To me, open source and open source efforts like OpenNMS are about finding powerful and flexible solutions to difficult problems because the alternatives are expensive and clunky. It seems that too many companies are more focused on customer lock-in and revenue streams based on things like per-node pricing than on addressing their customers needs.
But our industry pales compared to the music industry. I’ve ranted elsewhere about this, so I won’t repeat things here, but I came across something last night that suggests that there is hope.
My wife and I were watching TV and a new Dell commercial came on which showed older technology exploding and being smashed with a wrecking ball while a woman sang Que Sera Sera in the background. It was a cool arrangement of the song (although I am partial to the Sly and the Family Stone version) and my wife wondered who sang it.
A quick Google search turned up the artist as Jennifer Terran. But better yet there was a link to an AmazonMP3 page where the song was available for 89 cents. It was a high quality mp3 (256 bps) and DRM free.
I bought it. I already had some funds at Amazon due to a gift certificate and the process was painless. I had the song before the next commercial break.
I’ve shied away from buying songs at the iTunes store because the iPod is only one of the places I listen to music and most of the music there contains DRM. I don’t want to have to keep up with usernames and passwords. I don’t “steal” music but I do enjoy it, so most of the time I buy the physical CD and rip it once it arrives, although some music executives sick with greed think I should have a copy per device.
Now I have an alternative, and the instant gratification factor means I’ll probably be spending more on music than I have in the past.
One improvement I’d make is to allow for track to album upgrades. At the moment, according to the e-mail I received back from Amazon, if you purchase a track or two from an album and then decide to purchase the whole thing you do not get a credit for the tracks you’ve already purchased, unlike the iTunes store’s Complete My Album feature.
But for DRM free files I’ll live with that.