Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

The Ugly Side Online Transaction Dependency


Recommended Posts

No, I'm not talking about scams and fraud, but when a company decides arbitrarily to alter the terms of a deal (and in the immortal words of Darth Vader, "pray that I alter it no further"). 

 

Once a company controls their online world, the idea of ownership ceases to exist. For example, if you have Amazon's Kindle app on Android, all of a sudden you can't buy or rent eBooks, or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, because Google has a policy that requires all developers to process payments through the Play Store billing system. Google had made a carveout for Amazon, but ended it. Now Amazon decided they don't want to play in Google's sandbox, so they're pulling their products from Android. So now you have to go to Amazon, but at least you still have an option. 

 

Want to watch a movie? Well, then you have to choose a particular subscription service to watch that movie, and often, it's available on only that service. It used to be streaming service A was the only place to get movies from Company X, but then they signed a deal with a different streaming service, and now it's available only on streaming service B. Too bad you subscribed to streaming service A specifically for Company X's movies. I used to watch a lot of movies. Now I hardly watch any, it's just too much hassle to wade through all the "exclusive" content that does nothing more than make me feel I've wasted two hours of my life.

 

Companies can just decide to make something they'd offer for free a paid tier. Or that now you have to subscribe to something instead of own it outright. Then of course there's the lawsuit against Apple for how they run their store.

 

Now, I get it that a company can run their business however they see fit. What I see as the problem down the road for consumers is that at some point, you won't be able to vote with your dollars by going elsewhere, because there won't be any elsewhere. We will be in a world that consists exclusively of mini-monopolies.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Every so often, one of the local thrift stores will have so many books tthat they sell them for a dime or a quarter. Other thrift stores have 50% off sales and books are a dollar or less. 

I'll buy a book or two, read them and donate them back. Local people have jobs at those thrift stores so I feel like I am supporting local business.

 

I'm not much of a movie watcher but the same thing happens with DVD movies, they sell cheap. I did buy the Stanley Kubrick flick -  Full Metal Jacket, I have a friend who needs to see that. I'm a big Kubrick fan. I also have a bit of Benny Hill that was at the front of the stack. I don't spend much time looking at DVDs, would probably have some cool stuff if I did. They go cheap - $1.50 to 2.50 each unless they are on sale, then maybe $1.00 each. 

 

You could do the same thing, buy the movie and donate it back, support local workers. 

 

I suspect that those options will be available for a long time, to say nothing of yard sales and pawn shops. 

I go to thrift stores all the time so it's not inconvenient. Today I bought a huge, good sounding cajon that somebody local made themselves for $5 at Goodwill. 

Worst case I could get $40 or so for it. Or I could leave it at Dean's house and then when we go there to jam any drummers that want to play can just show up. That's worth $5 right there. 

 

More than one way to skin a cat and more than one cat that needs skinnin'. 😋

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/31/2022 at 12:12 PM, Anderton said:

No, I'm not talking about scams and fraud, but when a company decides arbitrarily to alter the terms of a deal (and in the immortal words of Darth Vader, "pray that I alter it no further"). 

 

Once a company controls their online world, the idea of ownership ceases to exist. For example, if you have Amazon's Kindle app on Android, all of a sudden you can't buy or rent eBooks, or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, because Google has a policy that requires all developers to process payments through the Play Store billing system. Google had made a carveout for Amazon, but ended it. Now Amazon decided they don't want to play in Google's sandbox, so they're pulling their products from Android. So now you have to go to Amazon, but at least you still have an option. 

 

Want to watch a movie? Well, then you have to choose a particular subscription service to watch that movie, and often, it's available on only that service. It used to be streaming service A was the only place to get movies from Company X, but then they signed a deal with a different streaming service, and now it's available only on streaming service B. Too bad you subscribed to streaming service A specifically for Company X's movies. I used to watch a lot of movies. Now I hardly watch any, it's just too much hassle to wade through all the "exclusive" content that does nothing more than make me feel I've wasted two hours of my life.

 

Companies can just decide to make something they'd offer for free a paid tier. Or that now you have to subscribe to something instead of own it outright. Then of course there's the lawsuit against Apple for how they run their store.

 

Now, I get it that a company can run their business however they see fit. What I see as the problem down the road for consumers is that at some point, you won't be able to vote with your dollars by going elsewhere, because there won't be any elsewhere. We will be in a world that consists exclusively of mini-monopolies.

 

How many times have you heard this line in a movie: "I'm getting too old for this sh*t"? Well, I am. Funny coming from a synth player, although portions of that world exhibit the same dubious planks displayed by businesses such as Craig mentioned. Progress used to seem snazzy until it became nothing but 160 dB bagpipes.       

 

The overload makes me feel like Prince Joey in Sheldon's 3-player chess, on "The Big Bang Theory." He's well-meaning, but so clumsy, there's a one in five chance that he'll kill himself every time he moves. A certain amount of New Stuff makes me feel like Prince Joey.

 

I'm splayed across too many platforms and formats, digging for truffles. I find myself shunning more of it lately. This is appearing concurrently with my growing taste for acoustic instruments over more synthesizers. The synths I have gone for end up doing cellos, not resonant squeals. Its made me much less of a mark for new gear.   

 

As far as mini-monopolies go, we're already there in a few places. Being a doddering old greybeard, I can't get too wound up over what'll happen by 2060. I'll already be Soylent Grey.    

 

None of this helps me in the matter of Alesis Andromeda Lust. Check out the first "Excellent Andromeda Review" video Jim Alfredson posted on KC. Yeah, just shoot that pad at 10:50 right into my veins. Ah, that's the stuff! :guinness:

 

  • Love 1

"Weaponized kindness" is my new
    ambient drone band name.
       ~ Rob Neschizza

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, KuruPrionz said:

I did buy the Stanley Kubrick flick -  Full Metal Jacket, I have a friend who needs to see that. I'm a big Kubrick fan. I also have a bit of Benny Hill that was at the front of the stack.

From Kubrick to Benny Hill—that’s the Alpha and Omega of all filmed human experience.  You don’t need to watch anything else😜

43 minutes ago, David Emm said:

As far as mini-monopolies go, we're already there in a few places. Being a doddering old greybeard, I can't get too wound up over what'll happen by 2060. I'll already be Soylent Grey.

For sure—our inevitable conversion to fake veggie-burger likely hastened by aficionados of another of Charlton Heston’s leading roles.

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

—P. J. O’Rourke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry if this post takes too long to get to the point...

 

Back in the 1970s I subscribed to Cable TV service. Ft. Pierce is in a fringe area, and we couldn't even get all 3 major networks at the time without either CATV or a huge antenna. I was renting, so the antenna was out of the question.

 

CATV soon expanded to be more than Community Antenna TV. More channels were added. Sooner or later, Home Box Office came around. It was cool, we could watch movies at home. It seems any movie would eventually make it to HBO.

 

Then came Showtime, and almost immediately HBO would get a couple of exclusive movies and SHO would get a couple of others. So in order to watch any movie on your TV, you would have to subscribe to two services. Then HBO decided to launch its own competitor with exclusive deals, Cinemax. Now you need three services. And more followed. I dropped HBO/SHO and started renting from Blockbuster. And we all know what happened to them.

 

In 1986, I got a 3-week gig on a Carnival cruise ship (with options). That 3-week gig lasted 3 years, and we eventually had to quit to take care of Mrs. Notes' ailing mother. It was a fun gig.

 

At the time there was no broadcast TV on the ships, the technology to keep a ship's antenna aimed at a satellite wasn't there yet. We would only get the ship generated weather reports, sales pitches, and one movie that would play over and over all week. I got out of the habit of watching TV.

 

When I got back on land, I hooked up basic cable, and found I wasn't watching it. It was boring, and I was used to doing things. I guess 3 years of 'cold turkey' on TV broke my TV addiction habit. So I disconnected.

 

Instead, I learned to write styles for Band-in-a-Box, create a mail order biz for those styles that eventually went to an Internet order biz,  and write web pages for that biz. In addition, I learned to play wind synth, lead guitar (still learning), and how to sing good enough to hold my own. I'll never be a great singer, I don't have a great instrument, but I've become a decent singer and can sing all night if my partner gets laryngitis. (Fortunately, she rarely gets sick, and she is a great singer.)

 

The last two TV shows I watched were Johnny Carson's last Tonight Show and Jay Leno's first Tonight Show, and I had to go to my mother-in-law's to see them. I now have zero TV, and my life is better for it. I kicked the habit.

 

So when all these streaming services decide they own the media, and I can just rent the service, I say, "No, thank you, I learned my lesson with CATV premium services."

 

So I guess that makes me an old fuddy-duddy. If I want to listen to music, I either buy the CD, or pay for the download and store it on a CD or Flash Drive.

 

Full disclosure, we still watch an occasional movie. We are on the one DVD at a time, in-the-mail, movie rental from Netflix. But I don't really want to own any DVDs. Unlike music, after a watch a movie, I rarely want to watch it again.

 

There is more than one right way to go through life, this is just my way.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

 

  • Like 1

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago I paid a flat rate for the add free version of WeatherBug on my iPhone. A year later they basically came out and said "We screwed up and cannot stay in business with this model." They changed to a monthly subscription and gave the people who bought the add free version a year of add free. That is when I realized that customers have no rights.

 

I bought the lifetime subscription to Cakewalk Sonar. Less than two months later Gibson dropped the product. What really pissed me off is I know those decisions are not made in a rush. Yet they continued to sell those lifetime subscriptions right up until they dropped the product. I was so mad at they way they handled it that I sold my Gibson Les Paul Studio and vowed never to buy another Gibson product. They may be under new management now but hard feelings are slow to fade.

 

I don't blame Amazon from pulling out of the Google app store. A lot of companies refuse to pay Apple the high percentage they want for transactions that go through an app. Apple based their price cut on pay to win games that can afford to give Apple 33 percent of what they charge for download content. I remember when a lot of people were giving the Comixology app bad reviews because you could not buy comics through it. I bet if they upped the price of their comics by 33 percent and then told people the extra 33 percent is Apple's cut they would think differently.

 

I've solved the "where is the movie I want to watch" issue by using Amazon Prime Video as my hub. They make it easy to bounce around the fractured video streaming services. Just last night I dropped two channels and added two channels. Both channels that I added are channels I was subscribed to last year. I subscribe, benge watch the movies and series I want to see, then move on to another channel. There is no way I can afford to subscribe to so many channels. Maybe some day some of them will combine. To my suprise HBOmax is the channel I watch most. It has a lot of series I like including cartoons. Frends, Family Matters, Big Bang Theory, Frish Prince, Head of the Class, Static Shock, Flinstones, Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Teen Titans, Justice League, Babylon 5, etc...

This post edited for speling.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, RABid said:

What really pissed me off is I know those decisions are not made in a rush.

 

In my experience at Gibson, believe me, rushed decisions were commonplace. I think Cakewalk was more of a "hope springs eternal" situation that ended abruptly when the hammer came down from the bankruptcy court.

 

I will give Gibson props for handing the baton to BandLab. The irony is that I worked on putting together a partnership with BandLab well before the bankruptcy, but Gibson wasn't interested. It was weird to be fired later, and finally see what I'd been working on implemented, but under far less favorable conditions. Oh well. Hey, at least the program is more stable than ever. And I can still open my projects :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, RABid said:

I was so mad at they way they handled it that I sold my Gibson Les Paul Studio and vowed never to buy another Gibson product. They may be under new management now but hard feelings are slow to fade.

 

If you want something Gibson-related to be truly upset about, I'd suggest the handling of the high-tech guitars (which were not cheap) both before and after the new management took over. Granted, legally speaking, the new guys were under no obligation to assume the obligations of the previous management, and there were some issues between Gibson and Tronical of which I'm only vaguely aware, and which may have been a complication. All I know is that all support for guitars that cost thousands of dollars has dried up, updates for the interfaces or apps that were essential to them will almost certainly never be updated, and if you need to replace one of those Robot tuners, you can pay a couple hundred bucks and try to do it yourself but you'll probably need to send the guitar to Germany. Oh, and some of the original batteries are no longer available, although Tronical does sell a retrofit for the Dark Fire. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Anderton said:

 

if you need to replace one of those Robot tuners, you can pay a couple hundred bucks and try to do it yourself but you'll probably need to send the guitar to Germany. Oh, and some of the original batteries are no longer available, although Tronical does sell a retrofit for the Dark Fire. 

 

I have one of the Gibson Min-ETune Les Pauls. A low end model, "LPM" I believe is the designator, plain wood style without binding, similar to a Studio, came with a gig bag rather than a hard case. I bought it at Gear Fest a few years back for around $900.

 

It's a good sounding guitar that plays well but hasn't seen a lot of action. The band I was last in liked the sound of it so I used it on gigs (keyboards was my primary function with them however). On the gigs I do with my wife I've typically taken my Tele or Strat along with my Taylor T5. I did take the LPM one night but I'm certain I played the T5 all night and never even used the Gibson.

It's a nice guitar and considering it doesn't get much use I imagine it will last a long time without problems. Frankly, I don't need it and sort of wish I'd never bought it, I have much better ones and no longer have much desire for anymore. It seems a bit gimmicky at this point however, I think it still might come in handy when I get back to recording and perhaps want to experiment with some alternate tunings.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1925 King Alto sax still plays, and is still repairable by any good sax tech.

 

Mrs. Notes' Buchla Thunder Tactile MIDI controller is still serviceable by the only guy who has been at the Buchla company long enough to know how it works. And he warns us that if one of the chips go, they don't make those chips anymore.

 

Years ago I had to trash a Korg DS8 synth because the part that failed was no longer being made. I gave it to a tech to use for spare parts.

 

For these reasons, I am shy to buy anything high-tech, like robot tuners, if there is a reasonable non-hi-tech alternative.

 

Full disclosure: I play a Yamaha WX5 wind controller via a Yamaha VL70m sound module. As soon as Yamaha discontinued, I bought multiples of the parts that wear out on the WX and a few spares as well. I have 3 VLs and only really need one.

 

And my King Alto never needed an upgrade, and it still has the voice of an angel.

 

Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...