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MacRumors
Mar 29, 2007, 01:22 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Apple introduced two new features in iTunes today.

My Alerts (iTunes Link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZPersonalizer.woa/wa/myAlerts))

A custom page on iTunes which lists "recent releases from artists whose work you've purchased on iTunes." Apple also allows you to sign up to receive Email notifications of these alerts.

Complete My Album (iTunes Link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZPersonalizer.woa/wa/viewCMASeeAll))

Perhaps more exciting is the "Complete My Album" feature which was previously rumored (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/11/13/itunes-album-credit-for-singles/) late last year.

"Complete My Album" allows customers to purchase the remainder of an album for a discounted price.

Did you know that if you've purchased one or more songs from an eligible album, you may now be able to buy the rest of the album at a reduced price? You have up to six months after first downloading a song from an eligible album to purchase the remainder of the album.

The reasoning behind this strategy is to provide more incentives to customers to purchase full albums -- or at least not penalize them for buying singles ahead of time. Previously, if you purchased a single song from iTunes ($.99) and later bought the full album ($9.99), you were charged twice for that song. This new feature helps avoid that scenario -- at least for certain albums and for a limited period of time.

[ digg this (http://digg.com/apple/New_iTunes_Features_My_Alerts_and_Complete_My_Album) ]



G5Unit
Mar 29, 2007, 01:24 AM
Complete my Album looks like a reason to make me start buying from iTunes.

Dandaman
Mar 29, 2007, 01:25 AM
yeah, complete my album sounds pretty sweet

daniel

EricNau
Mar 29, 2007, 01:26 AM
Complete my Album is exactly what iTunes has been needing. ...Although the time limit is a little disappointing.

aafuss1
Mar 29, 2007, 01:27 AM
Is the Complete My Album feature on all iTunes stores yet?
Edit-Complete My Album works on the Australia iTS, so it's not US-only.

randyharris
Mar 29, 2007, 01:27 AM
The complete album idea sounds like a good idea, however, I still favor subscription based solutions like Rhapsody.

katie ta achoo
Mar 29, 2007, 01:34 AM
I've already completed a few of my albums. This is nice... I can finally have a beautiful bacchanal of Ben Folds, Elton John, and Barry Manilow with FULL ALBUMS.

hollerz
Mar 29, 2007, 01:34 AM
i'm sure "my alerts" has been there forever?

bluebomberman
Mar 29, 2007, 01:36 AM
I don't think My Alerts is technically new; I've had alerts for a couple of artists for years. I think the alerts for artists from the Purchase History is new, though.

EDIT: Okay, took a look at all the albums I can buy under "Complete My Album" - and found exactly ZERO albums that interested me. This isn't going to change my current behavior of cherry-picking the best songs from bloated albums.

theheadguy
Mar 29, 2007, 01:40 AM
It's about time. Glad to hear these changes have been made.

Peace
Mar 29, 2007, 01:41 AM
I thought albums were $9.99

mustard
Mar 29, 2007, 01:48 AM
Glade to see that they have provided an incentive / viable option for people that want to purchase pre-album release singles then get the album.

bluebomberman
Mar 29, 2007, 01:49 AM
I thought albums were $9.99

Generally, but not always. There's been a proliferation of discounted albums ($7.99 or less) as well as a few albums that are more expensive than normal ($12.99 for Bloc Party's A Weekend In the City (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=213628599&s=143441)).

koobcamuk
Mar 29, 2007, 01:50 AM
This is:

a) A really boring rumour
b) Not in the least bit 'exciting'.

It is about time that you didn't have to pay twice for a song. I have stopped using iTunes because it's £0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is £0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

devilot
Mar 29, 2007, 01:50 AM
So evil. They sucked me in. I had two free song credits so I used those knowing I could purchase the rest of the album... which went the tiniest bit over the remaining iTMS credit I've been hoarding (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=286983) for quite some time now. :o

Really glad they've finally enabled such a feature. :D

Kingsly
Mar 29, 2007, 02:06 AM
Yess! Complete my album is just what I needed! (too bad it's delayed release cost me at least $15 in re-downloaded songs... :o )

Object-X
Mar 29, 2007, 02:08 AM
Just another example of Apple doing the right thing for their customers.

c-Row
Mar 29, 2007, 02:08 AM
This is:

a) A really boring rumour
b) Not in the least bit 'exciting'.

Unless you previously bought a single song and like it so much now that you want to get the rest of the album as well - until now you would either have to pay twice for the same song you had already purchased, or get the other tracks one by one, which would result in a higher price.

tingly
Mar 29, 2007, 02:10 AM
It said I could complete an album that I already bought in whole.

siurpeeman
Mar 29, 2007, 02:16 AM
i completed an album in which i purchased six singles. it only seemed right i complete the last five. let's see what else i can complete!

bmoorhouse
Mar 29, 2007, 02:23 AM
This is a neat feature, but I don't understand why people are upset that it wasn't offered before.

I mean, say you bought a 45 or a cassette or CD single back in the day . . . how many stores would then give you a discount or let you trade it in towards the full album or cassette? Not one.

Of course, don't get me wrong, I like the new feature. I just see it as a bonus and not something that I have been entitled to all along.

Fearless Leader
Mar 29, 2007, 02:38 AM
YESS complete my album. I buy portions of albums only to later find i like the whole disk alot.

rikers_mailbox
Mar 29, 2007, 02:42 AM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.

gavd
Mar 29, 2007, 02:45 AM
<snip>
It is about time that you didn't have to pay twice for a song. I have stopped using iTunes because it's 0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is 0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

Not really Apples fault. We pay more for everything over here...

koobcamuk
Mar 29, 2007, 03:04 AM
Not really Apples fault. We pay more for everything over here...

I know. Sucks. Just going to buy things over there and ship them here and I move to Japan in 2009 anyway. :rolleyes:

Wanky
Mar 29, 2007, 03:06 AM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.

Haven't you noticed that "Deauthorize Computer..." option in the "Store" Menu?

Marx55
Mar 29, 2007, 03:18 AM
THE ONLY AND SINGLE FEATURE that I want on iTunes:

True RESUME playback.

Great to listen to long playlists on the Mac. And I do not mean to sort songs by last played, but a true RESUME playback feature, as SoundJam MP had (the application from which iTunes was developed years ago).

belovedmonster
Mar 29, 2007, 03:26 AM
I have stopped using iTunes because it's 0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is 0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

You expect iTune prices to change with the current exchange rates?? Dude, are you aware that theres such things as exchange rates and they change over time? The reason the tunes are cheaper in the US is because their economy isnt doing so well and they have a weak dollar, so when it comes to exchange rates you get a lot of dollars for your pound. If the dollar was doing well against the pound then you would see that the prices would be closer together.

russellb
Mar 29, 2007, 04:07 AM
Complete My TV show would be nice ie. after watching a couple of episodes to make sure you like the program then subscribe to the whole series and get a discount for the eps you have already purchased

ezekielrage_99
Mar 29, 2007, 04:14 AM
It's about time Apple added Complete my album to iTunes, I hated paying more when I downloaded additional tracks.

iAlan
Mar 29, 2007, 04:20 AM
This is:

a) A really boring rumour
b) Not in the least bit 'exciting'.

It is about time that you didn't have to pay twice for a song. I have stopped using iTunes because it's 0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is 0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

Don't know but I would think Apple is probably making the same 'profit' from a US download vs a UK download and the record companies are making the rest.

We can't assume Apple is charging more by their own chouce - pricing may be set in accordance with the standard pricing/profit for physical CD's as the labels would not want less profit from a digitial download vs a phsical CD would they?

Also remember the label owner of the track available in the UK may not be the same as in the US?

diotima1212
Mar 29, 2007, 04:31 AM
The NYT seems to be a great source for rather relyable apple rumors. This is especially interesting since Pogue had some information about a Jeff Han cooperation with Apple. The post is like: I know something, but I don't have the right to say anything.

Obviously, this is pure speculation, but I think there is, all rumors put together (especially resolution independence, plus facts as fingerworks etc.), a not so little chance that we'll see soon a 3d multitouch OS. It would be just the logic thing to do for Apple, and they have been working on this for many, many years.

Another speculation I never read anywhere: There was one year ago the rumor, that Leopard would include a Bittorrent Client. This fell in oblivion, but Apple is not about to put a small and always-on Server in many homes, and this Server is by chance as well a HD-Player, but no such content is available, and Apple didn't change anything in their video store, although everybody expected this. They didn't even but a buy-function in the device! Only conclusion: They are waiting for something: Renting/Buying HD-Videos would be the very, very obvious thing to do with Apple TV in combination with a bittorrent Leopard, and it would be a huge, huge step for Apple. Everything is in Place, on the Multitouch as well as on the Video front. Just go!

iAlan
Mar 29, 2007, 04:33 AM
I know. Sucks. Just going to buy things over there and ship them here and I move to Japan in 2009 anyway. :rolleyes:


Well, Japan iTunes pricing is all over the place and the Japan labels are not all included anyways.

Based on todays exchange rate a track in the UK is 56% more expensive than in the US. A track in Japan is 29% more expensive than in the US and 21% cheaper than in the UK.

But that is based on the 150 yen starting price - other tracks are more expensive and album pricing is also all over the place. A lot ofhte 'better' songs are priced higher so the analysis would change -- I think Jpan is a great example of not having tiered pricing because hte crap will be cheap and hte good stuff more expensive...

But hey, that is what is being offered and other download services are similar in pricing -- Apple did not really have a strong hand with priceing in Japan, the labels are quite strong here.

Anyway, I feel your pain in that it is more expensive for you over there in the UK.

And do look me up when you get to Japan-- assuming I am still here! I have met one other MR member living in Japan -- we met up at the Shibuya Apple Store opening. I think I will start a 'MR Japan Chapter' -- what do you say my fellow Japan MR-ites?

surferfromuk
Mar 29, 2007, 04:55 AM
This is on UK iTunes right now.
Pages of my incomplete albums and price to 'complete' - nice!. I think this is a sweet feature!


I have no problem with Apple's pricing but if Apple can start ripping at 256K AAC bit rate they would have me buy twice as much as I do now. I can tell the difference. It's subtle but it's there. Still the alternative; get in your car, drive to town, pay for parking, walk to the shopping mall, wander through the hoardes in the record shop, buy your CD for the same if not more than iTunes (no 'track preview I might add in the mall!), get in your car, put in some fuel, come home, rip CD to iTunes and enjoy on your ipod! That CD has now just cost about £10 more and two hours of my time!

Really Barring the bit rate annoyance there is no contest in terms of price - iTunes wins hands down!.

Oh the one feature I really want in iTunes - Tabbed browsing!

synth3tik
Mar 29, 2007, 05:09 AM
I have noticed the my alerts that last few times I was on the iTMS, the complete my album though is really cool.:D

zyuzin4
Mar 29, 2007, 05:48 AM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.


number two would be awesome but can't you already do number one by going into the Store menu bar and clicking Deauthorize Computer. If you don't have access to the computer that is already authorized, you can deauthorize all from the itunes music store account page.

Are you asking for like a list of what computers are authorized and the ability to de-select one?

mrat93
Mar 29, 2007, 07:03 AM
Alerts was already there and my "Complete my Album" has bands and albums that I don't have any of.

ortuno2k
Mar 29, 2007, 07:07 AM
Pretty cool feature..
It's nice to have, even though I don't purchase any more than a single or two from iTMS - I still like buying my CDs.

hob
Mar 29, 2007, 07:43 AM
Like it, looks like some time and effort went in, which is always good to see. Though I'm sure we'd all rather see leopard :p

Here's the UK link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZPersonalizer.woa/wa/viewCMASeeAll) to Complete My Album for all you cool cats out there :cool:

twoodcc
Mar 29, 2007, 08:06 AM
sounds like some nice features....:apple:

onebloodonelife
Mar 29, 2007, 08:10 AM
It's a nice feature, even though a majority of my music isn't purchased through iTunes.

Did anyone else notice that only one reduced price album can be purchased?

tny
Mar 29, 2007, 08:34 AM
This is:

a) A really boring rumour
b) Not in the least bit 'exciting'.

It is about time that you didn't have to pay twice for a song. I have stopped using iTunes because it's 0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is 0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

If you include the VAT (which the US doesn't have), an analogous UK price would be 59p.

Sandfleaz
Mar 29, 2007, 08:45 AM
Excellent idea ....I'll be spending some bucks!

Ja Di ksw
Mar 29, 2007, 08:53 AM
Ah, finally. The double payment had actually stopped me from purchasing some songs/albums. I'm glad they finally did this.

Poff
Mar 29, 2007, 08:54 AM
My Alerts (iTunes Link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZPersonalizer.woa/wa/myAlerts))

A custom page on iTunes which lists "recent releases from artists whose work you've purchased on iTunes." Apple also allows you to sign up to receive Email notifications of these alerts.

*cough* I've been getting alert emails for at least half a year, on artists I've bought music from. I don't think this is new.

Edit: ok, the linky-thing was new, only the email was old.

bretm
Mar 29, 2007, 08:56 AM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.


This is an interesting topic. Of course #1 is already there in iTunes.

But #2, is obviously not the duty of Apple. That's nuts. You buy something and now it's yours. If you lose a cassette tape, a cd, a record, you certainly can't ask Walmart to replace it for you. So why now do you expect a company to replace your music (which was cheaper than the cd versions) when you lose it due to your own negligence? Yes, a hard drive crashing is your fault. It's certainly not Apple's. Unless it's under Apple's warranty, which of course states that they're not responsible for the data.

However, what if someone steals your computer or you cd collection? Your home owners insurance covers the cd collection. I would think they should also cover your downloaded music collection / software, etc.

Now, if your hard drive crashes and you lose your whole library, I wonder if your insurance would cover the loss of the music and software purchased online?

Oh, and get a backup drive already!

mikeyrogers
Mar 29, 2007, 09:06 AM
*cough* I've been getting alert emails for at least half a year, on artists I've bought music from. I don't think this is new.

Edit: ok, the linky-thing was new, only the email was old.

Well not exactly. The link has been there for several weeks, if not months, already.

nateDEEZY
Mar 29, 2007, 09:27 AM
It's about time they had this feature!!

notjustjay
Mar 29, 2007, 09:43 AM
Complete My Album sounds like a great feature. I have skipped over buying songs many times because of that thought process, and you know you've been there...

"Cool, I'll buy this song... but wait, if I decide I like this band and want the rest of the album, I'd have to pay again... But then if I'm paying $9.99 for the album, maybe I could just wait until it goes on sale at Best Buy."

And Apple misses a sale.

But it needs to be enabled for ALL albums, not just a select few, and ideally with a longer time period (90 days? 1 year?)

a456
Mar 29, 2007, 09:44 AM
Great idea but why the time limit Apple?

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 09:49 AM
Now if only they'd offer Lossless encoded songs and I'd never buy a single CD again.

Rantipole
Mar 29, 2007, 10:00 AM
I have stopped using iTunes because it's £0.79 for UK and $0.99 in the US - which is £0.50 after you convert currency. **** you apple.

In my trips to the UK, I've noticed music has always been more expensive, after translation, than the US. So, the **** you should go to someone else, probably not Apple.


The complete the album options is absofreakinlutely awesome. Now, if they would only upgrade the sound quality, I may actually start buying there. :rolleyes:

I can understand the time limit, I suppose, but a year makes more sense.

tk421
Mar 29, 2007, 10:11 AM
It's a nice feature, even though a majority of my music isn't purchased through iTunes.

Did anyone else notice that only one reduced price album can be purchased?

Where did you see that?

edit: I found it. It is when a song you've purchased is on more than one eligible album. You can only buy one of the albums for that particular discount. Example: I downloaded a Collective Soul song, and iTunes offers me the album it came from or the greatest hits collection, both at a reduced price. This is because both contain the song I downloaded, but I can't buy both at a reduced price, just one. This has no effect on other albums by other artists.
This is also cool. They give you choice (in some cases).


Overall, I think Complete My Album is great. It will have two effects on me personally. 1) I will complete some albums, giving iTunes more sales and me cheaper prices. 2) I will be less hesitant to buy individual songs when I think that I might like the whole album, also giving iTunes more sales and allowing me to try a bit before I commit to the whole thing.

Good for the customer and good for iTunes!

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 10:14 AM
While they're at it they could include a "complete my season" feature and discount for separately bought episodes of TV shows.

Tara Davis
Mar 29, 2007, 10:21 AM
The "complete my album" feature is a great idea.

Now they just need to start selling lossless tracks in order to become the only place I buy music from.

Getting rid of DRM is a nice dream, but I'm not holding my breath for it, and Apple's protections are sufficiently loose for my needs.

But lossy compression, while fine for my iPod in the car, simply won't do for my home stereo. Fix this, Apple, and you've got a raving fangirl for life.

tk421
Mar 29, 2007, 10:22 AM
Here's another question. Since not all albums are eligible, how do I know if an album is eligible before I buy a track from it?

Seems like most are. Looking through my history, I have only found a few that aren't there and 375 that are.

wmmk
Mar 29, 2007, 10:27 AM
Complete My Album (iTunes Link (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZPersonalizer.woa/wa/viewCMASeeAll))

Perhaps more exciting is the "Complete My Album" feature which was previously rumored (http://www.macrumors.com/2006/11/13/itunes-album-credit-for-singles/) late last year.

"Complete My Album" allows customers to purchase the remainder of an album for a discounted price.



The reasoning behind this strategy is to provide more incentives to customers to purchase full albums -- or at least not penalize them for buying singles ahead of time. Previously, if you purchased a single song from iTunes ($.99) and later bought the full album ($9.99), you were charged twice for that song. This new feature helps avoid that scenario -- at least for certain albums and for a limited period of time.

[ digg this (http://digg.com/apple/New_iTunes_Features_My_Alerts_and_Complete_My_Album) ]
Why only for certain albums for a limited amount of time?:confused:

Mgkwho
Mar 29, 2007, 10:57 AM
I'm sure someone has said this already, but I was too lazy to check:

Just for You is out of beta.


And the Complete my Album feature has repeats of albums I've bought more than one song from. Just show it once!!

-=|Mgkwho

Doctor Q
Mar 29, 2007, 10:59 AM
I was very surprised to find that Apple has done exactly what I personally told them to do. My most recent post suggesting the Complete My Album feature was in May 2006.

And here's the real smoking gun: If you compare my post from 2005 with what I see today in the iTunes Store, I'm sure you will conclude, as I did, that Microsoft gets its best ideas from Apple, and Apple gets its best ideas from MacRumors! :D

Then:I want to be able to trade up from one or more tunes on a given album to the full album, for the difference in price, e.g., pay $7.99 instead of $9.99 to buy Jagged Little Pill if I have already purchased You Oughta Know and Hand in My Pocket individually.Now:
71138

Note: I bought a few more tracks since my original post, so the "upgrade" price went down.

Keep posting those suggestions for Apple and your dreams may also come true! :)

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 11:21 AM
Keep posting those suggestions for Apple and your dreams may also come true! :)

They consistently keep on ignoring my request for Lossless media. :p

onebloodonelife
Mar 29, 2007, 11:27 AM
Where did you see that?

edit: I found it. It is when a song you've purchased is on more than one eligible album. You can only buy one of the albums for that particular discount. Example: I downloaded a Collective Soul song, and iTunes offers me the album it came from or the greatest hits collection, both at a reduced price. This is because both contain the song I downloaded, but I can't buy both at a reduced price, just one. This has no effect on other albums by other artists.
This is also cool. They give you choice (in some cases).



Ah, okay, that makes more sense. Thanks for checking it out :)

Gasu E.
Mar 29, 2007, 11:29 AM
And while we're at it, how about:
<>
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.


But #2, is obviously not the duty of Apple. That's nuts. You buy something and now it's yours. If you lose a cassette tape, a cd, a record, you certainly can't ask Walmart to replace it for you. So why now do you expect a company to replace your music (which was cheaper than the cd versions) when you lose it due to your own negligence? Yes, a hard drive crashing is your fault. It's certainly not Apple's. Unless it's under Apple's warranty, which of course states that they're not responsible for the data.

However, what if someone steals your computer or you cd collection? Your home owners insurance covers the cd collection. I would think they should also cover your downloaded music collection / software, etc.

Now, if your hard drive crashes and you lose your whole library, I wonder if your insurance would cover the loss of the music and software purchased online?

Oh, and get a backup drive already!

Gotta agree with caller #2. If it's not Apple's fault, and it works exactly like a CD, there's no reason Apple should add an innovation, even if it increases customer satisfaction and is entirely feasible to do. ;)

BornAgainMac
Mar 29, 2007, 11:50 AM
I wish I can sell my songs I don't like anymore back to iTunes.

huntercr
Mar 29, 2007, 11:55 AM
THE ONLY AND SINGLE FEATURE that I want on iTunes:

True RESUME playback.

Great to listen to long playlists on the Mac. And I do not mean to sort songs by last played, but a true RESUME playback feature, as SoundJam MP had (the application from which iTunes was developed years ago).

I don't understand... how is this different from clicking "pause" ?

mermaidshoes
Mar 29, 2007, 12:23 PM
fyi, you could always get a one-time "duplicate purchase" refund from itunes if you bought a full album after buying songs from it (you'd get refunds or song credits for the individual songs). i guess that's not necessary anymore thanks to this new price reduction feature, but it could still come in handy for somebody. you can also get an "accidental purchase" refund (also one-time) if you buy the wrong song by mistake. that's how it used to be, at least... i haven't used the store in a while.

Avatar74
Mar 29, 2007, 12:37 PM
Now if only they'd offer Lossless encoded songs and I'd never buy a single CD again.

Despite what some self-proclaimed audiophiles love to maintain, 128kbps AAC is fundamentally indiscernible from dithered 16-bit Linear PCM (CD Digital Audio, aka "Red Book").

I have seen all kinds of flawed so-called A/B comparisons but never any substantial discernible differences from a rigorous double-blind test.

Also, it helps to understand that PCM is not really a perceptual coding schema like AAC. The bitrate requirements to achieve equal fidelity are determined by the efficiency of the encoding algorithm. AES has stated that 128kbps AAC is in fact indistinguishable from 16-bit dithered LPCM.

There are various aspects of digital encoding which can reduce bitrate requirements. The first of these is, of course, filtering out frequencies above the Nyquist limit that might otherwise result in aliased frequencies distinctly off from the fundamental. Quantization interval throttling and recording of only the change in amplitude from one sample to the next, instead of the absolute value, as in an ADPCM system also further reduce bitrate requirements without any perceptible loss whatsoever. Dithering is yet another technique, specifically used with lower rate bitstreams (e.g. 16-bit CD Audio) to add an iimperceptible level of noise that carries enough voltage oscillation to correct quantization interval errors.

I would say there is a marked and perceptible difference between AAC and 24-bit Linear PCM, even between 16-bit PCM and 24-bit PCM. However, it should be noted that the increase in amplitude quantization intervals between 16-bit PCM and 24-bit PCM is exponential... 65,536 possible values per sample at 16-bit versus 16,777,216 possible values per sample at 24-bit. The result is a tremendous increase in dynamic range from 96.3dB to 144dB! Most listeners will really have to squint their ears just to perceive a difference in AAC vs. 16-bit PCM. However, as I can tell you from trying to tell if I can see the hair-thin scratches on my lenses.

The more you strain your senses, at some point you have to ask yourself if it's not the squinting that is straining me and causing you to perceive things that aren't really there.

In the case of 16 vs. 24 bit it's a glaring difference on an order of magnitude many times larger than the difference between 128kbps AAC and 16-bit PCM*... and even then some folks still cannot tell the difference between 16 and 24!

Note that the dynamic range of AC-3, which as a perceptual coding schema is a direct predecessor to AAC (co-developed by Dolby), is about 103-105dB, assuming 192kbps for stereo and 448kbps for 5.1 surround. This is quite a feat and a good illustration of how perceptual coding schemas can efficiently reduce the data requirements to produce perceptual transparency.

* 16-bit stereo PCM at 44.1kHz sampling has a rate of 1.411 Mbps whereas 24-bit stereo PCM at 48kHz sampling has a rate of 2.306 Mbps... The difference between the two (note I'm comparing identical encoding methodologies, not AAC and PCM where bitrate comparisons are not apples to apples) is greater than the bandwidth of the entire 16-bit stream!

johnmcboston
Mar 29, 2007, 12:40 PM
But #2, (re-download files previously purchased from iTunes.)is obviously not the duty of Apple. That's nuts. You buy something and now it's yours. If you lose a cassette tape, a cd, a record, you certainly can't ask Walmart to replace it for you.

That's a nonsensical argument. You're not buying a physical thing, just a copy. They DO keep a list of songs you've already bought. It doesn't cost apple anything if you re-download a song. (and backup isn't a complete answer - only off-site backup will protect you)

Hey, emusic sells songs for less than itunes, in mp3 format, and unlimited re-downloadability... They're starting to get a lot more of my business...

Avatar74
Mar 29, 2007, 12:46 PM
That's a nonsensical argument. You're not buying a physical thing, just a copy.

The physical medium of a CD constitutes less than 20 cents of the cost of the item. Technically you're paying for the digital files on it (and implicitly the work that went into composing, recording, distributing and promoting them), which, like iTunes files, are just copies from a master.

So, as Roger Ebert would say... there you are. :D

PS: Even more technically you're not even paying for the digital files... you aren't paying for any random combination of PCM data or AAC data... you're paying for what the data represent and in that case the AAC data and the PCM data of a particular title represent exactly the same thing!

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 12:50 PM
<long technical explanation of why I can't hear what I am hearing>

Sorry that you cannot hear a difference, I can.

To tell me a CD and 128 AAC is indistinguishable :rolleyes: I can read Apple's page too, that doesn't mean I believe it though, especially not when I can hear a difference. Same as I don't believe Apple's perfomance specs. ;)

richard4339
Mar 29, 2007, 12:55 PM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.

I'm assuming what you mean is the ability to remotely de-authorize computers, not just de-authorize your current computer or all 5. I think this is also a great idea, mostly because I've somehow already used all 5 myself, 2 have had HDD failures, and I can't de-authorize them now (and my reset has already been used in the last 12 months).

rikers_mailbox
Mar 29, 2007, 12:56 PM
number two would be awesome but can't you already do number one by going into the Store menu bar and clicking Deauthorize Computer. If you don't have access to the computer that is already authorized, you can deauthorize all from the itunes music store account page.

Are you asking for like a list of what computers are authorized and the ability to de-select one?

Yep.. it would be nice to see a LIST of the computers authorized to your account. The point being to de-authorize a computer without having to physically be using it.

edit: richard4339 clarified it better than I did.

surferfromuk
Mar 29, 2007, 12:58 PM
Despite what some self-proclaimed audiophiles love to maintain, 128kbps AAC is fundamentally indiscernible from dithered 16-bit Linear PCM (CD Digital Audio, aka "Red Book").



I'm not a 'self-proclaimed' audiophile I'm a musician and a producer and readily agree that 128K AAC is a clean bright and polished sound, equivelant in my opinion to 256K MP3. I will admit it's very difficult if not nearly impossible to discern artifaction but when you listen to a 128K AAC and then the exact same file at Apple Lossless ( or even 256K AAC) you will notice a difference in presence. All of the tangible differences are incredibly subtle but you tend to notice it in reverb, depth of soundstage and the 'tonal' quality of the treble and just the general cohesiveness of the mix,

I listen to my music through either a very expensive set of studio monitors which are designed to make music sound BAD ( or at the very least reveal flaws and imperfections that consumer friendly speakers do not) or a pair of expensive studio headphones. I will 100% admit you can't hear the difference on iMac speakers, cheap stereo or even ipod headphones but I assure you despite what the scientific graphs and boffins declare the sound is not as pure. Regardless of any of that - the bottom line is if the customer thinks there is too much lost they will buy a CD - and that's bad news for Apple!. That's where I am now and it annoys me becuase I would love to buy a ton of stuff from iTunes - I love it and I like it's distribution model but the long term compromise is too great. DRM doesn't bother me one bit!

I think Apple need to tackle this problem in a different way ;

ie You download Lossless or 256AAC but you can if you want SELECT by preference the a bit rate of the tracks that get put onto your ipod. This will allow them to retain the '1000 songs in your pocket' concept but allows the customer to hold a pristine archive copy on their mac/iTunes.

Actually I would even pay a 10% premium for lossless if it helps Apple cover bandwidth bills!, so that people who are happy with 128K AAC can still d/l at standard rate and that I would download at lossless and pay another £0.79 per album say...

Shaun.P
Mar 29, 2007, 01:01 PM
Can someone link to the Alerts thing in the UK store? When I click on the link in MacRumors, Safari opens a page of weird text.
I think it would be cool if I can find out how to get to the page!

Shaun

spicyapple
Mar 29, 2007, 01:01 PM
Nice but worthless feature for me. I'll buy a single song to sample the artist but I'll buy the whole album in retail or through Amazon.

DRM leaves a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention you don't get a physical high quality compression-free original.

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 01:03 PM
I'm not a 'self-proclaimed' audiophile I'm a musician and a producer and readily agree that 128K AAC is a clean bright and polished sound, equivelant in my opinion to 256K MP3. I will admit it's very difficult if not nearly impossible to discern artifaction but when you listen to a 128K AAC and then the exact same file at Apple Lossless ( or even 256K AAC) you will notice a difference in presence. All of the tangible differences are incredibly subtle but you tend to notice it in reverb, depth of soundstage and the 'tonal' quality of the treble and just the general cohesiveness of the mix,

I listen to my music through either a very expensive set of studio monitors which are designed to make music sound BAD ( or at the very least reveal flaws and imperfections that consumer friendly speakers do not) or a pair of expensive studio headphones. I will 100% admit you can't hear the difference on iMac speakers, cheap stereo or even ipod headphones but I assure you despite what the scientific graphs and boffins declare the sound is not as pure.

I think Apple need to tackle this problem in a different way ;

ie You download Lossless or 256AAC but you can if you want SELECT by preference the a bit rate of the tracks that get put onto your ipod. This will allow them to retain the '1000 songs in your pocket' concept but allows the customer to hold a pristine archive copy on their mac/iTunes.

Yeah I agree with you on everything. Although I can hear a bigger difference between 320 AAC and Lossless as say between 192 AAC and 320 AAC.

And the down conversion feature is one that WMP had for years now and I wished Apple would add every time they revise iTunes. :(

surferfromuk
Mar 29, 2007, 01:18 PM
Yeah I agree with you on everything. Although I can hear a bigger difference between 320 AAC and Lossless as say between 192 AAC and 320 AAC.

And the down conversion feature is one that WMP had for years now and I wished Apple would add every time they revise iTunes. :(

ditto!.

Bandwidth (and HD storage!) get's cheaper every year - They just need to change this, hold a download amnesty on 'replacing with lossless what you've bought at 128K' and move forward having relatively and painlessly removed another obstacle for success. I understand the immensity of it on the infrastructure which is why I'm glad to pay a premium for it but at least offer me the choice!. I don't even mind waiting while it's retrieved from a jukebox and streamed in real time!.

I wonder if Steve pumps out the old 128K AAC through his £50,000.00 home music system ? If he can, hand on heart, say he does - I'll never mention it again and I'll accept the 'new way and the new sound'....

Object-X
Mar 29, 2007, 01:19 PM
I wish I can sell my songs I don't like anymore back to iTunes.

As convenient as iTunes is, there are still times bad songs get through and I regret a purchase. Too bad there wasn't a limited time return policy, where you could select a song and remove it from your library and recieve credit. Or maybe a listening limit, say like three times or something. If you haven't selected it for return it adds it permently to your library and the option goes away.

Almost all other products purchased have a return policy, why not music? So, when it was CDs they could say the disc was used if the shrinkwrap was removed, but this is all just digital media, so there is no technical reason this couldn't be done.

Diatribe
Mar 29, 2007, 01:24 PM
ditto!.
...
I wonder if Steve pumps out the old 128K AAC through his 50,000.00 home music system ? If he can, hand on heart, say he does - I'll never mention it again and I'll accept the 'new way and the new sound'....

Or play iTunes movies on his 60" HDTV :rolleyes:

I don't think he does, but I agree with you, if he really did, I'd shut up.

surferfromuk
Mar 29, 2007, 01:29 PM
As convenient as iTunes is, there are still times bad songs get through and I regret a purchase. Too bad there wasn't a limited time return policy, where you could select a song and remove it from your library and recieve credit. Or maybe a listening limit, say like three times or something. If you haven't selected it for return it adds it permently to your library and the option goes away.

Almost all other products purchased have a return policy, why not music? So, when it was CDs they could say the disc was used if the shrinkwrap was removed, but this is all just digital media, so there is no technical reason this couldn't be done.

Sorry, but this would just open the door to massive music thievery...

tk421
Mar 29, 2007, 01:35 PM
As convenient as iTunes is, there are still times bad songs get through and I regret a purchase. Too bad there wasn't a limited time return policy, where you could select a song and remove it from your library and recieve credit. Or maybe a listening limit, say like three times or something. If you haven't selected it for return it adds it permently to your library and the option goes away.

Almost all other products purchased have a return policy, why not music? So, when it was CDs they could say the disc was used if the shrinkwrap was removed, but this is all just digital media, so there is no technical reason this couldn't be done.

The reason they don't return CDs isn't because of the shrinkwrap. It is easy and cheap for them to rewrap something. The reason is that you could make a copy of the CD before you return it. The same is true with iTunes. Download, burn a CD-R, return it. Easy piracy.

network23
Mar 29, 2007, 01:37 PM
okay.. so the new features basically confirm Apple is tracking iTunes user data... (its only marketing, duh.) I'm fine with it.

And while we're at it, how about:
1. iTunes authorization management - can i PLEASE have the ability to de-authorize computers on my own?
2. re-download files previously purchased from iTunes - yes, even Mac hard drives crash and data is lost.

Re: #1,

At the very least, I'd like the ability to "label" the authorizations. Give me a simple field where I can type in "Family Room G4" or "Den Macmini". Then even if I couldn't deauthorize them remotely, I could at least see a list of "which" computers were authorized. That would help immensely in figuring out why I have five already authorized and which one or more I need to deauthorize if I want to authorize a new computer.

Porchland
Mar 29, 2007, 01:52 PM
Is the Complete My Album feature on all iTunes stores yet?
Edit-Complete My Album works on the Australia iTS, so it's not US-only.

Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come for out-of-US consumers. With initial agreements in place for a large number of countries, Apple should have more luck negotiating broader content deals, i.e., getting more content in more places in less time.

Porchland
Mar 29, 2007, 02:01 PM
Overall, I think Complete My Album is great. It will have two effects on me personally. 1) I will complete some albums, giving iTunes more sales and me cheaper prices. 2) I will be less hesitant to buy individual songs when I think that I might like the whole album, also giving iTunes more sales and allowing me to try a bit before I commit to the whole thing.


I posted essentially the same two benefits on AppleInsider, and I think they will both have a big effect on the way I shop for music.

When a new album comes out by an established artist that I like, I very often wait a looooong time before downloading a track because I never can decide if I want the whole album. Instead, I'm buying a lot more one-off tracks from bands I don't know and may or may not seek out again.

This deal gives me the incentive to go ahead and sample everything and decide about albums later.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 29, 2007, 02:09 PM
This is a welcome addition. Nothing to get up or say 'woopie' for, but I'll nod in its favor.

So, how 'bout that iPhone.

Avatar74
Mar 29, 2007, 02:35 PM
More good news, from CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/internet/03/29/apple.itunes.albums.ap/index.html):

"For a limited period of 90 days, Apple said it will make the "Complete My Album" offer retroactive to users who purchased tracks dating back to the launch of the iTunes Store four years ago"

Avatar74
Mar 29, 2007, 02:40 PM
Re: #1,

At the very least, I'd like the ability to "label" the authorizations. Give me a simple field where I can type in "Family Room G4" or "Den Macmini". Then even if I couldn't deauthorize them remotely, I could at least see a list of "which" computers were authorized. That would help immensely in figuring out why I have five already authorized and which one or more I need to deauthorize if I want to authorize a new computer.

Can you elaborate on this?

i.e. Where would you like to label the authorizations? I'm trying to understand since you can see by looking at the iTunes client on any given machine to know whether that machine is authorized or not. Since the machine that is authorized would be the one you're looking at, I'm not sure what would be the point of putting a label to say "Den Mac authorized" on your Den Mac.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be combative or anything I'm just curious to understand exactly what you were envisioning before I comment further on it. I think I like the idea, but I may have some different thoughts on how to implement it.

mnb
Mar 29, 2007, 03:08 PM
iTunes is an app. This feature is for the iTunes Music Store.

ghall
Mar 29, 2007, 03:17 PM
Um, only half the albums I purchased singles from have shown up on iTunes.

iTunes is an app. This feature is for the iTunes Music Store.

The iTunes Store is a part of the iTunes app, is it not?

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 29, 2007, 03:30 PM
Can you elaborate on this?

i.e. Where would you like to label the authorizations? I'm trying to understand since you can see by looking at the iTunes client on any given machine to know whether that machine is authorized or not. Since the machine that is authorized would be the one you're looking at, I'm not sure what would be the point of putting a label to say "Den Mac authorized" on your Den Mac.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be combative or anything I'm just curious to understand exactly what you were envisioning before I comment further on it. I think I like the idea, but I may have some different thoughts on how to implement it.

I actually like the idea of remote deauthorization, but there are some variables one must consider that puts a few holes in this. In order to deauthorize, the computer must first be connected to the internet, but must also be connected through iTunes. If you are remotely deauthorizing computers the other 4 must all be connected to iTunes so that you can select which one to deauthorize and have it happen on the spot.

If you lose that computer, or it's stolen, the theif must be connected to the online store in order for you to remote deauthorize that system. If that computer never accesses the internet again, you cannot get that one available spot in your account back. If the computer is destroyed, this is also not Apple's responsibility, and you must suffer this loss.

failsafe1
Mar 29, 2007, 03:34 PM
Not very interesting to me. If I had wanted the full album then I would have done it at purchase. Perhaps a great concept album might tempt me but I can't imagine anything in my library that would compel me to go back for leftovers or b sides.

donlphi
Mar 29, 2007, 04:34 PM
Complete my Album is exactly what iTunes has been needing. ...Although the time limit is a little disappointing.

I agree, the time limit does suck, but I suppose if I'm going to get the whole album, it will be within the first 6 months or never.

LOOKING FOR REAL RUMORS HERE PEOPLE!!! MOVE ALONG!! :rolleyes:

dejo
Mar 29, 2007, 04:38 PM
...REAL RUMORS...
Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? ;)

donlphi
Mar 29, 2007, 04:40 PM
I actually like the idea of remote deauthorization, but there are some variables one must consider that puts a few holes in this. In order to deauthorize, the computer must first be connected to the internet, but must also be connected through iTunes. If you are remotely deauthorizing computers the other 4 must all be connected to iTunes so that you can select which one to deauthorize and have it happen on the spot.

If you lose that computer, or it's stolen, the theif must be connected to the online store in order for you to remote deauthorize that system. If that computer never accesses the internet again, you cannot get that one available spot in your account back. If the computer is destroyed, this is also not Apple's responsibility, and you must suffer this loss.

I would rather just be able to take the computer off the list at APPLE (as they are keeping track of your authorized computers, sort of like some software does when you have to move the registration FLASH, DREAMWEAVER, ETC.). I had a hard drive crash on my fiancees laptop, replaced the hard drive and boom... I lost an authorization. I had my computer at work authorized, and it was swapped out while I was on Vacation. All of my music was on the new computer, but I had to eat another autorization in order to listen to my music at work. That is two less computers I'll ever be able to hook up to again.

Does anybody know a work around? Can I call and fix the problem?

CoreWeb
Mar 29, 2007, 05:24 PM
Or play iTunes movies on his 60" HDTV :rolleyes:

I don't think he does, but I agree with you, if he really did, I'd shut up.

No, he probably uses a 2nd Gen AppleTV. Though, 1080p is not the problem, so much as 5.1 and (more importantly) lack of 720 on the iTunes store. Perhaps he also has access to 720p content...

Hey, before HD-DVD and Bluray, there wasn't any readily available hard media better than DVD.

aswitcher
Mar 29, 2007, 05:26 PM
Really nice to see.

I think they could make it smartr - looks through your library and also IDs alike songs incase you already have it from an EP or like.

Ha ze
Mar 29, 2007, 06:01 PM
what they need now is "Complete My Season" for TV Shows

bdj21ya
Mar 29, 2007, 06:13 PM
I would rather just be able to take the computer off the list at APPLE (as they are keeping track of your authorized computers, sort of like some software does when you have to move the registration FLASH, DREAMWEAVER, ETC.). I had a hard drive crash on my fiancees laptop, replaced the hard drive and boom... I lost an authorization. I had my computer at work authorized, and it was swapped out while I was on Vacation. All of my music was on the new computer, but I had to eat another autorization in order to listen to my music at work. That is two less computers I'll ever be able to hook up to again.

Does anybody know a work around? Can I call and fix the problem?

The only workaround I know of is to deauthorize all your computers in iTunes (just click on your account name in the upper right when you go to the store). You can do this once a year, which ought to be enough to cover the situations you're talking about.

donlphi
Mar 29, 2007, 06:47 PM
The only workaround I know of is to deauthorize all your computers in iTunes (just click on your account name in the upper right when you go to the store). You can do this once a year, which ought to be enough to cover the situations you're talking about.

Nope, it just says:

Computer Authorizations: 4 machines are authorized to play music purchased with this account.

(2 of those machines no longer exist)

There is no way to change it, that I can see, but I'm VERY impatient. :(

mjones1040
Mar 29, 2007, 07:08 PM
I've wanted this feature for a long time, but the time limit seems really silly. I am more inclined to complete an album with songs that I may or may not like if I can do it anytime I like. If I don't meet the time frame they suggests, then I will just buy the tracks I want for 99 cents each. (in most cases cheaper for me) The reason for not purchasing the full album in the first place is because it is loaded with songs that I don't want. I bet albums are going to get substantially bigger which will make the 99 cents per track price much less attractive to those who don't buy the full album in the beginning....assuming they like the songs...

localoid
Mar 29, 2007, 07:42 PM
Despite what some self-proclaimed audiophiles love to maintain, 128kbps AAC is fundamentally indiscernible from dithered 16-bit Linear PCM (CD Digital Audio, aka "Red Book").

I have seen all kinds of flawed so-called A/B comparisons but never any substantial discernible differences from a rigorous double-blind test....

Ever consider the fact that different people hear differently? Just because you can't hear the difference doesn't mean someone who's either developed, or was born with, "better" hearing cannot.

It's not just a matter of a person's hearing range, such as a 20-20k, etc. Some people cannot hear "binaural beats" or "beats ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_(acoustics)) produced from playing two slightly out of tune pitches. Many people can however... :p

Doctor Q
Mar 29, 2007, 07:43 PM
The reason for not purchasing the full album in the first place is because it is loaded with songs that I don't want.For me, it's just as likely to be because it is loaded with songs I don't know. Rather than buy nothing because I can't decide between a couple of songs and the whole album, I can proceed to buy the songs that I already like, "risk-free". I won't regret my purchase even if I later decide the rest of the songs are worth it.

But I agree the time limit is an impediment.

bdj21ya
Mar 29, 2007, 08:08 PM
Nope, it just says:

Computer Authorizations: 4 machines are authorized to play music purchased with this account.

(2 of those machines no longer exist)

There is no way to change it, that I can see, but I'm VERY impatient. :(

I see the same thing you do. However, I know I've done it before, so maybe it is just gone because it hasn't been a year yet. I'm not certain. According to this article, that is where it should be!

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93014

Cult Follower
Mar 29, 2007, 09:34 PM
It's been a long time coming, but finally I can complete my albums, yah!

johnee
Mar 29, 2007, 09:53 PM
I would rather just be able to take the computer off the list at APPLE (as they are keeping track of your authorized computers, sort of like some software does when you have to move the registration FLASH, DREAMWEAVER, ETC.). I had a hard drive crash on my fiancees laptop, replaced the hard drive and boom... I lost an authorization. I had my computer at work authorized, and it was swapped out while I was on Vacation. All of my music was on the new computer, but I had to eat another autorization in order to listen to my music at work. That is two less computers I'll ever be able to hook up to again.

Does anybody know a work around? Can I call and fix the problem?

I'm wondering if you might have to make a new account and re-authorize?
that would suck. call apple and say "HEY! <fill in more words here>"

JGowan
Mar 29, 2007, 10:14 PM
This is a neat feature, but I don't understand why people are upset that it wasn't offered before.

I mean, say you bought a 45 or a cassette or CD single back in the day . . . how many stores would then give you a discount or let you trade it in towards the full album or cassette? Not one.The Beatles used to leave their Singles off their albums so their fans wouldn't have to pay for the same song twice (the album always came after the singles)... those Singles eventually became The Past Masters 1 and 2.

aafuss1
Mar 29, 2007, 11:38 PM
I find Complete My Album extremely handy,even though there's a time limit-for example I saved $1 on a A$6.99 EP by using Complete My Album.

ElderscrollsV
Mar 30, 2007, 12:21 AM
i completed an album in which i purchased six singles. it only seemed right i complete the last five. let's see what else i can complete!

Because of people like this....apple are millionaires

nanaky1982
Mar 30, 2007, 04:57 AM
You expect iTune prices to change with the current exchange rates?? Dude, are you aware that theres such things as exchange rates and they change over time? The reason the tunes are cheaper in the US is because their economy isnt doing so well and they have a weak dollar, so when it comes to exchange rates you get a lot of dollars for your pound. If the dollar was doing well against the pound then you would see that the prices would be closer together.

Plus in Europe taxes are included... in the US are not...

people just like to complain too much...

I cannot believe this post has negatives... what the h*ll?

nanaky1982
Mar 30, 2007, 05:07 AM
Nope, it just says:

Computer Authorizations: 4 machines are authorized to play music purchased with this account.

(2 of those machines no longer exist)

There is no way to change it, that I can see, but I'm VERY impatient. :(

I am not sure how it works, but I know that after a certain period of time (i think 12 months) the authorized computers that havent gotten online during that time, get automatically deauthorize... call Apple... I know there is a walkaround...

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 09:12 AM
I actually like the idea of remote deauthorization, but there are some variables one must consider that puts a few holes in this. In order to deauthorize, the computer must first be connected to the internet, but must also be connected through iTunes. If you are remotely deauthorizing computers the other 4 must all be connected to iTunes so that you can select which one to deauthorize and have it happen on the spot.

If you lose that computer, or it's stolen, the theif must be connected to the online store in order for you to remote deauthorize that system. If that computer never accesses the internet again, you cannot get that one available spot in your account back. If the computer is destroyed, this is also not Apple's responsibility, and you must suffer this loss.

I'm not sure I agree with the last part. If this happens, you contact Apple and they reset your account and wipe out the authorizations (as they can do now). Then you reauthorize the machines you do have. I had this done when Apple exchanged a laptop I had and I forgot to deauthorize it.

The other thing I'd do is change your password so if the thief ever DOES connect to the net again, not only is the machine not authorized but he can't make purchases on your account without knowing your new password. Changing all passwords though is just standard security procedure for such a thing.

The problem I have with remote authorization/deauthorization though is not the possibility of losing a machine. The real problem is the security holes it opens up. Remote authorizations could be exploited for other purposes. Also, the idea of being able to change the authorization key for iTunes remotely indirectly thwarts the theoretical purpose of DRM, actual usefulness notwithstanding. In this case, the real solution might as well be to seek the abolishment of DRM entirely.

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 09:19 AM
<deleted post>

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 30, 2007, 09:22 AM
Yeah, remote deauthorization strikes me as a rather risky way to manage your computer accounts. It would certainly suck to suddenly have all of your iTunes-derived media suddenly be cripped because you were spoofed and your password was changed on you.

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 09:57 AM
I'm not a 'self-proclaimed' audiophile I'm a musician and a producer and readily agree that 128K AAC is a clean bright and polished sound, equivelant in my opinion to 256K MP3. I will admit it's very difficult if not nearly impossible to discern artifaction but when you listen to a 128K AAC and then the exact same file at Apple Lossless ( or even 256K AAC) you will notice a difference in presence. All of the tangible differences are incredibly subtle but you tend to notice it in reverb, depth of soundstage and the 'tonal' quality of the treble and just the general cohesiveness of the mix...

I appreciate the feedback but anecdotal evidence (regardless of who its from) is next to worthless when speaking of differences that should be objectively discernable not just by anyone but by any system designed to quantify such discrepancies.

I too am a musician and a producer. I too use sophisticated equipment. I too master recordings at 24-bit depth. I too hear things other people do not hear (the 60Hz hum in a cathode ray tube while barely discernible to most is glaringly present to the point of annoying me whenever I walk into a room where someone's left a display on with the sound off).

And yet I will bet that you will not be able to correctly identify the 128kbps AAC track in a double-blind test more than 75% of the time. Say whatever else you want, but if you cannot readily identify it more than 75% of the time, then the consistency of your perception, not the fidelity of AAC, needs to be called into question.

A double-blind test requires that neither you nor the person administering the test know which samples are AAC and which samples are PCM. The samples must be repeated enough times to ensure statistical relevancy, and must also be weighed against the results of your selections in a 2nd trial where you are told what the formats are, and repeated again in a trial where you are given false information (i.e. told it's AAC when it's really PCM and vice-versa).

I will also bet that you will frequently erroneously identify the PCM files as having poorer fidelity when you are told falsely they are AAC files.

I listen to my music through either a very expensive set of studio monitors which are designed to make music sound BAD ( or at the very least reveal flaws and imperfections that consumer friendly speakers do not) or a pair of expensive studio headphones.

There are many expensive systems that are mediocre. Price is not always an indicator of great fidelity.

To wit... $3500 Wadia CD players are just repackaged Pioneer transports with Burr-Brown DACs. Granted, the Burr-Brown DAC can make a significant difference but I find it funny that there's a bunch of people out there buying $3500 CD players who would probably thumb their noses at Pioneers.

I will 100% admit you can't hear the difference on iMac speakers, cheap stereo or even ipod headphones but I assure you despite what the scientific graphs and boffins declare the sound is not as pure.

Your assurances mean nothing if your perception is flawed.

I still don't see any evidence of you understanding the fundamental principles of digital audio encoding. Whenever I hear the "AAC is crap" arguments I never, ever, hear from the opponents a dissection of the encoding schema for AAC that might actually result in substantially higher (read: measurable) degrees of interpolation error, quantization noise, aliased/foldover frequencies, elevation of the noise floor, frequency response roll-off, etc.

What it seems to amount to is this bogus perception that the same sound cannot be constructed from fewer data without understanding how such a thing is mathematically possible. As a simple example, consider the difference between Linear PCM and Adaptive Delta PCM (ADPCM). ADPCM is a lossless coding schema. It achieves the same result as PCM but with fewer bits. How? ADPCM only records the difference in amplitude, rather than the absolute value, from one quantization interval to the next. This results in a substantial decrease in the potential bits of data required to reconstruct the exact same analog waveform.

AAC goes several steps further by factoring human perception into account. Like AC-3, there are parameters in AAC that achieve efficiency at tremendously low bitrates because there's a lot of information typically encoded in a PCM stream that will never affect how you perceive the intended analog fundamental.

Show me, for example, how an AAC algorithm fails to reproduce the same amplitude value at a given quantization interval and WHY and then we might actually enter into a discussion of the logarithmic scale and whether or not the difference in amplitude value is large enough to be discernible by the human ear. It very well may be, but all the anecdotes in the world don't begin to take us into a real academic discussion of digital reproduction systems.

Have you read Pohlmann, by any chance?

Regardless of any of that - the bottom line is if the customer thinks there is too much lost they will buy a CD - and that's bad news for Apple!. That's where I am now and it annoys me becuase I would love to buy a ton of stuff from iTunes - I love it and I like it's distribution model but the long term compromise is too great. DRM doesn't bother me one bit!

I think Apple need to tackle this problem in a different way ;

ie You download Lossless or 256AAC but you can if you want SELECT by preference the a bit rate of the tracks that get put onto your ipod. This will allow them to retain the '1000 songs in your pocket' concept but allows the customer to hold a pristine archive copy on their mac/iTunes.

Actually I would even pay a 10% premium for lossless if it helps Apple cover bandwidth bills!, so that people who are happy with 128K AAC can still d/l at standard rate and that I would download at lossless and pay another £0.79 per album say...

Again, given that I will contest the notion that 128kbps AAC is fundamentally discernible from 16-bit PCM, my personal answer to all this has been to use 128kbps AAC for all my casual listening. For critical listening, I don't even use Apple Lossless or 16-bit PCM. I use 24-bit linear PCM which produces substantial gains even the average listener will usually notice. There again is a tremendous difference between the dynamic range of 16-bit and 24-bit PCM . Frequency response should never be a problem as long as the proper considerations of A-weighted sound are taken into account. That is to say that any digital encoding schema designed properly would low-pass filter any frequencies above the Nyquist limit so as to eliminate alias/foldover. This ensures that the frequency response of the reconstructed analog wave is identical to the original.

Things like "tonality" and "presence" are also largely a function of the dynamic range of an encoding schema. Certain types of music that push the boundaries of 16-bit's dynamic range are much better suited at 24-bit which is why I'm a huge proponent of media that support 24-bit. The problem in the hardware world is that manufacturers like Sony create proprietary encoding like DSD (1-bit, 2.7MHz) for proprietary media (SACD) and then refuse to make their players compatible with other optical media (24-bit DVD Audio). This isn't as big a problem in the computer world and even iTunes supports 24-bit PCM.

So if you're going to complain about AAC over "tonality" and "presence" then throw away all your CD's because they're essentially just as worthless.

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 11:21 AM
Just to show that some people hear the difference:

This was a ABX test done with 196AAC and Lossless. More people in this thread got it right but here is one:

Linky. (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2714780&postcount=142) 14/16 0.2% chance of guessing.

Here you have your evidence. ;)

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 11:34 AM
Just to show that some people hear the difference:

This was a ABX test done with 196AAC and Lossless. More people in this thread got it right but here is one:

Linky. (http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2714780&postcount=142) 14/16 0.2% chance of guessing.

Here you have your evidence. ;)

What evidence? That post tells me nothing about the conditions of the test, whether there were placebos involved and what the results with the placebos were. In this case a placebo would be a file type labeled, e.g., AAC when it's really PCM and vice-versa. Also, order randomization, etc.

If the results differ by more than 5 percent when the correct filetype is labeled, and/or when the opposite file type is labeled, then you can throw out the results.

I'm also curious if the lossless file was first or last, whether the same song was used repeatedly or if each step in the trial used different songs, and if the order of formats stayed the same or ws randomly shuffled around. Do you know why?

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 11:38 AM
What evidence? That post tells me nothing about the conditions of the test, whether there were placebos involved and what the results with the placebos were. In this case a placebo would be a file type labeled, e.g., AAC when it's really PCM and vice-versa.

Too lazy to explain everything. Read the entire thread. Foobar was used to do the ABX testing, so you can't see which is which. You just match A B X and Y, where A and B stay the same and X and Y are random. 16 matches with the same song.

Edit: You can't see which is which and you're not supposed to say which is AAC and which Lossless but rather to hear a difference between the songs and consistently match them correctly. If you don't know what ABX tests are look it up on Wikipedia.

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 12:02 PM
Too lazy to explain everything. Read the entire thread. Foobar was used to do the ABX testing, so you can't see which is which. You just match A B X and Y, where A and B stay the same and X and Y are random. 16 matches with the same song.

Edit: You can't see which is which and you're not supposed to say which is AAC and which Lossless but rather to hear a difference between the songs and consistently match them correctly. If you don't know what ABX tests are look it up on Wikipedia.

And I'm too busy to read a 20+ page thread. I know what ABX testing supposedly is... but I don't know that I trust its methodology given what you've explained.

The problem with the test should be obvious... it's a leading test like multiple choice rather than fill in the blank.

So you hear reference sample A. Then you hear reference sample B.

Then you identify Sample X as either identical to Sample A or B. Does this prove that you can tell which one is AAC and which one is lossless? Absolutely not. In no case has the individual actually knowingly discerned the sample of greatest fidelity. But you can see how the results can be misinterpreted to suggest that.

The real test should be broken into three parts.

The first round would be unlabeled samples played in random order.

The second round would be labeled samples played in random order, but some of the samples are labeled correctly and some of the samples are labeled incorrectly. In this round the objective is to see what the label does to the individual's perception.

In both of the first two rounds, the same song would be repeated for compressed and uncompressed samples and then the round would have to be repeated several times with a different song each time.

So you have something like this (each letter = different song; lowercase = compressed; uppercase = uncompressed):

1. A a
2. b B
3. c C
4. D d
5. E e
6. f F

In the third round, a series of different songs are played only once and you are not given both compressed and uncompressed samples, none of which are labeled, something like this:

1. a
2. B
3. C
4. d
5. E
6. f

In each trial in each of the three phases you would have to identify not which sample sounds like which other sample, but correctly identify which sample is compressed and which sample isn't.

That is an example of a better randomized, double-blind test (double-blind because a computer can distribute the randomization indiscriminately whereas a researcher might provide unintentional cues if they knew which file was which).

If there is statistically significant error in the mean ability to guess correctly in round one, then the claim against perceptual transparency is suspect.

If the mislabeling creates a statistically relevant shift in the mean ability to identify compression accurately, then the claim against perceptual transparency is suspect.

If the ability in round one or round two is not replicated in round three without a difference margin of statistical significance then the claim against perceptual transparency is suspect.

EDIT: One more requirement in a randomized, double-blind test. The individuals for the trial must be selected by a random process and the sample population should be large enough to produce statistically significant results. Posting the test link on a message board of audio enthusiasts is going to invite anything but a random sample population and the results cannot therefore be extrapolated to be indicative of the general public in any meaningful way.

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 12:26 PM
It doesn't matter whether you can identify Lossless or AAC. It matters whether you can tell a difference between the two. Because this is what people claim, that there is no difference.

cbud
Mar 30, 2007, 12:45 PM
Nope, it just says:

Computer Authorizations: 4 machines are authorized to play music purchased with this account.

(2 of those machines no longer exist)

There is no way to change it, that I can see, but I'm VERY impatient. :(

You have to have 5 authorized before you can deauthorize all. Apple sees it as, "If you have one left, why do you need to deauthorize."

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 12:52 PM
It doesn't matter whether you can identify Lossless or AAC. It matters whether you can tell a difference between the two. Because this is what people claim, that there is no difference.

It matters absolutely. The counterclaim is that there is a difference and that the difference is specifically that Lossless is perceptibly superior to AAC.

If that claim is to be substantiated, then one can demonstrate the veracity of the claim by showing that people do not fail to consistently identify which file is which.

If their guesses as to which file is which keep changing from one song to the next, from one order to the next, the files being things they have to listen to, then the claim of any consistently audible difference is tenuous at best.

The determination of this is dependent upon the consistency not just from song to song, but the consistency of the results between phase one, two and three of my stated examples.

The three phases are included to rule out any chance of potential biasing by any one of the three methods AND to determine the degree to which the perception is actually consistent.

By not being able to consistently identify which file is which, this means some of the time they hear the opposite of what you are claiming and therefore A is not consistently perceived as better than B.

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 01:00 PM
It matters absolutely. The counterclaim is that there is a difference and that the difference is specifically that Lossless is perceptibly superior to AAC.

If that claim is to be substantiated, then one can demonstrate the veracity of the claim by showing that people do not fail to consistently identify which file is which.

If their guesses as to which file is which keep changing from one song to the next, from one order to the next, the files being things they have to listen to, then the claim of any consistently audible difference is tenuous at best.

The determination of this is dependent upon the consistency not just from song to song, but the consistency of the results between phase one, two and three of my stated examples.

The three phases are included to rule out any chance of potential biasing by any one of the three methods AND to determine the degree to which the perception is actually consistent.

By not being able to consistently identify which file is which, this means some of the time they hear the opposite of what you are claiming and therefore A is not consistently perceived as better than B.

If you can hear the difference you can obviously tell which is lossy and which isn't so again, it doesn't matter.

Again, abx tests are the common tests to do double-blind tests. If you are not familiar with that read up:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codec_listening_test
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABX_test
http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing.htm

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 01:03 PM
EDIT: One more requirement in a randomized, double-blind test. The individuals for the trial must be selected by a random process and the sample population should be large enough to produce statistically significant results. Posting the test link on a message board of audio enthusiasts is going to invite anything but a random sample population and the results cannot therefore be extrapolated to be indicative of the general public in any meaningful way.

This is the most ridiculous statement ever. Who the hell cares if other people cannot hear the difference. I don't listen to my music for other people so if I can hear the difference I won't use lossy.

That's the same as saying, many people don't have a HDTV, so why offer high def television?

Avatar74
Mar 30, 2007, 01:25 PM
If you can hear the difference you can obviously tell which is lossy and which isn't so again, it doesn't matter.

No. Cataloguing a difference doesn't actually identify whether or not the subject can tell WHAT difference there is. Also, if they cannot catalogue the difference to the same degree of effectiveness when NOT given A B reference samples but entirely random samples only once then that calls into question the very ability to objectively discern a difference.

If the difference is more noticeable when subjectively discerned from two copies of the same song in two different formats, but not objectively discernable, then the problem with the claim is that the difference is not consistently perceivable under different conditions. It is the requirement of a scientific randomized double-blind test that it must be able to rule out such bias. In this regard, ABX testing fails to meet the scientific standard.

In other words, if the claim is that lossless is perceptibly better than AAC, then the test should be designed to have the subject identify which is which.

Failing to do so consistently means that the claimed perceivable difference between the files is not consistently perceptible!

Again, abx tests are the common tests to do double-blind tests. If you are not familiar with that read up

Common? Perhaps. Meaningful? No. They fail the scientific standard for double-blind tests because the sample populations are not actively selected at random. The sample populations on online ABX tests are passively determined by whatever demographic group takes interest in such things. Not scientific at all.

If you're not familiar with scientific process or statistical significance, then take a few science and statistics courses. Also, read Ken Pohlmann's Principles of Digital Audio while you're at it.

Diatribe
Mar 30, 2007, 01:28 PM
No. Cataloguing a difference doesn't actually identify whether or not the subject can tell WHAT difference there is. Also, if they cannot catalogue the difference to the same degree of effectiveness when NOT given A B reference samples but entirely random samples only once then that calls into question the very ability to objectively discern a difference.

If the difference is more noticeable when subjectively discerned from two copies of the same song in two different formats, but not objectively discernible, then the problem with the claim is that the difference is not consistently perceivable or bordering so closely to the threshold of perception as to render the degree of difference statistically insignificant. It is the requirement of a scientific randomized double-blind test that it must be able to rule out such bias if we are to conclude that the codec is consistently perceived as having greater fidelity. In this regard, ABX testing fails to meet the scientific standard.

So, I'll summarize... if the claim is that lossless is perceptibly better than AAC, then the subject should be able to consistently identify which is which.

Failing to do so consistently means that the claimed perceivable difference between the files is not consistently perceptible!

Just as importantly, you have failed to provide any dissection of encoding fundamentals that would reveal that, perception aside, there actually IS a difference between the reconstruction of an analog waveform from 128kbps AAC versus Lossless (AAC VBR) or even 16-bit LPCM.

Seriously, it is getting tiring explaining this. If you don't want to understand the concept of the test or the original claim that you reiterated in this post, that there is no difference between the two, then I give up. I have shown you that some people can hear a difference between the two.

So to conclude this, keep on thinking whatever you want and I'll have my peace. Thanks.

iMikeT
Mar 30, 2007, 03:25 PM
Does anyone know if this works with TV shows as well?

surferfromuk
Mar 30, 2007, 04:28 PM
To reassure most people a more startling difference exists, for example, between the song 'Dreams' by Fleetwood Mac as it appears on the the original 'Rumours' CD than the copy of it that appears on Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits. The first is sweet, mellow, warm and lovely, the latter sounds like a treble mess in comparison. The differences between AAC and Apple Lossless are genuinely inconsequential in comparison to this type of problem. I would choose to listen to a 128K AAC cut from the former before I'd listen to an Apple Lossless cut from the latter disc.

Furthermore, I think audiophiles are a whole difference species of music listener who will quite happily spend the night arguing the difference between different widths of speaker cable, so this falls into the same realm as far as I'm concerened. Audiophiles hear all kinds of differences which generally is put down to tone and presence. Let's be clear the differences are exactly that and not as I did declare in my original post artifacts. Really the difference between 128K AAC and Apple Lossless would be less than the difference between the cheap cable you have on your hi-fi and a set of gold monster cables that cost more than the stereo...all of these factors change the sound. In the end the sound you like is the right sound!.

In the end the choice is a personal one and it always will be. I will gladly concede that the difference is truly imperceptible in my car or my ipod earphones :)