Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Thinks that Apple’s iTunes is Passé

“Nick Mason is the only member of Pink Floyd to have played a part in every one of the band’s often turbulent incarnations. He bluntly stated in a new GQ interview that he thinks that Apple’s iTunes is rather passé,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

It’s been interesting seeing how badly that went down. Let me be completely clear about my position: if Apple had come to me and said, ‘Nick, we want to release your album in exchange for £50m’, I couldn’t have thought of a better idea. [pause] Radiohead did something similar a few years ago [2008’s In Rainbows], and it worked. But this has backfired. It’s made everyone think again about how they want their music delivered, given or sold. Look, U2 are a great band, and Bono’s an extraordinary individual, so this isn’t an anti-U2 tirade.

But it highlights a vital aspect to the whole idea of music in the 21st century. What’s also interesting is that Apple seems to have gotten off scot-free. No-one’s blaming them. Apple has done great things, but it has also contributed to the devaluation process.

That said, iTunes is already beginning to look rather passé, and instead it’s Spotify that looks like the future. What we need is another two or three billion people using it, then it would make more sense for musicians.

Because of the internet music has become devalued. Maybe music was overvalued previously but it’s been devalued to a point where I think it’s a problem now because we miss out on a lot of good music that could be available but isn’t. — Nick Mason

More about MP3 player sound quality (or lack thereof) and a video of Mason discussing Apple, in the full article here.


    1. Pink Floyd was perhaps my least favorite group even when they were relevant. Nails on a chalkboard pretty much describes it for me. There’s nothing worse than contrived social commentary the aim of which is purely a profit motive. The poetry of Morrison, the blues of Joplin, the artistry of Santana I’ll take over the heavy handed artificiality of a Pink Floyd.

        1. Zeke – He’s not talking about the interface!

          He’s talking about the business model. In this case, the model of selling tracks for a buck, and an album for $10-$15. THAT’S what he’s talking about when he says “it’s passe.”

            1. don’t bother, he obviously has not listened to “variations on a carlos santana chord theme progression” by frank zappa and noticed that all of santana’s music is also in it’s own way contrived (from the album shut up and play yer’ guitar)

      1. You don’t have to like them but to suggest their masterpieces such as Dark Side, Wish you were Here and the Wall are not art is uttlerly foolish and ignorant. FCOL Gilmour is on of the guitar greats of all time! The guitar solos in Comfortably Numb alone are clinical masterpieces.
        Artificial ??..rotfl you really have no clue. Unbelievable how ignorant that sounds

    2. couldn’t you make the argument that streaming apps have devalued it even more?

      they pay pennies to the artists. people listen for free and spend less. if there were no streaming apps, then people would buy on iTunes or walmart

    3. iTunes passe? No, what’s passe is the music industry. The early success of iTunes came from reselling music to people that had previously bought it 9several times) in different formats (LPs, cartridges, cassettes, CDs). After exhausting that market the music industry failed to create music (that people wanted to buy) to replace that exhausted market.

      I’m 68, and enjoy a wide variety of music genres – Swing, Big Band, Blues, ’50s Rock, ’60’s Rock, some Country, some Classical, some modern Opera, Classical, but nothing post the late ’80s. Like most of today’s movies, nearly all of today’s TV/music has become a cultural wasteland. Real Housewives/Swamp People/Rap/CGI Action Adventure anyone?

      Content for the lowest common denominator will never replace pure talent. Today its choreographed formula production performed by the most outrageous.

      iTunes isn’t failing the music industry, the music industry is failing to capitalize on the distribution that iTunes offers it, with genuine, quality product.

      1. There are still gems out there. In previous decades they were more obvious because they were only buried under a pile rather than an avalanche of cleverly-produced slop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You just have to hunt a little harder.

    4. If Spotify is so great, why are some artists like Taylor Swift pulling their music off of it because they don’t pay enough in royalties? How is that the future of music for musicians?

  1. I don’t stream my music. I likely never will. I’ve bought more music on iTunes than I ever did on CD or Cassette.

    How about offering better music for sale you has been?

      1. Spotify????

        You gotta be kidding me!! Yuk.

        We don’t need streaming. We need good music on iTunes.

        Thats not to say iTunes if perfect. We need better audio quality and better DAC’s in iPods (for those who want it). And I don’t mean charge us for something we have already paid for. We’ve already paid for the music so give us ALL of it, not just the poxy 256Kbit version.

        1. I am so tired of clueless ‘audiophiles’ spouting garbage like this. Apple Lossless is better that anything you can tell the difference of. Streaming audio is often using a low bit rate and poor algorithms giving poor sound. Look into the physiology of hearing and sound and correlate it with the compression techniques Apple uses.

          1. Stones are better than Floyd, but I agree they are has verbs too. The Beatles are timeless though. No current act is even in the same category.

            Besides Flotd sucked after Waters left anyways.

  2. It used to be that bands would go on tour to promote their new album releases. But that business model has now been reversed by the progress of technology. Bands will release albums to promote their tours. (Been to a big name concert lately? Geez it’s expensive!) The reality is that musicians are going to receive the bulk of their income from live performances.

    1. Are you not aware ? When a band goes on tour they get the all proceeds. When they sell their albums the record company gets most of the money. That’s the reason bands tour, that’s where they make their money.

      1. Clueless, mate! Sure we make a few bob when we tour, but when your up-and-comers tour its all on the record company, the chaps who “lend” you the money to tour. And if you don’t break even mate, you owe, you owe, its off to work you go. Think touring’s cheap? Bollocks! For every Keith Richards, there are a thousand good musicians trying to divvy up less and less. Video killed the radio star, internet killed MTV, now DJs and yootoobers are killing live music. The Day The Music Died? Yesterday, mate, yesterday.


  3. Spotlify screwed the musician. I like the curated radio format to discover new music. I listen to iTunes Radio. I do have a Spotify account and manage a library. But I realize that its only temporary.

    1. Beats has been finding fresh new stuff for me and throwing it in with the old favorites I’ve told it I like. It;s going a pretty good job so far of finding new music that I like. I’ve gotten very few clinkers. Curation is the key.

  4. various comments:

    Streaming is not an option for those people with bandwidth limitations.

    Not every music company makes the deal with iTunes , even if the musician wants the music on iTunes.

    Popularity on iTunes, YouTube and Spotify, not to mention playlists, will vary. Availability also differs.

    Next, payment to musicians. … (varies of course).

    The music business is circus, therefore hard to discern all the viewpoints simultaneously.

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