[vlc-devel] VLC Store idea

Kaarlo Räihä kaarlo.raiha at gmail.com
Sun Dec 26 09:08:24 CET 2010

2010/12/25 Randolf Richardson <randolf at inter-corporate.com>

>        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
> here.
>        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).

Trent Reznor, Counting Crows and other bands/acts who have abandoned their
record companies might be a good starting point for this.

>        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.

Copy protection (DRM) is nowadays only require for video content. You can
setup DRM-free music store (MP3 files) quite easily if you just pay deposit
money to get the licenses and other things rolling (but it isn't cheap).

>        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
> site.

With QT interface webkit can be used to implement that quite easily.

>        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
> http://www.inter-corporate.com
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