Posted Monday, Apr 1st 2013 @ 12:44

We should probably tell you about it.

There's a smidge more method behind the madness of Wishing Well than we previously divulged. See, if we're pushing open source and DIY ethics and then selling music on iTunes, there's a bit of a conflict of interest. I think. I'm going to call it a gray area. I like that better. So, in keeping with the joyful, chaotic mischief that is paramount to Wolfgang uh, things, we dropped a bit of a wrench into the iTunes machine. Let's see if they notice.

It’s funny I should mention iTunes. Their absolute proprietary control over the distribution of digital music is swiftly commodifying an art-form, and leaving in its wake the lifeless, commercial shells of once proud musicians. iTunes enslaves both its license holders and its customers with its DRM-heavy proprietary model, and, with near-monopoly control over the market share, it uses its weight to gain control over not only the distribution of artwork, but the artwork itself. Indeed, in keeping with the spending habits of listeners, iTunes makes all tracks on all albums available for single-purchase for ninety nine cents. Artists wishing to sell albums as cohesive units and disallowing the sale of individual tracks are denied this privilege; as it is against the iTunes Terms of Service. iTunes, not the artist, controls the final form of the artwork that reaches the consumer. Did you notice the length of the tracks on Wishing Well?

When you buy Wishing Well on iTunes, you are actually participating in a massive public protest, taking a stand against their proprietary control over the final form of the art. There’s a bit of a loophole, as it were. When a track is longer than ten minutes, iTunes automatically categorizes it as an “Extended Track,” and sells it is “Album Only.” This makes sense to their proprietary model, considering that the music is a mere product to them, and ten minutes is simply too much value for ninety nine cents.

Wishing Well contains over twelve individual movements, but these movements have been mastered into three tracks: thirteen, sixteen, and nineteen minutes in length. As such, all of Wishing Well’s tracks are listed on iTunes as “Album Only.” When you buy Wishing Well from iTunes, you are making a statement against their use of market control to attempt to maximize profits by controlling the art itself. And, there’s no way to lose! If they change the policy on “Extended Tracks,” then people can buy our nineteen minute songs for ninety nine cents. If they boot us off of iTunes, they’re just giving money to Amazon, let alone creating impetus for other businesses to gain an economic edge over their empirical price-point initiatives. And if they pretend not to notice, a likely outcome, they’re paving the way for other artists to release their music on a large platform without compromising control over its final form. Considering the fact that we’re also giving away the music for free- sure, we won’t mind a buck or two from the iTunes automatic check-writing machine while we keep their hands tied.

xoxo (CW) Alex