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View Full Version : Microsoft's Janus Will Level Online Music Battlefield


MacBytes
Jan 25, 2005, 11:49 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Microsoft\'s Janus Will Level Online Music Battlefield (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050126004929)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Passante
Jan 26, 2005, 05:36 AM
Yep, thats just want I want to do. Get sucked into another monthly fee. Lets see theres cable, wireless, Tivo, broadband conncection, dotMac..... :eek:

Imagine 25 years from now, I'm retired and living on what ever Social Security gives me, I turn to my lovely wife and say "Honey, I'm sorry... we can only afford the Janus subscription or your medications. Hey, you only need to take those pills once a day. I listen to music for hours a day. You undersand, don't you" :p

Thank you, I'll buy my music.

I will rent movies. How about that media center Steve :D

balconycollapse
Jan 26, 2005, 06:12 AM
Here's a problem with Janus i see. All the articles I've read say "it'd take x dollars to fill up a 20 or 40 gig iPod, with Janus you can fill it up blah blah blah". Who in their right mind is going to hand select 10,000 songs from Napster, download them over the period of a couple days 10,000 songs x 3-4meg, then transfer them to the device only to expire in the near future and do it all over again. It might work for a small flash player but sounds like a hassle for anything bigger.

space2go
Jan 26, 2005, 07:22 AM
while true
announce product that will absolutely kill Apple
wait a year
explain why failure of said product wasn't their own fault
end

*yawn*

webplummer
Jan 26, 2005, 07:40 AM
Broken records. These people simply don't get it. The iPod is the driver of the iTMS. And the iTMS and iTunes are such a joy to use in concert with the iPod, that nobody will consider a subscription model which doesn't allow them to own their music and forces them to use some buggy Windows software with a crappy, PC iPod wannabe.

Apple has shown that people will pay for the higher quality experience. It's more a question of getting the word out there, and Apple, brilliantly, surrounded the iPod with a fantastic and quite penetrating advertising and marketing campaign.

pbook15
Jan 26, 2005, 08:54 AM
Has there been any discussion of the monthly subscription rates? Personally I would rather purchase 20 songs a month that I know I will be listening to for a long time than having access to thousands of songs I would never listen to.

applefans
Jan 26, 2005, 09:29 AM
Has there been any discussion of the monthly subscription rates? Personally I would rather purchase 20 songs a month that I know I will be listening to for a long time than having access to thousands of songs I would never listen to.

I'm certain there must be a market for subscription music, (well, may be thousands of them, definitely not in the millions) but to say that will level the battlefield with iTMS is a joke. I, for one will definitely not be a subscriber. I can't imagine that say 30 years from now, after paying $7200 for subscribing music and loaded tens of thousand of music to my computer and portable player, suddenly, i am unable to pay the monthly charge, then ..... zoooooom......., all my music are gone without any trace left. This fact won't change with the advance of technology. (unless you know how to crack the DRM )

Let's imagine who is going to subscribe.
1) They do not own an ipod now, don't want to own one in the near future, and want to buy an ipod wannabe.
2) They don't have any access to significant CD collections (or Napster/Kaza MP3 music) now, and want to fill up their big player with tons of downloaded music.
3) They will download music like mad. For most of us, who are busy with work and daily life. Listening to twenty new music every month is already a luxury.
4) They can afford to spend hours sitting in front of their computer, selecting which music to download until their players is fill up.
5) They don't care about the future, either because their life expectancy is short, or just thinking of enjoying it for a year or two, and then buy an ipod later when they can afford it.

Well, let's wait and see, may be we are all wrong and Bill is right. :p

coolfactor
Jan 26, 2005, 09:32 AM
Here's a problem with Janus i see. All the articles I've read say "it'd take x dollars to fill up a 20 or 40 gig iPod, with Janus you can fill it up blah blah blah". Who in their right mind is going to hand select 10,000 songs from Napster, download them over the period of a couple days 10,000 songs x 3-4meg, then transfer them to the device only to expire in the near future and do it all over again. It might work for a small flash player but sounds like a hassle for anything bigger.

I think you're a bit confused. The songs wouldn't expire unless you cancelled your subscription. It's not a time-based subscription in that sense.

jkhanson
Jan 26, 2005, 09:36 AM
In general, I absolutely agree that I would rather buy music than rent it. There could be one bad thing about ownership, though. We could be stuck with 128 kbps AAC files. Will this type of encoding will still be the format for ITMS music downloads five years from now? Will Apple let us upgrade our files if the ITMS starts selling songs with 192 kpbs AAC, or AAC+, or some other format?

Of course, this kind of thing keeps happening with music. People bought CDs to replace tapes or LPs they already had, etc. Although I don't want to rent music forever, I'd rather not buy it again either. A small fee to upgrade a song file would be reasonable.

Inevitably, Janus will be cracked and people will start filling their hard drives with songs, paying only one month's rental in the process. I wonder how the subscription services will fare then?

Alternatively, Apple could always offer a subscription service. I know Jobs has said they wouldn't, but that's the usual line until he decides to do something. The "analysts" seem to overlook the possibility that if the subscription services indeed become that competitive, Apple is not prevented from entering that market too.

applefans
Jan 26, 2005, 09:45 AM
In general, I absolutely agree that I would rather buy music than rent it. There could be one bad thing about ownership, though. We could be stuck with 128 kbps AAC files. Will this type of encoding will still be the format for ITMS music downloads five years from now? Will Apple let us upgrade our files if the ITMS starts selling songs with 192 kpbs AAC, or AAC+, or some other format?

Of course, this kind of thing keeps happening with music. People bought CDs to replace tapes or LP they already had, etc. Although I don't want to rent music forever, I'd rather not buy it again either. A small fee to upgrade a song file would be reasonable.

Inevitably, Janus will be cracked and people will start filling their hard drives with songs, paying only one month's rental in the process. I wonder how the subscription services will fare then?

Alternatively, Apple could always offer a subscription service. I know Jobs has said they wouldn't, but that's the usual line until he decides to do something. The "analysts" seem to overlook the possibility that if the subscription services indeed become that competitive, Apple is not prevented from entering that market too.

I think you can stay with your 128Kps if you're happy with them, I don't think they can't play as long as iTunes exist. ;)

Abstract
Jan 26, 2005, 09:54 AM
Microsoft just doesn't like copying someone elses successful idea. They do copy in general (obviously!!), but they wouldn't want to copy Apple and sell songs. Its not their style. They'll tell people that despite the obvious success of iTMS, subscriptions are the way to go, then try to sell it to other customers......and fail.

Its like some indie music brats out there who purposely go against the grain and listen to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci or something that nobody has ever heard of. Microsoft is that kid who does the opposite because they don't want to be on someone elses ship.....they want everyone on THEIR ship.

They're taking "Think Different" to a whole new level. ;)

jkhanson
Jan 26, 2005, 09:58 AM
I think you can stay with your 128Kps if you're happy with them, I don't think they can't play as long as iTunes exist. ;)

Sure, I realize that, but I'd rather get higher quality encoding if ITMS starts selling songs with it. I listen to most music on my stereo system streaming via Airport Express. Songs at higher bit rates do sound better (more lifelike, fuller). 128 kpbs AAC is certainly not "bad", however.

zelmo
Jan 26, 2005, 10:04 AM
I don't see Janus as the iTMS killer, but I do see a place for subscription services to exist, and even to be profitable. Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing Apple offer both pay-per-song and rental services.
There are certain songs I want to own, and there are some songs (most songs, actually) that I know I'll tire of in a month or two. If I could pay $7-10 per month for unlimited downloads, I could load up on new albums that come out and try em out to see if any of the tracks are actually worth owning. You would get more of a feel for a song than the 30 second iTMS preview gives you. Then, just buy the ones you really think have staying power.
Think of it as going to the library are taking out a couple of CD's, except the selection is far more broad, and you pay a nominal fee for the access. I know, ANY fee means it isn't free, but we as consumers have already shown a willingness to pay monthly fees for things like internet, phone service, satellite radio, and cable/satellite TV.

All I'm saying is that I can see it working for some people if done right, and that means Apple, or at least it means anyone but MS.

killmoms
Jan 26, 2005, 10:31 AM
Its like some indie music brats out there who purposely go against the grain and listen to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci or something that nobody has ever heard of.
That's my favorite band, you insensitive clod!




Oh wait, wrong website. :P

The Man
Jan 26, 2005, 10:40 AM
But how would you organize your music library? After having downloaded these thousands of songs you decide to end your subscription, then you have to shift which songs you want to keep - and pay extra for them - and which you want to throw away. That's gonna be a hassle. Or has MS built ingenious software to make this process easier?

clayj
Jan 26, 2005, 10:51 AM
Sure, I realize that, but I'd rather get higher quality encoding if ITMS starts selling songs with it. I listen to most music on my stereo system streaming via Airport Express. Songs at higher bit rates do sound better (more lifelike, fuller). 128 kpbs AAC is certainly not "bad", however.This is why I only buy CDs. Then I can rip them into any format I want, and preserve the physical media for future use with no artifically-imposed technological limitations.

dejo
Jan 26, 2005, 12:19 PM
The article states:

That change is Microsoft's Janus technology that allows users to take subscription (rented) music on their digital media devices, something heretofore impossible.

Really? This is not yet possible?

webplummer
Jan 26, 2005, 05:01 PM
MS... ingenious software

Dude, not sure I follow ;)

stcanard
Jan 26, 2005, 05:48 PM
Here's a problem with Janus i see

Here's the first problem I see with Janus ... I've been hearing about it for longer than I've been hearing about Longhorn.

Honestly there seems to be something wrong inside MS right now. They've been spending a lot of years hyping technologies that have failed to either 1) materialize at all, or 2) Generate any real interest (passport anyone?)

I'll worry about Janus when I actually see it heading towards some sort of critical mass. Until then I will file it with Ballmer's "We are always first to market", "Bill gets 1/2 million spam a day", and "the most common format on the iPod is stolen" comments.

TomSmithMacEd
Jan 26, 2005, 06:53 PM
If they do this I might even sign on. I mean you know some hacker will crack Janus as soon as it comes out. Download 20000 songs for $15 then cancel your service and crack the 20000 songs. Bam easy.

Stella
Jan 26, 2005, 08:46 PM
A haven for Piracy.

What is stopping you from audio hijacking all your music ( apart from time )?

personally, I'd rather own my music than having to pay a fee every month to keep it.

applefans
Jan 27, 2005, 12:17 AM
A haven for Piracy.

What is stopping you from audio hijacking all your music ( apart from time )?

personally, I'd rather own my music than having to pay a fee every month to keep it.

Can anybody tell me the sound quality of recording from the audio out of computer or portal player either by tape or CD recorder? If the quality is good, then i may want to subscribe and return to my old and reliable walkman.

dejo
Jan 27, 2005, 12:30 AM
Can anybody tell me the sound quality of recording from the audio out of computer or portal player either by tape or CD recorder? If the quality is good, then i may want to subscribe and return to my old and reliable walkman.

There are even programs that let you record the audio from any other currently running program. That would allow someone so inclined to make copies of these tunes. But you'd probably have to enter all the tag info on your own.

macidiot
Jan 27, 2005, 02:57 AM
Sure, I realize that, but I'd rather get higher quality encoding if ITMS starts selling songs with it. I listen to most music on my stereo system streaming via Airport Express. Songs at higher bit rates do sound better (more lifelike, fuller). 128 kpbs AAC is certainly not "bad", however.

So true. 128 AAC sounds fine through tiny iPod earbuds. Sounds pretty weak on a real sound system, especially compared to a cd or high bitrate rip. Unfortunately, the store costs as much or more than a cd, with inferior sound quality. Unless of course you happen to find an album worth buying that also happens to be for $10. Which is often not the case. And also sort of defeats the killer feature of itms, the ability to just buy one song off of an album.

As for the "analysts" and their predictions... I really need to get a job as an analyst. Apparently, you don't need to have any qualifications, and don't actually have to live in reality, to work as one. This so-called revolution will not happen any time soon. What they fail to realize is that the itms is blowing the doors off the others is because of (in order of importance):

a) the iPod
b) the iPod mini
c) the iPod shuffle
d) ease of use/design

Lets check with reality: the iPod has about 60-70% marketshare. No matter what any MS based store does, that 60-70% will not use them, as long as they are wma-based and Apple AAC/fairplay-based. Since janus really is only appealing to portable player owners, this is relevant. Assuming this Janus is actually the new sliced bread, the best they could hope for is 30% or so of the online music business. While a major improvement, this is hardly "revolutionary." Unless of course, people start selling their iPods for Dell DJ's, so they can pay $10/month to rent music. Yeah right, that'll happen. ;)

applefans
Jan 27, 2005, 03:12 AM
So true. 128 AAC sounds fine through tiny iPod earbuds. Sounds pretty weak on a real sound system, especially compared to a cd or high bitrate rip. Unfortunately, the store costs as much or more than a cd, with inferior sound quality. Unless of course you happen to find an album worth buying that also happens to be for $10. Which is often not the case. And also sort of defeats the killer feature of itms, the ability to just buy one song off of an album.

As for the "analysts" and their predictions... I really need to get a job as an analyst. Apparently, you don't need to have any qualifications, and don't actually have to live in reality, to work as one. This so-called revolution will not happen any time soon. What they fail to realize is that the itms is blowing the doors off the others is because of (in order of importance):

a) the iPod
b) the iPod mini
c) the iPod shuffle
d) ease of use/design

Lets check with reality: the iPod has about 60-70% marketshare. No matter what any MS based store does, that 60-70% will not use them, as long as they are wma-based and Apple AAC/fairplay-based. Since janus really is only appealing to portable player owners, this is relevant. Assuming this Janus is actually the new sliced bread, the best they could hope for is 30% or so of the online music business. While a major improvement, this is hardly "revolutionary." Unless of course, people start selling their iPods for Dell DJ's, so they can pay $10/month to rent music. Yeah right, that'll happen. ;)

Yes, of course that'll happen, when every regular Joe can bypass the DRM of Janus and download thousands of song during his one month subscription. That's $10 for thousands of song, may be then they'll convert all of them to MP3 format and play in their beloved ipods. Remember Ballmer said (I won't call him Steve, as this name is more of less sacred) the most common format in ipod is stolen.
:D :D :D :D :D

narco
Jan 27, 2005, 10:55 AM
Wait, I thought other services already offered a subscription? Am I missing something?

Personally, like everyone else has already said, I like owning my music. Sure, you can download more songs, but 5 years from now I'll be still paying for the same songs if I want to keep them. The only problem with iTMS is that the songs only play on the iPod. Sure, I don't plan on switching to anything but the iPod anytime soon, but Apple can't make iPods forever. I'm confident, though, that they'd license AAC to other companies before discontinuing the iPod.

This stuff doesn't apply to me anyways since I still buy CD's. The best format, the greatest deal.

Fishes,
narco.