[vlc-devel] VLC Store idea

Randolf Richardson randolf at inter-corporate.com
Sat Dec 25 22:11:24 CET 2010

	Hello.  I was just discussing an idea in irc.freenode.net#videolan 
with users j-b and pk__ and it was suggested that I eMail my idea 

	The idea is to set up a store called the VLC Store that competes 
with applications like iTunes, but only starting out with free (e.g., 
Public Domain, certain Creative Commons, etc.) content.

	VLC Player could be updated to include a store option (I would 
recommend that the user be prompted on first use to choose the way 
VLC currently works {the default} or if they'd like to have it 
default to the store since I think choice is very important).

	I'm willing to start out providing some server hardware and 
database, but my concern is with bandwidth costs -- I have to make 
sure that I can afford this, and I would need to talk to my upstream 
providers as well.  We do have IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (native, not 
tunnelled), which is also important for this type of project.

	The first stage would be to provide all the free content.  There is 
Public Domain music, the universities provide a lot of audiobook-type 
content (see iTunes for some examples; Berkeley is one of the better-
organized ones so, if curious, I suggest starting there if you're not 
familiar with this feature), and there are probably others as well.

	The second stage I'm hoping would come naturally with new artists 
who want some publicity and are willing to share a few of their 
masterpieces for free (obviously in the hopes that people will like 
what they hear and buy their albums).  Maybe some famous ones will be 
willing to release a few free ones this way as well (which would be 
wonderful because it could help make VLC even more popular).

	The third stage would be to actually sell music as well, after 
making arrangements with music vendors.  A percentage and/or minimum 
portion of the proceeds of these sales to be contributed to help fund 
the VLC project -- as long as the vendors know what this amount is up 
front, this should be fine.  Obviously they'll want some reports for 
the purposes of accountability, and I wouldn't be surprised if a big 
organization like PayPal would be interested in helping with the 
online payment processing side of things.

	One challenge with vendors will obviously be copy protection; since 
copy protection is always circumvented anyway, I think there's no 
point in going there because any focus on this would be a wasted 
effort -- in the end, the number of vendors interested in selling 
through the VLC Store would likely be somewhat limited due to this, 
but I think that's okay because it will also reveal to the masses 
which vendors are willing to trust VLC Store users.

	I own the VLCSTORE.COM (and other) internet domain names, and would 
like to see a web site to go with it where people can access the 
store information.  Perhaps the function of the VLC Store in the VLC 
Player could just display this web page, or it could actually have a 
full-fledged GUI that simply takes current information from this web 

	Any thoughts or ideas?  Better or different approaches?  I realize 
that this isn't a new concept, but I think it's one that the VLC 
Player may be well-suited for.

	Thanks in advance.

Randolf Richardson - randolf at inter-corporate.com
Inter-Corporate Computer & Network Services, Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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