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Spotify Challenges iTunes With iPod Support, Playlist Synching 95

Posted by timothy
from the device-vs.-infrastructure dept.
Stoobalou writes with this excerpt from thinq.co.uk: "Spotify has made a surprise announcement, and while it's still not the long-awaited US launch, it will be making a splash over the pond: the streaming music service is morphing into an iTunes competitor. In what is a clear attempt at rattling Apple's cage, Spotify has unveiled a pair of major new features: the ability to synchronise Spotify playlists with iPods, and the option to buy MP3 files to own — both key features of the iTunes platform. Any playlist created via the Spotify player can be downloaded in a single step, making 'digital mix-tape' creation significantly simpler."
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Spotify Challenges iTunes With iPod Support, Playlist Synching

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  • by dokc (1562391)
    So Spotify is the next company which will be sued by Apple.
    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Agreed...

      What makes Spotify think that they wont get sued, or that Apple wont update iTunes and disable this function?

    • More likely, Apple will simply include a feature in the next update that makes it impossible for this to work.

      I like my Mac and my iPod, but not the closed garden I am allowed to use them in.

      • I think it's more likely that Apple will add this feature, thus promoting "Why would I switch?" amongst its user base, than break it somehow.

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      Sued for what? When did Apple sue AOL for Winamp's iPod sync support?

    • Depends on how Spotify did it. If all Spotify did was read the iTunes db file, then they are in the clear as it is a simple xml file. Other software exists that does the same thing. Where others like Palm go in trouble was that they tried to trick iTunes into thinking that a WebOS device was an iPod/iPhone.
    • Apple doesn't appear to be suing CopyTrans, and they produce CopyTransManager [copytrans.net] as a free download. It lets me copy mp3 files onto my 3rd Gen iPod Touch directly. I've shitcanned iTunes. Granted, you have to download and pull the driver binaries out of Apple's big wad iTunesSetup.exe file to use it on an iPhone or iPod Touch. But it works great.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:32AM (#36022816) Journal
    in 3...2...1...
    • Mod parent Insightful.

    • by Bad Ad (729117)
      more like 4... 3... 3
    • by leamanc (961376) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:28AM (#36025392) Homepage Journal

      Ummm, no. What Apple stops is non-iPod devices showing themselves as iPods to iTunes. They do not stop iPods from syncing with 3rd party apps. There are a metric shit-ton of Linux apps that can sync individual MP3s or playlists to iTunes and Apple cannot give a shit.

      Remember, iTunes and its music store exist to sell iPods. If you've already bought that iPod, then great. Just don't make your device pretend to be an iPod, like Palm did with the Pre.

      • by Homburg (213427)

        metric shit-ton of Linux apps that can sync individual MP3s or playlists to iTunes and Apple cannot give a shit.

        Except that Apple keep changing the way iPods sync in ways that break these apps. It's not entirely clear that Apple are making these changes in order to break the third-party apps, but some of the changes don't seem to have any other purpose.

  • by Mascot (120795) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:34AM (#36022826)

    Being able to buy an entire playlist, instead of one tune at a time, is though. Just to clarify.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sglewis100 (916818)

      Being able to buy an entire playlist, instead of one tune at a time, is though. Just to clarify.

      You've been able to publish playlists on iTunes for years, and each one can be purchased in it's entirety with a single button click. In addition to people's playlists, iTunes also publishes "Celebrity Playlists" from famous people.

      • by Mascot (120795)

        This is a thread pertaining to new functionality in Spotify. Do I really need to spell out that I am talking about functionality in Spotify when correcting the article's listing of old Spotify functionality as new Spotify functionality?

        I guess so. Let me rephrase then.

        Being able to purchase MP3s IN SPOTIFY is nothing new. Being able to buy an entire playlist IN SPOTIFY, instead of one tune at a time IN SPOTIFY, is though. Just to clarify. In Spotify.

        • The article I was reading read "Spotify Challenges iTunes With iPod Support, Playlist Synching". So while it might be new to Spotify, I didn't think it was particularly new as a concept. But it's not a thread about new functionality, it's a thread about new features leading to a presumed new attempt to compete with Apple's music ecosystem. There are things Spotify does that iTunes does not, but this wasn't one of them. It's nice to have, sure.
          • by Mascot (120795)

            The article summary read "Spotify has unveiled a pair of major new features: the ability to synchronise Spotify playlists with iPods, and the option to buy MP3 files to own". Which is the point I posted my correction on.

          • "But it's not a thread about new functionality, it's a thread about new features leading to a presumed new attempt to compete with Apple's music ecosystem."

            And that's why the summary points out that Spotify is now cloning some iTunes features, such as iPod syncing and one-click playlist purchasing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Brilliant. Now Apple will change up their iPod authentication again, resulting in even worse support for those of us who use free software.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      Apple is not for people who want free, customized, private or self-made software, media or data.
      iOS has shown the path to profit, and I fear Apple may start "securing" OS-X soon.

      • This. If you care about software freedom you shouldn't buy from Apple. You're destroying your hobby and your job prospects. It's like a gearhead buying a Maybach.

        • by toriver (11308)

          Yes: Your phone should be an OpenMoko FreeRunner [openmoko.com], and your handheld gaming device should be a GP2X [wikipedia.org]...

          • Well the GP2x is a nice device, but the Pandora is also an option. If you were trying to pick the black sheep of open devices you failed on that one.

            For your phone you could choose an N900 (which can also make a decent handheld gaming device), and before you say Maemo isn't 100% FOSS, you can also run Meego on it which is 100% FOSS. You could also go with a phone running a rooted Android build, if you can find a device without eFuses and similar tivoization mechanisms (many older devices certainly allow it)

      • Really? So WebKit is expensive? CUPS? DarwinOS? Remember there is a difference betwen iOS and OS X.
    • Re:Changeup (Score:4, Insightful)

      by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @10:49AM (#36024878)

      ...even worse support for those of us who use free software.

      I didn't realize iTunes wasn't free.

      • It's only free for the first several seconds after you download and install it.

        And even then it's only free-as-in-beer.

  • by thijsh (910751)
    Competition = Good.
    It gives us customers a better chance to finally get what we want!
    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ThosLives (686517) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:55AM (#36022996) Journal

      Competition = Good. It gives us customers a better chance to finally get what we want!

      Deliberate somewhat off-topic de-rail:

      Not all competition is beneficial. In fact, in the general case, competition generally means that the stronger or more cunning party succeeds, not the better party. For instance: I do not want to have to compete with other people for my food.

      A better phrase is probably "Coexisting Diversity = Good." Take Coke and Pepsi (or a car analogy: GM and Toyota): it is better for society to have both of these than to have just one, because people who prefer the taste of either product are satisfied. If one company "wins the competition" and puts the other out of business, then the people who preferred the "loser" suffer real loss. Also, resources spent competing are probably always better spent cooperating instead.

      So for all the people wanting [platform X] to win: be careful for what you wish.

      • by N1AK (864906)
        Coke & Pepsi compete. GM & Toyota compete.

        You already are competing with people for food. Coexisting diversity without competition is known as collusion. When you say resources spent competing are better spent cooperating, what exactly do you mean. You expect Coke and Pepsi to sign a pact to not compete, then spend their advertising budget on charity? Price cuts would be a competitive use of resources. Why would they? They have owners, who invested money intending to profit, they would take the s
        • by billcopc (196330)

          There are some of us who believe in a resource-based economy, rather than the current money-based system which is broken beyond repair. Within that context, resources expended to compete, are resources wasted outright. Competition is a destructive process.

          • rather than the current money-based system

            Money is just the lubricant that keeps the gears of the economy running smoothly.

            Sure, you can pour an abrasive into the crankcase, in place of the (oil) money, as your forefathers Lenin and Stalin attempted. It keeps the gears free and moving for awhile. But it grinds up the bits doing the actual work.

            • Money is just the lubricant that keeps the gears of the economy running smoothly.

              I would argue that recent history has shown us that money can also be the goop destroying the whole machine.

        • Coke and Pepsi could agree to not compete ... it's called a cartel and means prices go up ...and is illegal

          Competition keeps companies honest, if there is an real alternative then they cannot let quality slide ....the problem comes when it is a false alternative, like Apple were to Microsoft some time ago, people generally bought Windows, knew Mac's existed but very few used them, MS always quoted Apple as the competition but in reality they were no threat (at the time) ...

      • by plover (150551) *

        It depends on the topic. Coke and Pepsi are end-user consumables. I can readily substitute one for the other at any time. There is no cost of change. Contrast that with a more infrastructural component or protocol such as HD-DVD or BluRay. Both of those represent an investment in media as well as the cost of the player and pose a large cost of change.

        Spotify has a delicate but good position. Apple has their proprietary DRM AAC format media, so the cost of change from them is high (lock-in). Spotify uses M

        • by minasoko (710100)
          Your point is valid for the other examples you give, but someone should point out that Apple does not DRM its AAC files in the ITMS and hasn't for years.
        • by tm2b (42473)
          There hasn't been DRM lock-in to Apple's AAC for years.
        • by axx (1000412)

          Actually, I believe Spotify use Ogg Vorbis (smaller size for same quality and all that).

          • by Stackster (454159)

            Streamed songs are Ogg Vorbis, downloaded songs are MP3.

            • by axx (1000412)

              Thanks, I did not know that.

              It's kind of silly to use an inferior codec for downloaded songs (and one that requires royalty fees at that) but I guess it's due to most people having portable music players that can read about 3 formats, Vorbis not being one of them.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        You sir are an idiot. That's why we have regulators that are supposed to be monitoring the situation and ensuring that there's still competition. There's no inherent reason why the stronger or more cunning party shouldn't succeed, they are generally the better party in a genuinely competitive market. And competing for food is precisely what you're doing now, it's just that we call it competing for work.

        Coexisting diversity is also known as a oligopoly or duopoly or similar is inherently bad fore the custome

      • by thijsh (910751)
        Competition as opposed to monopolies is a good thing. Coexisting diversity sounds great but it can't exists without some competition (money/peope/limited resources) otherwise it would be a cartel (with price fixing etc.). Corporations are entities that come and go (which isn't a bad thing) in never ending change. There are only two situations where mayor changes stop: monopoly and cartels. These two 'deadlock' situation make it very hard for new change to occur in that market... so they are both very much u
        • by ThosLives (686517)

          I think people made some assumptions by what I meant by "coexisting diversity". I was not advocating the creation of cartels (which is a form of cooperation, but is not really beneficial). There are most definitely forms of positive cooperation.

          An important point is that "coexisting diversity" is not mutually exclusive to "competition."

          Perhaps a helpful addendum is "not all competition is created equal." I agree that product differentiation (based on features) is "good" competition. But once competition

          • by thijsh (910751)
            Indeed not all competition is created equal, but the situation you describe is typical for competition under capitalism. While competition in theory benefits the consumer the problem with price competition under capitalism is that the monetary value is the only cost that is considered (or deemed important). The non-monetary costs in other areas (of which you already gave a few examples) is ignored... But when you take those costs into account and get the real 'price' of the product competition should not be
  • by Ardeaem (625311) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @07:56AM (#36023008)
    I am a Spotify premium customer, because it gives me access to lots of streaming music on my iPod. However, they are not an iTunes competitor. Their catalog is no where near iTunes in comprehensiveness. For many somewhat popular songs (try, for instance, finding the original "MacArthur park" the only results you get are a zillion bad karaoke albums, or covers. They have lots of random crap though. They are not really a competitor to iTunes, but rather a complement to it.
    • However, they are not an iTunes competitor. Their catalog is no where near iTunes in comprehensiveness. For many somewhat popular songs (try, for instance, finding the original "MacArthur park" the only results you get are a zillion bad karaoke albums, or covers. They have lots of random crap though. They are not really a competitor to iTunes, but rather a complement to it.

      They're just stealing Apple's genius marketing strategy for the iMac. An inferior product with less choice at a higher price.

      The hipsters will be all over it in and acting like it's awesome in days!

    • by zppln (2058178)
      I would say it's pretty much the other way around. That iTunes would be a compliment to Spotify. I'm not sure how much the catalogues differ from country to country though. Not that I purchase tracks I can't find on Spotify from iTunes though, I simply pirate them. Spotify has a model I can live with. For a very small fee every month (49 SEK) I can listen to unlimited music. Of course, the catalogue could be a lot better but this is somewhat of a chicken and the egg situation. They need more subscribers in
  • Apple only blocks their software from working with other people's hardware (Palm syncing with iTunes) or if the software turns their hardware into a commodity (Flash on iOS.) Once you buy their hardware, they couldn't care less if you use non-apple software.
  • ... will it work outside the United States?

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