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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The California public colleges (as well as others across the nation) are looking for a way to stem the tide of illegal file-sharing on their high-speed networks in order to prevent potential lawsuits. Some colleges, including UC Berkeley, offer legal music services at a discounted price to students and soon, as this article from the UCSD Guardian says, possibly all of the UC campuses. The UC has been talking to a couple of providers of legal downloading including Napster and Real Rhapsody.
Rhapsody, though, has not been very successful here at Berkeley (see Daily Cal article). Some of the people that I've talked to about it give the service great reviews. However, it like many other legal services don't have many of the features needed to beat file sharing programs like, namely:
-Universal compatibility with MP3 players- Only one legal service (iTunes, which has yet to set a deal with any college) supports the Ipod and that service doesn't support other MP3 players. MP3s from any file-sharing service, though, can be played on nearly any gadget.
-Huge Song Libraries- Sure they can offer more than a million tracks, but there are considerably more songs on any file-sharing network.
-More file types to download-The legal services don't offer many movies (Rhapsody and Napster don't offer any) or other any other kind of files for that matter.
-No cost-Paying .99 cents a song or $2 dollars a month sounds cheap, but it's really expensive compared to paying nothing a song per month.
All in all, the legal services will need some compelling content to justify the price.Email This Post!
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