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Music Businesses Media Apple

iTunes Music Store sells 275,000 Tracks in 18 Hours 1194

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-it-gets-interesting dept.
physicsnerd writes "According to this article on Billboard.com, Apple's iTunes Music store sold 275,000 tracks in its first 18 hours of operation. The Register.com estimates that this netted Apple just under $100,000! Not too bad for a 99 cents store." Impressive considering the connection problems people were having. Remains to be seen what usage will be after the hype settles down.
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iTunes Music Store sells 275,000 Tracks in 18 Hours

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  • by corebreech (469871) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:30PM (#5853859) Journal
    That's the real question.
  • A lot of curiosity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by faust2097 (137829) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:31PM (#5853866)
    This is a good thing but I have a feeling that the numbers in 60 or 90 days will have a lot more to say about how viable this is.

    They need to sort out international licensing too, This could be huge in the UK where albums frequently cost as much in pounds as they do in dollars here in the US.
  • by frodo from middle ea (602941) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:31PM (#5853875) Homepage
    Windows users (i.e. 95 %) continue to download stuff from kazaa.
    • iTunes for Windows (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zathrus (232140) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:38PM (#5853954) Homepage
      According to CNet [com.com], Apple appears to be looking for a developer to help create iTunes for Windows. Seems like a smart move to me -- the Windows user base is clearly vastly larger than Mac, and Apple will still be getting a slice of online music sales -- plus they give another reason for Windows users to buy an iPod.

      I keep hearing great things about iTunes too, in that it's apparantly quite a bit better than most music database software. Personally I'm still looking for a good music db/organizing program for either Linux (preferred) or Windows (thank you samba) - I'm in the process of ripping ~1000 CDs to high bitrate MP3 for my TiVo and am in desperate need for some cataloging and playlist creation tools. From what little I've heard iTunes would fit the bill and do it well... but obviously I still need to find something until then (suggestions welcome).
    • Exactly... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kjella (173770)
      Windows users (i.e. 95 %) continue to download stuff from kazaa.

      Which means that if a client was availible for 100% of the market, perhaps they could have sold 275,000*20 = 5,500,000 tracks in 18 hours. It's math even RIAA monkeys could figure out.

      Kjella
  • GNUArt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mirko (198274) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:33PM (#5853897) Journal
    Something I really appreciate about this move from Apple is that they are actually offering the only decent point of comparison with GNUArt [gnuart.net] :
    Besides p2p which is illicit, they are indeed selling professional stuff whereas GNUArtists are sharing their own amateurish but "Open-sourced" stuff ; once people will realize they have to pay 7425$ to fill their new iPod, they'll also want to visit Free galleries such as ours.

    So, we can only benefit from this "competition".
    Thanks, Herr Jobs !
  • by locker1776 (463385) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:34PM (#5853911)
    I was very envious today when my friend with his ibook was able to log into iTunes and download 15 songs in minutes. Since it stores you credit card, it is perhaps TOO easy to download songs (Parents giving credit card numbers to kids may find a large bill next month).

    I may now have to buy an Apple just to use the service. It's easy to use, has a wide selection, and is everything a music service should be. Only time will tell if they have the pricing right.

    I don't know what took the music industry so long.
    • by (trb001) (224998) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:54PM (#5854157) Homepage
      I may now have to buy an Apple just to use the service

      Hrm...CDs cost $13-$17 each, computers cost hundreds...you may want to reexamine your economic model.

      --trb
    • by RedX (71326) <(redx) (at) (wideopenwest.com)> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:24PM (#5854536)
      Since it stores you credit card, it is perhaps TOO easy to download songs

      You've got that right. After I purchased a couple of individual songs yesterday, I checked the "don't ask me again" box that pops-up after you click the Buy button to remind you that you actually will be charged. I then purchased a couple of full albums, which was so quick and easy without that pop-up reminder that I thought to myself just how dangerous this could be to my wallet.

  • eMusic ups the ante (Score:5, Informative)

    by gadwale (46632) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:34PM (#5853914) Homepage
    Just submitted this - but it might as well be a comment here:

    eMusic has increased the quality of songs available on their website from 128kbps to 192kbps VBR. The annoucement is available here [mp3.com].

    Currently, this is the only pay and play option available to iPod users without a Mac! For those that don't already know, eMusic offers all-you-can-eat downloads, song previews and has recently also added message boards [emusic.com] for each genre.

    This is pure, DRM-free music so sign up and support the business model! It is hard to find music so I hope they add streaming radio and collaborative filtering in the near future to make it easier.

    Don't wait for the non-Mac Apple music store - This [theregister.co.uk] article in the Register points out that only two labels have signed up for the Windows version of the music store.

    Adi Gadwale.
  • $.99 versus $1.00 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webword (82711) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:35PM (#5853921) Homepage
    I started thinking, Why is the price $0.99 versus $1.00? Then I expanded on that and started thinking about how Apple come up with their pricing scheme. What is the optimal pricing [business2.com]? Was $0.99 selected by guess and by golly? What is the right price? [slashdot.org] Does anyone know how the $0.99 price was actually selected? My guess is that it was a ... guess.
    • by freeweed (309734) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:49PM (#5854097)
      Sorry for the harsh subject line, but I find it difficult to believe that a person can make it more than a few years in life without noticing that virtually every consumer product is priced this way.

      $9.99, $99.99, $17,995 (for say, a car). We've had this as long as I've been alive, and from looking into older catalogues it's been standard practice in the retail industry since at least the 60's. EVERYONE rounds their price down slightly, so it appears cheaper when you quickly look at it. In fact, in the past decade many stores have successfully gone to a '95 cents' model, where $9.95 somehow looks more appealing to the shopper than $9.99. A whopping 4 cents less profit, but an amazing increase in sales.

      Psychologists have known about this for eons, and marketing types do this routinely. 99 cents just looks cheaper than an even buck, to most people. In fact, it's so bad that if I'm in a store with someone, see something for say $395, I'll comment "wow, four hundred dollars for that?". Almost invariably, the person I'm with will say "no, it's only three ninety five". People are so used to this that rounding up prices just seems wrong, somehow.
  • Yikes! (Score:3, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:35PM (#5853927) Homepage Journal

    Why so many downloads? I thought Macs had Gnutella clients.

    yeah I'm joking
  • Optional DRM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Grey (463613) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:35PM (#5853929)
    I think this service is a great starting point for whole online/downloadable music biz. Apple will surely tweak the service, and competitors will probably do more, faster.

    While I don't really like DRM, I can see where the music industry is coming from on the topic, and I suspect that they were the ones behind the whole thing.

    What I'd like to see is a per-song DRM, where the artists or labels get to choose whether the song can be freely copied after purchase or not. Perhaps that, coupled with a price change for non-DRM-enforced songs, would push the rest of the industry in the direction we all want it to go. I'm sure the indie crowd would get behind the idea, as well as the brighter label execs and artists.

  • Internet Crack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cheap Imitation (575717) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:38PM (#5853955)
    At 99cents a track, this is a quick, easy impulse purchase for most people, with instant gratification. Far easier than heading down to the store and buying a CD... or ordering one and waiting for it to ship.

    Once they roll this out for Windows or Linux, I'll have a hard time fighting the impulses. It's only 99 cents, right? Cheap! 15 or 20 tracks later, I'll realize I just dropped $20.

    Apple may very well succeed because of the low investment necessary... and because at only 99 cents, the instant gratification may get addictive. Smart move on their part.

    • Re:Internet Crack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Idarubicin (579475) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .teiuqslla.> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:15PM (#5854428) Journal
      It's only 99 cents, right? Cheap! 15 or 20 tracks later, I'll realize I just dropped $20.

      Yeah, but the difference is that now you've dropped twenty bucks to get the three or four good tracks from each of a half dozen different albums, rather than paying for all the filler on one CD. Not only that, you didn't have to get in your car and drive to the mall.

      You got value for your money, and you saved the planet. Feel warm and fuzzy? Reward yourself with another couple of songs. ;)

    • Re:Internet Crack (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rainer3 (517427) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:22PM (#5854510)

      Apple may very well succeed because of the low investment necessary...

      Not that low of an investmet at all, actually. According to this interview [time.com]:

      TIME: Can you say anything about [Music Store's] development costs or Apple's investment?

      Jobs: I had somebody comment today, "Now that you have introduced your store, do you expect a lot others?" And I guess our answer is no. This is really hard. Over the last several years we've created an infrastructure to pump oceans of bits out in the world for movie trailers and stuff, and that's tens of millions of dollars for server farms and networking farms ? it's huge ? and we've already got that in place. And to have millions of transactions, and to get our online store all tied into SAP and have the auditors bless it, that's tens of millions of dollars. We have one-click shopping, only us and Amazon have that, and then to make a jukebox ? how much does it cost to make iTunes and make it popular? A lot! But we've got that. And then iPod, if you want to make an iPod, what does that cost? Well, nobody has done it but us, people have tried, but they haven't even come close. That's a lot of money. So we've already made these investments and we can leverage them. And then we've invested more on top of that to make a store. But to recreate this, it's tens of millions of dollars and years. That's why I don't think this is going to be so easy to copy.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Auckerman (223266) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:38PM (#5853961)
    For you PC users who haven't seen the store, let me tell you, that place is addictive as crack rock. The default settings are such that you click "buy song" and it starts downloading. With a cable modem, I was able to get an album of 9 Tracks in a few minutes. All without getting my lazy ass up and going to the store.

    I expect that within a year, there will be MUG meets where the topic of discussion will be "Music Store Addiction:How I lost my wife and house downloading music".

    Just wait till Apple releases iTunes for Windows [monster.com], so you PC users can join in the fun.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:03PM (#5854286)
      To you Mac users who have seen the store but haven't smoked crack, let me tell you, that stuff is as addictive as the iTunes Music store. With a small pipe and a small torch, I was able to smoke crack and get strung out for a week.
  • by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:39PM (#5853972) Homepage
    According to Fortune [fortune.com]: "The iTunes Music Store will initially offer 200,000 tunes, paying the record companies an average of 65 cents for each track it sells."

    Apple gets $.99 for singles, but less for albums (I bought a 20 track album fo $9.99)... and I'm sure that they need to pay the credit card companies some percentage, and then pay Akamai for the servers, and Amazon for the one-click patents... so I doubt they make more that 15 cents per song on average... but that's still a good margin... but more like $40,000 than El Reg's $100,000 estimate
  • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:40PM (#5853984)
    ...well, almost.

    It might make sense to consider something like a 17" iMac as purely a home-entertainment component. Sure, it's $1800, but you'll probably eventually spend more than that at the iMusic store :-)

    Anyone want to bet on how many days go by before someone has reverse-engineered the MaciMusic store protocol and written an app that masquerades as iTunes-on-a-Mac thus allowing Linux and Windows users to purchase music through Apple?

    G.
    • by RedX (71326) <(redx) (at) (wideopenwest.com)> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:32PM (#5854665)
      Interestingly enough, the price on used Macs on Ebay have gone up quite a bit in the past few days since the Store was launched. I was in the market for a lower-end G4 Powermac (the music store was a reason for this purchase, but not the primary reason), and noticed that machines that had been selling in the $400 range were now going for above $500. In looking around at some of the other Mac machines, the price has likewise increase across the OSX-compatible product line.
  • Yes, it will keep up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Have Blue (616) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:41PM (#5853992) Homepage
    Anyone who has not used iTunes does not understand just how convenient the store is. It's an entry right in your playlist collection (with a different icon). One click on it, and you're at the intro/overview page (or the last page you visited without quitting iTunes). iTunes' built-in search box works on the online catalog in this mode, type something in and it pops right up. Or you can switch to the categorized column-view browse mode (same button to switch any other playlist to browse mode), which is indistinguishable from browsing your local library except for network lag and the Buy button. Find a song you like, and one more click makes it download directly into your library and start playing. It's seamlessly integrated and completely oriented around impulse buying. I'm sure (I *hope*) for most people, one dollar per song is worth the removal of the time and aggravation cost of using P2P (aside from the time spent downloading on my modem, I can find music in the store faster than it would take to find Limewire on my HD and wait for it to gather a server list).
  • by Steve Cowan (525271) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:43PM (#5854028) Journal
    Here in Canada I can't buy squat from the iTunes Music Store, but I have been playing with it since it 'opened for business' - we can preview, but not actually buy anything outside of the U.S.

    If I was allowed to buy, I probably would have purchased 10-20 songs by now.

    Yes I have Acquisition (a really sweet Mac Gnutella client), and I have the usual assortment of piracy^H^H^H^H^H^H file sharing tools for Windows, but in that sea of file searching it's easy to lose one's vision of a really nice way to download music.

    For example: I figured I would try to find some old Tears For Fears music. In the search field I just typed "Tears For Fears". In less than 5 seconds I had a track listing of 6 different Tears For Fears albums, including tracks I never knew they had done (did you know they covered Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes'?)

    Let me say this another way to better illustrate just how cool it is: it was EVERY ALBUM TRACK, listed only ONCE. I pick the song and I get it, really fast. With a file sharing app I pick from a list of thousands of different rips of the same songs, all of varying quality. I hit download, and maybe the host is slow. Maybe I get a "swarmed" download that won't be reconstructed properly when it gets here. Maybe it won't even really be the song I think I'm downloading. Maybe I get "remotely queued". Maybe it looked like a good bitrate before I downloaded it, but it turned out to be a crappy rip.

    On the Apple service I hit "play" and I'm previewing the music in real time. I hit "download" and I've got the actual song I want, with no glitches.

    Seriously - with these advantages, plus the fact that it is actually legal, I can't see why people wouldn't shell out a buck a song.

    Like everybody else I hope Apple creates an indy section, maybe even something iDisk-based so that .Mac users can peddle their wares through the online store. I hope their selection grows quickly (yes there's a lot of stuff missing right now). I hope they increase their bitrate (I can hear the difference between the streamed previews and actual CD's). The DRM is not ideal, but in practice it's not imposing. Windows version is coming soon. ...And... dammit... bring it to Canada! iWant to go shopping!!!
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:51PM (#5854127) Homepage
    As someone who switch to Macs last year, I read about the announcement a little after it happened, downloaded iTunes4 and gave it a test run.

    I don't know about the connection errors others were reporting, as I didn't have any. I already own an iPod, so the AAC/MP3 issue isn't one for me as it is for some others making posts here. I also had no problem setting up my account - I had an account when I bought my first Mac a year ago, and just used that.

    The biggest thing I noticed when I started it up was the ability to finally buy the 1 song off of a track I wanted. Bob Dylan is OK, but I just wanted "Growing in the Wind". That's it. A buck later, and I had it. Another 2 or 3 minutes later, it was on.

    From there, I wound up spending $20 on the service. No problems, except that it didn't have everything I wanted (I'm still trying to get Queen's Bohemien Rhapsody). But I spend more in 2 days than I've spent on music in 1 year.

    Is is perfect? No, but you don't need an iPod - you can burn the music to a regular audio CD if you like, and either rerip this to MP3 (with a loss of quality), or just play the CD in a regular player.

    But so far, it's 95% of what I've wanted with online music sales. Hopefully they'll get more music on there, maybe even some game/anime music (as that stuff is *way* more expensive than it needs to be), and more players out there will start support AAC. I'm not worried about the latter - since its part of the MPEG-4 standard, that should only be a matter of time and a firmware upgrade later.
  • Selling out (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:52PM (#5854138) Journal
    I would be one of the people downloading a tune, but I don't own the hardware. I'd like to see the stats on what songs were downloaded.
    Anyway, I got this in my email box this morning from Michael Robertson of Lindows and former CEO of MP3.COM. I find it coincidental after this Interview [slashdot.org] session, and I find his comments about Apple selling out intersting. The text of his (mass) email follows:

    Most of you probably know that my former company was MP3.com, which was instrumental in bringing digital music to the masses. One of the things we stood for at MP3.com was the consumer's rights over their own music collection. Our belief was that consumers who purchase their music should have the ability to convert that music into a format they like and put the music on any device they desire. We even tried to get a law pushed through congress affirming this (we did not succeed in that attempt). The last five years have seen multiple attempts to limit consumers' rights via DRM (digital rights management) technology. These are schemes which add "big brother" restrictions to what you can do with your own music library.

    It's no secret that the major record labels want to embed restrictions into music and force those restrictions onto customers, but recently they've been getting help from some surprising sources -- namely Microsoft and Apple. While I was the CEO of MP3.com, Microsoft repeatedly offered millions of dollars to us to convert the library of tunes at MP3.com from consumer friendly MP3 to Windows Media format. We always politely declined. Microsoft's strategy was that if they could get the whole world to convert to Windows Media, then they could get the record labels to pay them huge sums to limit how consumers could listen to their music. Thank goodness that hasn't happened yet, because having your music "expire", disappear, degrade in quality, not be able to burn to CD or load onto your devices is an awful consumer experience.

    Microsoft is at it again though, trying to use their money and dominance in the OS to get a foothold in music by selling out consumers. Recently, news.com reported that Microsoft is cozzying up to the leading CD restriction company. This means we're one baby step away from all music CDs ONLY playing on Microsoft Windows XP. Imagine having to buy a copy of Microsoft Windows XP for every music device just so you can listen to your own music, and even then being restricted from making a compilation CD for your car!

    Apple has understandably succumbed to pressure from the music labels to bolster their chances of securing music licenses for their iTunes music service by trampling music buyers rights. The 2.4% of the world which use Macs will find out that all the music in their newly announced service is wrapped in a digital padlock. This gives Apple (or the record labels) the ability to control what a buyer can do with the music they purchase. The user doesn't get to pick which computer they can listen to their music on (Macs only). Forget any device that isn't an iPod, like my current MP3 player (tiny, no cables, rechargeable battery - nice). Don't even think about burning a disc full of 100 MP3s to play in your DVD player. (Have you noticed virtually all new DVD players will play MP3 files?)

    Straight ahead of us is a world where CDs will only play in Microsoft Windows XP computers. Digital songs you buy online will only work with Apple software or an Apple sanctioned portable player. You will not be able to burn any of the music you've purchased onto an MP3 CD to pop into your DVD player. That's a sad and expensive world for music fans because labels and large corporations will extort money from their users who just want to enjoy their own music.

    When you pay for music, you should be able to enjoy that music in all the different and convenient ways available. I'm still a big believer in the value of MP3 because it ensures that the
    • Re:Selling out (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mritunjai (518932) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:16PM (#5854441) Homepage
      Call me devil's advocate, but for a business to succeed it has to do one thing - make money!

      Without DRM, you can't restrict free trading of files on P2P networks. What will prevent all those AAC files from iTunes appear on Kazaa... the business model will fail that day.

      Apple has taken a sensible approach to DRM. They allow you to burn the AAC files to CDs as data files and as audio CDs. The latter will play in ALL players.

      Now Michael Robertson (of mp3.com) is bitching that users won't be able to play it in MP3 players... fine enough. MP3 SHOULD CEASE to exist.
      Better formats like Vorbis are not picking up just because every Joe is making MP3 players.

      Apple, for one, will succeed in doing one thing - making those Joes realise that there is something *else* than MP3 too!! When the HW mfgrs will realise that, they will look for major alternatives... sure 8 out of 10 will go to AAC/WMA/RM route, but 2 will also do Vorbis, and there it will break the ice.

      Today every DVD/CD player comes with MP3 support just because they are oblivious to the fact that something else exists... they just don't want to go to desk and design a decoder chip for anything else... Apple is poking them and shouting "wake up"... This is a Good Thing (TM). In the process if Apple makes some money... well good for them. Things have to start somewhere.

      Finally... get over with that "mp3 is word of god" thing. Sure you don't want to give up your existing player... but some time down the line when you'd be seaching for your next player... you'd definitely want a choice besides MP3.
    • Re:Selling out (Score:5, Insightful)

      by standards (461431) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:17PM (#5854455)
      Gee, this guy sounds like a sore loser.

      He has clearly mentioned the disadvantages of the service (as have many others). However, he completely failed to mention the major disadvantages of his own failed service, and how the Apple service attempts to form a balance.

      Clearly he has not learned from his own failures. Not a good businessman.

      There are consumers and there are copyright owners. The goal is to be fair and reasonable to both. MP3.com failed in this mission. Napster also failed. Gnutella fails.

      We all see the advantages and disadvantages. Now it's time to see if this is merely a step (or a leap) closer to a workable solution.
    • by Gorimek (61128) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:24PM (#5854545) Homepage
      Apparently Michael Robertson hasn't yet been informed that iTunes will burn regular audio CDs that you can play in pretty much any CD or DVD player in the world.

      I am sure he will issue a correction and an apology as soon as this fact reaches him.
  • Meanwhile (Score:4, Informative)

    by ramzak2k (596734) * on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:57PM (#5854209)
    Someone else that we know [kazaa.com]has been getting behind the action of it all. Microsoft has been distributing content with their own DRM through ALTnet on Kazaa.

    PressPlay [pressplay.com] is already on the same path using Microsoft DRM.
  • by Van Halen (31671) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:03PM (#5854289) Homepage Journal
    My biggest concern with the new music store is the quality of the tracks. To put it simply, I don't want to be able to tell any difference whatsoever between the downloaded tracks and the same off of a retail CD. Under any listening conditions.

    Apple states that the 128-kbps AAC "combines sound quality that rivals CDs with smaller files sizes (compared to MP3s)." Someone reported that Apple said during the original PR event that some of the tracks actually sound better than the original CD tracks because they went back to the original master recordings to encode. Ok, I'll buy all that. AAC offers better compression and higher quality at lower bitrates. Fine. If really true, I might even consider re-ripping my CDs to AAC and saving some disk space. IF it's really that good. But as I said, the proof is in whether I can hear a difference. All other technical mumbo jumbo is meaningless.

    I previewed a number of songs the first night it was operational and was fairly impressed. Definitely much better than 128 kbps MP3. Then I put my headphones on and started to notice possible compression artifacts. I wasn't sure if I was imagining these or whether I was really hearing something, so I started listening to the previews of tracks I already have, ripped from original CDs. I compared the preview tracks to my MP3 copies, which are high quality VBR averaging a little over 200 kbps. I went back and forth between the store preview and my copy numerous times, and always felt like I heard compression artifacts in the previews. I wanted to setup a true blind test to make absolutely sure I wasn't being biased by knowing which sample was which, but I haven't had time this week.

    Apple's Discussion board [apple.com] for iTunes has numerous topics debating the quality of the AACs. Some people swear that the previews are lower quality, and what you get when you buy is perfect. Others say just the opposite. Apple itself says of the previews, "You'll hear a 30-second sample that rivals CD quality sound." Doesn't exactly say that the preview is the same quality as the purchased track, but kind of implies it too. MacInTouch has tons of reader reports [macintouch.com] that are interesting as well.

    I suppose ultimately I'll have to spend $0.99 and see for myself what happens. I'll try to choose a track that I have, and whose preview sounds pretty bad. If the purchased track is indistinguishable from the CD, I'll be a happy camper. But if it's the same as the preview, I'll be severely disappointed. I'd so love for this to take off, as it is the future of music buying. I think Apple has done a good job of balancing consumers' fair use rights with the rights of the copyright holders. If this flops, it'll be more fodder for the RIAA to push legislation through that protects their dying business model. (sorry, had to get political for a second there)

    But mainly I'm excited about the prospect of buying music this way. Hopefully in the near future, they'll have liner notes, etc available as a PDF when you buy. And lots more artists, including any that are out of print. That would so rock. So many CDs on my wishlist now are so hard to find, and I'd buy them in a heartbeat if they were available this way now. So please, Apple, don't let us down on quality! And if the quality really is subpar, let's all send them feedback (link at the music store main page) until they listen!

  • Independents (Score:5, Informative)

    by 90XDoubleSide (522791) <ninetyxdoubleside@@@hailmail...net> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:03PM (#5854297)

    The other big news yesterday was that Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple is going to start putting up independent music once they get all of the big label music they negotiated for uploaded:

    TIME: What about independent labels? Will they follow suit?

    Jobs: Yes. They've already been calling us like crazy. We've had to put most of them off until after launch just because the big five have most of the music, and we only had so many hours in the day. But now we're really going to have time to focus on a lot of the independents and that will be really great.

    from: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,4 48048,00.html

  • by nemesisj (305482) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:07PM (#5854343) Homepage
    Here's something that I'd like to know (I don't have a Mac and can't use the store) - does the ASM track which music you've bought in the past so that if your hard drive blows up/gets stolen/damaged/or anything else which causes your music that you bought and downloaded to be lost you can download the songs again?
  • Stye (Score:5, Insightful)

    by limekiller4 (451497) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:08PM (#5854351) Homepage
    I think this is going to be a major "stye in the eye" of all those who claim that Napster et al are nothing more than common theves. When people are clammoring to buy a product that can be stolen fairly safely, I think that's saying something (read; most people don't mind anteing up for what they use).

    Interestingly enough, this could VERY easily be viewed as a Very Good Thing by all the IP-based companies. Proof-positive that people will climb over each other to buy your product if you just let them but they'll obtain it by other means if you don't.

    But will the RIAA & company view it as such? No. Why? Because what they want more than revenue is control. Because control, in their current model, is equivalent to a sustainable business. When they start loosing control of how the product can get to market, when they lose their status as the so-called gatekeepers of IP whose ass you must lick to be heard, they're screwed. You can't abuse people when you aren't the only game in town.

    Then it becomes a buyer's market. Which, trust me, is the last thing these people want.
  • by ilsie (227381) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:09PM (#5854365)
    I notice a lot of people who haven't used it are complaining about the low bitrate .aac's. Well, I actually bought a Live Phish track today that I have also ripped at 192k mp3 and level 6 ogg. I listened to all three with my MDR-EX70 neodymium driver earbuds, and guess what? They all sounded pretty much the same.
  • A possible addition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) * <oculus.habent@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:17PM (#5854453) Journal
    Do you think Apple could make a physical presence in music stores a possibility?

    Much like the Software-2-Go kiosks [slashdot.org] in stores, there could be a Music-2-Go kiosk. You would create or sign into your AMS account and purchase music. An extra $2.50 or so for the on-site burning, cover art, etc. I don't think it could do the booklets, but maybe...

    Of course, you would also be able to burn music you already own. You fly across the country, stop into a music store, burn a CD for $2.50, and pop it into your rental car's CD player.

    It's an interesting thought.
  • by u19925 (613350) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:17PM (#5854456)
    4 tracks a second means 120 million tracks a year or roughly about 3% of all retail tracks sold by the music companies which have licenses with apple. my guess is that for every 1 apple owner, there are 100 CD player owners. So an average Apple owners are buying three times more tracks than an average CD player owner is buying in retail market! Indeed amazing if the trend continues.
  • by feldsteins (313201) <scott@scottf e l d s tein.net> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:22PM (#5854517) Homepage
    Does anyone here recall when Apple released the iPod? The story here on slashdot contained two sentences after the submission. One of which simply read (and I quote): "Lame."

    I think it's fair to say that "Slashdot wisdom" concerning these things isn't exactly a great indicator of success or failure. Everyone here on slashdot either has an iPod or wants one. Yeah, even if it doesn't run Linux.

    Slashdot readership as a whole may contain a lot of knowledge and wisdom. That's why I come here. But it certainly doesn't have a finger on the pulse of consumer-oriented technology.

    And for the record, I think Apple has gotten this thing about 95% right straight out of the gate. Clearly it is going to be the model for how this is done for everyone else. Kudos to them. They deserve it.
  • by Alexander (8916) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:27PM (#5854578) Homepage

    Is that the 30 second song "sample" is just viral enough to infect co-workers.

    Someone in your office you don't like? Give them 30 seconds of Air Supply. They'll be humming "Making Love out of Nothing At All" ALL DAY LONG!!!

    Tee-Hee

  • by billtom (126004) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:46PM (#5854897)

    In the past 18 hours, 275,000 new AAC encoded songs appears on Kazaa.
  • by Master Switch (15115) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:04PM (#5855116) Homepage
    Apple's AAC (m4p) format uses security to protect the track from being played on more than 3 computers. Yet, you can copy the AAC file to as many iPod's as you desire. Do the iPods have a global key, or is the data in the AAC not encrypted and the iPod simply ignores the security feature? Has anyone dug around on their iPod to see how the songs are stored on the iPod disk once copied to the iPod from iTunes? I need to do that when I go home today. Hmmmmm, seems like that could be a possible loop hole in the security, which makes the tracks vulnerable to showing up on Kaaza for the world to copy.
  • not sensible DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asv108 (141455) * <alex.phataudio@org> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:03PM (#5855808) Homepage Journal
    I've seen a lot of posts that describe Apple's approach to DRM as sensible, which is what I thought too until you look at backups. Guess what happens if you hard drive crashes? You loose all your music! Even though Apple is well aware of what tracks you've purchased, you must pay to re-download any music.

    DRM is not sensible if ties you to one vendor or platform. You can only play purchased files on Apple computers and Apple players, unless you want to burn CD's. This is only a sensible approach if you live in a world where all your computing products and mp3 devices are made by Apple, for most of us this is not the case.

    • Re:not sensible DRM (Score:5, Informative)

      by pressman (182919) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:12PM (#5855903) Homepage
      nope nope nope nope nope

      This will be coming to the Wintel world by year's end. You can burn your stuff to as many CD's as you'd like... just change your playlist every ten burns.

      Burn 'em to CD re-rip as whatever freaking format you'd like... hell, run it off to tape if you want! Copy all of your music over to a data DVD, back it up to DAT or DLT. You have a ton of options with all of this. You aren't roped into the Apple proprietary system.

      This will all be coming to Windows soon enough. Be patient. We Mac users have to be patient all the time, so now it's your turn to wait!

      p.s. Several readers have posted that they have downloaded a song a second time and have not been charged.

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