Thursday, October 03, 2002

Digital Download Day

There's a site up for Digital Download Day which, um, hardly inspires confidence in the project - it's telling me right now that there's minus 1 day, 13 hours, 7 minutes and 33 seconds until 3/10/2002 - and yet it's counting down still. Plus, it's ten to midday, which makes the whole thing dubious. If they can't make a clock work, where's the hope they can sort out their downloads? And that's without pointing out the site says "School project in progress". Anyway, let's click...

"Wow!" It says "There's a lot of you wanting to use this site... come back later if its running slow" - um, surely you should have some sort of market research that would have told you how many to expect? Then you have to click on your choice of retailer - MSN (Gates? No way); Ministry of Sound (Palumbo? Chinless wonders? No thanks); Freeserve (I'm sure I must have some sort of moral objection to them too), so we'll go with HMV...

And this is where it goes tits-up:

"The site you have tried to enter requires Internet Explorer 5 (or better) with Windows Media Player 7 (or better) on Windows XP, 2000, Me or 98. Click Here to use our Doctor Download application to help you check your configuration alternatively Email Dr Download.

So, first up - you can't celebrate Download day if you use the professional musician's choice of computer system? No macs? Rrright. Then: the downloads are in crappy Windows Media format anyway? Not MP3? Thirdly, when I attempt to "Email DrDownload" it throws up a an email addressed to a greater than symbol.

So, in short: I was excited and thrilled to attempt to use legal, cheap downloads. They're telling me that I can't, because my computer is 'wrong', and even if I can, I won't be able to use my paid-for downloads with my current player, or integrate them into my current collection?

Oh, and Mac-heads amongst us will love this bit:
" So to give you the widest choice of music possible we would recommend that you upgrade your operating system to one which will support more modern DRMs (i.e. to Windows 98, 2000, ME or XP)

- yes, they're suggesting you should 'upgrade' from Mac OS X to Windows 98. Okay, I'll do that just as soon as I've replaced my Widescreen telly with a Black and White one, and smashed my face up with a giant hammer to allow me to look like a more standard person.
What a pile of rubbish. What a total shambles. What a fantastic metaphor for the UK music industry.

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