Prince’s Plectrum Electrum on USB?

Plectrum Electrum USB
Graphic created by @PrinceNewsUK.

Interesting post appeared on Twitter from 3rd Eye Girl yesterday showing Plectrum Electrum and a USB stick graphic indicating that the rumor that we had heard about Plectrum Electrum being distributed on USB to protect the sound quality may actually hold some truth.

Update: While we are aware that the graphic was created by a fan, we were more interested that 3rd Eye Girl retweeted it and that this is multiple times it has been mentioned (like here, here, here, etc.). So let’s dig further and speculate on the possibility.

Not to delay things even further, but putting music on USB makes it much easier to distribute and bootleg. Prince has to be aware of that, so expect security measures to be put in place which is bound to have marketing and consumer kickback.

There was originally some coverage in various online locales that the biggest issue for Prince was finding a way to protect the audio quality so that you get the full experience of the album as he intended it to be heard.  What’s a tad unusual about this, is that insinuates that the current mediums like CD’s don’t protect the sound quality even though to the naked ear, it’s about as lossless as you can get.  Can millions of audio professionals be wrong? Apparently so.

This distribution model could potentially end up being a nightmare with bad memory sticks and the fact that it will force the user to listen to it on the computer or if they want to listen in their car, transfer it down to…a CD.  Or end up compressing the files into MP3 and thereby degrading the sound quality.

And again to mention that the security that will need to be in place to keep people from distributing the files via torrent sites. Will it require an active internet connection to validate the files are original and un-pirated? Will there be only a certain amount of times you can transfer the files to CD or your MP3 players before you get locked out?  And transferring the files to something else defeats the purpose of protecting the lossless sound quality, right? We seem to have more questions than answers right now.

Our guess is that all of this has become painfully evident and that they’re trying to figure out ways around these issues. But this graphic they released via Twitter points to the plans that are in motion.

And once again, Prince is set to change the face of music distribution.  We think it’s going to be an interesting ride.


8 thoughts on “Prince’s Plectrum Electrum on USB?

  1. When it comes to PRINCE, it is always an interesting ride!!! We’ll just have to wait and see where the ride takes us!!
    Always loving his music and concerts, he without a doubt , always delivers. !!!!

  2. Haven´t the (sorry bout the definition) “Industry” learned yet?! You can´t beat the technology. You can only be smart taking advantage of it and use it. The record industry and record companies has made sure their artist suffer from piracy amongst others. They tried to fight ripping from CDs to MP3 for years in the 90´s with all sorts of useless apps on the CD to protect it. If they instead had used all this money and effort to make sure they could sell and distribute their music electronically, they would´t had lost so mush sales last 20 years. Surely piracy would excist, but just think about all the money still that would come to the artist if the sales had droppet out half as much as it actually has?! And also, the artists, companies and management would “own” and control the technology themselves today. Now there is more or less no income on sales. The band and artists income is air playing and performances only. So pls dear Prince. Do not use problem tech like USB-stick and PLS DO NOT put on any locks. It´s just annoying! And to those buying music, their rights should be protected too. Good example was our “life-long” membership where we also bought Wav-files and movies from NPGMC. And when the site went down, all your files you had actually bought where useless. I bought a lot and Prince… -You don´t owe me anything, but I really miss some stuff I bought from you. So, at some point i find bit-torrent a rescue. i got it back 😛 But I did pay for it 😉 SO, Get us to BUY music and live with the fact that there are pirates and thieves out there. Its become a occupation hazard I´m afraid. We all have a responsibility to turn ppls attitudes towards buying and not steeling music. In Scandinavia that is actually about to turn around and again go in the right direction. And whats wrong with the CD? It is D/A converters that decides the quality we get. Most CD-players(today) have a D/A-converter much better than in computers. And if you want better sound with vinyl, you need superb and expensive pressing, turntable and pick-up. I would say CD-format would give best sound quality for most people. A memory-stick will prob cause a lot of bad hardware and costs, redistributing new ones to those who complaint.

  3. Who listens to CD’s nowadays? What machine do I need to play a CD?

    I don’t know anyone. Here in Europe and Sweden it’s Spotify all the way.

    A USB-stick would be great as well. But no CD’s please.

  4. I don’t understand why we can’t just download these lossless files from iTunes or his own website. File size is irrelevant these days and I can play HD Audio files on my laptop. The problem with his apparent OCD regarding sound quality is it just isn’t about bit rate. Your computer needs to be connected to a proper receiver, with the proper wire connections, and to proper speakers. What good is full spectrum audio files if they’re coming out of laptop speakers, crappy headphones, or stock car stereos??

    He needs to give the audience options.

    My suggestion would be to release it on vinyl (truly analog) for audiophiles, offer a high definition format (.flac) from his website, and put it on iTunes for the remaining 99.6% of the music listening audience.

    Unfortunately this is Prince so who really knows what he will do.

  5. Why can’t we just have the music already and why can’t we just have it left to us where and how we listen to it? Are there messages in songs that we can only hear a certain way, like Nine Inch Nails did on Year Zero? And is it not realized that this would not be the first time USB has been done?

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