I don’t disagree that the separate media ecosystems are trouble, but I’m having a tough time pinning this one on the equipment vendors.

The thing is, it was commonly asserted before 2007 that Apple was using DRM to lock people into iPods. The “Thoughts On Music” letter had one big actionable commitment: “If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store.”

That’s exactly what they did, so I’m having a tough time assuming that there has been a sudden conversion in this respect.

The letter is at http://www.apple.com/uk/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ and I think it’s worth reading again. It’s not to be accepted uncritically, of course, and there’s a lot that’s different today – neither movie nor book publishers sell most of their content in DRM-free digital formats like CDs. But it seems to me to be a reasonably plausible description of the business pressures that have us where we are, and what needs to be targeted for change.

If that’s solved, then sure there are still issues about making it *easier* to transition; but at that point they are all solvable problems, and indeed the vendor of the incoming device has an incentive to make that easier.