Sometimes you just can't avoid beating a dead horse. I know that this rant doesn't really change anything.

A few days back the admin of one of the best online radios announced that they will be dropping the torrent downloads for the shows. For me this was bad news, since I've been getting a valuable service from them through the downloadable files. I understand their reasoning and I'm not complaining about it, I did voice my concern, but other than that, I'll survive.

What caught my eye was the clear separation between the people who liked the service and who disliked it. I can understand the people who support the service, because like me, they depend on the service for certain reasons. But the reasoning of some of the people who supported the discontinuation made me think. The service users were quickly labeled as freeloaders who wanted everything for free. There was some hinting that downloading the shows is related to stealing the music.

While the download service is free, it made me think why the people who download the files are labeled as freeloaders. Of course I can't speak for anyone else but myself, but the fact that the downloads are free doesn't change anything for me. I could have easily listened to the same shows online, but instead I chose to use the service provided and downloaded the show to a medium that I was able to listen when it suited me best. It's analogous to timeshifting, it allows me to listen to the show when it's more convenient to me.

The common argument for most music industry representatives is that making music should be related to work and the people behind the music should get paid for their hard work. I definitely agree with them. The problem for me is that the music I want to listen is rather marginal around here, so I can't just go to a store and buy the music I want. I could order the music online and pay for the costs of shipping the music here. While music industry has been in a stand still for quite some time they are starting to move to the right direction. There are some labels that already offer their releases as digital downloads. The problem here is that usually it's either crippled (DRM protected) or bad quality.

I wish there was a service that allowed me to pay a (reasonable) monthly fee and granted me access to the music I like. The service would have to allow me to download the files and play them in my car or where ever. I'd also love to see a feature that would allow me to tip the artist, just to make sure that at least some of the money heads their way too.

PS. Afterhours is offering a replacement service for the torrents, which serves the same purpose. On-Demand listening, but the problem for me is that it's still online.

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