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MacBytes
Dec 13, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple May Be Holding Back The Music Biz (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051213091246)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Cooknn
Dec 13, 2005, 08:27 AM
As has been true since the start, iPod owners mostly fill up their players from their own CD collections or swipe tunes from file-sharing sites.That's crap. I know a lot of people with iPods - and none of them use file sharing sites to get their songs. Sure they use CD's. Freaking music companies want them to buy their stuff again?!

angelwatt
Dec 13, 2005, 08:58 AM
<quote>... iPod owners mostly fill up their players from their own CD collections ... "You have this device consumers love, but they're being restricted from buying anything other than downloads from Apple." says Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster Inc.</quote>

Apparently Chris Gorog doesn't realize you can put purchased CDs on the iPod since he is ranting about only being able to make use of Apple iTunes downloads. People always try to simplify the situation and make others look bad, but in reality for us who know they are lying see what dooshbags they really are.

I think Apple is helping re-awaken the music business by providing new ways of obtaining music they want. Certain music artist don't like this because now customers only end up buying what they like and don't have to buy the crappier songs artist put on their CDs just to fill it up. If the artist make better music sales will follow.

~ if they sing it well, we will listen. ;)

Passante
Dec 13, 2005, 09:06 AM
This is the third Business Week article that either takes a swipe at Apple or allows its competitors to trash them.

SiliconAddict
Dec 13, 2005, 09:17 AM
The fact of the matter is consumers want their cake and want to eat it too. Tough [bleep] If you don't like iTunes go buy a Dell DJ, go to Napster, and stop bitching you big babies.

SiliconAddict
Dec 13, 2005, 09:19 AM
That's crap. I know a lot of people with iPods - and none of them use file sharing sites to get their songs. Sure they use CD's. Freaking music companies want them to buy their stuff again?!


Ummm I know 3 others with iPods. All use P2P because they are anti-DRM.

Cooknn
Dec 13, 2005, 09:23 AM
Ummm I know 3 others with iPods. All use P2P because they are anti-DRM.I would venture to guess that they are in the extreme minority.

Lacero
Dec 13, 2005, 09:24 AM
The subject title should really read... The Music Biz May Be Holding Back The Music Biz with all their crazy DRM schemes. Apple, if anything, has made music more accessible to the masses.

Take my sister for example. In the last year, she's bought herself three! iPods, ever since she got a taste of iPod awesomeness when her company bought her a 4G iPod as a Christmas bonus. Since then, she's acquired a shuffle and a nano. Between her 3 iPods and my 5, that's already 8 in the family. I'll be getting another iPod by MWSF 06, so it's either a video iPod or a black shuffle.

ps. My sister has become a music whore. She doesn't own a Mac and relies on my extensive iTunes library to serve her music needs.


Here's to the Crazy Ones http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=35452 (http://www.uriah.com/apple-qt/movies/think-different.mov)

jdechko
Dec 13, 2005, 09:39 AM
I always get bothered when people say that "X" music store locks you in to buying a "Y" branded player, or that buying a "Y" branded player locks you in to "X" music store. It's complete and utter BS. Almost everyone knows that these players play the universal mp3 format, and if it doesn't, it's not worth it anyway. If you have your own CD's (or illegal mp3's even) you can rip them and play them on both the iPod or the Zen, so you're not locked into anything. You don't even have to use the online music stores to purchase music. Plus, the information for working around the DRM is simple enough, and widely known. The DRM is only there for the record companies anyway. :mad:

-hh
Dec 13, 2005, 09:45 AM
<quote>... iPod owners mostly fill up their players from their own CD collections ... "You have this device consumers love, but they're being restricted from buying anything other than downloads from Apple." says Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster Inc.</quote>

Apparently Chris Gorog doesn't realize...

Actually, Gorog is just plain lying, because its in his best interest to make this type of claim (everyone in the biz already knows that virtually all CD's can be ripped straight into iTunes).


However, what is disturbing is that BW made this "iPod consumers steal" (sic) type of claim without clear attribution.

I've left feedback at the Business Week article requesting a citation for this claim - - preferably from an *independent* research that substantiates the claim that their article's author made.

Maybe the claim is true, or maybe not. But it is BusinessWeek's journalistic integrety that is on the line, since they're the ones that allowed the article to appear (perhaps through poor editing) that BW themselves made the claim.


Anecdotally, I believe that the claim is false, since we've personally found that owning an iPod reinvigorated our interest in music overall, which has resulted in roughly a 500% increase in our rate of music acquisition (all of which were through legal means). It won't necessarily show up in any downloading surveys, since we prefer to buy the physical CD media and rip it in, since this affords us a permanent archive copy (at higher encoding) and an unequivicable licence.

We're also keeping an ancient analog-out CD player around, in case future DRM controls become too onerously consumer-unfriendly: we'll simply port everything digital-analog-digital to make the Millenium Act's provisions irrelevant: we can legally do this under the existing laws that gives consumers Fair Use rights to copies that aren't 100% digital (let them try to sue: I have liability insurance and I know how to counter-sue). The bottom line is that I'm the consumer and I vote with my wallet.


-hh

SilentPanda
Dec 13, 2005, 10:39 AM
Even if this article isn't false, how is the fact that people are either getting music via CD's or P2P Apples fault? The author seems to state that because people have the iPod people are buying CD's and ripping them to their iPods (good for the music industry) or using P2P (bad for the music industry). Apple hasn't created a P2P network. I personally have purchased near 2,000 songs from the iTune Music Store and given up on P2P since the launch of the iTunes Music Store. I own an iPod Shuffle but I rarely use it for song playing... mostly I use it to transfer songs from my home to my work or bring data from one place to the next.

I fail to see the correlation that this author is making between the iPod hurting the music industry. If he wants to argue that the iTunes Music Stores fixed pricing is hurting the music industry I would at least listen. That's like saying my Desktop Computer is hurting the music industry.

While I am a very small sample, I can guarantee you that I have purchased more music because of the iTunes Music Store simply due to the ease of access I now have to it.

mainstreetmark
Dec 13, 2005, 10:44 AM
I would venture to guess that they are in the extreme minority.

Based on what! Your gut feeling?

The iTMS has been, and continues to be, a place where you can buy "common" stuff. I don't know anyone who uses iTMS - not one person (besides me sometimes).

Personally, I hate the crap on the radio, but if I liked it, iTMS would be the place for me. All the thousands of independent bands currently running around the planet should be in iTMS for people like me, but they're not. They can't get in unless they're tied to a music label, and if they're tied to a music label, then that means someone has decided that the music is marketable to a large audience and therefore it's very "plain", if you will. Kind of why Budweiser is the best selling beer - it offends no one.

I miss the old Napster, where any band anywhere could put their stuff online. You'd hear some song on an independent radio station, download their songs from Napster, and next thing you know, you show up at their shows an buy the all their CDs. Those days are never coming back, and all we have now is RIAA-approved music for legal downloads. Screw that.

saurus
Dec 13, 2005, 10:45 AM
While the cost of a song is only 99c each, the miniscule drop in sales could easily be explained by the fact that it's the season for buying gifts. Buying gifts requires cash, and unless you work seasonally, thats a finite amount. On top of that theres the time and effort to actually get those gifts. So a miniscule drop is irrelevant.

On top of that the quote "Music labels say they'd sell and earn more by offering an old Uriah Heep tune for 39 cents and a new Usher track for $1.29". While I may be showing my age, I do recall a similar quote back in the late 80's when we were supposed to see a price DROP in CD's and that didn't happen either. Was that Job's fault too? So who's the bigger BS'er here? :rolleyes:

840quadra
Dec 13, 2005, 10:55 AM
According to Nielsen SoundScan, average weekly download sales as of Nov. 27 fell 0.44% vs. the third quarter

Are you serious? LESS then a half % ? Call me when it shifts 20%!

So, tell me, how many ITMS gift cards were sold this quarter, or last quarter ?

I honestly don't care how good or bad ITMS does, but "numbers" like this would be thrown out of almost any other article for being to miniscule. Hardly worth the time to type and upload the data!

Seasought
Dec 13, 2005, 11:12 AM
Critics say Apple's proprietary technology and its refusal to offer more ways to buy or to stray from its rigid 99 cents a song model is dampening legal sales of digital tunes

Another article about how upset certain content providers are that Apple isn't changing their policy or working with them.

Basically...

"Apple won't work with us. We're angry but will try and make it look like we think Apple is causing problems for everyone."

I guess none of us ever really do leave high school politics behind.

:(

Stella
Dec 13, 2005, 11:26 AM
In the past year I've less than 5 albums. Did I copy the rest? No.

The music out there isn't worth buying, the majority of it is absolutely crap.

If the music industry raises the quality of music with talant ( rather than manufactured bands ) then they may see a rise in music sales, rather than a continual slump.

Its far too easy for music companies to cry piracy, they need to look at themselves to see what music is actually being produced.

The RIAA and other organisations around the world give the music industry a bad name with their continued antics. In Europe, music companies want access to data that would be available for only national security ( terrorists and other serious crimes ) - again, this puts them in a bad light. What makes their industry so special they need that kind of access to data?

The music industry is killing itself faster than piracy is.

However, I do agree that there needs to be more competition - i.e., Apple licensing out fair play. Competition is *good*.

Cooknn
Dec 13, 2005, 12:27 PM
Based on what! Your gut feeling?Hmmm. Let's see :rolleyes: Apple's iTunes music store now sells more music than Tower Records or Borders, according to analyst firm the NPD Group. (http://networks.silicon.com/webwatch/0,39024667,39154443,00.htm) I think that my venture to guess was accurate. If you could measure the number of songs on existing iPods and broke out what was purchased from iTunes vs downloaded via P2P, those downloading illegally are in a very small minority. Prove me wrong :cool:

greatdevourer
Dec 13, 2005, 12:42 PM
Buy non-RIAA CDs. Pirate the rest. If you can, burn them to disk and send them to RIAA members. Let's see if we can get at least 1000 to Sony (the ringleaders :mad:)

dejo
Dec 13, 2005, 12:43 PM
Are you serious? LESS then a half % ? Call me when it shifts 20%!

So, tell me, how many ITMS gift cards were sold this quarter, or last quarter ?

I honestly don't care how good or bad ITMS does, but "numbers" like this would be thrown out of almost any other article for being to miniscule. Hardly worth the time to type and upload the data!

Not to mention that most business stats are stated in relation to the same quarter last year, not the previous quarter, in order to, in part, minimize seasonal anomalies.

Clix Pix
Dec 13, 2005, 12:52 PM
If anything, the music business is gaining something from people like me. I just recently bought an iPod after I discovered the wonders of iTunes. It immediately revitalized my interest in music, and I've had a great time finding and downloading favorite songs from the iTunes music store, in addition to putting songs from my own CDs into my iTunes collection. In some instances, where I like only a particular song or two from a given artist, it's been great to be able to download that from the ITMS -- I'd never bought nor would I buy the entire CD for just one or two tunes, so the artist and music industry are benefitting by my purchasing individual songs that I like. I also have downloaded a few entire albums, but not many. It's actually quicker and easier to simply click the "buy" button and download than it is to dig out my own CD and copy it into my iTunes library and in a few cases I have done just that.

OTB

Neerazan
Dec 13, 2005, 01:54 PM
Let's play with statistics, shall we?

Here's two that get quoted a lot at the moment...

Apple have 80% share of legal music download sales (which can only be played in iTunes or on an iPod)

Apple have 75% share of MP3 player sales (by value or volume, not sure which, but hey let's say it's by volume, coz if it was by value that would mean less a slightly smaller share of the market in terms of actual players)

From these two statistics we can therefore state that on average, iPod owners download one third more legal music than other MP3 player owners. (75% of people consume 80% of the legal downloads, leaving 20% of the tunes for the other 25% of consumers)

Not sure how this equates to holding back the music industry. Acording to the figures (and we all know stats can never lie ;) ) if everyone had iPods, there would be an immediate increase in legal dowloads of nearly 8% or something...

...And it is nice to see that Napster have been reduced to having to bash Apple to get any press coverage at all these days...

neonart
Dec 13, 2005, 02:44 PM
If you where to read just the headline, like so many do, you'd think Apple is a horrible monster. What a load of garbage!

So sales drop 0.44% and they rush to Chris Gorog to give them the answer!

Here are some of the HUGE FLAWS in the comments and implications of this article:

1)End of year sales slump is Apple's fault. WRONG. Gifts are up (iPods, iTunes cards), personal purchases (iTunes songs) are down. Wait for the uphill.

2)Apple and it's iPod are the villains because the two are locked in. WRONG. The iPod and iTunes are a package, just like your cable box and it's service. And when the two are the best and most popular choices, there is no need to damage the package to please your competition. I sure would not want to be Apple and take blame for crappy downloads from Napster making my best selling device look like crap. Or have people feeling disillusioned because they've paid monthly for music and they could no longer pay and their iPod is now empty.

3)Apple has less choice. WRONG. Apple has no less choices than Napster (1 file format). In fact they provide music to Mac and Windows users equally whereas Napster excludes Apple users. Apple also now offers videos, TV shows, podcasts, etc. Apple may not have a subscription service, but if they did, would that make Napster happy? NO. That would probably just nail the coffin shut.

4) Record companies "looking beyond Cupertino for answers". Sure, Napaster will fix their problems...Pffft. Right. NO other online place sells more music for Record companies than Apple does. Where exactly would they go?

Weather apple pricing should be changed is up to them and the greedy record labels. I personally like the 99 price since I know how much any song I want will cost me from the moment I think about it. I seriously doubt they will lower any prices, but can guaranty they will raise them.

This article was a joke, but good job BusinessWeek for plugging Napster.
:rolleyes:

neonart
Dec 13, 2005, 02:47 PM
...And it is nice to see that Napster have been reduced to having to bash Apple to get any press coverage at all these days...

LOL! You're right!

Maybe they can't afford real advertising so they're going for this! :D

jettredmont
Dec 13, 2005, 02:54 PM
Music labels say they'd sell and earn more by offering an old Uriah Heep tune for 39 cents and a new Usher track for $1.29.


With all thye BS in the article, this is the one statement I'd love to see attributed.

EVERY recording industry moron who gets interview space complains about how 99 cents is way too little for popular songs ('cause they never learned that per-unit profit * volume means the popular songs still make a ********* more money than the back catalogue). I have never, EVER, heard them complain that 99 cents was too high for the old Bee Gees 'Greatest' Hits collection. I want attribution here. Just WHO is now making this novel and pariaic statement that prices should go lower?

Also, of course, there's the micro-payments issue. If you pull much below $0.99 per song then you start getting charges which are not allowed by credit card companies (or, rather, the card company charges more to put your transaction through than you are making on the sale). For this to happen Apple will have to start supporting a "lump payment" option (lump songs together into a single payment until you reach at least $0.99 to charge), and either carry a "tab" for the single-song buyers, force pre-payment of multiple songs, or just flat out say you can't buy one song at a time.

Personally, I find that when I'm buying "back catalogue" items I already spend a whole lot less than I do for "current" songs. I know which songs I want on the back catalogue, and when I'm buying that one Guns 'N Roses song I like, I sure as hell don't want to be taking a risk on the rest of the album, because I've heard the whole thing before when my college roommie played it and no, sir, I don't want it. On "current" songs, I'm much more likely to take a risk on the entire album, as there's much less chance that I've already heard the stinkers, and, likewise, a much larger chance that an unknown song might actually turn out to be something I'll like. On the other hand, the times when I'm buying a whole album that's been out for several years, I'm buying that because I know for a fact that I like every single song on it; even with previews and being able to download new albums on a per-song basis, I find I average about 50% satisfaction on new music. All in all, what that means is that buying "old" music is effectively cheaper than buying new music already ...

Anyway, back on topic: I don't see per-song prices going down any time soon. There are administrative roadblocks, and historically the recording industry has NEVER pushed for long-term lower prices on any segment of their catalogues. The CD transition is just one example of this. Remember, this is an industry that strongly believes that people would buy records at $20-30 per disk if the transition to such a pricing structure is made slowly enough and uniformly enough (the only reason they haven't is because they got caught and brought down for price-fixing the last time they tried). There's no way in hell they believe you should be able to get a "classic" album, no matter what its provenance, for $5 or less.

jettredmont
Dec 13, 2005, 02:59 PM
I miss the old Napster, where any band anywhere could put their stuff online. You'd hear some song on an independent radio station, download their songs from Napster, and next thing you know, you show up at their shows an buy the all their CDs. Those days are never coming back, and all we have now is RIAA-approved music for legal downloads. Screw that.

Assuming you're talking about independent labels, many bands have put high-quality MP3 copies (meaning 192-256kbps or even more) online. It doesn't cost much to operate a web site, and requiring the use of BitTorrent to download the song saves site bandwidth and doesn't lose any customers who would have been comfortable with Napster back in the day either.

Look around. If your favorite "indie" band isn't doing this, it's a conscious choice by them or their label to avoid viral marketing of their "sound". Cost of distribution is simply no longer a valid excuse.

lucky al
Dec 13, 2005, 03:36 PM
iTunes is great; it has reinvigorated my interest in music.

I've been using iTunes since February, and have spent around $100 buying music. That's more than I've spent on CD's in the last 3 years.

When i look back through my vinyl collection, and see how many albums I bought for just 2 or 3 songs....I wish iTunes had been around when i was a kid.

-hh
Dec 13, 2005, 03:54 PM
I've left feedback at the Business Week article requesting a citation for this claim - - preferably from an *independent* research that substantiates the claim that their article's author made.

Maybe the claim is true, or maybe not. But it is BusinessWeek's journalistic integrety that is on the line, since they're the ones that allowed the article to appear (perhaps through poor editing) that BW themselves made the claim.


Update: its been 6+ hours, so I went back to BW to see if they've approved new Reader comments.

Not too terribly surprising, my comment from this AM (questioning their journalism) hasn't been approved for posting...

But interestingly, they're showing six (6) Reader comments with timestamps that haven't occurred yet here on the East Coast of the USA, including two that are more than an hour into the future (12/13/05, 5:58pm and 6:06pm), which takes away even the excuse of Daylight savings time.

Ah yes, a Highly Credible Operation!


-hh

solvs
Dec 13, 2005, 04:03 PM
The irony is that most of the pirates are cheapskates. So what do they buy? The slightly more expensive iPod, or the cheaper product. Not to mention the PC geeks who are rabidly anti- anything Apple. The people who are willing to pay more, especially those with expendable incomes like single adults in their 20s and 30s, upperclass teens, and technophobes are going to be more likely to buy online and keep purchasing CDs. They will more than likely be using iTunes/iPods. I would wager to guess those with Creatives and Rios will be the ones stealing music.

The Dell DJ owners just don't know any better. :p

nagromme
Dec 13, 2005, 04:44 PM
All the thousands of independent bands currently running around the planet should be in iTMS for people like me, but they're not. They can't get in unless they're tied to a music label, and if they're tied to a music label, then that means someone has decided that the music is marketable to a large audience and therefore it's very "plain", if you will.

Not entirely true. Completely independent music does have a long way to grow on iTunes, but you can't say none of it is there: services like CDBaby and Raindog will get your music on iTunes WITHOUT it having to win a popularity contest first. And artists are using those services. In what numbers? I'd be curious to know.

In addition, what's on the radio is but a tiny fraction of what's on iTunes. Even an artist with a label CAN sometimes be less mainstream than what's on the radio. (Which, I agree, is largely terrible.)


Two general replies to the topic:

* Owning an iPod encourages piracy in ways that a Napster-compatible player does not? It's all MP3s. Please explain :rolleyes:

* Many music pirates like to say they're stealing from artists as some kind of "public good," or to "help the artists." The reality is, if you want to boycott something, just boycott it--and make a public protest too--but don't steal it. But improving the world isn't the real reason people pirate. Yes, they "object to DRM." They also object to paying for something someone else created--and have found a handy excuse to use. The REAL motivation for piracy is wanting something for free, and whatever word games you play, piracy is still wrong. I don't like the RIAA or DRM one bit, but I don't see pirates as being any better. They too are part of the problem that I, as an honest person, am paying for. The sad fact is, a lot of people don't care about what's right, only about whether they'll be caught or punished.

mainstreetmark
Dec 13, 2005, 05:22 PM
If you could measure the number of songs on existing iPods and broke out what was purchased from iTunes vs downloaded via P2P, those downloading illegally are in a very small minority. Prove me wrong :cool:

Funny you should ask! I happen to know what's on everybody's iPods.

http://www.itunesregistry.com/reports/reports.php?limit=10&view=kind&genre=All+Genres

First off, I only have 5% of the data I had a week ago, due to a struggling database server, but it's still a sample of like 1.5 million tracks, so as of 12/13/05, the Count by Kind graph shows:

MP3: 968,000
AAC: 349,000
Protected (aka iTMS): 26,000

And, I make these notes:
- AAC is iTunes' default encoder. The number probably is made up mostly of people's ripped CDs
- MP3 is quite a bit more blurry, as it consists of ripped to mp3 tracks, as well as illegally traded tracks (and the AAC count surely contains illegals, as well, though a smaller percentage).
- The protected count is probably quite accurately reflects purchased songs (though I concede that a single purchased track could exist in, what, 3 people's iTunes?)
- It's doubtful that the MP3 count has a lot of iTunes-ripped tracks, since AAC is better, and is the default, etc,etc,etc.

So, those are the numbers.

Now, let me speak as the sucker in charge of this database. There are absolutely tons and tons of alternate spellings and mislabeled songs. These are most certainly illegal files, traded around the net. It's doubtful people independently make the same spelling mistakes. If you want, I can work out a percentage. But, I see tons of Jimmy Buffet[sic], Bob Marly[sic], Lynard Skynard[sic] and other such misspelled artists appearing over and over again in the data.

greatdevourer
Dec 13, 2005, 05:23 PM
the PC geeks who are rabidly anti- anything Apple One guy in my class summed up their mentality pretty fast - it's the best non-iPod

Fender2112
Dec 13, 2005, 05:27 PM
"The concept of a jukebox in the sky is not something most consumers intuitively get," says Dan Sheeran, a senior vice-president at Real. If Apple came in, it could change the game.

This guy gets it but Glaser doesn't? Talk about the the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Funny thing just happened. My 10 year old daughter was reading over my shoulder and asked "What is a jukebox in the sky?" I explained to her the difference between pay per song vs. subscription and then asked her which she would prefer. Her response was "I would want to keep my music." It seems she also gets it.

looklost
Dec 13, 2005, 06:07 PM
The problem with this kind of article is that people who do not know any better read this crap and take it as fact. These people will not be happy until Apple's itunes is left in ruins and Microsoft owns the download music market.

Cooknn
Dec 13, 2005, 06:50 PM
Funny you should ask! I happen to know what's on everybody's iPods.Not everybody, but a decent sized sample for sure ;) That's all it is though - a sample. And it requires users to upload their playlists for it to work. Granted it's a great idea and you should be proud of this site - but I still stand by my venture to guess that the majority of songs on iPods are not from illegal P2P networks.

Chef Medeski
Dec 13, 2005, 07:45 PM
Even if this article isn't false, how is the fact that people are either getting music via CD's or P2P Apples fault? The author seems to state that because people have the iPod people are buying CD's and ripping them to their iPods (good for the music industry) or using P2P (bad for the music industry). Apple hasn't created a P2P network
I believe the point the author is trying to make is that iTunes very narrow ability to share your music other than the iPod is doing more bad than good. What is happening he is saying is that people waste there money on a song that only works on an iPod or purchase from another location legitamely but then get an iPod where it is unusable. I think he is basically complaining about Apple's narrow choice of options for sharing your music. This is true, but I think this would actually affect the industry to any large degree. I mean sure a $.99 that could be used everywhere would mean people would buy more of it, but that doesn't mean it is all Apple's fault.

Why can't artists just make music free and jack up the prices at their concerts? Ohh right people won't show up.

winmacguy
Dec 13, 2005, 08:14 PM
Update: its been 6+ hours, so I went back to BW to see if they've approved new Reader comments.

Not too terribly surprising, my comment from this AM (questioning their journalism) hasn't been approved for posting...

But interestingly, they're showing six (6) Reader comments with timestamps that haven't occurred yet here on the East Coast of the USA, including two that are more than an hour into the future (12/13/05, 5:58pm and 6:06pm), which takes away even the excuse of Daylight savings time.

Ah yes, a Highly Credible Operation!


-hh
I had the same thing happen at the weekend when I commented on a market analysts opinion of the direction on PC manufacturing companies (Apple included) and their potential share price.:rolleyes:

neonart
Dec 13, 2005, 09:52 PM
- It's doubtful that the MP3 count has a lot of iTunes-ripped tracks, since AAC is better, and is the default, etc,etc,etc.

Now, let me speak as the sucker in charge of this database. There are absolutely tons and tons of alternate spellings and mislabeled songs. These are most certainly illegal files, traded around the net. It's doubtful people independently make the same spelling mistakes. If you want, I can work out a percentage. But, I see tons of Jimmy Buffet[sic], Bob Marly[sic], Lynard Skynard[sic] and other such misspelled artists appearing over and over again in the data.

The MP3 count may not necessarily indicate piracy. I've been ripping MP3's since iTunes (the program) came out and once it went to ACC as a default I changed it back to MP3 since it's a more standard format. Maybe others have done this too.

But I can see spelling mistakes and funny file names are clear indicators sometimes.

mainstreetmark
Dec 13, 2005, 10:13 PM
The MP3 count may not necessarily indicate piracy. I've been ripping MP3's since iTunes (the program) came out and once it went to ACC as a default I changed it back to MP3 since it's a more standard format. Maybe others have done this too.

But I can see spelling mistakes and funny file names are clear indicators sometimes.

No, I totally agree. I don't know how to definitively tell which songs are from P2P and which are from a CD very well, even in my own collection. The only theory I've ever come up with is to check the song title against a CDDB, but that only catches badly named tracks, not illegally traded. I can only guess that most iTunes-ripped songs are in AAC. I also don't see AAC being traded much illegally.

So, yes, I "assume" that 26,000 were purchased, 349,000 were ripped from a person's own CD, and the rest come from other sources, including ripping from a person's own CD.

If one of those "daily" mac polls asked what people's preferred ripping format is, then we can estimate the number of personally-ripped CDs in MP3 format in that count, and reason that the remainder is all piracy.

dejo
Dec 14, 2005, 02:00 AM
Meanwhile some of the other folks over at BusinessWeek have named Steve Jobs as among the Best Business Leaders of 2005 (http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/12/bestleaders/index_01.htm) and the iPod nano as one of the Best Products of 2005 (http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/12/bestproducts/index_01.htm). Hmm... :confused:

Seasought
Dec 14, 2005, 06:43 AM
Meanwhile some of the other folks over at BusinessWeek have named Steve Jobs as among the Best Business Leaders of 2005 (http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/12/bestleaders/index_01.htm) and the iPod nano as one of the Best Products of 2005 (http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/12/bestproducts/index_01.htm). Hmm... :confused:

That's a nifty caricature of Jobs there. :D

greatdevourer
Dec 14, 2005, 11:21 AM
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/251880_musicsharing14.html

:D

jettredmont
Dec 14, 2005, 02:38 PM
No, I totally agree. I don't know how to definitively tell which songs are from P2P and which are from a CD very well, even in my own collection. The only theory I've ever come up with is to check the song title against a CDDB, but that only catches badly named tracks, not illegally traded. I can only guess that most iTunes-ripped songs are in AAC. I also don't see AAC being traded much illegally.

So, yes, I "assume" that 26,000 were purchased, 349,000 were ripped from a person's own CD, and the rest come from other sources, including ripping from a person's own CD.

If one of those "daily" mac polls asked what people's preferred ripping format is, then we can estimate the number of personally-ripped CDs in MP3 format in that count, and reason that the remainder is all piracy.

Dude, you realize that you are conducting what is known as a "non-scientific poll", right? Taking one non-scientific poll (let users volunteer their iPod contents) and another non-scientific poll (a MacBytes poll) and combine them, and you know what you get?

That's right: Pure, Unadulturated *********.

Your results are highly suspect because they are taken from a self-selected crowd of technically-adept and technically-inquisitive (enough to find your site in the first place) people. Drawing conclusions on a larger population than just the people who have volunteered their data to you is completely invalid. Sorry, but that's just how polls work. I mean, it's like Hard Copy conducting a call-in poll asking if people watch Hard Copy more than once a week. It's not a good sampling of Hard Copy watchers, and is completely inadequate in drawing trends against the larger population.

Personally, my iPod has a good number of songs that came from P2P networks, back circa 1999. In general, I now own the CDs, but don't see the point in re-ripping them, so my library contains the mis-spellings and such that thrived on P2P for a while. Still, I haven't downloaded P2P music in over five years, and not once since I bought my iPod or even since iTunes Music Store debuted. What I'm getting to is that presence of P2P-traded songs on one's iPod doesn't even say anything about that person's current practices with regards to P2P software!

IMHO, given the ease of using P2P software on Windows versus Macs (unless Mac P2P software has become significantly easier in the last couple years), I'd expect that hard-core Mac users' iPods will generally be significantly less P2P-tinged than Windows users' iPods. Just a guess, though.

As for file format: I've ripped in MP3 for a long time before AAC came out, then switched to AAC at the same bitrate for higher quality rips, then switched to MP3 at a higher bitrate when my wife got a non-iPod flash-based device for use while exercising (a few years before the Shuffle, and what a disaster that thing was!), and have happily switched back to AAC since she's now using a Shuffle instead.

So, while I'd answer "AAC" as my prefered ripping format, and the one I use exclusively today, I'd guess that about 80% of my CD-ripped library is MP3 still (because I did many nights of feeding CDs into my PC when I first started and had everything I woned ripped before iTunes supported AAC). That number might actually be low; I had a significant (400+) CD library back then, which hasn't grown as much in the past couple of years (while I've been doing AAC ripping).

mainstreetmark
Dec 14, 2005, 04:10 PM
Well, I certainly agree with all of that. I've never claimed to have a definitive answer. All we're really trying to do is make a guess, for the purposes of the discussions in this thread.

I'm imagining ways to fill in the gaps in order to get a vague estimation of the illegalness of people's ipods, and understand there's a large, large margin of error.

Just trying to get in the neighborhood, is all.

If you can come up with a reasonable theory to estimate whether a file is illegal or not, by looking at iTunes data, let me know and I'll work on implementing it.