AOL of yore : web browser :: iTunes : Songbird

Someone mentioned to me today that if the web were like you could only connect to, which reminded me of speculation that earlier aggressive intellectual protectionism online could have led to a proprietary cul de sac in online services. In that post I said without explanation that aggressive protectionism is being allowed to kill or stunt online music.

People have been noting for awhile that protectionism enabled iTunes’ dominance, or as Techdirt put it “How The Recording Industry’s Obsession On DRM Made Apple So Powerful.”

iTunes’ dominant lock-in will end soon enough, that is unless we get some additional very bad copyright rulings and laws.

A nice quote that brings the general web and online music analogy full circle is this from Ross Karchner commenting on Songbird:

It’s like taking iTunes, ripping out the music store, and replacing it with the rest of the internet.

I’ll take the rest of the internet.

Check out the just released Songbird 0.2, which despite the low version number I find very usable.

Addendum 20061020: Ironically for me the company behind Songbird is called Pioneers of the Inevitable.

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