Digital music insurance

Hard drive failure, theft and loss are just facts of life. But they are facts that online music business has failed to account for, and that the insurance industry has overlooked. Something needs to be done.

I don’t know why it happens, and I don’t know how I manage to forget that it happens, but every year since 2000, the coming of the New Year coincides with disastrous computer failure — and I’m always surprised by it.

Perhaps I was the only person to catch the Millennium Bug, and it’s recurring.

In this instance, it was the external hard drive that sits attached to the main home Mac G5 where I keep all the music. Due to a slight malfunction, it irretrievably lost a few of its albums. Over 1,000 of them, in fact.

Now, that could have been a disaster if I didn’t keep backups, but even so, it’s a tremendous hassle — and there were quite a few on there that I had acquired since the backup.

Which got me thinking about insurance. As yet, insurance companies have not managed to get their heads around personal data loss. If someone breaks in and steals my CDs, I know I can get an insurance company to cover the loss. If my house burns down and my records all turn to melty pools of plastic, then I can get replacements. If my hard drive is stolen, burned, or smashed, I can get the device replaced — but not the thousands of files that were on it.


Text me the money

PayPal Mobile

As far as online payments go, you can’t beat PayPal. All you need is an email address, and you can send money to pretty much anyone – or accept payment yourself. But that’s no good when you’re out and about.

Inevitably, perhaps, PayPal have now launched a mobile phone version. If you’ve got a mobile phone, you can pay pretty much anyone else with a mobile phone. Send money to friends and family, pay for goods or donate to charity with your thumb.