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Apple Introduces iTunes Music Store, iTunes 4, new iPod 1775

Posted by pudge
from the mmmmm-usic dept.
Steve Jobs took to the stage at Moscone Center today for a special Apple Event, and introduced Apple's new music service, "iTunes Music Store," which will allow users to download music in the AAC format for $.99 per song, and is built-in to iTunes 4. The service offers 200,000 tracks and counting, with unlimited CD burning for personal use. iTunes 4 also adds playlist sharing, and the new iPod add new features, including a new design, a dock, and USB 2.0.
The iTunes Music Service files are 128 kbps AAC (reportedly better than 128 kbps MP3), with free previews, cover art, and "reliable downloads." You can browse the music store in iTunes, similarly to browsing your own Library, and preview them directly in iTunes. "One-click shopping" allows you to purchase the song and download it, adding it to your Library, in one click.

The store also offers exclusive music, music videos, and other multimedia, all in the main iTunes window. iTunes 4 will be available now (along with QuickTime 6.2), and the music store will be available today. It is Mac-only now, but will be available for Windows by the end of the year.

As a compromise to help prevent piracy, you must change your playlist every 10 CD burns, and you may share the music with only three other Macs (you may modify the list of computers that the music may be shared with at any time). There was no word on the technology used to handle this DRM.

The iTunes playlist sharing allows sharing of playlists, and the streaming of music from one machine to the other, though copying is not supported ("that would be verboten," Jobs added).

The new iPods will be $299 (10GB), $399 (15GB), and $499 (30GB). The dock holds the iPod upright, and has a line-out. The FireWire port is now on the bottom of the unit, and the buttons have been moved up higher, just below the screen, in a row. The improved screen features a backlight. The new units will be in Apple stores on Friday.

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Apple Introduces iTunes Music Store, iTunes 4, new iPod

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  • by adamwright (536224) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826623) Homepage
    "The iTunes Music Store is only available in the U.S" (http://www.apple.com/music/store/)

    Oh well. Back to P2P for me then.

    (Note - The above is a joke. Well, both bit's are a joke really. When will US media companies learn that breaking the world into regions is a terrible idea?).
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by teeters (598722) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:24PM (#5826639)
    According to the Apple web site, the cheapest iPod they are selling is the 10GB for $299.
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:24PM (#5826643)
    Its about time someone started selling music the way people want it... one song at a time.

    IIRC eMusic was doing this several years ago.
  • by funwithstuff (555638) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:25PM (#5826653) Homepage
    They MAY actually allow you to buy "an album" at a time for some discount at some future date...

    They do right now. $9.99/album.

  • by goon america (536413) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:26PM (#5826674) Homepage Journal
    They didn't mention it, but it looks like you get a discount if you buy a whole album at once. Still downloading, but all the screen shots show a standard price of $9.99 for whole albums.

    Obviously, it wouldn't make sense to charge for "filler" tracks that you probably wouldn't download if you wanted to buy the whole album track-by-track. Also, what about those techno albums that only have four 20 minute songs?

  • "The iTunes Music Service files are 128 kbps AAC (reportedly better than 128 kbps MP3)..."

    You would think that with so many audio engineers using Apple exclusively, Apple would have offered higher-quality music downloads. I don't care if it's better than a 128K MP3... 128K MP3s sound incredibly bad on any decently nice speakers. (For reference, try playing some classical music at 128K, and then play the CD, on any decent speakers. You'd be amazed at the poor quality of the MP3.)

    If I'm going to be paying for music, I'd like it to at least sound as good as a CD! I will say that even on my nice floorstanding speakers, I can't hear much difference between a 256K+ MP3 and a CD. So why not rip the audio at a higher bitrate?

    I've been begging for a low-cost download option for songs for a while now, but I'd like to feel like I got a better-quality track for the same price. My reference point is a CD (and soon, it will hopefully be DVD-Audio [dvdaudiopreview.com] or a similar 5.1/6.1 format.) Those with the cheap $10 speakers aren't going to notice the difference anyway, but those of us with $1000+ sets hooked up to our home audio jukebox computers sure are.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:26PM (#5826677)
    www.richardsrealm.com
  • by usotsuki (530037) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:27PM (#5826690) Homepage
    Not hard. Burn the file to a CDRW and then rip it off the CDRW you just burned. Easy as pie.

    -uso.
  • by Mean_Nishka (543399) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826710) Homepage Journal
    Looks like the record companies finally woke up!!

    This is exactly what people have been waiting for. Too bad the industry couldn't have come up with this rather simple (and unrestrictive) process back in 1998 when mp3's started gaining popularity.

    I fear that this new venture is doomed to failure now that people are so accustomed to getting their stuff for free. Too bad the industry didn't come up with this sooner.

  • by joeykiller (119489) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:29PM (#5826732) Journal
    ... is how long will it be before someone wants to unlock their legally purchased AAC music and writes "unfuckAAC"?

    Well, this isn't exactly the unfuckAAC program you're talking about, but it's close: On Windows I use a program called TotalRecorder. This program records the sound that other programs plays. I use it to record DRM protected WMA files I buy from online music stores.

    TotalRecorder quite good, and _very_ reasonably priced (around $11). You've got to do a little manual work, though. If you want to encode the music in MP3 you've got to download BladeEnc or LameEnc separately. And for each song you play, you manually have to save the file and add ID3 tags yourself.

    I don't buy too much DRM protected music, though, so I can live with the somewhat manual process.
  • Re:Older iPods? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 90XDoubleSide (522791) <ninetyxdoubleside@@@hailmail...net> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:31PM (#5826762)
    You can get the firmware update to add AAC and iTunes 4 support right now at: http://www.apple.com/ipod/download/
  • Re:Why USB??? (Score:2, Informative)

    by questionlp (58365) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:32PM (#5826788) Homepage
    USB 2.0 support is geared towards PC users that do not have FireWire available and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1, which is found in almost all newer PCs.

    The number of computers with FireWire (be it on-board, add-on card, DV card, sound card, etc.) available on the market is increasing, but not as fast as USB 2.0 since almost all new chipsets include USB 2.0 support natively.
  • by GORDOOM (149962) <{moc.cam} {ta} {moodrog}> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826843)
    True - except for the fact that Apple has committed to releasing a Windows client for this by the end of the year. If they succeed in this, then this service will be accessible to Windows users as well - the market becomes gargantuan.
  • by adzoox (615327) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826850) Journal
    I often speak out about the iPod. (There are a lot of MP3 articles here on SlashDot concerning MP3's) Some that border on bizarre. [slashdot.org]

    This article [macworld.com] at MacCentral brought me to a conclusion:

    The iPod may turn out to be the most useful piece of computer hardware ANY computer or electronic hardware company has ever developed.

    That is a very general, seeming overly biased, statement coming from an Apple Computer Consultant; I'm sure.

    Apple created a wonder in ease of use and portability with the iPod. Until the iPod was intrduced not only were Creative and Archos Jukebox series bulky, but 10, 15, and 20 gigs was impossibly slow to load to download to the units. They were also about as easy as a car stereo Mp3 player to navigate. Apple came out with a unit that essentially put a miniature iTunes (one of the easiest, most elegant MP3 players on any platform) on the iPod, made it a hard drive to boot, but added a firewire interface. This allowed the full 5, 10, and 20 gig transfer in minutes rather than the 3.3 hours it would take for the 20 gigs through USB.

    The iPod is becoming a status symbol. Shaq uses one and CONSTANTLY talks about his in interviews. He made everyone on the team purchase one before they went to the playoffs last year.

    The iPod is also versatile beyond it's intended uses:

    iPod as a remote control [griffintechnology.com] The beauty linked here was ORIGINALLY planned for the iPod and is being redeveloped now

    iPod as a mouse [slashdot.org]

    iPod with FM radio [slashdot.org] and here [griffintechnology.com]

    iPod as a gameboy [macitynet.it] and game controller [slashdot.org]

    Some of the coolest accesories have popped up for the iPod too. Some are linked here. Check out the transpod and of course the cool iTrip and iFM availible from Griffin.

    Here are two great resources for iPod info:

    http://www.ipodlounge.com

    http://www.ipodhacks.com

    I have already seen future incarnations and "in development" iPods. Apple is planning for it to change the future direction of the company!

    To answer a question common in the forums, there WILL be an update to allow 10 and 20 gig rev 2 iPods to work, it will be released sometime next month.

  • by no_opinion (148098) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:40PM (#5826924)
    BTW, you can get 90% of what Apple is selling off of sites like Liquid Audio [liquid.com] and their affiliates such as Tower Records, BestBuy, CircuitCity, and others. They offer tracks for $.99, unlimited burning and unlimited device transfer (for most songs). They've already got most of the stuff Apple is selling, and it works on the Wintel platform (doesn't address a large portion of the Slashdot readership, I know). You can even get AAC files (the Liquid format) if you want.

    The big difference is that Liquid doesn't have the $$ to promote like Apple.
  • by zephc (225327) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:51PM (#5827084)
    well, that's why apple allows you to preview songs (dont know what how much of songs tho, maybe like 30 seconds) with their new service, so u can make sure you arent buying stuff you don't like.
  • by SonicRED (15265) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:53PM (#5827122)
    You should learn about the format before jumping to conclusions.

    AAC at 128 easily surpasses MP3 at 256kbit. The kbit is not a representation of quality when you are comparing between two different methods. It's a representation of size.

    So basically with AAC people will be downloading files no larger than the ones they are accustomed to but the quality will be worlds better.
  • by Mister Black (265849) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:54PM (#5827130)
    On another topic, does anyone else think the new iPod is shite? Stupid buttons, no standalone FW port anymore so you need to have that dumbass dock everywhere you go? You can't use it as a drive or charge it from any FW-having computer? That totally changes the iPod usage model and makes it *way* stupider. Why oh why would they do this? It makes no sense!

    Apple provides a firewire cable with the 'dock connector' on one end and 6pin firewire on the other so you do not have to use the dock, but you will need the cable.
  • Best part (Score:2, Informative)

    by afidel (530433) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:58PM (#5827185)
    The best part is that the 1.3 firmware that includes games, text reader, on the fly playlist creation and some other features will be or is already available for all older iPod users. I love the fact that I bought my digital music player almost a year ago yet it is just getting better and better. Support like this will keep me coming back to Apple, now if only their workstations weren't 5X what I can build my own for =(
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:00PM (#5827216)
    read the apple site more carefully. they are selling whole CD's for just 60 cents a song. that's a hefty discount. and remember your not pating tax, etc on that.
  • by s.o.terica (155591) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:09PM (#5827370)
    Battery life has gone from 10 hours to 8 hours, but battery capacity has gone from 1200 mAh to 630 mAh, so efficiency has actually gone way up.
  • Re:Food For Thoughts (Score:3, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:14PM (#5827442) Journal
    ever heard of someone going to court for pirating porn? Didn't think so.

    I don't know that it's ever been litigated, but Playboy's legal department has bounced on a few sites that were using their images without permission..

    -jcr

  • by s.o.terica (155591) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:18PM (#5827505)
    If you're worried about AAC sound quality, listen to some professionally-encoded samples here:

    http://www.epicrecords.com/mpeg4/?qt [epicrecords.com]
  • by calstraycat (320736) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:25PM (#5827618)
    The new iPods no longer have a standard Firewire port. Instead there is a non-standard connector on the bottom. Check it out:

    http://www.apple.com/r/store/gallery/ipod3/6.htm l

    Apple says that only the 15 and 30 GB models come with a dock. So, I guess the 10 GB model must come with a special cable.
  • by sebi (152185) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:28PM (#5827676)
    For what it's worth: I found a couple of albums in the iTunes music store that cost less than individual songs x 0.99. 'Veni Vidi Viscious' by The Hives has 12 tracks and is sold for $9.99; 'Stankonia' by Outkast is 9.99 for 21 tracks; 'Sea Change' by Beck: 9.99. It seems that Apple does not only offer single songs for those that only want that but they offer the whole album cheaper than in a store. For people who aren't buying anyway no deal will ever be good enough but for the rest of us it is great.
  • by reiggin (646111) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:36PM (#5827807)
    The new iPods still come with a firewire cable that has, on one end, an iPod connector, and on the other end, a firewire connection. So, yes, you can still use it as a FireWire portable harddrive. The dock is for your home use so you dont have to worry about reaching around to always plug in a cable. Keep the dock at home and take the connector cable with you on the road.
  • by phandel (178702) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:40PM (#5827878) Journal
    More info here [apple.com].
  • Re:Mod parent down (Score:2, Informative)

    by DebianDog (472284) <dan@d[ ]lagle.com ['ans' in gap]> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:41PM (#5827889) Homepage
    You can record ANYTHING on OSX.
    Thank God or actually Rogue Amoeba Audio Hijack [rogueamoeba.com]
  • Re:Best part (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lewisham (239493) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:41PM (#5827892)
    I can confirm that I the update does not have the advanced features of the new iPods. No new games, no on the fly playlisting. Just a new "backlight" button on the main menu, which, unsurprisingly, activates the backlight.

    HTH
    Chris
  • by zsmooth (12005) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:42PM (#5827897)
    I think you've got it wrong. You can have the actual AAC file on 3 different Macs. The streaming will stream to anyone near your computer via rendezvous.
  • by zsmooth (12005) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:45PM (#5827938)

    I can sell 10,000 Britney songs at a $.50 profit each or I can sell 10 of your songs $1 a shot. Not really a hard choice...

    Ironically, a search for Britney Spears in the iTunes Music Store brings up nothing...

  • re: iTunes 4 (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:04PM (#5828182)
    Let's get a few things straight.

    1. The songs are 99 cents each, but an entire album is $9.99 USD.

    2. You can burn MP3 Discs.

    3. You do get artwork.

    4. Steve Jobs himself said during the product announcement that they were bringing it to Windows by year's end.

    Deal with it folks. Apple got something right.
  • Re:eMusic (Score:3, Informative)

    by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:10PM (#5828241) Homepage Journal
    And they have 50 free downloads. And they have TONS of great stuff. Personally, I don't want this kind of service for mainstream BS on the radio anyway -- emusic is like a very laid back indie radio station that always takes your requests.

    Problem is, it's all 128, so you have to buy the CD anyway. Seems Apple's attempt is to eliminate the quality hole and AAC sounds pretty good to me (way better than OGG at same bitrate, so don't be all smug and bring up that wavelet BS).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:15PM (#5828301)
    In 2001-2002, this artist was the fifth highest money maker even though he only sold his stuff through the internet. Who was it?

    Prince.

    As he has said himself, that's what happens when you cut out all the middlemen.w
  • Re:Food For Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by selkirk (175431) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:28PM (#5828435) Homepage
    The porn industry is one of the most lucrative on the surface of the planet ... Yet there are no organisations to protect the rights of the producers. No MPAA, no RIAA, ever heard of someone going to court for pirating porn? Didn't think so.
    WRONG. The Association for the Protection of Internet Copyright [apic-adult.com] is the online porn industry version of the MPAA and RIAA regarding copyright violations.

    Never heard of someone going to court for pirating porn?
    Penthouse busts newsgroup user over copyright theft [apic-adult.com]

    A porn producer goes after violators...
    Suze Randall hunting cyberthieves [suze.net]

    And gets results...
    $338,171 in damages awarded [apic-adult.com]

  • by Phrogz (43803) <!@phrogz.net> on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:38PM (#5828540) Homepage
    [...] $10 a month gets you unlimited access to their music database [...]
    iTunes Music Service does not have a signup or monthly fee. $.99/song, or $10/album (can vary per album). Period.
    [...] Unfortuantely, it does not let you save it to your computer so I have no idea what it really is. [...]
    Apple is using the MPEG-4 standard AAC. It gets saved to your computer.
    [...] You can only play it when you're logged on [...]
    You get the song. You play it whenever you like.
    [...] Most songs can be burned for $.99 a track. [...]
    Apple's service allows you to burn a song unlimited amount of times, sync it with an unlimited number of iPods, and copy/play it on up to 3 computers. (Plus you can use Rendevouz or IP-based sharing to let other people listen to it from your computer.)
    [...] Linux/Mac users need not apply. This is a Windows only app that runs [...]
    Steve Jobs promised a Windows version by year-end.
    [...] It sounds as though that Apple's using a similar business model here, only it goes to your iPod. [...]
    Apple's service is nothing like what you describe. Sorry.
  • by kzinti (9651) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:41PM (#5828577) Homepage Journal
    RoadRunner/Time Warner has been doing this for a while with the RoadRunner Rhapsody service. I have not used it, so I have no idea how good it is.

    There is a review at [kuro5hin.org].
  • by jdb8167 (204116) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:48PM (#5829303)
    You CAN burn to an audio CD. I just did it (and only as an experiment, no flames) a coworker of mine is ripping it now on his windows PC.

    That is equivalent to no DRM as far as I'm concerned.
  • by jdb8167 (204116) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:54PM (#5829346)
    I just made an audio CD from an EP I bought for $4.95. A coworker was able to rip the first track on a windows PC without restriction.

    No DRM on the music is evident.

    There are some minor limitations in Apple's software for the Mac but they are completely unobtrusive for real world fair use.

    I'm very happy with Apple. They've done it right.
  • by geoff2 (579628) on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:34PM (#5829661)
    In this case, the regional restriction probably has something to do with the fact that the record companies themselves market geographically, and the contracts they have with recording artists, etc. may themselves contain geographical limitations on use. So the easiest thing to do at the start is launch with your largest contiguous market then get the rest online when you've got the legal arrangements worked out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:38PM (#5829693)
    Just fyi, iTunes help says "Purchased songs are encoded using a protected AAC format that prevents them from being converted."

    So, iTunes won't do the AAC to MP3 conversion.

  • by ExInferus (159868) on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:48PM (#5829782)
    Say what you will about the whole file format debate and such, but the service works very nicely. To try it out I fired up my newly downloaded iTunes 4, set up my account, found something that interests me (Massive Attack's Blue Lines, cd I had meant to get but never got around to it) and bought it for $8.91 for the whole album.

    The tracks where then downloaded to my library, after which I burned a copy of the disc, and had it transfered to my iPod. Sound quality is good so far, though I haven't gotten to listen to it on my good speakers at home yet. The album cover art and such is downloaded with the album and displayed with the tracks in iTunes. Not the same as the physical thing, but it's something.

    The selection could definitely use some work (hopefully it will expand to include more indie lables and such over time), but as for the service in general it works very well. The protection is minimal when you think about it - unlimited cd burns means you can re-mp3 it easily if you desire. There's no way the big labels would've let them do something like this in a totally opened way, so this is not too bad.

    My usual procedure when buying a cd is to bring it home, throw it in my cd-rom and wait for it to rip, then do the iPod transfer, and if it's a cd deemed worthy I put the disc in my car changer. This cuts out the whole ripping step (replaced with downloading though), and saves the trouble of having to go to a store, or wait for an online place to ship to me. I can't see myself using it too much right now honestly, but if the selection improves it will be a good way to grab songs.

    ExInferus
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:12PM (#5829961)
    What would make you think that 4:29 x 128kbps would be different whether it was AAC or MP3? The claim about smaller file sizes come from the fact that a 128kbps AAC sounds as good as a 192-256kbps MP3. Thus smaller size for the same quality.
  • by ElGanzoLoco (642888) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:45PM (#5830202) Homepage
    No, but it comes with a dock->firewire port. Which means that it's exactly as before, you can still use it as a hard drive with any computer that is firewire-equipped, and charge it on AC through this cable. You just have to carry the cable around with you (which you always did before, because nobody seems to have extra firewire cables at home...)

    Though, I'm not sure I like this "dock" idea. I hope there's no LED on that dock. At night, my bedroom is lit by LED's, you could almost read a book there :-)

  • Re:Bulk discounts? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:58PM (#5830289) Homepage
    So how about offering discounts if you buy the whole album? That or they start discounting slow moving songs. I can see a number of ways that this business might go.

    If I'm going to pay $15 for 15 tracks, I want glossy cover art and a pressed (aka UV resistant) CD.


    Most albums are available from Apple's download service for $9.99. They include cover art.
  • by reiggin (646111) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:25PM (#5830461)
    And the quality is only 128. I can get better than tha on Kazaa.

    That's a little uninformed. This is AAC. 128kbps in AAC is equal to 256kbps in MP3 encoding.

    And this does not cost the same or more as an album. It is $9.99 per album regardless of how many tracks it has. You find me one record store where you can buy any new, decent album for $9.99 (save the bargain bin). How the crap is even $.99/song too expensive when you have to pay nearly $4.00 just for a CD single in a store? The logic in this argument just ain't there.

  • by FrayLo (146128) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:35PM (#5830510)
    I keep reading in these threads that $0.99 a song is great because CDs are $15-$20. Where are you people buying CDs?

    Circuit City and Best Buy, among other stores, carry new releases and even a lot of catalog titles at $13.99 or less...am I the only one aware of this?
  • Re:Crap Font (Score:2, Informative)

    by berniecase (20853) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37PM (#5830525) Homepage Journal
    Go into system preferences -> general and select 8 as your minimum sized smoothed font. Then restart iTunes.
  • by phyxeld (558628) <phyx@lostTOKYOinthenoise.net minus city> on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:11PM (#5830676) Journal
    It seems you might enjoy a service that offers songs for $0.25 in a lossless format, with no form of DRM, with a selection of every song ever made and nothing less.

    The songs I see are $0.99, not $0.25, and AAC is not a lossless format (it just sounds better than mp3 at the same bitrate). The selection really isn't that good imo, most of the things I've searched for so far were not available (I mean, one album from radiohead? And zero search results for Squarepusher or Aphex Twin?)

    As for the DRM:
    I haven't bought any tracks yet (see: selection, above), but I have downloaded one of the short sample tracks (I sniffed the url while shopping in iTunes). I downloaded this 30 second clip of NIN [apple.com] from several different hosts, and they all got the same file. Finder shows the file as being an "AAC Audio File (Protected)," but I transferred the file between several computers and played it without problem. I'd like to see some more info about what "Protected" means in this instance.

    I was a little worried about the phone-home potential. The data I sniffed so far is largly text/xml with gzip encoding, but I don't think it sent back nearly enough data to have told them about everything in my library. It very well could have, however, sent back unique identifying information about my machine. If I give them my creditcard number, will they be able to tie my RealName(tm) to my Airport's MAC address? Or can they already, from my machine's serial number, and the software update queries I've run since I installed it? Ah the sacrifices we make for use of candy coated commercial unix goodness....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:22PM (#5830752)
    The point being that the DISHONEST way gives you a better QUALITY file. 128 kbps, my ass.
  • Re:Best part (Score:2, Informative)

    by nekura (600099) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:23PM (#5830756)
    Actually, if you take a peak around the iPodlounge forums, the new firmware only adds AAC support. Many users were rather upset with this, as they had been clamoring for on-the-fly playlist support for sometime.
  • by shawnce (146129) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:27PM (#5830782) Homepage
    I love this... already pulled down 4 albums I have been meaning to buy for a while now, it only took me about 3 mins to sign on, find the albums, and buy them.

    Downloading them as fast as my DSL line can go, I may spend myself into the red ;-)
  • by Fofer (53153) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:15AM (#5832324)
    Okay, now this is my coolest discovery in iTunes 4 yet: the library sharing works seamlessly *outside of your local subnet!* Yes, you read that right: you can easily share your entire music library with your friend in another location! Rendezvous is cool, but music sharing is even cooler when the person you're sharing with is in across the country. (Broadband is probably a prerequisite here, as network congestion could be a buzz-killer.)

    In order to activate this, turn on sharing in the iTunes preferences. Also be sure to open port 3689 in your router or firewall (this is iTunes' port for sharing). Then, tell your buddy across town to open iTunes 4 and choose "Connect to shared music" from the Advanced menu. Then he types in your public IP address.

    Voila! S/he will have full interactive access to your music library, as well as any playlists you decided to share. (The collection shows up in the left column, the same way local machines would show up via Rendezvous.) Let me reiterate, this is *not* merely a stream of what you are playing... this is your full library, with full listening priveleges. They can pick any song, pause, play, etc.

    I imagine that some folks with the largest MP3 collection and a nice fat broadband pipe will share their libraries with friends this way!

    (For those not already trying this, the iTunes sharing preferences allows you to select any or all your playlists, as well as dictate a password.)

    Note also that this only works with current MP3's, as any purchased (AAC) files are authorized to work on up to 3 machines with your account only.

    Now, once you enable sharing in your iTunes 4 preferences, create a playlist, and control-click it. Select "Copy Sharing URL."

    Paste this into an email, and change the part after "daap://" to your actual external IP address.

    Now you can send this *particular* playlist with a friend. Instruct them to paste this into "Connect to Shared Music" and they'll have immediate and full interactivity with the songs in that playlist. This works with individual songs too. Basically it's like emailing a "bookmark" to a particular playlist or song or your Mac, so you don't have to direct them where the song that you want them to check out, is.

    This is a very big paradigm shift. I can't believe how easy it is. Too good to be true?
  • by big_oaf (560706) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @02:48PM (#5836534)

    The Mac Observer [macobserver.com] has a list [macobserver.com] of Apple Knowledge Base [apple.com] articles which are essentially a fragmented FAQ for iTunes 4 [apple.com] and the new music download service [apple.com]. Have at it!

    How to Keep Music Store From Appearing [apple.com] Don't want the Music Store to show up in your iTunes sidebar? Apple explains how to disable it.

    How to View Purchase History [apple.com] If you're trying to remember what you purchased, here are instructions on how to browse your purchase history.

    Issues Purchasing Songs From Music Store [apple.com] Apple offers troubleshooting tips if you are unable to complete a purchase at the Music Store.

    About Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) [apple.com] What's this AAC stuff? Apple gives a definition.

    AAC and MP3 Codecs Compared [apple.com] Apple explains the difference between MP3 and AAC.

    About Authorization and Deauthorization [apple.com] Authorization, deauthorization, and what it all means in regards to Apple's new music service.

    About Interrupted Downloads [apple.com] Dialup users take note: Worry not about your modem dropping out. Your song will be waiting for you when you return.

    Burning Playlists with Purchased Songs [apple.com] Yes, you can burn your playlists to a CD. But the same playlist will only burn ten times.

    How to Use The Shopping Cart [apple.com] Trying to keep your credit card statement short, or want to lump all of your downloads together? Check out the shopping cart.

    How to View Album Artwork [apple.com] Miss taking a gander at the case of the CD you're currently listening to? You can now do so virtually.

    About Apple ID and Password [apple.com] Apple explains what your Apple ID is and how it pertains to the Music Store.

    Buying Music Requires U.S. Billing Address [apple.com] Unfortunately, you're out of luck for now if you live outside the United States.

    Playing Purchased Songs on Your iPod [apple.com] Your 99-cent tunes are as mobile as you are, thanks to the iPod!

    How to Purchase Songs With 1-Click [apple.com] Jeff Bezos may have patented it, but that doesn't mean you can't use it to get your music!

    Some AAC Files Won't Play [apple.com] In some cases, iTunes 4 or an iPod won't play an AAC file. Here's why.

    Music Store Connection Speed [apple.com] For best results, use the fastest internet connection you have.

    How to Contact Music Store Billing Support [apple.com] Didn't buy it, but got charged for it? iTunes will help you work it out.

    iTunes Music Store: All Sales Final [apple.com] Once you've bought it, it yours. No refunds.

    System Requirements [apple.com] Sorry, that old Quadra isn't going to cut it. Here's what will.

    About Music Store Parental Advisories [apple.com] Some %&*#!&@ music may not be $%*&@%# appropriate for children. Apple can help you decide.

    About Third-Party MP3 Players and AA [apple.com]

  • by rasterizerjay (572609) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @07:32PM (#5848899)
    do I still have to pay 9.99 for the album, or do I pay $9?
    you pay the full album price, even if you've bought individual tracks already. found it out the hard way (only lost .99, but pissed me off anyway)
  • by patman600 (669121) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @10:08PM (#5849874)
    don't worry, apple is working on adding independent artists
    you can check the article here [time.com], towards the bottom, third from last question

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