Friday, April 18, 2008

Oye como va

Dear Carlos Santana,

   Hi, how are you today? I'm fine, too, thank you very much. I enjoy your music immensely. Oh, by the way, I illegally downloaded your album today. Not all of them. Just All That I Am.
   See, I already bought the CD at the record store. Paid full price, it wasn't even on sale. But, here's the thing: I can't copy it to iTunes. Seems your record company has employed some kind of copy protection technology that prevents iTunes from being able to properly read the CD.
   Which is a real shame, because, as I already mentioned, I like your music very much. I enjoy listening to it. But now I can't - at least not in the way that I want to. I want to be able to listen to it on my iPod through headphones while I'm riding the bus, or walking the dog. I want to be able to plug my iPod into my car stereo, and listen to your music while I drive to and from work. And the way your album was presented to me, I can't do that.
   Oh, sure, if I put the CD in my computer CD-ROM drive, it will install a proprietary media player on my computer, which will allow me to listen to your album there. But I have absolutely no desire to do that. I don't actually ever listen to music at my computer desk. And besides, if I did want to, the five hundred and seventy six other albums in my music collection are already on iTunes. Why would I want to open a new program just to listen to one other album. It's inconvenient. In fact, it's flat out stupid.
   So what happens? Well, what happens is, I don't listen to your album. I don't spend the time appreciating the fine music you spent all that time, blood, sweat and tears crafting for me. I listen to someone else's heartwrought audio art instead.

   At least, that's the way it was, until today. See, I got to thinking. I paid for this music. And make no mistake, I paid for the music, not the physical delivery system the CD represents. If you want to be all technical about it, I paid for licencing rights to personally, and privately listen to your music whenever and wherever, and as often as I like. And you have not provided me with what I paid for.
   So today, I did about thirty seconds of Googling, and found an uncorrupted, high quality copy of your album on this here Internet thingy, and I downloaded it. And I copied it to iTunes.And I loaded it on my iPod. So now I do have what I paid for, and I can enjoy your music all I want (thank you very much).

   It's kinda ironic ain't it? Your record company employed their little copy protection schemes in an effort to prevent illegal downloading of your music. Instead, they have encouraged it. You might wanna talk to them about that.


Paul Little

   Oh, and here is your Friday Random Ten; the first ten songs randomly assigned to my iPod by iTunes on my latest sync.

1) Chokin' Kind - Joss Stone
2) Isn't It Midnight - Fleetwood Mac
3) Jeb Rand - Bedouin Soundclash
4) Xanadu - Rush
5) Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3) - Pink Floyd
6) If Not Now... - Tracy Chapman
7) Dazed And Confused - Led Zeppelin
8) I'm Sensitive - Jewel
9) Cum On Everybody - Eminem
10) Easier To Run - Linkin Park

edit Sunday 5:00PM: If I had actually read the Wikipedia article to which I linked above, I would have realised that All That I Am was one of the albums Sony/Arista originally tried to release on the sly with Digital Rights Management software hidden in it uncredited. They got busted by the tech crowd, and had to back down on it. They claimed the CDs were defective (nice try), and recalled and re-released them without the DRM. That's what I get for buying the album the first week after it came out.

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princesssaurora said...

Love the letter... hope he responds!  And, I love 'Dazed and Confused' ... fits my suck ass week.

be well,

dpoem said...

Ahh yes...  Welcome to the fracked up world of Digital Rights Management.  That's one of the chief reasons why I refuse to own an iPod or any sort of player.  It just seems like a lot more dicking around than it's worth.  

I say, email the Santana's publicist to let her know about how utterly borked things have become when trying to listen to his music:

Oh.  And you should demand a fruit basket for all your trouble.  


tenyearnap said...

There isn't an album that can't be put on the 'pod, Paul. I will email you tonight when my Pirate gets home. I ran into the same issue with a couple of CDs I bought and they are on the 'pod now. No worries. ARRRRRGH! --Cin

simianfarmer said...



sdoscher458 said...

You have good taste in music.  I love Santana.  Glad you were able to get around their restrictions, I don't know how they can try to manipulate their product like well, Sandi

princesssaurora said...

Have Santana's 'people' contacted you yet???

be well,