Under the guise of revitalizing physical media-based music sales (given the beating that CD sales are taking due to the Internet), the Wall St. Journal is reporting that Warner Music Group is looking to sell its artists' music on DVDs instead of CDs. According to the story:
Warner, the world's fourth-largest music company, is in the final stages of securing technical licenses that will enable it to sell a bundle of music and extra features on a single DVD, according to people familiar with the matter. The DVD would include a music album that plays in both stereo and surround-sound on a standard DVD player -- plus video footage that plays on a DVD player or a computer. There will also be song remixes, ring tones, photos and other digital extras that can be accessed on a computer.
Ringtones? Hey, you'd better hope that you don't have one of those handsets where the wireless carrier disabled the feature that makes it possible to put your own ringtones into your phone. Apologies for the digression. This is an interesting move given that there are already CDs on the market with extras on them. Well, perhaps not enough extras in which case DVDs with their extra capacity could come in handy. Of course, there is one small problem.... you know..... the one where DVDs don't work in anything but a DVD player? OK, so you're pretty handy with ripping, burning, etc and you're thinking you can just lift the music off the DVD, burn it to CD, and then you can play it you car, boombox, discman, etc., right? Later in the story:
And users would not be able to copy the main audio mix onto their computers. On the proposed DVD album, the main audio mix is to be protected by the same software that already protects the content on normal DVDs.
Let's see. It only works in DVD players and it.... only works in DVD players. Seems idea to me. Not.
(sidebar: the story mentions a lower quality version of music tracks that buyers will be able to copy onto their computers)
A related something else that will be short-lived: Circuit City will apparently be starting a DVD copying service where, for $10 for one copy, $20 for 3 copies, and $30 for 5, they'll copy an DVD you bring in as long as it's "from your collection." Ken Fisher has the deets on why the service will get shut down before it has a chance to get off the ground.