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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 Billly Gates (198444) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:12PM (#5826468) Journal
    Here is a solution.

    I love singles and think paying $20 for an album with just one good single is silly.

    If I owned a mac I would support Apple just to show the RIAA what consumers really want. DRM will not help but more modest pricing.

    I do wonder how many record labels are signing up with this service though? They make money ripping people off and this may cut into their profits.

  • by steelerguy (172075) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#5826485) Homepage
    some cd's have intro or little skit song throughout the cd. i don't wan to have to pay $1 for a 30 second intro or skit. of course i don't have to, but then again i will never have the entire cd. for a cd that is 60 mins but 20 tracks it is a bit much. still worth just ordering online and paying shipping.

    a per mb or per song minute charge would take care of this. or at least special pricing if you want an entire cd. i guess this is more for people who are just d/l'ing a few songs not the entire cd.
  • by TopShelf (92521) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#5826487) Homepage Journal
    At long last we're seeing some innovations in this space that are designed around making a wide variety of music available for download and portable use by the consumer. The jury won't be in for at least a year, I'd think, as to whether this works for all parties involved...

  • by RobPiano (471698) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#5826507)
    $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.

    This looks like a nice stand politically, but its really just a chance to gouge the consumer market as the first big dog in.

    Besides, I'm of the, "Go to my concert, I'll give you the CD" philosophy.

    Rob
  • No deal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sulli (195030) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:15PM (#5826515) Journal
    Okay, this is less bad than previous pay-per-song services, but it's still not acceptable. You can't do any of the following legal things without significant loss of quality:

    play bought tunes on a non-iPod player such as Archos or Rio

    stream bought tunes to a SliMP3 or Audiotron

    play bought tunes on your Windows or Linux PC

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

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

    broadcast bought tunes using Shoutcast
    So, despite the convenience, I think it will not compare to either ripping CDs or downloading from less-than-legal services. Too bad.

  • Guess he was right. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:16PM (#5826521)
    Anybody remember this? [slashdot.org] Seems like he knew exactly what he was talking about.
  • by elysian1 (533581) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:16PM (#5826522)
    How long before someone comes out with an ACC to MP3 or ACC to OGG converter?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:16PM (#5826523)
    ...what? Service available only in the U.S.? NOOOOooooo!

    Seriously now, I was ready with my credit card to sign up for this service but will probably have to wait ages while the Canadian subsidiaries and industry groups resolve their differences to get this service rolling in Canada. I honestly think that Apple has added enough value over regular P2P or IRC mp3 mining to make me change my habits. I guess I'll either have to wait for Canadian service or get access to an American-based credit card somehow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:18PM (#5826550)
    The way people want it? Like how everyone in your house with a computer has to buy their own copy of a song/album if your computer isn't on/connected/available? You mean like the way 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? You mean the fact that most independent and rare music is not available because apple only has deals with the big 5 record companies producing arguably the worst music in the world? You have a bizarre idea of what music lovers want.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:19PM (#5826556)
    You will be expecting to pay for what we want. If you dont want to pay for it then you can settle with what they want. A lot of this stuff isnt cheap to give away, they might as well take the advantage and push the designs that they like themselfs. This is not really an Evil thing. It is just buisness sience. They are tring to sell their products. And make money. You make it sound like a bad thing.
  • by mcwop (31034) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:19PM (#5826563) Homepage
    I had the same exact thought. Let other smaller labels or independent artits sell their wares. I would like to see a label like Dischord (assuming they are not on now) be on this platform. They could even set different (lower) prices (25 cents?) to make their stuff attractive. Apple could even charge a reasonable fee for independents to get on the platform.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:20PM (#5826570)
    Old iPod: Built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery (1200 mAh), 10 hours of use.

    New iPod: Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery (630 mAh), 8 hours of use.

    Pretty impressive reduction of power usage.
  • first thoughts (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826596)
    The killer part of this deal is the integration in iTunes .. forget everything else. That's what will make it succeed. Why would you bother hunting down a track on P2P when it's right THERE.

    I don't listen to U2 or Eminememem. I listen mostly to stuff on indie labels like Warp or Projekt (those are "big" indies but I listen to even smaller ones like planet mu or schematic or "dude in his bedroom with a burner") .. will this service cater to my tastes or it will it be a glitzy shopping mall piled to the ceiling with crap I try and avoid?

    Will it be possible to play/stream to my Linux box or my Zaurus handheld? That's where I usually listen to my MP3s even though the interface (xmms, tkcPlayer, etc) are pure crap compared to iTunes.

    AAC player for Linux? What is AAC? I that was a bad format (as in DRM bad).

    Will I be able to give copies to my friends as I do my physical CDs? I guess I would just burn a copy? That's probably the best way anyway. They are probably watermarked or something evil.

    Anyway, I'll definitely be taking advantage of this for the occasional mainstream single I want to hear, though if it's all mainstream stuff I probably won't be using it much.

    If I can't play them on Linux though I'll probably not use it and stick with P2P and emusic (emusic ROCKS for jazz and non-mainstream stuff).
  • For Win and OS X? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pjdepasq (214609) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:27PM (#5826684)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that previous versions were for one OS or the other. This new iPod version seems to be for both OSes. Does anyone read it this way as well?
  • by Steveftoth (78419) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:27PM (#5826689) Homepage
    I'd agree with this if you could keep on downloading it forever. At the price they are charging, you should be able to download the song as many times as you want. The format has protection such that you can only use the song on 3 macs. Thus they don't need to worry about you stealing music.

    That way I can clean out all my old music and not worry if I accidently deleted some old music.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:27PM (#5826694) Homepage Journal
    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).

    Why would anyone want to buy a song in a degraded format? Seems like you'd want the best version/format, and convert it as you need. I like compressed versions for portable players or the car, which are harsh listening evironments, but, for playing on the home stereo? No way...I'd want the original, uncompressed version.

    My $0.02,

    cayenne

  • by x98chn (558072) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826701)
    At $0.99 (US) a song, this is still expensive

    Valid point, does anybody know if there is any consideration for bulk prices?
    Eg. I buy a full album and I get them for .77/song (price pulled out of the air of course) rather than .99/song?
  • by sulli (195030) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826713) Journal
    but the quality will suck ass. Remember that MP3 and AAC are different compression schemes, so you'll get much worse quality than if you did a burn-rip from MP3 to MP3.

    Also, it will be a major hassle, and then you have all those burnt CDs that you'll use very infrequently, which will be a cost and a pain as well. Which, I suspect, is the point.

  • by davids-world.com (551216) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:29PM (#5826729) Homepage
    too bad they obviously didn't manage to secure international rights. how can i get a credit card with a billing address in the U.S.? Any ideas? No, I'm not moving there. Not for at least another year... :)
  • by Bake (2609) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:31PM (#5826761) Homepage
    If I'm confronted by two choices:
    1) buy a full CD (on average 12-15 songs per CD) at $10 or more when I really just one this one song,

    2) buy this one song I want for a buck

    Give me option number 2 any day.
  • by HanzoSan (251665) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:31PM (#5826769) 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.
  • by Alexander (8916) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:34PM (#5826826) Homepage
    I don't like Rock and/or Roll music, so the download thing doesn't really appeal. I can still go to the library and rip just about any music that interests me. What I can't get there, I can't imagine that the iTunes "Store" will have for me.

    It's fairly laughable that many of the folks who complain about the price/crippling of the content are those who would never buy the content anyway. I personally, can't imagine that 80% of any "downloader"'s personal music library would ever be purchased.

    I find it just as silly that Apple is crippling the content. There's a very available (albeit illegal) substitute good - one that strikes me as kiltering the economics of this undertaking towards the "failure" side.

    That being said, I thought the new iPods had usable feature improvements. They are very expensive, but I think they seem to be feature/form factor competitive.

    I thought the "rendevous" software side was somewhat interesting.

    BTW - We made it how many posts before the predictable "I can build myself an AMD with Linux and Windows (just for games) for $1.99 and it will outrun a $3,000 Mac"?
  • My question is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Upright Joe (658035) <uprightjoe@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:35PM (#5826830) Homepage
    If my band isn't signed by one of the big 5, how can I get my material posted for sale by Apple? I suspect that the answer is "I can't". I wish I could figure out what contact number or e-mail address to use from the apple site to find out...
  • by Fred IV (587429) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:35PM (#5826837)
    Or save yourself a disc and use an app like audio hijack to rip the iTunes file as it plays.

    Ditto with the networked sharing, you stream to me...I rip as I listen.

    Apple DRM, with a nod and a wink to what their customers really want.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826845)
    It sucks - the concept is great but I have two major issue.

    AAC - My fiancé who uses the ipod etc the most has an old powerbook that limps along in OSX and can't deal very well with this type of compression.

    Selection - I thought oh goodie, immiedately whent looking for stuff to download, I could not find a single damn thing I wanted.

    US only - I am not living in the states right now and normally that would be a big problem, except I do have a billing address over there available to me.

    Great concept, poor execution.
  • by aftk2 (556992) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#5826913) Homepage Journal
    Hah...crap, I do remember that post. And I also remember thinking it was pretty outlandish, but not a terrible idea, either. I find it interesting also that one of the bands he listed (No Doubt) just got publicity recently for signing on to the service (as with the Eagles.)
  • Re:No deal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tbmaddux (145207) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:40PM (#5826920) Homepage Journal
    You can't do any of the following legal things without significant loss of quality...
    Your argument seems to hinge on the phrase "significant loss of quality."

    Your implication is that an MP3 from an AAC will sound noticably worse than one from a CD or from elsewhere (online) if played on your Archos, Rio, SliMP3, Audiotron, Windows/Linux PC, car, DVD player, or Audion.

    Do you have any evidence of this?

  • by vought (160908) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:42PM (#5826949)
    I'm quite frankly surprised at all the negative comments here. A system that makes allowances for fair use and that is priced reasonably seems to be what folks here have been clamoring for since the shut down of Napster.

    Apple is stepping out on a very thin limb here, and as with every other product they've released in the past few years, they'll make adjustments to the feature set and pricing as feedback reaches them.

    $1.00 a song isn't unreasonable given the convenience, flexibility and feature set they've built in to this product. They've removed the need for me to pay shipping charges opn music, to fight traffic on the way to the music store, and to find space for more jewel cases. I still retain the right to burn the song an unlimited number of times, albeit on different playlists every tenth burn. Sounds like fair use to me. It's an intelligent approach that is the FIRST one to consider the needs, rights, wishes and hopes of the .mp3-savvy consumer.

    At least give them credit for doing something no other computer company or music company has done or even shown an interest in: further integrating the computers we use for 8-10 hours a day with the other devices and interests we all have.
  • by somethingwicked (260651) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:43PM (#5826970)
    The main word here is INDEPENDENTLY

    I think you mean the same way any user can peer share their garage bands mp3s of their version of "Stairway" up to a small touring club band hoping to get a break by self promoting themselves by giving their music away hoping that people will pay to come see them.

    No, they should HAVE to pay Apple for this right.

    I am not kidding or being facetious.

    But in the end Apple should get to decide if it is worth their energy to negotiate with an INDIVIDUAL BAND or SMALL LABEL.

    Apple is taking the risk. They are paying for the infrastructure. The "brand building"

    No, you should not be able to set up your own server or upload your own songs within the network.

    They have to make a profit at this for this to work. If that means that they only deal with a company that gives them a library of 50,000 songs that they KNOW at least SOME of which people are willing to pay, that's their choice.

    I know this will be not be a popular view, but from a business perspective, it makes perfect sense-

    I can sell 10,000 Britney songs at a $.50 profit each or I can sell 10 of your songs $1 a shot. Not really a hard choice...
  • Streaming != copying (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Damek (515688) <adam AT damek DOT org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:44PM (#5826984) Homepage
    With the Apple service, you can share your music with your 3 friends (or their computers, anyway), but it's streaming, not copying. Once they've listened to the song, it's not sitting there on their computer to then share with their friends. If they want to do that, they have to go buy the music themselves.

    Unfortunately, they've chose AAC as the "music format of the future" - an unfinalized format with no tagging standard and no good gapless playback support...
  • by lithandie (627181) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:44PM (#5826989)
    well, $16/CD would be a pain, but it is only $9.99 a CD if you "buy the album" as seen on the right hand side of the graphic HERE [apple.com]
  • Non-English/US music (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jswitte (216975) <jswitte@NospAM.bloomington.in.us> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:45PM (#5827001)
    Hmm, I wonder if this will include non-English/US music? I'd expect some Latin/Spanish music, but can I get Indian music? Can I get Quebec pop? Can I get Japanese?

    Jim
  • by dunar (575371) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:54PM (#5827128)
    the audio on a CD is already lossy...

    44,100 samples/sec is not analog, and any true audiophile would tell you that analog is much higher quality. it is near impossible to buy music in an uncompressed format - anything digital is technically compressed because of sampling.

    i don't have a high quality reel to reel or turntable any more anyway... and couldn't afford the 2" tape to boot
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:00PM (#5827221)
    All you audiophile gods can take your "i am the coolest audio guy ever and this 'aint good enough for me" talk and go somewhere else. It seems like every time we bring up audio here we all have to assert our own wealth of knowledge. Mp3 is just fine for the masses - that's why Apple can offer a service like this. This is why there are Mp3 players.

    I don't give a damn about 'lossy.' I want good. Mp3 is just fine for most people (and I don't even understand how you can tell the difference) - and now Apple has given everyone a really great service.

    Don't want lossy? Then why the hell are you making comments about handheld mp3 players and desktop computer audio?! Go back to your multimillion dollar studios! Geez!

    The cost is also pretty good.

    The DRM is reasonable. Reasonable, folks. All you pirates out there can stick with whatever you want, but I want to try to contribute to society and to artists that play the music I like . . . not to mention to ease my own conscience. Pirating music is stealing - no two buts about it.

    Way to go Apple.

    Again.

    --$0.02

  • AAC encoding speed (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:00PM (#5827225)
    I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm encoding a CD in 128 kbps AAC at 15x on my 1 GHz machine. And that's just on a single processor. The MP3 encoder was multithreaded and vectorized and gave me about 22x, but the AAC encoder is doing 15x with half the CPU. Pretty impressive.

    128 kbps AAC really does sound as good as 192 kbps MP3, by the way. I'm gonna be able to strip my 35 GB music collection down to about 25 GB, which is gonna be cool. Also cool: more songs at a time on my lowly 5 GB iPod.

    Long and short of it: even without the Music Store, this absolutely rocks.
  • by gosand (234100) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:07PM (#5827332)
    I have been thinking about this "single-song purchase" idea for a while now. I go back and forth between two camps:

    A. I should be able to buy the songs I like, without having to buy the whole album.

    B. I should be forced to buy the whole album.

    Now, let me explain why I dislike both of these...
    A. I think this approach will encourage less and less thought for artists. Everything would be "hit" driven, much like it is today. The days of "good albums" would be gone, it would all be song driven. Sometimes I find some of my favorite songs aren't the hits played 1000000 times on the radio. I like discovering other tracks. Not all goods songs are the popular ones. Artists would be less inclined to take risks, or put any thought into the layout of the album.

    B. I may not want to buy the whole album. I have been burned many times in the past. I have heard a good song, bought the album, and it sucked ass. In that event, the good song was just an ad to get me to buy the whole album. I'll bet a lot of albums have been sold on this principle. Sometimes groups just get lucky with one song. For older music, I think the individual songs should be made available on a per-song basis. After 2 years (and some could argue even one) the album sales basically drop to nothing. In that case, release the individual songs, so people can make compilation CDs or whatever they want. At that point, the album is effectively dead anyway, you might as well reap the benefits of the hit songs.

    But like I said, I bounce back and forth between these ideas. You might think that it doesn't matter what I want, that the RIAA will decide what I want. But I am just one of many. They could really make the music industry take off again, where everyone is really into music. Hell, the market is THERE, they just don't see it. I haven't bought a new CD for at least 2 years, simply because nothing out there interests me. I am sure that there is stuff out there I would like, but I am instead fed the tripe that the average teeny-bopper and idiot consumer will swallow. Instead, I am going over my 300+ CD collection and rediscovering music that I "own". Hey RIAA - up yours.

  • by Cereal Box (4286) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:07PM (#5827337)
    Wow, like I imagined, about 60% of the comments to this article are along the lines of "99 cents! What an amazingly large sum of money!" Come on geeks, here's your chance to put up or shut up. I can't count how many times I've heard someone say "if I could just buy two or three tracks instead of the whole album, I'd be there in a heartbeat." Well HERE IT IS! Go for it.

    This article reminds me of a post I made a week or so ago... this quote sums up the geek mentality concerning online music services quite nicely:

    "Well, IF they make available every song they've ever published and IF they make the songs available in mutiple MP3 bitrates and in OGG and in uncompressed PCM audio and in every other esoteric compression format I can think of and IF they can guarantee a full 10Mbps connection to me I *MIGHT* consider paying two dollars per month for the service. Until then, I'll continue to download music that I enjoy listening to but do not enjoying paying for."
  • by TomSawyer (100674) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:19PM (#5827526) Homepage
    I hope I'm mistaking, but it looks like [apple.com] they replaced the standard firewire port for a cradle port.

    What happened to the iPod being a portable hard drive? Do I have to carry around a cradle to make use of that feature? I gained a slimmer iPod but lost the portability afforded by the ability to pick it up and go. I can score a firewire cable away from home for unanticipated file back-up a lot easier than a cradle.

    Is it safe to ASSuME that was planned to restrict serendipitous music swapping? Why would I want sound out on a stationary cradle vs. the head phone jack? I know having to support USB2 on the system hardware had to be taken into consideration but I rather have ubiquitous access to straight firewire than the added cradle connectivity to non-firewire wintels.

  • by cK-Gunslinger (443452) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:33PM (#5827769) Journal

    You go pay $1 a song, I'll never buy music because I cannot afford to spend a dollar a song, I can spend 25 cent a song, 50 cent a song, but not a dollar a song, 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?
    Yes, and I think that BMW should lower the price of their cars as well. I mean, I can spend $15K on a car, $20K on a car, but not $40k. I barely have enough money to pay my mortgage and invest in my 401k and I'm supposed to be spending tens-of-thousands of dollars on a car?

    I don't know why so many people think that pop music is a necessity is life. You're not "supposed" to be spending anything more than what you can afford on music.
    IT IS A LUXURY, NOT A NECESSITY!
  • by pmbuko (162438) <pmbuko@gma i l . com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:44PM (#5827933) Homepage
    Keep in mind who the target audience is. Those of us who care a lot about the recording and mastering quality of the music we listen to (this includes early adopters of DVD-A and/or SACD) will NOT be using this service as our main source of music.

    When I want a quality listening session, I pull my chair into the sweet spot, fire up the Pink Floyd DSotM SACD, and enter a realm of auditory bliss. When I'm more interested in variety than quality, then I'll hook the iPod up to the stereo and rock out. The flexibity of custom playlists comprised of legally-acquired, good-quality music far outweighs the downsides of any compression arftifacts that I may hear.

    This service is not intended to replace buying your music on physical media. It's intended to replace hunting and downloading music of questionable quality and unknown content. (Who among us has not downloaded an incorrectly labeled MP3?) At the same time, it encourages music companies to transition to a new business model -- away from the album paradigm and toward a track-based paradigm. Imagine an artist's popularity being based on the number of tracks they sell as opposed to albums? There'd be far less fluff out there.

    This service is absolutely the right thing at the right time. I downloaded iTunes 4 and started browsing the store as soon as the link appeared on Apple's home page (after clicking reload every few seconds like a well-seasoned FP troll). I took some willpower not to click buy. The free 30-second previews play instantly and are the same quality as the whole song. Where else can you get that?

    Wow.
  • by gearheadsmp (569823) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:45PM (#5827944)
    You can just take an iPod that was formatted for Windows (Fat) and go to a Mac and format it for Mac (HPFS(+?)). After formatting, you should be able to flash it to the newer firmware.
  • Re:Actually (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:54PM (#5828059)
    As a musician I can tell you that I DO care about the price of CDs and what people are paying for them. I'm not saying that I expect people to pay $15 a CD but in order to recoup my costs and turn a tiny profit they'd need to fork over at least $5 a CD to cover manufacturing, marketing, distribution, production, etc. $1 a CD? Are you burning these yourself? Any packaging? I don't know that you can compare that to shrinkwrapped store-bought CDs that take a whole group of people to design and prepare.
    Touring? T-shirt sales? Please. Most clubs these days won't even split the door with you fairly. And where do most fans buy the t-shirts? At the venue. So Cafe Press is kind of useless. This also means that you have to fork over the money to have them designed and pressed before you even see a dime of money off of them.

    I agree that at $15 most CDs are overpriced. I think that this is as much the artists' fault as the music companies. They know what's going on when they enter into music contracts. At the same time though owning a copy of your favorite artist's work is a luxury, not a right. So by using file swapping services you are stealing. There can be no justification for it. You are taking something from a group of people that does not belong to you that you paid no money for. You may as well be doing the same at the mall or Best Buy. I'd love to drive a Ferrari but just because I'm in college and poor doesn't mean that I should steal one.

    If you want to continue to use Kazaa or any other utility like that then that's your choice. Maybe the authorities will come after you. Maybe not. But do not try to justify it. You're only trying to fool yourself.
  • the new newton (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kraksmoka (561333) <grant @ g r a n t s t e r n.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:00PM (#5828128) Homepage Journal
    anyone notice the nice new PIM and game stuff that was added this time? looks like a new newton without the inkwell, or maybe it's time for the new newton???
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:07PM (#5828212)
    Link the stuff to a historical chart database and you have the perfect gift machine. For an birth, wedding or graduation anniversary, offers a CD with the very hits of that day.
    Have it even burned and printed by apple with a personalized commemorative text and case and sent to the celebrated.
  • by peter_gzowski (465076) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:16PM (#5828305) Homepage
    You do remember correctly. I finally signed up after reading /. threads like this. It seems like 90% of the comments are, "would sign up for straight-up, no-DRM mp3s," or "would sign up if it were 25 cents/download". eMusic is $15/month for unlimited downloading, straight-up mp3s. I've already downloaded about 4 albums this month, which is about 48 tracks or so, which comes out to 31 cents/download. I've only been at it for a few days, though. The quality is an issue (128kb/s mp3), but they're planning on an increase in the bitrate. You can even sign up to be notified when it does increase. It also works with Linux (HotLead is an emusic download manager). I'll stick with emusic, Linux, and my Nex IIe mp3 player.

  • by Nexum (516661) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:24PM (#5828396)
    Am I the only one dismayed this is a U.S. only feature?

    First iPhoto prints and hardback book ordering is U.S. only.

    Then Sherlock is practically useless in non-U.S. countries.

    Now this service IS useless. And there is no promise to bring it to international customers.

    International users pay the same amount for our product, why do we lose out on some functionality? If you are an International (non-U.S.) Apple customer, then I invite you to sign the petition to promote more international-mindedness at Apple, which can be found here

    Apple Features for International users petition [petitiononline.com]

    Please sign it if you are an international user frustrated by non being able to use this new service. (Moderators, if you have a mod or two to spare, I'm not below asking to mod this up if you feel Apple needs to spend more attention to the international community :) -Nex
  • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:25PM (#5828400) Journal
    I am sure that there is stuff out there I would like, but I am instead fed the tripe that the average teeny-bopper and idiot consumer will swallow. Instead, I am going over my 300+ CD collection and rediscovering music that I "own". Hey RIAA - up yours.

    You are not alone. Everytime I get frustrated that my friends at the RIAA or Radio or MTV or whatever can't "fuel my fire" like they did in years past (many years ago) -- I take solace in my 300+ CD's, 500+ Cassettes, and 100+ LP's. Based on the above numbers you can see that I am not afraid to play the "eager" consumer route -- and I am far from hard to impress....But man the stuff shoved down our throats nowadays is just garbage. When the majority of kids today say: Why should I buy an album for 1 good song -- I say why does an album only have one good song. I can't image buying 1 or 2 songs from "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "Appetite For Destruction" -- you need the whole product to fully appreciate. So NO -- I really don't want a solution to "burn" 1 or 2 songs -- I am a potential paying customer that wants the signed artists to remember what making a "good" ALBUM is all about.
  • by Enkerli (554033) <enkerli@gmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:28PM (#5828438) Homepage
    Apple's pay-per-song system is ideal for times when you want to own a song now. This may happen for several reasons, some of which are pure marketing (ever wanted to buy a CD because of a song you heard on TV or on the radio?) while some others are more subtle: you feel such song would perfectly fit your current mood. It's close to the jukebox idea "and you get to keep a copy"...
    OTOH, those for whom music is important likely want more than just "Instant Gratification(tm)" [apple.com]. For this, there will always be free concerts, CD swapping, actual record stores with dedicated personnel, used CD stores, and garages to rehearse in. My point is, the iTunes Music Store [apple.com] isn't an end-all solution, but it might just work for some situations.
  • by SqueakyFerret (240793) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:31PM (#5828460)
    That's only a function of the file format, which is no more restricted than MP3 is.

    That's a fair point. But only if the DRM Apple is using allows copying to new devices when/if those devices support AAC. I guess I don't know if it will.

    I guess the fundamental question is this: Does fair use necessarily require that you be able to copy the song to any device that supports the format, and how open does that format need to be?

    I'm just comparing the freedoms in any new system to what we already have the freedom to do with CDs. It seems to me that any system that reduces that freedom represents an erosion of rights.

    Right now you can play any CD in any player. That's a function of the fact that the spec for audio CDs is very open. If the spec for AAC is similarly open, and by simply making a playback device that conforms to that spec you can make that device compatible with Apple's AAC files, then I'll stop complaining right now.
  • by bladeohlsson (301530) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:32PM (#5828470) Homepage
    I as an independent musician and I am sure there are others would like to get in on this Apple Music store too. Is there any news if they will have an mp3.com-esque section to this thing? I think this would be the best way for artists to begin to sell to the end users directly.

    ohlssonvox
    http://ohlssonvox.8k.com
  • by rockforever (669205) on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:02PM (#5828841)
    AAC formatted files, converted from MP3, are actually larger than MP3 files. Unless Apple is saying freshly ripped CD files to AAC wind up smaller than ripped to MP3, I have not seen where AAC files are actually smaller, at 128.
  • by shancock (89482) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:07PM (#5828892)
    The great thing about Napster and other file sharing programs to me was that I could find old songs that were virtually unavailable anywhere else. I found old old very obscure blues ("How Come My Dog Don't Bark... by Prince Partridge and others),show tunes and songs from the soundtracks of french films like (Shoot the Piano Player & Jules and Jim), old comedy stuff like Lord Buckley - the list could go on for pages. Anyway, Apples' new store may generate revenue on popular music but it still does not address my problems and I will continue to use file sharing programs for these older unavailable songs.

    I don't see how the RIAA can stop file sharing for songs that are not available or in print at the current time. This should be a minimum requirement in my opinion.

    I would willingly pay a reasonable fee for what I seek but the fact is much of what I search for is not available anywhere else.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @05:18PM (#5829003)
    In mulling over the new Apple service, I came to realize that there is another major aspect to this - it's the first major networked shopping app (that I know of) that has a dedicated interface, not just a browser interface!

    People have been using iTunes for a while now, so using it to search for music is very natural - not that web shopping is hard, but it's just not as integrated an experience. I think that will make impulse purchases even easier, and really drive a lot of sales vs. just having a classic web storefront. If you're just sitting there listening to an old CD you have, you can say "I wonder if this person has anything new out?" and buy it with just a moments effort, expanding your playlist.

    I wonder if this is the start of an expansion of heavily customized interfaces for shopping that really take advantage of web services (I wonder if the Apple music store will have a web service interface?).
  • by cryptochrome (303529) on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:13PM (#5829965) Journal
    1) The interface is great, much better than working through the web (aka amazon) to buy, especially for sampling. However browsing can be tricky with so many bands, so searching is a must.

    2) Like amazon, there should be the ability to post reviews, suggestions, and personal playlists (based on iTunes playlists, naturally, possibly automatically culled). Also it would be nice to have the option to buy the CD, although that would best be addressed with a tie in link. Oh yeah, links to official band/album websites would be nice.

    3) $0.99 for a song is not unreasonable, if you're only going to buy a couple of songs off an album. $9.99 for an album is probably more than it could be. No doubt there are actuaries in the works. In fact, for $0.99 is probably too little for albums where the songs are all long, depressing the price of the album. This includes mainly Jazz and Classical works. Really, prices for individual songs and albums should be much more variable, based on the set album cost and the song length, with the popular songs boosted in price a bit over that number.

    4) There isn't enough content. I couldn't find even half of what I was looking for. There ought to be a way for small labels and independents to get in on the action. Allowing them to host their own music and samples through the iTunes music store interface would be the most reasonable way.

    5) There are way too many partial albums. I have no idea why you would only put up some songs off an album - did they not have all the source recordings for the entire album?

    6) Once Apple has expanded the service outside of America, they should provide a way to buy music from overseas as well. Under the current distribution model, (true) international music is difficult to find and get.

    7) I couldn't find the Fleetwood Mac "Peacekeeper" song that just came out, even though they were right on the front page. Bad Apple. I have a feeling the big 5 made them jump through more than a few hoops to get where they are now, and are still calling a lot of the shots with regard to what is actually offered.
  • DRM and such (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benntop (449447) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ogiarc.> on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:21PM (#5830026) Homepage Journal
    Well, this will probably get buried because there are so many comments, but anyway...

    I just downloaded a track off of the new site. In toying around I opened it up in the Quicktime player and saved the music file as a self-contained movie. Then I threw it back into iTunes to see what would happen.

    It doesn't see the file as protected audio. If I get info for the purchased tracks it lists them as "Protected AAC Audio", but the track I ran through Quicktime is listed as a "Quicktime Movie File". It sounds exactly the same and iTunes treats it as just another music file. Interesting.

    Anybody else have any luck? I love the new store and I plan on purchasing often, but it is odd that the DRM can be stripped out (possibly) by another Apple software product.
  • I'm disappointed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sclatter (65697) * on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:31PM (#5830091) Homepage
    So I've just been checking this out, browsing around and looking at what there is to see in the iTunes Music Store. I've been really excited to see this, because I've been wanting a reasonable online music service for a while.

    So I decide on a test. I like Dirty Vegas' "Days Go By", but I don't have the CD. That would be a pretty cool song to buy for a buck. So I browse on over to "Electronica" and look for the CD. I find it. Yay!

    You can't buy the song "Days Go By".

    You can buy any of the other songs on the CD individually, and you can buy the whole CD including "Days Go By" for a paltry $12. But you can't just by the one song that everyone might actually want by itself.

    BOGUS! I had no idea they would do something like that. Surprised? Not really. But I am sorely disappointed.

    Sarah
  • License badness (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @07:54PM (#5830259)
    An exerpt from the iTunes Music Store TOS:

    9d. You acknowledge that some aspects of the Service, Products, and administering of the Usage Rules entails the ongoing involvement of Apple. Accordingly, in the event that Apple changes any part of the Service or discontinues the Service, which Apple may do at its election, you acknowledge that you may no longer be able to use Products to the same extent as prior to such change or discontinuation, and that Apple shall have no liability to you in such case.

    So, it looks like they could close the store, shutdown their servers, and in theory your music would just be completely inaccessable.
  • The price will drop (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inkswamp (233692) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:22PM (#5830444)
    I see lots of carping about the price here and I'm puzzled. Frankly, I think .99 is a great price and the first thing that went through my head was the "15 songs are less than ave. CD price" point that others are already making. And with the convenience of getting it over the Internet, with no significantly restrictive DRM, I would think the geek crowd would love the concept. (What does it take to make some of you happy?)

    Anyway, my first suspicion about the price is that it's higher than it will eventually be. And I'm right about that.

    This is from http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,58656-2, 00.html [wired.com]:

    Crawford said the service is likely to change significantly in coming months, with price drops and big growth in the library of available music.

    "It's a premium service at the moment," he said. "The audience that Apple is after here can afford the iPod and to pay for music like this. But by the time it comes to Windows, it'll be a lot different."


    So those of you too cheap to pay up can sit back and wait for a while and stop griping. This service is going to cater to you as well.

  • 'Filler' tracks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by caitsith01 (606117) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:35PM (#5830515) Journal
    I hate to sound elitist (well, I don't hate it that much) but a lot of people have been arguing that they shouldn't have to buy whole albums with 6-8 'filler' tracks "just to get a couple of songs I like."

    I put it to you that in the case of any half-decent band or artist this attitude is akin to cutting a Monet into 12ths and only looking at a couple of squares of it because you don't want to waste your time with "all that filler about waterlilies", or ripping all but ten pages out of Macbeth and asking to pay 1/10th the price because you don't want "all that filler about inner turmoil."

    Sure, if your tastes extent to Avril, Christina and Britney then I can see that you wouldn't want to buy a whole disc of garbage (just a few tracks of garbage) but when it comes to bands of any musical importance albums should generally be considered as a whole. If they wanted you to listen to it as 12 separate songs they would release 12 singles. Understand, however, that I am not trying to support the music industry's oligopolistic pricing; I just feel that the ability for users to pick and choose individual tracks may damage the important structure of the album and reduce things even further to a race for the catchiest pop hook.

    Plus who the hell wants to pay nearly full price for no album art, no physical disc, less flexibility of use and poorer quality audio? Apple is doomed from the get-go. But who are we to complain...
  • by |>>? (157144) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:44PM (#5830878) Homepage
    Ok, lets just do the maths on that.

    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

    The current exchange rate is ~ 0.60

    Thus a CD worth of songs costs: $AUD 28.05

    Now in addition to this, you're also paying for bandwidth, because unlike purchasing the CD in the shop where the distribution network is paid for by the supplier, the electronic distribution is now paid for by you.

    Lets assume for a moment you have a basic ADSL account, lets say 256K download, with a 2Gb cap. Cost is $AUD 60.00

    A song is roughly 3.5Mb (based on looking at the songs on my HD, guestimating an average size), thus with your 2Gb cap you can download about 580 songs. Thus each song also costs $AUD 0.10 in download charge.

    A 256K ADSL account has a throughput of about 25Kb per second. Thus each song will take just over 2 minutes to download.

    You save on time going to the shop and you save on your bus fare getting there.

    To download your CD would cost you around $AUD 29.75.

    You end up with a CD worth of music, which takes up around 60Mb of space on your hard disk. A 20Gb HDD costs around $AUD 100, so you can store around 60 CD's worth, or around 5850 songs. Cost per song: $AUD 0.02.

    So your CD has now cost:

    $AUD 28.05 charge to purchase
    $AUD 1.70 charge to download
    $AUD 0.34 charge to store

    Total: $AUD 30.09

    For this $AUD 30.09 you get an electronic copy of a CD, with no media to use in your car (additional cost $AUD 0.50 for a Blank CD), no case to store it in (additional cost $AUD 1.00 for a case), no cover booklet (additional cost of $AUD 0.20), all for the convenience of electronic shopping.

    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.

    Contrast this with buying a CD in a store, which can cost you anywhere between $AUD 19.95 and $AUD 29.95, plus $AUD 1.50 for the bus.

    And finally, for the audio purists among us. We're not talking about CD quality music here, we're talking compressed MPEG. A CD quality download is 650Mb, thus you can only download 3 CD's for your $AUD 60. Making the download cost $AUD 20 per CD. It would also take nearly 7.5 hours per CD on your 256K ADSL account.

    As an aside, the electronic CD shop consists of an Internet connection, a server farm and software. The current method of distributing CDs involves printing CDs, booklets, boxes, posters. Shipping them across the globe, putting them into warehouses, shipping product to shops, stocking shelves and returning faulty CDs.

    Are the record companies excited - I would be if I could make money for nothing!

    So, perhaps it will go well. But at these prices I won't be a shopper.

    Disclaimer:

    All care has been taken to make these calculations accurate. All prices are Australian dollars - except the inital quote for $0.99 per track. One Australian dollar is calculated to buy 0.60 US dollars. 1Gb is 1024Mb, 1Mb is 1024Kb. A 256K download link is 25Kb/s effective throughput. A song size is guestimated at 3.5Mb. A CD is taken to have around 17 songs.
  • A quick rundown. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:14PM (#5831072)
    I've installed it. It warns me about needing to be in US (i'm not). Then it stored a cookie countryVerified=1.

    It uses HTTP for transfers. I did some packet watching. I believe it's almost all XML. There might be some HTML in there, I am not sure.

    Apart from the purchasing side, I am not sure if there is anything specifically restricting the creation of a competing "iTunes Music Store" for another platform.

    Maybe apple will release a DTD? Maybe not.

    A sample request I found was to:

    http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObje ct s/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.app.store.Direct Action/viewArtist?artistId=471744

    For those of you with something like cURL you can simulate iTunes almost perfectly like this:

    curl "http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjec ts/MZStore.woa/wa/com.apple.jingle.app.store.Direc tAction/viewArtist?artistId=471744" -A "iTunes/4.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X 10.2.5)" -b countryVerified=1 -H "Accept-Encoding: gzip, x-aes-cbc"

    I reckon if we could make alternative viewers (harder), we might be able to create alternative servers (with more content from artists apple won't touch). I wonder how it knows to connect to ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net?

    I could change my DNS I think... that would work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:06PM (#5831340)
    I have to say the system is almost too easy to use. I planned to spend just $5 to see how it works and whether I thought it was useful, and had to force myself, multiple times to remember my self-imposed limit.

    One of the things that I find absolutely beneficial about this service, is the ability to cater to a couple hobbies (obsessions) of mine. My friends think its kind of weird, but over the last few years, I've become hooked on a songs genealogy. Typically, a particular song will interest me, and then I try to collect MP3s of everyone who has song it, as well as other historical tidbits. I have a fantastic collection of "I Put A Spell On You" that ranges fromScreaming Jay Hawkins to Sonic, to a very starnge rendition by Credence Clearwater Revival. So far, I've collected 15 different variations, a few by the same artist.

    I've recently been doing this for "Dream a Little Dream of Me". I went to iTunes, logged into the music service, typed in the title of the song, and walla, they return 21 songs--most are Louie & Ella renditions which I have already, but I'm now the proud owner of a version by the Beautiful South and Laura Fygi, both who had otherwise escaped my radar on this song. I get to add these to renditions by Doris Day, Diana Krall, KD Lang, Dean Martin, etc. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.

    It would be nice to actual just set-up purchase accounts, where you could deposit money, this would guarentee not overspending your budget. For example, I don't like subscription services, because I don't always want $14 or $15 bucks taken out of my account monthly. But that said, some months, I may spend $50-$100 on music without much thought at all. It would be nice, if I could have Apple charge the money, when I can aford it, and then use it when I want it. Plus this would guarentee I only spend whats in my account, and then prompt me if I over use, to add more money.

    The credit card method is direct and easy, but its way to tempting to get rid of the warning that your card is being charged, and far to easy to select way more songs than what you had planned to buy.

    Other Comments...
    I'm not liking the new font in iTunes, its kind of wimpy. Anyone know what font its using?

    I like the browse, search, and history functions in the music store, as well as the ability to view album covers, and purchase older albums.

    Overall a great first use experience, though I may have to change my .Mac credit card to one, with a lower credit line :))
  • by King Babar (19862) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:05AM (#5831593) Homepage

    ...is just sick. It took a total of four mouse clicks (and walking between two computers) to share music over the wireless network in the house, open the folder, and get "Purple Toupée" through my earphones on the notebook. Geek that I am, I assumed it would choke and die if I went back to the first computer and demanded to hear "Funky Peripherique" shared from the notebook to the desktop at the same time.

    OK, stop laughing. It *might* not have worked perfectly the first time, right?

    Words fail me here. I think when this sinks in with other people, that Apple could sell a couple million Macs *just* for this one feature alone. Oh, I'm sure the new codec is nice, and I might even buy a track or three from the Music store, but transparent wireless music sharing is just so much more than that.

  • by MurdockScottSD (669284) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:28AM (#5831936)
    Apple,

    Have you considered how to handle Independent artists? Many of us are struggling to be heard at all, and this could really help... a service with big promotion $$$, that will actually get used and explored. I can understand if you are worried about quality of the average indie release and don't want to be in the business of filtering the good from the bad but so many of the indie artists are so good there HAS to be a way to work it out. I would suggest it could be an isolated Independent artist category and if the database racks up a certain number of sales then they could be added to the general mix. or something to that effect.

    Having content from the big 5 is great but try not to forget the little guys. We have be distributing our music online for years. If we are left behind when the cash starts to actually flow then April 28 2003 could go down as a real sad day for us... The day we could no longer compete with the big record companies, on any level.

    Murdock Scott
    www.paynesgrey.net
  • by digithead (132919) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @01:28AM (#5831937)
    The title says it all. I've filled my 20Gb iPod with tasty LAME MP3's usiing the --r3mix option. I could use some more space for new stuff and it looks like the default 128Kbps AAC files are about 20-30% smaller than the same song encoded with LAME --r3mix. I can't decide if I can hear a difference between the AAC and --r3mix files I've tested. Of course, I could just bump the iTunes/Quicktime AAC encoder to 160Kbps (or higher) too and probably still save some space. What I'm wondering has anybody seen any double blind testing of AAC vs. CD vs. --r3mix MP3's? Any volunteers if not?


    Oh yeah, and for everybody who's been bitching about what Apple introduced today, you're insane. I've spent the last few hours trying out the service and it rocks! I don't think 99 cents is too expensive when I can assemble the equivalent of a CD single for less than the price of buying one or when the full album price is less than or equal to what I'd pay for the physical copy. Add to that tracks that you CAN'T get on CD from bands like U2 and other popular acts and I'd say you have a winner. The service is easy to use and provides a good balance between fair use and content owner concerns. My guess is that Apple has a big hit on their hands. Just wait for Steve to announce the first week, month or whatever numbers.


    Finally, everyone knows AAC is lossy, but if you can't hear what's lost (like with those --r3mix LAME MP3's) who cares? If you can't distinguish it from a CD in a double blind test then it's as good as the CD. So, like I asked in the beginning, any info on this? Here's some intelligent discussion on the topic [3ivx.com], but no answers.


    For the unenlightened, click here to find out about r3mix [r3mix.net].


    Thanks!

  • by Peer (137534) <rene@notfoun d . nl> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:08AM (#5832444) Homepage
    You wait a hundred years for it to be public domain.

    That would be 140 years.
  • by zach_smith (159760) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @11:44AM (#5834536)
    I used to think $500 was a lot for an mp3 player (thinking that was the only expense because mp3's are free, right?).

    Now that we are expected to pay $1 for each song, the $500 for the top of the line iPod is nothing compared to the $7500 you would have to put down just to fill the damned thing!

    Seems like there's something wrong about this picture.
  • I'l use this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TrentC (11023) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:57PM (#5835369) Homepage
    Yeah, I'm one of those freaks that actually used Napster to find rare or out-of-print (or never-printed) tracks, or to preview CDs before I bought them. My music tastes range all over the place, and so I can't necessarily find someone who has the exact CD I'm looking for, and I've never liked using Kazaa for that kind of thing, what with mislabeled or partial files floating all over the place. Unlike some people on here, I don't have all the time in the world to hunt down music on P2P networks.

    I see the iTunes music store as a way to preview an album before I buy and make my own rips; free 30-second previews of any track, and buy a track or two to listen to the whole song to see if I like.

    Or I can use it to pick up those one or two tracks off of a CD when I don't want whole whole disc; the first two I bought were "Friends" by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow for my wife, and Eminem's "Lose Yourself" off of the 8 Mile soundtrack for myself.

    This may not be the cheapest solution for online music buying, and I wish they offered the choice of MP3s so I can save myself the hassle or ripping them myself (it does look like it's possible to burn the AAC files onto a CD, so I can rip them on my PC for use in my Nomad), but it's just convenient enough to make it worth my while. (Heck, 90% of my music listening is done through iTunes anyway...)

    Jay
  • My $0.02 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by heXXXen (566121) <{cliff} {at} {pchopper.com}> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:10PM (#5837317)
    The selection is good. However, the only album I could think to buy at the time was not there (Big Tymers - I Got That Work).

    The interface is great, really simple, almost like a p2p interface.

    However, I probably won't use it much. I downloaded one song (The "exclusive" Eminem & D-12 song) but was a little disappointed for a few reasons. My mac isn't hooked up to a good set of speakers like my PC, and there are no programs out there that will play Apple's implementation of AAC on Windows (or Linux for that matter). I am confined to my iPod and my Mac to listen to them, certainly not something I would be if they were mp3 (or hey Apple...HOW ABOUT SOME FREAKIN OGG SOMETIME?!). Beyond this, $9.99 is too pricey for an album. I recently picked up (hed)pe's latest for $7.99 at Best Buy. And you know what? I'd really rather pay the normal $12.99 at Best Buy ($3 more!) to have the higher quality CD sound, the liner notes, and the jewel case. Plus, I'm not confined to a little supported format on only a few machines. I can do whatever the hell I want with it, rip it to ogg, mp3, or hell, AAC if I REALLY wanted to (hah!).
  • Re:I'm disappointed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjpaci (33725) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @01:37PM (#5844761) Homepage Journal
    I picked a few songs out that were over 7 minutes and they almost all were available for download individually.

    Nina Simone's Sinnerman 10+ mins.
    Black Sabbath's IRON MAN (Live) >7mins
    Black Sabbath's WAR PIGS (Live) >7mins
    Public Enemy's Bring The Noise >7mins

    However, some more popular artists' tracks that are over 7 mins are not available...

    U2 has a couple.

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