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Media Music Apple Entertainment

iTunes Radio Is Now "Apple Music" (and You Need a Subscription) 105

New submitter Kevin by the Beach writes: If you haven't noticed... If you try to play iTunes radio on your devices it is now paywalled (you can get a free three month trial at apple.com/music). The only reason I noticed is that I have an Apple TV which at one time had an iTunes Radio App. That app is no longer. Same is true if you select Music on your iOS devices, if you get to the iTunes Radio menu, you are redirected to sign up for the free trial. This reminds me of why I am forever reluctant to trade the music I have locally (on CDs, hard drives, and a few bits of vinyl I've been unwilling to jettison) for any kind of streaming service, whether it promises perpetuity or good-until-next-payment.
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iTunes Radio Is Now "Apple Music" (and You Need a Subscription)

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Also, SomaFM cannot be replaced by anything.
    • I love me some SomaFM! I was late to the game, discovering it only last year upon installing RadioTray (Linux). I've been hooked on Groove Salad ever since, abd I don't even consider myself a fan of electronic music. But it's perfect as background music on tinny speakers.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @02:30PM (#51397553)

    This reminds me of why I am forever reluctant to trade the music I have locally (on CDs, hard drives, and a few bits of vinyl I've been unwilling to jettison) for any kind of streaming service

    Absolutely. Yes, it can be a pain to store physical media. Yes, it can be a pain when media formats change over time. Yes, it can be a pain when one makes the wrong choice when new competing formats come out and the one chosen ends up being the loser.

    On the other hand all of the media that I own, across vinyl, cassette tape, compact disc, VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-Ray can be played at any time and so long as my machines continue to work, will always be playable, and given that I still find good used machines for all of these formats I don't expect to be in the situation of not being able to find a functional player in my lifetime.

    And all of this is even before getting to the concept of ripping the content to digital.

    • Physical media doesn't have an unlimited shelf life due to decay of the physical media. Do your cassettes still work?
      • When it comes to VHS or audio cassettes, "work", is highly subjective. Since "work" includes: warbled to hell and back.
      • I recently was planning to digitize a number of cassette recordings -- radio broadcasts from the early 80's -- and well the horror. Hiss. And these were high quality cassettes.
        As with the commercial cassettes easily the worst format in the century of recorded sound -- I think wax cylinders and piano rolls hold up better.

        • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @03:32PM (#51398133)
          No, the worst format of the 20th century was 8-Track. Truly hideous.
        • I recently was planning to digitize a number of cassette recordings -- radio broadcasts from the early 80's -- and well the horror. Hiss. And these were high quality cassettes.
          As with the commercial cassettes easily the worst format in the century of recorded sound -- I think wax cylinders and piano rolls hold up better.

          Dolby?

          Commercial tapes were often non-dolby and cassette tape hiss was a problem even on new tapes. Dolby addressed that by specifically tailoring the recorded signal towards the high-end frequencies where hiss comes in.

        • I really need to figure out a good way of digitizing an audio cassette tape my parents made when my sister and I were really young. Unfortunately, most solutions I've found so far would cost too much for one cassette recording lasting about 10 minutes.

      • Physical media doesn't have an unlimited shelf life due to decay of the physical media. Do your cassettes still work?

        When I was a kid in the I bought a box of old cassette albums at a garage sale. Most of them were made in the 1960s, including gems such as "In-A-Gadda Da-Vida" and Wilson Pickett's cover of "Hey Jude". They still work just fine, and I ripped them to mp3s a couple of years ago.

        (Those cassettes do feel much heavier than modern ones, and IIRC, they say "Made in Elk Grove Village, IL by Ampex". I suspect that they were quite a bit pricier than the vinyl versions when they were new.)

        I've also ripped all my viny

      • My cassettes still work, I even have some 8-tracks that play well, for different values of the word "well" I have some cassettes from the early 70's that still play back without drop outs, I guess it's how you look after them, as for optical media, that's a different story early cd's are doing much better than the ones from this century. That goes for dvd's and BR too, however I haven't had a BR fail yet. Alie
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday January 29, 2016 @02:48PM (#51397753) Homepage

      It seems to me that this is not exactly relevant to the change. Apple had a free broadcast Internet radio service which they've moved to include into a paid subscription steaming service. The issue of "buying" never entered into it.

      There have actually been events where your argument would be more applicable. For example, Microsoft ran a service where you could "purchase" DRM-protected music. They then shut down that service and all the music people had "purchased" became useless. That's a good reason to talk about buying CDs rather than subscription services.

      What we have here is more comparable to, if a normal free FM radio station decided to move to SiriusXM, and you now had to pay to listen. It's reasonable to be displeased with the change, but it doesn't really make sense to be like, "that's why I purchase all of my radio stations, so that they can never be taken away from me."

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      Absolutely. Yes, it can be a pain to store physical media. Yes, it can be a pain when media formats change over time. Yes, it can be a pain when one makes the wrong choice when new competing formats come out and the one chosen ends up being the loser.

      Or you could rip it to a lossless format and then none of that matters and you can put it on any physical media you want without degradation of the original. This is what normal people do to turn that physical media into digital media, maybe you've heard of it?

      On the other hand all of the media that I own, across vinyl, cassette tape, compact disc, VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-Ray can be played at any time and so long as my machines continue to work, will always be playable, and given that I still find good used machines for all of these formats I don't expect to be in the situation of not being able to find a functional player in my lifetime.

      Actually, no, they won't. They already are probably not playing the same as when you bought them. Yes, even your blu-ray and DVDs probably already have bitrot that you just haven't noticed.

      All of those things degrade over time. Your VHS and Casset

    • by Aaden42 ( 198257 )

      Nothing wrong with a DRM-free digital copy. I can back that up wherever I like, format convert it, etc.

      iTunes music purchases have been DRM-free for years. I have my purchases backed up in several places. As an added benefit, for at least as long as Apple chooses to let me, I can re-download those purchases any time on new devices where ever I have Net access. That's a nice convenience for me.

      iTunes video is a different story, which is why I have very few video purchases of things I just had to watc

    • Three of those formats warp and degrade over time.
      Two more of those formats corrode and degrade over time.
      I'm not sure about the longevity of Blu-Ray but I'm not optimistic.

      Don't assume anything is forever. I have plenty of media which hasn't lived as long as the machine capable of reading it.

    • Yes but do you have instant access to 20 million tracks? A subscription costs less than the price of buying a new album every month.

  • It's called Rent Seeking [wikipedia.org].

    It can also be called rent to own, where the owned property is the customer.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You keep using that word. Apple's behaviour in this context has nottathing to do with rent-seeking, an important concept in public choice theory.
      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        To play devil's advocate, it arguably could be considered rent seeking.

        Rent seeking, as I understand it, means making minor changes that do not benefit the consumer but result in the consumer paying you to do something that he or she used to be able to do for free, with the caveat that the term is reserved for situations where someone else (e.g. the government) paid for most or all of the infrastructure that is being used, and the rent seeker is just taking advantage of that infrastructure to make money.

        In

  • I'm pretty damn sure that I don't need a subscription to that.
  • by Sigmon ( 323109 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @02:51PM (#51397783) Homepage
    Apple overcame the problem that often drove me away from purchasing CDs from the music industry... Being forced to pay $12-18 for one or two songs I want and a bunch of junk I don't care about. Now I find this Apple Music junk popping up on my iPhone half the time when I, say, search my music library for a song. It's starting to get annoying and if they don't back-off they're going to kill their golden goose.
  • Apple thought more labels would give cheaper rates on streaming in the radio format. They didn't. So Apple went the commercial radio path. Most people went back to more established entities like IHeart radio. All that was left for Apple was to go the pay XM radio route. Unless Apple buys out some of the other pay-for-music stream services they'll eventually have to shut down their service as well.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @03:13PM (#51397987) Homepage

    This reminds me of why I am forever reluctant to trade the music I have locally (on CDs, hard drives, and a few bits of vinyl I've been unwilling to jettison) for any kind of streaming service, whether it promises perpetuity or good-until-next-payment.

    I'm not willing to having streaming only media.

    I'm not paying for the bandwidth to listen to every song. I'm not asking some greedy corporation for permission to play the song every time I play it. I'm not providing some greedy corporation with information or data every time I play it. I'm not having some greedy corporation tell me I'm not allowed to listen to my music because I'm on vacation. And I'm sure as hell not allowing some greedy corporation to decide I no longer have access to it.

    I'll do what I've always done ... buy the CD, thereby ensuring the artist gets paid, rip the CD into DRM free MP3, and then forever not give a shit what the copyright bastards think.

    When I buy CDs I buy them very infrequently, buy a very large quantity in one go (usually 40-50 in a go). I have a large CD collection, and I'm sure as hell not pirating your stuff.

    I don't give a damn about your subscription model, your on-going revenue, your permission to play it wherever I choose, or if you think I'm allowed to make backups of it.

    Piss off with your subscriptions and your paywall ... I am the guy who still buys music, stop trying to find new ways to make me stop doing it.

    • It's not super clear what you're yelling about.

  • I was going say that why would I need iTunes Radio when I have Zombo com [zombo.com] But sadly it is not online at the moment.

    Welcome ... to ZomboCom. This ... is ... ZomboCom. Welcome. This is ZomboCom; welcome ... to ZomboCom. You can do anything at ZomboCom. Anything at all. The only limit is yourself.

  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Schnapple ( 262314 ) <tomkidd@@@viatexas...com> on Friday January 29, 2016 @03:36PM (#51398165) Homepage
    "A giant company gave me an incredible service to use for free for many years. Now they have the audacity to require me to start paying for it instead of continuing to offer it to me for free in perpetuity. In response I will proudly brag about the completely unrelated point of how I continue to possess the physical items which I was in no way being told to get rid of before anyway."

    I agree it's unfortunate that the free radio stations are gone (although Beats 1 continues to be free) but getting all high and mighty about how you still have albums on disc and DRM-free formats (which I do as well, for what it's worth) is unrelated and annoying to trot out.
  • At the last investor call, Tim was talking up Apple's services. With iPhone sales slowing, Apple has to do something to take advantage of their installed base.

    Wait a few months and they'll be rethinking their attitudes on advertising...

  • iTunes Radio sucked anyways. Just use iHeartRadio instead.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      iTunes Radio sucked anyways. Just use Clear Channel instead.

      I thought people were using streaming services to get away from what iHeart (the new name for Clear Channel) stations were playing.

      • With iHeart, the selection goes beyond local and thus a whole lot more content is available. I live in Houston but can listen to AM radio (WOR) in New York if I wanted too. In fact, often I will listen to 740AM (KTRH) in my car rather than just tune with the radio simply because at audio is so much better; no fading, static, hissing, etc.

        • In fact, often I will listen to 740AM (KTRH) in my car rather than just tune with the radio simply because at audio is so much better; no fading, static, hissing, etc.

          But is this better audio worth paying $30 per month to a cellular carrier for a data plan in order to get Internet in your car?

          • I'm already paying for data with my iPhone, and I've never got beyond my 4GB cap. I just pipe ihartradio and Pandora through the Lightning cable; although BT Audio paring works, I prefer to keep my phone charged while on the road. FYI, I'm using an Aftermarket head unit (Alpine).

  • Using v12.x from last year: I have direct access to 1000+ radio stations worldwide, sorted by genre in iTunes. Real radio stations, not made up music lists (although Apple offers that too in iTunes). Additionally I have access to 100,000+ worldwide radio broadcasts by plugging the internet address into iTunes (when I can find that information).

    Beyond that I have access to uncountable podcasts, both audio and video on any imaginable topic. Then there is iTunes U which offers educational material from univers

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This latest move is a textbook example of "how to alienate customers".
    And since Cook is the big boss, I think it is fair to lay the blame at his feet.

    Squeezing customers for every last bit of money makes many intelligent
    customers seek alternatives. And there are ALWAYS alternatives ( that should be
    emphsasized in every business school, though I doubt it is ).

    If the above is tl/dr then here's the short version :

    FUCK iTunes Radio.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday January 29, 2016 @05:11PM (#51398917) Homepage Journal
  • "This reminds me of why I am forever reluctant to trade the music I have locally (on CDs, hard drives, and a few bits of vinyl I've been unwilling to jettison) for any kind of streaming service,"

    There are exactly 0 streaming services that take away your existing physical media when you sign up. There are also exactly 0 streaming services that prevent you from buying physical media.

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