9 thoughts on “

  1. Are you complaining about the music offered on downloads.melbay.com or just the UI? And, yeah, songster looks slick, but is it legal? Are they paying royalties to those artists?

  2. The UI, steve. And I’m not complaining, I’m stating the obvious. Has anyone there actually used it?

    I know you’re paying royalties, and I also know that you’re recouping that cost by not hiring a real digital team. Which is why musicians are so grievously badly served by trad publishing companies’ digital products.

  3. To be specific about the problem, publishing companies that pay royalties have nothing left over for developers. And companies that pay developers have nothing left over for royalties.

  4. That is very insightful actually, Lucas. I agree with you. Of course we want to better serve musicians and we are working on that. Making sure that the solution serves all musicians, both those seeking to learn as well as those who deserve to be paid for their work, is paramount.

  5. Not to infer any of the classic tropes against traditional media players, but is the IE6 requirement imposed somehow by the rights holders, or is it another possible example of the “nothing left for developers” assertion by Lucas?

    Or, of course, something else.

    P.S. Speaking of UIs, the notification-by-email checkbox at the bottom of this comment box is black text on a dark (black? none more?) background.

  6. EH, the IE requirement is probably some of both. I’m sure the rights holders wanted draconian and fundamentally laughable things during negotiations, and the Mel Bay negotiating team either didn’t have the internet chops to know that those would make their digital work a non-starter, or the people who did have those chops weren’t empowered to fix the problem. You could interpret either of these problems as being about hiring a strong web group.

  7. also, thanks for the note about the notification by email checkbox, which doesn’t appear on my version of this form. I’ll check it out.

  8. I used to enjoy the Mel Bay autoharp books, which helped me when I first began to play with my autoharp. So I don’t start with any axe to grind about Mel Bay music, nor with an axe to grind about rights-holders in general. I do think that a user interface that looked better would make me more likely to buy materials on-line.

    For example, if Mel Bay had a few public domain pieces on the site for easy download, and then
    put its instructional books on sale with appropriate text to explain how they work, in a more attractive format, available to more browsers, that would be good.

    I like to imagine that the improvements in technology and development of sites means that someday both affordable downloads and attractive UI’s should be available from publishers–and that when they are, then sales by those publishers on line will increase.

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