Tag - music

Designing stereo equipment furniture: Hivemind inspiration

I haven’t been able to find great/proper/fitting furniture for my stereo equipment, so I’m wondering about building my own.

This has me inspired:


It’s by Manhattan design firm hiveminddesign. You can get a look at it here too if you aren’t up to the pain of navigating hivemind’s oh-so-cool-but-very-90’s all-Flash site.

The feet, which aren’t visible in this pic, are exactly the same as the pieces supporting the shelves, but flipped on the vertical axis.

It only comes in heights and widths that won’t work for me, and I believe it costs something like $7500 US, so using it as inspiration is my only option.

iPod hearing-loss lawsuit

Crazy Apple Rumors has a great – and just slightly tongue-in-cheek – article about the recent iPod hearing-loss lawsuits:

“We did a cost/benefit analysis,” said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, “And it clearly is not cost effective to continue to have stupid people as our customers.”

That about sums up my opinion regarding silly class action lawsuits that attempt to penalize a company for an individual’s idiocy.

See the whole article here . . .

Harman Kardon: pump up the volume

OK, I’ve done it with my iPod, as have thousands of others.

Why not with my Harmon/Kardon AVR 240? Here’s about a 3-second exposure with the camera on a tripod.


For companies that still don’t get it: aesthetics are important. Aesthetics are important. Aesthetics are important.

At least, if you want anyone to love your product. If you don’t care, if it’s just a utility, if it doesn’t matter to you whether people will get passionate about what you produce, go ahead and make it beige and boring and bland.

But don’t expect your brand or your sales to be any different.

Lip-smacking goodness: HK AVR 240, Bose 301s

Today was almost unbearable … the stereo equipment that I’ve been waiting for for over 9 years (OK, at least 9 days now) finally arrived at my office in Bellingham in the morning, and I had to wait all day to take it back over the border, get it home, and set it all up:


I did end up going for the Harman Kardon AVR 240, HK’s The Bridge product for my iPod, and the Bose 301 reflecting speakers.

I also picked up HK’s FL 8385 5-disc CD changer for when sound quality is paramount, and those moments when you’ve just bought a new CD and want to toss it in right away. I rip my CDs at 160 kbps, not 128, but the straight CD, especially any new HDCDs, is going to be a little bit better, I think. Besides, Teresa likes putting CDs in more than flipping through the iPod interface with the HK remote.

I haven’t been able to turn up the volume too much, since by the time I got everything hooked up and set up, it was a little after 8:00, and the kids were already in bed, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow …

And I’ll need to buy or build a better enclosure … the speakers do not fit properly, as you can see above, and I need a slightly deeper shelf for the components. The AVR 240 is only 13.8″ deep, but the FL 8385 is a little over 15″ deep, and that’s a bit bigger than this bookcase can really handle.

I can already hear the vast quality improvement from our previous mini system (a Yamaha), and I’m looking forward to hours of future music enjoyment.

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. . .

BTW, I got the AVR (audio-visual receiver) which can do 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 surround sound in a vast variety of modes since this may eventually become our home theatre receiver. But right now it’s only pushing the two Bose speakers in stereo mode. The AVR 240 is 50 watts x 7 channels, but 65 watts when you’re only using the two.

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. . .

Another addendum: I kept searching online for any information about duty/tariff rates for taking stereo equipment or other home electronics back to Canada from the US, and couldn’t find any. Well, finally I phoned, managed to get on the line with someone, and asked.

The answer was that electronics have no special duties – and this turned out to be true at the border. So all I had to pay was GST and PST, just like in Canada. And since I bought all my equipment for a little under $700 Canadian (minus the speakers, they were about $500), I basically got the Bridge and the HK CD-changer for free … since Future Shop had the HK AVR 240 “on sale” for $799 last week, and has it listed at $899 right now. Yikes – can you spell r-i-p o-f-f?

Apple home theatre: PLEASE!!!

There are a number of spoof and joking rumors running around the internet about Apple’s plans in home entertainment: plasma displays, or all-in-one HDTV, etc., etc..

Well, it may just be a spoof right now, but Steve, we NEED Apple to make home theatre systems.

I recently bought a Harmon Kardon AVR 240 for home stereo, primarily. It’s for upstairs. But downstairs, our “home-theatre-in-a-box,” which is a JVC XV-THA5, is currently giving up the ghost. Or, not giving it up.

It simultaneously refuses to read DVDs and refuses to eject them until it’s read them. The result is predictable … and, for a unit that’s both the receiver and the DVD player, not good. Not good at all.

So I’m wondering if we need a new mini home theatre system as well.

But getting into that market again is horrific. The acronyms! The wires! The connections! The protocols! It seems almost impossible to put together a simple system. Interfacing the TV, the VCR, DVD player, satellite box, receiver, and the 6 or 7 speakers is a nightmare.

Apple could do amazing things with this market.

For instance, why are there 15 different types of connections? Optical connections, coaxial, speaker wire (15 different types right here), component cables, you name it. In fact, why on earth does a DVD player have to have separate cables for left audio, right audio, and video? I mean, what earthly reason, besides “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” is there?

Give me one kind of cable to connect everything. Make it smart, so it knows when stuff is connected – or when a piece is missing. Give me one device which is a PVR, digital cable (or satellite) receiver, HDTV tuner, DVD player, and possibly VCR (for legacy use) all in one.

Let me connect it to my TV with one cable. And let me connect my speakers to it with one cable, or wirelessly.

Make sure it tunes itself. It should know where its speakers are (just like Bose solutions) and adjust volume between the channels automatically. Give me one power button for the whole set-up.

Stick an Apple logo on it, and watch it fly off shelves.

[ update Jan. 10 ]

This is interesting … Apple-branded HDTVs?.

Puretracks: Record labels Forced Mac Incompatibility

A couple weeks ago, Mike Skovgaard and I went to Vancouver Enterprise Forum.

One of the speakers was Geoff Hansen from RocketBuilders, who happens to sit on the board of Puretracks, the music service that (he said) has more more market share in Canada than Apple’s iTunes.

Puretracks is also in the US, and other markets, I believe, but in most instances users of its services would have no idea that they are using Puretracks, since the company licenses its software for other companies to use to build their own online music stores. For instance, if memory serves, Geoff said that Coke’s music site uses Puretracks technology.

The interesting thing that he mentioned was that when Puretracks was launching, a condition that the music labels required was that the site would not work for Macs.


Perhaps the labels, knowing that they’ve helped Apple create a juggernaut in the iTunes and iPod empire, are very, very leery of doing anything else that will support Macs. Or perhaps the labels’ contracts with Apple, worked out when the iTunes music store was only a dream of Steve, specifies that they will not allow other competitors to build music stores on the Mac platform.

The funny thing, of course, is that there is nothing inherently about the site that would disallow Macs. I browsed the site and added a bunch of albums to my shopping cart in Safari … simply by enabling Safari’s Debug menu and switching the reported user agent to MSIE 6:

puretracks on max OS X no problem

Previewing songs does require WMA, however. Mac users are not first-class citizens in the WMA world, but it is supported.

The question remains: why would the labels not want Puretracks to work on a Mac?

I originally (and mistakenly) thought Andre Charland was the speaker who talked about Puretracks. Apologies, Andre!

Thanks to the very youthful Michael Fergusson for setting me straight!

iTunes: a media distribution platform

I don’t think this story about Stanford University and Aple’s iTunes working together received the attention it deserved.

Basically, what they’ve done is create a version of iTunes that, instead of selling songs and videos, is full of Stanford lectures, speeches, sporting broadcasts, and more.

Essentially, this is a pilot project for potentially releasing all kinds of different iTunes-based media distribution platforms.

Imagine the possibilities for companies, universities … any organization with a large number of people that want any of a variety of types of content or media. iTunes provides a ready-made cross-platform distribution channel that puts you on the desktop of your community … while still providing all the internet-connected goodies: being able to update the application regularly and easily, being able to change featured items and add new content continuously, and, critically, being able to see what users are doing at any giving time.

Very, very cool.

I’m certain the value in having “your own” iTunes-style application will only be for very large organizations. Smaller groups and companies will be better served by participating in the scale that Apple has already achieved with iTunes.

But for large companies – with deep pocketbooks – this could be very, very enticing.

The music biz: platform or application?

In technology, the difference between a platform and an application is well-understood.

A platform is an enabling technology. Companies that make what they perceive to be platforms want lots of other developers to use it, build on it, and extend it, so they offer hooks, tools, and incentives to do so.

An application, on the other hand, is a purpose-built piece of technology. Companies that make applications want lots of users to buy it, use it, and buy constant yearly updates to it. They don’t want competition with other applications, so they do what they can to close the garden and provide everything a user wants inside the fence.

It struck me as I read this article about the music’s industry’s recent attempt to squeeze more and more money out of what might previously have been seen as their one trick-pony.

They want money from the sale of iPods. They want money when music videos are shown. They want money when someone searches on an artist signed to their music label. They want money when someone downloads a ringtone. They want, they want, they want.

I think they – having so recently been caught flat-footed by the digital revolution – still don’t get it. In fact they are profoundly clueless.

In effect, they’re treating their business as an application. Use it, pay. See it, pay. Want it, pay. Pay, pay, pay. For an application, this makes sense.

But what if the music industry is actually a platform? What if instead of being a walled garden, it’s actually a foundation stone?

If that’s the case, then the music industry, by aggressively searching out every last graspable penny, is actually impeding their own progress. Because while applications generate value only through sales, platforms generate value through scale.

The iTunes-iPod empire is an obvious example of a platform … and the fact that it is a key reason why it frightens Microsoft. Platforms – or at least entrenched platforms – are hard to fight. They’re expensive to compete against. And it takes a long time to build a comprehesive enough solution to dethrone them.

But they also provide a lot of value to those who use them. Those who add some building blocks to them. And especially to those that build them.

And music itself is a platform too. Not as a technology, and not in the same sense as Windows or the MacOS. Instead, music is a business platform. It’s an ecosystem that can support a thriving diversity of applications and hardware, literally. And ecosystems, as everyone in the technology world understands, generate more value for all participants, over the long run.

Do music executives get that?

If they did, why would they be nickel-and-diming the iTunes relationship? And why would they have recently refused Microsoft’s attempt to license songs for a music subscription service?

They don’t grok this new opportunity. They are creatures of a different age, and a different reality. They’ve always been about maintaining control and accumulating power – while an ecosystem explicitly and implicitly shares control and distributes power. Music executives don’t speak that language – they just don’t get it.

There’s something else important about an ecosystem – it grows.

That’s something else that music execs are not getting a lot of lately.

Michael Card concert and Pastor Elisha

Teresa and I (and the kids) just came back from a Michael Card concert.

It was sponsored by WorldServe, and featured Pastor Elisha, the leader of something like 2000 house churches in Vietnam.

It’s illegal to for Christians to evangelize in Vietnam, so Pastor Elisha has spent many years in prison – 4 prisons, actually – which has resulted in most of the prison population accepting Christ. It’s also the reason for the house churches. The Vietnam government closed down their church years ago, forcing Pastor Elisha to adopt a small-groups approach, which he actually based on how the apostle Paul evangelized in Asia Minor in the days of the early church.

Very enjoyable concert, and a fascinating evening. Eye-opening, too.

Many Christians are being persecuted in Vietnam, with beatings, imprisonment, and harrassment all common, even for children. Elisha told the story of a 12-year-old Christian girl being almost drowned by an army brute … but she refused to renounce Jesus, and was left for dead. The church members revived her, and she brought many others to God.

The church is exploding in Vietnam, with something like 1.2 million members – up from 55.000 in 1975, after the Vietnam War.


Pastor Elisha spoke through an interpreter – he does not speak any English.

When Aidan (our 2-year old) first heard him speak, he laughed loudly and said “silly man.” He’s probably never heard anyone speak quite like that before, and thought it was quite hilarious.

Bronfman: We want a piece

So Edgar Bronfman (the guy for whom the statement the best way to make a small fortune is to start with a big fortune could have been created) wants a piece of iPod sales:

Mr. Bronfman said the music industry should not have to use its content to promote the sale of digital music devices for Apple or anyone else, and not truly share in the profits.

“We are selling our songs through iPod, but we don’t have a share of iPod’s revenue,” he said. “We want to share in those revenue streams. We have to get out of the mindset that our content has promotional value only.

So he wants a piece of CD players too? What about car stereos? Maybe speakers? Speaker wire, for sure.

I don’t want to use the words that would adequately describe this jamoke on this website – my kids read it.

If you keep reading the Red Herring article that the above quote is from, you get this interesting piece:

“We have to keep thinking how we are going to monetize our product for our shareholders,” added Mr. Bronfman. “We are the arms supplier in the device wars between Samsung, Sony, Apple, and others.”

And we thought he was a music label. Interesting.

If I was a group, band, or artist in his label, and I was anything approaching a serious group (i.e. I wasn’t a pre-packaged air-brushed focus-grouped fluffy piece of nothing), I would get out fast.

Audible.com & iPod: Down the iTubes

Well, there goes a great partnership.

I watched the Stevenote in which Jobs announced the new iPod Nano yesterday. And saw what I hadn’t heard earlier: that Harry Potter is on iTunes. J.K. Rowling is putting her annoyingly adolescent but immensely popular books on the iTunes music store in audiobook format.

Hmmm. Guess who has been a great Apple partner – and who is still promoting iPods left, right, and center?

Audible.com, that’s who.

The biggest and the best
Audible is the biggest name in audio books … and unsurprisingly, Audible is the first link when you google for ‘Audio book’. They’ve promoted iPods for years now.

audible.com and iPods

Not out of some strange altruistic impulse, of course. iPods are what most people are using to listen to audio books. Well, at least those who are regularly spending money on new audio books.

That’s why iPods are plastered all over Audible’s homepage. And why you get a free one when you sign up for Audible’s service.

Whole new ballgame
But now Harry Potter’s on the iTunes, um, music store …. and I’m betting it’s just the beginning. What, functionally, is the difference between recorded music and recorded books, to a computer? None.

iTunes could become the biggest audio book seller overnight, if the right contracts could be signed, the right legalities observed, the right priorities set.

Money, money, money
I’m not guessing that Apple’s in any hurry. After all, the audio book industry is a fraction, and probably a miniscule fraction, of the music industry.

However, the potential profits are bound to be MUCH better – audio books sell for $10-25 – and my guess is that Audible takes a very retail-like 30-50% of that. A little different than the pennies Apple makes on song sales!

Harry Potter today …
My guess is that Harry Potter is simply a test case. If it doesn’t take off, no big deal. Jobs will try anything, once.

But if the $249 audio book package sells, and sells hard, Apple has a success story to take to book publishers all over the world. Publishers who are concerned about declining book sales. Publishers who are looking for ways to jazz up their industry. Publishers who are going to be interested in new revenue streams. And publishers who see an opportunity to increase their own profits as well.

A high-profile success story would be just the thing to get the ball rolling and speed up all the contracts and formalities … to get the publishers pushing each other out of the way in their rush to sign a deal.

If I was Audible, I’d be very, very worried.

New Music: Starfield

I picked up a couple CDs at House of James yesterday, one of which is a really, really, really good album, Starfield.

It’s a debut album; the group’s also called Starfield. They’re Canadian, and some of their music is similar to Kutless. It’s basically Christian rock with some softer stuff, some hard beats, and a lot of great guitar.

There’s a bit more background here and an interview here. Fresh Releases has a little blurb, and samples, and here’s the band’s site.

I’ve only listened to the album about one and half times, but Revolution is already my favorite tune:

‘Cause I’m a fire
I’m a flood
I’m a revolution
I’m a war
Already won
I’m a revolution

Kind of U2-ish, and like some of the heavier Newsboys songs.

iTunes price increase: the story behind the story

So, the labels want more for their songs.

It’s well known that many record labels aren’t happy with the ‘one price fits all’ approach to digital music sales taken by iTunes, and there is speculation that when the contracts come up for renewal early next year some labels may not renew them unless Apple changes its pricing strategy.

Well, there may be a little more to it than that. Jonathan Schwarz posted the following:

I was with the Chief Executive of a music company recently, who told me how thrilled he was to have a growing percentage of his revenues being derived from digital distribution. But there was one caveat – 95% of the digital distribution came through one vendor’s product and service (guess which), the owner of which had let him know his royalty stream was being radically reduced, unilaterally, in a new contract. No negotiation.

It’s not too hard to put 2 and 2 together.

Jobs is unhappy with getting only 4 cents or so from each song downloaded from the iTunes music store. The labels are already raking in the dough by getting the lion’s share of the 99 cents, but they also want more, especially the ability to charge more for popular, in-demand, recent music.

Two groups I’m not sure are in the negotiations are the clients – everyone who buys music – and the artists. One thing’s for sure: this is the wrong time to be increasing the price. Paid digital music is very young yet, and increasing prices could stifle the newborn.

I have to say I trust Jobs more than the labels, which have proved themselves time and again as souless profiteers. And 4 cents a track for the retailer is ridiculous.

But starting a fight right now is in nobody’s best interests, which is why my prediction is that this will all blow over. The two positions are likely just initial bargaining points, from which both parties can devolve into something fairly similar to what exists right now.

Safari RSS: a Cop on my Computer

OK, full disclosure: I use Safari for almost all of my surfing, as well as my RSS.

It’s good, fast, and aesthetically pleasing – an important aspect of a discerning computer user’s experience.

Since the latest update (I’m using Safari 2.0 build 412.2), I’ve only run across one site that does not work properly with Safari. And I know that developers of that site are seriously clueless – a Javascript on the page requires IE funkiness to work. OK, I can handle that. Not Apple’s fault.

But there is something that is Apple’s fault. And I’m particularly ticked off about it because it’s a design decision that Apple must have made to brown-nose studio and music company execs: Safari won’t download movies or MP3 files anymore.

It used to be very simple … be on a page, see a movie or hear a sound you like, click File -> Save As, and you’ve got it. No more.

Well, this is a problem. Not because I can’t steal music and movies anymore – I never used it for that anyways. But I happen to blog for The Linguist, a language-learning start-up in Vancouver, Canada. And we put out a newsletter with I Make News. The newsletter is done by someone else, and the easiest way for me to get the files and submit them to our podcast directory (which is listed on iTunes, by the way) is to just suck them off the newsletter, upload them to our site, and that’s that.

Or, that should be that. Safari won’t let me suck the podcasts down. A File – Save as on an audio file results in a 4 Kb ‘audio’ file on my desktop. Double-clicking that file opens up iTunes, and precious little besides. Certainly not the podcast I’m hoping to capture.

Well, Firefox to the rescue. Firefox isn’t a cop on my own computer, wagging its finger at me every time I do something that it thinks is a problem. But I shouldn’t have to open up a new browser to do something fairly standard, fairly obvious.

This is disappointing.

But the biggest disappointment is that Apple is a company founded on enabling people to do cool stuff with technology. Disabling the existing functionality to save files is a step backward, and a rejection of that heritage.

The zen of failure

Joel put out one of his patented Joel on Software briefs today, and there’s lots of good reasons to go check it out.

This one was worth the price of admission for me:

The Creative Zen team could spend years refining their ugly iPod knockoffs and never produce as beautiful, satisfying, and elegant a player as the Apple iPod. And they’re not going to make a dent in Apple’s market share because the magical design talent is just not there. They don’t have it.

Basically, this is the Pareto Principle in action …

iTunes RSS is funky

I just set up a The Linguist podcast and published it to the iTunes music store.

iTunes RSS is funky, to say the least. Sure, it adds a whole bunch of categories, some of them of dubious value. But others have covered that exhaustively.

What bugs me is that my RSS feed was accepted just fine the first time, when I submitted my podcasts in standard WordPress RSS 2.0 format … but that when I went through the extra effort of supplying iTunes-requested RSS, the iTunes music store barfed on the feed.

Example: the tag comes back with an “unbound prefix” error. Some quick checking on that in the XML spec was not immediately helpful, so I’ll be checking it out tomorrow when I can think straight.

Pod pix

Ok, I’m aware that there are a million iPods out there. Actually, some 16 odd million.

But this one is mine. My precious …

iPod at an angle

In spite of being as tough to open as a circa 1800’s chastity belt, the packaging is very svelte:

iPod box and iPod

My iPod is in Shanghai

I ordered an iPod 3 days ago. Today I received notification that it was shipped.

Since I was interested to know where exactly it was being shipped from, and where it is right now, I checked the FedEx site and plunked in the tracking number.

Apparently, my iPod is now in FedEx’s Shanghai depot. Or in the air from China to Canada. I can’t be certain:

iPod shipping from Shanghai

Hello globalization.

My Music Inc.: is this service legal?

I’m looking for a music service to partner with on a project, and am working with Apple’s iTunes. Hopefully it will go through, but the project is a bit of a square peg in their round hole.

In case it doesn’t, I’ll have to look for other options. Yahoo! Music is new, and they’ll probably be looking for partnering opportunities, but getting through to Yahoo! is like scaling Mt. Everest – only a few can do it and many die in the attempt.

In my searching, I came across this site: My Music Inc.. It’s a Canadian company that promises free downloads for life in most countries in the world for a one-time flat fee … and they say they have almost every song in existence:

*Your Membership is a one-time charge only and you will never be re-billed. A $34.99 membership includes a life time of unlimited downloads and email technical support. A $23.99 membership includes two years of unlimited downloads and support. $17.99 membership includes one year of unlimited downloads and support.

Is this legal?

I noticed that they are using iPod images and in fact an Apple logo on their site as well ….

my music inc apple logo

Natural born killer

Can someone please tell me what self-respecting father or mother allows his/her 12 or 13-year old kid to walk around wearing a t-shirt like this?

natural born killer

Teresa and I were at our son Ethan’s T-ball skills competition on Saturday, and as the kids were waiting for their pictures, I saw this guy. Seeing the slogan on the bottom, I had to snap a picture.

Unbelievable. Normal enough looking kid, wearing a Slipknot (i.e., hangman’s noose) t-shirt that says: “You cannot kill what you did not create.” I suppose that might even be a positive message, by some twisted interpretation.

With “death metal” groups like this, and music like this, and t-shirts like this, does anyone wonder why some kids, who might be susceptible, who might be a little unstable, who might have major, major issues in their lives, step over the edge from fantasy to horrible, bloody reality?

I guess with what passes for parents in our society these days we can’t be too shocked at the kinds of kids we raise.

Launching Apple’s iFlicks in the Year of HD: a studio’s perspective

Steve says it’s the year of HD. Bill says it’s the year of HD. Cringely says it’s the year of iFlicks … the movie version of iTunes.

apple selling videos via iTunes

That got me thinking: if I’m a studio, and I’m approaching the capability of selling movies by download through an iTunes-like interface, what am I looking for?

Well, if I’m a smart studio VIPer, I know that hackers around the world will find ways around whatever encryption I put on my files.

So I need to give up the utopian vision of perfect encryption, security, and control. Never has existed, never will exist. But I realize that for my business model to survive and even thrive, I don’t need that. All I need is to make it less attractive to steal the content than to buy the content for the vast majority of those individuals that constitute my market.

How do I do that? With the 3 hards …

The first hard: hard to find
As a studio exec, I’d want any bootlegged videos to be hard to find. So I’d employ spiders that would search for any video content and correlate it with all the known titles in my library of content.

If I found any with the automated search, then I would have a low-level employee check it out. Once they’ve determined that there is, in fact, bootlegged video here, any competent and litigous studio exec would call out the legal dogs and through some weight around. In response, sites start taking movies down, or start switching IPs, addresses, etc.

Do this long enough and persistently enough, and you start to make stolen content hard to find.

The second hard: hard to use
Secondly, as a studio exec, I’d want to ensure the process by which people could use any videos that are out there, or any tools for making transferable files out of DVDs people have bought, as hard to use as possible.

This was built-in in the video industry … videos are big, bulky, analog things. Few people had dual-cassette VCRs. Copying from one to another was not simple, not quick, and a quite involved. But in the modern DVD era, anyone who has any relatively modern computing equipment has everything he or she needs to copy as many DVDs as wanted, as many times as they please.

So as a studio exec, I’d want to ensure that the DRM I embed in any movies that are sold online will be difficult enough to circumvent that any people using tools to disable it will be forced to go through multiple steps, or have to download and install obscure software, or otherwise find it hard to use.

The third hard: hard to justify
This is the most important hard, and the one where, as a smart studio exec, I’d spend the majority of my time.

Most people would rather do things the right way, would prefer to buy stuff from valid vendors, would prefer to be on the straight and narrow. But it needs to be easy to justify. So it needs to be dead easy, simple, and straightforward. And, importantly, the price needs to be right.

That’s why the iTunes music store has taken off – it’s secure, reliable, and not too expensive. And iFlicks would have to be the same way.

So if users could get what they want at a price that makes sense … and it ought to be less than the cost of most DVDs in the store right now, because middlemen, physical media, inventory, shipping, etc. etc. are cut out … then buying becomes a more attractive option than stealing.

– – –

At least, that’s what I would think if I was a studio exec.