September 19, 2017

PlaysMaybe

Natali Helberger at INDICARE questions Microsoft’s new “playsforsure” campaign. Playsforsure is a logo that will be displayed by digital music and video stores, and media devices. The program has a cute logo:

According to the program’s website,

Look for the PlaysForSure logo if you’re shopping for a portable music or video device and you want to make sure the digital music and video you purchase will play back on it every time. Match the PlaysForSure logo on a large selection of leading devices and online music stores. If you see the logo you’ll know your digital music will play for sure.

So if I buy a product with the playsforsure logo on it, I can play any music I like on it. And if I buy a song from a playsforsure music store, I can play it on any device I like. Right? Maybe not. Elsewhere on the site, we find this:

When your device and music service are compatible with each other, all you have to do is choose the music that’s compatible with you.

Hmm, that doesn’t sound so good. But at least I’ll know that if my device, my music store, and my music all have the playsforsure logo, it’ll work, with no fine-print exceptions. Right? Maybe not.

Look on the back of the device box to see what type of media will play back on the device.

The checkmarks indicate if the device is capable of playing back audio and/or video that’s been downloaded from an online store. Additionally some devices will be able to play back media that has been purchased through an online store that offers subscription or rentals.

Well, at least I know that the engineers are doing everything they can to make their products compatible with each other. Maybe someday they’ll finish that MP3 standard and we’ll be able to play our music on any device we like.


[Ed’s assignment desk: Somebody with artistic talent (i.e., not me) should create a “playsmaybe” logo, perhaps depicting a square peg labled “playsmaybe” failing to fit into a round hole labeled “DRM in use”.]

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    How about “playsperhaps” instead, to keep the meter of the original?

  2. I like the fact that Ed’s variant breaks the meter. Poetic justice, one might say ;^)

  3. You should ask Don Marti who made the “OPEN: DRM-free technology” stickers. They are a clever and apt parody of the DMAT stickers which were originally going to be used by the SDMI consortium as a way of assuring customers that products bearing the logo would be compatible with one another.

    The DMAT people had a red logo which said “DMAT” underneath; Don Marti has a green logo which says “OPEN” underneath. I’ve put them on various things but they have never really caught on, perhaps because SDMI itself never really caught on. But the logo parody is brilliantly done. Maybe the same person would be interested in doing something for you here.

  4. My slogan is: “With DRM and the DMCA, Nothing ‘Plays for Sure'”. Somebody please start that campaign.

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/cmusings/2004/08/27#a759

  5. Cypherpunk says:

    You quote Microsoft: “Match the PlaysForSure logo on a large selection of leading devices and online music stores. If you see the logo you’ll know your digital music will play for sure.”

    And you responded: “So if I buy a product with the playsforsure logo on it, I can play any music I like on it. And if I buy a song from a playsforsure music store, I can play it on any device I like. Right?”

    But that’s not reasonable. Microsoft told you to MATCH the logo on the device AND THE STORE. In other words, the logo has to be in both places, and has to match (if one says audio and the other says video, they may not work). So I don’t think your pretended reading was reasonable; you ignored the requirement to match the logo in both places.

    I agree with your second complaint, that it starts getting a little complex when you talk about subscription and rental services. But looking at their pictures at the bottom of http://www.playsforsure.com/WhatIsPlaysForSure.aspx I’d say they did a pretty good job of making it clear whether a device can play certain kinds of music or not.

  6. “Plays for Now”

  7. Karsten W. Rohrbach says:

    How about a somewhat simpler approach?

    Snap…

    Regards,
    /k