Saturday, April 19, 2008

Breaking the business model

More from xtopher42 at Myxer will completely break the business model of selling ringtones and wallpapers for cell phone carriers. 

It allows you to upload songs or pictures, edit them online, then send them as MMS to your phone.  Or if you like, put them online to either sell to other people, or make available for free, with the agreement that you're the copyright holder.

I've got unlimited sms/mms on my phone.  Not having a data cable to attach to my phone, this is the *perfect* solution to getting the stuff I want on my phone.

I was completely spoiled by my first cell-phone, an unlocked Sony Ericson that looked like a small brick, but was completely customizable and reprogrammable in every way you could imagine, down to every single damn button function.  That's how I imagined cell phones should be, a general purpose device that I could make do what I damn well want it to do.  All phones since then have been a horrible disappointment, because manufacturers started putting their over-the air delivery of content business model into play, and locked everything they could charge for DOWN.

Verizon, for instance, disables the OBEX or Object exchange bluetooth profile on ALL it's devices, including PDA's.  This profile is used to transmit, via bluetooth, files from one phone to another very easily, so you can share your music, ringtones, wallpaper, whatever.  But not on Verizon's devices.  It's broken deep in the software level, and I completely understand why.  Verizon has VCast, which is over the air delivery of music, and when you're dealing with record labels, until very very recently they want DRM.  Honestly, they've got a right to earn money from their content, but it still pisses me off on principle alone when I can't do something with a device that I own that seems eminently logical to me.

But I digress. This website, and their service, breaks the everliving fuck out of the business model.  I found out about it when I went poking around on Jonathan Coulton's website for ringtones, and realized that he'd stuck a bunch up there for free, because he's just awesome like that.  I think I need to go stick the random $5 sitting in my paypal account in his tip jar, because he's saved me at least that much by pointing to this service.

No comments: