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Music Businesses Media Media (Apple) Apple

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 CokeBear (16811) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:11PM (#5826452) Journal
    Its about time someone started selling music the way people want it... one song at a time. Even better that its from a cool company like Apple.
  • by Sebby (238625) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:12PM (#5826471)
    [Obligatory warning: I'll be talking about the price as compared to a complete album, not individual songs]

    At $0.99 (US) a song, this is still expensive, considering you still don't get original quality of the song (yeah yeah, sounds the exact same, blah blah; but there are times it's better to have the hi-quality original then a compressed format when doing editings, etc...), or a physical media, or the physical cover/lyrics, all in a jewel case...

    Considering I'd have to add another $0.25 (I'm guessing here, I'm in Canada) for a CD-R, I still would be missing 2 things above at the same cost, especially considering some CDs have 'extras', which I do like. The 'convenience' factor doesn't make up for that either; I can still just drop by the retail shop next door when doing my grocery shopping (or the used store across the street).

    If it was 2/3 that price, then I'd definitely say it's worth it. But for now, I think they missed their own mark.

    I'll pass for now.

  • by redherring22 (579425) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:12PM (#5826473) Homepage
    I'm seriously thinking of going home early from work just to play with these new toys... wow, Apple, you've done it again.

    one of the first things that popped into my head however was that this could also be a huge benefit to small & up-and-coming artists... i wonder if apple has something in the works to allow 'local-scale' bands to get added to the apple store, even if they're limited to their own romper room for local musicians. kinda like mp3.com done even better. (apple, if you need some help, i'd be glad to offer my services :-D )
  • Fair use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#5826480)
    Seems like apple has taken the concept of fair use to heart. E.g. I can stream music to a few freinds but not to my whol building or neighoorhhod. freindly Narrow casting okay, broadcasting is not fair use.

    this is such a painfully obvious compromise, why has the music industry been such a grinch about it?

  • by GORDOOM (149962) <gordoom AT mac DOT com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#5826497)
    Here's my big question:

    Will artists be able to place their music on the iTunes Music Store on their own, independently of a recording company?

    If so, then this could be absolutely huge for independent artists. :)

  • by silentbozo (542534) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:15PM (#5826517) Journal
    You think the record companies would have let Apple license their libraries without using some sort of protected format? Even so, Apple lets you burn UNLIMITED copies of the tracks you've bought (up to 10 times with the exact same playlist, tweak it a bit, and burn another 10 times.) Plus, Apple is pitching AAC as an advantage for the consumer - whether it is or isn't, you can't deny that the Apple service is the least restrictive of any available music service out there today.
  • by roc_machine (314714) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:15PM (#5826520) Journal
    Quote from the website:

    "The iTunes Music Store is only available in the U.S."

    Interesting how they say "in the U.S.", and not "to U.S. customers". Does this mean it does some sort of IP check and won't allow you to enter based on that?

    Either way, Canadians are shut out yet again. Shit... first Tivo, now this.
  • by RevRagnarok (583910) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:16PM (#5826526) Homepage Journal
    I think the problem with 'one song at a time' is that is not how the revenue model (which IMHO needs to be changed anyway) is set up for the current music industry. The general idea is to get you hooked on the one to three songs they release on the radio (which you are listening to for free, ahem, I mean for your time listening to commercials) so you will go out and buy the full album, where you make the (sometimes incorrect) assumption that you would like most of the other tracks.
    • - RR
    PS. I like parenthesis! ;)
  • by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:19PM (#5826559) Homepage Journal
    Gotta keep in mind this is an initial rollout and announcement. They MAY actually allow you to buy "an album" at a time for some discount at some future date...
  • DRM and Apple.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:19PM (#5826560) Homepage Journal
    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.

    So, where was Microsoft in all this? Or are they still waiting for Apple to succesfully implement DRM so they can copy it, too?

    Seems strange to me that Apple can actually come up with a workable DRM while Microsoft is still sitting on their hands.

    I think the time is coming when DRM will be a reality for every computer user, whether we like it or not. However, it's good to see that at least one company is using DRM in such a manner that protects the artists without diminishing our fair use rights. I don't mind DRM as much as I mind giving up my freedoms. Hopefully, Apple will continue to strike the correct balance between protecting the artists and making content available.

  • by bmetzler (12546) * <bmetzler@ l i v e .com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:20PM (#5826571) Homepage Journal
    $0.99 USD Is too pricy. It is more than the cost of the average cd and the AAC encoding is a lossy format. Perhaps if they offer better deals on albums or bulk songs this is a good deal. As it stands, music is too expensive already.

    I thought an average CD was $16. That's 16 tracks. Not out of the ballpark. Plus, I thought the biggest complaint was having to buy a whole CD for just one to two good tracks. That's only $2. What's the problem with that?

    -Brent
  • Not good enough (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sjbe (173966) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:20PM (#5826578)
    Sorry Apple. I'm not willing to put up with this sort of restrictions on use. I am not willing to comprimise on this. I will pay for music that is a master quality copy (read CD-Audio or better) without additional technology restrictions on use. Anything less is of little value to me, especially not some random DRM encumbered format that no one uses. I don't care if it is "better" sounding than MP3, it still isn't good.

    $0.99 a track is a bit steep IMO even for a master track but for a DRM encumbered, non-standard compressed format it simply is not good value for my money. DRM with a crappy format moves the decimal point on what I'm willing to pay at least one digit to the left.
  • Re:Fair use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826581) Journal
    >> why has the music industry been such a grinch about it?

    Because, as the saying goes, if you give an inch they'll take a mile.

    Every big server on kazaa will just claim they have 100,000 friends a month.

    Common sense is sorely lacking on both sides of the fence.
  • Pricing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cinematique (167333) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826584)
    Am I the only one who feels 99 per song is a rip-off? Yes, it is wonderful that you get full rights to the song, but it's AAC... 128k AAC I may add.

    Their marketing people now have two problems. 128k AAC is still better than 128k MP3, but how many people are going to believe that when most people assume that a 2ghz Pentium is faster than an AMD processor running at a lower clock speed? Second, who is going to pay 99 for something they can get for free on Gnutella?

    Sure, some people will pay for the convenience of downloading very simply from the iTunes Music Store.

    I will not be one of those people.

    I *still* won't buy unless I know how much money is going to the artists, and how much everyone else gets. I've been boycotting the music industry for almost three years now, and this doesn't look compelling to me. Anyone else agree?

    Oh, and before I hear a bunch of people calling me a cheapskate, I have a good collection of DVDs and an Apple Computer. I'd assume most cheapskates have a thriving collection of VCDs and a Windows PC... not to stereotype or anything... :)
  • by selderrr (523988) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826593) Journal
    Artists like Brittney, who have 1 hit and then poop out 12 extra tracks to fill a 11$ CD, will now only get 1$ income.
    If made-up artists want to sell as much as they do now, the overall quality will have to increase
    Applemusic guarantees quality poop all the way :-)
  • cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RestiffBard (110729) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826597) Homepage
    Any word on pricing per album? .99 a song is cool if I only want a few songs but it becomes moot if an album is 15 songs. Also, I'd really like it if they would rapidly introduce the stuff you don't hear on radio. I'm tired of all the music I want being a special order.
  • by strook (634807) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826620)
    Unlimited CD burning for personal use? In other words, it's pretty simple to turn an AAC into an mp3. At worst, you'll be able to burn to CD and then convert back from cda to mp3. Or ogg, or whatever your personal preference for non-DRM-restricted music is. Hopefully somebody can make a direct converter without the intermediate CD burning step.

    This could be a huge boon for Gnutella. Just think, a check box that says "Go ahead, take this directory full of AAC files, transform them to mp3s, and share them." There would finally be a standardized high-quality mp3 version of any given song. No more downloading 5 different copies of a song and deleting the ones with hisses and clicks, or Madonna complaining about how evil I am.

    I don't understand how DRM can coexist with the ability to burn music to a CD. To me, this is the reason that DRM will never be able to create a music-downloading service that everybody likes and that the big music companies make a lot of money off of. The only way for them to have a service that everybody uses is if it's so cheap it's not worth the extra hassle to do P2P.
  • by somethingwicked (260651) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826626)
    With a broadband connection and a decent speed burner...MOST people could have the song downloaded and burned to a CD BEFORE you get your keys in the ignition.

    SO you say? Well, you could be listening to the song ON THE WAY to the grocery store.

    Add to the fact that its likely that you would have to stand in line at the music store AND, oh yeah, you would still be paying $10 or up for that physical CD.

    Oh, and you go to the grocery store EVERY day, too, right???

    Really, this isn't more convenient???

    (BTW, I am saying all this given the facts that I don't have ANY of the things mentioned-high speed ISP, burner, or an Apple. But IF I did, I would find this DAMN convenient)
  • Re:No deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stewby18 (594952) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:24PM (#5826629)

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't see anything that would keep people from:

    1. Burning an audio CD with bought songs
    2. Ripping it back off the CD to a (somewhat lower quality) mp3 file
    3. Doing anything they want with that mp3 file

    So how is this any worse than having the CD?

  • by I Am The Owl (531076) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:25PM (#5826646) Homepage Journal
    Earth to HanzoSan: They don't care, we don't care.

    They know that they can't get tightwad cheapskates like you to pay for music, you're not their target audience. The people they are targetting are those who have real, actual money to spend and happen to like the convenience of being able to buy just one song, instead of a whole album of questionable merit. What this means for you, in practical terms, is that you will no longer have to shell out for the whole "Gay Dance Beats Mix XVII" album, but rather just download "YMCA" and "In the Navy". If you weren't a tightwad, that is.

  • 7 Degrees... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FortKnox (169099) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:25PM (#5826652) Homepage Journal
    Isn't that the whole thing with P2P? Each of us has unique friends that have unique friends that have unique friends...
    If I stream a song to my friend, and he streams it to his friend, and so on we are just passing the song out to the whole net for the price of $1.
    Someone will design a P2P software that only allows you to share your music to your select 'friends' and it will cause a network of P2P nodes that will become the Napster of the future. On the surface, it will look like a much more local version, but the big picture will show us that its just as big as the original.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:25PM (#5826658)
    Burn one CD, then simply copy it with Disk Copy. This system is the least-encumbered one imaginable.
  • Re:Total ripoff (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shenkerian (577120) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:26PM (#5826667)
    You can go ahead and say "Oh, but all my 128kbps MP3s sound just as good as the CDs", but chances are, you're wrong. Anybody with anything better than cheapo computer speakers or $5 headphones they got for free in a box of Cracker Jacks is able to hear an enormous difference.

    And you can go ahead and RTFA. They're using 128kbps AAC encoding, which is by many accounts at least as good as 196kbps mp3, and by some accounts as good as 256kbps.
  • by aftk2 (556992) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:27PM (#5826681) Homepage Journal
    I find it interesting that you point out the current average price per track when buying at a store, and then complain about how paying similar (although less) for the same track through Apple's solution is vastly inferior (quality of AAC notwithstanding) without mentioning the primary benefit of purchasing music online: INSTANT GRATIFICATION.

    I don't have to go to the mall. I don't have to buy an entire CD for one track. I see it, I click on it, and (with broadband and 99 cents later) it's mine a mere seconds later. I can burn it. I can stream it (albeit limitedly, with AAC.) There are significant advantages to this system - it's not just about reducing cost, although that too is a factor.

    However, you are correct regarding the purchasing of tracks by length: I think Apple should have released the service allowing individual tracks purchased at 99 cents, and entire albums at $7.99, because basically, music falls into two camps: one where I'd like the entire album, or where I'd like a single, or several tracks that pique my interest. This current offering addresses the latter; I imagine they'll introduce the former as soon as they can.

  • Nice hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826705)
    Wow, there sure a lot of whining flamers around here today. What apple has done is really tremendous. They have introduced sexy hot hardware, and at the sametime produced a service which fundamentally changes the business model for popular music. Big labels will no longer be able to charge $18 for a Britney Spears CD with, at most, one listenable song on it. If that song really is any good, they will get $1. If not they will get $0. This has the potential to change the entire basis of how artists are signed, produced, and promoted. We should be excited!
  • by jdreed1024 (443938) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826706)
    ...when the big companies like Apple and MS stop giving us what they want (IE doesn't block popups; new Apple service uses protected AAC format; etc) instead of what we want.

    And what do you want? Free MP3s for every song? Would you like a pony with that? Good luck. I think Apple is doing a very good job of compromising. Unlimited CD burning. Unlimited playing. Sharing with a few of your friends. You can't even play the "Well, one day I'm not going to be able to play my music" card, since you can burn to CD, and then do whatever you want with the CD. Such as rip to MP3 or whatever.

    I seriously hope all /.ers will finally put their money where their mouth (keyboard) is and support this. I, for one, plan to buy all my music through this service, unless I actually want the entire album, or unless the song I want is not available. The terms of use are reasonable. The record industry needs to cover their asses somewhat, and Apple's DRM lets them do that, but still allows fair use. Come on people. UNLIMITED CD BURNING! That means that you can burn the song to CD as often as you want. And, if you want be l33t, you can even rip that CD to MP3 and share it via Kazaa. And all for no extra charge. You pay the $0.99, you do what you want with that song. Burn it. Listen to it. Delete it if you want.

    I firmly believe that if this fails, the only other (legal) option is going to be MS-style DRM. Do we want that? Really? I hope this project doesn't get killed by the "Waah, it's not in .mp3 or .ogg" zealots.

  • $1000 Cables??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Black-Man (198831) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826709)
    You are naive enough to buy 'special' cables...errr.... snake oil cables - yet call .99/song a rip-off! Oh that's just too much!!

    And if you don't believe me, please visit RAP and see what the pro engineers say.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826715)
    Most of my music listening comes in my car via a head unit that plays CD-RWs filled with mp3s.

    I'm not going to purchase songs that won't play on my car stereo.

    I guess there's always the workaround of burning the AAC files to a CD-RW, then ripping that CD-RW to mp3s...but who wants to do that...even quality loss aside?
  • by thadeusPawlickiROX (656505) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:30PM (#5826737)
    It's good to see a company taking a bold step, and providing a service like this without too many restrictions. Now, what Apple is offering is far from perfect, granted. I agree with what most other people have posted: $0.99 per 128kb/sec song is overcharging. But at least someone is providing a decent service for a legit way of getting music online, and the ability to even make CD's with those music files. Apple could have said "no copying, no sharing," etc., but they didn't. This is a lot more open then what I've seen in other services to date.

    Now, not to troll or anything, but who is going to actually buy into this service? Even if Apple dropped the price to say, .25 a song for a higher quality format, would anyone still buy it? It's unfortunate... but I don't think it would do well either. Why buy when you can get it free? I guess it's a moral decision, but hopefully Apple will try to use this service to provide more money to the _artist_ and not the record companies. If that were the case, I would be impressed, and I know that I personally would pay per music download if I knew a large majority of the money was going to the artist. It may be a little too much to ask...

    But, at least Apple is trying to go along with what some people want. I think that if there is some positive support, this service could grow and improve. I really hope it makes it.

  • by bdowne01 (30824) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:30PM (#5826745) Homepage Journal
    Thats too expensive. Sorry but I'm already priced out of that market. No song is worth $1


    What? The typical "new" cd that gets released on the market is about $15-18.00 and probably contains anywhere from 10-15 songs. That works out to about $1.00 a song when you average it out.

    I mean, common... you spend $1.00 and have the song for good. In some places, you can't even buy a bottle of soda for that cheap anymore.
  • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:31PM (#5826758) Homepage
    Anybody with anything better than cheapo computer speakers or $5 headphones they got for free in a box of Cracker Jacks is able to hear an enormous difference. It is especially bad if you have high fidelity audiophile gear. For example, the vibration dampers and $1000 cables I bought for my Bose speakers aren't going to help that much when the source material is total shit.

    If you have that much money to throw into listening to music, then Apple's download service is not for you, because you a) probably enjoy going to the music store rather than downloading music and b) can afford to buy an entire album at a time in case you happen to like it.

    I thought we had decided that Apple wasn't going to do DRM? It sure looked like it, but then here we are, looking at Apple supporting and using DRM in one of its premiere applications. Do you feel betrayed yet?

    You formed this idea in your mind that Apple wasn't going to get involved in DRM, and then "felt betrayed" by Apple when your fantasy didn't come true? Can't help you there, Sparky.

    The only way that Apple could even begin to make this all acceptable would be to offer the music for $0.25US/track at 320kbps quality. Sure, it still won't really approach CD quality, but at least you won't be charged an arm and a leg for substandard music.

    If you don't like it, don't buy it. You make it sound like Apple bought out and closed down all the record stores.

    Apple has released a service for people who like downloading single MP3 tracks to listen to on their computer. There's no point in banging on your high chair like Apple just took away your zweiback. You're not the target customer, so just keep doing whatever you're doing now and don't worry about Apple.

    ASA
  • by I Am The Owl (531076) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:32PM (#5826789) Homepage Journal
    You're paying a lot less. If you know of an album where you like, say, two of the songs, can you go down to the music store and say "yes, I'd like just track 2 and track 6"? No, of course not. You'd have to shell out for the full price of the album. If you can buy individual songs at a lower price, you are most certainly not getting ripped off - you're saving tons of money, percentage-wise.

    And where the fuck did you come up with this $0.50 number? "A bag of chips"?? Why aren't new Fords priced around $300? After all, that's about the price of my pair of speakers - it's a fair price.

  • Re:Total ripoff (Score:2, Insightful)

    by funwithstuff (555638) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:33PM (#5826802) Homepage
    $0.99US for one song?! Shit, these are going to be crappy 128kbit/s tracks, even! That's an awfully high price to pay for substandard music quality.

    They're not 128k MP3s, they're 128k AACs. Apple claims it's better than MP3. Now, I haven't done any listening tests, but I'm sure someone out there has. Anyone? But yeah, I'd prefer a higher bitrate too. Let's bug them. Of course, I'm in the UK and don't have access yet. Bugger.

    Not to mention the DRM restrictions that Apple is imposing. I thought we had decided that Apple wasn't going to do DRM? It sure looked like it, but then here we are, looking at Apple supporting and using DRM in one of its premiere applications. Do you feel betrayed yet?

    Not yet. They couldn't have gotten the record deals without the DRM. If it's got to be in there, I think they got the compromise about right. Easy local sharing between Macs on the same network. Copies of songs on three different Macs with movable licences. They're trying to do the right thing, to the degree that they realistically can. Commercially, it can't be a free-for-all with the RIAA involved.
  • by nagora (177841) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:33PM (#5826812)
    1. Get music from artists,
    2. Offer tracks in an open format (ie ogg),
    3. Charge 50 cents per track,
    4. Keep 5 cents for your trouble,
    5. Give artist 45 cents,
    6. Shut up.

    Right?

    TWW

  • by halepark (578694) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:34PM (#5826816)
    Yeah, I believe they pocket (MSRP - Cost) on every new iMac, iBook, PowerMac, PowerBook and iPod they'll sell.
  • by iomud (241310) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:34PM (#5826817) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that people need to complain about something. If they were 25 cents a song, someone would chime in about how it was too expensive.
  • by HeghmoH (13204) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:34PM (#5826821) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that a lot of the whiners who say that they'd buy more CDs if they were priced better, or that they'd buy more music if they could buy per track are just lying about it. What they really want is music for free, and they'll find fault with anything less.
  • by mfifer (660491) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:35PM (#5826832)
    When you compare entire albums, that makes me think you're looking at this the wrong way...

    This is more of a 21st century version of the old 45 single...

  • A few questions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Michael A. Lowry (186943) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826846) Homepage
    1. Does iTunes 4 break iCommune?
    2. What copy protection - if any - is used to protect tracks downloaded from AppleMusic.com?
    3. Does the copy protection affect tracks burned to CD as well as tracks copied to iPods and Macs?
    4. If the tracks burned to CD are copy-protected, will these CDs be playable in standard CD players?

    -MAL
  • by Slashdolt (166321) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826849)
    If the average CD is priced at $15, and the artist only gets about $0.50 of that, where does the other $14.50 go? It goes to all of the middle-men along the supply chain, and the retail store.

    Cut out the middlemen, and the artists are probably getting a larger slice of the pie. In addition, everyone else that's still involved (including the record labels) are probably also getting a bigger slice. "Warehouse Bob" will probably lose his obsolete job. Walmart and "Joe's House of CD's" won't make any money from CD sales. But more people will be buying music, now that there is a choice.

    This has been the issue all along. People want to be honest, but not when they are forced to buy 11 songs for $15 when they really only want one. The major players were found guilty of price-fixing. They could have come up with something like this way back in 1995, when John C. Dvorak wrote an article in PC magazine discussing how MP3's were quickly catching on, and how the record companies would fight against the technology, rather than doing what they should do, which is embrace it. I believe his example was "14 hours of rock-a-billy on a single CD!" Most people don't want to spend $15 for 11 old songs, but put 100 old songs on there, and sell it for $15 and people would buy it.

    People want to be honest, but they don't want to be treated like criminals when they're being honest. Imagine walking into a Walmart and having all of your purchases examined to make sure that you were planning to use them in a legal manner. This is what's happening to us with copy-protected CD's. "Since some of you refuse to pay our exhorbitant prices, we're going to treat all of you like criminals, and question the motives of anyone who thinks copy-protected CD's are a bad idea!" Who gets punished? The HONEST people. The only way to get an MP3 for my MP3-player from my copy-protected CD, is to illegally get it via some peer-to-peer network. In which case, why bother buying the CD?

    I haven't bought a single CD since copy-protection became more standard. I'm afraid that I'm taking a chance and possibly buying something that is likely not going to work on my computer, which is where I listen to most of my CD's.

    --
    Slashdolt
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826857)
    about $.40 as far as I've read.

    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!

    Also...$1/track...it's the same damn price as a CD! Why would I pay Apple for some digital ephemera when I can get a nice collectible piece of aluminized mylar with photos for the same price! SO CLOSE! SO CLOSE APPLE BUT NOT THERE!
  • Re:No deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdreed1024 (443938) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:38PM (#5826885)
    # play bought tunes on a non-iPod player such as Archos or Rio

    Uh, there are other players that support (or will soon support) the .aac format. It's only a matter of time. And that argument is not terribly useful. You can't play VHS tapes on a Beta machine either, and I don't see anyone bitching.

    # stream bought tunes to a SliMP3 or Audiotron

    How many people have those? Not all of us can afford all this new shit. Don't you have a regular audio CD player? You can burn these songs to audio CD (no DRM there)

    # play bought tunes on your Windows or Linux PC

    Uh, Apple has already released the iPod for Windows. If the service takes off, I imagine there will be Windows versions in the future. And does your computer have a CD-ROM drive? If so, (assuming you RTFA'd), you can use the unlimited cd burning feature and burn to a CD.

    # burn bought tunes on an MP3-CD for use in the car or a DVD player

    You can burn to audio CD. I have yet to see a DVD player which can play MP3 CDs but cannot play Audio CDs. If you know of such a brand, I'd like to hear about it. Ditto for the MP3-CD in the car thing. Many of us don't even have regular CD players in the car, let along MP3-CD ones. And also, find me an MP3-CD player that cannot play regular audio CDs.

    # switch to another client other than iTunes (e.g. Audion) for your Mac music experience

    Well, duh. Apple's not going to invest money in helping someone else's business. And really, iTunes is an excellent client, with or without this feature. And it's free. What more do you need?

    # broadcast bought tunes using Shoutcast

    You can broadcast them with iTunes. Is that so terrible? You can also burn a CD, rip it to MP3, and broadcast those.

    Seems like you're going out of your way to find arguments against this, instead of realizing that this is a compromise, and if it takes off, there will be far less clamoring from the RIAA for Microsoft-style DRM and crippled CDs.

  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#5826893) Homepage
    At $0.99 (US) a song, this is still expensive, considering you still don't get original quality of the song (yeah yeah, sounds the exact same, blah blah; but there are times it's better to have the hi-quality original then a compressed format when doing editings, etc...), or a physical media, or the physical cover/lyrics, all in a jewel case...

    ...

    If it was 2/3 that price, then I'd definitely say it's worth it. But for now, I think they missed their own mark.

    Heck, that's your perogative. I'd be willing to bet that most folks, though, would jump at the chance to download an album straight to their computer for less than the CD costs, without the added fun of having to drive/walk/metro to the record store and find it (or not) on their racks. You get album art with your download, and many people simply discard their jewel cases in favor of folders and other slim storage.

    For example, consider The Eagles' Greatest Hits, 1971-1975. Music store: Probably $12, $10 or $8 if you get lucky and find it on sale or used in good condition. Time from "I want" to "I hear", an hour, best case scenario; more likely a day or two--gotta find time to go out and get it, Sam Goody is all out, etc. Online with Apple: $9.90. Time from "I want" to "I hear": a minute or two until iTunes starts playing your first downloaded track to maybe an hour if you're stuck on dialup.

    I'd say they're dead-on the mark. Most people buy music to listen to the music; concerns such as highest CD quality vs. ACC, special features, and a physical cover really just don't matter to most folks once you get rid of the the marketing machine that tells them it does.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#5826912)
    You can't afford the luxury of music, so you steal it. Nice.

    Can't wait until someone steals your wallet because they felt that pizza was too expensive to pay with their money.

    You, are a fuckwit.
  • by bdowne01 (30824) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:42PM (#5826952) Homepage Journal
    How the hell am I cheap? CDs are too expensive, at $15-20 a CD, why the fuck do I want to pay the same price, only with less quality in digital form?


    Come on man, its economics 101, people buy based on value.


    Which is why this will probably work.

    You state that CD's are roughly $15-20 per CD. On average a CD contains somewhere between 10-15 songs, out of which a good number most people probably only like a few of them.

    So, instead of paying more $$ for a CD which primarily contains songs you won't like in pefect digital form, instead sound quality when you can have the ones you DO like, in nearly imperceptible degredation for slightly less money.

    Hmm....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:42PM (#5826954)
    I guess this is kind of obvious, but I'll point it out anyway (since for some reason the moderators didn't notice...)

    In what way is something encoded twice in lossy formats, with an intemediary physical medium, going to be "high quality"?

    Its going to be worse than the first (lossy) encode, even if you reencode at a high bitrate... so, more guaranteed low quality rips littering the filesharing networks.

    No thanks.
  • Food For Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpanishInquisition (127269) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:45PM (#5827014) Homepage Journal
    The porn industry is one of the most lucrative on the surface of the planet, some claim it's the only way to make money, and a lot of it on the Internet.

    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.

    In this industry very big corporations are in competition with very small and innovative business and both are pirated like crazy both non seems to suffer.

    There's a lesson to be learn here, maybe the pron industry is the way to go for the whole entertaiment industry: Less regulations, more diversity, very lax fair use and aggressive competition between big and small producers.
  • by RebelPhoton (669169) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:45PM (#5827016)
    Just remember that people still pay not much less than $1 per song for songs on a jukebox, and those you get to listen to -once-, you can't copy them, you can't put them on your iPod.
  • by dtfarmer (548183) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:49PM (#5827065) Homepage
    But, I'd never be interested in BUYING a song in a lossy format.

    like, say, a cd? (or do you really think a cd is a lossless format?)
  • by RedX (71326) <redx@NOSpAm.wideopenwest.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:50PM (#5827075)
    Or, use Kazaa and save your money.

    And potentially waste your time. Over the weekend, I downloaded my first full album from Kazaa in awhile while I wait for my legally purchased copy to arrive (no, really). After an hour or so of searching, downloading, cancelling slow/incomplete downloads, finding that a song was mislabeled, re-downloading, etc. I finally had all 14 tracks that I was looking for. I listed to a few of the tunes that I was really interested in, and burned the entire list to CD for roadtrip listening. Turns out that 4 of the tracks were "looped", first 20 or so seconds just repeat for the duration of the track. When I returned home, I fired-up Kazaa to find the complete versions of those tracks. After trial-and-error with 25 downloads, I finally found full versions of 2 of those tracks, but not of the other 2 despite there being at least 50 available downloads of varying file size. In all, I probably wasted 3 hours of near-constant work just to get an almost-complete copy of the CD. Hard telling if I would've actually purchased these tracks via Apple's music store had it been available considering I had already purchased the actual CD (no, really), but I can definitely see me using the service for spur-of-moment purchases and single-track purchases.

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:52PM (#5827108) Homepage
    Well, interesting idea. But, I'd never be interested in BUYING a song in a lossy format. I'd be willing to pay for songs in a lossless format, and then compress on my own (to mp3, ogg..whatever)

    So what format do you buy in? CD throws out high frequencies, and quantizes to 16 bits. Some people can hear the losses these cause (or they can hear the things that are done to try to make those losses less annoying).

    Furthermore, the fact that you are willing to compress on your own shows that you DO value the compressed versions. What's wrong with buying something that has value to you?

  • by Doktor Memory (237313) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:52PM (#5827113) Journal
    ...and indeed, most of the commentary on this article has so far missed the really interesting part of the story:
    Apple has somehow strongarmed the credit card companies into accepting a system that will generate tens of thousands of sub-$1 charges per
    day.
    I imagine that $0.99 was a carefully worked-out compromise between themselves and Visa/Mastercard/AMEX. Yeah, $0.66 "feels" like a more reasonable price to me, but the fact that they were able to do this at all is earthshaking. If it works, and the credit card companies manage to not lose their shirts over it, expect the price to go down, and expect to see a lot of similar systems popping up.

    Everybody has been saying for years that whoever cracks the micropayments problem first will make all the money that the internet was ever supposed to produce. In a few months, we'll know if Apple actually did it.
  • by HanzoSan (251665) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:54PM (#5827135) Homepage Journal

    When did I say I steal it?

    I just said I dont buy it.

    Also music isnt a luxury its a commodity, supply and demand is not controlling the price of music, this is why people steal it.

    Theres endless supply, and endless demand, but the supply out weighs the demand, what do music companies do? they illegally fix the price so music stays expensive, this keeps music as a luxury when its actually not.

    Its equal to bread companies keeping breat at $10 a slice illegally and then trying to sell bread to poor Africans. Sure some people in the USA can afford bread at $10 a slice, people like you perhaps, but this is not the value of bread based on how much it costs to produce, or based on supply and demand. Its illegal to fix or control the price of something, the market is supposed to do that, so if the market says music is too expensive and decides to steal it, this is called capitalism.

    Perhaps if the music followed the market instead of abusing it, people wouldnt steal it, the same can be said about Microsoft and Windows, and alot of other companies who try to treat their products like its a luxury product by inflating the price illegally.

    Someone who steals my wallet is stealing somethinng I earned, someone who refuses to buy music is not stealing anything, they just arent buying.

  • Re:Not good enough (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zoop (59907) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:55PM (#5827146)
    Eh?

    AAC is MPEG-4 standard. So it's a standard format.

    The only restriction is that you can only burn a given playlist 10 times. So if you want to knock off 100 copies of the latest Hootie and the Blowfish album, you're SOL. Given that you probably won't be buying entire albums like this, the odds of you wanting to burn the exact same playlist more than 10 times is fairly low.

    As to the price, well, enjoy your non-copy-protected $15 CDs with all the crap you didn't want to buy. You can burn and reburn the same shitty playlist over and over and over without restriction that way.

    Really, this "It's not perfect therefore WAAAH" attitude needs some serious LARTing.
  • Yeah right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spreer (15939) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:58PM (#5827179)
    I think that what people are missing in all of this is how monumental it was that apple managed to talk the big 5 into this at all. Considering that, the amount fair use allowed is pretty incredible. Look at the competition (pressplay) for comparison.

    Take your nice little to the proposal to the RIAA and see how hard they laugh at you as security escorts you out the back.

    Oh, wait, no, you're just going to get artists the aren't on a major, you say? Well, I'll sign up. And maybe 5 or 6 of my indy-rock pals. But good luck getting your favorite artist out of their soul-crusing major label deal so they can get in on this....

    spreer
  • by dtfarmer (548183) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:06PM (#5827308) Homepage
    For $1 a track I can see $100 being wasted REALLY quick.

    and without this service, that same $100 will buy you 7 cd's (at 14.29 per cd)

    everyone who thinks they'll be able to get their top 100 favorite tracks by buying only 7 cd's please raise your hands... anyone... anyone... bueller...
  • by Oculus Habent (562837) * <oculus...habent@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:07PM (#5827321) Journal
    ...everyone in your house with a computer has to buy their own copy of a song...

    I can't guarantee it, but if all the computers use the same account, you should all be able to play the same music without issue.

    ...each song records which computers are authorized to play a certain song, how many times a song has been burned, and how many times a song has been played?

    The song doesn't record which computer can play it - the account and, by extension, the computer, does. It's how many times a playlist has been burned, I believe. And, what's wrong with knowing how many times the song has been played? That's a convenience, to see your top played songs, your recently played songs, etc.

    ...most independent and rare music is not available...

    Did you expect Apple to wait to release the service until they had an answer from every label in the world? They may not have deals with everyone right now, but give them time, the selection will broaden.

    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. Just because you can't get Tuva [amazon.com] when the service opens doesn't make it a bad service.

  • by HanzoSan (251665) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:09PM (#5827369) Homepage Journal


    Yes but some people have more freetime than money (college students)

    And other people have more money than free time (Guys like you)

    I have free time, I just dont have money.
  • Re:Not good enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thumpnugget (142707) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:12PM (#5827403)
    $0.99 a track is a bit steep IMO even for a master track but for a DRM encumbered, non-standard compressed format it simply is not good value for my money. DRM with a crappy format moves the decimal point on what I'm willing to pay at least one digit to the left.

    Well, nobody said you had to listen or pay. But don't spread FUD, please.

    1. The file itself is not DRM-encumbered. iTunes places the restrictions on burning, streaming, etc. They are not built into the file in any way. There are plenty of other tools you can use to manipulate the files, because...

    2. AAC is a standard compressed format:
    http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg 4aac/stan dard.html

    Personally, I think Apple has gone a lot further than anyone else to put high quality music in people's hands at the right price and deserves some credit for that.

    And one of your major beefs is a straight-up dream (at least for the foreseeable future): face it, no company wants to pay for the bandwidth of potentially hundreds of thousands of users making downloads of uncompressed audio.
  • by tfriedlich (610874) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:17PM (#5827487) Homepage
    Not even a little bit!! I've downloaded more than my share of music, apps, etc because I agree with you, prices for these things are outrageous. However, just because something is expensive doesn't mean a company shouldn't recieve compensation.
    Sure people like you who always purchased music will spend this but for the people who use Kazaa and the napster users, and people who cannot afford to buy music, this service is worthless. So ultimately this service will sell to the same people who are currently buying music CDs in stores, it wont make any more money than the current online music stores who do this.
    People who get all of their music for free will never pay for it. Whether it's $1 or $0.01, it makes no difference. Just because someone can't afford something, doesn't mean it should be free (or even priced down to your level).
    People will buy it Ray, they will go to apple.com for reasons they can't fathom. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it's money they have and music they lack.
    People who buy music will appreciate the convinience of this, as will the people who currently don't pay for the music because they don't want to spend $20 to hear the one good song on a CD.
  • Re:Nice hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:18PM (#5827496) Journal
    Wow, there sure a lot of whining flamers around here today.

    My sentiments exactly.

    For those who whine about the price: note that if you buy detergent in bulk, the unit cost (dollar per gallon) is usually lower. This is because packaging, transportation, and shelving costs do not work to the same proportions as the actual amount of detergent in the container. If you want to buy all 16 songs, go buy a CD. Moreover, did anybody actually expect a company that built its fortune on selling convenience at a premium to compete on price?

    For those who whine about encoding quality: Apple runs a website, which means that they have to pay when you download. 128 kbps happens to be a very good compromise among quality, bandwidth, and disk (iPod) space. Allowing uncompressed CD quality downloads will multiply their bandwidth requirements many times. If you want the highest possible quality, surely you can spare the $20 for a CD.

    For those who compare the service to "free" downloading: grow up. If you support Apple here, there's a chance that this will be the start of a revolution (recording labels are at serious risk if artists can market directly to listeners). If you don't, then the RIAA stays powerful, and keeps looking for effective DRM.

    Point is, Apple is not out to replace the CD. A CD still delivers the most quality music to you, at the most reasonable price, if you want every song in the album. This service fills in a gap where you don't, so quit whining.

  • by bpbond (246836) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:19PM (#5827531) Homepage
    It's hard because:

    7. Non-DRM track distributed endlessly on net
    8. No one else buys track
    9. Artist refuses to offer music anymore.

  • Re:Pricing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr.badass (25287) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#5827593) Homepage
    Their marketing people now have two problems.

    Apple? Marketing problems? Hello?

    128k AAC is still better than 128k MP3, but how many people are going to believe that when most people assume that a 2ghz Pentium is faster than an AMD processor running at a lower clock speed?

    Lots. Even if the target-audience cared about bitrates, they're still the ones who bought (say) a 1GHz iMac vs. a 2.5GHz Dell.

    Second, who is going to pay 99ï½ for something they can get for free on Gnutella?

    The people who have no idea what Gnutella is, or where to get it, or how to use it, but really want to hear that one song...

    Sure, some people will pay for the convenience of downloading very simply from the iTunes Music Store.

    I will not be one of those people.


    Nor do you need to be for this to be successful.

    I've been boycotting the music industry for almost three years now, and this doesn't look compelling to me. Anyone else agree?

    I agree that for someone who has been boycotting the music industry for 3 years, that this wouldn't be too exciting. Oddly enough, a lot of people haven't been boycotting the music industry, and will be quite excited by the proposition of getting the "1 or 2 good songs" that they want.

    -dr.badass
  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:24PM (#5827610)
    You miss the definition of "luxury". i.e. something that which if you did not have, you could still survive. Music is a luxury item on most peoples budgets. Something that comes after food, shelter, healthcare, etc.

    If you are too poor to afford food, and you steal some to survive, ok...you might get off in a court of law.
    Music, OTOH, is not necessary to the essence of life. If you cannot afford to purchase it, then don't. But why do you think obtaining it without payment is OK?

    Postulate this..you've finally graduated from school, and started a career as a writer. You get ALL of your icome from selling books.
    I go down to the library, check out one of your fine writings, and proceed to make 100,000 copies of it. I then distribute these copies, for free, far and wide. Put up a website, letting any and all get a copy, either electronically, or an actual hardcopy.
    I , according to your thought processes, have not 'stolen' anything, because you, the writer, still have it.

    You, of course, get no proceeds from my efforts. Your actual book sales go waaaaay down, and your personal income suffers greatly. Eventually, you have to give up writing as a profession, because you get nothing back from it. You have to go get a regular job, and have no more time for writing.

    What would you do? Say "Ah well...who needs to eat? I'll write anyway, and let my readers have it for free."

    Yeah, right.
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corebreech (469871) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:25PM (#5827620) Journal
    Depends on the album.

    Dark Side of the Moon for instance goes for $15. "Aha!" you say, "I'll just buy the single tracks separately!"

    No.

    You can't. They deliberately prevent you from buying two tracks from the album, just to get you to pay an inflated price.

    What does this mean? It means the camel's nose is already under the tent with respect to playing with the prices. Soon we'll see certain singles going for $1.50. Then we'll see certain singles you'll have to buy in combination with other singles. Then finally we'll see singles you have to buy the whole album before you get to listen, and we'll have come full circle.

    No, the answer to the problem of music and computers is clear. Fuck the studios. The Internet has made them obsolete. We don't need them. The bands don't need them either. Let the bands sell their music direct on the Internet, let other web sites serve as portals to those band sites, and then let's do this dance again, this time without the fucking studios.

    Charge a dime per song. The artist sees the whole dime, and not only that, more people would pay.

    The artist wins. The listeners win.

    And the rat fuck studio execs can go get themselves a real job.
  • by I Am The Owl (531076) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:35PM (#5827796) Homepage Journal
    But most college students and highschool students simply cannot afford the high priced(and getting higher each year) CDs.

    BMWs are too expensive for college students to be able to afford! They should be less expensive!

    I barely have enough money to eat lunch everyday and I'm supposed to be spending a dollar on some 128bitrate low quality music file?

    Why the fuck are you spending money on luxuries like music if you "barely have enough money to eat"??

  • by hondo77 (324058) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:35PM (#5827798) Homepage
    Excuse me but how poor are you that you own a computer and have a connection to the file trading networks? I thought so. Maybe if you weren't spending all that money on stealing music you could go out and buy yourself some used CDs.
  • by nullard (541520) <nullprogram.voicesinmyhead@cc> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:41PM (#5827884) Journal
    I have free time, I just dont have money.

    Get a job. No, really, I mean it. You cannot afford the things you want and have lots of free time. If you get a job, you'll be able to afford things like music, etc. You'll also gain valuable experience and meet new people.
  • by donglekey (124433) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:46PM (#5827949) Homepage
    It is a lossless format. 44.1 Khz Stereo Sound, what you see is what you get, nothing taken out for compression. Just because something is downsampled from whatever the original is recorded at doesn't make it a 'lossy' format. There are definite definitions to follow.
  • by DeadScreenSky (666442) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:46PM (#5827954)
    If you consider a CD to be in a lossy format, what music media do you consider to be not lossy? I think you are distorting the traditional meanings of lossy [google.com] and lossless quite a bit. The way you are using the term, you could argue every form of music is lossy, including a live band (since your ears can't pick up all of the sonic frequencies being generated). Seems kind of silly to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:49PM (#5827999)
    Also music isnt a luxury its a commodity, supply and demand is not controlling the price of music, this is why people steal it.

    OH. MY. GOD. Shut the hell up, will you?

    First of all, your grasp of economics is obviously limited to "I'm poor". A commodity is a good which is impossible to "brand" because it's pretty much all the same. Crude oil, wheat, eggs, distilled water... these are commodities because no matter who you buy them from, it's the same basic stuff. Music is not a commodity.

    Second, music is a luxury good, in that it is (arguably) not required for survival. In any case, mp3s or other digital music are just one form of music. There is also: live music, self-played music, cassette tapes, LPs, 8-tracks, etc. If a record is selling for a high price in a store, do you have a right to just take one? If you feel like hearing a song, do you have a right to tell a nearby musician to play it for you?

    Finally, you putz, don't use the word "stealing" if you are trying to defend yourself on this one. The act is properly called "unauthorized duplication". Stealing is when you take someone else's possessions away. When you copy a song, you are making more of something, not forcibly rearranging ownership of a limited resource.

    Please understand that I agree that it's a bit strange to pay over $10 for a CD with about 60 minutes of music on it, when I can buy DVDs of 90 minute movies for the same price. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find some movies on DVD that cost less than buying the soundtrack for the same movie on CD. That's absurd. But, apparently people are willing to pay for CDs at their current prices. A properly functioning market sets prices at the point of equilibrium... that is, the compromise price between what sellers are willing to accept and consumers are willing to pay. That's pure capitalism, and if it results in absurdities then so be it.

    The fundamental question, which you have not answered because you're too busy drooling about "rich" people and "stealing" and "capitalism", is whether unauthorized duplication is something a free market should allow. On the one hand, most of us agree that someone who works hard to make a music album should be compensated fairly for that work. On the other hand, duplication of that album doesn't take the album from that person so that they can't use it anymore. The artist is still able to sell their work. Unfortunately for the artist, without copyright, they have to compete against people who can sell the album at the incremental cost to produce (without having to make back the capital expense of recording it), while the artist still has to recoup the expense of recording, as well as the incremental cost to produce.

    So, rather than your "poor poor pitiful me" whiny, petulant, selfish, entitlement-addled mindset of "I can't afford this luxury, so I'll steal it"... how about focusing on the fundamental question in a way that causes your critics to think, rather than being able to simply pigeonhole you as a "pirate".
  • by Lord Dimwit Flathead (668521) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:52PM (#5828028)
    However, production costs are very different in the modern porn and music industries. A typical photo gallery or single-scene video you'd download off a porn site is shot in an hour or two, with the models getting a couple hundred dollars for their trouble, and little to no post production editing. As a result, there is so much cheap, fresh content entering the scene that piracy isn't much of a concern.

    A typical mass market CD is far more expensive to get to market, what with A&R, studio time, mixing, mastering, cover artwork, promotion, distribution, video production, etc. And then 90% of albums fail to recoup the artist's advance. Movie and TV production is similarly high-cost and high-risk.

    The trick is, except at the extremes, low-quality porn is pretty close to high-quality porn in terms of satisfying the market's demands. A video of some chick giving a blowjob doesn't lose much value if we hear the cameraman telling her to pull her hair out of the way. The same cannot be said of the music industry - imagine a site full of mp3s produced in Cousin Jimmy's garage on an old 4-track, complete with the sound of Mom's car pulling into the driveway in the middle of the track. Who's going to pay to listen?
  • Re:Total ripoff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enry (630) <`enry' `at' `wayga.net'> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:52PM (#5828032) Journal
    Bose makes good stuff. I've worked directly with the engineers at Bose, some of the best physicists on the planet work in Bose labs. I've installed some of their commerical grade stuff in churches and other facilities, and it's pretty impressive. Unless you can tell me why Bose sucks, I have to believe you're just lashing out and can't think of anything better to say.

    Less lashing out, more comments from friends who used to work at ADS/Orion who got good views of the stuff Bose put out. Then again, Bose is still around....

    For the most part, the comments surrounded the need for Bose speakers to be connected to Bose amps to get the best performance, otherwise the frequency range gets screwed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:56PM (#5828089)
    Cut out the middlemen, and the artists are probably getting a larger slice of the pie.

    We would like to think that. Unfortunately I have serious doubts that this is actually the case. I'd be willing to bet that the artists won't see any increased revenue from this. I'd be willing to bet that Apple only gets $0.10 or so from each sale and that the rest goes to the label. I'd be willing to bet that from the remaining $0.89, the artist gets a single penny.

    What I would like to see is Apple become a label of sorts. An Internet label. Imagine if Apple would give artists a medium to sell their songs to the world. Now you won't get a big name artist leaving their own label to do this but the thousands of garage bands will jump at the chance. The artists could earn $0.50 on each sale and Apple would earn the rest. It would make Apple more $$ and it would make the artists more $$. All but the RIAA is happy. :-) I think it would be awesome.

  • by druske (550305) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:58PM (#5828105)
    I'm going to be madly supporting this service, too, but it'll definitely cost me more than buying CDs. Not because the service is overpriced in comparison, but because the convenience of this thing is going to have me buying more music, more often.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:15PM (#5828294)
    I can fuck like a demon, I'm reasonably good looking (IIDSSM) and I can upload this to a web site and believe you me - a lot more people will want to watch me fuck than listen to me sing. Put another way I would pay top dollar to watch JLo fuck, but not to hear her sing.
  • Re:It's a kludge (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlexMax2742 (602517) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:25PM (#5828401)
    But face it. It's a way instaed of bucking the music industry to actually work with it. I know a lot of ./'ers are gung ho and want to go out and do the LETS KILL THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!!!!!! jingle, but they are a HUGUE corperation. And the alternative is that things like kazaa will entice the music industry to retaliate with even greater force until someone gets seriously hurt. Hell, it might even be themselves, but I'm not willing to bet the farm on it.

    Lets take it one step at a time. The 99 cent per song plan seems like a good place to start, and in the end, everyone will be happy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:26PM (#5828410)
    Okay, here's item #1. It's important, so I'm going to say it twice. Here comes the first one:

    Nobody gives a damn about Ogg.

    Got that? Here it is again, in case you missed it.

    Nobody gives a damn about Ogg.

    It's not like I think AAC is a bad format - it isn't. But it's not any kind of standard.

    Uh. AAC is every kind of standard. It's the audio component of MPEG-4. It's completely standardized.

    If I did switch and redid all my music as AAC, would other people be able to play my AAC files?

    I certainly hope not. That's piracy. :-)

    That's an idiotic, kludgy way of getting around the gapless problem.

    It would be, if it worked anything even remotely like what you describe. Fortunately, it doesn't, so we're okay there.

    I can afford the Apple hardware tax, but my time is too precious.

    Then don't migrate your library. MP3 and AAC are good citizens of equal standing under QuickTime 6.2 and iTunes. Set AAC to be your default, and all new music you acquire (either by ripping CD's or downloading from iTunes Music Store) will be AAC. You'll be able to listen to both with iTunes and your iPod(s), so you'll never need to know the difference.

    If you're like me, though, and you encoded hundreds of CD's in MP3 at 192 kbps or higher, you'll really appreciate the 5 or 10 GB of disk space you'll get back by reencoding at 128 kbps AAC. Sounds better, too, believe it or not. And iTunes makes it trivial to reencode. Just stick the CD in, and iTunes will say, "You've already encoded these songs. Wanna replace them?" and you say "Yes" and then a minute or two later it spits out your CD and you've got nice new AAC's to replaced your crummy old MP3's.

    It's the sheep's testicles, let me tell you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:26PM (#5828413)
    Waaaaaaaaaah! I want a Ferrari but I only want to pay $100 for it. Therefore I'm allowed to steal one.

    Sheeesh...
  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:34PM (#5828503)

    1. The file itself is not DRM-encumbered. iTunes places the restrictions on burning, streaming, etc. They are not built into the file in any way. There are plenty of other tools you can use to manipulate the files, because...


    Cool. Glad to hear it but the service is still encumbered. I'd rather not waste my time working around any restrictions Apple imposes. $0.99 for anything less than CD quality is a rip off as far as I'm concerned. (note, that's my opinion, yours may vary) Not to mention that the amount of music offered is, shall we say sparce?

    2. AAC is a standard compressed format:
    http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg 4aac/stan dard.html


    There are plenty of so called "standards". Doesn't mean anyone uses them or that they are relevant. Apparently I should have said "widely used industry standard" so people would get my point instead of pedantically pointing out that this is a codefied standard. So is DVD-Audio but it also isn't relevant for most of us.

    So,yes I'm aware that it's a part of mpeg4. So what? There are almost no portable players, most of the audio out there (including my entire *legal* music library) is in MP3, and there is currently little software to manipulate these files. Could that be changed? Sure. Should it? Can't think of a reason to bother. There aren't any benefits to the format that make me want to rush out and convert all my MP3s or deal with another format.

    I'm also well aware that record labels are unwilling to release their stuff in CD-Audio quality. That doesn't mean I should just say "oh what the heck" and cave in. When they provide what I want for the price I want, then I might buy. If this service provides what you want, then great, please use it. But I know I'm not the only one who feels the way I do.

    Oh, and of course the company isn't going to pay for the bandwidth. Why do you think they charge us in the first place? Not altruism. Part of the cost is the cost of the service. That cost would be passed to us. Simple economics 101. However not all the costs are variable costs so as the service scales up, the cost per unit delivered should fall in time.

  • Album previewing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mikey-San (582838) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:41PM (#5828583) Homepage Journal
    You know, at the very least, this is a really convenient way to preview entire albums before you buy them.

    Woot!

    -/-
  • by LinuxMacWin (79859) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:47PM (#5828653)
    The point I am making is not that they should serve Windows market rather than Mac. What I am saying is that if they are able to let Windows users sample their catalog (even when the final interface will get done by the end of the year), it will create more and more interest in Apple products. Right now, there is absolutely no way to sample unless you own a Mac...
  • by Kjella (173770) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:48PM (#5828659) Homepage
    Seriously. AAC was chosen as the sound track of choice for HD-DVDs (ok there are lots of standards. Some of them). While it's not quite there with Ogg Vorbis at bitrates as low as 64k, at 128k it's right up there with Ogg Vorbis, Mp3pro, WMA and the rest, far ahead of MP3.

    Also, repeat after me: The big music companies will never ever release in a format that you can share freely. If they did, those files would be all over every P2P net as the "original" files. The fact that you can burn and reencode ensures one thing - that there'll be ten thousand ways to rip it to mp3/ogg, some good, some bad, but different.

    As for value, picking songs at $1 is a damn lot cheaper than buying CD singles, which is what you could compare it against. For a full album, well doh they offer "quantity" discounts like everybody else.

    So will I be a customer? Nope. No Mac. But if they can get their IBM PowerPC chip in there soon, maybe I'll reconsider and make my next PC, uh computer, a Mac instead of an AMD Opteron.

    Kjella
  • by sjonke (457707) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:53PM (#5828732) Journal
    According to MacCentral's coverage [macworld.com], Jobs said Windows will be supported by the end of the year. So does this imply that Apple will make iTunes for Windows, or does it mean that Music Match (or some other product) will be upgrade by its developer to support the music store or that there will be an web page version by the end of year? Who knows.
  • Re:Actually (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Greedo (304385) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:58PM (#5828796) Homepage Journal
    The goal of a musician is to make fans, and then sell stuff like tshirts and hats, and go on tour, ...

    Funny, I thought the goal of a musician is to express themselves through music.
  • by dbrutus (71639) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:00PM (#5828818) Homepage
    Bzzt. Wrong!

    If there's an album with 14 good tracks on it available for $10, getting an account at the Apple Music store doesn't stop you from buying the CD and ripping it. If you see a CD and it has two good songs on it, the Apple store just saved you $7 off that $10 CD.

    Then again, if you've been copying and not paying anything just move along, it's just another conspiracy by the man to suck money out from your too thin wallet.
  • by nkuitse (208997) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:02PM (#5828843) Homepage

    It's sneaky that Apple requires QuickTime 6.2 to play their AAC files, since many Windows users won't have it yet.

    Sneaky? It seems pretty straightforward to me: satisfy your existing customers first. I do hope Apple doesn't wait long, though.

    Also, maybe QuickTime 6.2 is only required to encode AAC, not to play it: I could have sworn AAC playback appeared in 6.0. Then again, my memory sucks, and I'm afraid it's too late for me to test this, since I already installed 6.2. If anyone else wants to check, the movies here [apple.com] have AAC audio.

  • by Eccles (932) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:17PM (#5828999) 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.

    Cluestick here for all and sundry.

    If I was the pirating type, I'd get unrestricted songs for $0. Zip, nada, zilch. If I'm going to use this service, it's because I want to buy songs and be honest about it. Given that I have access to the free, better, but dishonest alternative, why the f*** would you put restrictions on how I can use what I buy that are only to prevent me from being dishonest? If I'm going to be dishonest, I'll fire up Kazaa, not buy AACs and copy them hither thither and yon.

    If this service sold MP3s or unrestricted media, I'd have bought some already. They don't, so I won't.
  • by molarmass192 (608071) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:30PM (#5829134) Homepage Journal
    I agree with you 100%, I'll buy in (and I'm sure many others too) when we can get plain old MP3s. If they want to watermark them, fine, if it doesn't affect the sound or playability in any way then they can go to town. What I don't want to is license a song with strict rules limiting what I can do with it. I want to buy it, and, respective of copyright laws, do whatever the hell I please with it, just like I do with the CDs I purchase.
  • by infinite9 (319274) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:38PM (#5829218)
    You get ALL of your income from selling books.

    Suppose using your analogy, you aren't really paid directly by the sale of your books. Suppose there's a huge middle man who takes 99% of the profit from your books and pays you the difference, which allows you to break even or even lose money after the middle man charges you for paper, binding, and marketing fees. Are they stealing from you, the author? Or are they stealing from the middle man? ... the same middle man who forced you into a deal with the devil to sell your book because that middle man has grown so large that they can wipe out any competition that would give you a better deal?

    Like most things in life, this isn't black or white. This is a shade of grey. I'm in the process of replacing, through peer to peer downloads, all of the music I listed to in high school. It was all on cassette tape. They're all long gone now, all destroyed or lost one way or another. I also lost a significant number of CDs in a move. If I replace all of them with peer to peer, is that theft? I paid for them all. How many times do I have to pay before it's not theft anymore?
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <[jhummel] [at] [johnhummel.net]> on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:11PM (#5829483) Homepage
    I can't use Liquid Audio's proprietary format in my iPod, my old Creative Labs Jukebox, or just about any other standard MP3 player I've run into.

    With Apple's, I can at least download, burn it to a regular music cd/dvd (if I feel the need to put it in a car cd-play, take to friends's house, re-rip on another computer to put the music in my wife's Jukebox, etc, etc, etc) - and since it's MP4 music, I'm pretty sure that other MP3 players will support it (if not now, then fairly soon).

    Nothing against Liquid Audio personally, but I can stomach Apple's plans a little better.
  • by Thorkytel Ant-Head (593092) on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:24PM (#5829587)
    For example I was in my local record store, sonic boom [sonicboomrecords.com], to pick up the newest flaming lips EP. I found it a good deal 8 tracks for 8.99 plus a trailer for their movie and a music video. While I was there I also noticed that the newest yo la tengo album had also been released on that day (it was playing in the store), so I picked that up for 11.99. A very good experience that I just don't see online shopping able to replicate.

    Really? You don't see online shopping able to replicate this experience? How about this: You go online to pick up the new Flaming Lips EP for $9.99 (if EPs are still $9.99), and you can see their music video online, as well as links to their web page. While you're browsing, you see the new Yo La Tengo album listed in New Releases. You don't have to rely on whatever album is playing in the store, or in the listening stations, because you can preview any of the songs on the album, or any other album you see, instantly. Then you decide to buy it, also for $9.99. You have the same net experience, except you remove the time to go to the store, the time to ask a clerk to let you sample a CD (if they will allow that for any arbitrary CD), and you saved yourself a buck.

    So, how does the online experience suffer by comparison?
  • by DuckWing (19575) on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:26PM (#5829605)
    I've read quite a lot of the comments about this on slashdot. There's just no pleasing some of you. Apple makes a great step in the right direction and all you can do is whine and complain about it being "too expensive still", "uses .acc format", "can't do this", "can't do that." Good night you people, get a Life! If you don't like it, don't participate. If you are a company that can do better than Apple on this, DO IT! but for crying out loud, stop your insessant whining! Here, have some cheese with that!
  • by dalamcd (573483) <dalamcd@comcast.nBLUEet minus berry> on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:40PM (#5829707) Homepage
    The only situation in which I would be willing to pay a full album price would be if I got to download the full 650MB of the ORIGINAL CD.

    And then you'd probably whine about the cost of bandwidth that you need in order to not spend 2 weeks downloading the CD.

    dalamcd

  • by rjrjr (28310) <rjrjr&pobox,com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:09PM (#5829937) Homepage
    I can't believe how much carping I'm seeing about $1 a pop being too much. Anyone remember 45rpm singles? They were $1 per more than twenty years ago. Sure, they had two songs, but you only wanted one of them. Sound like a familiar price point?

    If that's the price the market bore two decades ago, I don't see how it's too much now.

  • by Tide (8490) <chad&chadsdomain,com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:46PM (#5830206) Homepage
    I can understand frustration but its not that simple. Every artist, every song, and yes even every album cover has its own rights that had to be negotiated, and that took quite some time... just for one country. Now think about doing that in multiple countries and you can see this isn't some small task. Every music company has different rights for every country out there.
  • by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:05PM (#5830337) Journal
    Given that I have access to the free, better, but dishonest alternative, why the f*** would you put restrictions on how I can use what I buy that are only to prevent me from being dishonest?

    Sounds like you're asking how you can be expected to be honest when it's so damned convenient to be dishonest. Are you expecting a reward for being honest?

    News flash: honesty has a price. Honesty means you work all your life, while others get rich on all sorts of illegal activities and deplete your savings. How many people from Enron benefited from honesty?

    This Apple venture pokes a big hole in the usual excuses for copyright infringement. It doesn't remove every excuse, because Apple is not trying to save your soul, to use a religious metaphor. Your integrity remains your own problem, your own choice.

  • by HanzoSan (251665) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:14PM (#5830400) Homepage Journal


    If I offered you 1 million dollars you wouldnt accept it because you didnt earn it? I mean if I give you a million dollars, you would have STOLEN MONEY! OH NO!!

    Don't complain you can't afford something you don't need. I can't afford to buy a Ferrari, but I'm not going to yell like a 5 year old kid who thinks they should price them so "EVERYONE" can afford.

    If Car companies complained that you didnt buy enough cars, and complained that cars on the black market were taking their car sales, and too many people were car pooling hurting car sales, and public transportation should be outlawed etc, all the time on the news, you'd complain about the prices of cars.

    I didnt complain about the price of music until the music industry complained about me not buying music, well if they are going to complain about how I'm not buying music, I get to complain about how they over price music, I mean how can you expect me to buy music when it is out of my price range and then say that I'm destroying the music industry, start passing all these ridiculous laws, I mean look at the whole situation, not just what I say on a msg board and then it begins to make sense.


    What the hell type of restaurants do you go for? $50 a meal? I go to some pretty damned nice restaurants and never pay $50 a meal. In fact, every 5-star restaurant I've been to has been in the range of $30 - $50 a meal, and do you know how rare a true 5-star restaurant is? If you can't afford to buy a $1.00 song, I doubt you will ever be able to afford to pay $50 for a meal. Grow the fuck up.


    I'm in Boston, theres plenty of 5 star resturants here, I've spent over $100 on a meal for 2 before, $50 for a meal is reasonable

    You aren't their target audience anyway, so shut your pie hole. You couldn't even afford a mac to begin with, so why do you care what prices they are? Of course, you probably think Macs should be a buck fifty five, don't you? That way it's fair-rights, so that everyone is equal. News flash, asshole, I work for my life-style and my toys. Maybe you should try it, too.


    No you dont work harder, you just have more clout, experience, and are lucky. Most people arent born at the top, most people have to work shitty jobs for years. Communism and Capitalism has nothing to do with it, if you want Capitalism well then the market should decide the price, and theres more people like me than people like you in the market, if there wasnt, we wouldnt have 100 million people using Kazaa and 4-5 million people using MAC. We wouldnt have 90 percent of the world running Windows if people wanted the highest quality most expensive OS and Hardware. People buy whats cheap because the average person is poor, or have a family to take care of, you are a single guy with a good job, you are rare unless you are in San Francisco or Boston and then you arent so rare.


    I guess it's easier for you to complain about not working, than it is to get a job doing something you may not necessarily like to pay the bills. Must be nice having parents that can support those decisions, eh?


    Its hard as hell to find a job in a depression, The economy has been losing jobs for the last few years, its hard to find a job and even if I somehow manage to find one, I can expect to make about $10 an hour tops, which is pennies. Getting a job gives me just enough money to the movies once per week, or buy a couple CDs a month, I did the calculation, I'd have around $20 a week of money I can actually spend on myself if I get an average part time job, after all my bills thats about all I'd have, and hey I'd even want that, I'm looking for a job right now and if it were easier to find a job than to complain about not having one, maybe everyone in the USA would have a job, its not easy to find a job.

    Its hard as hell to find a job, even mc donalds stopped hiring, any job I attempt to get I have to compete with hundreds of other college students along with highschool students.

    so yes I should complain, until our economy is good enough that I can find a job without having to dedicate my entire life for a month or two looking for a job.

  • incorrect (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:58PM (#5830623)
    128kbps AAC is easily distinguishable from the CD is very many cases, especially anything with sharp transients. It is indeed significantly better than 128kbps MP3, but not by as much as you insinuate. I'd consider it more comparable to a 160-192 kbps MP3, which is not a range in which MP3 is reliably transparent.

    Theoretically, 128kbps AAC should be transparent on nearly all samples, but that would require significantly more tuning than has been done thus far. Currently, the best-performing transparent codec is MPC (Muspack), which achieves its almost-always-transparent quality at 150-160kbps; AAC at these bitrates will be inferior (with current tunings) but still very good.

    Note also that it depends heavily on the encoder. I sincerely hope Apple is using a better encoder than the currently available QuickTime AAC implementation, which is frankly horrible (the Nero AAC encoder is vastly better quality).
  • Damn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eduardodude (122967) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:17PM (#5830711) Homepage
    Apple did an amazing job implementing this.

    First off, full albums cost $9.99 no matter how many tracks. All you $.99 winers, notice this price ceiling drops the average track cost for many albums.

    Second, the usability of the itunes interface is striking. It acts like your regular song library. You can search, browse by genre and group, etc., and it lists all of the songs. Choosing a song plays 30 seconds of it, and it starts playing immediately. Sound quality is very high. The itunes threading is, as it's always been, rock solid. You can download an album, transfer stuff to your ipod, burn a dvd AND listen to another album.

    Prediction: This will be a success. In spite of a somewhat guilty conscience, I've spent my share of time on Kazaa and LImewire. This is a MUCH nicer experience. It's immediate gratification at its best. I'd much rather use this than buy from a store, where I can't listen to tracks and have to walk around to find the stuff I want.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:26PM (#5830775) Homepage
    Sounds like you're asking how you can be expected to be honest when it's so damned convenient to be dishonest. Are you expecting a reward for being honest?


    No. What he's saying is that if people want to be dishonest, it's trivial for them to do so. So why encourage dishonesty by intentionally crippling the honest methods by making them harder to use?

  • by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:01PM (#5830990) Journal
    So why encourage dishonesty by intentionally crippling the honest methods by making them harder to use?

    Except in very desperate cases (stealing bread to survive winter), honesty is a personal choice. Fundamentally, nobody has an obligation to make it easy for you to be honest. In fact, it's usually harder to be honest.

    Secondly, this is most likely a compromise deal between Apple and the record labels. In fact, Apple just made it more convenient to obtain music legally, yet people whine about how it's still not as convenient as stealing. Guess what? Shoplifting is also more convenient than lining up to pay the cashier.

    Now, I'm sure Apple appreciates feedback to improve its service, but the tone of the post I responded to did not read to me as constructive criticism.

  • by Drakonian (518722) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:20PM (#5831105) Homepage
    What's specifically wrong with the AAC format? The only restriction I've read is that you can't burn the exact same playlist more than 10 times. (Seems reasonable, and why would you want to anyway). You can copy them (probably as difficult as copying songs from an iPod - i.e. not at all), burn them, etc.
  • by yunfat (200898) <.taran. .at. .mac.com.> on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:23PM (#5831117)
    If I was the pirating type, I'd get unrestricted songs for $0. Zip, nada, zilch. If I'm going to use this service, it's because I want to buy songs and be honest about it. Given that I have access to the free, better, but dishonest alternative, why the f*** would you put restrictions on how I can use what I buy that are only to prevent me from being dishonest? If I'm going to be dishonest, I'll fire up Kazaa, not buy AACs and copy them hither thither and yon.

    If this service sold MP3s or unrestricted media, I'd have bought some already. They don't, so I won't.

    better my ass... can you honestly say you get good quality tracks? I doubt it. I've seen all the dishonest P2P stuff and you hardly ever get good rips... theres always audible crap, and mp3's in general (even LAME encoded ones) are much suckier and bigger than the AAC codec apple uses. The restriction are in place to prevent abuse... do you really need 10 cd's of your favorite album? No, of course not, but thats hardly restrictive, at least in my eyes. They are basically saying that you can't manufacture cd's which most rational people agree would be a bad thing.

    Enjoy your pirated mp3's, they are free because they suck.

  • by Eccles (932) on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:21PM (#5831424) Journal
    Sounds like you're asking how you can be expected to be honest when it's so damned convenient to be dishonest.

    No, you (and the RIAA et al) still miss the point. Let me try to rephrase:

    If I'm dishonest enough to use this service and then spread the music all over Kazaaland, then I'm dishonest enough to skip using this service and get the music directly from Kazaa. I'm I'm honest enough to use this service, then I'm honest enough to trust that I won't distribute the music widely.

    Does that help?

    I want unrestricted files because I don't own a Mac, I just have one in my office. If the files were unrestricted MP3s, then I could buy them from my Mac and use them in various other places where I can play MP3s but not AACs (car MP3/CD players, for example.)
  • First reaction... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cacheMan (150533) on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:42PM (#5831499)
    I just used the service to download an album and a single. I must say that it was very very easy to use, just like everything that Apple has produced lately. It's as easy to use as my iPod.

    I used Napster a lot when it was out, I've tried a few other file sharing apps since. This just makes those feel so obviously illegal.

    Let's be realistic, this makes sense for me. I have an iPod, iMac, .Mac account, broadband, and an iSucker tatoo on my forehead. I also have almost zero free time, I don't have time to find the best ways to download music.

    This will probably be something like eWorld. Remember that? It was clearly better than AOL for mac heads, but once AOL caught up service wise, eWorld folded. I wouldn't be suprised if it's AOL who launches a service that buries this one too.

  • by lpret (570480) <lpret42.hotmail@com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:13AM (#5831626) Homepage Journal
    1. Yes, but think about the b-sides. History is full of groups that only became popular after a radio DJ turned the record over and played a track from that side.
    2. If only one track were released at a time, there would be so much pressure to make every song radio friendly that they wouldn't "waste time and money" putting out tracks that truly meant something to them group. As an artist myself, I know that our little 6 track CD has about 2 radio friendly songs and the other four that were deeper and introspective. Do you think I get more compliments about the first two, or the last 4?
    Just some thoughts...
  • by Oculus Habent (562837) * <oculus...habent@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:22AM (#5831673) Journal
    Welcome to the balancing act that is modern technology. It may not seem like it to you, but Apple has given people quite a bit of leeway with their service.

    Apple has more than just customers to think about. The store wouldn't be open if they walked into negotiations and said, "High-quality MP3s, no DRM - that's final." They would have been laughed out of the building. Limiting you to only playing the original file on a computer logged in on your account is reasonable. You bought it, you can play it. You can stream it to three other computers as well. You can burn it to a CD and rip it from there - granted you will lose some quality to the re-encoding.

    If you want to buy the music online and still don't like the limitations, get an account with all your friends, and you can all download and listen to the same music. That way you can be a slightly more honest crook that the Kazaa-only users.
  • by Zenin (266666) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:03AM (#5831854) Homepage
    Better my ass.

    My "dishonest" MP3 collection is entirely copys of friends' collections, which they ripped from their own CDs (and they have copies of my CD collection). Only one person I know uses Kazza et al; my roommate's lifeless 18 year old son who, having no life whatsoever (or music taste for that matter), has all the time in the world to go hunting down music via p2p all day long (and trashing our shared DSL line in the process, just with the search trafic alone, let alone the rare times he actually manages to find the songs he wants to download).

    While I can't claim my own life is super filled either, that goes even more to the point that even as un-busy as I am I don't have time to waste searching for crappy encodings and *slowly* downloading from other Kazza users who've also trashed their DSL connections on their own searches/downloads. Live is far, far too short to waste it on such pathetic activities.

    Maybe Kazza life is better sitting in a college dorm where you're sharing mostly via 100BaseT, but somehow I doubt it. For honest people that work for a living and have anything slightly close to an interesting life, the "dishonest alternative" of Kazza et al isn't better, it's complete shit.

    Furthermore, if you can actually find music you like on Kazza et al, you obviously have no music taste either.

    Geeks, get a life and get a clue. Apple's service is for real people with real lives, and for us it's a fantastic first step. You can take your Kazza and shove it!

  • by doce (31638) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:13AM (#5831884) Homepage
    We'll do it first in US dollars, because the number is one that has been quoted (I'm an Aussie):

    A song costs $US 0.99 A CD contains ~ 17 tracks, or $US 16.83


    without delving any further into your post, there are already two flaws. first, most CDs don't go 17 tracks, so I'm no sure where this number comes from other than an attempt to inflate the cost?

    second, most CDs on iTunes cost US$9.99 regardless of track count.... if you buy the whole CD. Some are more, some are less... but the vast majority seem to be US$9.99.

    To top it off, if you haven't burned a CD of your tracks, if your hard disk crashes, or your files get accidentally deleted, you have nothing and you can pay for your music again.

    the store seems to keep track of what you've bought... I've already tested this by downloading a song a second time - i was not charged for it again.

  • by gerardrj (207690) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @02:45AM (#5832140) Journal
    Several problems with your math:

    1. The "album" proces on ti Apple service are generally $9.99 ($10 us), so a CD with 16 tracks is less than $1/track.

    2. You can't really include the cost of bandwidth, as people are paying for it already, regardless of their using this service. If you want to include the cost of bandwidth for downloadig then you should include the cost of driving a vehicle to the store to purchase a CD (IE about 40 cents per mile to cover insurance, deprecieation, wear and tare amd the opportunity costs of my "wasting" time in traffic)

    3. Even if you are going to include the cost of bandwitdth, you can't amortize the entire monthly fee in to a single CD download. IF that ADSL account costs $60au/month, then it costs about $.0014au per minute on average, or about $.0028au (point three cents au) per song to download given your guestimates. Afterall, you're paying for the line whether you DL or not. You might as well use the bandwidth you pay for.

    What we have so far is that a download or a CD costs $10.003au. I'd like to know what kind of CDs you are download ing that average 17 tracks!! That's what's required for a CD to consume 60MB and 3.5MB per track. At the more reasonable number of 10 tracks per CD, that's 35MB/cd, or closer to $.01au per song or $1au per CD to store.

    So now we're up to $11.003au per CD total cost for download. Or do you want to amortize my monthly electric bill, total computer costs, etc. in to the download costs also?

    Now contrast that with the physical store purchase: I drive an average of 5 miles one way to the store, at $.40 per mile, that's $10us round trip. Add in the opportunity costs of my sitting in the car doing nothing instead of being productive (lets lowball at $5/hr(us)). 10 miles at an average speed of 30 miles per hour is twenty minutes or $3.30us (we're at $13.30us already and we don't have any product in our hands.
    We putter around the mall and various music stores to locate a CD. We finally purchase one. Cost $15us. Total so far $28.30us or $47.16au. Not looking like a bargin to me.

    Plus... if I drop the CD on the way to or from the car, and it's scratched, I have no recourse, I'll have to go buy another one. Also the CD I purchased may be copy protected, so I can't make a backup or copy it to my MP3 player.

    For all that I get a single CD which I am (by U.S. law) only allowed to make one backup copy of.

    In contrast the Apple music license allows me to simultaneously have: ANY number of copies stored on iPods, 10 burned copies on CD, and three copies on different Macs (not necessarily MINE).
    So to extrapolate further:
    with the physical CD, I have one "useful" copy of the CD, or $28us (~$46au)per copy.
    With the Apple license I have (lets be conservative) 5 usable, leagal copies or : $1.32us(~$2.20au)per copy.
    The Apple download service is cheaper by a factor of twenty!

    Statistics... you can make data say anything you like. :)

  • by mrpuffypants (444598) <mrpuffypants@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @03:24AM (#5832204)
    It seems like about 10% of the people on here have actually used the new iTunes Music Store before they posted and I'm just another one of them :) Here's what I thought:

    - If you tried using the service anytime from the announcement until around 5 or 6 it was pretty useless. Everybody was hammering it from work and pretty much nothing would load. Now, however it's really speedy and works like it should.

    - Signup is painless: (1) It explains the terms of the service in plain language, (2) you agree to the standard agreement that nobody reads, (3) you enter your credit card info....and you're ready to buy!

    - To test out the service I wanted to download some White Stripes. (I've listenend to them before but seeing them on Conan all last week has got me more interested) To my dismay, however, The White Stripes aren't on the service at all.

    - Lots of artists are on the service, but not necessarily with all of their albums. Some of the Michael Jackson albums are listed as "partial," meaning that there is about half of the actual tracks avaliable for download. (No word on if the rest will come down the pipe at a later date)

    - I wanted my first track to be something distinctive...I picked "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. It downloaded fast and sounds flawless.

    Overall, I like the service and have downloaded a few more tracks since the first. I think they need to have some type of "Billboard top 200" chart showing what peopel are hearing on the radio with direct purchase links, because right now it can still be a bit tricky to find something if all you've heard is some lyrics on the radio.

    4/5 stars
  • by shylock0 (561559) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:13AM (#5834195)
    Some of it might be royalties with the bands. A lot of one-hit-wonders (and the grandchildren of one-hit-wonders) are living off of the royalties to their one-hit of yore. Generally speaking, these one-hit-wonders have amazingly favorable contracts with the music studios. Something tells me that the studios could not in good faith uphold their contracts with artists and their estates if they offered these one-hit-wonders.

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