YMU and Stanford

Well, the cat is out of the bag. And the inevitable criticism that follows it.

The criticism was certainly not unexpected– I predicted that list of points (and more) a year ago when this all started. The only real issue I have with that Letter to the Editor is that, well, we actually did run a survey (2 actually, one for undergraduates and another for graduate students) to get a better picture of the digital music landscape at Stanford. It was part of the annual residence evaluation, a pretty well-advertised survey, and included questions on filesharing, copyright, portable music devices, and for-pay online music services. We had a whopping 46% of undergraduates and 29% of (on-campus housed) graduate students respond to the survey, as we do every year. And based on that data, not just the mere assumptions about the student population, the student is right in pointing out that Yahoo! Music Unlimited is not compatible with the 20% (!) of students who own Macs (unless you want to run Virtual PC) and when they say it’s compatible with iPod, it’s not really.

So, blame us for picking a subscription service that doesn’t meet your specific needs (and this was a long decision making process that I will get into after the service actually launches), but don’t blame us for failing to collect data about student consumption of digital music because we certainly did. Guess people just weren’t paying attention.