Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Benj Edwards, for Macworld, on the birth of the iPod:
By the late 1990s, digital music had become big news. Illegal file sharing site Napster, in particular, shoved the issue in everyone’s face. Despite the legal issues, it quickly became apparent to most in the tech industry that Internet-downloaded MP3s were the future of music distribution.
Could the iPod have succeeded if Napster didn’t already disrupt the way music is distributed and consumed? In the movie The Social Network (2010), Sean Parker relates his Napster episode to an awestruck Mark Zuckerberg:
Sean: I brought down the record companies with Napster and Case’s gonna suffer for their sins too.
Eduardo: You didn’t bring down the record companies. They won.
Sean: In court.
Sean: You want to buy a Tower Records, Eduardo?
We need Napster for TV. Maybe it’s illegal, maybe it isn’t. But the technologies that disrupt the traditional channels of content distribution are almost here. Hulu, Netflix, TiVo and others are making headway. Shows on-demand. Apps as channels.
Live streaming TV is the old paradigm; until something better appears, I’m not getting a new TV.