Well, this is a big waste of everyone’s time. The Entertainment Retailers Association has launched a new logo that purports to indicate to consumers whether or not a store sells MP3s, as opposed to DRM-ed WMA files. They’re calling it “MP3 Compatible”.
To start with, 7Digital, Play.com, HMV and a few other download stores will use the logo on their sites, but the ERA are hoping that makers of digital music players will start using it too. Except they won’t. Because almost every device that plays music already supports MP3, so it doesn’t really need to be labelled.
Also, what does “MP3 Compatible” even mean? That the shops are ‘compatible’ with MP3? For all the noises that the ERA are making about this logo being good for consumers, in reality it’s just a jab at Apple. Oh, and did I mention that retailers who aren’t a member of the ERA aren’t allowed to use the logo?
The ERA needs to be channelling its resources elsewhere. There’s far bigger problems in digital music than whether or not consumers know what an MP3 is – they’ve known for years and years. Making a compelling digital music experience is far more important. Like Spotify, and not like Datz Music Lounge.
ERA “MP3 Compatible”