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Music Businesses Media Media (Apple) Apple

Apple Introduces iTunes Music Store, iTunes 4, new iPod 1775

Steve Jobs took to the stage at Moscone Center today for a special Apple Event, and introduced Apple's new music service, "iTunes Music Store," which will allow users to download music in the AAC format for $.99 per song, and is built-in to iTunes 4. The service offers 200,000 tracks and counting, with unlimited CD burning for personal use. iTunes 4 also adds playlist sharing, and the new iPod add new features, including a new design, a dock, and USB 2.0.
The iTunes Music Service files are 128 kbps AAC (reportedly better than 128 kbps MP3), with free previews, cover art, and "reliable downloads." You can browse the music store in iTunes, similarly to browsing your own Library, and preview them directly in iTunes. "One-click shopping" allows you to purchase the song and download it, adding it to your Library, in one click.

The store also offers exclusive music, music videos, and other multimedia, all in the main iTunes window. iTunes 4 will be available now (along with QuickTime 6.2), and the music store will be available today. It is Mac-only now, but will be available for Windows by the end of the year.

As a compromise to help prevent piracy, you must change your playlist every 10 CD burns, and you may share the music with only three other Macs (you may modify the list of computers that the music may be shared with at any time). There was no word on the technology used to handle this DRM.

The iTunes playlist sharing allows sharing of playlists, and the streaming of music from one machine to the other, though copying is not supported ("that would be verboten," Jobs added).

The new iPods will be $299 (10GB), $399 (15GB), and $499 (30GB). The dock holds the iPod upright, and has a line-out. The FireWire port is now on the bottom of the unit, and the buttons have been moved up higher, just below the screen, in a row. The improved screen features a backlight. The new units will be in Apple stores on Friday.

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Apple Introduces iTunes Music Store, iTunes 4, new iPod

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  • by CokeBear ( 16811 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:11PM (#5826452) Journal
    Its about time someone started selling music the way people want it... one song at a time. Even better that its from a cool company like Apple.
    • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:24PM (#5826643)
      Its about time someone started selling music the way people want it... one song at a time.

      IIRC eMusic was doing this several years ago.
      • by peter_gzowski ( 465076 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:16PM (#5828305) Homepage
        You do remember correctly. I finally signed up after reading /. threads like this. It seems like 90% of the comments are, "would sign up for straight-up, no-DRM mp3s," or "would sign up if it were 25 cents/download". eMusic is $15/month for unlimited downloading, straight-up mp3s. I've already downloaded about 4 albums this month, which is about 48 tracks or so, which comes out to 31 cents/download. I've only been at it for a few days, though. The quality is an issue (128kb/s mp3), but they're planning on an increase in the bitrate. You can even sign up to be notified when it does increase. It also works with Linux (HotLead is an emusic download manager). I'll stick with emusic, Linux, and my Nex IIe mp3 player.

    • by no_opinion ( 148098 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:40PM (#5826924)
      BTW, you can get 90% of what Apple is selling off of sites like Liquid Audio [liquid.com] and their affiliates such as Tower Records, BestBuy, CircuitCity, and others. They offer tracks for $.99, unlimited burning and unlimited device transfer (for most songs). They've already got most of the stuff Apple is selling, and it works on the Wintel platform (doesn't address a large portion of the Slashdot readership, I know). You can even get AAC files (the Liquid format) if you want.

      The big difference is that Liquid doesn't have the $$ to promote like Apple.
      • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <<jhummel> <at> <johnhummel.net>> on Monday April 28, 2003 @06:11PM (#5829483) Homepage
        I can't use Liquid Audio's proprietary format in my iPod, my old Creative Labs Jukebox, or just about any other standard MP3 player I've run into.

        With Apple's, I can at least download, burn it to a regular music cd/dvd (if I feel the need to put it in a car cd-play, take to friends's house, re-rip on another computer to put the music in my wife's Jukebox, etc, etc, etc) - and since it's MP4 music, I'm pretty sure that other MP3 players will support it (if not now, then fairly soon).

        Nothing against Liquid Audio personally, but I can stomach Apple's plans a little better.
    • Aah...death.

      Music Store:
      The Apple Music Store is currently unavaiable.
      Please check back later.

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

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

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

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

    • by Slashdolt ( 166321 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826849)
      If the average CD is priced at $15, and the artist only gets about $0.50 of that, where does the other $14.50 go? It goes to all of the middle-men along the supply chain, and the retail store.

      Cut out the middlemen, and the artists are probably getting a larger slice of the pie. In addition, everyone else that's still involved (including the record labels) are probably also getting a bigger slice. "Warehouse Bob" will probably lose his obsolete job. Walmart and "Joe's House of CD's" won't make any money from CD sales. But more people will be buying music, now that there is a choice.

      This has been the issue all along. People want to be honest, but not when they are forced to buy 11 songs for $15 when they really only want one. The major players were found guilty of price-fixing. They could have come up with something like this way back in 1995, when John C. Dvorak wrote an article in PC magazine discussing how MP3's were quickly catching on, and how the record companies would fight against the technology, rather than doing what they should do, which is embrace it. I believe his example was "14 hours of rock-a-billy on a single CD!" Most people don't want to spend $15 for 11 old songs, but put 100 old songs on there, and sell it for $15 and people would buy it.

      People want to be honest, but they don't want to be treated like criminals when they're being honest. Imagine walking into a Walmart and having all of your purchases examined to make sure that you were planning to use them in a legal manner. This is what's happening to us with copy-protected CD's. "Since some of you refuse to pay our exhorbitant prices, we're going to treat all of you like criminals, and question the motives of anyone who thinks copy-protected CD's are a bad idea!" Who gets punished? The HONEST people. The only way to get an MP3 for my MP3-player from my copy-protected CD, is to illegally get it via some peer-to-peer network. In which case, why bother buying the CD?

      I haven't bought a single CD since copy-protection became more standard. I'm afraid that I'm taking a chance and possibly buying something that is likely not going to work on my computer, which is where I listen to most of my CD's.

  • by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:12PM (#5826471)
    [Obligatory warning: I'll be talking about the price as compared to a complete album, not individual songs]

    At $0.99 (US) a song, this is still expensive, considering you still don't get original quality of the song (yeah yeah, sounds the exact same, blah blah; but there are times it's better to have the hi-quality original then a compressed format when doing editings, etc...), or a physical media, or the physical cover/lyrics, all in a jewel case...

    Considering I'd have to add another $0.25 (I'm guessing here, I'm in Canada) for a CD-R, I still would be missing 2 things above at the same cost, especially considering some CDs have 'extras', which I do like. The 'convenience' factor doesn't make up for that either; I can still just drop by the retail shop next door when doing my grocery shopping (or the used store across the street).

    If it was 2/3 that price, then I'd definitely say it's worth it. But for now, I think they missed their own mark.

    I'll pass for now.

    • by somethingwicked ( 260651 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826626)
      With a broadband connection and a decent speed burner...MOST people could have the song downloaded and burned to a CD BEFORE you get your keys in the ignition.

      SO you say? Well, you could be listening to the song ON THE WAY to the grocery store.

      Add to the fact that its likely that you would have to stand in line at the music store AND, oh yeah, you would still be paying $10 or up for that physical CD.

      Oh, and you go to the grocery store EVERY day, too, right???

      Really, this isn't more convenient???

      (BTW, I am saying all this given the facts that I don't have ANY of the things mentioned-high speed ISP, burner, or an Apple. But IF I did, I would find this DAMN convenient)
    • by goon america ( 536413 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:26PM (#5826674) Homepage Journal
      They didn't mention it, but it looks like you get a discount if you buy a whole album at once. Still downloading, but all the screen shots show a standard price of $9.99 for whole albums.

      Obviously, it wouldn't make sense to charge for "filler" tracks that you probably wouldn't download if you wanted to buy the whole album track-by-track. Also, what about those techno albums that only have four 20 minute songs?

      • No (Score:5, Insightful)

        by corebreech ( 469871 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:25PM (#5827620) Journal
        Depends on the album.

        Dark Side of the Moon for instance goes for $15. "Aha!" you say, "I'll just buy the single tracks separately!"


        You can't. They deliberately prevent you from buying two tracks from the album, just to get you to pay an inflated price.

        What does this mean? It means the camel's nose is already under the tent with respect to playing with the prices. Soon we'll see certain singles going for $1.50. Then we'll see certain singles you'll have to buy in combination with other singles. Then finally we'll see singles you have to buy the whole album before you get to listen, and we'll have come full circle.

        No, the answer to the problem of music and computers is clear. Fuck the studios. The Internet has made them obsolete. We don't need them. The bands don't need them either. Let the bands sell their music direct on the Internet, let other web sites serve as portals to those band sites, and then let's do this dance again, this time without the fucking studios.

        Charge a dime per song. The artist sees the whole dime, and not only that, more people would pay.

        The artist wins. The listeners win.

        And the rat fuck studio execs can go get themselves a real job.
    • by 0x00000dcc ( 614432 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826859) Journal
      Considering I'd have to add another $0.25 (I'm guessing here, I'm in Canada)

      Hey now, there's no reason to poke fun at Canadian math skills ...

    • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#5826893) Homepage
      At $0.99 (US) a song, this is still expensive, considering you still don't get original quality of the song (yeah yeah, sounds the exact same, blah blah; but there are times it's better to have the hi-quality original then a compressed format when doing editings, etc...), or a physical media, or the physical cover/lyrics, all in a jewel case...


      If it was 2/3 that price, then I'd definitely say it's worth it. But for now, I think they missed their own mark.

      Heck, that's your perogative. I'd be willing to bet that most folks, though, would jump at the chance to download an album straight to their computer for less than the CD costs, without the added fun of having to drive/walk/metro to the record store and find it (or not) on their racks. You get album art with your download, and many people simply discard their jewel cases in favor of folders and other slim storage.

      For example, consider The Eagles' Greatest Hits, 1971-1975. Music store: Probably $12, $10 or $8 if you get lucky and find it on sale or used in good condition. Time from "I want" to "I hear", an hour, best case scenario; more likely a day or two--gotta find time to go out and get it, Sam Goody is all out, etc. Online with Apple: $9.90. Time from "I want" to "I hear": a minute or two until iTunes starts playing your first downloaded track to maybe an hour if you're stuck on dialup.

      I'd say they're dead-on the mark. Most people buy music to listen to the music; concerns such as highest CD quality vs. ACC, special features, and a physical cover really just don't matter to most folks once you get rid of the the marketing machine that tells them it does.

    • by Doktor Memory ( 237313 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:52PM (#5827113) Journal
      ...and indeed, most of the commentary on this article has so far missed the really interesting part of the story:
      Apple has somehow strongarmed the credit card companies into accepting a system that will generate tens of thousands of sub-$1 charges per
      I imagine that $0.99 was a carefully worked-out compromise between themselves and Visa/Mastercard/AMEX. Yeah, $0.66 "feels" like a more reasonable price to me, but the fact that they were able to do this at all is earthshaking. If it works, and the credit card companies manage to not lose their shirts over it, expect the price to go down, and expect to see a lot of similar systems popping up.

      Everybody has been saying for years that whoever cracks the micropayments problem first will make all the money that the internet was ever supposed to produce. In a few months, we'll know if Apple actually did it.
  • by redherring22 ( 579425 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:12PM (#5826473) Homepage
    I'm seriously thinking of going home early from work just to play with these new toys... wow, Apple, you've done it again.

    one of the first things that popped into my head however was that this could also be a huge benefit to small & up-and-coming artists... i wonder if apple has something in the works to allow 'local-scale' bands to get added to the apple store, even if they're limited to their own romper room for local musicians. kinda like mp3.com done even better. (apple, if you need some help, i'd be glad to offer my services :-D )
  • Fair use (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#5826480)
    Seems like apple has taken the concept of fair use to heart. E.g. I can stream music to a few freinds but not to my whol building or neighoorhhod. freindly Narrow casting okay, broadcasting is not fair use.

    this is such a painfully obvious compromise, why has the music industry been such a grinch about it?

    • 7 Degrees... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:25PM (#5826652) Homepage Journal
      Isn't that the whole thing with P2P? Each of us has unique friends that have unique friends that have unique friends...
      If I stream a song to my friend, and he streams it to his friend, and so on we are just passing the song out to the whole net for the price of $1.
      Someone will design a P2P software that only allows you to share your music to your select 'friends' and it will cause a network of P2P nodes that will become the Napster of the future. On the surface, it will look like a much more local version, but the big picture will show us that its just as big as the original.
      • Streaming != copying (Score:5, Interesting)

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

        Unfortunately, they've chose AAC as the "music format of the future" - an unfinalized format with no tagging standard and no good gapless playback support...
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:13PM (#5826487) Homepage Journal
    At long last we're seeing some innovations in this space that are designed around making a wide variety of music available for download and portable use by the consumer. The jury won't be in for at least a year, I'd think, as to whether this works for all parties involved...

  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#5826494)
    Hackers announce breaking Apple DRM, details to follow.
  • by GORDOOM ( 149962 ) <gordoom@ m a c .com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#5826497)
    Here's my big question:

    Will artists be able to place their music on the iTunes Music Store on their own, independently of a recording company?

    If so, then this could be absolutely huge for independent artists. :)

  • by RobPiano ( 471698 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:14PM (#5826507)
    $0.99 USD Is too pricy. It is more than the cost of the average cd and the AAC encoding is a lossy format. Perhaps if they offer better deals on albums or bulk songs this is a good deal. As it stands, music is too expensive already.

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

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

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:16PM (#5826521)
    Anybody remember this? [slashdot.org] Seems like he knew exactly what he was talking about.
  • by superid ( 46543 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:18PM (#5826544) Homepage
    I can't find it in the article, I'll read it again, it was probably obvious....Does Apple get a cut of that buck?
  • DRM and Apple.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:19PM (#5826560) Homepage Journal
    As a compromise to help prevent piracy, you must change your playlist every 10 CD burns, and you may share the music with only three other Macs (you may modify the list of computers that the music may be shared with at any time). There was no word on the technology used to handle this DRM.

    So, where was Microsoft in all this? Or are they still waiting for Apple to succesfully implement DRM so they can copy it, too?

    Seems strange to me that Apple can actually come up with a workable DRM while Microsoft is still sitting on their hands.

    I think the time is coming when DRM will be a reality for every computer user, whether we like it or not. However, it's good to see that at least one company is using DRM in such a manner that protects the artists without diminishing our fair use rights. I don't mind DRM as much as I mind giving up my freedoms. Hopefully, Apple will continue to strike the correct balance between protecting the artists and making content available.

  • Pricing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cinematique ( 167333 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826584)
    Am I the only one who feels 99 per song is a rip-off? Yes, it is wonderful that you get full rights to the song, but it's AAC... 128k AAC I may add.

    Their marketing people now have two problems. 128k AAC is still better than 128k MP3, but how many people are going to believe that when most people assume that a 2ghz Pentium is faster than an AMD processor running at a lower clock speed? Second, who is going to pay 99 for something they can get for free on Gnutella?

    Sure, some people will pay for the convenience of downloading very simply from the iTunes Music Store.

    I will not be one of those people.

    I *still* won't buy unless I know how much money is going to the artists, and how much everyone else gets. I've been boycotting the music industry for almost three years now, and this doesn't look compelling to me. Anyone else agree?

    Oh, and before I hear a bunch of people calling me a cheapskate, I have a good collection of DVDs and an Apple Computer. I'd assume most cheapskates have a thriving collection of VCDs and a Windows PC... not to stereotype or anything... :)
    • Re:Pricing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dr.badass ( 25287 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#5827593) Homepage
      Their marketing people now have two problems.

      Apple? Marketing problems? Hello?

      128k AAC is still better than 128k MP3, but how many people are going to believe that when most people assume that a 2ghz Pentium is faster than an AMD processor running at a lower clock speed?

      Lots. Even if the target-audience cared about bitrates, they're still the ones who bought (say) a 1GHz iMac vs. a 2.5GHz Dell.

      Second, who is going to pay 99ï½ for something they can get for free on Gnutella?

      The people who have no idea what Gnutella is, or where to get it, or how to use it, but really want to hear that one song...

      Sure, some people will pay for the convenience of downloading very simply from the iTunes Music Store.

      I will not be one of those people.

      Nor do you need to be for this to be successful.

      I've been boycotting the music industry for almost three years now, and this doesn't look compelling to me. Anyone else agree?

      I agree that for someone who has been boycotting the music industry for 3 years, that this wouldn't be too exciting. Oddly enough, a lot of people haven't been boycotting the music industry, and will be quite excited by the proposition of getting the "1 or 2 good songs" that they want.

  • by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826593) Journal
    Artists like Brittney, who have 1 hit and then poop out 12 extra tracks to fill a 11$ CD, will now only get 1$ income.
    If made-up artists want to sell as much as they do now, the overall quality will have to increase
    Applemusic guarantees quality poop all the way :-)
  • cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RestiffBard ( 110729 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:21PM (#5826597) Homepage
    Any word on pricing per album? .99 a song is cool if I only want a few songs but it becomes moot if an album is 15 songs. Also, I'd really like it if they would rapidly introduce the stuff you don't hear on radio. I'm tired of all the music I want being a special order.
  • by mst76 ( 629405 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826618)
    if you don't have any CD's to rip...
  • by strook ( 634807 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:23PM (#5826620)
    Unlimited CD burning for personal use? In other words, it's pretty simple to turn an AAC into an mp3. At worst, you'll be able to burn to CD and then convert back from cda to mp3. Or ogg, or whatever your personal preference for non-DRM-restricted music is. Hopefully somebody can make a direct converter without the intermediate CD burning step.

    This could be a huge boon for Gnutella. Just think, a check box that says "Go ahead, take this directory full of AAC files, transform them to mp3s, and share them." There would finally be a standardized high-quality mp3 version of any given song. No more downloading 5 different copies of a song and deleting the ones with hisses and clicks, or Madonna complaining about how evil I am.

    I don't understand how DRM can coexist with the ability to burn music to a CD. To me, this is the reason that DRM will never be able to create a music-downloading service that everybody likes and that the big music companies make a lot of money off of. The only way for them to have a service that everybody uses is if it's so cheap it's not worth the extra hassle to do P2P.
  • Nice hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:28PM (#5826705)
    Wow, there sure a lot of whining flamers around here today. What apple has done is really tremendous. They have introduced sexy hot hardware, and at the sametime produced a service which fundamentally changes the business model for popular music. Big labels will no longer be able to charge $18 for a Britney Spears CD with, at most, one listenable song on it. If that song really is any good, they will get $1. If not they will get $0. This has the potential to change the entire basis of how artists are signed, produced, and promoted. We should be excited!
    • Re:Nice hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:18PM (#5827496) Journal
      Wow, there sure a lot of whining flamers around here today.

      My sentiments exactly.

      For those who whine about the price: note that if you buy detergent in bulk, the unit cost (dollar per gallon) is usually lower. This is because packaging, transportation, and shelving costs do not work to the same proportions as the actual amount of detergent in the container. If you want to buy all 16 songs, go buy a CD. Moreover, did anybody actually expect a company that built its fortune on selling convenience at a premium to compete on price?

      For those who whine about encoding quality: Apple runs a website, which means that they have to pay when you download. 128 kbps happens to be a very good compromise among quality, bandwidth, and disk (iPod) space. Allowing uncompressed CD quality downloads will multiply their bandwidth requirements many times. If you want the highest possible quality, surely you can spare the $20 for a CD.

      For those who compare the service to "free" downloading: grow up. If you support Apple here, there's a chance that this will be the start of a revolution (recording labels are at serious risk if artists can market directly to listeners). If you don't, then the RIAA stays powerful, and keeps looking for effective DRM.

      Point is, Apple is not out to replace the CD. A CD still delivers the most quality music to you, at the most reasonable price, if you want every song in the album. This service fills in a gap where you don't, so quit whining.

  • A few questions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Michael A. Lowry ( 186943 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826846) Homepage
    1. Does iTunes 4 break iCommune?
    2. What copy protection - if any - is used to protect tracks downloaded from AppleMusic.com?
    3. Does the copy protection affect tracks burned to CD as well as tracks copied to iPods and Macs?
    4. If the tracks burned to CD are copy-protected, will these CDs be playable in standard CD players?

  • by adzoox ( 615327 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:36PM (#5826850) Journal
    I often speak out about the iPod. (There are a lot of MP3 articles here on SlashDot concerning MP3's) Some that border on bizarre. [slashdot.org]

    This article [macworld.com] at MacCentral brought me to a conclusion:

    The iPod may turn out to be the most useful piece of computer hardware ANY computer or electronic hardware company has ever developed.

    That is a very general, seeming overly biased, statement coming from an Apple Computer Consultant; I'm sure.

    Apple created a wonder in ease of use and portability with the iPod. Until the iPod was intrduced not only were Creative and Archos Jukebox series bulky, but 10, 15, and 20 gigs was impossibly slow to load to download to the units. They were also about as easy as a car stereo Mp3 player to navigate. Apple came out with a unit that essentially put a miniature iTunes (one of the easiest, most elegant MP3 players on any platform) on the iPod, made it a hard drive to boot, but added a firewire interface. This allowed the full 5, 10, and 20 gig transfer in minutes rather than the 3.3 hours it would take for the 20 gigs through USB.

    The iPod is becoming a status symbol. Shaq uses one and CONSTANTLY talks about his in interviews. He made everyone on the team purchase one before they went to the playoffs last year.

    The iPod is also versatile beyond it's intended uses:

    iPod as a remote control [griffintechnology.com] The beauty linked here was ORIGINALLY planned for the iPod and is being redeveloped now

    iPod as a mouse [slashdot.org]

    iPod with FM radio [slashdot.org] and here [griffintechnology.com]

    iPod as a gameboy [macitynet.it] and game controller [slashdot.org]

    Some of the coolest accesories have popped up for the iPod too. Some are linked here. Check out the transpod and of course the cool iTrip and iFM availible from Griffin.

    Here are two great resources for iPod info:



    I have already seen future incarnations and "in development" iPods. Apple is planning for it to change the future direction of the company!

    To answer a question common in the forums, there WILL be an update to allow 10 and 20 gig rev 2 iPods to work, it will be released sometime next month.

  • by imnoteddy ( 568836 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @02:39PM (#5826909)
    Come on, people, we can do better than this! iTunes 4 is downloading as fast as my DSL pipe can take it!
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:07PM (#5827332)
    I have been thinking about this "single-song purchase" idea for a while now. I go back and forth between two camps:

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

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

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

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

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

    • by SomeOtherGuy ( 179082 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:25PM (#5828400) Journal
      I am sure that there is stuff out there I would like, but I am instead fed the tripe that the average teeny-bopper and idiot consumer will swallow. Instead, I am going over my 300+ CD collection and rediscovering music that I "own". Hey RIAA - up yours.

      You are not alone. Everytime I get frustrated that my friends at the RIAA or Radio or MTV or whatever can't "fuel my fire" like they did in years past (many years ago) -- I take solace in my 300+ CD's, 500+ Cassettes, and 100+ LP's. Based on the above numbers you can see that I am not afraid to play the "eager" consumer route -- and I am far from hard to impress....But man the stuff shoved down our throats nowadays is just garbage. When the majority of kids today say: Why should I buy an album for 1 good song -- I say why does an album only have one good song. I can't image buying 1 or 2 songs from "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "Appetite For Destruction" -- you need the whole product to fully appreciate. So NO -- I really don't want a solution to "burn" 1 or 2 songs -- I am a potential paying customer that wants the signed artists to remember what making a "good" ALBUM is all about.
  • by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @03:07PM (#5827337)
    Wow, like I imagined, about 60% of the comments to this article are along the lines of "99 cents! What an amazingly large sum of money!" Come on geeks, here's your chance to put up or shut up. I can't count how many times I've heard someone say "if I could just buy two or three tracks instead of the whole album, I'd be there in a heartbeat." Well HERE IT IS! Go for it.

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

    "Well, IF they make available every song they've ever published and IF they make the songs available in mutiple MP3 bitrates and in OGG and in uncompressed PCM audio and in every other esoteric compression format I can think of and IF they can guarantee a full 10Mbps connection to me I *MIGHT* consider paying two dollars per month for the service. Until then, I'll continue to download music that I enjoy listening to but do not enjoying paying for."
  • by Nexum ( 516661 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:24PM (#5828396)
    Am I the only one dismayed this is a U.S. only feature?

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

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

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

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

    Apple Features for International users petition [petitiononline.com]

    Please sign it if you are an international user frustrated by non being able to use this new service. (Moderators, if you have a mod or two to spare, I'm not below asking to mod this up if you feel Apple needs to spend more attention to the international community :) -Nex
  • by bladeohlsson ( 301530 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:32PM (#5828470) Homepage
    I as an independent musician and I am sure there are others would like to get in on this Apple Music store too. Is there any news if they will have an mp3.com-esque section to this thing? I think this would be the best way for artists to begin to sell to the end users directly.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @04:48PM (#5828659) Homepage
    Seriously. AAC was chosen as the sound track of choice for HD-DVDs (ok there are lots of standards. Some of them). While it's not quite there with Ogg Vorbis at bitrates as low as 64k, at 128k it's right up there with Ogg Vorbis, Mp3pro, WMA and the rest, far ahead of MP3.

    Also, repeat after me: The big music companies will never ever release in a format that you can share freely. If they did, those files would be all over every P2P net as the "original" files. The fact that you can burn and reencode ensures one thing - that there'll be ten thousand ways to rip it to mp3/ogg, some good, some bad, but different.

    As for value, picking songs at $1 is a damn lot cheaper than buying CD singles, which is what you could compare it against. For a full album, well doh they offer "quantity" discounts like everybody else.

    So will I be a customer? Nope. No Mac. But if they can get their IBM PowerPC chip in there soon, maybe I'll reconsider and make my next PC, uh computer, a Mac instead of an AMD Opteron.

  • DRM and such (Score:4, Interesting)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The price will drop (Score:4, Interesting)

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Damn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eduardodude ( 122967 ) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:17PM (#5830711) Homepage
    Apple did an amazing job implementing this.

    First off, full albums cost $9.99 no matter how many tracks. All you $.99 winers, notice this price ceiling drops the average track cost for many albums.

    Second, the usability of the itunes interface is striking. It acts like your regular song library. You can search, browse by genre and group, etc., and it lists all of the songs. Choosing a song plays 30 seconds of it, and it starts playing immediately. Sound quality is very high. The itunes threading is, as it's always been, rock solid. You can download an album, transfer stuff to your ipod, burn a dvd AND listen to another album.

    Prediction: This will be a success. In spite of a somewhat guilty conscience, I've spent my share of time on Kazaa and LImewire. This is a MUCH nicer experience. It's immediate gratification at its best. I'd much rather use this than buy from a store, where I can't listen to tracks and have to walk around to find the stuff I want.
  • by King Babar ( 19862 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @12:05AM (#5831593) Homepage

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

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

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

  • by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) <{mrpuffypants} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @03:24AM (#5832204)
    It seems like about 10% of the people on here have actually used the new iTunes Music Store before they posted and I'm just another one of them :) Here's what I thought:

    - If you tried using the service anytime from the announcement until around 5 or 6 it was pretty useless. Everybody was hammering it from work and pretty much nothing would load. Now, however it's really speedy and works like it should.

    - Signup is painless: (1) It explains the terms of the service in plain language, (2) you agree to the standard agreement that nobody reads, (3) you enter your credit card info....and you're ready to buy!

    - To test out the service I wanted to download some White Stripes. (I've listenend to them before but seeing them on Conan all last week has got me more interested) To my dismay, however, The White Stripes aren't on the service at all.

    - Lots of artists are on the service, but not necessarily with all of their albums. Some of the Michael Jackson albums are listed as "partial," meaning that there is about half of the actual tracks avaliable for download. (No word on if the rest will come down the pipe at a later date)

    - I wanted my first track to be something distinctive...I picked "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. It downloaded fast and sounds flawless.

    Overall, I like the service and have downloaded a few more tracks since the first. I think they need to have some type of "Billboard top 200" chart showing what peopel are hearing on the radio with direct purchase links, because right now it can still be a bit tricky to find something if all you've heard is some lyrics on the radio.

    4/5 stars
  • by Fofer ( 53153 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:15AM (#5832324)
    Okay, now this is my coolest discovery in iTunes 4 yet: the library sharing works seamlessly *outside of your local subnet!* Yes, you read that right: you can easily share your entire music library with your friend in another location! Rendezvous is cool, but music sharing is even cooler when the person you're sharing with is in across the country. (Broadband is probably a prerequisite here, as network congestion could be a buzz-killer.)

    In order to activate this, turn on sharing in the iTunes preferences. Also be sure to open port 3689 in your router or firewall (this is iTunes' port for sharing). Then, tell your buddy across town to open iTunes 4 and choose "Connect to shared music" from the Advanced menu. Then he types in your public IP address.

    Voila! S/he will have full interactive access to your music library, as well as any playlists you decided to share. (The collection shows up in the left column, the same way local machines would show up via Rendezvous.) Let me reiterate, this is *not* merely a stream of what you are playing... this is your full library, with full listening priveleges. They can pick any song, pause, play, etc.

    I imagine that some folks with the largest MP3 collection and a nice fat broadband pipe will share their libraries with friends this way!

    (For those not already trying this, the iTunes sharing preferences allows you to select any or all your playlists, as well as dictate a password.)

    Note also that this only works with current MP3's, as any purchased (AAC) files are authorized to work on up to 3 machines with your account only.

    Now, once you enable sharing in your iTunes 4 preferences, create a playlist, and control-click it. Select "Copy Sharing URL."

    Paste this into an email, and change the part after "daap://" to your actual external IP address.

    Now you can send this *particular* playlist with a friend. Instruct them to paste this into "Connect to Shared Music" and they'll have immediate and full interactivity with the songs in that playlist. This works with individual songs too. Basically it's like emailing a "bookmark" to a particular playlist or song or your Mac, so you don't have to direct them where the song that you want them to check out, is.

    This is a very big paradigm shift. I can't believe how easy it is. Too good to be true?
  • I'l use this (Score:4, Interesting)

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

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

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

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


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