Free music service good for students, University
August 25, 2006 —
The mid-summer addition of the music service Ruckus appears to have snuck under the radars of most SVSU students. It has now been almost exactly a month since the Web site reported that the legal music download service would be offered to students free of charge, and yet only a few hundred students have signed on to use its services.
While that number is almost certain to increase once the school year begins, there will undoubtedly be a number of naysayers who opt not to use the service based on some of its limitations. This, to put it simply, would be an immense mistake and a waste of a valuable entertainment service.
Without doubt, Ruckus has its flaws. The song library is not as extensive as the one available at the iTunes Music Store, the downloaded songs can only be played on the Ruckus media player, and an extra fee is charged to those who wish to download the songs in a format capable of being burnt to a CD or uploaded onto a portable player. In addition, the service is only free to students - faculty and staff pay $5.99 a month - and there is a $15 per term fee to download movies and a few select television series that are available.
Still, these flaws are negated by the fact that the service does offer over a million songs free of charge - a price students have no reason to complain about. In addition, the University pays nothing to subscribe to the service and only has to invest in a small server, a one time cost. Perhaps better yet, if Ruckus takes off, it could decrease the amount of illegal downloading, subsequently reducing the overall usage of internet bandwidth, which is a common complaint of SVSU students. Even CardMail could potentially benefit from such a decrease in usage.
What students need to remember is that the University was under no obligation to provide such a service. So while we can complain about its restrictions until we're blue in the face, we should first keep in mind that we should consider ourselves lucky to have anything at all. An unlimited number of songs at ultra-fast download speeds is available at our fingertips, providing some good background music while at the computer. There is not much about this that warrants criticism.
And while some may ignore this advice and see this piece as only a propaganda machine from the University bandwagon, those who take its suggestion should be pleasantly surprised by what they find: a valuable and enjoyable service.
At a time when students are pouring record dollars into the SVSU bank account, it is a nice change of pace to see something such as Ruckus offered in return - sans the price tag.
As a result, students should give the service a shot, sign up, and let those in charge know you appreciate it - not for any reason directly related to Ruckus, but rather because we need to show the administration we are grateful for the good faith gesture and would welcome future gestures with open arms.