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One and only Apple iTunes / iPod thread [merged]

Old 04-28-03, 02:22 PM
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Apple Launches Online Music Store

Press release from Yahoo news:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030428/sfm102_1.html

Apple Launches the iTunes Music Store
Monday April 28, 2:00 pm ET

CUPERTINO, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple® (Nasdaq: AAPL - News) today launched the iTunes® Music Store, a revolutionary online music store that lets customers quickly find, purchase and download the music they want for just 99 cents per song, without subscription fees. The iTunes Music Store offers groundbreaking personal use rights, including burning songs onto an unlimited number of CDs for personal use, listening to songs on an unlimited number of iPods, playing songs on up to three Macintosh® computers, and using songs in any application on the Mac®, including iPhoto(TM), iMovie(TM) and iDVD(TM).

"The iTunes Music Store offers the revolutionary rights to burn an unlimited number of CDs for personal use and to put music on an unlimited number of iPods for on-the-go listening," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Consumers don't want to be treated like criminals and artists don't want their valuable work stolen. The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both."

The iTunes Music Store features over 200,000 songs from music companies including BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and Warner. Users can easily search the entire music store to instantly locate any song by title, artist or album, or browse the entire collection of songs by genre, artist and album. Users can listen to a free 30-second high-quality preview of any song in the store, then purchase and download their favorite songs or complete albums in pristine digital quality with just one click.

The iTunes Music Store also features exclusive tracks from over 20 artists, including Bob Dylan, U2, Eminem, Sheryl Crow and Sting, as well as special music videos from several of these artists which users can watch for free. In addition, the iTunes Music Store highlights new releases, staff favorites and up-and-coming artists, and delivers a compelling variety of music from many genres and time periods, ranging from Rock and Hip Hop to Jazz and Classical. The ability to browse the entire music store by genre, artist and album combined with free high-quality previews of every song lets users explore music in an entirely new way, to easily find the hits they love and discover gems they've never heard before.

All music on the iTunes Music Store is encoded in the industry-standard AAC audio format at 128 kilobits per second which enables smaller files and faster download times while rivaling CD-quality sound superior to the quality of MP3 files at the same size. The AAC audio format, developed by Dolby, was also adopted to provide the audio encoding for the industry-standard MPEG-4 video format.

The iTunes Music Store is fully integrated into iTunes® 4, the fourth major release of Apple's popular digital music jukebox software, allowing users to purchase, download, organize and listen to their music using just one application. iTunes 4 features major new enhancements including Rendezvous(TM) music-sharing between Macs, so users can legally stream their music to other Macs without the hassle of copying files from computer to computer.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes 4 with the iTunes Music Store is available as a free download immediately at www.apple.com/itunes. The iTunes Music Store requires a valid credit card with a U.S. billing address, a Mac equipped with iTunes 4 and Mac® OS X version 10.1.5 or later. Further information about Apple's digital music products can be found at www.apple.com/ipod and www.apple.com/music.

This will eventually make it to the PC world, too. As it takes off, I imagine the selection will become more diverse.

It seems to offer everything people have been wanting in a pay service. Cheap per song downloads, the ability to use it on a portable device and the ability to burn it to a CD.
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Old 04-28-03, 02:38 PM
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.99/song is way too high. Depending on the album, that's more than buying the damn CD.

AAC...WTF? Why go against the standard. Now you'd have to convert the songs to MP3 to play on most any existing hardware. Needless to say, you probably couldn't do that legally with this system.

200K songs barely scratches the surface.

Mac/IPod based (even if it's coming to PC, this hurts their launch).

Requires proprietary playing software (even if ITunes is great, I'd like to be able to choose).

I smell imminent death.

Don't these guys realize that they're competing with free, endlessly extensible, standards-based versions of every song ever made? As far as raw music content, I think thet cat's out of the bag, especially with decentralized systems like newsgroups, DC++ etc. Only by offering better sound quality, unique content (videos etc) will the record companies ever make money, IMO.

This is like an alternative football league: nice idea, it will never work.
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Old 04-28-03, 03:37 PM
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From what I understand, E-music is decent. I believe they charge $10/mo for unlimited downloads.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:04 PM
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It may make sense for some, but I would have no interest in it. If there is an artist I wish to support, I will buy the CD. Any other songs - just download MP3. I also think they should have upped the quality from 128 to at least 256 kbps.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by bradolson
I also think they should have upped the quality from 128 to at least 256 kbps.
128kbit AAC sounds approximately like 192-256kbit mp3 depending on how discerning your ears are. So they are high quality tracks.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by Hiro11
Don't these guys realize that they're competing with free, endlessly extensible, standards-based versions of every song ever made?
One of the arguments I heard was if there were a viable alternative to file sharing, it will make it a lot easier to prosecute people for copyright infringement.

As for the file format thing, AAC is supposed to be better compression in less space. MP3 isn't some kind of eternal format, player software and burning programs can be upgraded, MP3 files can be reformatted to AAC, and why should a legitimate pay service use the same format that was set by it's competition?
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Old 04-28-03, 05:58 PM
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I just do not see people paying for songs they can get for free.
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Old 04-28-03, 07:07 PM
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$0.99/song is absurd.

CDs cost $14-$15 at retail because of the distribution costs and packaging. This service has a fraction of the distribution overhead, no packaging, is at a lower quality and manages to cost more!

To hell with this.
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Old 04-28-03, 07:21 PM
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.99/song is way too high. Depending on the album, that's more than buying the damn CD
You have the option to purchase the whole Album in many cases at a reduced rate.

AAC...WTF? Why go against the standard. Now you'd have to convert the songs to MP3 to play on most any existing hardware. Needless to say, you probably couldn't do that legally with this system.
You simply Burn a CD or wait for the players out there to support AAC. Personally I'd like to get %30 of my storage back. I'm not that much of a fan of MP3

Mac/IPod based (even if it's coming to PC, this hurts their launch)
No. It's iTunes based. Apple will eventually support PC. Either they will port iTunes to PC or they will support PC's through Musicmatch. iPods just make it that much easier to sync.

Requires proprietary playing software (even if ITunes is great, I'd like to be able to choose).
Well what is it ...is MP3 "Standard" or "Proprietary" You've jumped to conclusions. iTunes is free on Macs and I am pretty sure Apple will offer something similar for PC's upon launch. Choice is nice but all you have to do is download the track and then you can play it back with whatever you have that supports AAC.

I smell imminent death.

Don't these guys realize that they're competing with free, endlessly extensible, standards-based versions of every song ever made? As far as raw music content, I think thet cat's out of the bag, especially with decentralized systems like newsgroups, DC++ etc. Only by offering better sound quality, unique content (videos etc) will the record companies ever make money, IMO.
LOL. You've been WAY off the mark in almost every facet of this software. Developing opinions without the facts is folly. Kazzaa etc are NOT free. Your azz can put in jail over downloading from these sites. Apple will offer fast downloads. Pristine files(no bunk or looped files) and the ability to keep your integrity. If you enjoy music you should reward the Artist because if they don't sell then another album is not coming.

I just do not see people paying for songs they can get for free.
Ummmm how about Jailtime...Felony...Imprisonment. P2P will have it's place but Decentralized Filesharing is not as good as Centralized. I'm hearing reports that you can Downloads full Albums very quickly. Apples Servers are top notch.

contrast that with Kazaa which loads spyware on your machine...and which has uneven download speeds and plenty of looped or garbage files purposely placed online by Poisoners.

As a matter of fact if I was the studios I'd flood P2P with so much garbage it's take a miracle to find something decent. Rembember because it's Decentralized there's no management and users are generally too lazy to remove bad files from their lists.
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Old 04-28-03, 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by Ralph Wiggum
$0.99/song is absurd.

CDs cost $14-$15 at retail because of the distribution costs and packaging. This service has a fraction of the distribution overhead, no packaging, is at a lower quality and manages to cost more!

To hell with this.

Good God Man don't get your panties all in a twist. Say you only want 1 song from an album? Do you give a rats azz whether the CD cost money to package and distribute? Hell no..you just want to get that song.

There's the magic. If you want the whole album...buy it. The studios want that..but if you only want a few songs...hell you're only out of pocket $3. That's gas to the freakin CD store. Hell the tax alone in some States on a CD purchase would buy you a song.
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Old 04-28-03, 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by hmurchison
Good God Man don't get your panties all in a twist.
Cute.

Say you only want 1 song from an album? Do you give a rats azz whether the CD cost money to package and distribute? Hell no..you just want to get that song.
I do actually. I understand the economics of the recording industry and refuse to overpay for services on general principle.

It's extremely rare that I want just one song from an album anyways.

If anybody offered me the selection Napster had in its heyday (everything) at CD quality from fast servers, I'd gladly pay upwards of $15/month for unlimited downloads and ownership of the songs (read: no "checking out" BS or burning restrictions).

This service is half-assed at best.
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Old 04-28-03, 08:31 PM
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Ummmm how about Jailtime...Felony...Imprisonment. P2P will have it's place but Decentralized Filesharing is not as good as Centralized. I'm hearing reports that you can Downloads full Albums very quickly. Apples Servers are top notch.

contrast that with Kazaa which loads spyware on your machine...and which has uneven download speeds and plenty of looped or garbage files purposely placed online by Poisoners.

As a matter of fact if I was the studios I'd flood P2P with so much garbage it's take a miracle to find something decent. Rembember because it's Decentralized there's no management and users are generally too lazy to remove bad files from their lists. [/B][/



QUOTE]


I use Kazaa light which has no spyware. And I do not see the Government putting everyone in jail that shares files. It is kind of like the stealing cable thing. Have you ever heard of anyone going to jail for it?
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Old 04-28-03, 09:21 PM
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Be patient...BUY USED CD's.

This way you can keep Hot Little Music store Chicks employed and in the public eye.
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Old 04-28-03, 09:44 PM
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You've set my Troll meter to hum, but here goes anyway.

Originally posted by hmurchison
You have the option to purchase the whole Album in many cases at a reduced rate.
Still doesn't make sense. See Ralph Wiggum's comment. Reduced overhead should mean reduced prices. Look at Dichord Record fer crissake. 9.99 a disc using existing distribution channels. That's the way it should be. It should cost even less to DL. About $.10/song sound right to me.



You simply Burn a CD or wait for the players out there to support AAC. Personally I'd like to get %30 of my storage back. I'm not that much of a fan of MP3
MP3 does sound like crap, but it's what everyone uses. I can't think of an existing portable MP3 player that can play AAC (watch someone find one). The type of people who would use this system would have to either buy new hardware as it becomes available or wait for firmware updates... sounds like a hurdle to me.



No. It's iTunes based.
No, read the article, it's very specific that it only works on Macs and IPods

Apple will eventually support PC. Either they will port iTunes to PC or they will support PC's through Musicmatch. iPods just make it that much easier to sync.
Key word: eventually. Don't hold your breath.



Well what is it ...is MP3 "Standard" or "Proprietary"
WTF are you talking about. This makes no sense. The system requires ITunes, any requirement is a limitation. That's my point.

You've jumped to conclusions. iTunes is free on Macs and I am pretty sure Apple will offer something similar for PC's upon launch. Choice is nice but all you have to do is download the track and then you can play it back with whatever you have that supports AAC.
Let me summarize: "you're jumping to conclusions" (proceeds to jump to several conclusions). And I go back to the portable player issue.



LOL. You've been WAY off the mark in almost every facet of this software. Developing opinions without the facts is folly
Thank you.

Kazzaa etc are NOT free.
Could have fooled me and roughly 15 million other people.
Your azz can put in jail over downloading from these sites.
Kazaa is not a "site", and I was talking about newsgroups and Direct Connect. It's like an arms race, every time the RIAA comes out with new standards, some guy in his mom's basement develops a way around. As I said, the cat's out of the bag

Pristine files(no bunk or looped files) and the ability to keep your integrity. If you enjoy music you should reward the Artist because if they don't sell then another album is not coming.
This is the sound of someone buying Lars' crock of ****. The money goes to the record companies. Very few musicians get anything in royalties because they only get a portion of what is left after the record companies recoup all costs. The whole system sucks. Let's tear it down.

Last edited by Hiro11; 04-28-03 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:10 PM
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Well I just spent 20 freaking minutes once again hunting down spyware and deleting it.

It's all good because i'm comfortable rooting around in the registry but Ma and Pops aren't going to do that.

Give the service a chance people...that's all I ask. Free is hard to pass up but we're stealing peoples livelyhood. Sure I download but I'm trying to find a way to compensate the artists who bring me such joy fairly without going bankrupt (financially and morally) in the process.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:12 PM
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I know I'm not paying 99 cents a pop for anything I can't place into my hand. If I wanted a burnt CD I could copy a friend's CD. I'm sure not paying 99 cents (from $10-20) for a burnt CD, or just the compressed audio files. I will stick with real CDs, when there is one good enough to buy. Good idea, but thanks, no. Greedy music companies at work again.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:33 PM
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I actually think it sounds really decent:

99 cents/song or $10 for an entire album. Good.
You can use it on up to three different computers at one time. Good.
You can use them on unlimited ipods. Good
You can burn up to 10 identical playlists. Very good.

I think Steve Jobs has a hit with this. I'd rather download a song, and pay for it, then mess around with hunting down a cd at the store. Sorry, but I've got plenty of other things to do with my time. If I can just download music to my IPOD I'll be happy. 99 cents for a lifetime song is nothing.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:12 PM
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Originally posted by Alyoshka
I actually think it sounds really decent:

99 cents/song or $10 for an entire album. Good.
You can use it on up to three different computers at one time. Good.
You can use them on unlimited ipods. Good
You can burn up to 10 identical playlists. Very good.
You can burn the tracks an unlimited number of times, but only 10 times with the same playlist. I think that's fair. If you're burning 100 of the same thing, you're a pirate, matey!

Originally posted by Alyoshka
II think Steve Jobs has a hit with this. I'd rather download a song, and pay for it, then mess around with hunting down a cd at the store. Sorry, but I've got plenty of other things to do with my time. If I can just download music to my IPOD I'll be happy. 99 cents for a lifetime song is nothing.
It's not for everybody (name one single thing that is), but it has a chance. It's the return of the 45rpm single if they play their cards right.

Market it like this: Popular TV show features new song by popular artist in background. Commercial comes on to tell you it's ready to download for 99 cents right now. Tens of thousands of people download track. Label, artist, and Apple make money, people get instant gratification. Everybody's happy.

I was browsing through the available tracks, and it's a decent selection, certainly better than either record club, although a lot of catalog acts are incomplete, I imagine they will fill in the gaps quickly.

Anyhow, just browsing through, I noticed they had the album released by Aldo Nova back in the early 80's. "Fantasy" was a on-and-off staple of the local rock station for years around here, and I always liked it. I could really care less about the rest of the album, but 99 cents for the one song I know I like is a no brainer.
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Old 04-29-03, 02:38 PM
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When the music store launched, traffic was so high no one could purchase anything. This might work. 99 cents for a good quality track that can be reburned isn't bad.

PC version is expected later in the year. Possible MusicMatch interface is what I'm hearing.
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Old 04-29-03, 04:25 PM
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The same price (or more, if it has more than 10 tracks, which most do) for a downloaded, compressed song that you can only do certain things with. When someone realizes that they can't burn it on a greatest hits CD again because they've hit their limit, and have to pay for the same song again, they'll stop using it.
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Old 04-29-03, 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by GreenMonkey
The same price (or more, if it has more than 10 tracks, which most do) for a downloaded, compressed song that you can only do certain things with. When someone realizes that they can't burn it on a greatest hits CD again because they've hit their limit, and have to pay for the same song again, they'll stop using it.
Or they'll change the order of two songs, and be good to go again. Plus, many of the albums are priced cheaper than 99 cents a track.

This service mostly prohibits things you shouldn't be doing anyhow.
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Old 04-29-03, 08:33 PM
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I thought for a little while, and I guess that 99 cents is fair, IF that is a ceiling price, and some other songs are cheaper. However, none of these burning restrictions sound good to me. "shouldn't be doing anyhow"? Sounds like the RIAA outlook to me. A lot of people agree with something else - it's called fair use.

Pull the burning restrictions and it seems like a good idea. And as far as "hunting down a CD" ? It must be a particular kind of music interest to have to hunt them down. It's not like grabbing a CD at the store is all that difficult. My local Meijer store carries them 24-7-364. And I live in a pretty rural area.
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Old 04-29-03, 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by GreenMonkey
I thought for a little while, and I guess that 99 cents is fair, IF that is a ceiling price, and some other songs are cheaper. However, none of these burning restrictions sound good to me. "shouldn't be doing anyhow"? Sounds like the RIAA outlook to me. A lot of people agree with something else - it's called fair use.
Well, I do know that if you've been watching how the RIAA and record companies have been handling online music you would be excited about this. None of the record companies would have allowed these loose restrictions a year ago.

Steve Jobs has really opened up the door. Hopefully in the future a few of these tighter restrictions will be lifted. For the present, however, I still think that it's not such a bad deal.

If you're burning a playlist to cd then you just need a copy or two. Allowing you to burn 10 means that you can give a few copies to friends. I think that comports with what most people consider "fair use."
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Old 04-29-03, 10:24 PM
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regarding mp3: It's an old and pretty outdated format. In terms of non proprietary formats the current best bets are Ogg for lossy and Ape for lossless either way mp3 is obsolete

Last edited by smw; 04-29-03 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 04-29-03, 10:40 PM
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could you imagine how much money the recording industry could have made if they teamed up with napster five years ago?
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