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View Full Version : C|Net discusses online music, criticizes iTunesMusicStore.


zarathustra
May 22, 2003, 12:27 PM
People have been criticizing Apple's Music service from day one: not good enough quality, not enough artists, too expensive, etc. What people fail to realize is that it as been running on a select few machines (Mac OS X only), for a very limited time and has achieved millions of downloads in a few weeks. Please give it time...

The full story. (http://news.com.com/2010-1071_3-1008063.html?tag=fd_ots)

MorganX
May 22, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by zarathustra
People have been criticizing Apple's Music service from day one: not good enough quality, not enough artists, too expensive, etc. What people fail to realize is that it as been running on a select few machines (Mac OS X only), for a very limited time and has achieved millions of downloads in a few weeks. Please give it time...

The full story. (http://news.com.com/2010-1071_3-1008063.html?tag=fd_ots)

Just thought I'd mention, before any C|net bashing starts, they are one of the iPod's biggest supporters. Even the new models are their highest rated players.

LethalWolfe
May 22, 2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by zarathustra
People have been criticizing Apple's Music service from day one: not good enough quality, not enough artists, too expensive, etc. What people fail to realize is that it as been running on a select few machines (Mac OS X only), for a very limited time and has achieved millions of downloads in a few weeks. Please give it time...

The full story. (http://news.com.com/2010-1071_3-1008063.html?tag=fd_ots)


I really don't know what the point of that article was other than a backlash to the out-of-the-gate success the iTMS has had. He says 99 cents is too much per song, but on Rhapsody (his service of choice I guess) you pay $10/month for streaming music only and it will cost you an extra buck for each song you want to burn. So 99 cents to own/burn a song from iTMS is bad, but $10/month + $1 to own/burn is good? :rolleyes:


Lethal

AmbitiousLemon
May 22, 2003, 01:35 PM
I wouldn't consider this music store bashing. for from it. did you actually read the article? I think this is a very balanced article, and I completely agree with the author.

The itunes music store is very limited and does nothing to take advantage of the internet nature of the service. compare the music store to other stores like amazon.com and other music information sites like allmusic.com. Apple can really expand what they offer users and truly make the store something people spend time at rather than just click and go.

read this quote from the article:
So, what should the ideal music store of the future look like?

At the very least, it should provide unsecured MP3 downloads; reams of information about artists and music, including trusted reviews and recommendations; numerous opportunities to sample before buying; concert schedules and tickets; and access to lyrics and sheet music.

Bundling editorial content with an online music store is a no-brainer and could either include exclusive material that pushes the service toward a hybrid magazine format, or tie in with existing publications, such as Verve or Rolling Stone.

Other add-ons might include short articles that discuss the tools and techniques used to make particular songs. Artists could sell paid advertising links in these articles to the vendors of the equipment they use. In turn, those companies would get to reach a very targeted and receptive audience with some useful and trusted information about their products.

How revolutionary might all of this get? One idea that's been discussed recently proposes creating a real-time pricing scheme for music, with song prices based on their popularity. Hot new singles might spike up to $3 or higher during the first hours or days of their release, while unpopular titles would be substantially discounted. Demand pricing could increase sales for otherwise overlooked works, or at least lower the cost of trying out something new, while rewarding top sellers.

I don't know if this would work. But it sets the bar pretty high for innovation. By comparison, Apple's music store is rather modest.

pointing out that apple could have done more with the store is not bashing. unlike other articles that bash the store by saying apple should fix the music industry, apple should have negoitiated drm free media, apple should have a great variety of music, or apple should offer cheaper music (all things not in apple's hands) they point out things that apple should have and actually could have done. also these sorts of web features are easy to program (not the kind time consuming activities like software coding or negoitiating with music execs). apple needs to give consumers information that will help them by and content that will keep them looking for more to buy. This isn't anything new, this is something that is part of nearly every web vendor.

LethalWolfe
May 22, 2003, 01:48 PM
I read the article and I think there are some mild-sour grapes in there and possibly some hurt feelings because the subscription services he enjoys are/were getting slammed by Apple. The first two paragraphs set the tone of the whole article. He basically says good job to Apple for doing what no other on line music service could do and then he says iTMS is half-@ssed because it doesn't offer enough editorial content and the songs are over priced.

I agree w/his overall vision of the "perfect" on line music store, but I dislike his negative tone in the article. Instead of saying some thing like iTMS is good, but X, Y and Z could make it much better he just calls iTMS a "half loaf."


Lethal

mactastic
May 22, 2003, 02:01 PM
I don't think he was really bashing iTMS either, just pointing out areas it could improve in. I would like to have all the albumn cover artwork/info available at the same place I buy music. And we all know $.99 a song is not right, some tunes are longer, some are better, some will command higher pricing and should. Market forces should dictate price, not an arbitrary pricing structure. Apple got recognition for getting the nod from all the major labels - something no one else had managed to do, but the selection as of now is not very broad. But give apple time, the indies and small labels are eager to get onboard too. The other features will come as well, ratings and suggestions like amazons. I also think we will eventually see movies and maybe even tv shows on demand.
The part of the CNET article about 2% of releases generating 80% of sales is just plain scary. Who knows, the internet may turn out to be what kills the record company as we know it.

zarathustra
May 22, 2003, 03:39 PM
People, Whoa!

I wasn't saying they are BASHING the ITMS. I merely said "criticize". Maybe you assume that criticism is inherently over the top negative.

Yes, I read the article - I didn't feel they tore into ITMS, but I did feel that they were prematurely saying that this is not enough. ITMS will mature and Apple WILL come up with a new way of exposing music to the masses.

I hate it when people put words in my mouth... :(

Freg3000
May 22, 2003, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by zarathustra


I hate it when people put words in my mouth... :(

Me too. :(

I read it, an agree with some of it. The quality could be higher I suppose (although I am the exact opposite of an audiophile) but disagree with the comments on the price. .99 cents is a good deal in my opinion.

e-coli
May 22, 2003, 04:08 PM
I completely agree with most of it.

What's up with the reduced quality? More reason to rip off the record companies, if you ask me. ;)

howard
May 25, 2003, 09:20 AM
first of all...maybe apple will end up making some of the changes that were suggested in the article, only time will tell.

what i don't understand is why people think $.99 is expensive for one song!!! i mean i certainly wouldn't argue about it being cheaper but this is an amazing price. First of all many songs is your average cd...now i'm generalizing here....i know theres cds with 5 songs that are 15 mins each...i'll get to that in a sec....any the average cd is about 12 songs i'd say. maybe a little more. and the average cd costs about $16. thats $1.3 a song. lets not forget the option to buy a whole album for only $10...which can be much less than $1 a song in some cases.

now as far as price fluctuation ...i guess it could be a good idea...especially for me cause a lot of the music i listen to not everyone would download. but i think it should START at a $1 and then fluctuate from there if a pop song was released at $3 a song...that would be ridiculous...but if a song at $1 starts selling like crazy...might as well bump it up to $2...and if a song doesn't sell at all...might as well put it to $.30, then people will download it and it can slowly be raised up again. maybe it can change for song length too. like a song thats 1 min or less is $.50 a song 1-2 is $.75 a song 2-4 is $1 and 5-10 is $1.50 (or somthing along those lines...whatever) because currently i don't think there even offering songs that are very long, which is a shame.

you know before i was writing this i wasn't going to be so FOR price changing but the more i think about it the better it sounds. the only thing is apple likes things simple...which $1 a song is....i wonder if they'll ever change it.

billyboy
May 25, 2003, 10:15 AM
I think Amazon will be heavily involved in Apple's Music Store when it comes to being launched for Windows. Apple have the software nouse and the reputation that made these ground breaking deals with the music industry possible in the first pace, Amazon are the boys when it comes to marketing media. The Music Store package can be all things to all people with the Apple/Amazon team. You heard it first...!

daveg5
May 25, 2003, 12:59 PM
great article, says what i was feeling, very constructive, over time much of this will happen. around xmas 20 million + xp users will have access and if apple is smart another 20 million macos9 users will have access along with more features and songs, perhaps lyrics, more videos, sheet music, full length streams, reviews and artist history and bio info, equipment used, etc., and lower prices since we supply the cd and cpu. maybe .49 and 5.00 per album.
Wishful thinking huh?

daveg5
May 25, 2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by howard
first of all...maybe apple will end up making some of the changes that were suggested in the article, only time will tell.

what i don't understand is why people think $.99 is expensive for one song!!! i mean i certainly wouldn't argue about it being cheaper but this is an amazing price. First of all many songs is your average cd...now i'm generalizing here....i know theres cds with 5 songs that are 15 mins each...i'll get to that in a sec....any the average cd is about 12 songs i'd say. maybe a little more. and the average cd costs about $16. thats $1.3 a song. lets not forget the option to buy a whole album for only $10...which can be much less than $1 a song in some cases.

now as far as price fluctuation ...i guess it could be a good idea...especially for me cause a lot of the music i listen to not everyone would download. but i think it should START at a $1 and then fluctuate from there if a pop song was released at $3 a song...that would be ridiculous...but if a song at $1 starts selling like crazy...might as well bump it up to $2...and if a song doesn't sell at all...might as well put it to $.30, then people will download it and it can slowly be raised up again. maybe it can change for song length too. like a song thats 1 min or less is $.50 a song 1-2 is $.75 a song 2-4 is $1 and 5-10 is $1.50 (or somthing along those lines...whatever) because currently i don't think there even offering songs that are very long, which is a shame.

you know before i was writing this i wasn't going to be so FOR price changing but the more i think about it the better it sounds. the only thing is apple likes things simple...which $1 a song is....i wonder if they'll ever change it.
wee at best buy etc. you can get new releases for $11 cd jewel case, lyrics, hard copy album art and human service and a building,. unlimited burns etc. the hard media and shipping are probably worth 2-4 dollars, not to mention inventory. take the all away except for server upkeep and the personel needed to keep it going needed for the store and it should be more than 1 dollar cheaper and will be in time i hope, for times when you only want 1or2 songs on an album it is great but when you want a whole album $1 more gets you better quality aac is a lossey codec and a hard copy and you can return if defective anyway the music store can only get better in time

jelloshotsrule
May 25, 2003, 01:19 PM
the article was decent except it praises a service that only has two advantages and that's the amount of available music (which will obviously grow for apple, fairly rapidly), and the editorial stuff... which apple, to me, shows they will be expanding. as they've already put some videos up, along with website links.

i think at the very least, apple could put some links to all bands, and links to ticket buying, or whatever.. whether or not they actually handle all that themselves.

apple's price is reasonable i feel. best buy is certainly a fairly well priced store, but it's still not quite as cheap. yes, you get hard copies and all that... and i can't argue with wanting hard copies and lyrics, etc. as that's what i usually want. i dont' see myself actually buying from the itms all that much, but i put more importance on the band and lyrics than most people i think. for joe music listener who just wants their favorite songs, or the latest top 20 hits... it's a great deal.

as for the sliding scale of prices... i've already seen albums that cost more than 10 bucks. and some that are less (ie, ones with less than 5 songs)..

wdlove
May 25, 2003, 04:14 PM
Good article! Criticism is also good, hope that Apple will take a postive atttude also. It's a great opportunity for improvement!

MrMacMan
May 25, 2003, 08:10 PM
Yes, apple can do better for the store, but what thy are doing now is decent.

More artists!

Knox
May 26, 2003, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
they point out things that apple should have and actually could have done. also these sorts of web features are easy to program (not the kind time consuming activities like software coding or negoitiating with music execs).

From experience, programming web features is the easy part - it's getting and maintaining the information stored that's the hard part, especially when you're wanting to store accurate and up-to-date info on potentially hundreds of thousands of artists.

Apple would have had to use content from another provider like Amazon, so you then have the extra negotiation and cost of licencing content. Assuming Apple did think about that (surely someone at Apple must have suggested it when they were planning it) it's possible they didn't want to incur the extra costs without knowing that the actual store would be successful.

AmbitiousLemon
May 26, 2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Knox
From experience, programming web features is the easy part - it's getting and maintaining the information stored that's the hard part, especially when you're wanting to store accurate and up-to-date info on potentially hundreds of thousands of artists.

Apple would have had to use content from another provider like Amazon, so you then have the extra negotiation and cost of licencing content. Assuming Apple did think about that (surely someone at Apple must have suggested it when they were planning it) it's possible they didn't want to incur the extra costs without knowing that the actual store would be successful.

i disagree. there is nothing apple would have licienced from anyone byond what they already had from the labels. features where people can make wishlists and suggested lists, user feedback where people write in what they think about artists, expert reviews (could eb provided by labels), info showing how many times a song is downloaded and maintaining of statistics would all be things apple could have done. lyrics, sheet music, concert, front/bacl/side and CD art (rather than just front cover art) info could all be obtained from the label. selling of blank media and CD burning software is something apple already does so this would be easy to just allow access to it in the music store.

I do think and agreement with amazon would be perfect though. apple already liciences one-click from them so the two companies must enjoy a decent relationship. with amazon apple could allow people to purchase the real phyical album and could sell even more cd burning items, such as cd labeling kits and such. sucha relationship wouldn't be a requistite though. apple still could have done much with nothing but their programming skills.

you might be correct that they wanted to wait and see if it was a sucess, but apple rarely adds anything large to any of its apps or services after the initial release, so if we want more from the webstore we have to make sure apple knows it is important.

Knox
May 27, 2003, 04:32 AM
features where people can make wishlists and suggested lists, user feedback where people write in what they think about artists

You have to employ people to either check the reviews or deal with reviews which are offensive, libelous etc.

expert reviews (could eb provided by labels)

I don't think people would accept reviews from the labels - they're not exactly going to be the most unbiased of sources :)

lyrics, sheet music, concert, front/bacl/side and CD art (rather than just front cover art) info could all be obtained from the label.

Lyrics would probably involve extra licencing fees; sheet music is quite often not published by the original label and so would involve negotiation and licencing from yet another company, or partnership with an existing sheet music retailer; I wouldn't be surprised if the label would want more cash for extra artwork; and there's always the fact of having to add any additional material to 200,000 items - even if it is from an electronic source it'll still have to be entered into the system somehow.

I'd agree that the rest of the features you mentioned would have been easier to add. Maybe Apple tried them and decided they wanted to keep the store as simple as possible, who knows [ok, apart from the developers at Apple]. Having lots more information would be a nice addition, but since it's not available at all here, just *having* it would be nice :)