Daft Punk Pricing Anomaly on AmazonSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 01:09
I just bought the new Daft Punk album, "Random Access Memories."
I had never heard of Daft Punk prior to this past week or so. I saw a picture of the guys in the suits and the helmets in the Sunday NY Times. It was on the Style section, so I didn't bother reading it. I thought it was some new fashion.
But then I saw the helmets again in a picture in the WSJ, and on my second exposure was piqued enough to read it. Then I saw an article in Rolling Stone.
The Cynical me said, this is an incredible PR blitz. "Either that," said the other me, "or this is a real phenomenon."
I chose to believe the latter and bought the new CD. I like it. Interesting. I would not say, 'spectacular' as a whole, but there are some snips of genius on that record, and some of them are tied to this pricing anomaly that I'm about to tell you about:
Currently the physical CD, with free delivery if you're on Amazon Prime, is $9.99. The MP3's only are more - $11.99.
I bought the CD and it was delivered one day early. Amazon now has private couriers running around the city. On some days, you can order stuff and get it the same day. It is the reincarnation of Kozmo.com.
But in addition to the CD, I got the MP3's for free for signing up to the Amazon cloud player. Not only that, I got the MP3 for every CD I ever bought (new) at Amazon! It was all consolidated in their new "Cloud Player" - completely integrated into my exisiting account. The player runs right in the browser - nothing to download. It all exists in the cloud, and is beamed down to me - a direct laser beam of music - at my request.
Amazon, I'm sure, has a record of every purchase that I've ever made with them. They gave me MP3s of CDs I forgot I even bought, including U2's "How to Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb." Nothing too notable on that disk, aside from "Vertigo." I have no idea where my disk itself is. But I think it is worth another listen. But I ramble.
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What does the pricing anomaly actually mean?
1) We've moved into the digital age, so owning a physical disk is actually a burden. That is, not having to have a thing you don't need - the jewel case, and the disk itself - is actually a good.
2) Amazon is targeting people like me who've never made the full leap to a digital music environment. I still prefer CDs. But you know what? Amazon made is so easy. I didn't feel like I was being sold. And it is a benefit, to have the disk for my car, which is old, but not so old that it has a tape player. It does have a CD player. But it doesn't have a jack for my phone or other pod-type device. I suppose the new cars have that.
Anyway, thoughts are welcome.
Here's the page:
If you like music check out the album. There is a haunting quality to it. And an exuberant quality. And it has a cool title, "Random Access Memories." It seems so fitting for our times. Our times seem to be a time of Randomness. We're too close to see the pattern, but a pattern is emerging, and this album is the musical representation of it.
We're melding with the machines. A melding is taking place.
The first song is a 1970's disco beat combined with robotically synthesized voices, a sound that is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic. It pulls you in both directions - back and forth - back and forth, and that is what makes it so exuberant. It undulates on a wide amplitude.
There is a curious, but TOTALLY AWESOME & INSPIRING WTF as Track #3.
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Related: Have you noticed? The new space race is on. Have you guys been watching the arms race in the new final frontier - The Internet. Amazon, Apple & Google are duking it out. Netflix is in there, and Yahoo! is trying to make a move. The future remains wide open. Apple has shown its vulnerability. Amazon appears to be in the lead now. Apple had a high margin strategy, while Amazon's strategy is low margin, but high value. Apple originally offered high value at its high prices, but that value has not exactly dropped in absolute terms, it has been eroded away by inflation. Inflation cause by Google offering a free product that Samsung has run away with. Samsung and Sony are still in the race, as are Microsoft and Intel. Microsoft in particular has an advantage in entertainment, with its X-Box. And Microsoft has the media, in (MS) NBC - triangulated with GE (NBC), which is one of the biggest war contractors.
GE tries to look clean with its MSNBC, leftist, liberal, anti-war schtick. But they're all just schticks. Fox has got its own schtick going. CNN"s problem is that it can't find a schtick.
But that is all another story.
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So this should also show up on the DP Bookshelf too. There will be a book written about this album. I discovered this book series in London:
I bought a book on Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. I haven't finished it. It is the quintessential vacation book.
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"There was no preconception what to do." That is the message of track three, looking back at the history of electronica, but it is true of the future - not only the future of music, which Daft Punk is exploring, but the future in general.
There is an exuberance and a triumph in fulfilling our destiny - in melding with the machines, and that is expressed.
But in addition, the d e e p , d e e p , sorrow and sadness of such a development. That emotion is captured as well. The Autumn of Humanity. Track #4, Intertia is a heartbreaker. Who's singing? A human in a computer's world, or a computer in the human world?
There are so many things that I don't understand
There's a world within me that I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore, but the doors look the same
I am lost I can't even remember my name
I've been, for sometime,
Looking for someone
I need to know now
Please tell me who I am
There are so many things
That I don't understand
There's a world within me
That I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore
But the doors look the same
(where are the locks to try the key)
Definitely a stoner album. Dark Side of the Moon for Gen Y.
Check it out and let me know what you think: