I purchased Jay-Z's book, Decoded, via Amazon Kindle to read on my iPad. I was mostly interested by the mosaic/collage/multimedia aspect of the book—which turned out to be less impressive than advertised.
A couple of weeks ago, I updated my Kindle iPad app, along with a bunch of other apps. A few days later, I was discussing my upcoming music book with Adam, from McSweeney’s. I wanted to show him the way the video excerpts were inserted into Mr. Z's book.
The videos from Decoded are at the beginning of each chapter—a feature I like because they don't interrupt the flow of reading. In the videos, Jay-Z sits at a desk and tells us that rap is poetry. It's nice to see him step out from behind a persona, but as far as extra content goes, it is less than hoped for. How about a tour of Marcy Projects (a subject explored in some of the chapters)? With multimedia implemented throughout the book, I thought he could have done much more with it. Regardless, there is good stuff in the book—and it has a nice cover too!
Anyway, in my attempt to show Adam the videos, I discovered that they were all gone—in their place was a message that this content was not supported on my iPad.
It seems that, once again, Amazon has removed purchased material from our devices. I suspect Apple had a hand in this as well. Apple has consistently sabotaged their competitors’ apps and software that allow you to sync other devices with their own. Then, all of the sudden, apps that once did X and Y suddenly don’t perform those functions anymore. In most cases those apps were free—so it is hard to complain too much. Although, some of the free apps contained magazines, books and other content, like Decoded, that I purchased and though they may not have been very good, I paid for them and they were mine to keep! They came to my house and ripped pages out of my book!
I love reading on these devices, as I travel a lot when I tour. They allow me to easily have access to, and read the newspapers and magazines I subscribe to... but these "fuck you" gestures to us, the consumers, reminds me of the nonsense the record companies got up to—and a lot of good it did them!
This proprietary stuff has been going on since before we were born—Edison claimed he owned the copyright to motion pictures and tried to extract a commission for anyone who made films. This drove moviemakers to far away LA where Edison and his thugs couldn't stop them. Sometimes this proprietary nonsense is counterproductive to the industry as a whole. Though one company may win temporarily, all end up suffering in the end.
I haven't blogged in a while as I been busy with the above book, a record and a music theater piece. More soon, though.