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Author Topic: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece  (Read 8480 times)

mouser

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"Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« on: November 19, 2005, 12:04:02 PM »
really interesting piece today on the idea of different pricing for music:

http://www.joelonsof...tems/2005/11/18.html

as a side note: personally i'm conflicted about joel's writing - on one hand he is regularly and undeniably insightfull.  on the other hand i almost always get an unpleasent feeling when reading his site, related to the self promotion and hard-sell of his own stuff.

mouser

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2005, 12:06:51 PM »
from the article:

Quote
"Let's think this through, because I think the recording industry is lying about why they want different prices."

Quote
"The answer is that pricing sends a signal. People have come to believe that “you get what you pay for.” If you lowered the price of a movie, people would immediately infer from the low price that it's a crappy movie and they wouldn't go see it.... Now, the reason the music recording industry wants different prices has nothing to do with making a premium on the best songs. What they really want is a system they can manipulate to send signals about what songs are worth, and thus what songs you should buy. "

in fact i think joel is right, and it's one of the reasons that very cheap software does not do so well, and why making your program more expensive can sometimes result in more copies being sold.

it's also a problem for a site like ours - people will assume that the software is of a lesser quality because it's free.  it takes some effort to overcome these obstacles.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2005, 12:09:37 PM by mouser »

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2005, 01:55:16 PM »
Glad some one else reads Joel ... I saw that too ...

Actually I am more cynical - I think they want iTunes to vary the price simply so they can charge more ...

mouser

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2005, 01:57:59 PM »
new idea:

let's charge $100 each for each of the donationcoder.com programs.

but then have the option that you can make a single one-time donation of any amount to get all programs forever.

best of both worlds?  :tellme:

Jibz

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2005, 03:00:40 PM »
I was quite intrigued by the Fog Creek Copilot service he advertises at the bottom of that page.

Imagine taking open-source remote control software like VNC and letting it pass through your servers to be able to charge money by the minute .. amazing creativity.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2005, 03:03:42 PM by Jibz »

mouser

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2005, 03:07:52 PM »
hahahaahahaha

don't forget jibz, also:
1) hire cheap student interns to write the program.
2) make a dvd "documentary" of the creation of it and sell the dvd as an exciting training video.
3) market it as a brand new idea never before attempted.

f0dder

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2005, 01:02:20 PM »
Even if it does seem a bit rip-off, it's a pretty decent idea. Only for two reasons, though:

1) working when both parties are behind firewalls. There's really no 100% foolproof way around this without using a dedicated man-in-the-middle server.

2) security, both the SSL encryption (which isn't really all that strong, but shows that they prefer taking opensores packages instead of writing their own), but also the "activation code" thingy. Guiding people to download tight/ultravnc, set up settings and security etc... is a pain in the behind.

What makes it come off as cheap is the use of VNC. I don't know how efficient the protocol itself is, but the idea of taking screen screenshots at regular intervals doesn't work too well. Even on a 100mbit LAN, VNC has always seemed pretty laggy to me. Ultr@VNC with GDI mirror driver is an improvement, but I've yet to find something that beats Microsoft RDP...
- carpe noctem

Hirudin

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2005, 04:56:51 PM »
Don't get me started on this.

The record companies are fucking assholes. I hope they dig their grave even deeper with this one. I probably wont ever buy a CD again. Aquiring music online is pretty damn easy, they need to make their service more appealing, maybe by gasp! not trying to rip us off!?!

e-music is the only legitimate site I'll use. They charge 22¢ - 25¢ per download (with subscription) and 30¢ - 50¢ per song after that. They also give you 50 free songs for signing up.
If you would like to give them a try (and you can wait ~12 hours for me to reply) let me "refer" you to e-music. This way we both get 50 free songs (if you decide to stay with them). Send me an e-mail with "e-music" in the subject and I'll send you a referal link to whatever address you give me. My e-mail address is:
my_screenname@earthlink.net .
That address again is
hir....@earthlink.net

Another place to look for cheap music (the might be legitimate) is AllOfMP3.
They charge 2¢ per megabyte. It's not hard getting whole albums for about $2, they let you choose the format and quality too! Prepay with PayPal for maximum "they're not going to scam me" warm-and-fuzzy feeling.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2006, 02:12:03 PM by Hirudin »

tsaint

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2005, 12:07:24 AM »
I would second that e-music is a good source of music, with the caveat that if you're looking for top 20 music, it's not so good. If you're into jazz ("proper" jazz, as opposed to so-called "smooth" jazz) then its good.
I think mp3search.com and allofmp3 operate under russian copyright laws which are rather different from usa/european ones.
(i read somewhere that pre-72 music is copyright free in russia - may or may not be true). Worth joining up so that if you're bored, you can soul search and ponder the morality of d/loading music from there.

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2005, 03:45:41 AM »
Has anyone used AllofMP3 ?

Is it reasonable to pay by credit card (do they handle payments or are they outsourced to somewhere that feels a little safer to give away card details to?)

tsaint

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2005, 04:28:35 AM »
Has anyone used AllofMP3 ?

Is it reasonable to pay by credit card (do they handle payments or are they outsourced to somewhere that feels a little safer to give away card details to?)

Yes, I've been using them/it for about 9 months.
Go to http://www.assist.ru/eng/  for the company that handles credit card transactions. There is a paypal alternative, but from memory its unavailable more than available (just my experience)
In the last 9 months I havent had any bogus items on my credit card (famous last words?)

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2005, 04:46:49 AM »
Thanks - they look Kosher - but it is always difficult to tell these days isn't it.

I'll use a card I never use these days and see what happens ...

Followup ...

That was easy ... quick easy downloads too by email.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2005, 05:39:12 AM by Carol Haynes »

Hirudin

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2005, 05:12:44 AM »
PayPal is easy, you can pay $10, $15, $25, or $50 at a time.

I haven't had any problems with them. Well, one problem, they doubled their prices (they used to charge 1¢ per megabyte).


tsaint, have you used mp3search?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2005, 05:18:33 AM by Hirudin »

tsaint

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2005, 06:18:07 AM »
re mp3search - yep, but Im not as keen on it as allofmp3. A month ago, the site went very wonky too, which didnt engender a lot of trust. Still, trying to find artists I come across (eg from pandora), it helps to be able to search several sites
tony

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2005, 06:55:23 AM »
I must admit AllOfMP3 seems really quite slick ... getting a bit carried away over there (LOL)

Спасибо Tony

tsaint

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2005, 03:43:19 PM »
"I must admit AllOfMP3 seems really quite slick ... getting a bit carried away over there (LOL)

Спасибо Tony"

Its good, isn't it?

And thanks for the good wishes -Cnach60 to you too - but I'm guessing Cnach60 is russian for "happy 60th" (birthday) and Id like to point out Im slightly younger than that.:)

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2005, 04:03:38 PM »
No - its Russian for "Thanks" - pronounced spas-eeba

tsaint

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2005, 04:50:03 PM »
in that case, ur welcome then.

Hirudin

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2005, 08:36:38 PM »
Oh, something I wish I would have mentioned earlier...

If you're going to get MP3s, get them using "alt preset standard" encoding if you can (best quality to size ratio). I hate using things that are "standard" but this one is worth it. I think it's an option with allofmp3 and I know it's what emusic uses...


BTW, the album "Now That's What I Call Christmas" is a good Christmas double CD set if anyone's looking...

Carol Haynes

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Re: "Price as Signal" - very interesting piece
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2005, 03:27:18 AM »
Oh, something I wish I would have mentioned earlier...

If you're going to get MP3s, get them using "alt preset standard" encoding if you can (best quality to size ratio). I hate using things that are "standard" but this one is worth it. I think it's an option with allofmp3 and I know it's what emusic uses...

You seem to be able to do pretty much what you like with allofmp3 (see screen grabs below)

Quote
BTW, the album "Now That's What I Call Christmas" is a good Christmas double CD set if anyone's looking...

WOW - that is certainly a Christmas collection and a half - trouble is if I bought it then by the time I got to the end of it I'd be ready to slit my wrists ("Bah! Humbug!" are my middle names).