of smart phones, and I was looking for one I specifically looked for one that had a generic interface to the PC, i.e. it appeared as a USB shortage device and allowed files to be copied onto it without the aid of proprietary software from the player manufacturer along with decent sound quality. The first requirement excluded Sony and Apple products. For a time I I had a mini disc recorder which I used to record music practice and the occasional concert but when that became unreliable I replaced it with a flash based recorder because that enabled me to transfer the recordings back to a PC digitally which the mini disc recorder did not.

I'd also echo what other people have said about a decline in quality. Even before the digital music player I mentioned above I remember getting a Sony Walkman, one of the cassette based ones. I remember that it was unexpectedly expensive, felt cheap and didn't have basic anti-roll. The shop offered a money back guarantee so back it went and I ended up with a personal CD player from one of their competitors. This also ties with the issue of proprietary technology. You can use as much proprietary technology inside a product as you like to try to make it hard for competitors to make something similar but when you introduce proprietary interfaces to lock people into your range of products people don't like it. Yes, they may accept it and get drawn in if there are others benefits such as the product being of very high quality or heavily subsidised but if it is neither of these then people will choose something else.

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