Sunday, November 16, 2003

MP3.com to be put to death... 

Well, this thread alerted me to this article at the Register. Basically what it comes down to is that CNet bought mp3.com at some point, and have no decided to drop all the mp3s and artists (probably to do some DRM system of their own).

For those that don't know, the site has been around for a couple of years now, being a place where artists could upload mp3s as a way of getting the word out on their band or releasing things like unreleased remixes. The site also had a CafePress-ish system where an artist could upload sound files and cover art to make a cd for sale. MP3.com would then set up the store and set a base price, over which the artist could charge whatever they wanted. They even threw in a data track with mp3 versions of all the songs on the CD.

One of the early bands that hit my fancy was Electrostatic, whose sound I just really enjoy. I finally got to buying their original CD around 6 months ago (lots of songs for just $10), but I guess this will also be my last mp3.com CD unforunately. Electrostatic has now gotten big enough to have their own website now and a CD through an indy label. If you listen to the documentaries for Matrix Reloaded and the Animatrix, you'll hear some of their tunes.

Losing the site will still be a hit to them, but much more so for even smaller bands who are getting some good exposure through the site's capabilities and ranking system. I know several people personally who have music up on the site. I can see that the service is probably not profitable, but saying "oh BTW, you'd better get all your stuff in order because in a week all content will be deleted and CDs destroyed" is a pretty big deal and certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I hope some other service can come around to fill the void somehow, but I rather doubt it. It is a pretty sad day for music, IMO.

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