Another Reason to Get Upset at Big Music

So.. I bought this CD nearly a week ago. I do not own a bonafide cd player, except in my car. When I listen to CD’s I either listen to them in my car or on my PC.

This particular CD, Phantom Planet’s self-titled album, would not play on my PC, and my laptop isn’t a slouch in terms of computer equipment. I’m running all the latest bits and baubles. My husband is an upgrade fanatic, so whatever I don’t upgrade, he does when he’s allowed to drive.

This CD launches a little application called “CD Extra” that gives you a list of options. When you click on “Play CD” it launches Windows Media Player, which promptly does nothing. I tried to see if there was a way to get this application to launch another cd player program like RealPlayer or VLC media player, no go. So I tried to launch the CD through RealPlayer and VLC… no go.

My response to this?

I’m ripping it.

This does not mean that I am going to pass it out to my friends, I won’t. What it does mean though, is that I can’t listen to the music on a CD I legitimately purchased on the equipment I own, with the software that I run.

This is, in essence, what the whole big debate about digital music is about. I should be able to listen to this CD on my computer with any CD playing software that I run. Is that wrong? Is it illegal for me to want to listen to this CD on my computer? Should it be?

All very good questions, which the RIAA seems to believe the answer to should be “Not only should you not put that CD in a computer, but hell no.” If I had simply been able to listen to this CD on my computer in the first place.. I never would have ripped it. Sad thought, and one that the record companies should pay attention to.