Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wow. "Ho fatto un errore" so early into '08??

Ok - half way through the complex tech love-hate relationship that is "CES," just barely into week #2 of the new year, freshly back from vacation...and two of my Nostradamus-esque "predictions" for 2008 are checked off my list, one completely correct, the other...eh...not so much. So I'm batting 0.500 so far... not too bad, I'll take it.

  • "Massive adoption of non-DRM'ed digital music from the recording industry."
    With the bizarre-I-really-didn't-think-this-would-happen-in-my-lifetime announcement from Sony BMG that they plan on joining the human race and dropping DRM from their digital catalog. Their entire catalog. Yipes.

    So, that announcement, following on the heels of Warner Music's similar announcement in December, and the same announcement from Vivendi and EMI in the late fall, all four major labels have made the strange decision to stop pissing off their consumer base. Go figure.

    The effect this is going to have on the proprietary stranglehold iTunes has on the download industry, combined with Warner throwing its weight behind Amazon's download service is going to be anyone's guess... but at least, now, we can all guess. Thanks Mr. Sony! I feel good about buying your stuff again...

  • "Porn and Wal-Mart don't matter!" (the HD-DVD/BluRay cluster-eff)
    Ok, I predicted here that the Great Video Format War XIX would continue throughout 2008, to the detriment of the market who would represent their confusion over the formats as apathy for the players.

    However, Warner - fresh from their recent slap down of DRM with their music group, has decided to keep stealing headlines by reversing its decision to support HD-DVD and move their entire catalog to the Blu-Ray format. This isn't just another production company, this is Warner, who owns the lion's share of all digital video content. Although Paramount and others haven't thrown in the towel yet, they may as well - because they are going to be wasting a lot of money on those HD-DVD burning facilities. Player manufacturers are now going to think twice about making players for less than 40% of the market space, and the Guys in Blue at Best Buy are gonna have a real hard time coming up with sales floor double-speak when a customer asks "Which should I buy?"

    On a related story, the HD-DVD cooperative booth here at CES was a little, uh, gloomy this week.
So, there. Mea Culpa.

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