Students balk at free online music – baltimoresun.com

Students balk at free online music – baltimoresun.com

As a student at Cornell University, Angelo Petrigh had access to free online music via a legal music-downloading service his school provided. Yet, the 21-year-old still turned to illegal file-sharing programs.

The reason: While Cornell’s online music program, through Napster, gave him and other students free, legal downloads, the e-mail introducing the service explained that students could keep their songs only until they graduated.

One of these days they will realize that people want to be able to use the things they legally acquire (music in this case) in whatever manner they choose. If they aren’t free to do that they are more likely to acquire it illegally, because then there are no rules.

There’s also the problem of compatibility: The services won’t run on Apple Computer Inc. computers, which are owned by 19 percent of college students, according to a 2006 survey of 1,200 students by the research group Student Monitor. In addition, the files won’t play on Apple iPods, which are owned by 42 percent of college students, according to the survey.

This is also stupid. I use Macs, and I hate it when someone sends me a link to a news story with media, and it is on MSN, and I can’t watch it because they don’t support my OS. We are way too far into this technology for that to still be an issue. It is not about compatibility, it is about controlling consumers actions, and that is wrong.

It is equally wrong, (and stupid in my opinion, but probably not that of their accountants and stockholders) that iTunes Music store purchases can’t be played on any portable players other than an iPod.

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