Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Students Skip College Music Services 246

Posted by timothy
from the they-know-which-end-stinks dept.
WSJdpatton writes "College students don't turn down much that's free. But when it comes to online music, even free hasn't been enough to persuade many students to use the digital download services colleges and universities are providing." I know that the Ctrax service offered by my current school — Temple University — and many others (it's "available to all college students with a '.edu' email address") has an ugly, awkward interface. Worse, the free (gratis) part is an expiring, "tethered" collection of music for those who use it; downloads to keep are fee-per-track.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Students Skip College Music Services

Comments Filter:
  • by WedgeTalon (823522) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:22AM (#15667241)
    Just because a bag of crap is free doesn't mean it's worth the hassle of obtaining it.
    • Horse shit!

      The free manure many farms give away is probably rather popular with keen gardeners. I could have done with some recently...
    • by NineNine (235196) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:30AM (#15667308)
      Careful... there are lots of Free Software advocates around here that you're liable to upset!
      • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @01:12PM (#15668201) Journal
        No, see, the F/OSS approach will be more along the rational and logical lines of pointing out that you:

        A) should quit whining and fix it yourself already, since you already have the source,
        B) are an idiot (doubly so if what you needed is related in any way to user interface, reading existing files, etc). We should have mandatory IQ tests to prevent idiots like you from getting anywhere near a computer,
        C) should RTFM already. In fact, you should write the RTFM, since it doesn't exist yet. Get to it already.
        D) are an idiot
        E) are a MS fanboy and/or paid to call their favourite program crap
        F) are an idiot. Even by MS shill/fanboy/etc standards.
        G) should stop doing anything that can't be done with their program. In fact, you should feel _proud_ to abandon any work you need done, or spend a few months learning command-line ways to do it, just to show the middle finger to MS.
        H) are an idiot for needing that, or for doing it like that, in the first place
        I) are only using a closed-source program instead because you've pirated it. We just know you did.
        J) did we mention that you're an idiot yet?
        K) all the above
        L) like K, and you're an idiot too
        • Or it just could be that most Free Software is so bad in one way or another that the makers, quite literally, cannot give it away. You know it's pretty bad if I would rather pay thousands of dollars a year (out of my own pocket) for software instead of using a free version. I'm not a wealthy person, either. Most of it really just is that bad.
          • Or, maybe I should say that as little money as I make (I live in a one bedroom studio shithole apartment), it's still worth thousands of dollars to me NOT to use most (I do use VNC) of the free stuff out there. I can understand why that would be embarassing to lots of people. I wish it wasn't true, because I'd much rather spend those thousands of dollars every year on something remotely interesting.
      • Burning dog poop wants to be free!
    • by FunnyLookinHat (718270) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:37AM (#15667350) Homepage
      No, believe me. CTrax is an absolute piece of crap. Last time I used it I could only access it via internet explorer, and if you queued up more than one song (even just two) to download rather than picking one at a time it would slow the interface down to absolute crap.

      I actually interviewed to work with them and used the opportunity to basically tell them why their product sucked and why nobody was using it rather than to try to obtain a job. It ended as such and I wonder to this day if they've improved at all because I refuse to even visit the service. All of my friends have stayed away from it as well for this reason.

      In any case, if I'm offered a "legal" means to download the song then why can't I simply obtain that song via different means that may be faster (such as the DC++ network we had running at Purdue for a while, or via torrents)? It makes NO sense to me to say I can get the song one way but not another, even if the only difference is the DRM that is thrown and blown all over the song. (I could, after all, just use it myself for personal use and not burn it; which is exactly what I did with them).

      Free translates for me as: you get what you pay for.
      • by C0rinthian (770164) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:21PM (#15667710)
        In any case, if I'm offered a "legal" means to download the song then why can't I simply obtain that song via different means that may be faster (such as the DC++ network we had running at Purdue for a while, or via torrents)?
        Because then you'd no longer be an advertising target?
        • This is most interesting in its potential use in future file sharing cases. It is difficult to assign value to something like a track of music, but a good measure is 'whatever someone is willing to pay.' If the RIAA is trying to give their wares away for free, and people still don't want them, then this means that their value is zero.

          Now, when the RIAA says 'this person stole $3000 worth of music' a good defence lawyer could argue 'my client copied $0 worth of material.' Of course, if someone pirated

      • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:33PM (#15667805) Homepage
        Not only is the CTrax web download interface, umm, "absolutely pathetic", that's just the beginning of things. Even if you just want to play the music you've downloaded, the darned thing keeps crashing [flickr.com].

        This is still the sort of thing colleges spend money on, instead of, oh, say, that long-overdue raise for faculty...

  • Napster contra IPod (Score:2, Interesting)

    by andrewman327 (635952)
    I love the free Napster service that my school (GW) gives, but many people use iPods and find it easier to steal music through MyTunes or OurTunes.
    • by babbling (952366) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:37AM (#15667345)
      It isn't possible to steal music unless it comes on CDs or tapes. If you meant that people copy it without permission, that's called copyright infringement.
      • "It isn't possible to steal music unless it comes on CDs or tapes. If you meant that people copy it without permission, that's called copyright infringement.


        So you are right and I am wrong. Well played. Without a durable medium it is a little hard to steal things.

      • by m94mni (541438)
        That would be stealing the *CD*, not the music. Now, stealing music would be more like doing what this sheriff [bizjournals.com] is trying to do, but illegally.

        I don't know how I would do that, however...
      • by gid13 (620803) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:50AM (#15667451)
        True. It's worth mentioning that in the US at least, the penalties for copyright infringement are FAR harsher than those for stealing. Compare the max penalties for sharing a CD worth of songs (hundreds of thousands of dollars per track, if I remember correctly) to stealing a CD (I don't know, but I guarantee it's not hundreds of thousands).
      • Well, it's copyright infringement when you reproduce, distribute, and/or perform/display copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. Therefore, unless you're distributing or displaying the material, you could only be accused of infringing by reproducing.

        So, the question of whether an act is even copyright infringement often hinges on whether a new digital copy is to be considered an infringing 'copy'. Of course, but there are also things like caching an mp3 during a transmission of so

    • Last time I tried either of those, they didn't work on my library at all. And neither of them seem to be under development anymore....
    • Free? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:03PM (#15667552) Homepage
      It's even less free than the 'voluntary library gift' (the $50 charge that GW puts on your bill each semester, that you have to request be removed).

      It may be free in that you don't have to directly pay Napster, but the money has to come from somewhere -- it's probably covered under the 'Student Activities Fee' or one of the other many fees that you get hit with each semester.

      (yes, I'm cynical -- I'm both an alum, and an ex-ISS employee. I've seen how much GW wastes on bad IT implementation. Hell, I even reported Nabih Bedewi [gwhatchet.com] to the engineering school for misappropriation of equipment almost a decade ago.)
      • I agree that GW tends to screw you out of money, but in this specific case the money is coming from an anonomous donor outside of the administration.
  • No thank you (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrxak (727974)
    They have CTrax at my school. It's horrible. Everyone has an iPod and uses iTMS or gets their music illegally on the school's DC++ hub. Nobody really seems to know why we have CTrax.
    • by Captain Zep (908554) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:35AM (#15667331)
      You must be mistaken. The homepage clearly states that it's easy to use and is just what you want:

      "Its ease of use, speed, lack of viruses and spyware and affordable pricing are in line with what college students' seek today."

      Z.

    • Re:No thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

      by schmiddy (599730) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:36AM (#15667341) Homepage Journal
      We also have CTrax available free at my school. Not many people use it, mainly because of the crippling DRM and crappyp interface. First, it requires you to use Windows + Internet Explorer + Activex plugins + Flash plugin + new Windows Media Player. That rules out a lot of students, myself included (though I tried for a short time). Then, of course, their whole clunky interface is done in Flash, is terribly slow, and just a general pain in the ass to use. They let you 'download' the WMA files from their service, but to actually play them, Media Player has to go through a godawful slow authentication process every single time you play the track. I assume the tracks will play in one of those ridiculous "Plays for Sure" portables, but I don't know anyone who has one (seriously.. who buys that crap!?).

      I got so fed up with their stupid DRM that I even wrote a guide on how to get around it [slyengineer.com] using Audacity (clunky, but effective). Even with the ability to rip the tracks to mp3s using Audacity or similar, it just wasn't worth the hassle of their terrible interface in order to access their limited track selection. I remember at least a few letters in our school paper complaining about the service and what a waste of money it is (apparently some "anonymous donor" funded it.. ). It's too bad Apple are so stringent with their pricing, or they could work out great deals with Unis that people wouldn't hate so much. Maybe CDigix have cleaned up their act in the year or so since I've used their service, but I doubt it, and I don't see myself going back even though it is free.
      • Re:No thank you (Score:2, Informative)

        by plague3106 (71849)
        Ahh if only we could go back to the good old days.

        When we first started 'file sharing' in college (1996 / 1997), we would get our mp3s from other college kids public FTP server. Found a lot of bands I'd never have overwise heard that way.
      • by Marc2k (221814)
        Even without degrading the signal by having [nearly] any analog signal chain, you're still using your crappy consumer audio card's DAC (and subsequently, ADC) in that process, then recompressing it at a different sample rate. Groooooooooss! I'll stick with buying the vinyl and downloading the audio from [semi-] illicit services, thanks.
  • TNSTAAFL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maubp (303462) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:22AM (#15667250)
    "College students don't turn down much that's free ... downloads to keep are fee-per-track."

    Surprise surprise!

    If most of the services charge for downloads you can keep, its hardly free is it? In either sense of the word.
    • Re:TNSTAAFL (Score:3, Informative)

      by garcia (6573)
      I don't think they do this anymore, but allofmp3.com used to allow logged in users to stream any album in some crappy quality. At work it sure beat any of the alternatives...

      I don't like keeping a large music collection at work and I don't want to carry my media player there either so I have recently been using Pandora [pandora.com] to stream music that I actually like to my work machine. It's not the best solution but it's better than the alternatives (i.e. streaming ABC/Disney stations) :(
      • They still do, although I believe it's only for users who've spent a certain amount on the service in the past.
  • Free...as in beer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:23AM (#15667257)
    Maybe. But to make free content interesting, it has to be free in the OTHER sense first. If it's free in the financial aspect, that's a bonus, but not the primary concern.

    That's the main beef I got with DRM. Not that I have to pay per view, or that I should pay more or whatever. It is the fact that I cannot use the content I pay for in an enjoyable way. It's the tether attached, not the price tag.
    • Free...as in drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bhmit1 (2270) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:41AM (#15667375) Homepage
      You got that right, but I prefer the "free as in drugs" metaphor here. They are trying to get you hooked and then charge you for it later. What no one in the industry seems to get is that people will pay for the "free as in speech" type, and there are enough that care to be legal to make it a worthwhile model despite all the piracy. The industry tries so hard to stop the pirates that they turn the legit users into thieves.
    • You can get the content free as in freedom but you wouldn't like the price tag. You have to pay for the right to distribute and make derivative works. When you purchase a CD you aren't buying the content to do with as you please, you are purchasing a disc with music on it to listen to, perhaps copy to a different format to listen in your car or portable mp3 player,
      • That's fine. But I want to listen to it the way I please.

        I can deal with the "do not distribute" part. I don't want to get into the discussion whether someone who copies music would have bought it if he couldn't copy, let's assume it is that way, or not, I don't care either way.

        The problem is that, with many currently sold music formats, I cannot listen to them the way I want. I buy the right to listen to this music (that's what the license is about), yet I cannot use the license. I buy a CD to listen to it
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:23AM (#15667260)
    the email introducing the service explained that students could keep their songs only until they graduated. "After I read that, I decided I didn't want to even try it,"

    This is seriously not enforced, so they shouldn't worry about it. I still use software (mostly MSFT and Anti-virus stuff) I received free from college. And I graduated several years ago already.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America says it has been happy with the progress the program has made so far. "Universities tend to move not all that quick to do things like this, so it's really quite an achievement," says RIAA President Cary Sherman.

    Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle.
  • by JackStrife17 (982300) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:26AM (#15667278)
    It's one thing to pull an Apple and try to limit my music to one machine, but when my music needs to phone home once a week to unlock itself, that's a whole next level of wrong. I tried using our University's music system "Ruckus", but after the first "lockout" message I encountered during one of our frequent internet outages, I was done for life.
  • another reason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by playtheshovels (987211) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:29AM (#15667299)
    The reason why I don't use ruckus (or any other paid download service) is because of the incredibly lackluster selection that all music stores have. This isn't their fault - I imagine it would be hard to get the rights to sell obscure Norwegian death metal band's albums, but it still means that I'm double clicking Azuereus more than anything else.
    • What exactly is wrong with ripping bought CDs then? You mentioned paid download services, so I assume you're willing to pay, and CDs are cheap from Amazon.
  • by afeinberg (9848) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:35AM (#15667330) Homepage Journal
    Ok, want a big reason this failed? College students have varied and wide-ranging tastes in music. Your typical college frat-rocker or indie snob most likely won't like the range of artists offered on the "free" services when compared to itunes or any decent bittorrent tracker.

    I guarantee that 90% of music reccomended by sites like Pitchfork aren't available on these services. If they were, people would use them.
    • What college did you go to?

      I graduated a couple years ago, and it seemed to my that most college students' taste in music was as generic as the rest of the listening public. I was a big indie snob myself, but for every one of us, there were 20 students jamming to Britney Spears and Eminem.
    • I don't know about you, but iTunes doesn't go very far into the kind of stuff I listen to now, or listened to in college for that matter. It's still pretty strictly mainstream from my experience.

      Of course when I was in college in the 80's, a couple of bucks at the used record store bought you all kinds of neat stuff that you can't find on iTunes (or even bittorrent most of the time).

  • Big Surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spykemail (983593)
    The exact same thing happened at my school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Except thanks to the ignorant members of our student "government" (I use that term very, very loosely) technically we brought it on outselves.

    We got the "Ruckus" music service - which doesn't work on Mac OS X or iPods - and is little better than an extremely low quality (and ugly) jukebox.

    Of course, 99% of RPI students are still illegally stealing music on the internet, but the school and the student government don't care because
    • The article sadly never expands upon Apple's own college offering, iTunes U [apple.com], which is supposedly free for Colleges. Not only do students have access to music collections and the iTunes Music Store, but they also can listen to and download class lectures, professor podcasts, etc. They've recently added three more schools [macnn.com] to the iTunes U roster including Duke [duke.edu], North Carolina Central University, and Butte College.
  • by PipianJ (574459) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:41AM (#15667377)
    Some people may remember RPI [rpi.edu] for its consistent involvement in the RIAA college lawsuits.

    Needless to say, as soon as the first group of 30 were sued for using i2hub, the student council inexplicably gets an offer from the otherwise unknown music service known as Ruckus [ruckusnetwork.com]. The student council was at least nice enough to give us a chance to respond to a survey regarding our acceptance of a music service on campus, but despite an underwhelming response of 23%, RPI inexplicably chooses Ruckus [rpi.edu] to be its provider, despite the fact that 2/3rds of poll respondants wanted MP3 downloads, 90% wanted to burn CDs, and 85% wanted to download and own the music [rpi.edu], and Ruckus is, of course, none of these, supporting only Microsoft DRM.

    Despite some quiet rancor [rpi.edu] about the deal, and its possible relationship to a 'blackmail' deal with the RIAA, the student council twisted the facts [rpi.edu] and approved Ruckus anyway [rpi.edu], intending to keep it through the 06-07 year [rpi.edu], despite some [rpi.edu] qualms [rpi.edu] about its quality of service.

    I haven't seen any long-term reviews of it either though, but I'm not particularly a fan of it. Too bad we students will have to pay for it in the end even if we don't want it.
    • When I was at RPI, about every couple of weeks we'd go to the walkway above the football field at like 2:00 AM and rearrange the tiles to spell out whatever remarkably immature yet clever pun we'd come up with. It might be worth spelling out RUCKUS SUCKS (or maybe RUCKUS IS WORTHLESS - IIRC you have just about enough space for the second one).

      BTW, just for fair warning we did it like 7 or 8 times before campus security made us stop, though we basically got a "don't do this anymore". We were ticked off bec
    • Once you come to the realization that SURVEYS mean nothing, you won't be shocked when they're ignored. There are more important things to think about in life, than whether or not you can listen to the latest Britney Aguillaria CD.
    • Funny. When the RIAA first started its "sue everybody" campaign, a first group of three students were sued for billions of dollars. One (two?) were at RPI, and another was at my school, Michigan Tech. And sure enough -- we got an offer from this never-before-seen service, Ruckus. We also went with it, with no student input as far as I'm aware. Sound like a bunch of opportunistic buggers to me.
    • Washington University in St. Louis [wustl.edu], my overpriced private school, recently pulled the same bullshit. They surveyed the student body and, despite our requests, ended up going with Ruckus.

      Ruckus is Windows-only (despite a significant Mac base at my school) and only provides DRM-protected Windows Media downloads. Burning isn't free. You can't use it with an iPod, of course. To make matters worse, the software creates pop-up ads while the software is open.

      Something dirty is happening behind the scenes in th
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:44AM (#15667395)
    I currently attend Penn State, where Napster is offered to students for free. I primarily use this program as a streaming service. Since I listen to such an extremely wide array of albums (not songs), that downloading would be pointless. I find that Napster is a perfect tool for finding independent and foreign artists; I can listen to new offerings without making an upfront investment as I would with a pay-per-track service such as iTunes.

    I think Napster is perfect for people who have eclectic tastes in music and are interested in discovering new artists. I plan on buying a subscription when I graduate.
  • "There isn't that much we can do," acknowledges Aileen Atkins, Napster's senior vice president for business affairs and general counsel. "If they have an iPod, they're going to buy it on iTunes. It's a fact of life."

    Wow. You know your business model's in trouble if your own VP doesn't buy into your FUD.

    Man, I miss the good ol' days when you could run a music FTP undetectable on the university's fat pipe, and nobody would bat an eye. The selection was usually better than the RIAA's endless crapstream of

  • by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:48AM (#15667431)
    So you have a college students that want something, and another group that offers them something else and is suprised that the reaction of the students.

    Does this not describe the entire recent history of the RIAA?
  • Free isn't enough. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:51AM (#15667453) Homepage Journal
    In order to succeed in any field, you have to outdo the competition. These "free" services are not acknowledging the fact that their direct competition isn't only iTunes, but the illicit file-swapping services. Were I a college student who could magic up a torrent of completely free MP3s or OGGs which are perfectly archivable and portable, the only thing that would really sway me from this (if I were the type to even consider switching) would be something with a comparable level of usability, yet legal. For all but the most paranoid file-swappers, the simple fact that a junky service is OMG LEGAL!!!#$%^ really isn't enough to justify the insane levels of crippling they're doing to the media. And the rest of the kids aren't so against dropping a few dollars on iTunes for what they want.
    • I wonder how many of these students will be willing to work for free once they graduate like they expect others to. Or is it only their time thats worth money, not everyone elses?

      I seem to recall a time when ethics classes where manditory in schools. Perhaps we should revisit that?

  • Here's their site. [ruckusnetwork.com] I haven't had the chance to try it out yet, because it's Windows only, and right now I'm on a Mac laptop only. Them's the breaks. I know the University doesn't have any responsibility to support less common OSes, but their bookstore is an Apple dealer and the certified repair shop for Apples in town. They showcase Apple machines--all of the laptops, iMacs, and the PowerMac--and just one Windows machine. Because of this, there's a decent amount of Mac laptops on campus. I see them aro
  • by Kaptain Kruton (854928) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @11:54AM (#15667485)
    My university allowed on-campus students to download music to their systems for free from CTrax. However, they dropped it during the spring. The reason is that nobody used it. It is not because they did not want free music, far from it. But when the service is much more trouble than it's worth, the people will just turn to other sources. I didn't use it for three reasons.
    A) The interface was poorly designed and implemented in my opinion. A poor interface will stop a lot of people.
    B) It forced the use of Internet Explorer on its site. I refuse to use IE. It is not because I am anti-MS, but it is because I have had serious problems in windows created by security flaws in IE. Furthermore, this dependency on IE screwed users of other OS's.
    C) All of the music was wma format with DRM. I don't like DRM. Not only that, I fairly frequently reinstall windows on my machine because I frequently change hardware and/or toy with my system in various ways. Those files don't like being used after windows has been reinstalled due to previously stated hw changes.

    Because of these problems, I found other sources for music.
  • Worse, the free (gratis) part is an expiring, "tethered" collection of music for those who use it; downloads to keep are fee-per-track.

    DRM workaround for cheapskates....

    2 PC's

    2 sound cards with digital I/O such as the (currently unavailable [for good?]) Catalina soundcards from Turtle Beach

    http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/soundcard s/catalina/producthome.asp [turtlebeach.com]

    Enjoy! (Did RIAA 'lean' on Turtle Beach to 'pull' these sound cards from the market?...)

    P.S.: This is the best, simplest, straightforward, 'secu
    • Huh? 2 PCs?

      I can do it with just one PC. And no, this isn't with a loopback cord from headphone to mic jack either. I have an Audigy and just select the appropriate recording source ('what-u-hear' I think works, but I odn't know for sure if it's what I've used). I don't think it goes to analog first, and in any case I can't tell the difference.
  • twisted terminology (Score:4, Informative)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:15PM (#15667655) Journal

    Can't keep the music after graduation? Can't burn songs to CD? That's not free. The WSJ should not have used that term so carelessly. They fell hard for typical RIAA propaganda. The RIAA routinely tries to swap black and white, and then acting as if everyone agrees with their interpretation, proceeds with all sorts of arguments that would make perfect sense if the foundation they were based on was solid.

    I especially enjoyed Sherman's statement: 'Universities have a particular responsibility to teach students the value of intellectual property because they are "probably the No. 1 creator of intellectual property."' Many professors do their own thing of course, but too many professors are more interested in mining their grad students' ideas for things they can publish under their own names and get all the credit for themselves. The Universities quietly prefer this because they have rights over their employees' thinking, but not their customer's. And let's not forget the racket (usually university run, but not necessarily) whereby publishers cheat the professors who cheated the students. Next time you see one of those digital libraries that is pleased to offer the opportunity to purchase copies of a paper for the low low price of $10 each, know that the authors of that paper will receive precisely 0% of that money. Those are the values that are passed on, that those of you who have "paid your dues" and had the honor of having a professor lift your work out of the morass of trash and sloppy thinking and fix it up and publish it, can, if you choose, one day go on to become publishers or professors and get in on the gravy side of the racket.

    I also enjoyed the whine about students spurning Napster to buy from iTunes.

    • Can't keep the music after graduation? Can't burn songs to CD? That's not free.

      It's as free as any other "benefits" are. If I can call the ability to use the university's computer labs free, than (in my case) Napster is free. And if THAT'S not free, than having the university pay for a service where students can keep the music or burn it to CD still isn't free.

      YOU'RE the one twisting words, by insisting on a definition that agrees more with "free as in speech" than "free as in beer", even though the latter
  • The reason that students aren't jumping on the DRM-friendly bandwagon, even when it's free, is because DRM tech makes it difficult (or impossible) for people to share music with each other.

    When people share something, they're giving you a taste of what it is that they like - they're teaching you about themselves. You learn what makes 'em tick. It's a human bonding experience, a way that people become closer, and a way to find folks like you (if someone's got a very similar collection of music, they may have
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:23PM (#15667724)
    When my dad when to college in the 50's, it was pretty affordable. The university offered the following services: classes, access to professors, labs, libraries. As nicities that also had housing, food, and athletic facilities.

    Fast forward 50 years. Now the universities seem to be some kind of theme park, and as the mafia expression says, everyone pays. Why the hell are universities so much into the entertainment business that they're offering students involuntary music service subscriptions? Liability issues aside (I don't think the RIAA could win such a case against a university anyway), this is just f*@*ing ridiculous. Univerities do NOT need to be county clubs that happen to offer classes to interested sober members.
  • Ungrateful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:30PM (#15667770)
    Worse, the free (gratis) part is an expiring, "tethered" collection of music for those who use it; downloads to keep are fee-per-track.

    So let me get this straight ... you get access to a large selection of music with mildly annoying DRM for free but if you want a non-expiring version, then you have to pay for it?

    If you think this is poor, woe betide you when you get out into the "real world" as you'll find out that no-one here gets free unlimited downloads in that way and, shock horror, also has to pay for non-expiring versions of the music they like.

    Personally, I think its a bit much you complaining about something for free which is obviously being paid for by someone else, but there you go.

    • That's not so much the problem as much as the fact that the 'gratis' service actually lures students into a subscription service after college that they can't easily get out of without losing their music.
      • That's not so much the problem as much as the fact that the 'gratis' service actually lures students into a subscription service after college that they can't easily get out of without losing their music.

        So they leave University with the same amount of music that they had when they joined university and having paid nothing?

        I'm sorry, but I still don't see what the issue is here. If you don't want to use a subscription service then fine, but the fact of the matter is that you get a large amount of conte

  • One of the underlying ideas here seems to be that music should be free. Music conceived as evanescent things of beauty that spring forth and elevate our souls, blah blah blah.

    Why should a musician or a company, even a greedy insolent exploitative company, be compelled to give away its products?

    Do you give away all of your work, or even some of it? If you work for a big, greedy company, do they give away their main product?

    Surely, many things can be had for free, especially if you are willing to tolerate

  • How many hits from the cluestick does it take? Make it usable and people will, amazing as it sounds, use it.

  • Whaaaaat???? You mean that there are universities out there that are using tax payer and student money to buy services that students don't want? Next you will be saying that there are entire businesses that exist just to sell universities crap that they don't need.
    In the USA, universities have all the baggage that comes with being large corporations as well as being government organizations like the pentagon who would never buy a hammer off the shelf when they can buy one for $500...
    Take academic publishi

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne

Working...