Thursday, August 19, 2004

Ho hum

3G peeps screw it up again

You know what I'd really like from a 3G phone? Consider the fact that I have several gigabytes of music on my PC at home, that's already hooked up to broadband. Now, wouldn't it be cool if I could select from and listen to the music served from my own PC on my phone? Yeah. However:

1. Upstream broadband is still crap, although i could probably get some AM-radio quality stream coming off it.
2. The record companies seem intent on controlling the path from record store to wherever I listen to it. Theoretically, they could legally induce a DRM society such that when I buy some music, I get the CD, and the ability to listen to it via a 3G stream. Will they? No. Would I still be able to listen to my old music/the 99% of music not avilable for download currently? No. Would they let me do it under Linux? Ha.

Similarly, I love the idea of being able to tune into net radio streams - imagine being able to get FIP wherever I go!

Maybe the problem with this new "corporate broadband vision" is that it's all very one-way. The supposed demand is pushed as the ability to download or stream content from services, when really what the killer app is, is being able to shunt things from yourself to yourself, or between friends. What peer-to-peer tech has really proved is that the combined forces of millions of people is a much better "market", with much wider choice of content than established chains. I can now listen to and watch things I've downloaded that I can never get on DVD/CD/whatever. Consumers are publishers.

We all need to stop thinking in these terms of "the corporates sell, we buy". It limits us. We need to think of it in terms of "people produce, people buy, people trade." As "consumers", we've never had it so good. Even legally, there's more content being put out there that's free to consume than ever before, to the point where we no longer have to pay for content.

As consumers, we can realise that we don't have to buy things because people say we have to buy things. This is choice.

As producers, we can realise that we can now produce, and disseminate, with minimal investment.

The established need to realise that this is what people want.

The comms tech people need to realise the sheer power the technology holds, without kow-towwing to the established moneymakers.

Empower me, you bastards.

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