back to article Music biz pot calls Apple black

Here's a question. Do you think Walker's Crisps are the most popular because people just love Walker's crisps? Until the 1980s the British snack business comprised lots of local favourites. Big money marketing changed that, and in the early 1990s, PepsiCo spent millions on muscling the 'portfolio' of 'brands' it had acquired, …


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  1. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Up

    Blame the iPod

    "It's fashionable to bash Apple now, but the company didn't start the fire, and suing isn't going to help put it out."

    Quite right. Apple-bashing is my third favourite hobby after downloading porn and not getting out enough :-) but it's unfair to blame The Steve because iTunes has been a success.

    Perhaps their beef is with the ubiquitous link between iPods and iTunes, for which I have some sympathy. I refuse to install that horrible software on my PC, instead going for WinAmp and ml_ipod (heartily recommended) but we techies are a minority in a world of consumers demanding plug-and-play. In that sense, there is a very strong example of vendor lock-in and this litigation is perhaps not a reaction against the success of iTunes but of the iPod.

    Still, Andrew's point remains, and I can't help thinking of a spiteful face / nose argument resulting in the self-induced removal of the latter...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A Boy Named Sue (or is it Stupid?)

      It's really other computing hardware and software companies that should be behind any anti-trust actions (they'd a least have a case to make), that the big music execretariat choose this action... if I could only drop my jaw far enough and fast enough to adequately express the profound stupidity of it all.

      Why in the name of Bob are we still no better-off in terms of music industry engagement some 15 years since the MP3 standard and the first MP3 player both emerged in to the wild bright lights of the world? A pity the laws governing perpetual motion can't cover assholery.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Blame the iPod

      iTunes probably does suck on the PC but it's a delight to use on a Mac.

      Word on the Mac though - where do I start?

      1. Player_16

        Word on the Mac though - where do I start?

        Where? Try 'behind' the keyboard.

  2. Cameron Colley

    It's the sad truth about companies.

    Nothing is ever enough.

    If "the music business" fell apart tomorrow (I wish) then those of us who don't want pop product wouldn't really notice and those that do would soon find some independent artists to fill the niche.

    The fact is that nobody needs the music business apart from the execs and the shareholders.

    On-line file sharing doesn't threaten artists, it threatens businesses -- anyone who forms an attachment to an artist will want to pay them for their work (well, almost anyone I suppose). The fact that they won't be paying over the odds for the artists to get a low cut will be added incentive.

    1. Mike Powers

      "All" is "enough"

      Actually, that's not quite true. Most places consider "all" to be "enough", even if that "all" is in fact less than "part" would be. The kind of arrogant hypercompetitive jerks who rise to the top of the busines world would rather have all of a small pizza than share slices of a huge one. The only real emotion these people feel is "WANT! WANT! MINE! MINE! WAAAANT! MIIIIINE!"

  3. Code Monkey


    No inverted commas needed; Seabrook's tomato sauce crisps are the best ever.

    1. Jerome 0


      Mmmm lovely, a pack of artificial sweetener. Nothing quite like it.

  4. Daniel 1

    Agreed on The Amazon thing

    "Here's all those pretty Friends of Ed books, that we ordered off you. There's a new version of Flash, come out, so we don't need them. What? You thought you'd sold them? No, that's not Amazon policy. You live in the online world, now - where everything is free unless we sell it. What? Gloss paper costs a lot to pulp. Ooh, double-ouch, dude! That must sting a little!"

    Welcome to the 21st century. Remove all clothing and form an orderly queue.

  5. Bill Neal


    "It's fashionable to bash Apple now, but..."

    Around my place it's always fashonable to bash apples.

    important for making cider too

  6. David Kelly 2

    Modern Music is Lame

    Perhaps the management of modern music business is so lame and uninspired because the music they sell is so lame, uninspired, and derivative? Or is the music so bad because management is clueless on more than one level?

    I haven't heard anything worth buying since Phish. Haven't recognized a song on the top 100 charts for longer than that.

    Time once was that the music industry believed the artists work was temporary and without long term value. While the production values for Jimi Hendrix's work was terrible, the music was fantastic. Today the opposite is true, the recording quality is high, the content is low.

    1. MD Rackham


      There wasn't a lot of marketing put into Hendrix back in the day. They key was that he was making music during the golden days of FM radio when it was still new and only younger, more affluent people had FM receivers, and there were many stations without mandated playlists. DJs were hired for their musical taste, not their "wacky" personalities, so the good music got some airplay. Those young affluent listeners then went out and bought LPs. Sure there was payola, but it wasn't that big an influence (compared to the early 60s or now).

      Compare that to today where programming is all management driven without even any regional variety. The only thing anyone hears is what has already been determined to be a hit. Clear Channel and Disney have been the death of musicality in popular music.

  7. Youngone Silver badge

    plus ça change

    This thread throws up some really well thought out comments, which pretty much all seem to boil down to the fact that we all know that the music business is greedy and corrupt, and offer no benefits to us as customers, or the artists either, except as a marketing tool.

    So, being human we try to avoid dealing with this awful monster, and find that we can get what we want cheap or free and the experience is better than getting screwed over by Universal et al.

    The comparison between Apple or Amazon is a bit silly, because while both have flaws, they are both lights years ahead of anything any major label has offered its customers.


    This tends to make them ex-customers.

  8. GHok

    Game Over

    This is what's happening with music now... the music that the industry is pushing and distributing is terrible, and no one wants it. Music fans get their music elsewhere now. People depended on the industry before, but no longer. Your business model no longer works. Please try again.

  9. ColonelClaw

    Sympathy in short supply

    I buy music from iTunes because it's incredibly convenient, fast, cheap and easy. My arse stays firmly rooted to my seat throughout the (extremely quick) process, none of this going down the shops nonsense.

    What the hell is the problem? The entire process is about a million times better than how it was back in the days of shelling out 15 quid for a bloody CD. Screw the record labels, they ripped me off for the first 30 years of my life. It's payback time.

  10. g e

    "new ways of offering us music"

    So offer us music then.

    Instead of vat-grown homogenised template-formulated chod you CALL music.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "new ways of offering us music"

      If you can't find good music now, that's probably because you don't like music.

      1. Jerome 0


        Spot on Andrew. Moaning about the pap they call music on Radio 1 is all very laudable as a hobby, but to claim that good music isn't being made is ridiculous.

        Music is like most things today, if you sit back and wait to be force fed with it you'll get only the vilest commercial crap shoved down your throat. Go out and find the stuff that interests you, or admit you're just not that interested in music at all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The music is not dead... just have to try harder and go look elsewhere for it. At the moment Bristol is fantastic for live bands; from the established artists doing the rounds to some really quite good small unsigned acts. You can see live music 7 days a week, year round. Oh, interwebs! I've just told the whole bleedin world where I live.

    1. Jerome 0

      Be right there

      Quick, everyone round to anonymous coward's house to check out his record collection.

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