Slightly off topic, but hopefully of interest. The NY Times link to the Keppler proof article requires a login to the NYT site. Yech. Fortunately, UserLand Software has an agreement with NYT to allow bloggers to link to NYT articles in a way that doesn’t require logins . Aaron Swartz wrote a simple tool  for creating these special URLs from standard NYT URLs. I used it to get a registration-free link to the keppler article .
Thanks for pointing that out and providing the links, Jason. I updated my link now.
Strangely, I received the link via e-mail, clicked it and it just worked. (Perhaps there’s some Cookie or Safari doing the logon for me from prior access to the site - in fact, it does say Hello ssssp there upon closer inspection).
re: What’s the point of music downloads if they’re more expensive than real physical, (potentially) non-restricted CDs?
I couldn’t get through the article, my German is crap. I do have a comment on the point you make, though.
We can’t use the iTunes service, yet, but I’ve tried out the bleep.com by Warp. It’s fantastic, about the same price as CDs and in that case the music isn’t locked in anyway, except it’s MP3.
I purchased some music which I already have on vinyl, which may seem a little stupid. I could setup a vinyl ripping mechanism, but in one sense, I’m rewarding the artist again because I like their music so much.
Plus, the catalogue of some of these non-restrictive services is usually substantial. If you have broadband and your local music store is paltry it’s a nice alternative.
Bleep is particularly nice because some of their MP3 “stock” represents records (vinyl and CD) that are physically out-of-print.
Of course unrestricted, high quality services may make downloads more worthwhile. Personally, I enjoyed one of those when buying an EP by The French recently.
There, for £2, I got four 160kBit encoded MP songs, plus high quality PDF cover art. That’s more like it. Particularly if stuff is hard to get. On the other hand, many things can be acquired via mail order these days at prices which aren’t unreasonable. Even doing mail order from abroad isn’t too expensive, if you wait a while and put everything you want to have on a single order. Downloads always need to be cheaper than that.
Most music downloads offered aren’t that way, though. And that was the point I tried to make. Why buy a current album with DRM crap and 128kbit AAC at iTMS for $10, if I can get the physical CD including cover art and full quality songs for the same amount?
Re vinyl: I think, P2P networks are a good place to get MP3 files of my vinyl recordings. The music industry made a big effort at educating us that the all significant thing we buy is the license to listen to a CD/LP/MP3, rather than the media they happen to be on. Thus the difference between a downloaded MP3 and one I made of my own licensed copy of the song is just a technical point. One where those nice P2P file sharers save me a lot of work and extend my enjoyment of the music - thus improving the product of the music industry - at no charge to them or me. Personally, I am thankful for that. (Except for the days when files are hard to find, tagged by an analphabet or poor quality of course…)
Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.