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iTunes 4.5 Authentication Cracked 725

Posted by michael
from the powered-by-mountain-dew dept.
fooishbar writes "Yesterday, Apple released iTunes 4.5, which deliberately broke the 4.2 authentication scheme, which had been successfully reverse-engineered. However, crazney has been at it again, and within 24 hours of downloading iTunes 4.5, has broken the new scheme, and added more features to this library along the way. If you want to incorporate iTMS support in your program, give libopendaap a go!" Reader ScottGant submits this story about the Pepsi/iTunes promotion: "News.com has this story about Pepsi's iTunes promotion give-away. The promotion, which is slated to end this Friday, was to have given away 100 million tracks through Apple's iTunes music site. But according to Apple on Wednesday, only about 5 million free songs have been redeemed."
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iTunes 4.5 Authentication Cracked

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  • Only five million? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liselle (684663) * <{ten.ellesil} {ta} {todhsals}> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:41PM (#9008443) Journal
    That's way less than they anticipated. Only 5 million out of 100 knocked me flat. Since iTunes serves a pretty specific market, I guess that says a lot. Especially since the tracks are free. The question on my mind: how many of those 100 million winners actually reached folks? TFA mentioned something about distribution problems.

    Also, about the new authentication crack: I am curious how this will impact their deal to offer free weekly songs, I'm assuming it's some sort of deal with the record industry. Today is a fairly uninspiring Avril Lavigne track (but free! I got it anyway! :P), but I have to wonder.
    • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:42PM (#9008464) Homepage Journal
      According to a lot of posts on Macrumors.com and other Mac news sites there were a lot of posts from people in the *huge* markets like New York, LA, San Fran, etc who were posting that they never found a bottle with the promotion on it.

      Personally in Raleigh, NC I never saw a 'iTunes' bottle but then again I don't drink a lot of soft drinks anyway.
      • by BrookHarty (9119) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:46PM (#9008516) Homepage Journal
        I hardly drink pepsi in the bottle, just the cans from the vending machine. The couple times I did buy bottles, the 24 ounce bottles where winners, the smaller bottles never won.

        Bad thing, I never remembered to keep the bottle, I tossed it like normal. Dont know how many other people don't know, or don't care.
      • by Mattintosh (758112) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:52PM (#9008604)
        In the St. Louis area, the local Pepsi bottler ran a promo giving away free Blues tickets instead of the iTunes promo. Right about the same time as the Blues fired their head coach during a massive slump, which they pulled out of in time to reach the playoffs and be eliminated in the first round. Pepsi sure knows how to market their product...

        I'll stick with Coke, thanks.
      • by Eraser_ (101354) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:10PM (#9009615)
        I was activly searching my town (east la county), neighboring ones (san bernadino county) and even a few stores in Santa Barbara california. It took about 3-4 weeks before the damn LAKERS caps went away so I could buy iTunes caps. Won about 6 or 7 songs in 10 bottles.

        Distribution sucked majorly.
      • I guess the bottle availablity has more to do with your local distributor than Pepsi.

        I live up in the North Country in New York. I'd consider my city to be pretty darn far from a major population center, yet strangely enough we had iTunes Pepsi's available by the second week of the promotion.

        Fearing diabetes in my late 20s, I have long-since switched to Diet Pepsi, so collecting caps wasn't a problem -- I've amassed 47 winning songs thus far...
    • by SoCalChris (573049) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:47PM (#9008520) Journal
      TFA mentioned something about distribution problems.

      In the area I'm in (Downtown Long Beach, Ca), the iTunes bottles didn't reach most stores until the end of February. All of the stores were carrying Lakers promotional bottles instead.

      Once the iTunes bottles started showing up, I won a few songs. When I went to redeem them, iTunes didn't have any of the specific songs that I wanted. They didn't have any Led Zeppelin songs, so I went looking for some songs off of a CD that my wife wants. They didn't have that either, so my caps didn't get turned in.
      • by rjung2k (576317) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:38PM (#9009165) Homepage
        End of February? You were lucky -- I was working in Anaheim since January 2004, and we didn't see any yellow iTunes caps until the third week of March, which was right before the promotion ended.

        I'm still getting yellow caps now; it's a good thing Apple is still letting me redeem them (at least through tomorrow), because I've already cashed in 7 or 8, and could reap a few more between now and the end of work tomorrow.
      • Wasted Caps (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin&lunarworks,ca> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @05:19PM (#9012587) Homepage
        When I went to redeem them, iTunes didn't have any of the specific songs that I wanted. They didn't have any Led Zeppelin songs, so I went looking for some songs off of a CD that my wife wants. They didn't have that either, so my caps didn't get turned in.

        Ok, now that's just plain silly. These are FREE songs we're talking about. So they didn't have a specific tune you wanted. What was keeping you from downloading a track from someone you never heard of? (The previews are there for a reason.)

        You could have discovered something new that you really liked, without any risk of wasting money. Be a little more adventurous...

    • by Matey-O (518004) * <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:47PM (#9008524) Homepage Journal
      Especially since the tracks are free
      I only got about five free songs...See, I have this odd aversion to developing type 2 diabetes that limits the amount of sugarwater I want to drink.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:48PM (#9008544)
        I drink Diet Pepsi, so I opted for cancer instead.
        • by Golias (176380) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:05PM (#9009537)
          Diet Pepsi is not carcinogenic. Saccharine has not been used in either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi since NutraSweet (a.k.a. "Aspartame") was introduced in the 80s.

          There are all kinds of people (a.k.a. "kooks") who are now trying to tell you that Aspartame is bad for you. Funny how they came to that opinion just as NutraSweet's patent on Aspartame ran out, so anybody can produce a generic form of it cheaply.

          I'm convinced that all this hand-wringing about Aspartame is driven by a desire to sell you on new sweeteners, like Splenda. Every time I "follow the money" on somebody issuing warnings about the Aspartame in Diet Coke, I discover somebody who's competing with it.

          (Splenda and Sorbitol, by the way, often contain warning that "large quantities my cause mild diarrhea," by which they mean "even a few drops of this stuff will make you explosively burst out liquid faster than a fire hose within the hour, making severe dysentery seem healthy by comparison.")

    • by Schnapple (262314)
      Thing that gets me is this - who is it that's going to go buy a Pepsi for a free song? $1.29 for a bottlecap with a 33% of a 99-cent song. Doesn't add up. So the only people who would get the songs in the first place were the ones who drink Pepsi to begin with - but most of them drink it in cans. If every cap had a free song then I would see Pepsi sales shoot up - but that's not good for Pepsi to eat 99-cents of whatever they get from the $1.29 sale.

      I'd say the only ones who benefit from this deal is Appl

    • by ScottGant (642590) <scott_gant AT sbcglobal DOT netNOT> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#9008619) Homepage
      My wife and I would go out of our way to get the Pepsies with the promotion. We won quite a few times.

      It wasn't a bad promotion, but many times we had to go out of our way to even find the Pepsies with the offer. They were hard to find.

    • by goon america (536413) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:03PM (#9008742) Homepage Journal
      That's way less than they anticipated. Only 5 million out of 100 knocked me flat.

      100 miliion is the maximum possible number of redemptions; that's the number of winning labels they printed. You'd have to expect every single winning label to be redeemed to reach that number.

      Apple expected of the 100 million winning labels, about 30% would ultimately be redeemed, or 30 million. 5 million compared to that isn't good, but it's better than compared to 100 million. I blame Pepsi's rather lackluster promotion efforts in part (a brief, off-handed mention in a commercial that ran once during the superbowl).

  • This is annoying. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pave Low (566880) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:43PM (#9008468) Journal
    The idea that Apple is "breaking" or "crippling" this part of iTunes is misleading. It wasn't a feature that Apple provided to begin with, and any hacks to break the DRM scheme will be thwarted by Apple eventually.

    If you don't like this, you shouldn't use iTunes at all and don't buy their music because this is something they need to sell music online. Last I checked, you can just buy the CD at the store that contains no DRM at all.

    • by m0rph3us0 (549631) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:45PM (#9008494)
      First Sale Doctorine. You can do what you want with things you purchase.
      • Re:This is annoying. (Score:4, Informative)

        by wanerious (712877) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:50PM (#9008571) Homepage
        You did not purchase the song. Read the agreement. You purchase the right to listen to the song subject to the conditions outlined in the agreement. If the agreement is not to your liking, do not purchase the song.
        • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75.yahoo@com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:34PM (#9009966)
          You did not purchase the song. Read the agreement. You purchase the right to listen to the song subject to the conditions outlined in the agreement.

          I have two words for you: bull, and shit.

          I don't care what their agreement says. Nobody has to "purchase rights" to "listen" to a song. If I want to listen to a song that's playing out on the street as I happen to be walking along, nobody has any right to charge me for the privilege. Conversely, nobody is allowed to sign away their rights under the law. If I sign an agreement saying "I hereby grant you the right to kill me by strangulation" that still doesn't give you the right to kill me and it doesn't give me the right to commit suicide either (which is illegal in most states).

          Copyright law is pretty clear and the first sale doctrine well established. If I buy a song from iTunes, it's mine and I can do what I want with it provided I don't do anything to violate copyright law. That includes stripping the DRM to exercise my rights as expressly provided in copyright law (don't forget, fair use is not some nebulous concept someone came up with on Slashdot, it is part of the actual law).

          Now, you can try to quote various things from the DMCA if you want, but that won't win you many friends around here. And I don't interpret the DMCA as overriding fair use rights anyway, and neither does anyone else I know of.
    • by amdg (614020) <amdg.mac@com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:02PM (#9008727) Homepage

      Last I checked, you can just buy the CD at the store that contains no DRM at all.

      The problem is that you never know what you are going to get when you buy a CD. Many CDs these days come with DRM that stops you from playing the songs on computers and even some stereos. And you don't know until you try it at which point the stores won't let you return it because it was opened. So given the choice between a useless, ~$15, round, shiny piece of sh... err... plastic or a ~$10 downloaded album that I can burn to a CD, copy to my iPod, or play on 5 different computers, I think the choice is obvious. The phrase "lesser of two evils" comes to mind.

    • by metamatic (202216) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:42PM (#9009230) Homepage Journal
      The authentication doesn't just prevent DRM-removal. It also cripples iTunes' ability to connect to non-iTunes music shares.

      I have my entire music library--which, incidentally, is 100% legal and paid for--on a Linux server running daapd. iTunes 4.5 broke iTunes so I could no longer pay my legally purchased music on my Macintosh.

      Fortunately, the maintainer of daapd worked out the fix about as quickly as the maintainer of libopendaap did, and I've been able to upgrade iTunes after all.

      Make no mistake, Apple's screwing around does have a negative impact on their customers, even the ones who haven't infringed copyright.
    • If you don't like this, you shouldn't use iTunes at all and don't buy their music

      I won't, thanks! Oh, and if you don't like Playfair, don't use it either! Software should not be illegal. People in America should not be GOING TO PRISON FOR SPEAKING PUBLICLY [freesklyarov.org] about algorithms.

      Some things are just absolutely wrong - don't you get that? The music business is of very little importance compared to the sickening law which Apple is invoking to protect their business interests.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@jo[ ]ummel.net ['hnh' in gap]> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:44PM (#9008486) Homepage
    I'm hardly surprised by the results. Personally, I don't drink Pepsi usually (though it's not a religious thing, no matter what people think). But I'll drink a Sierra Mist, which is included in the contest.

    So when My Lovely Wife (MLF) would go to the store, she knew to look for Sierra Mist with the label. For about the last 5 months she's looked, and every so often I'd take a peek.

    Nothing. Nada. I've talked to other people in the San Diego/Southern California area. Nothing. I was on a business trip to Chicago - didn't see any out there (though maybe someone who lives there might have had more luck).

    I don't know if it's that Pepsi had a lot of "warehouse" Pepsi to sell that just never got to the market, or if they only shipped it to certain areas. But whatever the reason, I have not seen one iTunes Pepsi cap - and those friends I have who have seen them in their area mention that it's not 1/3 that one, but typically more like 1/10 (though perhaps they were victims of the "Bottle Tilt Trick" in their area from ambitious music buyers).

    I'd like to hear that Pepsi extends the contest for another 6 months in the hopes that the labeled bottles will eventually reach stores, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • by crackshoe (751995) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:45PM (#9008491)
    my main problem with 4.5 is that it no longer allowed sharing with other itunes running boxen on my home network - the one machine i had updated to 4.5 ( my parents imac) couldn't accesss my music on the g5. it seems like a fairly annoying thing that wouldn't be particularly hard to not break for no particular reason. while i personally think theres no reason to break apple's authentication or other security features in itunes (the current permisions are more than enough for me, and i have less than 20 pruchased tracks, and only 2 machines i play em on), its nice to know that work arounds do exist.
    • by RatBastard (949) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:09PM (#9008812) Homepage
      What the planet of Hell do you need a workaround for? Just upgrade the other machines! iTunes is *DUM, DUM, DUMDUM* FREE (as in beer)! Is it really so hard to upgrade a free program?
      • yeah, i upgraded it. and i don't think i'll never need a workaround (although at some point i anticipate apple doing the whole "unless you upgrade your OS for 130 bucks you can't get the latest versions of this software" like they did with safari. my main point was that they're forcing the upgrade via incompatibility -- i have no problem upgrading, but i was pointing it out for everyones benefit.
  • by profet (263203) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:45PM (#9008497)
    I live in NYC and have seen exactly 1 bodega with iTMS Pepsi bottles.

    Maybe someone forgot to ship these things to places where people actually would use them?
  • Hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:46PM (#9008510)
    But according to Apple on Wednesday, only about 5 million free songs have been redeemed.

    So... 95 million valid codes left, where's the code generator? :-)

  • by MyNameIsFred (543994) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:48PM (#9008534)
    ...according to Apple on Wednesday, only about 5 million free songs have been redeemed...

    I wonder what the typical redemption rate is for the Pepsi, Coke and other softdrink give aways. I know for paper coupons [cnn.com] the redemption rate is about 2 percent. Granted alot of those coupons go straight into the trash. However, when people print coupons from the web only 20 percent are redeemed. And if someone is going to print them, you would think they would use them.

    My point, is the Pepsi-iTunes rate of 5 percent unexpected?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:48PM (#9008539)
    Their new strategy seems to be fixed, and it's a strict policy of lip service. If they make sure:

    - The De-Fairplay utilities don't have public development sites, and instead are forced to be these little files passed around on USENET and P2P and slashdot like they're some sort of contraband, well out of the public eye

    - The way things work change just *SLIGHTLY* with every minor release of iTunes, causing all the De-Fairplay utilities to have to be updated with every minor release

    Then, well. The slashdotters get to keep their de-Fairplay utilities and use them as much as they want; and from the RIAA's perspective, Apple's "doing something" about piracy, because there's no longer a publically visible way to crack Fairplay, and so they don't revoke Apple's license to sell music. Everybody wins! Except our civil liberties.
  • In Cali, (Score:3, Informative)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:50PM (#9008582) Homepage
    Here in beautiful Glendale CA I only bough 2 losing Pepsi bottles, and I drink a lot of diet Pepsi. The bottles didn't show up until recently and i think they were playing catch up. I waited over a month after the promo started before I finally saw a bottle for sale. This could be a factor in the lower than expected numbers.

  • Free iTune download (Score:4, Informative)

    by G27 Radio (78394) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:51PM (#9008589)
    I found a link to this [benjerry.com] on Ben&Jerry's site after reading the news.com article. Pledge to vote in the next election and you get a free iTunes download with 24-48 hours.

    Get 'em while they're hot--er, or before they melt?
  • by BRSQUIRRL (69271) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:51PM (#9008596)
    Ii might have something to do with the inconvenience of downloading and installing iTunes, creating an account (which includes entering a credit card number), and then finally entering the code and picking a song.

    But I think more importantly, the vast majority of people simply don't know much about iTunes (or don't even know what it IS). I dug a lot of "one free song" bottle caps out of the wastebaskets in our office because people didn't have a clue what they were...however, once I showed them how to redeem them, their reaction was usually something like "I can get any song I want?!? COOL!". This leads me to believe that Apple still has a ways to go in terms of public interest and awareness of the online music store scene...which is actually an exciting opportunity for them.
  • by 71thumper (107491) <steven.levin@interceptor.com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:52PM (#9008616)
    Given the classic assumptions on "mail-in rebates" that only 10% of the people actually bother if the amount is less than $100...5% is actually amazingly high for something that has a very narrow audience given the number of people who by Pepsi (i.e., lots of people that bought winners didn't care about iTunes).

  • Arms race (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Erbo (384) <obreerbo&gmail,com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#9008632) Homepage Journal
    The "arms race" has definitely begun. And, from all indications thusfar, this one will be hard-fought.

    In the end, though, if this stays a technology arms race, Apple will lose. Why? Because most of the smart people in the world don't work for Apple. (That's also true even for Microsoft, incidentally.)

    Apple will have to take another tack if they want to preserve the integrity of the iTunes DRM. What that'll be, I dunno, but I hope they don't resort to suing their customers.

    • Re:Arms race (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shawnce (146129) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:53PM (#9009366) Homepage
      Actually if you have listened to Steve Jobs comments he doesn't believe that DRM can unbreakable in this regard. Instead you provide a compelling service with flexible allowances to win folks over and in doing so you attempt to grow the market for bought music. So in general they have not attempted to make an unbreakable system.

      That however doesn't mean you don't attempt to enforce those allowances (legally in general they need to do that to insure proper precedents are set). I believe Apple will try to do that without causing problems for its customers, without punishing folks for the acts of a few, at least based on comments by Steve and company. Apple also has to attempt enforcement to likely placate record companies and artists listing song on the store.

      Anyway, it is like the issue of cassette tapes back in the day... folks worried that rampant pirating of music would take place and kill sales. Well pirating did take place but the connivence of the tape form factor allowed things like tape players in cars, smaller/cheaper/easier to use stereos, and portable players like the Walkmans. This grew the market size for music and the large gains in market size easily offset the loss do to piracy.

      You make a good way to buy and listen to music, one easier to use, more convenient and reasonably priced to out compete the illegal channels (generally most folks like to do the right thing). This is the thinking that Steve and company has stated a few times.

      Personally I see hacking around FairPlay as a waste of time, it yields me nothing that I cannot already do based on my needs. If it pushes the business world to more draconian DRM and/or stronger legal actions that "punishes" everyone then it is doing folks more of a disservice then a service.
  • Good? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wanerious (712877) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:53PM (#9008634) Homepage
    And cracking the authentication scheme is considered ... good? I love iTunes and the iTMS. If Apple pulls out of the market because it tires of people breaking their rules out of a overblown sense of entitlement, we'll all be worse off.
    • Re:Good? (Score:4, Informative)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:33PM (#9009093) Homepage
      No, but most people on Slashdot don't know what they're talking about (including you it seems).

      Crazney has broken the pointless encryption on streaming things in the iTunes library to other machines on a LAN.

      It has nothing to do with iTMS. Repeat after me: it has nothing to do with iTMS.

      The encryption on streaming tunes between clients only serves two purposes: to try and keep people on the Apple upgrade treadmill and to force people to use iTunes on all their machines if they want to stream music between them from the iTunes library. This is your own music we're talking about here, no copyright violations are taking place.

      To be frank, Apple is taking the piss with this sort of encryption, and now the piss is being taken out of them. Too bad, but it has nothing to do with FairPlay.

  • by raptor21 (47540) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:56PM (#9008670)
    If a person still needs a account to login to iTMS with this bit of reverse engineered method, the Authentication hasn't been cracked!!!

    Authentication cracked means that you cand take an encrypted password and retreive the plain text for and already existing account.
    All this guy seems to be able to do is figure out where and how iTunes sends its login information, so he can put it in his own application.

  • by Comsn (686413) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:57PM (#9008677)
    they want a credit card for you to retrieve your free itunes aac, and since this was a promotion geared towards teens, how are they supposed to get thier free music?

    i had a couple caps but i didnt feel like signing up. great promotion there. only .5% went thru with it.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:03PM (#9008745) Homepage Journal
    "Hah! I cracked it in a matter of hours!"

    Ok, you're a clever guy. We get the message.

    But is your ego helping those of us who would like the RIAA to see the light and start being more open in their approach to digital music?

  • Hooray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:13PM (#9008866)
    It's a great day! We found a new way to screw over the one company who actually found a way to provide what everyone said they wanted: convenient, electronic distribution of music at a fair price.

    But wait, that's not really what they wanted. What they really want is stores with no cash registers and libraries of thousands of pieces of music representing the creative efforts of generations of people while valuing those libraries at zero.

    Oh, and they also want to complain about greed.
  • by AnotherLostAtom (740628) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:13PM (#9008874)
    Alright, so all I have to say about this is, don't make a Windows version of the hack Please !! If we all agree not to port the code to windows, then all the script kiddies will be waiting for a DRM breaker that naver comes, and they might BUY some CDS. I dunno I think that what is happening with File sharing is criminal. If I go to a US court I will just pull out the legal papers from my home Countre Canda, and try to prove that online file sharing is PERFECTLY FINE. It only got a slight drop when everybody was doing it, now with this suing shit happenting, everyone is back in the red. So what the hell is the problem? It's not illegal, it's fine, and content proveders. WE know you need money.. I will all works itself out, lets just stop the madness. Please?
  • Dear God... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:14PM (#9008875)
    Here's a thought for you who didn't find a Pepsi Bottle with a yellow cap: TRY ANOTHER STORE. Just becaue 9/10 stores in my immediate area don't sell Sobe's Love Bus Brew, ndoesn't mean I won't travel somewhere that does.

    To those who couldn't find where to insert your code on iTunes. USE YOUR EYES. It was right there on the front page: "PEPSI iTUNES GIVEAWAY." With a Pepsi logo with headphones on it. Click on it, insert your code, then it says ONE FREE SONG in the upper right hand corner. Find a song, click DONWLOAD, and it downloads it free.

    To those complaining about having to use a credit card: How else are you going to pay for the songs you download? Food stamps?!

    And about the DRM. c'mon people. Apple has to play the game of the law and the game of the recording industry in order to sell these things. But you tell me. How many other service let you KEEP the rights to the songs you bought, allowing them to be burned with the only restriction: Can only burn the same PLAYLIST 7 times to CD....Hell, Add or subtract a song from that playlist and you have a whole new playlist ready to burn.

    People...just have no sense of reason. This is the BEST legal download service available on the market. Plus, the software is free, and is THE BEST jukebox software, on ANY platform.

    Even WINBLOWS users are stating that "opinion." Should be more like fact if you compare all the others.
  • So (Score:5, Funny)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:18PM (#9008910)
    was to have given away 100 million tracks through Apple's iTunes music site. But according to Apple on Wednesday, only about 5 million free songs have been redeemed."

    So iTunes is a failure.

    Let's close it up. Unplug the servers and shut down the site.

    They haven't sold enough Macs either, so let's close that down too. Can't make a dime unless they're the #1 record-setting, fastest-growing business in the history of civilization.
  • by voss (52565) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:25PM (#9008998)
    Itunes maybe drm but they consistently have the most generous terms and usage limits. They also are reasonably priced. They put out a good product at a fair price...and they dont charge subscriptions. They are also the only paid song program for Mac users.

    Itunes is a good thing , and if you hack their songs without paying you are a thief. It is not like Kazaa where you might say there is no victim, Itunes is based on selling its product,and if Itunes fails mac users are screwed.

    If there is someday an Itunes for Linux are you going to hack that until it dies too?

  • by groomed (202061) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:46PM (#9009283)
    The target group for this just wasn't that big.

    1) Most people don't care about music. They put on the radio, and will buy a "Greatest Hits" collection perhaps once every 6 months, but that's about it.

    2) The number of people who can be bothered to check out the iTMS, and know how to find Apple's software, and are savvy Internet users, is a minority of a minority of a minority. Sure, if all you read are trade rags on the Internet, you'd think it was the Second Coming of the Messiah. But most people couldn't care less.

    3) So you're left with a comparatively small group of hipsters and gadgeteers who love music and know about the promotional offer. Now all that has to happen is for them to bump into a bottle (not can! not cup!) of Pepsi. Odds are pretty small.
    • You say not surprising like it were a bad thing for Apple to have 5 million songs downloaded - if even 1/10th of 1% of those = 5000 people - purchased additional songs it was worth the FREE publicity Apple got.

      This promo wasn't a failure by ANY means:

      Let's say Pepsi produced 100 million bottles with free song caps. Out of those, 70 million were sold. 50% of the buyers had computers (down to 35 million) and 50% of them had broadband (down to 17.5 million) and 50% of them were interested in digital music (n
  • by pherris (314792) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:56PM (#9009403) Homepage Journal
    Places like etree [etree.org] have long lists of bands (over 1k listed on etree) that are cool with trading (mostly live shows). There's some great legally free music downloads out there, start checking them out.
  • by amichalo (132545) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:29PM (#9010886)
    So let me get this straight...
    (1) I spend 99c downloading a song
    (2) I spend the next X hours of my life writing or downloading an Apple DRM decoder
    (3) I end up with a non-DRM song and a 99c credit card bill

    I can see why this is easier than just performing step 1 and quitting. I mean, since I have 6 computers I need to play the song on, or I want to burn 8 of the identical CD, or I have no life.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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