Throw out your gold teeth and see how they roll
May 1, 2003 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Steely Dan is pre-selling a track in MP3 or WMA format from their upcoming CD for $1.49. The surprising part is they say "Once you have the file you can listen to it on your computer, transfer it to a player, or burn it to CD. It's yours to keep." Does somebody in the music industry finally understand the possibilities of this whole interweb thing? Only time will tell.
posted by SteveInMaine (27 comments total)
One track? For $1.49? No. No, they don't understand.
posted by luser at 11:49 AM on May 1, 2003

Apple has set the bar at $.99, though they use DRM (albeit generously). Still 1.50 per song makes it just as expensive as a CD. Dunno but seems an odd compromise. Still better then nothing I suppose.
posted by madmanz123 at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2003

Mogwai are giving the first track of thier new CD for free. $1.49 seems frightfully higher than $0.
posted by grimley at 12:09 PM on May 1, 2003

The price isn't the real problem here. It's Steely Dan
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:10 PM on May 1, 2003

Hey. Don't be hating on Steely Dan.
posted by padraigin at 12:24 PM on May 1, 2003

Now, if Steely Dan were offering their entire back catalog for $1.49...

No, I guess I still wouldn't care.
posted by rusty at 12:25 PM on May 1, 2003

Let's say suddenly a big truck pulls up out of no where and dumps a ton of incredible reefer in my garage. Let's say suddenly I start wanting to hear Steely Dan. No, I don't think they get it at all. But regardless of the artist I would not buy any music online as long as I can sample it for free. On the other hand I've bought more music than ever based on free music samples.
posted by oh posey at 12:30 PM on May 1, 2003

I think $1.49 is a lot, but for my favorite band I paid it. $1 a song seems right to me. When I first started buying singles in 1975 they were around $1.25 + tax. Albums were $5.50, so really the disproportionate cost was more obvious back then.

As far as this particular track, it depends on the fan. I already happened to have the song up for sale (and it's damn good by the way) but I bought it anyway. SD are my fave band and when you buy it you get an entry to win an autographed thingy. It was worth it to me. I love them.

The recording industry needs to wake up.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2003

At any rate, I think this (and the Apple service, and as much as it pains me to say it, the MSN service) shows progress in the right direction. It's about damn time, too.
posted by padraigin at 12:48 PM on May 1, 2003

I agree that $1.49 is pricey for one song (and if it's offered in WMA format, they definitely don't get it.) Question for those who have purchased and downloaded the track: At what bitrate was the mp3 encoded?

Plenty of Steely Dan to listen to in my shared iTunes playlists.

(And for those wondering how to create direct links like that to your iTunes library, the format is "daap://" Like a web link, but with daap instead of http.)
posted by emelenjr at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2003

I don't think they get it, $1.49 is too much for most fans, many artists have posted their posted songs for less and in most cases for free. Witness Wilco's new EP up for free download just within the past week, for instance (though you need to already own Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to take advantage).

Artists need to learn that you get people hooked with free mp3 downloads, which can lead them to purchase the album.

This is a step in the wrong direction.
posted by fishbulb at 12:55 PM on May 1, 2003

Even though it hasn't be updated in a while, Legal MP3 Downloads is a fairly ok collection of, well, "legal" MP3 downloads. It was here where I discovered the Zach De La Rocha and Dj Shadow track, March Of Death....which wasn't so great, but hey, it was free. It be upset if I spent $1.49 on it...
posted by tpl1212 at 1:03 PM on May 1, 2003

the cuervo gold,
the fine columbian,
makes me sell these MP3's...
posted by quonsar at 1:13 PM on May 1, 2003

It's a glamour profession, and kid charlamagne may have peg'd the price beyond the reach of FM listeners, but still you can't call this a royal scam-- more of a black cow.
posted by chaz at 1:25 PM on May 1, 2003

What about emusic? It's unlimited (well, almost-- that's another story) for either $15 or $10 a month. The selection is good (as long as you don't listen to major label releases) and the quality is above tolerable.
posted by toddst at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2003

Since we're recreating the Apple discussion from yesterday -- much as /. is today -- I'll ask a question I never got to earlier...Anyone who's tried the new Apple service, what do you get in the way of artwork? tiff files? of all pieces that are incl. with the physical product? (tray liner, booklet, assorted ephemera..)
posted by luser at 1:58 PM on May 1, 2003

Aww, c'mon fellas, Steely Dan deserves some credit for naming themselves after a milk-squirting stainless-steel strap-on dildo, surely?

(Maybe not to the tune of $1.49, though.)
posted by Blue Stone at 1:59 PM on May 1, 2003

PS. Could I just say.... "Pre-selling".... could I just metaphorically punch you for using that term, Steve? ;)
posted by Blue Stone at 2:01 PM on May 1, 2003

Chaz (Charlie Freak?): Only a fool would say that. Do it again.
posted by emelenjr at 2:12 PM on May 1, 2003

They tried to warn you about me and Daddy G.
posted by chino at 2:31 PM on May 1, 2003

Plenty of Steely Dan to listen to in my shared iTunes playlists.

I am so totally streaming beatles from your computer right now. I love iTunes 4.
posted by jragon at 4:08 PM on May 1, 2003

What is the point in offering WMA?
posted by cinematique at 5:15 PM on May 1, 2003

PS. Could I just say.... "Pre-selling".... could I just metaphorically punch you for using that term, Steve? ;)

posted by SteveInMaine at 3:40 AM on May 2, 2003

I ordered it, just to show them that I'm willing to do so when the label offers it to me on mp3 and makes the purchasing process simple. Plus, I love Steely Dan.
posted by at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2003

toddst: I signed up for the emusic trial program, and discontinued it even before the free period ended. Many of the mp3s were (to my ear) encoded so poorly that I couldn't justify downloading them from my (then) 56k connection.
posted by at 4:38 AM on May 2, 2003

If it's "mine to keep", is it also mine to sell, like the CDs in my collection?
I wonder how much I could get for it on Ebay.
posted by FreezBoy at 6:02 AM on May 2, 2003 Yeah, at 56k, I wouldn't be able to deal. I think that emusic's earlier stuff isn't well encoded and it seems like some labels choose to have their mp3s at a lower bitrate (just listen to some of the mp3s from lookout). However, for the price, and with one-click to download an entire album, I think that it is worth it.
posted by toddst at 6:11 AM on May 2, 2003

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