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September 4, 2006

Filed under: music»business»distribution

MySpace is Terrible: Shameless Commerce Edition

The news that MySpace will begin allowing bands to sell their .mp3s has gotten people talking. I have a few concerns, though. One is that we should watch very carefully for the license conditions--before a few artists forced them to reconsider, the site's terms and conditions granted them extensive royalty-free rights to any songs posted there. Also, let's face it: MySpace is a mess. It's the programming equivalent of a Ford Pinto, likely to explode at even the slightest provocation. Right now that's just inconvenient, since all you're facing is the technical error message. With e-commerce and customers' credit card numbers involved, it'd be nice if the whole system felt like you could kick it without losing a foot.

Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred, exposing your Mastercard number to a 14-year old meth addict in southern Montana. We will, of course, blame Flash Player, but only after the media attention gets too big to avoid.

This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group.

I was always rooting for CD Baby, personally. I've got a bias towards lossless formats.

But just as MySpace is stylistically the Web from a decade back, it's become the resurgence of all those old fears as well. Pedophiles, hacked bank accounts, spammers, and now scammers. I got a message from the Emerganza Festival today. They're a long-standing battle-of-the-bands style promoter, but of course it's a $70 entry fee and you have to sell your own tickets. In return, you get to play at venues like the 9:30 Club and the Velvet Lounge in DC. Not to be too blunt about it, but that's not like being told that the Nissan Pavilion will open its doors to you. I have friends who are playing at both of those venues now. They got there by playing at other clubs and being really dedicated, not by paying a promoter. Never pay to play, kids. If you're any good, you won't have to.

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