November 23, 2004
Lillian dropped me a note to let me know about Weed, another new hybrid P2P/Pay music service that lets you trade distribution bandwidth for payment, and listen to a song several times before being asked to pay. Wired has an article on it today also.
It looks interesting, but it’s hard for me to get much of an impression, as it’s a Windows-only service, and the music is distributed as DRM’d WMA files (which won’t play on Media Player 9 for OS X.) If I can’t ultimately get it on the Mac in distribution quality (ie: without transcoding) I’m not liable to be listening to it.
I’ve got to wonder a bit about who their target market is—since for better or worse, 90%+ of the hard-drive based portable music players sold (in other words, iPods) can’t play WMAs, going with a technology that excludes their owners as potential customers seems like starting the race with one foot in a bucket. Apparently the songs are unlocked when you pay, and of course you could always transcode, but if transcoding offered a reasonable quality solution to DRM, none of us would be complaining about it…
Still and all, it looks interesting, and there is some stuff out there I’d be inclined to give a test listen to, were it not for (etc.)… If you’re using Windows and are WMA-inclined, you might want to check it out…