A few months ago, I found out about AOL Music's Music Archive. Now, I would like to know, is AOL Music crazy?
For one, it has the music and videos from all the popular artists like U2, Madonna, Ashlee Simpson, etc, etc. It lets you watch these videos and music FOR FREE. These are the same videos that iTunes and Google Video are charging 2 bucks a pop for and will only give you a 30 second preview. Yes, I know, AOL Music has advertising, and services like iTunes and Google Video don't. But is that enough to justify the cost of the contracts with these big-name record companies?
Furthermore, these videos and songs can also be downloaded to the hard drive, as long as they are QuickTime, which is the format most of these songs and videos are stored in, simply by clicking "Save page to disk" and then rummouging around in the folder that results from saving the page. This video file can then be copied onto your portable player, or shared with your friends or whatever, even if it's not legal.
And yes, the quality of these videos is not that great, but it's certainly no worse than the quality of iTunes or Google Video, whose primary target is the iPod, which doesn't have a very big screen anyway. So what gives? What lets AOL Music literally give away music that so many other companies are trying to make money with?