Digital leavings

03 Sep

Buying music has become much easier over the past few years. We’ve gone from the LP and singles to cassettes to CDs and now MP3 tracks downloaded from the Internet. It’s very convenient to purchase either a single track or an album all by a click or two of your mouse.

I tend to use Amazon or ITunes because they are convenient, especially ITunes as it works really well with IPods. You can even hear a track playing in a shop or the TV or radio click Shazam on your phone and it will tell you what the music is and who performed it. You can buy using Shazam as well. All this technology has made music far more accessible.

How much do you think you may have spent on downloaded music?  I had a lot of stuff on CD, which I transferred to mp3, but since I have 7000+ tracks I must have spent a few hundred pounds over the past years on downloads. But there is apparently a snag.

The snag is that tracks downloaded from ITunes don’t belong to you. Shock horror probe! We’ve paid for them but only to rent. Who would have thought that was the case? It doesn’t sound right. Probably, if we delved into the several thousand pages of the terms and conditions we’d find it was clearly stated. The again perhaps not.

Bruce Willis is on the case. He has tens of thousands of music tracks bought from ITunes and he’s not happy. He’s taking Apple to court, which is good of him since the rest of us are busy people and don’t have either the time or the money to do it for ourselves. Will he win? Who knows, I do know he’s a hard man to stop, I saw him in Unbreakable.

But it does need some further thought. How much personal data do you have on your computer, IPad, IPhone, IPod, external disks or sticks or in the Cloud? Lots? Music, photographs, personal stuff, legal stuff, videos, business records… Its a long list and growing. Now for the big question.

What happens if you die. What a jolly thought. Seriously though. The likelihood is that your computer/data is password protected and who, apart from yourself knows the passwords needed? All that data gone along with your good self, like poof all gone.  In some cases you might have digitised valuable family stuff and got rid of the hard copy. It’s all gone. Without the passwords or passcodes your kith and kin can’t access your computer or any of your devices.  Maybe that’s a good thing in some ways for some people.

Sounds like a business opportunity to me. Sounds like a lawyer based solution is required. Are they going to start offering cloud based data storage to people and do paperwork for them which will provide the passwords to whoever is their chosen digital heir on their death?

It’s bad enough we don’t own our ITunes bought music but to lose all our data unless we get a lawyer to structure a digital data Will? Good grief. Will people fight over the digital photos you leave behind? Will they be very keen to get their hands on your fairly sizeable punk or progressive rock or easy listening tracks collection?

Who knows. We wont be around to see it. Maybe that’s for the best.

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Art, Music, Technology


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