While driving 8 hours home from Buffalo this evening, I got to thinking about an idea I had about 5 years ago, when RealAudio was a bit more popular than it seems to be today (with the advent of Shoutacast/etc., nobody goes to RealMusic to listen to streams).
Driving along for 10 miles while the radio just cycles around in scan, not picking up a single station... and when I drove through Nebraska 2 years ago on my way to California, the same story, except it cycled for about 4 hours of driving, not a single radio station to be found... my idea was that car audio needs to be hooked up so that we can "stream" radio stations from the internet, into our car stereo. Yes, initially it would be of lesser quality than CD music, but certainly better "reaching" than current stations. I could be in California, driving on the '01, and be listening to my favorite Boston station, 107.3. I could also stream ambient from my favorite shoutcast station, or from my own station at home, populated with thousands of my own cd's in ogg format.
The RIAA would sooner see this technology dead before it even gets off the ground (cough, prior art!). If I'm in my car, streaming from an internet radio station, or from a "real" station who happens to have an internet presence, I would be more inclined to buy the actual physical disk of the music for my own collection if I heard it on the radio. Why the RIAA doesn't get this, I'll never know. Just hearing them claim that they aren't charging enough makes my blood boil.
Artists are starving, making $40k a year in salary, barely able to pay off their advances, and the RIAA rakes in billions on the sale, resale, tax on blank recordable media, royalties on media, royalties and fines on streaming stations reproducing that media, DRM players, and so on.. and they still insist they aren't charging enough. What? You want to make sure you charge so much that nobody can afford it, and therefore can't rip it and put it on the internet?
I've never downloaded a single mp3 from the internet, ever, nor do I intend to. I don't see the need. I hear music I want on the radio or streamed from non-RIAA-sanctioned places, I like the music, I buy the actual physical media to make that music mine.
The RIAA is killing the music industry. I'm glad that artists are now producing their own music, realizing that they don't need the RIAA or their cartel of labels to get their music to their fans. The technology is there, it's cheaper than it used to be, and it's only going to get better. I just hope the RIAA dies or begins to start breathing the same oxygen the rest of us down on Planet Earth breathe, before unconstitutional laws get passed that take us decades and 3 terms of politicians to remove from the books.
The RIAA missed the boat years ago on using The Internet as a music distribution medium. We all have big bandwidth now (pr0n and mp3s probably were the single-largest contributors driving the need for biggre and faster pipes, ironically enough), we all have access to CDR and CDRW burners, media is cheap and accessible, color printers are abundant. Think about it.. you log into RIAA-Label-Music-Store.com, pick a list of songs you want from your favorite artist, pay a fee, download an ISO image of those songs, burn it to CDR, download the artwork, print it on your color printer, and away you go. RIAA just cut out the middleman (distribution and record stores), they made a profit, you have the songs, and everybody is happy. Since they completely missed that, they're making it impenetrably prohibitive to get real music at affordable prices to common audiophiles, and are now working to make sure the public at large (incorrectly) assumes that the RIAA invented sound, and we should all be "thankful" to them for that, and pay them their yearly "tax" on sound.
I've recently been made aware that the RIAA charges $500.00/USD to streaming stations that have an open port, but don't stream a single note of sound through it, simply because they can stream music means they need to be taxed. I've decided that I'm going to stream 'strings /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp' all day long on my connections, and let the RIAA come down on that, claiming copyright infringement. I personally think everyone who objects to their extortional behavior do the same.
Sometimes I really wonder what kind of oxygen they're breathing down at RIAA headquarters. It's obviously not the same kind I'm breathing here in Westerly.