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MacRumors
Dec 18, 2003, 11:28 AM
Reuters notes (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=581&e=3&u=/nm/20031218/tc_nm/retail_walmart_music_dc) that Wal-Mart had begun testing its new music download service on Thursday.

According to Reuters, Walmark will be gathering customer feedback over the next few months and make changes before the official launch in 2004.

The new service (http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/MainServlet) boasts "88cents, Every Song, Every Day" and offers music downloads in Windows Media format.

Early reports (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/11/20031105202124.shtml) had noted that Walmart sells CDs at a loss to attract customers. Its unclear if their online music store follows this model but at 88cents for every song, it appears to represent the (consistently) least expensive music download store.

Pablo
Dec 18, 2003, 11:31 AM
WMA.

No thanks.

sickracer2015
Dec 18, 2003, 11:33 AM
it may be a cheap 88 cents.. but its walmart not a nice interface as itunes.. plus after reading the info.. you can transfer to only 2 computer (3 with itms) and only limited to 10 burns (unlimited with itms) this is still very limiting

macMaestro
Dec 18, 2003, 11:34 AM
If Apple is losing money at 99 cents, Walmart must be taking an insane hit with this 88 cent service. How on earth does Walmart expect this to be a good thing? Apple's could be in big trouble though...

jcshas
Dec 18, 2003, 11:35 AM
we're happy for them...ITMS rules.

mailhojo
Dec 18, 2003, 11:37 AM
Well, I know I don't have a PC. But I down loaded their trial song. It down loaded fast and opened WMP9 just fine and played. It is recorded at 128. Don't know how that compares to AAC at 128. The only problem I saw was that when it downloaded it to my computer desktop it doesn't have a name that I would even understand. Just a bunch of numbers. I definately don't want that. It will get too confusing and I don't want to relabel it.

jeremy.king
Dec 18, 2003, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by macMaestro
If Apple is losing money at 99 cents, Walmart must be taking an insane hit with this 88 cent service. How on earth does Walmart expect this to be a good thing? Apple's could be in big trouble though...

Not really. Even if the "break even" point was $1, Walmart stand to lose very little compared to their daily sales. Black Friday, they did something like $1.3 BILLION in sales. Thats one day.

Even if they sold 100,000,000 songs in a year at a $.12 loss each, its only $12 million or less than 1% of a single days total sales.

dynamicd
Dec 18, 2003, 11:41 AM
So assuming they sell 100 million songs and make 12 million profit, then why even bother going through the trouble of setting a music service up when they probably won't even hit 100 million songs per year?

the_mole1314
Dec 18, 2003, 11:47 AM
This is not good guys.....

mrsebastian
Dec 18, 2003, 11:47 AM
walmart is all about making small profits on each product they sell, but they sell mass quantities to make money. as for selling music online, i assume they have some sort of marketing plan set up so people purchase other items as well. it's like them selling cds in the store for a loss.

jeremy.king
Dec 18, 2003, 11:51 AM
My logic was reversed. I said they lose $12 million (granted, those numbers are made up by me as I have no idea what the profit margin/loss is per song).

They do it because they want name recognition in the digital music realm. Sort of like when Amazon.com first came out, they were operating at a loss and then BAM, profits!

Seems everyone and their brother is jumping on the music d/l bandwagon and I hate to say it, but if Apple doesn't support other players, they are going to fall to the wayside.

Aside, thought this was funny when I tried to sample any song.

http://www.jeremyron.com/images/test.jpg

:D :rolleyes: Stupid Windows.

Stella
Dec 18, 2003, 11:56 AM
Works on a Mac fine - including preview and playing.

However the interface is sucks.

Steamboatwillie
Dec 18, 2003, 11:57 AM
I think it's funny that they sell the tracks for $0.88, Like $0.11 a track makes that much of a difference? The only thing that, in my humble opinion, could be better than ITMS would be OGG-Vorbis tracks at $0.25, unlimited burns AND OGG support for the iPod... Like that's gonna happen. I don't get why all these companies are jumping on the music store bandwagon when the industry leader, Apple, openly admits it is not profitable? Bizarre.

AmigoMac
Dec 18, 2003, 12:00 PM
My grandma-mart is keen to open her own music store... I hope she will deliver AAC instead... ;)

MongoTheGeek
Dec 18, 2003, 12:03 PM
Walmart is infamous for screwing suppliers. If you want to sell to them bring the KY.

They might be doing it as a loss leader. Remember collectively the Waltons are richer than Gates! and can afford to loose money for a while

They could also be getting ready to gouge the music companies. If they have the same deal as Apple, then they loose money for a while and say, hey how about a discount.

jasonbw
Dec 18, 2003, 12:06 PM
before people get too worried, just remember how infamous wal-mart is due to their music censoring policies.

TMay
Dec 18, 2003, 12:07 PM
Pave it and people will come. But not everybody, thank you very much.

Apple needs to keep focused on quality. If Walmart kills everbody else off, Apple still stands for quality, and I for one, and many others, prefer it that way.

BTW. My small berg of Carson City is soon to be the recipient of a second Super Walmart. It gets worse. It's across the parkway (and soon to be completed freeway), less than a quarter of a mile from the location of my tranquil business.

...pave paradise, put up a parking lot...

(my apologies to Joni)

ceriess
Dec 18, 2003, 12:11 PM
Don't under rate style and ease of use. Apple has momentum right now, and if they can keep on synergising their sales efforts with the iPod, they should be able to maintain their dominant stance for the forseeable future. I'd be more worried about Sony than anyone else.

ces1965
Dec 18, 2003, 12:19 PM
Most full albums are 9.44. Wow, a whopping 50 cents less. Also, look at this from their questions:


How many days do I have to play a song for the first time after I purchase it?

You must play a song within 120 days of purchase. After 120 days, the license file that is required to play the song will no longer be available After you play the song for the first time, you will be able to play it any time thereafter.

You don't always listent to a full album right away, so this is kinda stupid.

TomSmithMacEd
Dec 18, 2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by MongoTheGeek
Walmart is infamous for screwing suppliers. If you want to sell to them bring the KY.

They might be doing it as a loss leader. Remember collectively the Waltons are richer than Gates! and can afford to loose money for a while

They could also be getting ready to gouge the music companies. If they have the same deal as Apple, then they loose money for a while and say, hey how about a discount.

What does Walmart really have to gain about this? I don't understand. Even if they did make a little money on this. There isn't anything in it for them. Errr... I hate wal mart.

McToast
Dec 18, 2003, 12:22 PM
It's Wal-Mart, it's WMA, it's got horrible DRM and Wal-Mart only sells sanitized versions of songs and albums. Who the hell could possibly want this?:rolleyes:

winmacguy
Dec 18, 2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by dynamicd
So assuming they sell 100 million songs and make 12 million profit, then why even bother going through the trouble of setting a music service up when they probably won't even hit 100 million songs per year?

Something interesting to note, they dont appear to have put a country speciffic limit on it at this stage for countries outside the US who may not be able to download music yet. It is just the beta version..
Other than that I cant really see any wrong with it at this stage. The lay out is simple and easy to follow.
It doesnt appear to cater for Mac users.
The 88c is an interesting price point
It appears basic and funcional which I would imagine is what Wal Mart is all about so they are consistent with their image.
Navigation is simple and straight forward, it also has step by step instructions with screen shots on how to do down load and play music which can actually be an important factor for the many non tech savy fans out there who have a limited PC knowledge.
I havent really fully browsed the full range at this stage so I wont comment but will say that the process looked like it was easy to do.

My initial thoughts would be that this will be some well backed compteton for iTMS- good price point and simple design

Let the music battle commence!

kwtneo
Dec 18, 2003, 12:23 PM
here's what it says:
Music Downloads from Walmart.com are 128-bit WMA files. The WMA format allows record companies to protect their music by using Digital Rights Management (DRM) encryption. This means that music downloads are legal, safe, and easy to use. The 128-bit WMA files also offer superior sound quality.

Superior sound quality ???!!!

Can I play music from Walmart.com Music Downloads on my Macintosh® computer?
No. Music Downloads from Walmart.com are not compatible with any Macintosh computer. The music that you download requires Digital Rights Management 9 (DRM 9) software, which is not compatible with the Macintosh operating system.

THIS SUCKS!

bwintx
Dec 18, 2003, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by kingjr3
Even if the "break even" point was $1, Walmart stand to lose very little compared to their daily sales. Black Friday, they did something like $1.3 BILLION in sales. Thats one day.

Even if they sold 100,000,000 songs in a year at a $.12 loss each, its only $12 million or less than 1% of a single days total sales.

Quite true. As Lamar Hunt's father observed in the early 1960s about his losing a million dollars a year on his American Football League team (which eventually became the Kansas City Chiefs): "At that rate, Lamar would go broke in about 150 years."

SiliconAddict
Dec 18, 2003, 12:28 PM
However, as noted, the Digital Rights allowed limit burning a song to 10 burns. (iTunes and most other services allow unlimited individual song burns, but limited playlist burns).

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are the weakest link.....Goodbye!

I can't wait to see the reaction from some of its users when they hit the 10 limit mark. Walmart's store may fly for about 6 months to a year until people realize this and get pissed off in a big way.

Dahl
Dec 18, 2003, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by the_mole1314
This is not good guys.....
It's very bad.
I'm not only talking about Walmarts music service here, but their overall company.
Walmart is killing America! Worst of all, most people don't even see it.

Macco
Dec 18, 2003, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Macrumors

Early reports (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/11/20031105202124.shtml) had noted that Walmart sells CDs at a loss to attract customers. Its unclear if their online music store follows this model but at 88cents for every song, it appears to represent the (consistently) least expensive music download store.

But how can it be a loss leader if there's nothing to lead in to? It makes sense in a physical store: walk in planning to buy a few bargain CD's, walk out with $100 worth of clothing and lawn furniture. But online? How would they earn a profit?

SiliconAddict
Dec 18, 2003, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by kwtneo

Can I play music from Walmart.com Music Downloads on my Macintosh® computer?
No. Music Downloads from Walmart.com are not compatible with any Macintosh computer. The music that you download requires Digital Rights Management 9 (DRM 9) software, which is not compatible with the Macintosh operating system.

THIS SUCKS!

And unfortunately no one cares since Macs account for a very small % of the market. Walmart and the like are aiming at that 95%+ user base. 2-5% isn't going to make or break a music store.

Atchie
Dec 18, 2003, 12:36 PM
No macs allowed, eh?

Well this screen shot looks awfully familiar...

http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/TourServlet?pageIndex=0 ("The benefits of music downloads")

jettredmont
Dec 18, 2003, 12:40 PM
I strongly suspect that Walmart has a "better" (cheaper per song) contract with the labels than Apple or the rest. Why? Because their rights are significantly more restrictive. More rights are more expensive.

Thus, it is entirely possible that WalMart is actually making money at 88 cents per song.

Personally, I wouldn't pay 88c for a song I can only burn 10 times. Can I use that song in Premiere like I can use iTMS songs in FCP/iDVD/etc? If so, would that count against my ten max "burns"?

IMHO, this is exactly Walmart's way: undercut rivals by reducing intangibles (rights or warranty service or sales staff). In a price-driven world, Walmart has a proven track record. The question is: is music a price-driven enterprise? AND, are the "intangibles" Walmart is cutting out, really unimportant to enough consumers to make sense?

jettredmont
Dec 18, 2003, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by Atchie
No macs allowed, eh?

Well this screen shot looks awfully familiar...

http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/TourServlet?pageIndex=0 ("The benefits of music downloads")

Heh ... yeah, kinda funny that they mandate Windows-only yet use a screen shot from a non-Windows computer ...

On the other hand, the "Windows Only" mandate may be a temporary and/or late-breaking restriction ...

jettredmont
Dec 18, 2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by sickracer2015
it may be a cheap 88 cents.. but its walmart not a nice interface as itunes.. plus after reading the info.. you can transfer to only 2 computer (3 with itms) and only limited to 10 burns (unlimited with itms) this is still very limiting

Actually, they say you can download to one and backup to two computers (presumably able to play music on those two computers, but can you burn from them too?)

That's three computers overall.

Questions still remain for all WMA-based music stores:

* What happens if I buy a new computer? Can I move my music over to the new computer, or does this count as one of my "backups"?

* What happens when Windows (inevitably) needs to be reinstalled? Can I restore my songs from backup and keep using them, or is this again yet another of my three computers?

* Can I do anything with this music besides put it on a Dell Music Jukebox and burn it to CD? Can I use it as background music for the DVD I'm foolishly hacking together on my PC instead of on my Mac?

I've looked for answers to these questions in the BuyMusic, MusicMatch, Napster, and now Walmart FAQs. They provide no answers. Thus, one can only presume that the answers they would have to give are bad: You buy a new computer, or reinstall Windows, and you lose your music; you can't use your music in other applications.

The thing is, most users won't notice these types of restrictions until it's way too late.

copperpipe
Dec 18, 2003, 12:59 PM
Buymusic.com, and all of the cheap PC imitators, that's who. Apple stands for quality, and quality is what you get. If you're a cheapskate and want an inferior Mp3 player and an inferior download service, then you save yourself the minor amount of cash and get what you pay for (or less). I doubt that this will affect Apple's sales one way or the other. The cheapskates were gonna get the cheap player and download from another service anyway.

DGFan
Dec 18, 2003, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by Dahl
It's very bad.
I'm not only talking about Walmarts music service here, but their overall company.
Walmart is killing America! Worst of all, most people don't even see it.

Are you kidding? I mean, where else are old people going to work?

Sir_Giggles
Dec 18, 2003, 01:00 PM
Yes the Wal-Mart interface looks like dog****, the DRM/WMA restrictions are focking anal, but Wal-Mart presents a very serious threat to iTMS as well as every other online music store.

First off, their lower price already is low enough that people will put up with a ****tier interface. face it, wal-mart customers are ones willing to drive miles to save a few bucks. You wouldn't believe how many tight wads there are in the world. believe me, I worked at a low-discount retail store in my youth.

Second, people are not going to run up against the 10 CD burning limit, since CD's are slowly being replaced as a storage medium by HD's and as a playback format by low cost MP3/WMA players. And even if they did run up against the limit, its only time they'd figure out how to circumvent the restriction.

I hate WMA too but its available to 100% of the market, yes I'm including Mac people in the mix.

Time and time again, people flock to lower prices first, then gauge the impact of intangibles like DRM restrictions, quality of the music, etc. By then its too late for Apple.

machinehien
Dec 18, 2003, 01:03 PM
below are two recent articles about how Walmart became the largest corporation on Earth.

Mainly they are able to demand a slim profit from each supplier. Usually it is suppliers eating the loss in order to do business with Walmart since they are the largest retailer on the planet.

I think even with their 88¢ tracks Walmart can demand a penny or two from the record companies per track by leveraging the inventory they already carry, i.e., "If you want us to carry your CD's all over the country, give us a good deal on the online pie"

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-walmart23nov23a,1,7637894.story

Gymnut
Dec 18, 2003, 01:08 PM
I wonder if they'll do something lame and only carry the "clean" versions of tracks/albums.

machinehien
Dec 18, 2003, 01:10 PM
Them rolling back prices year after year is destroying our economy. If you follow their prices over the years, pretty much every single commodity has gone down in price.

If you do business with Walmart you have to aggree to lower prices year after year in order to fulfill their mission statement of "Rolling Back Prices". In the beginning this had some benificial effects since it forced manufacturers to eliminate waste and streamline their business model. But after a few years of streamlining the only way most suppliers could reduce cost and do business with Walmart is to offshore their entire manufacturing structure to cheaper countries.

Almost all of the items sold in Walmart is made in some sweatshop somewhere with an American label on it. Although this was probably inevitable, Walmart at the very least accelerated the whole process by decades when they put the squeeze on the economy like that.

svenr
Dec 18, 2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by sickracer2015
you can transfer to only 2 computer (3 with itms) and only limited to 10 burns (unlimited with itms) this is still very limiting

Walmart's site: "Download music to 1 computer and back up to up to two additional computers."
That's 1+2=3, same as iTunes.

I also believe the 10 burns won't be as limiting as many readers suggest. It's hard for me to imagine that I'd need to burn the same song over ten times. I may make one or two CDs with it - if any at all. I actually listen almost only to files these days, from Mac or iPod. But then again, that's just me.

And as someone was wondering what a loss leader would lead to: Doesn't Walmart sell all kinds of electronic devices? iTunes sells iPods, Walmart's music store may well sell a myriad of xyz MP3 players. Remember, this is only a beta site.

Apple has a history of being first to market with relly cool things, only to find itself muscled out by the bigger guys. Will be interesting to see how Apple reacts this time. Complacency and a "But I'm so much better" attitude hasn't helped in the past, it won't help this time...

DGFan
Dec 18, 2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
Heh ... yeah, kinda funny that they mandate Windows-only yet use a screen shot from a non-Windows computer ...

On the other hand, the "Windows Only" mandate may be a temporary and/or late-breaking restriction ...

I saw an ad the other day on TV that showed someone browsing the internet. The browser body had old Platinum style droplists and other controls but the browser title bar and the rest of the computer looked like windows (98/2k, not XP). I wonder what theme they were running
:D

Sir_Giggles
Dec 18, 2003, 01:18 PM
Maybe evil for the American economy, but a boon for third world countries where people often find work, even though its low pay with few benefits.

Is Walmart really to blame or the people who shop its stores? If anything, its the american consumer who are skinning their own backs.

Wendy_Rebecca
Dec 18, 2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by kingjr3
I hate to say it, but if Apple doesn't support other players, they are going to fall to the wayside.

Precisely. Apple needs to give people a choice and offer WM9 format. Their adherence to a closed model will, in the long run, hurt them greatly.

We like options. Right, Stevie? Right? Steeevieee.....????

goofbutt
Dec 18, 2003, 01:37 PM
In all of the discussions about saving $0.11 and how Wal-Mart is killing America I think we are overlooking the 1 bib problem with the Wal-Mart music store. They will only sell censored albulms and they will refuse to sell albums by certain artist. At least that is how they sell thier music now. If the artist or lyrics don't meet the wal-mart moral code, they won't sell it. I feel that with the DRM restrictions and they moral restriction that the wal-mart music store will not be much of a threat.

fomoco
Dec 18, 2003, 01:39 PM
It's a web based store that uses WMP with a crap DRM. Big deal, another BuyMusic.com in the making.

I'll stick with the number one store, player, and database thank you very much.

ces1965
Dec 18, 2003, 01:45 PM
From their site:

I bought a new computer. Can I transfer music downloads from Walmart.com to this new computer?

WMA files protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) encryption cannot be transferred from computer to computer. If you want to play music you downloaded from Walmart.com on another computer (or on any other device that plays audio CDs), you must burn your music onto an audio CD to play it (please note that you may burn a song to a CD up to 10 times).

svenr
Dec 18, 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by goofbutt
They will only sell censored albulms and they will refuse to sell albums by certain artist.

Well, I can get the latest Madonna album on Walmart, I cannot get any Madonna on iTunes.

As I read somewhere, Madonna refuses to sell single tracks, Apple insisted to have the same conditions for all music, incl. 99ct for one song. So, no deal for Apple. On Walmart, you can at least buy the whole album.

Now you may argue about Madonna's merit as an artist, but that's besides the point. I'm sure there are many more examples.

Java
Dec 18, 2003, 01:49 PM
Dude, I have to keep entering in my credit card and adress and such for each time I check out, that is going to get old really fast.

iTMS rocks because you click, and you have it. That's it. No "check out" button nessacery.

-Java

machinehien
Dec 18, 2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by Sir_Giggles
Maybe evil for the American economy, but a boon for third world countries where people often find work, even though its low pay with few benefits.

Is Walmart really to blame or the people who shop its stores? If anything, its the american consumer who are skinning their own backs.


I guess my post was biased towards the U.S. economy. At the same time exporting jobs to third world countries doesn't do too much to help them since U.S. manufactorers treat many countries as interchangeable subcontractors. Plus I am skeptical about how corporations value their offshore employees, is that 13 year old kid in Malaysia really a valued member of the "Walmart Family"? U.S. corporations are ruthless enough against it's own citizens, what obligations do they have to offshored employees whose culture and/or values are completely alien to them?

You are right though, we are skinning our own backs. Our quest for $29 DVD players, $3 gallon pickle jars, and $200 computers is bankrupting our willingness to reward innovation or pair a fair price for a fair product.

Steamboatwillie
Dec 18, 2003, 02:11 PM
The only cool thing (and I mean the only) I can say about Wal-Mart is that they sold pre-configure Linux boxes. Granted it was running Lindows, but I still have to tip my hat to that effort.

That being said, I'll stick with ITMS thank you.

Edot
Dec 18, 2003, 02:32 PM
If it doesn't play on my iPod, I could care less! Plus I am sure Apple could afford to match an $.11 decrease in price.

the_dalex
Dec 18, 2003, 02:33 PM
Within a year there will be a huge shakeout in the online music industry. There is absolutely no way more than a couple companies can survive, because they are all following half of a business model, and it's not the profitable half.

Apple will continue to succeed and sell iPods. If a person is concerned about online music working with their iPod, they will use the ITMS. I doubt they are going to look around and think, "I want to buy from these other services, I should get something that works with their sites," because those sites don't offer any significant advantages over ITMS, and they have more restrictions and poorer customer service and tech support. The person who is going to buy from Walmart just to save a dime isn't buying an iPod anyways, and even if Walmart can sell them a WMA player or CD burner, they aren't going to make anywhere near what Apple makes per iPod. Walmart will not be making money on this unless they are putting the record companies in the Walton Headlock.

All it's going to take is one or two bad experiences to make most consumers abandon an online music site. I have firsthand knowledge of people who have been burned by the Windows sites and now just use the ITMS, even though they don't even own iPods. iTunes is better than any other music player/organizer out there, so there is only one reason to use another program: WMA. Are there any compelling reasons to prefer WMA over AAC? Not many that I can see.

As an informed consumer and tech-savvy user, I look at the options and I see Microsoft's attempt to control all Windows music sales (he who controls the format controls the distribution), I see Apple with a setup that works incredibly well and is very stable, and the choice seems pretty clear.

Moonlight
Dec 18, 2003, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by SiliconAddict
And unfortunately no one cares since Macs account for a very small % of the market. Walmart and the like are aiming at that 95%+ user base. 2-5% isn't going to make or break a music store.


Probably most people will be buying music from and for their home computer. And Apple has a much bigger market share in home computers (consumer) than they do overall when you add the millions of PC's in corporations around the country. So the 3% is a false market share for internet music buyers.

MongoTheGeek
Dec 18, 2003, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by machinehien
Them rolling back prices year after year is destroying our economy. If you follow their prices over the years, pretty much every single commodity has gone down in price.

If you do business with Walmart you have to aggree to lower prices year after year in order to fulfill their mission statement of "Rolling Back Prices". In the beginning this had some benificial effects since it forced manufacturers to eliminate waste and streamline their business model. But after a few years of streamlining the only way most suppliers could reduce cost and do business with Walmart is to offshore their entire manufacturing structure to cheaper countries.

Almost all of the items sold in Walmart is made in some sweatshop somewhere with an American label on it. Although this was probably inevitable, Walmart at the very least accelerated the whole process by decades when they put the squeeze on the economy like that.

Walmart was the result of a consumer revolt of sorts. People were whining about prices and inflation and along came Walmart.

Think of them as the French Revolution. Something that was really needed but the implementation wound up going a little pear shaped.

Costs have been going down but so has quality. That is how the other stores survive. That and despite their logistics genius the nature of the beast is that no matter what you are looking for there is a reasonable chance Walmart won't have it stock. In the next few years there is a chance of a supplier revolt of sorts. Where suppliers tired of getting the shaft will stop selling to Walmart.

On the topic of deflation, its not an entirely bad thing. It sucks rocks if have large loans (like a lot of us do) but it is far easier to fix than inflation.

Lower commodity prices tend to drive up wages.

~Shard~
Dec 18, 2003, 03:02 PM
Walmart Music Store? Yah, okay, I'l get right on that... :rolleyes:

mahermusic
Dec 18, 2003, 03:48 PM
.

Photorun
Dec 18, 2003, 04:08 PM
Downloaded, poked around, my conclusion?

Sucks donkey doo!!!

Typical Wallyworld, champions of mediocrity. Now if Targay (Target) started doing music maybe I'd give a rat's tuckus.

Ling
Dec 18, 2003, 04:12 PM
Oh man does this suck the big one. I can't believe how bad the quality is. It may sound decent coming out of my iBook's speakers, but hook it up to decent speakers and you hear way more than 11 cents worth of sound missing.

Hopefully other people will realize that you get what you pay for...

VIREBEL661
Dec 18, 2003, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
Heh ... yeah, kinda funny that they mandate Windows-only yet use a screen shot from a non-Windows computer ...

On the other hand, the "Windows Only" mandate may be a temporary and/or late-breaking restriction ...

Hilarious! They probably used a Mac to design the site or whatever. I've noticed that in most advertising they use the Mac interface (either 9 or X). I guess it just looks a lot better than windoze...

CrazyPaco
Dec 18, 2003, 04:33 PM
Apple should tout the use and superiority of "Dolby" AAC in their ads. Throwing the Dolby name out there will connect it with audio industry in a way "Microsoft" doesn't. Instead of sitting back and being beat up by competitors because the iPod doesn't do WMA, be aggressive in that the competitors don't support the next generation "Dolby" AAC sound encoding.

Rower_CPU
Dec 18, 2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by SiliconAddict
And unfortunately no one cares since Macs account for a very small % of the market. Walmart and the like are aiming at that 95%+ user base. 2-5% isn't going to make or break a music store.

Actually, it's a simple matter of laziness and/or stupidity on Walmart's part. With the recent update of WMP 9 for OS X, we've got a DRM 9 compatible player.

In education, Macs are approximately 30% of the user base, IIRC. Not exactly insignificant for a target demographic...

Sailfish
Dec 18, 2003, 05:18 PM
I don't see too many Walmart types buying a great deal of music online.

Buying music gets to be a expensive hobby, plus investment in a computer and a iPod.

People who are either well off or rely upon having a large collection for DJ'ing and make a return on their investment can afford to buy thousands of dollars of music that they can weed themselves off the radio/streaming and other cheaper ways to get music.

Most people start buying and realize even at 88¢ a song it's going to be a substancial investment.

Apple captured the cream of the crop already because it cateres to the higher end customer better.

Plus they were first and they got the world's best portable player.

The only way I can see it happening on the lower end is if per song prices substancially drop, like to 20¢ a song.

Because a decent collection of 2000+ or so songs (of favorites, not filler) gives enough to provide a true alternative to radio. IMO.

kwtneo
Dec 18, 2003, 05:25 PM
i think artists that 'refuse' to sell on itunes on the basis of artistic preference for albums as opposed to individual tracks are just wankers and are refusing to think out of the box. the fact that they had the opportunity to do an 'album' in the first place was that technology let them record an amalgamation of tracks into a coherent artistic album on a magnetic cassette tape big enough to accomodate all of the tracks. well if you're saying that 'artistic' freedom is paramount, then why not just amalgamate the whole album into a single 'track' and sell it on itms for a higher price?? i mean if the artist insists on the tracks being separated and yet sold as an album, there are bound to be tracks that people won't like and won't listen to no matter how much they tout it as a 'whole' artistic package.... the delivery of the music itself is now an artistic medium in itself. So they should get with the program!

uberman42
Dec 18, 2003, 05:53 PM
Whoa whoa whoa...we are using the term "music artist" too loosely. Madonna = Music Artist? C'mon people!

svenr
Dec 18, 2003, 06:13 PM
.
Didn't I see that one coming:

Originally posted by uberman42
Whoa whoa whoa...we are using the term "music artist" too loosely. Madonna = Music Artist? C'mon people!

As I wrote earlier:
"Now you may argue about Madonna's merit as an artist, but that's besides the point. I'm sure there are many more examples."

Dippo
Dec 18, 2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Edot
If it doesn't play on my iPod, I could care less! Plus I am sure Apple could afford to match an $.11 decrease in price.

Yea, Apple might be able to drop it's price to 88 cents, but then Walmart would just drop their price to 69 cents and so on...

Glial
Dec 18, 2003, 09:27 PM
If it is anything like their retail stores....


They will have 32 servers...but one 3 open at any given time....

The rest will be on break...

coolsoldier
Dec 18, 2003, 09:40 PM
Well those of you who are complaining that it doesn't work on the Mac just need to ignore their listed system requirements and download Media Player 9. Their songs works as well on OS X in Safari as it does on Windows in IE -- Tried both.

Now comparing to iTMS, on the computer you don't hear much difference. But if you plug into a real stereo, even my untrained ear can tell the difference.

Oh well, the bottom line is, if you like iTMS, keep using it. If you want lower quality at a lower price, well, it works as advertised, even on your Mac. No need to rag on it.

zim
Dec 18, 2003, 11:02 PM
Here is something that I think is a bit funny.... AOL and Apple have somewhat teamed up, AOL is selling their AOL sessions through iTMS and AOL distributes their cds at wal-mart. I would love, I am not an AOL user, to see AOL do a promotional lable on the package for AOL sessions at iTMS.

chewbaccapits
Dec 19, 2003, 12:57 AM
Interesting how many here believed BUYCRAPPYMUSIC.COM was going to steal iTMS thunder..Then it was napster that would quickly bring iTMS down to a halt....And now, finally, we have Wal-mart.com and their 88 bargain bin prices...No one has come close to Apple's iTMS numbers.....No one.:rolleyes:

rdowns
Dec 19, 2003, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by chewbaccapits
Interesting how many here believed BUYCRAPPYMUSIC.COM was going to steal iTMS thunder..Then it was napster that would quickly bring iTMS down to a halt....And now, finally, we have Wal-mart.com and their 88 bargain bin prices...No one has come close to Apple's iTMS numbers.....No one.:rolleyes:

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss WalMart. With tens of millions of people in their stores daily, there are countless promotional and tie ins with sales of related products. Free downloads with the purchase a computer, MP3 player, hell, anything they sell. They certainly have the mind share of many.

nmc
Dec 19, 2003, 05:33 AM
i wish people would get there heads out of their ass and realise that AAC is NOT a "closed" Apple format. the AAC encoding method is part of the MPEG-4 standards...thats standards folks, as in industry, not very closed that one. it's either that or MP3, a more widely available standard, because it's been adopted by many.

WMA is good (unless you listen to a low bit rate file through a decent hi-fi/mixer, that's were AAC wins hand down i'm afraid), but it IS a closed standard, and it's DRM model was exclusive to Windoze users, that's why the iPod didn't suppport it as Apple knew that Macs wouldn't be able to play them without DRM managment software which M$ hadn't made available to anyone other than Windblows users until the Mac ver of Media Player 9 (see the Wal-Mart bumf for more info - Will my music play on a Mac?)

if i had to choose formats, AAC would be the definative winner without a doubt. lower bit rates, still high quality (128 compared to 192 MP3), smaller files, more iPod battery life, etc...

so the whiners, please read up a little before you stick your 10 cents worth in and remember who IS actually using closed standards. just because it isn't widely adopted yet (MPEG-4 is still in the upper circles of the media industry) doesn't mean it's "proprietory" or "closed".

i'm quite happy to pay the extra dosh for a quality product that i have better DRM options with...cheap things no good, good things no cheap! that's why i bought a Mac, not just because it has a pretty face.

FECKIN WAKE UP AND SMELL THE BS YOU'RE GETTING FORCE FED!!!!

bwintx
Dec 19, 2003, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by VIREBEL661
Hilarious! They probably used a Mac to design the site or whatever. I've noticed that in most advertising they use the Mac interface (either 9 or X). I guess it just looks a lot better than windoze...

Ad agencies' creative staffers tend to prefer Macs, so...

bwintx
Dec 19, 2003, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by Glial
If it is anything like their retail stores....


They will have 32 servers...but one 3 open at any given time....

The rest will be on break...

And the firewall will be 75 years old -- but very friendly. :D

Sheebahawk
Dec 19, 2003, 01:36 PM
I welcome walmart to the party. Seriously who wants to be the guy who says, o0h yeah my samsung NAPSTER player is so awsome look at it, it doesn't fit in my pocket very comfortably with this freakin antennae, andI buy all my music from the walmart music store and it sounds like crap, I'm so hip. I can see buying DOG FOOD from wall mart. I can see living in the parking lot in my mobilehome/methlab. I can't see me looking them up online to even try to browse their offerings,not even at christmastime.

IF apple keepsup with their promotions advertising, and ipod updates, I really don't see wal mart as threatening their marketshare. I can see them gobbling up musicmatch or buymusic or coka cola music store or microsoft musicstore, but not taking any applesales. if someone wants to really threaten apple they would need to meet them on buying experiance, hardware and sound quality (or performance), and beat them on price. (Like wintel makers have done on the PC side.) I don't see this happening easily. Who would buy music just for their computer anyway? but then again I don't see why anyone would use windows

What really pisses me off though, is that Ive wanted an online musicstore since the beg. daysof napster, Why didn't anyone want to do it until Apple did?! and pleasedon't suggest that target create a music store. these companies need to be regulated putting their handsin too many cookie jars.

Dahl
Dec 19, 2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Sheebahawk
I welcome walmart to the party. Seriously who wants to be the guy who says, o0h yeah my samsung NAPSTER player is so awsome look at it, it doesn't fit in my pocket very comfortably with this freakin antennae, andI buy all my music from the walmart music store and it sounds like crap, I'm so hip.
I think a lot of people couldn't care less about being cool, if they get a good deal.

tychay
Dec 19, 2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Gymnut
I wonder if they'll do something lame and only carry the "clean" versions of tracks/albums.

Yes. They call it "edited". Also, some tracks are removed. No surprise. It's part of their "family-friendly" rationalization.

Like it or not (I don't) Wal*Mart has revolutionized the retail industry.* However, their online store hasn't been very successful. I remember they once made a big hoopla about selling airplane tickets online. Where is that now?

* And will continue to do so. Right until the point that most of the employees get replaced with computerized RFID systems. For better or for worse.

tychay
Dec 19, 2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Wendy_Rebecca
Precisely. Apple needs to give people a choice and offer WM9 format. Their adherence to a closed model will, in the long run, hurt them greatly.

We like options. Right, Stevie? Right? Steeevieee.....????

No. Apple needs to give people a choice and open up FairPlay (the DRM they use with AAC). Don't expect Wal*Mart to carry these files though (the DRM is not restrictive enough for them).

The closed model is Windows Media 9, not AAC (Dolby). As nearly any study will show, WM is a crappy compression standard (it wasn't made for 128-bit encoding and does poorly against even MP3, it's really only a decent format for 64-bit). Add to that the proprietary nature controlled by a single company (instead of a consortium like AAC) with a history of using monopoly levers.

Take care,

terry

coolsoldier
Dec 19, 2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by nmc
i wish people would get there heads out of their ass and realise that AAC is NOT a "closed" Apple format. the AAC encoding method is part of the MPEG-4 standards...thats standards folks, as in industry, not very closed that one. it's either that or MP3, a more widely available standard, because it's been adopted by many.

This issue has been beaten into the ground so many times -- it doesn't matter if the file format on iTunes is technically open if only Apple's software and hardware can decrypt it. The openness of the file format is not really an issue at all, the issue is the openness of the encryption. And since both encryption formats are closed, it comes down to the fact that Microsoft is more willing to license their proprietary encryption scheme than Apple is willing to license their proprietary encryption scheme.

kidA
Dec 19, 2003, 04:48 PM
apple needs to support the windows media 9 codec, not offer it. they need to stick with AAC.

wma format is not that bad either. it's not the best, but it's not bad.

you'll never see a music store use OGG because of its completely open nature.

anyone who thinks "oooh, 11 cents cheaper, big freaking deal" doesn't understand. think about it for about 2 seconds. you're looking this through you mac biased-tinted glasses. most people aren't. you think there's a big difference between AAC and WMA, and most people don't even know what that means. 11 cents doesn't seem like a lot until you realize that it's a more than 10% price difference. we're not talking about 11 cents on a $20 item here. were talking 11 cents on an item that costs less than a dollar. if you had the choice to pay $88 to buy 100 songs or $99 for the same 100 songs, and you didn't know the difference between AAC and WMA (and frankly, unless you listen really really closely, which most don't, the audible differences are completely negligible at 128 Mbps), you'd choose to save $11 every time.

esternullo
Dec 19, 2003, 05:55 PM
Walmart, always low prices, always s***y pay for its employees...

besides, WMA format, need i say more...

nmc
Dec 20, 2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by coolsoldier
And since both encryption formats are closed, it comes down to the fact that Microsoft is more willing to license their proprietary encryption scheme than Apple is willing to license their proprietary encryption scheme.

Personally, that's fine and dandy with me. Apple have always sold "the whole package" experience and for me, that fits like a glove.

Maybe Apple will license the technology (or the commision will), who knows, but I really couldn't care. If it ain't broke don't fix it or try to patch the **** out of it.

I'm on both sides of the fence on a daily basis, running a Win network during the day and I already have a long track record of using the technology in both studio and creative environments...the choice is not in dispute - when i switch the gear on, it boots, it works, it keeps working, it sleeps and does it all again the next session without so much as a twinge. If they choose to stick with a seemingly "proprietary" format, I'll happily wait until the rights/agreements with labels are ironed out and the store opens in the UK. No Wal-Mart type pap for me, I trust what I know and know what I trust.

Phaedrus
Dec 30, 2003, 05:02 PM
Lawrence Lessig posted a lawyer's analysis of Wal Mart's license agreement. The draconian nature of this license should throw plenty of cold water on "88 cent" hype.

:mad:Lessig Blog (http://www.lessig.org/blog/archives/001647.shtml)