Now Shipping: EPIC FAIL

Maybe it's just because I haven't been paying attention as closely as I used to, but I was just thinking the other day about how the Never-Ending Folly of the Major Label seems to have quieted down these past few months. Kinda like how when you're a kid and your dad takes you fishing for the first time and after a bunch of thrashing around, your catch lays still. And then you think it's dead so you reach out to touch it and then it's not dead and it scares the shit out of you. Anyway, today I got this breathless joint press release from SanDisk and all the majors, heralding the arrival of the slotMusic card. Flop flop floppity flop.
*This is a big deal.* Its the first time the major labels and retailers have unanimously embraced a new physical format in over 25 years. These cards play in 70 million phones in the US and a billion devices worldwide. Imagine if there were that many CD players in 1982.


The world’s four largest music companies and SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), a leading seller of MP3 players and flash memory cards in the United States, today unveiled the full list of artists joining the inaugural slotMusic line-up. Starting this week, music fans can purchase slotMusic cards—microSD™ cards with pre-loaded, high quality, DRM-free MP3 music—featuring new release albums from favorite artists like Coldplay, Katy Perry, Leona Lewis, Rihanna and Robin Thicke and catalog titles from Elvis, Abba and more.

Within days of shipping, slotMusic cards will arrive on the shelves of Best Buy and Wal-Mart in the United States, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $14.99. slotMusic makes today’s hottest music available on interoperable microSD cards that let fans instantly plug and play albums into their microSD slot-enabled mobile phones, portable media players, computers, and an increasing number of car stereos.
It's too easy not to note that the boast of an "increasing number" means very little when you're starting at near zero, that's not what really rankles my shankles.

Look, I (clearly) have no insight into how this doodiebaby was sculpted, but the following images keep running through my head, and they're what I find especially bothersome:
  • The amount of time wasted in meetings, executives working themselves into a lather about the rebirth of physical sales, and the fall of the mp3.
  • The amount of money wasted on developing a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
  • The vast number of real problems that could have been solved with a redirection of all that time and money.
  • The laugably mistaken fantasy of Morris and Bronfman that this might end the hegemony of the hated iPod.
  • The bewildered, reluctant yes-man, shaking his head as he walks out of the board room after one of these meetings about slotMusic, heading back to his desk to update his resume.

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