Care To Buy Nothing For Something?
From the Truth-Is-Stranger-Than-Fiction Dept.
Every once and a while you get something for nothing... Now Apple is offering nothing for something as part of its iTunes service...
Among the many thousands of songs for sale at the online music store are at least nine tracks of silence... Apple treats the silent songs just like other songs, sells them for the same 99 cents, features free 30-second previews, and even encodes them with its usual digital-rights management software to prevent unauthorized copying! Even better, three of the tracks - all titled Silent and all by hip-hop group Slum Village - are labeled as explicit, even though there is only silence! And funnier still, for those who worry that the lack of sound will be too racy, iTunes offers "clean" versions as well!
For those who prefer a more family oriented silence, choose Silence by Ciccone Youth (off "The Whitey Album"), Silence by Bill Schaeffer (off "Grain of Sand"), or One Minute of Silence by Project Grudge (offered only as a single-song download)... But for those looking for the best value, Schaeffer offers nearly two minutes of silence, almost twice as much as any of the other tracks... And while silent tracks are available from some other music-download services, it looks like iTunes has the widest selection...
Although Apple has not said how many silent songs have sold, there has been a market for silence in the past... Composer John Cage composed 4'33" in 1952 - a song that features just over four and a half minutes without sound - and then copyrighted it! The BBC broadcast a live performance of the song earlier this year, featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra, no less... In this case, most of the songs are there because the artists intended for there to be silence as part of the albums and because the recording industry provided the songs to Apple as sellable tracks..."