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.