Metallica is claiming that they want to sell their entire album not just the individual songs. This decision comes after Metallica’s public opposition to Napster and other peer to peer file sharingsystems that allow people to swap copywritten music files without paying per download. Apple allows users to buy a limited amount of albums on its iTunes 4 system but representatives from Metallica’smanagement company tell CNN that Apple’s policy is to only sell albums from artists who allow them to sell their singles too.
Other popular bands are reportedly not completely enthused with selling their songs on iTunes including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Linkin Park. This causes some users to feel even morecompelled to try to find the songs for free elsewhere on the internet. Still to this day, ripping songs from a CD to MP3 can be completed in just minutes which can then allow the songs to beimmediately posted on file swapping systems.
Searching for â€œMetallicaâ€ on Limewire, a peer to peer file sharing application that runs on the Gnutella network, resulted in 223 different tracks from the band including every song from their latestalbum, St. Anger. For young fans, the temptation to steal many of the tracks and rip them onto a $0.10 CDR might prove to be stronger than the threat of a lawsuit from the RIAA. Apple’s iTunes is farfrom a perfect solution, however it does offer music enthusiasts an opportunity to buy music the way many of them want to enjoy it. If bands were looking for new ways to make albums more compelling,they might want to look at copy protected new formats like DVD-Audio which provide higher resolution surround sound mixes, small music videos and hidden feature â€œEaster eggs.â€ DVD-Audio discs arepriced comparably to CDs and play back perfectly (not in MLP surround however) on DVD-Video based game machines like Sony’s Playstation II and Microsoft’s Xbox.