• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Why puretrack.com is garbage.


TRIBE Member
So I download a song. $1.14. and i'm happy. sure i had to make my browser a little less secure (activex garabage). but i got over that.

now, i get the song. (fallen, if you had to know).
and I'm like, yeah, I know someone that would like to hear this song too. So i get on IM and send it to them.

so thier using winmedia and well, guess what. it tell them to upgrade. i have a feeling that it's got to do with some licencing garbage but i'm thinking to myself.

This is supposed to be progress?

end of tirade
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
what are you trying to say here?

you bought a song, sent it to someone else, and they can't play it? this pisses you off why?

Last I checked, puretracks is a biz, out to make money, and help put a dent into music piracy...I don't see how you didn't forsee this?
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
oh yeah it's a biz alright but it is supposed to compete with the illegal transfer of files. I'm thinking back in the day, when we didn't have this peer to peer thing. a dude would buy a tape, and if he wanted to give a copy to a 'friend', he'd pop in a blank tape hit record and voila, pretty good copy ready for the exchange. fair use. all is well.

no worry about asking friend if he has the newest wham bam tape deck or the right licence to play the tape. fair use and all was well.

if this is progress and this is 'business' you can keep it.


TRIBE Member
just b-c you bought it doesn't mean you can share it.

you cannot send it to somenoe else so they can copy it.

hell, i'm sure ppl who post stuff on SLSK bought at least
one copy. And from that copy, thousands of folks get it.

you are allowed to -- basically, if i'm correct -- make ONE copy
for storage or something. but to send the file to someone
else is illegal file sharing.

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by exheres
oh yeah it's a biz alright but it is supposed to compete with the illegal transfer of files. I'm thinking back in the day, when we didn't have this peer to peer thing. a dude would buy a tape, and if he wanted to give a copy to a 'friend', he'd pop in a blank tape hit record and voila, pretty good copy ready for the exchange. fair use. all is well.

no worry about asking friend if he has the newest wham bam tape deck or the right licence to play the tape. fair use and all was well.

if this is progress and this is 'business' you can keep it.

I bought my mother a clock for christmas.

It has a dial on the back that sets the alarm and a dial that sets the time. See for my mother (in her 70's) the digital clock doesn't work. The interface is to complicated and she doesn't want to learn it.

She can thread a sewing machine faster than probably anyone on this board (most complicated user interface imaginable) hell the woman is a pretty good welder. Its not through lack of intelligance, its more a matter of tonnes of buttons is a pain in the ass for her.

She wishes her television didn't need to have a decoder box with a sperate remote. She wishes that her DVD player didn't have its own remote. In all honesty she wants a single remote with "power" "channel up and down" "volume up and down" "play" and "stop".

Her oven uses dials, her microwave uses dials, her food processor uses dials, her glass grinder has an off an on switch. She represents the perfect end user, doesn't want a manual transimission, wants an automatic. Could care less about how many speakers her stereo has, just wants to be able to hit play and go.

The assumption that everyone is a geek and wants to be installing codec's and adjusting security parameters is foolish in my opinion.
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
don't get me started on winamp.

first one. fine. worked like a charm. second. i'm diggin the skins thing.

3rd. wtf. crashes. crashes. more crashes. oh yeah and i need to be able to set the opacity of the thing cause you know, i always wanted to read documents through a thin film of music titles and laura crofts crack. you know i don't know why i didn't think of that myself.

5th one. oh now it's time to pay the piper for the "POWER" version. for $14.95. i guess the advertising dollars aren't as much as they used to be. somehow though, i only wanted winamp to play some mp3 files. so i guess i won't be needing the "POWER" version.

play on playas


TRIBE Member
i agree with you on the winamp thing man

fuck those bastards for giving us a free mp3 player
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by green_souljah
Why don't you tell your friend to download it for free off of Kazaa?
And Winamp 5 rocks!
it is now my complete media player!

my anglish skils are lacking cause i've falid to vonvey my dea. back to slepe now.

rock on winamp 5. yeah yeah. winamp. yeah, eya. windows yeaha,ayea, winmeadia ...eyah eyah....gmo's yeaheyua....
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by basic
I'm trying to decide if this is a joke or not.


we legalize pot tomorrow but charge people $100 a gram a dime bag or whatever denomination that people purchase the stuff in?

Do you think people will buy pot from the 'legal pharmacy' or the 'street pharmasist'?

oh yeah, since i'm not too articulate...here's an article that shed's some light on the current discussion.

What's music worth?
Music industry wants the price high. It may not fly. What's music worth?

toronto star article


Ask the music industry to describe 2003 and it might respond "The Year of the Loonie."

Few would have thought that an online version of the dollar-store concept would have such a dramatic impact on the world of music.

But when Apple Computer Corp. launched its iTunes Music Store last April and began selling songs for 99 cents (U.S.) per download, it opened up a floodgate of similar online offerings and gave hope to an industry fighting a losing battle against piracy.

Apple's iTunes store sold 1 million songs in its first week and 10 million by September. By the end of the year, Apple chief Steve Jobs announced that the 25-million threshold had been surpassed and that his download site was selling songs at a rate of 75 million annually.

The novelty of iTunes didn't last long. MusicMatch, Napster 2.0 and BuyMusic.com added more noise to the buzz by launching 99-cent à-la-carte download sites of their own, while Canada saw the unveiling of Moontaxi Media's home-grown music store Puretracks .com.

Everyone, it seems — from Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard to big-name retailers Wal-Mart, Amazon.com and Best Buy — is getting into the action. Microsoft Corp. is expected to launch its own site this year, while RealNetworks Inc. recently debuted its RealPlayer Music Store as a direct competitor to iTunes.

It has become cool to offer music downloads for a buck, and a market that didn't exist 12 months ago is now growing crowded with options. The recording industry, facing a fork in the road, is more certain than ever about which course it must take.

"Now they've got a strategy and they're pushing down that road, and I think it's going in the right direction," says Duncan McKie, president of market research firm Pollara.

It was a long-time coming. Since the emergence of the Napster phenomenon in 1999, the music industry has been tripping over itself trying to protect a profitable business model based on an over-priced product: The compact disc.

Napster offered a way to download digital song files at no cost from a virtually limitless library of online music. Users got access to the tunes they wanted, could play them anywhere, and were able to burn their own custom CDs at home. It was copyright infringement, no matter how it was rationalized, but it was clear that the days of the pre-recorded CD were numbered.

"Why would I want to buy a full CD for $18 when I only want two tracks?" says Kaan Yigit, president of Toronto-based Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., which has researched the music industry in Canada for 10 years.

"People were complaining about the value of music seven or eight years ago. So the minute Napster comes along, it was boom!"

Resistant to change and frightened to the core, the record labels joined forces and hauled out their legal war chest. A stable of pit-bull lawyers were unleashed on Napster, which was eventually shut down, and others were dared to test the industry's resolve. Others did — among them Kazaa, Morpheus and Grokster — and music piracy jumped steadily over the years despite a series of high-profile courtroom brawls.

The impact is evident in the numbers: CD sales in the United States have fallen by nearly a third since Napster was shut down more than three years ago. What was a $1.4 billion industry in Canada five years ago is now estimated at less than $900 million. Illegal file sharing has been cited as a key factor in this steep decline.

The music industry didn't completely shun the technology. Many half-hearted experiments were launched that proved too restrictive and lacking in features. Some only let users stream rather than download music — a mistake.

And when users were permitted to download they could only get full albums instead of individual songs. CD burning was also limited, and playing digital files on different computers and devices was often forbidden.

Graham Henderson, senior vice-president of business affairs and e-commerce at Universal Music Canada, says the move to à-la-carte download services with fewer restrictions on CD burning and file portability was a major leap forward for the industry last year.

"All of those issues had for two or three years haunted us like ghosts in the closet," says Henderson. "Every time you said the word `portability' or `burnability' people would say, `Oh, no, we'll give them a copy for their hard drive and that's it.'

"We got over our hang-ups," he adds.

The licensing agreements that make services such as iTunes possible represent a major shift in thinking. Consumers can now access vast and growing online libraries of high-quality digital songs, and they can download and pay for them individually. The cost — so far averaging 99 cents per tracks — hasn't yet met with much resistance given the opportunity now to buy singles and create custom play lists and CDs.

True, the music's not free, but consumers can now do legally what they could only do illegally through Napster and its peer-to-peer ilk.

"A lot of people said I'm relieved I can do this without the lingering guilt feeling of having stolen something," says McKie, adding that a majority of Canadians he has surveyed acknowledge that free downloading of copyrighted music is wrong.

To make legal music sites more alluring, industry players are also promoting the purity of their libraries while emphasizing that Kazaa, Morpheus and other peer-to-peer networks are filled with "dirty tracks" — corrupt files, child pornography, malicious viruses and privacy invasive "spyware," among other nasty surprises.

A recent study from Herndon, Va.-based TruSecure Corp. found that 45 per cent of free files downloaded through Kazaa, the most popular file-sharing network, were viruses, worms and Trojan horse programs. A Canadian advertising campaign was launched in December to alert parents to the issue.

And where the threat of viruses and spyware fail to scare users away, the recording industry has been more than willing to launch lawsuits against individual file-sharers. Since September, the Recording Industry Association of America has sued nearly 400 alleged music-swappers and threatened thousands more. A grandfather who rarely used his computer and a 12-year-old girl were among those caught in the RIAA's dragnet.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Recording Industry Association said late last year that it is preparing to file its own lawsuits as part of a plan to deter Canadians from pirating songs.

A Canadian legal assault could prove tricky, however. The Copyright Board ruled last month that allowing songs on a computer to be downloaded by other Internet users is a breach of the law because it constitutes distribution of music, but nothing in the law forbids downloading for personal use.

Indeed, Canadians pay a levy that is built into the retail price of CD-Rs, MP3 players and other blank recording media. It is widely believed that the existence of this controversial levy confers on individuals a right to copy or download any copyrighted songs as long as they're kept for personal enjoyment.

CRIA disputes this interpretation, arguing that it goes against the spirit of the law and, if anything, is devoid of ethical considerations. The organization continues to warn that lawsuits are on the way.

South of the border the legal threats appear to be working, depending on who one asks. A report released earlier this month from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and comScore Media Metrix found only 14 per cent of Internet users surveyed between Nov. 18 and Dec. 14 admitted they sometimes downloaded songs to their computers.

A survey in May reported a figure more than twice as high, indicating that the lawsuits may be causing music pirates to have second thoughts. Critics of the study, however, warn that the results could be skewed if people are lying about their music downloading activities for fear of being sued later.

"What we probably have is a much bigger chill effect in reporting of what people are doing rather than an equally big change in behaviour with music downloads," says Kaan of Solutions Research Group.

`With lower-cost music, people are willing to pay and fill their iPod, and they'll be more experimental'

Greg Bildson, chief operating officer, Lime Ware


`With lower-cost music, people are willing to pay and fill their iPod, and they'll be more experimental'

Greg Bildson, chief operating officer



He adds that his own fall survey of Canadian usage likely suffered from the same chilling effect as word of the U.S. lawsuits filtered into Canada. Kaan found that 22 per cent of teenagers between 12 and 14 years of age downloaded music in October compared to 39 per cent in February. For 15 to 19 year olds, that number fell to 29 per cent from 57 per cent.

"We think that file-sharing is basically going underground in Canada," he says.

As far as peer-to-peer network provider Limewire is concerned, neither the lawsuits nor iTunes has had a measurable impact on file trading.

"Every indication I have is we're doing more downloads, more sales, everything is up, up, up," says Greg Bildson, chief operating officer of New York-based Lime Wire LLC. "I've definitely seen anecdotal evidence that some people are scared, but a lot of people are unfazed by it."

Formerly from Toronto, Bildson moved to New York in the mid-1990s and joined Lime Wire when it was created in the summer of 2000. Since then, he has devoted his energy trying to turn the company's peer-to-peer software into a revenue-generating product. Based on downloads of its software, Limewire is the fifth-largest peer-to-peer network on the Internet.

Bildson says the recording industry may be heading in the right direction but it's way off base when it comes to price. The music companies are limiting their online customer base by charging an average of 99 cents per track, according to an internal study done by Limewire. The key is to find that sweet spot where price and volume intersect and create the biggest revenue opportunity, says Bildson.

Today, iTunes and its 25 million downloads over eight months is a drop in the bucket compared to the half a billion files that move through Kazaa every day. In Bildson's view, charging 5 to 10 cents per track would drive 79 times the volume compared to the current 99-cent consensus.

"That's the thing about the Internet, it's all about tremendous volume," he says, pointing out that paying a dollar per song it would cost $20,000 to fill an Apple iPod player to full capacity. "Nobody is going to spend that.

"But with lower-cost music, people are willing to pay and fill their iPod, and they'll be more experimental. They'll fear less about losing that song in the future or the cost of upgrading to new digital formats. So there's a recurring revenue stream there as well."

It's a bold suggestion, one that Henderson at Universal Music Canada promptly rebuffs. "I've heard this 5 and 10 cents thing before, and 5 cents right now doesn't cover the cost of just delivering the music," he says. "You can't make money doing that."

Henderson said differential pricing — charging different prices for different songs, based on criteria such as popularity or newness — will definitely emerge in the future and over-all prices will almost certainly drop over time as the industry fine-tunes its licensing model.

At the same time, he worries about devaluing music or setting dangerously low price points so early in the game. You'd be foolhardy to jump from 99 cents to 5 cents based on volumes going up, because there's no way of going back if the volume isn't there," he says, adding later, "This year you will probably see that aspect of this play out a bit — the pricing."

Universal Music Canada, representing acts such as the Cowboy Junkies and Sarah Harmer, is the largest and arguably most progressive record company in Canada. In September, it was the first to drop its list price to $14.98 for top CDs and $9.99 for developing artists.

The company partly owns and is a strategic backer of Puretracks.com, Canada's first legal download site, where Universal is one of the only major labels selling its songs for 99 cents. It's also the first to completely lift restrictions on the number times people can burn or transfer a purchased track.

Henderson says he's a little concerned why other record companies, such as Sony Music Canada or EMI Music, have been slower to react. Some artists and labels still won't agree to distribute their music online. "I can't speculate why it's taking time," he says. "It might take another label a month or two months before they're going to go there, but it's inevitable, it has to go there."

At the same time, it's recognized that legal music downloading will never completely fill the revenue-gap that music piracy has created. Twenty and thirty somethings with a job and a conscience will be the first to migrate from free to fee sites. Puretracks.com, for example, is intentionally targeted at a more mature group and this is reflected in the site's conservative design.

But teenagers — those rebels with no jobs, credit cards and more time than money — will remain part of a hardcore group of pirates that will likely never change their ways. A few might stop for fear of being sued, but most get a kick out of testing the limits.

"They're incorrigible, you're not going to discourage them," says Pollara's McKie.

McKie estimates that the market for music downloads in Canada is worth about $100 million, assuming there is a full catalogue of music content available and enough competition and marketing to drive traffic to these services.

MusicMatch, Napster 2.0, and iTunes are among the U.S. sites expected to launch in Canada this year, along with a service for French Canadians from Quebec-based Groupe Archambault Inc. Meanwhile, Moontaxi Media has been busy licencing Puretracks to other service providers. It signed a deal last month with Telus Corp. and is in discussions with Future Shop, among other possible partners.

Moontaxi is also working to create a download site specifically for people who are looking for rare bootlegs.

As more services get launched, each one catering to a different population segment or market niche or musical genre, the hope is that a majority of Canadian music buyers will embrace fee-based download services and that a $100 million market will indeed emerge.

To make up for the rest of the shortfall, the music industry will have to get even more creative in other areas. For example, the record labels currently make most of their money from CD sales while artists partially share in CD revenues but get to keep a lion's share of concert and merchandise proceeds.

This could explain why top Canadian artists haven't exactly been lining up to speak out against file sharing. For one, it's an unpopular position to take — as Metallica found out when it suing Napster. Second, why risk such a backlash from fans when a large portion of your income comes from playing concerts and selling T-shirts?

"I think artist deals with labels are going to start looking a little different," says Henderson. "We're going to start being partners in a broader cross-section of their careers, and I think you're going to start seeing that blooming in 2004."

Other creative endeavours? Music companies have begun setting up "mobile" units that exist exclusively to license out songs for use as mobile phone ring tones. Half of all teenagers between 15 and 19 have a cellphone. They may not want to pay 99 cents for a full song, but strangely, they're will to pay $5 for a ring tone that plays a 30 second clip of U2 or Outkast and comes with an artist logo and voiceovers.

More important, only the cellphone companies can control how the ring tones get in the phones. "That's potentially a big marketplace," says Henderson.

There's also a huge opportunity to sell digital music through sponsorship models. Pepsi, for example, is giving away 100 million free digital songs as part of an upcoming promotion with iTunes, just one of many brand-building exercises that are likely to become more common.

Consumers get free tunes, iTunes gets the traffic, and Pepsi gets exposure and a huge database of customer information from which to draw.

One can foresee a day when high-speed Internet providers such as Rogers Cable or Bell Sympatico offer 50 free downloads a month as part of their monthly subscription. It could become a way of building customer loyalty while gaining an edge on the competition.

"We've definitely had conversations about these types of models internally," says Mike Lee, vice-president of product management at Rogers Cable Inc. "We're not ruling anything out at this point."

Kaan says retailers such as Wal-Mart aren't launching download stores to make money, and neither is Apple. But where Apple is using iTunes to sell more iPod devices, Wal-Mart, already a huge sellers of CDs and DVD players, simply wants the service to drive more customers to its Web site to boost online sales of other goods. Wal-Mart has already dropped its price to 88 cents per song to pull in customers.

The Canadian music market is worth less than $1 billion, explains Kaan. "Wal-Mart, in their biggest revenue year, made $1.4 billion in a day. Download revenues to Wal-Mart is like talking about a flea on an elephant. These guys make more money from salad choppers."

Henderson cautiously admits that sponsorship models may be the way of the future, but he's not sold on the idea. His worry, once again, is that giving away 100 million songs — even though Pepsi has paid wholesale for them — could send the wrong message at a sensitive time in the industry.

"We have to defend the value of our product," he says. "In a market where we want to wean people off `free,' is that the message we want to be sending?"