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Online Service Providers
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Online subscription mode of sale has numerous disadvantages that render the services ineffective and incompetent when compared to the traditional mode of selling. Most online Service Providers who store online music do not store their music in lossless file formats. On the contrary, the providers store the music in lossy file formats which compresses data and gets rid of parts of the data with automatic steps. They do this in an attempt to reduce the amount t of data that a computer handles. Examples of the lossy files used include FLAC, AIFF, and WAVE which do not enable metadata formats. The traditional mode of sell offers music in lossless files that enable metadata to the advantage of its users. An example of lossless file is compact discs in FLAC mode, which is available in both developed and developing countries. The quality of music stored in lossless files is higher than the quality of music in lossy formats since the lossless flies do not distort the original context of music by discarding. They lossy file also distort the original quality of sound which is a vital component in the music industry. Most online subscription modes of sales have their music in a single audio format. Such formats are hard to find in developing countries. The traditional mode of sales uses the MP3 format which is globally available thus serving consumers regardless of their status. Access to online subscription stores depend on the operating system in use. Some require the use of Microsoft Windows thus blocking potential consumers who lack the operating system required. Such a disadvantage is unavailable when using the traditional mode of selling music (Maurer 2).
The online subscribers use Digital Rights Management technology to secure their music from illegal access. The DRM service discriminates consumers by restricting legal clients from access of the music when they use unsophisticated devices. This majorly affects consumers from less developed countries who do not use modern gadgets to access the online music. The stores require a monthly subscription which is cheap in developed countries and expensive in developing countries due to the difference in currency value. The record rebels restrict access of music with geographical boundaries, which discriminate countries that are perceived to have high rates of piracy. This prevents potential buyers in such countries from accessing the music. The traditional mode of sell does not have any of these disadvantages. The CD mode is compatible to globally available gadgets and does not require complex software to play. Geographical discrimination does not occur, leading to a universal mode of service delivery.
Upon the establishment of the DRM, the Secure Music Initiative (SDMI) came up in 1998 to liaise with DRM on setting of standards that restrict duplication volumes and accessibility rules. The efforts of the two groups are unsuccessful up to date thus leaving the industry weaker than it was before their introduction. This makes the online mode to be more fragile and prone to the illegal attack than the traditional mode of selling music (O'Hear 1).
The traditional mode of sales offers music that can be stored in hard copies (CD’s) and soft copies on computer files. The online subscription does not offer music in hard copies thus making consumer unable to archive their favourite tracks. The online stores have limited display of tracks and catalogues due to security concerns. This does not apply to the traditional mode of sale which displays its catalogues thus attracting more clients than the online subscription mode.
As discussed, the encoding of the online music ought to match the media player that the consumer uses to play the music. The current media players are compatible with many formats of encoding, but the guarantee of this compatibility in the future does not exist. This implies that the future of online subscription of music is dim and uncertain (O'Hear 1).
The subscription based music model does not work as a replacement for traditional music sales. The numerous disadvantages it has reduce market of music and deny access to music due to the various forms of discrimination it portrays. The traditional mode of music remains secure and universal in both developed and developing countries. These advantages occur due to its simple chain of production and distribution it offers to its music. The mode offers music compatible to basic gadgets thus making it a global icon of music. Therefore, subscription based music model cannot replace traditional music sales.