[joe-frank-list] Thread re: Joe Frnak web site needs updates

Harold Johnson harold.johnson at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 10:05:37 PST 2006

I won't speculate about Joe's income/financial status, but I would like
to offer my own point of view.  Whether his financials are in order or not,
Joe's status as an artist will be preserved forever.  However, I think he
would be wise to consider some other means of distributing his works.
Streaming is good, but (currently) portable media is better.  I've never
enjoyed listening to Joe's works while sitting at my computer as much as I
do while listening on a portable device, either with the lights out and
headphones on, or driving in a car.  I like to really *listen* to Joe's
shows, and being tied to a PC distracts too much.  Certainly there are ways
around it: I can use an FM transmitter to transmit from the PC to my
headphones or whatever -- but nothing ruins a Joe show more than the stream
hiccupping or a battery running out on that transmitter.  Neither of these
happens often, but when they do it blows (especially since I have to get out
of bed, turn on the lights, set up the stream again, etc.).

It's not just the method of auditing Joe's works (though that obviously
makes a difference).  It's the sense of ownership of content.  I'd much
prefer to be able to purchase Joe's shows, carry them around on my portable
digital audio player, and know that I'll be able to return to them whenever
I want.  CDs are way out of my price range, though I'd buy them from Joe if
I could afford to.  As it stands, CDs are prohibitively expensive (for me).
So I'm much prefer to purchase digital audio files, which I'm assuming would
be made available at a price point that I could afford.

Audible has been mentioned, but I'm not too keen on their service.  For one
thing, I have issues with Audible-formats not play on my iRiver digital
audio device, which plays MP3, WMA (including WMA DRM), OGG, and AVI files.
I had to borrow an iPod in order to listen to the audio, and even then it
was a hassle, due to being unable to convert the 10-hour long file to a more
tolerable size due to Audible's DRM.  (Granted, Joe's audio wouldn't be that
long, but still...DRM's a bitch.)  Keep in mind this is coming from someone
who currently works for a digital music service, the business model of which
is selling WMA DRM files.  I can attest to the issues DRM presents...

That said, as a consumer I would be willing to put up with DRM if that's the
only way to obtain Joe's works.  I understand copyright protection, and I'm
concerned with it.  (I have my own ambitions as a digital media artist, so
I'm considering copyright in my own works.)  Yet DRM seems more problematic
these days; it's just not being done right yet.  There are too many
limitations applied to DRM -- for both the consumer and for the companies
selling DRM'ed content.  (Do you think Apple prefers to sell DRM content?
Certainly, but only because they sell the devices.  Other digital music
services, not having iPods to sell, would prefer to sell un-DRM'ed audio, if
only the record labels would allow them to.)

I've got to head out to work now, but I'm hoping my feedback adds and opens
up some more conversation on this subject.  I hope JoeFrank.com considers
providing portable digital audio content eventually...and hopefully sooner
rather than later!

Harold J. Johnson

On 12/27/05, billmilosz at aol.com <billmilosz at aol.com> wrote:
>  I got the idea that the site provides a source of income that Joe found
> useful.  The man doesn't talk about it, but he's not rolling in dough.  I
> think times are pretty tough at Chez Joe right now.  I don't mean to imply
> he is eating only ramen noodles and watching off-the-air TV  but he's not
> shppoing for a new 'Benz either.  His health care costs are huge and I don't
> think he has blue cross.....
> So I think it would be in Joe's best interest if the web site continued to
> draw subscribers.
> There was a comment abou the site having confusion subscription levels and
> being hard to use, and, yeah, it is one of the most complex I've seen....
> many subscription tiers and this whole pre-queueing mechanism can be a
> trifle confusing.  I usually have to dig around for a while before I find
> the page where I can select shows to listen to.  I understand the pre-queue
> mechanism saves a ton in terms of online storage and possibly streaming
> charges.  Running a stream server or leasing capacity tends to be very
> costly.
> I wonder if Joe should re-evaluate Audible.com <http://audible.com/>? I
> think a lot of people get podcasts and content from there.  Part of the
> issue may be, Joe wants to stream something to you but would rather not give
> you something you can download and keep  and copy for your pals...
> (even though one could easily use a stream-ripper to save the Windows
> Media files that Joefrank.Com streams.)
> _______________________________________________
> Joe Frank Mailing List
> joe-frank-list at armory.com
> http://www.armory.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/joe-frank-list
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