March 15, 2004

MP3 files from WILL: Why not? 

Trying to stream on the cheap ain't easy. There's a whole debate in the public broadcasting system about maybe charging for the privilege of listening online. Some people really believe the only way we can pay for streaming is to charge you for every file. But this means you'd have to authenticate (ya know, username and password) into the site to get access, and probably pay by credit card. Or use iTunes, like Fresh Air and This American Life and others are already doing. Now I swear I love iTunes, and I'd love it more if I didn't have to pay my bills on a public radio paycheck. So for this brief moment in time when we can actually pull this off, we're offering free RealAudio streaming files, and MP3 downloads of our locally-produced programs. I'll probably rant about Real some other time. Today marks the first time downloadable MP3 files are available on our site. There, I buried the lead. People have been asking for it, so there it is. And while we can get away with it, we're giving away as many megabytes as possible.

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