I am once again amazed at just how insane the music industry is. After walking into an actual store, and buying actual CDs, the music industry has found a way to once again spit in my face.
For my wife’s birthday I bought her a few CDs she has mentioned wanting. One evening recent she said, “Oh, we haven’t listened to the Death Cab for Cutie disk yet, let’s listen to that!” So, I unwrapped the disk and dropped it into the computer, which is how we usually listen to music. I noticed a little insert, sandwiched like a piece of salami in the cover, advertising a ringtone if you text DCFC to a certain number. “Cool,” I naively thought to myself upon reading it. “It’s nice that they give away a ringtone.” But then I noticed the little asterisk, leading me down to the bottom of the page. Actual cost for the ringtone: $3.50. For thirty seconds of music. That I have already purchased.
I can purchase a copy of the entire song for 99 cents on the iTunes store. I am holding an actual copy of the disk in my hand, but they want me to spend another $3.50 for the ringtone? Really? This is what the music industry thinks of its customers now?
To put this into perspective, the ringtone I use is something I made. I did not write the music, or record it. No, I picked an amazing song from my favourite band, opened the MP3 in Audacity, trimmed it down, exported the part I wanted, put it on my phone, and then set it as my ringtone. Cost to me, nothing. I figured that I have purchased the album, it’s not going to hurt anyone if I make a ringtone out of it. Hell, it’s free publicity for the band. But no, some labels want you to spend just that little bit more.
Which is probably why the lables are in so much trouble these days.
Addendum: I should point out that I do not think I should get something for nothing, or that I have some RIGHT to the music in another form. I was willing to pay for the ringtone for my favourite band, up to a buck, which isn’t that mush, but I like to support them, and a buck is ok for a ringtone, I think. But they didn’t have any, so I made my own. It’s really just the fact that 30 secons of a song costs almost 4 times what the market says the whole song is worth to the consumer that I find insulting.