What We Learned From AllOfMP3

After reading an article on The Reg that claims that the Danes have blocked access to AllOfMP3.com, I decided to spout off a bit about this. The RIAA and record labels need to wake the heck up and listen to consumers. And they are speaking VERY loudly. Continued…

I will no longer tolerate digital rights management that includes copy protection. I will not purchase a song in a DRM’ed file format. I will not play this game, period.

But why is AllOfMP3 so popular? It’s not just because its non-DRM files – it’s also because it’s the right price. Some people out there believe that 99 cents is a good price for a song. They buy from iTunes. Maybe 99 cents is a good price, but not for a DRM’ed file it’s not.

Others buy in droves from AllOfMP3. They pay 2 cents a megabyte, which is much fairer – short songs are cheap and long songs are more expensive. But I submit that if AllOfMP3 DOUBLED their prices, their business would not change in a significant way. I submit that if they TRIPLED the price, it still wouldn’t be majorly effected. See, paying a dime for a song is great, but I’d gladly pay a quarter or even 40 cents without blinking. There’s a value associated with these things, and people know this. Furthermore, people are WILLING and, often, even WANT to buy and own something legitimately if it’s the right price. But when they are overcharged, or with DRM’ed file, sold an inferior or limited product, they feel cheated, and begin to rationalize stealing in a Robin Hood fashion.

If DRM’ed songs were legit and 10 cents a piece, I probably wouldn’t buy them, but MANY MANY more people would, and MANY MANY more tracks would be sold to the same customers who buy now. If they were 40 cents, you’d probably see another appreciable growth.

My point here is that 99 cents is too much for a restricted digital file containing one song. There are two major flaws to the product – it’s overpriced and it’s limited in use. Fix one of the two and you’ll see your market explode. But go the opposite way – higher prices and more restrictive DRM – as things seem to be going, and you’ll watch your increasingly savvy market come up with more inventive ways to get their music. AllOfMP3 is just the beginning.

14 Replies to “What We Learned From AllOfMP3”

  1. AllOfMp3 is going the way of the dodo. Eventually RIAA will win because it will cut the site’s ties to the outside world.

    In my opinion, AllOfMp3 is illegal. Let me explain why. They claim that for Russia, $0.14 per song is a logical price because for $1 you can buy a bottle of vodka over there. This is TRUE. But, this does not mean that a car resaler in Russia can get some Cadillacs (via one way or another) and then sell them to the world for just $5000 instead of $30,000. This would be illegal, let alone impossible because the parts themselves cost more than that. Russians can’t afford Cadillacs, end of story. It is a poor country and people who live there they should not buy one, because simply, buying a LADA is cheaper.

    Same goes for the mp3 market. The US consumers believe that 0.99 is a logical price for a song, and even if they would like to see it cheaper, they DO have the means to buy it for a dollar. This is a free market. People want entertainment and they are willing to pay for it. If I was RIAA I would chase AllOfMp3 vigorously too because they are selling to MY consumers in USA — consumers who would pay $1 per song. It just happens that mp3s are not physical things and so they can be transfered freely, but the point remains that there is a value about entertainment that drive their prices up.

    Do you think that GM would like it if someone could buy a (real or imitation) cheapo Cadillac from Russia? I can assure you that they would bring the Congress into the situation, not only the VISA and the ISPs!

    What I would have liked to see is a worldwide system of “top sales” that makes a song cheaper or more expensive. For example, if “Material Girl” still sells great, sell it for $0.99. If “Who’s that girl” sells bad, sell it for $0.15. Have a fixed price worldwide regarding different songs depending on how they sell. Let the MARKET shape their prices. This way the poor people can still buy music that FITS their FINANCIALS. You wouldn’t expect a poor person buy a Ferrari, would you?

    Sure it sucks that poor people won’t be easily able to buy popular music, but that’s the road Russia chose when they moved to capitalism. As an American, you should understand this.

    Regarding DRM: I believe it’s something that you can’t shake away, it’s needed. People will always steal IP as long as they can. Therefore, DRM is a necessary evil. However, the real problem of DRM is NOT the DRM itself, but the fact that there are way too many DRM technologies out there. MPAA’s boss gave an interview a few days ago (it was linked from digg I think), and he said that what he wants to see is ONE DRM technology, so ALL mp3 players and other hifi devices WORK with purchased songs. So, if you buy a song on itunes, it should also work on your Sandisk or Zune player. He recognizes this need, and he said that he wants to work towards making the life easier for the consumers. Personally, I find the MPAA boss waaaay more logical than the RIAA guys. I can’t remember his name, but the MPAA guy always talked about educating the public about IP and bringing together all DRM technologies so they don’t get in the way, while the RIAA only cares about sueing people.

  2. Therefore, DRM is a necessary evil.

    No way. I will never entrust my data to a file format that is locked with DRM that I cannot guarantee will ABSOLUTELY work for me in the future. So it may be an unavoidable ubiquitous entity, but I will PROVE that it’s not a necessity by not using or purchasing files in DRMed formats. That goes for AACs, WMAs, and even DVDs, which I’ve pretty much completely stopped buying.

    I can’t just “trust” that my info will always be available to me if it’s locked by a third party. I hope more people begin to agree with me as time goes on.

  3. Sorry, but you don’t seem to comprehend that this is not your data. You are LICENSING the data, it is not yours. As such, the licenser is free to choose the format to protect its IP and you should choose only if you want to license it or not. Granted, there are too many DRM systems out there, and this is exactly why MPAA wants to work towards a single DRM system. If for example, they now require to license their data under a single DRM format in 2007 and all new devices released 2008 onwards are supporting this new DRM format perfectly, what keeps you from buying such DRM’ed media in 2009? The correct answer should be “nothing”.

  4. No, the question of whether it is my data is still under review. Although it’s been challenged several times and the DMCA appears to negate it, tried and true law has already proven that I can make backups of my legally acquired music and DVDs. The problem is that I can’t legally complete this chain yet without using illegal software.

    When I have purchased a CD, I expect that I can listen to the music in the manner I wish. The courts are out on this one.

    Ultimately, the system will change, because once it’s proven that consumers can’t use music or data in the way we’re used to, demand will be majorly altered, and the business will have to cope or face massive widespread piracy.

    The REAL question is whether the internet gives rise to independant distribution which eventually collapses the useless overhead of the RIAA and MPAA.

  5. I only have 3 gripes with the current digital media situation.

    1. By law, I am not allowed to rip DVDs to another device because of the CSS locking mechanism that it’s not allowed to be broken (although the ripping action itself is lawful). I don’t want to buy the same movie for my different devices. IF they provide me with a single software/hardware (DRM’ed) format that works on ALL of my devices, I wouldn’t have a problem with this.

    2. I don’t want more than 1 DRM technology. I want ALL my devices to support the single DRM standard. I am not against DRM, I am against the frustrations it currently brings.

    3. I don’t want region-locking on any product. Lock it via DRM rules, but not via region. We have bought over 50 DVDs here in USA. What if we are to return in Europe one day, what I am supposed to do with all these DVDs that I won’t able to watch anymore? This sucks just by thinking of it.

  6. >The REAL question is whether the internet gives rise to independant distribution
    >which eventually collapses the useless overhead of the RIAA and MPAA.

    Well, as you know, I have an iPod Nano filled with freely available indie music. The music is just not as good as in the one distributed by the big-4 labels. And if some of them are actually good groups, sooner or later they end up in the big-4.

    Again, it’s a matter if you want to use “open source” and cut on the satisfaction, or you want to go “closed source” and pay dearly for it, but at least you know you bought what you wanted to listen to. This is how I see the Indie music vs RIAA-controlled music today. We like it or not, RIAA-controlled music is more easily-listened and more satisfactory.

  7. I made a mistake. We have over 160 DVDs, not 50. Think if we have to go to Europe now. Region Locking is way worse than most forms of iTunes or FairPlay DRM.

  8. The music is just not as good as in the one distributed by the big-4 labels.

    While this may be true today, as indie distribution becomes easier (and it IS, via sites like MySpace), we’ll see better indie music making its way into pop culture without major label backing. Believe me – it WILL happen. It’s only a matter of time.

    It’s unclear whether or not it will matter or be large enough to have any noticeable effect, but it will happen for sure.

  9. > Think if we have to go to Europe now. Region Locking is way worse than most forms
    > of iTunes or FairPlay DRM.

    Just buy a region free DVD player. They’re really easy to pick up. In fact, the one I have also plays DIVX files directly from CD-R.

  10. I’ve purchased ONE song online in my entire life. It was a Cake song through Rhapsody (I think.) Ignoring the fact that the $1 purchase took me days to straighten out, I can no longer play this song because I reformatted my HD. Granted, I could probably get the song ‘working’ again if I went through the process of reinitiating my rights or whathaveyou, but who wants to do that when you supposedly “own” the file?

    I don’t.

  11. Look lets cut out all the moral crap here. I buy music from places like allofmp3 and download it from the internet because it’s cheap and I hate DRM. I care very little that is illegal. Most casual non-profit audio pirates are the same as this.

    Now we have that out the way, that I admit I am a criminal and it just doesn’t matter to me and isn’t going to help the audio industry, if the audio industry wants my money they must make a product I am willing to pay for. That means at the very least, removing DRM and halving their prices. If they did this, I would buy their product. They are unwilling to do this because they think the DRM offers them some level of protection from people like me (audio pirates) which it doesn’t – not a tiny little bit. I can get the audio I want faster and easier, cheaper and without DRM from other sources (more than just allofmp3 too).

    Digital media pirated products are the only ones I know of in the world where I can get a product easer AND OF BETTER QUALITY (no DRM, selectable encoding codecs) than if I go directly to the legitimate outlet. Now if they don’t see the idiotic nature of this it’s not my problem. I don’t care that I am a thief and you don’t like it. Boo fucking hoo. Remove the moronic DRM nannyware and allow me to choose what format music I buy rather than doing a deal where Apple or Microsoft manage everything for you and tie you into their proprietary little locked down world.

    Here’s a real fucking clue – why don’t you do a deal with AllofMP3? They are great at running a music shop. Once you’ve beaten them into submission with your arm-wrenching via the credit card companies offer them a deal to serve up music at double their current prices and let them keep like 10% which they will be happy to do because with industry support the site would explode (assuming it stays working the same and the prices only DOUBLE).

    We’re all big bad men here. I’m not going to buy your music for more than I think it’s worth but I would be willing to pay a good price (twice what I pay AllofMP3 since you did more work than they did) if you offered me a product I wanted. Trouble is, you don’t – the pirates do. Until you do, go fuck yourselves.

    There’s a lot of people like me too – the hilarity is that you just don’t seem to get us casual pirates ARE willing to pay for your product – just not as much as you want us to. If you don’t like that – again tough shit – I’ll just steal your music.

    K thanks.

  12. For $0.99, you could get a song at iTunes, MusicMatch, Napster, and many other MP3 sellers. Of course, you’d have to download a program, suffer through DRM protections, worry about compatability with your MP3 player, and have no control over size or codec and only get a 30-sec clip of the song (and sometimes no preview at all). And you would have pay $0.99 a song. That means it would cost $4000 to fill up a 20G MP3 player, and $8000 to fill up a 40G MP3 player. You don’t need any program to download MP3s, just your regular web broswer. The average MP3 costs just $0.10. Which means you could fill that 20G iPod for only $120 or that 80G iRiver for $240. Doesn’t that seem more reasonable? Unlike most other legal services the files are not protected at all. You can do whatever you want with the music files. Burn audio CDs, transfer music to your portable mp3player, there are no limits. Completely DRM free, the way music should be. If you’ve never heard of mp3sale, you might have some questions: How can it be so cheap? Is it legal? Is it safe to pay by credit card? hubpages.com

  13. Since Allofmp3 has been shut down by russian authorities, it’s time to take a look around and see where else legal mp3s can be purchased at a fair price.For the people who want to find other services like allofmp3, here are the top 10 allofmp3 alternatives hubpages.com

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