ZZ ... I agree with you on so many points ... unfortunately Sony did in fact try to use a stardock (I think my memory is clear on the name?), but then had to pay out huge numbers to buyers when it was "claimed" not to work on computers, hence an entire range of top twenty's had to be re-pressed and distributed again. Also because Sony didn't state the name of copyright encyption it caused further legal issues. They also tried to have some top 20 cds in 2006 to include pre-ripped mp3's with encoding that registered a computer id when it was brought over onto a HD but peeople got around the issue by burning it to cd and re-ripping it again.
Bands like Underworld did their own downloads offering three full album mp3s more experimentive music, and gave a thank-you to those who bought it by offering another free length album mp3. People still complained that they didn't get value for money (6 pounds ... dirty cheap in my books), but I think people embraced it enough to warrant them to do their music distribution that way. The also offered live sets via webcam podcasts as a thank-you too.