Posts Tagged ‘CD’s’

Intern of the Week Opinion: LP, EP, IP?

Zack Trahan:

(L)ong (P)layer, (E)xtended (Player), (I)nfinite (P)layer?

As gramophone and vinyl records were developed throughout the 20th century, their play lengths varied between about 5 minutes to 60 minutes based off of the record size, width of the grooves speed of the player, etc.

When Phillips and Sony first developed the compact disc format in the late 1970s, they specifically set its maximum length at 74 minutes to ensure that a single disc could hold all of Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

Now in the age of the mp3, a single audio file can play virtually for ever.

Many artists are left wondering whether to embrace this infinite play time as a new level of artistic freedom or a destruction of one of the defining parameters of modern music making.

In a recent interview with, indie music icon Sufjian Stevens ruminates at what seems to be a “creative crossroads”:

“I feel that the album no longer has a stronghold or has any real bearing anymore. The physical format itself is obsolete; the CD is obsolete and the LP is kinda nostalgic.
I’m wondering, what’s the value of my work once these forms are obsolete and everyone’s just downloading music?”

His attitude may be a bit dismal, but Stevens addresses an important point: How much longer will the 74-minute format govern musical creation?



DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is a generic term used for access control technologies utilized by hardware manufacturers, publishers and copyright holders that impose limitations on the usage of digital content and devices. The abbreviation DRM is often expressed as “Digital Restriction Management” because of the way it stymies the usage of digital content and devices.

For example, Itunes DRM:

  • Restricts back-up copies: Song can only be copied to 5 computers
  • Restricts converting to other formats: Songs only sold in AAC with Apple DRM
  • Limits portable player compatibility: iPod and other Apple devices only
  • No remixing: Cannot edit, excerpt, or otherwise sample songs

With DRM: Consumers are goaded into subscribing to specific, singular music providers because DRM prevents cross-platform filesharing. For example, consumers cannot upload Itunes (Apple) music files onto their Creative Zen (Miscrosoft).

Without DRM: Music files (not to mention videos, games, kindle books etc.) would be completely unrestricted; capable of unfettered reproduction. This puts a huge amount of control in the hands of the consumers, who would be given much greater choice as to where they get their music but more importantly whether or not they are paying for it.

The age of vinyl, when the term “file-sharing” had yet to be uttered, is over. We are currently in the grey area between two extremes: a DRM or non-DRM controlled market.

This all raises an interesting question – “Can we ‘own’ the music we are buying?” For instance, a hallmark of ownership is the right to give away or sell your property. That’s called “first sale,” and it’s explicitly protected under copyright law, but DRM prevents this kind of activity in the interest of maintaining ownership rights…

It is a tricky maze of legislation to navigate.

To give a better idea of the argument at hand, here is a link to a video of a group of music industry panelists discussing DRM technology:

Industry Question: Offline file-sharing

Here at Mass Appeal Entertainment we are looking to pose industry questions over the next few months. The questions are to get opinions or feedback from you the fans, consumers and/or people in the music industry. Today’s industry question deals with offline file-sharing which is swapping memory sticks, hard drives and CDs with peers and others. Please read the question posted below to give your ideas, share dialogue or help find a solution.

It has recently been suggested that an investigation into “offline sharing” begin. Do you think it’s pushing it too far to say it is illegal to be sharing your music with your peers by burning CDs??