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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.
  • 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 Phiro (670186) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:33PM (#5853905)
    This should send (yet another) wake up call to the music industry. Online music trading is so pervasive only because it beats the hell out of paying $18US for a music cd. This is merely a step in the right direction - this is by no means perfect or even viable long term. I don't give this good chances over time - a pioneer is the guy (or gal) laying in the field with an arrow in their back. But, it's a start, and maybe it'll whack some of the riaa/mpaa execs with a cluebat.
  • 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.
  • $.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 Znonymous Coward (615009) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:35PM (#5853926) Journal
    I love macs and all, but what if I want to listen to downloaded music on the equipment I invested in that only supports MP3? AAC wont work in my Aiwa CDC-MP3, will it? NO. Guess I stay with Limewire.
  • 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.

  • by rbuysse (72162) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:38PM (#5853959) Homepage
    Why can't people realize that DRM is around for reasons other than to piss you off?

    Record companies are never going to allow an online music store like this unless there's some semblance of rights management.

    Also, we've been over this 47,000 times now, but the DRM imposed on the Apple store tracks isn't restrictive to a user at all. The only time it gets in the way is if you want to do something less than legal with your purchased goods.
  • 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:$.99 versus $1.00 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jacer (574383) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:40PM (#5853982) Homepage
    Previously, It was to keep employees from stealing. If something is $0.99 they have to make change for the customer, where if it were $1.00 they wouldn't
  • 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 dissy (172727) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:41PM (#5853993)
    > Can't wait for no DRM? That is like saying you can't wait until Best Buy gets
    > rid of those pesky cashiers. Why don't they just trust me to leave an
    > appropriate amount of money for the goods that I walk out of the store with??
    > They are treating me like a criminal. Wah.

    Sad part is, even thou the above was posted by an AC and modded down to -1 flamebait, he's 100% right and not flaming anything at all.

    Those moderators should be ashamed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:42PM (#5854011)
    The music industry doesnt give a shit.

    Think about it.

    Under the current system, they press and market the CDs. The retail chains sell them. The retail chains pay for the whole infrastructure for shipping and whatnot.

    Aside from production and marketing, there is no overhead for the producers.

    If the producers had to set up their own 'online retail' outlets, there would be a massive amount of overhead for servers, software, bandwidth and staff. It would cost them more to distribute the music this way.

    Third parties would have to create the e-biz infrastructure, shoulder that overhead, and pay the producers their due royalties. This is what Apple did, and there's nothing stopping someone else from doing it except cash and lack of customer base.

    The RIAA/MPAA dont give a shit either way, so long as they aren't losing money on the deal.
  • 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 Have Blue (616) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:44PM (#5854043) Homepage
    The article says "at least", not "only". Also, what makes you think the catalog from the Mac music store won't be transferred? It'll be months before the Windows store is launched.
  • by Dub Kat (183404) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:46PM (#5854057) Homepage
    Maybe iTunes will make some changes and remove the DRM, maybe they will offer higher bitrate songs. If they do not, maybe someone else will do it in apple's footsteps.

    I was a little surprised there was DRM. I was able to hear a talk by Steve Jobs last summer, and afterwards there was a QA session. Someone brought up online music and what he thought about it. He said that there was a huge opportunity for the record companies..but just weren't willing to take the rist. He also said that Apple/NeXT/(pixar?) had been researching DRM for a long time, and no matter what it can always be hacked...someone will find a way to get around it. Funny how during this he never let on for a moment that apple had huge plans in the works for an online music service.

    But basically he thinks people want to be honest and do the right thing if given a reasonable choice. So in his opinion ninety-nine cents and the current DRM restrictions are reasonable. It keeps the record companies in the game by having basic restrictions so the songs can't be just thrown up on kazaa by joe college, but still has reasonable fair use.

    Having used the service myself, I think most people will be very happy with it.
  • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:50PM (#5854106) Homepage Journal
    I can't use the Apple Store either. It's US only. I hope they will fix that "bug" soon.
    I mean, at 20Euro per CD with 10 songs, their offering is very competitive. DRM? Don't care too much: I can burn it on CD and it's usually from a CD that I listen to music. I also have a MiniDisc player/recorder and the DRM has only slapped me in the face once, when a musician friend of mine gave me a CD-R-Audio.

    Good idea recommeniding the indy bands... I think I'm going to do that.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:50PM (#5854110) Homepage
    Apple markets hardware through software. If you own an Archos Jukebox you didn't buy it from Apple.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummel@johnhumm ... t minus caffeine> 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
  • by dissy (172727) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:54PM (#5854161)
    > I love macs and all, but what if I want to listen to downloaded music on the
    > equipment I invested in that only supports MP3? AAC wont work in my Aiwa
    > CDC-MP3, will it? NO. Guess I stay with Limewire.

    Thats wierd logic.
    Why did you even buy that Aiwa CDC-MP3 at all then?

    I mean, what if you want to listen to a VHS tape on that aiwa? can it read that? Nope. And you just said thats reason enough not to buy it... that a devide made to play one format cant play any others and all.

    And will your CD player play tapes? nope, better not use CDs.
    Oh, will your tape player play records? Nope, guess you shouldnt invest in tapes either.

    If you buy hardware that can only read one medium type, then *gasp**shock* it can only read one medium type!

    Also why did you choose MP3, a closed and requires-licencing format, when there are perfectly open and free formats to choose from like redbook (CD audio) or WAV, or even AIFF or OGG.
    MP3 is just as closed as AAC, and MP3 is more expensive to licence the code to make those files (dont know the cost of decoders, but i believe mpeg charges for that too)

    And since we are on the subject, why did you choose MP3, being one small part of a whole? Using mp3 to store just audio is like using a VHS tape to store just audio as well. Possible, and of course it works, but its a video format for crying out loud!!! Use an audio encoding!

    Oh, wait, i see.. your last line points it out perfectly.
    You'd rather just pirate things.
    Well why didnt you just say so to start with!
    I'm all aginst copyright as its enforced as well, but there is no need to lie about your motives or anything like that :P
  • by barnaclebarnes (85340) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:54PM (#5854171) Homepage
    Call me old fashioned but I personally like the idea of 'Albums'. With decent bands you get what the artist wanted...A collection of songs that represents an time/place/idea. As a cohesive whole it sounds better than a single and has a much better listening experience.

    With that in mind I would like to be able to download whole albums off iTunes and while that is happening they ship me the pysical CD/Vinyl as well. I wouldn't even mind paying retail CD prices + Postage. This way I get a CD/Vinyl which is superior to any downloadable music format and the convienience of instant listening gratification.

    Until this happens I will still buy 99% of my music from the store.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @01:56PM (#5854192)
    128kbit AAC sounds better than 192kbit MP3

    Apple have a bigger range of music, from bigger labels... and indie labels are scrambling to get in on Apple's service.

    A "pay per track" system will always be preferred by the labels, because they get more money that way. Subscription services like eMusic are doomed, DRM or no DRM.

    Too little too late, eMusic. You're about to be steamrolled by a huge marketing campaign... from a better service.
  • Not to seem obtuse, but can't Aiwa come out with a firmware update that supports AAC? Most of the MP3 players I've seen have been able to issue firmware updates to support WMV, Org, and other formats - heck, my old Creative Labs Jukebox could be updated.

    I'd think that most companies that sell MP3 players today would consider such an update.
  • by OverCode@work (196386) <overcode@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:07PM (#5854340) Homepage
    That analogy is flawed. DRM is more like Best Buy sending a security guard home with you to make sure you don't use the products you buy in any way they don't approve of. For instance, I can play CD's I purchase in any number of players, copy them to my various computers, enjoy them on my portable player, and so forth. My music server is a Linux box, though; I cannot use it to play DRM-encumbered music, because Apple has not chosen to make Linux software available for their protection scheme. That's their prerogative, but it means that their music isn't terribly useful to me.

    I applaud Apple's effort to be reasonable, but DRM is still unacceptable. I wrote a short essay on why I believe this; it's on my site [overcode.net].

    Furthermore, sharing is a fundamental part of experiencing music. I believe that noncommercial song swapping should be fully protected under copyright law.

    -John
  • by Blondie-Wan (559212) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:10PM (#5854384) Homepage
    And evidently you've missed out on the shocking revelation that those self-checkout lanes have been something of a disaster, as they facilitate theft [business2.com] (gee, who'd have thought?).
  • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:11PM (#5854398) Journal
    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.

    Actually, there's even a bit of a backlash against this practice in some circles. In addition to being perceived as less expensive, products priced this way are also perceived as 'cheap'--lower in quality, and so forth. If you go to an upscale restaurant (or a restaurant that wants to be thought of as upscale, at least) you'll notice that the prices drop the decimals altogether. That salad isn't $15.99, it's $16. That steak isn't $42.95, it's $43. The last digit will almost never be a nine, either.

    Incidentally, I'm surprised that Apple hasn't pegged their price at $0.95 rather $0.99, for exactly the reason that you mention.

  • A possible addition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) * <[oculus.habent] [at] [gmail.com]> 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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:17PM (#5854454)
    AAC is *at least* as open as MP3. Before someone mentions Vorbis...

    If you only use Ogg Vorbis:

    Then you don't use a portable digital music player... which would suggest you hang around a computer to listen to music... which is a really boring way to be...
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:19PM (#5854477)
    How much do you value convenience? There are many people quite capable of paying through the tooth for convenience. For instance, a bus token costs (at least where I live) CAN$2.25 and can get you as far as you need to within Toronto. But I continue to see more and more cars being sold. Despite some of the restrictions a car places on these people over using the transit system, they find a car much more convenient and are willing to pay orders of magnitudes more for the convenience it brings.
  • 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.

  • by feldsteins (313201) <<scott> <at> <scottfeldstein.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.
  • I've been on emusic user for about 6 months. I DL probably 3-5 albums on average a month. Today, I canceled my subscription. Then I reported my credit card as lost in case they try to bill me again.

    As of today, they are forcing users to use their own download manager to get songs. Problem is, it's a completely closed app that must be installed as root, and even if you do install it, it doesn't work. I don't mind paying a fee for music I download - but I do want to be able to download it! I'll gladly go back when the abandon this BS.
  • by andya999 (222410) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:26PM (#5854571)
    the first comment to this hint [macosxhints.com] gives the format for queries to the apple music store.
  • Itunes JukeBox (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kamskii (619903) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:26PM (#5854572)
    Imagine a replacement for the traditional jukebox found in Bars and Billard Halls. Set up a kiosk running iTunes that excepts money and voila, you have a jukebox that you'll never have to go out and buy cds for. Think of all the money the owner could make.
  • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:29PM (#5854609) Homepage Journal
    And you won't regret it. I switched my main desktop 18 months ago. Haven't looked back. Oh, I still have a kickass x86 machine, but that one isn't used as much as my iBook.
    Oh, and the iBook is pretty damned cheap nowadays (back when I bought it, it was 2000Euro with a 256Meg memory upgrade). An eMac can be had for as less as 1600Euro including a memory upgrade to 1Gig RAM. Pretty sweet having a G4 with 1Gig of RAM.

    Why did I buy a Mac? Simple for the OS. So, music lovers might want to buy a Mac for iTunes and the incorporated store.

  • by RedX (71326) <redx@wideo p e nwest.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.
  • Bad preview clips (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chickenbird (54590) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:39PM (#5854785)
    Here's the rant I sent to Apple, here's hoping they improve. Or feh, we can just follow some people's example and use eMusic.
    ---

    Hi! I am a big fan of Massive Attack, and am pleased to see you feature them in your "Exclusive" section in the "Music Store" section of iTunes4.

    However, I cannot decide whether to buy the new exclusive album (or any tracks from it), because your 30-second preview is not a reliable indicator of what a song is actually like.

    How do I know this? Because I already own some of the songs you preview.

    For example, I bought the CD by Massive Attack "Protection" when it came out, so I know that your 30-second preview does no justice at all to the songs.

    "Better Things" is a perfect example. Tracey Thorn doesn't start singing until 1:09, but by :30, your clip is over and you never get to hear her sing! I should think her beautiful voice would be a great selling point!

    Also, why is "Protection" the song not featured for download from the "Protection" album by the same name? That's the very best song on the whole disk, and it isn't there at all. Even if it were, the preview would do no good for it, either, because for this song, Tracey doesn't start singing until :41, which is 11 seconds past your preview clip.

    If you want to sell songs, you need to put in the extra work to grab the part of the clip that is most likely to get the listener's interest.

    -c
  • by 90XDoubleSide (522791) <ninetyxdoublesid ... l.net minus poet> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:40PM (#5854799)
    This might already be happening:
    Following the successful launch of the iTunes Music Store, recent information reveals that Apple plans on providing access to its digital music shop from the dozens of retail outlets spread throughout the United States.

    Although the iMac-powered kiosks will double as information and showcase displays, customers will be able to purchase music and take it home with them, provided they bring along an iPod or purchase a disc to burn. "Apple wants to get the point across that the [iTunes Music Store] is a real music shop," says our source. "It's just digital."

    from: http://www.spymac.com/comments.php?id=378_0_5_0_C
  • by YllabianBitPipe (647462) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:40PM (#5854800)

    99 cents is the right price. I feel totally comfortable blowing 99 cents multiple times for music. 99 cents is the cost of a cheap hamburger at McDonald's. And, most pop music today is about as disposable and meaningful as a hamburger at McDonalds. And as for quality, this is unimportant to me as well. We're talking about pop music here, not the Taj Mahal or the Mona Lisa. It's disposable, useless fluff. Of course I would want better quality if it were offered, but will hearing Whitesnake or New Kids on The Block in better quality improve the music any?

    Next I notice one great benefit of buying music this way is you don't get a jewel case or liner notes. That's right, you heard me correct. I actually don't use either. Pretty much every CD I've bought in the past year has been immediately ripped into iTunes, the CD with liner notes stuffed in an envelope and the jewel case tossed. The CD essentially only exists for me as a backup medium. I can't remember the last time I even felt the need to look at the disc jacket. Saving the time of me chucking the box and the materials is easily worth 99 cents, and the 9.99 for an album is a steal. I hope to never set foot in a record store again, nor pay Amazon to ship me a bunch of crap I will never use, including the CD.

    Secondly, one thing that is awesome about the new version of iTunes is the Rendevous capability. I crack open my iBook, and the entire library of mp3s on my main Mac appears. Holy cow ... now I can have one copy of my entire library and serve it up without lifting a finger.

    Then, I read you can do the same thing, over the net. Meaning, I can be at work on my mac and have access to my entire mp3 library. Holy cow again.

    I can hardly wait until they slap Airport on an iPod and do the same thing. Can you imagine just walking down the street and a new playlist shows up on your iPod from some guy walking buy you... arrrgh I'm foaming at the mouth.

    The Apple Music Store: I'ts cool.

  • by tbmaddux (145207) * on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:41PM (#5854807) Homepage Journal
    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."
    Actually, it had three sentences: [slashdot.org] "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

    Note that the the high-moderated comments largely drowned out those three sentences. So while your thesis about Slashdot's finger and the pulse of consumer-oriented technology might apply to the writer of those 3 sentences, it doesn't apply to the community as a whole.

    I'm not even sure what the "wireless" comment was all about - probably driven by rumors. But is anyone demanding or even talking about a wireless iPod now? What would it use, Bluetooth? Bah.

  • Re:Selling out? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jasin Natael (14968) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:42PM (#5854813)
    Who says Apple can't remove the iTunes-mandated DRM from their files, or start offering MP3's with their service? Apple is playing a good middle ground. They're trying to make a popular service without opening themselves up for litigation.

    As much as we hate it, the DMCA pretty much requires Apple to actively move to protect the labels' interests, or risk lawsuits for 'contributing to piracy'. If we assume that MP3's are right out, I can't imagine that they'd even want to deal with the legal hassle of providing music to Linux or Windows users at all -- the only real DRM formats (WMA, RM) belong to their competition and would require them to basically duplicate their entire library in addition to paying royalties. And let's face it, they're not going to get anyone on board for MP3.

    RIAA: "Apple, by providing unencrypted, easily copied MP3 files to Personal Computers, a known bastion of music theft, has materially damaged our business model and violated our agreement."
    Apple: "But it's what the consumers wanted."
    RIAA: "So what? You are on the way to destruction. For great justice, All your base are belong to us."
  • by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @02:57PM (#5855013) Homepage
    If any other company, MS, and RIAA member, or even the FSF opened a music store and choose a closed proprietary format over MP3 or of course Vorbis this /. crowd would be all over them. If this was Warner Brothers Music people would be screaming how AOL was trying to destroy open formats with DRM that restricted yadda yadda yadda.

    but no, its apple, so everyone creams in their pants and begs for more. I can't understand how a company whose practices go against everything FS/OS stands for in such a drastic way is so loved by the same crowd.

    Imagine what the world would be like if MS had the monopoly *and* the control apple has over its products and customers. man I'll leave the over priced/ closed / hardware-software lockin at the door thank you very much.
  • 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.
  • by fuali (546548) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:06PM (#5855138) Homepage
    $275,000 is the gross. After paying the record companies they clear $100,000. That is not "NETTED", the is still more to cover like the bandwidth, the servers, rent, support staff, for the day. 275,000 songs is approximately 805 GB of bandwidth. That is a sustained bandwidth of about 100Mbit/sec. If they clear $10,000 for the day, they will be lucky. Plus this is the opening day. On average a grand opening well marketed does about 5x then an average day. So if Apple breaks even on this they will be lucky.
  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:09PM (#5855163)
    Apple computers cost more... not for an equivalent machine, but because they don't have low end machines. This results in price senstive customers going elsewhere (BTW: I moved my office to OS X, I don't think that the machines are overpriced).

    As a result, Apple, with 4% of sales (and probably 6%-8% of the online market, as Apple machines tend to stay deployed longer), Apple has a thriving Shareware market, and now an online music market. While Apple is a SMALL piece of the desktop computer market, the users are more interested in purchasing things.

    This results in that 4%-8% of the PC market POSSIBLY being anywhere from 10%-50% of the potential online music buying crowd. The iPod, clearly the "best" if not expensive MP3 player, is 50%-50% Mac-Windows sales. So while the iPod is special (Mac users tend to actually LIKE Apple), music may be similar.

    I LOVE iTunes 4. A bunch of us upgraded at the office, and we can play each other's music which is cool. I bought a few tracks of songs that I find catchy but don't like (nice background music when zoning or at the gym). I won't rerip my existing CDs, but new CDs are going to be AAC encoded.

    iTunes 4 is a great program, almost makes a Mac worthwhile. There are other little apps like that that make the Mac a nice platform.

    Alex
  • The best quote (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:11PM (#5855183)
    TIME: The people at Listen.com say downloading isn't the most popular feature on their music service, Rhapsody. What's you're response?

    Jobs: Well, that's correct. Downloading sucks on their service! You download a track and you can't burn it to a CD without paying them more money -- you can't put it on your MP3 player, you can't put it on multiple computers -- it sucks! So of course nobody downloads! You pay extra to download even on top of subscription fees. No wonder they have hardly any download traffic -- they hardly even have any subscribers!
  • by Orangeinmymouth (163349) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:34PM (#5855490)
    Rumour (http://www.spymac.com/comments.php?id=378_0_5_0_C ) has it Apple will be making their iTunes Music Store available at local Apple Stores. You just bring in your iPod, log into iTunes on one of their display computers and buy whatever you want. Again, this is a rumour, so take with a grain of salt.

    I'm assuming they'd need a modified version of iTunes for security, but it doesn't seem all that far-fetched to me. Of course this only solves your problem if you own an iPod.
  • by King Babar (19862) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:38PM (#5855531) Homepage
    Don't be a fool.

    Of the $1, the RIAA gets 2/3's. Of that's 2/3's, the writer gets the mechnical royalty which is probably less than 5 cents.

    OK, so unless something has really changed, the RIAA gets nothing. Some music companies get something. And this, I think, is the key point: the labels that have the most to gain from this are the small ones that you are less likely to find on your local store's shelves. And, moving beyond that, a viable buy-online system *not* run by a label will make it far more likely that unsigned acts can get a better deal.

    And I really do think this will help bands in a major way. While you're listening to the song you'll probably buy, you can't help look at the box on the right that says "people who bought 'Ana Ng' also bought 'Funky Périphérique' by Les Sans Culottes". [Disclaimer: neither song is currently available at the site although they certainly should be.] To be completely honest, a working online music buying system will really be the end of the big labels as we know them.

  • by rxed (634882) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:50PM (#5855676)
    Apple has some of the best PR people in the world. They've come up before with bombastic statements like OS 9.0 server running TCP/IP stack 4 times faster than Windows NT. Simply put: if this is coming from Apple I would check another source. Otherwise this is excelent news...if its true that is.
  • They don't need an iPod, they just need a blank CD. We'll sell you one for $.99.

    They have a digital distribution system for all tracks ever published , and no need for shelf space. (Or at least all tracks they can get hold of, more than a store can hold.)

    Stick a kiosk in the middle of the mall with an iMac, a CDR loader and a CreditCard swipe. You'd put all those music stores out of business.

  • Re:GNUArt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by doorbot.com (184378) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @03:58PM (#5855769) Journal
    once people will realize they have to pay 7425$ to fill their new iPod

    Note, what follows is merely wild speculation.

    Wasn't the recording industry sued (successfully) for price fixing? What were the prices being fixed at? $20 or so? Now CDs are, say, $13 for 13 songs, so they're still about a dollar per song.

    Let's think about this dollar per song ($1/song) for a moment.

    I'm sure most readers are familiar those infomercials at 1 AM offering all sorts of products, whether it be CD sets, pasta makers, car wax, etc. Notice how they're always $19.95 or $24.99 or $29.97 etc. This has the obvious advantage of allowing the marketing slogan "under $30" etc (before tax, of course). And really, $24.99 really isn't that much... you probably have as much in your wallet.

    So now let's think about the $0.99/song offer. We definitely have the "under a dollar" bit, and again, it's only a dollar... "don't buy that candy bar, instead buy some music." But a dollar adds up quickly. Considering the size of some music collections, going "digital" will be outrageously expensive.

    Where I am going with this? I think that the record companies told Apple what the price would be. $0.99 probably has a healthy profit for both parties, so neither side is complaining. Apple can market the songs as "cheap" (cheaper than what?).

    What is the marginal cost of another downloaded song? Much, much less than the marginal cost of another CD/CD single. I think that the record companies need the price of downloadable songs rediculously high because otherwise it will be apparent that CDs are priced too high. If a song was, say, $0.10 to download, why wouldn't a CD with 13 of those songs be $1.30? Why is it ten times the price of downloading? Does it offer ten times the value? Does it cost ten times the amount (per song) to produce?

    I've heard people say CDs cost pennies to make. Maybe CDRs, but it costs money to get the CDs pressed, and the jackets made, etc. So let's say it costs $1 to make the CD. Now we add on the cost of the songs, so we're up to $2.30. Now let's add some profit (note that the cost of the songs, whatever it is, will cover costs of paying the artists, marketing, etc), and we get $2.75. Maybe the record stores will mark it up a bit more.

    Here's the point: downloadable songs will never be pennies per song because that will make it very, very clear that the songs themselves are only worth pennies per track (market value == sale price). While you can sell the same product for different prices, it will be very hard convincing the average consumer why they should (currently, or previously) pay for a CD at $13 -- the tracks on the CD are not "worth" that much. CDs in general are thus overpriced. Think of how angered consumers will be when they figure this out.

    And some other thoughts:

    How is this really any better than buying a CD? Oh, that's right, I don't have to buy the rest of the crap on the album. So are we going to see CDs with 30 songs on them to compete with this new downloadable music? Or will the rest of the CD need to include quality music from now on? Somehow, we're made to think it's a better "deal" when we're really paying the same price.

    Another interesting tidbit is that Apple is giving you rights to the song as long as you live. OK, but I can will my CDs to my son/daughter/friend/sister/etc. Or I can give it to them (transfer ownership). Can I do this with an electronic song? Obviously after I transfer ownership I couldn't listen to it anymore under my name. As far as I can tell, though, it seems like this is the "subscription" model for music. Yay.

    And an idea that I'll express here, so I can refer to my Slashdot post as prior art... ;)

    Here's an idea that I think would work well with regards to downloadable music.

    New releases of any and all songs should be very inexpensive. As a song becomes popular, the price goes up (not instantaneously, but, say, every day or so t
  • by cnkeller (181482) <cnkellerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:02PM (#5855801) Homepage
    Well, that was my point kinda. Generally, when I purchase hardware I go for function before price. Perhaps I'm in the minority when it comes to this. These are the features I need, so what's the best package at the right price. For example, my laptop had to have a large screen (15" minimum for multiple windows to edit code and watching full screen DVD's), had to have a DVD player and be able to write CD's, it had to be as light as possible and have a 3-4 hour battery life. The only thing that I found that fufilled those reqs was a Powrebook. I can fly from DC to San Fran on one battery (more or less) and play Civ3 or watch a DVD and it's light enough that I don't get tired of lugging it around.

    As far as I can tell, given feature sets are roughly the same price. Can you get a PC for dirt cheap? Of course. Can you get a PC with X features for any cheaper than you can get a Mac with X features. It's a pretty close call from what I can tell. Sure, you can always build it yourself, but that's not always practical in large numbers.

  • by cnkeller (181482) <cnkellerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:16PM (#5855962) Homepage
    I'm not enough of a gamer to run Wine. I feel that if you want me to buy your game, you support the platform I choose to run. Otherwise, I simply won't play it. My loss I guess, as I said, I'm not a huge gamer (the last time I owned a windows PC was Win98).I do find warcraft much harder than Kohan however. Guess I need work on my hotkeying.

    I run OpenOffice for most things and it fulfills all my requirements, I can't tell the difference between the linux version and mac version; kudos to the openoffice team.

    I do use Gnome quite a bit (typing on RH9 as you read), but I think what I am liking about OS X is how everything integrates so well together. Neither KDE or GNOME has matched that in my opinion. My Email client (which sucks on the Mac) is aware of my Instant Messaging client is aware of my GPG client, etc. Yes yes, to a certain extent this works on linux as well. But I guess I just like the Mac polish better. I've gone from linux with no GUI to the latest AA GTK2 (never much of a KDE fan) and part of me just appeals to the OS X GUI. Part of me likes the utter total and complete control that Gnome and KDE give you over changing every little thing. They both have pluses and minuses, I don't think I'm enough of a mac person yet to list them all.

    Personally I think you generally adapt to whatever desktop you use, most are transparent to me, I just use what's there. I'm still going to keep my dual AMD box so I can stay current on linux however.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by King Babar (19862) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:34PM (#5856214) Homepage
    However, until I see otherwise, I'm going to assume it's packed with Britney and the Dave Matthews Band and the like.

    Now, why would they do that? Seriously, think of the people who own Macs, have enough income to blow on this, and what they might be listening to. It sure ain't Britney, dude. OK, so here's the top twenty songs overall at this moment:

    1. Stuck in a Moment (Acoustic) U2
    2. Beautiful Day (Live From Boston) U2
    3. I Will Follow (Live From Boston) U2
    4. Lose Yourself (Soundtrack Version) Eminem
    5. Soak Up the Sun Sheryl Crow
    6. Clocks Coldplay
    7. The Way I Am Eminem & Marilyn Manson
    8. Safe and Sound Sheryl Crow
    9. January Stars Sting
    10. These Drugs Eminem & D12
    11. Don't Know Why Norah Jones
    12. Everything Is Broken (Alternate Mix) Bob Dylan
    13. Unwell (Live Acoustic) Matchbox Twenty
    14. When I'm Gone 3 Doors Down
    15. In My Place Coldplay
    16. Lullaby for an Anxious Child Sting
    17. Intuition (Todd Terry Radio Mix) Jewel
    18. In da Club 50 Cent
    19. Picture Kid Rock
    20. Butterfly Caught (JAGZ Kooner Remix) Massive Attack

    OK, so there's way too much Sheryl Crow and Sting in the current mix and some other issues, but that will undoubtedly change. :-) Meanwhile, the top-10 "alternative list would be:

    1. Like a Stone Audioslave
    2. Cochise Audioslave
    3. Blister in the Sun Violent Femmes
    4. Istanbul (Not Constantinople) They Might Be Giants
    5. Criminal Fiona Apple
    6. Birdhouse in Your Soul They Might Be Giants
    7. Short Skirt/Long Jacket Cake
    8. Show Me How to Live Audioslave
    9. Particle Man They Might Be Giants
    10. Whip It Devo

    OK, so we have the usual definitional issues of what the heck alternative is, but these are definitely the picks of the SLOG (Slightly Older Geek) generation. Man, somebody should tell TMBG that they have 3 of the top 10 songs on this list. :-)

  • by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @04:47PM (#5856380) Homepage
    You see I forgot to mention that when I think something is unreasonably priced I don't steal it, or violate its copyright, I simply don't buy it or use it.
  • by silentbozo (542534) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @05:05PM (#5856572) Journal
    I'm going out to buy OS X today so I can try iTunes 4 out. They may not be selling new macs, but they've added a big incentive for existing mac owners who haven't transitioned to OS X to at least try it out (and spend the $99 doing so.) I guess the idea is that once you get comfortable with OS X, you might be convinced to buy a new mac, even though they can't boot OS 9 anymore.
  • by Joey7F (307495) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @05:45PM (#5856898) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but how many people were "psyched" for this? I personally never heard about it until 12 hours after the launch (most people would be even later). Did they only let computer owners buy the cd? Of those did they only let 2% buy them?

    I can't wait for this to hit windows. I have a little bit of a guilty conscience that I have downloaded so many songs for free. I will probably redownload from Itunes the some of the songs I have not bought. I still buy roughly the same amount of CDs now as I did ere P2P, but I have been exposed to at least 10 bands that are really great that I now support financially.

    --Joey
  • by Twitchy Itchy Poo (656254) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @05:49PM (#5856934)
    Then I bought about 184 songs and albums (combo number, I think it was about 6 albums and various singles). All I've got to say is I've spent more on music since this store came into being than I have in YEARS. I don't mind the DRM nonsense. I've got nothing to hide anymore, this just adds to my big ass collection of music. I've burned a few compliation albums for my brother, but otherwise I just use my Ipod and FM transmitter for music. I think it's a great service. Personally, I'm glad I don't HAVE to steal the singles anymore from the P2P places. I dig being able to click, download and be happy real fast. Without a virus being attached (Kazaa), broken songs (all the P2Ps), wrong songs (All), etc.. They've got one happy customer here in NY peace
  • hmmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sj0 (472011) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @05:53PM (#5856978) Homepage Journal
    I'm not entirely sure $100,000 dollars for a venture like this in 18 hours is that great. Sure, compared to what you or I make, 100,000 dollars in 18 hours is incredible, but if you factor in the amount of money they've put into running and creating the store, paired with the normal profit for a large scale commercial venture, I'd be interested in seeing exactly how well it has done in the grand scheme of things.
  • Re:$.99 versus $1.00 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fdiv_bug (611080) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @06:19PM (#5857299)
    From what I've heard, from several sources, Mr. J.C. Penney (yes, that J.C. Penney, who started the American department store) is responsible for this. He was selling things for even values and his employees were pocketing some of the money after the customer walked away. Changing his prices so that the customers had to get change (back when $0.01 was actually usable to buy something) made it so the employees had to open the cash drawer and they were less likely to have thoughts of theft. The marketing aspect ("Under $1.00!") probably had some play into his price changes, as well. That's all hearsay, however, so take it with a grain of salt. But it sounds pretty logical to me.
  • by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Thursday May 01, 2003 @06:54PM (#5857611) Homepage Journal
    ...but corrupted by spectacularly awful 128k mp3 compression.

    That being said, I am a subsccriber to eMusic and absolutely love it, if only for the wide selection of non-mainstream stuff. I just wish they had a clue in regards to mp3 compression.

    Funny, the low bitrate has never bothered me, maybe because I usually listen to them on cheesy PC speakers. But anyway, they've got at least a clue... their on-line FAQ says: "Due to high demand, EMusic is planning on increasing the bitrate at which our songs are encoded."

    I think someone else here was saying that the announcement has just gone out...

  • by VoxBoston (670308) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @08:02PM (#5858299)
    As a test, I downloaded a song in AAC format from the iTunes store that I already had ripped at 192 VBR MP3.

    At first comparison, I thought the AAC file was good - until I listened on my "mastering headphones" (Grado SR325s, which rock, by the way - http://www.gradolabs.com ). Lots of bizzare compression artifacts.

    So there I am, thinking AAC is garbage, until I remembered something about an "Enhancer" feature in iTunes. Sure enough, I look in preferences and there it is. I turned it off, and many / most / all? of the compression artifacts I heard went away.

    So, before you try to asses whether you think AAC @ 128 is better than MP3s at 192, turn this "Enhancer" feature off, then judge.

    In my opinion, AAC is living up to the hype.
  • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @09:43PM (#5858928)
    Try 42% in Japan. Here in Osaka, I can go to five different stores in a five-block area and find a floor in each one dedicated to Macintosh products. There is also a dedicated authorized Apple reseller that has a five-story store, all Mac, including a very impressive used-and-refurbished section on the fifth floor (all of the other stores sell used and refurbs, too.)

    Osaka's "Den Den Town" - God placed His finger here and said, "This shall be the Chosen Land for the geeks and nerds, the computer users and technophiles." And it was good.

    (For those of you familiar with Tokyo's Akihabara district, yes, it's like that.)
  • by epepke (462220) on Friday May 02, 2003 @02:41AM (#5860219)

    The practice originally started in retail stores with cash registers. Clerks tended to ignore the new-fangled machines for purchases in whole numbers, so the numbers were changed to persuade the clerks to use the cash register to get the penny change. It didn't become popular in other forms of retail, such as catalog purchases, until about 50 years later.

    This was pointed out by Bill Bryson in one of his books; I think it was Made in America.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2003 @11:23AM (#5868852)
    Is 275,000 a little or a lot?

    well in the last 6 months ALL internet music sales combined added up to less than this figure.

    in one day apple users alone doubled internet sales of downladable music. that's a smashing success. imagine if this had been international plus windows users too. damn!.

    wired has the figures [wired.com]

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