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MacRumors
Feb 2, 2004, 12:54 AM
According to Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=industryNews&storyID=4256844), Apple and Microsoft are reportedly in negotiations "aimed at meeting the music industry's goal of compatibility among competing digital music devices by 2005."

Current digital music downloads exist in two primary formats - AAC and WMA - neither of which is inter-compatible. According to the article, current negotiations presently revolve around the ability to convert from one DRM format to another, preserving the digital rights management. Unfortunately, this may be both time consuming and lossy (potential loss of audio quality).

ABoyNamedEVIL
Feb 2, 2004, 12:56 AM
somehow this makes me feel uneasy. just like when HP announced their deal with Apple.

heuer007
Feb 2, 2004, 01:00 AM
btw I just wanna say since most people will read this comment is that the IBM ads during the superbowl ROCKED F'IN HARD!!!! the one with Ali talkin to the kid was amazing. if you go to www.ibm.com/open and watch the flash, then click visionary, then watch the last clip (90 seconds) I must say thats one of the best commercials in recent memory. I love OSX, and I will always use it, but Linux is gonna take the world by storm and I forsee the end of windows soon.

dho
Feb 2, 2004, 01:00 AM
To me I simply view this as annother option. Since when did choice hurt people?

slipper
Feb 2, 2004, 01:04 AM
dont give in apple, stay strong! make um bleed, make um bleed!

ABoyNamedEVIL
Feb 2, 2004, 01:05 AM
you know, it's not so much that...it just makes me uneasy when apple licenses stuff. reminds me of the clone machines that Stevie pulled the plug on.

I dunno, I'm just skeptical when it comes to doing business with the devil...

NavyIntel007
Feb 2, 2004, 01:10 AM
Converting for DRM bla bla bla...

Just make WMA work on an ipod and AAC work on other players. Why make it so the music is MORE lossy?

displaced
Feb 2, 2004, 01:11 AM
Yes, choice is good... but since when have Microsoft ever done anything to encourage choice amongst their users?

Remember Netscape?

Apple may demand that you buy their hardware. But what you do with and run on that hardware Apple leaves up to you.

MS aren't always so polite.

omnivector
Feb 2, 2004, 01:13 AM
Can anyone here honeslty name an OS that doesn't have a heavy UNIX influence in the past few years? Irix, AIX, Mac OS X, NeXT Step, BeOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and HP-UX are all i can name off the top of my head.

oh wait, windows, is the only OS that isn't based off of unix. i really wish microsoft would get a clue.

jholzner
Feb 2, 2004, 01:14 AM
I"m glad that at least something is being done. Of course I want an iPod and to use iTunes but I don't like the idea of being LOCKED into that set up.

dontmakemehurtu
Feb 2, 2004, 01:15 AM
:(

l008com
Feb 2, 2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by dho
To me I simply view this as annother option. Since when did choice hurt people?

When a company takes away your choices, and makes you think that they are in fact doing the exact opposite [MS!], that hurts people. Yes Linux is definitely going to get much more popular in the near future, as is Mac OS. But the key is Linux and Mac are both unix and they feed off each other in positive ways, making each other better, and more popular. Where as windows is itself, a virus.
"Something's wrong with my computer"...
"Yeah, its a dell"

jholzner
Feb 2, 2004, 01:18 AM
Also, now that Apple is such a dominate source in the music download biz and digital music player arena they are being referred to as a tech giant.

"While this is not specifically an Apple and Microsoft matter, many of the practical issues center on compatibility between the two tech giants."

I know that they were industry leaders and all but we all remember the days of beleaguered Apple.

sfoalex
Feb 2, 2004, 01:20 AM
This is a clear case of a classic Microsoft to Embrace and Extend.

l008com
Feb 2, 2004, 01:22 AM
People seem to just want the two formats to magically work together. People don't realize there are very real, good reasons why Apple uses what it uses, and why MS uses what it uses. MS won't switch to AAC because that won't let them muscle into the market and take over. Apple won't use WMA because what's bad for MS is good for Apple, and MS is shady, so its good to stand up for something, even if WMA was good/better than AAC.

Foocha
Feb 2, 2004, 01:33 AM
The fact that Apple and Microsoft are talking presumably indicates that Apple's success in this area has got Microsoft's attention.

I very much doubt that Apple will just roll-over and die in these negotiations, but equally, it would not be smart to ignore options - one wrong move in this game and Apple could lose the temporary monopoly that they have so successfully built up.

Recent non-Unix OSs: BeOS, Symbian, Palm OS 6.

awulf
Feb 2, 2004, 01:37 AM
What ever is going to happen, if it involves Microsoft, then Microsoft will probably come out better in this deal than Apple.

Sabenth
Feb 2, 2004, 01:37 AM
Lossy files just great whats the point i do get the point :confused: i just think both of them should just share the files on any player like some one else has mentioned

ITR 81
Feb 2, 2004, 01:37 AM
I say why doesn't MS kill it's WMA and just start using AAC only.

DeadEye686
Feb 2, 2004, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by ITR 81
I say why doesn't MS kill it's WMA and just start using AAC only.

Because then it wouldn't be their proprietary format and they couldn't charge people for licensing :D

splashman
Feb 2, 2004, 01:54 AM
It's a very nice position to be in. Here's a couple of good quotes from the Reuters article:

With Apple controlling much of the nascent legitimate digital music market, the onus for concessions in the compatibility debate largely falls on the company -- a prospect one rival executive likens to "unilateral disarmament."

"Increased operability is great for consumers. But if you're in Apple's situation, it's not in your interest to do this," says a source.

The only people who "unilaterally disarm" are those who are suicidal or those who are threatened with physical, economic, or political annihilation.

I don't expect Apple to change their ways until they've got something to gain by the change. Right now, they don't.

Specifically regarding Apple and MS, I'm sure MS would like to be associated with a winner, as long as there's money to be made, but there's no way MS will agree to anything unless it promotes their Frankensteinian standard (WMA). They've simply invested too much to back down now.

I can think of a dozen different ways this could play out, and I don't even want to guess. I have to admit I'm nervous -- this is a very high-stakes poker game, kids. Apple holds all four aces at the moment; that could change after a few more hands . . .

[EDIT: punctuation]

l008com
Feb 2, 2004, 01:56 AM
Yes, and MS can't just make all these players play AAC's either, thats up to the players and has nothing to do with MS at all.

Better yet, why doesn't everyone use iTMS and everyone only buy iPods from now on. Problem solved :-D

desdomg
Feb 2, 2004, 01:57 AM
If it is the music industries goal to push for device compatibility by 2005 then Apple and MS dont really have much choice but to talk. Dont forget that the Music Industry is the real power broker here, not Apple and MS. Sounds like the are looking at a way of importing WMA files for use on the iPod and AAC files for use on other devices to me. Sounds good.

jholzner
Feb 2, 2004, 02:09 AM
Well, regardless of what happens with MS and Apple I really think that Apple should allow music purchased from Real's music store to work with iTunes and the iPod. Better yet maybe license fairplay to Real. As long as real is using AAC and the goal of the music store is to sell iPods (in Apples case) it seems like a win win situation. Real gets compatibly with the most popular MP3 player and Apple promotes is format of choice (AAC) and iPods continue to sell well while at the same time giving users another choice in music download stores.

el gringo
Feb 2, 2004, 02:20 AM
yes! that's the truth...and hopefully Linux makes people change OS and then hopefully people dare to change to OSX :)

I know a couple of programmers migrating to Linux - then it was only a question of time before they got themselves a Powerbook...GUI & unix i a box ;)

Originally posted by l008com

Yes Linux is definitely going to get much more popular in the near future, as is Mac OS. But the key is Linux and Mac are both unix and they feed off each other in positive ways, making each other better, and more popular. Where as windows is itself, a virus.
"Something's wrong with my computer"...
"Yeah, its a dell"

skidoo
Feb 2, 2004, 02:32 AM
I can believe that Microsoft needs to negotiate with apple. Is there nothing they (microsoft) can do on their own. Their whole operating system interface is still revolving around our OS. Next Gatesy will want the blueprints for the iPod and he will call it the "iSkrewapple"
Leave AAC for iTunes, and leave WMA for the dinosoars.

nagromme
Feb 2, 2004, 03:03 AM
I guess automating the burn-and-re-rip process to take the CD (and some steps) out of the equation wouldn't be a bad option to have, even if you ended up with a different DRM and the same quality (excellent, but some sensitive ears avoid it) that re-ripping has always had. As long as they don't block normal CD burning, which I do not see happening!

The question is, which party will easy migration help? Apple's the majority--what do they have to gain? A few music "switchers" and some iPod sales to them. MS has more to gain, it sounds like to me.

Can't blame 'em for talking, but it makes me want to be cautious!

johnnyjibbs
Feb 2, 2004, 03:28 AM
Maybe Microsoft is uneasy with the success of iTunes and iPod and, with the recent Apple/HP partnership and other advances in the AAC side of things, maybe it doesn't want to get pulled into a corner or left behind.

Also, digital music is still a niche market and to fully embrace the masses, Apple and Microsoft need to work together to get one mass standard together. They realise this. The problem is, that already exists - MP3 - but that has no digital rights management. Hence we have AAC and WMA.

The problem is that if Apple concedes (i.e. WMA on iPod and iTunes), Microsoft's proprietry format will win. Likewise, if Microsoft concedes by dropping WMA or just adding AAC support to Win Media Player, Apple will be in a prominent position. An extra problem for Microsoft is that they have no control over whether Dell or any of the other PC manufactures (HP aside) choose to add AAC, or whether they are too scared to cross Microsoft and go against the grain.

JDOG_
Feb 2, 2004, 04:19 AM
Originally posted by jholzner
I"m glad that at least something is being done. Of course I want an iPod and to use iTunes but I don't like the idea of being LOCKED into that set up.

There's actually quite a few music management programs that you can use with iPods for both mac and windows...most notably XPlay (for Windows), Musicmatch & MC9 (Both are P.O.S. IMO) and a number of other small apps that let you manage songs and ID3 tags--it's not like there's no way to use an iPod without iTunes, it's just hampered.

Why would you complain about iTunes in the first place? As far as audio jukebox programs go it's really at the top of the heap and very reliable--nothing worth complaining about in my opinion. If you really want to piss off about a jukebox program, talk about Windows Media player...

crazedbytheheat
Feb 2, 2004, 04:57 AM
Why does Apple need to talk to MS? If AAC files can be converted to WMA files, meaning they work on non-iPod players, then why not just open iTunes to work with these other players and give away the liscencing for Fairplay? The effect is the same, but without having MS involved. Does anyone really believe that the only reason people are buying iPods is because that's all iTunes will officially support? People buy iPods because they are the best player out there.

I guess the real question is, will the player market add AAC/Fairplay support if licensing were free? The market's there, but who knows what MS threatens these guys with.

I do wish iTunes worked with a few flash-based players. I like my iPod, but it sucks for running. On top of that Panther locks up if I even just drag the MP3 files to my Lyra. :-(

virividox
Feb 2, 2004, 05:08 AM
give what the people want, if they want corss compatibility give it

marco114
Feb 2, 2004, 05:23 AM
AAC = Open Standard
WMA = Closed Proprietary Technology

WHen you put it like that, seems like a no brainer...

weave
Feb 2, 2004, 05:33 AM
Originally posted by crazedbytheheat
Why does Apple need to talk to MS?

Good point. Microsoft doesn't own a music store -- yet. The music industry should be pushing the operators of music stores to get together to make them all compatible then.

Go on Microsoft, you just go sit over there on the bench and let the big players figure this one out. They'll let you know what they decide. Thank you.

michaelb
Feb 2, 2004, 05:36 AM
It's really the DRM we're talking about.

Both AAC and WMA are the encoding formats - ways of turning sound into compressed bytes.

FairPlay and "MS-DRM" are the layers that sit on top to secure them.

Perhaps it's feasible to get FairPlay on top of WMA, or vice versa...

fraggle
Feb 2, 2004, 05:45 AM
Originally posted by omnivector
Can anyone here honeslty name an OS that doesn't have a heavy UNIX influence in the past few years? Irix, AIX, Mac OS X, NeXT Step, BeOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and HP-UX are all i can name off the top of my head.

oh wait, windows, is the only OS that isn't based off of unix. i really wish microsoft would get a clue.

Firstly BeOS is (was) not derived from Unix. And that NT is not based on it is not a bad thing in itself, the bad thing is what MS is doing on top of the relatively solid base they have...

Foocha
Feb 2, 2004, 06:41 AM
Actually, whilst BeOS is not UNIX, it could be said that it was derived from UNIX (XINU) - it has a lot in common with UNIX.

In fact, way back when, I seem to recall reading the NT was derived from UNIX as well, although clearly you wouldn't call it UNIX.

Photorun
Feb 2, 2004, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by dho
To me I simply view this as annother option. Since when did choice hurt people?

When lackluster crap like M$'s software was gobbled up by the uneducated masses due to squirrelly marketing and a lot of illegal, strongarm contracts, with hardware manufacturers are proved beyond a shadow of doubt by the later bought off DOJ by the same shifty, borderline illegal software company. The this software costing the world billions in lost productivity due to incredibly poor security and coding. THAT'S when giving people (who in general aren't really that smart) can hurt them.

Stolid
Feb 2, 2004, 07:00 AM
On the Apple vs Microsoft debate:
Please, could some of you guys grow up? Microsoft doesn't make money of WMA nor does apple make money off of AAC. It's a *format* for crying out loud. I'm aware of past problems where MS was hesitant to give out Word's .doc format but people figured it out anyway; when you know what information is there finding how they put it there is generally not too difficult.
The issue is simply one of compatability and a good DRM system. Neither side is making a profit (or a miniscule one) from the format beyond the simple support (e.g iPod supports AAC) and I fail to see that making any dent (chances are if I'm on a PC and want to get music for a non-iPod player I know how to put it in mp3 and I probably don't even use iTunes/The Music Store). The blind microsoft bashing I see so often really makes me glad I don't have to like the community to like the system.:rolleyes:
On the Unix OS debate:
To say an modern OS doesn't take some queues from UNIX would by silly; but there are also many ways to do things differently. It's like the automobile, most cars have signs of the model T but have obviously better features. I know some people that would call WinNT a UNIX system without blinking, I know others that are adament that MacOSX and Linux *aren't* UNIX.

Lanbrown
Feb 2, 2004, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by displaced
Yes, choice is good... but since when have Microsoft ever done anything to encourage choice amongst their users?

When they are behind, that's when.

Lanbrown
Feb 2, 2004, 07:20 AM
Originally posted by omnivector
Can anyone here honeslty name an OS that doesn't have a heavy UNIX influence in the past few years? Irix, AIX, Mac OS X, NeXT Step, BeOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and HP-UX are all i can name off the top of my head.

oh wait, windows, is the only OS that isn't based off of unix. i really wish microsoft would get a clue.

Ever heard of legacy support? If MS revamped their OS, a lot of applications would fail to run.

The PeeCee community should have used the 64-bit path as a way to improve the underlying architecture of the computers. Looks like in another 25 years they will be using a 50-year-old design.

peter.stegemann
Feb 2, 2004, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by Foocha
[B]Actually, whilst BeOS is not UNIX, it could be said that it was derived from UNIX (XINU) - it has a lot in common with UNIX.

In fact, it does not. People often tend to believe that every Operating System that has a more or less conforming POSIX layer is a UNIX. But especially for BeOS, this is just an API layer. The architecture and philosophy of BeOS is completely untypical compared to UNIX systems. Which, btw, makes it so difficult to make it multi user.

In fact, way back when, I seem to recall reading the NT was derived from UNIX as well, although clearly you wouldn't call it UNIX.

I'm well aware that todays UNIX-Fans believe that UNIX is the mother of alle Operating Systems. But it should be well known that the NT kernel has it's roots in VMS.

geerlingguy
Feb 2, 2004, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by omnivector
Can anyone here honeslty name an OS that doesn't have a heavy UNIX influence in the past few years? Irix, AIX, Mac OS X, NeXT Step, BeOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and HP-UX are all i can name off the top of my head.

oh wait, windows, is the only OS that isn't based off of unix. i really wish microsoft would get a clue.

I really hope MS doesn't get a clue... Every other idea they ripped off Apple destroyed a great idea. The world is better off without MS tampering with a great thing.

geerlingguy
Feb 2, 2004, 07:45 AM
Originally posted by l008com

"Something's wrong with my computer"...
"Yeah, its a dell"

In my experience, Dells are the best PCs to work on (when I have to), followed closely by Sony, then IBM... I don't like dissing Dell too much; if anyone began supporting OSX in the peecee world, I believe Dell, Sony and IBM would be first.

jocknerd
Feb 2, 2004, 07:53 AM
Its going to happen. The record labels will cave in eventually. We don't have DRM on cd's purchased in the store, at least they've failed trying different methods. So why should we settle for DRM on online music?

Give us a choice of format. Ogg for compressed music or FLAC for uncompressed. Or is it because these are free formats, it goes against the corporate mindset of Apple and Microsoft?

trebblekicked
Feb 2, 2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Stolid
On the Apple vs Microsoft debate:
Please, could some of you guys grow up? Microsoft doesn't make money of WMA nor does apple make money off of AAC.

actually, i think the codec/format is the real treasure trove in the digital music revolution. look at it the same way you'd look at phillips creating the CD or sony's minidisc. we're at a business juncture of remarkable potential: a major transformation in the way music is distributed. to be the creator and controller of the way consumers will recieve their music for the next decade or so is of TREMENDOUS value to apple, microsoft, many others.

jocknerd
Feb 2, 2004, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by marco114
AAC = Open Standard
WMA = Closed Proprietary Technology

WHen you put it like that, seems like a no brainer...

The only difference between AAC and WMA is one is controlled by a committee and the other is controlled by a single company.

The "Open Standard" doesn't mean squat to me. I can't afford the entrance fee into AAC if I want to write my own encoder. Microsoft will sell you the rights to their format as well. Not much difference.

If I can't download it myself, it ain't open.

AWNR
Feb 2, 2004, 08:04 AM
The two companies are coming at this with two completely different goals.

Microsoft is hoping to make a profit off of its proprietary format; WMA. It wants to do this by licensing the format to as wide a variety of applications, vendors, and music-players as possible. Having the WMA-format on the iPod would mean a real claim to cross-platform digital music.

Apple wants to sell iPods. The iTMS is making a minor profit -- but only exists in order to sell more iPods. It's a Trojan horse.

The way I see it, Apple has two ways to go on this. One is short-sightedly good for the consumer right now -- the other is better for Apple now and the consumer down the road.

The first being to simply license the WMA-format from Microsoft. Add support for it in iTunes and on the iPod. This could mean that people buying music through Napster would use iTunes as their jukebox of choice (and iPod as their player of choice).

Although this would mean an added choice to the consumer, right now, it would also strengthen Microsofts proprietary WMA filetype. That isn’t good, in the long run, for anyone.

If Apple instead chooses to licence AAC/FairPlay, they'd be even better off.

Someone mentioned that Apple should licence it to Real, and I agree. They should. What better ways to leverage iPod sales, than to have two competing music stores support the player?

What could, however, put a dent in Apple's digital music armour, is if they did the "right thing", and started licensing FairPlay to not only music vendors, but music players.
This could mean a slight reduction in iPod sales, on the whole, but would, in the end, be better for the market.

If, however, Apple were to eat the cake and keep it too, by adding support for WMA on the iPod and in iTunes while wanting to licence AAC to other companies – well, there wouldn’t be much of a reason for vendors to pick AAC over WMA, would there? And we’d be back on issue #1 again… (MS strengthening their proprietary format).

And, as I said, it would be in Apples best iPod-selling interest to licence FairPlay out to other music-vendors, but not to other music players. Even if the market at large, and the AAC standard, would be better off with FairPlay open to most any company that wanted it.

Is this a Microsoft-ish scheme? Why, yes. Yes, it is... But all is fair in love of Mac and war on Windows. Or something.

Then again, one *could* put confidence in the iPod selling on its own, and thus licence AAC even to other music vendors, just because it's better for the consumer.

iAlan
Feb 2, 2004, 08:05 AM
I think Apppe will allow MS to get a percentage of sales from iTunes downloads from Windows computers, in return for Windows not launching it's own music service, thus protecting the iPod which will still remain AAC and other music services will be stuck with half-assed MP3 player knock-offs.

I am not saying this is perfect, but Apple will continue to make money of of the iTunes store, and re-inforce the superiority of the iPod.....

Knute5
Feb 2, 2004, 08:07 AM
Forget about the MS/Apple "negotiations" of the 80's and 90's. Jobs is as much a shark as anybody in Redmond. Apple will be fine in this one...

MorganX
Feb 2, 2004, 08:25 AM
Keep in mind, the music industry is driving this. And I believe if Apple didn't know working this out was in their best interest, they wouldn't be doing it.

MS is building a good infrastructure for a whole lot of OEM devices. Despite Apple's early lead in online content, I think transferrable DRM is in their best interest.

Apple's iTunes+Ipod requires the market lock themselves into one Vendor, Apple. (even the HPod is Apple's with pricing restrictions.)

Microsoft's solution creates choice (with MS selling software). Flame away, that's the reality. Apple needs to play well with others here. I think it's a good thing.

MorganX
Feb 2, 2004, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by iAlan
I think Apppe will allow MS to get a percentage of sales from iTunes downloads from Windows computers, in return for Windows not launching it's own music service, thus protecting the iPod which will still remain AAC and other music services will be stuck with half-assed MP3 player knock-offs.

I am not saying this is perfect, but Apple will continue to make money of of the iTunes store, and re-inforce the superiority of the iPod.....

I don't think any money will be exchanged. And there's a whole lot of sweet MP3 players that are not iPod knock-offs. In fact, the next Napster player actually looks pretty sweet (to me anyway), the original sucks terribly. The Italian Job DVD is giving a lot of free advertisement to Napter right now. This thing is just getting started.

edit: of course I think ALL music-only high-end MP3 players' days are numbered.

-hh
Feb 2, 2004, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by jocknerd
Its going to happen. The record labels will cave in eventually. We don't have DRM on cd's purchased in the store, at least they've failed trying different methods. So why should we settle for DRM on online music?

I was thinking a similar thing: the root of the problem is not really the file formats as much as the DRM which ties people to them. If you get rid of the DRM handcuffs (which means to get rid of the anti-consumer aspects of the Digital Millennium Act), then people are free to transform their file formats as they wish.


Give us a choice of format. Ogg for compressed music or FLAC for uncompressed. Or is it because these are free formats, it goes against the corporate mindset of Apple and Microsoft?

Or because you avoid having to pay a commission to anyone. :-)


"Compatibility" can be created simply by updating the platform software. You need players for each of AAC & MWA, and the DRM needs to be able to "Trade Songs" between the two. And instead of doing a physical conversion from the one format to the other, it just needs to be able to take the existing DRM data and create a new original - either via CD or via download.

Of coruse for the latter, there will inevitably be someone within the food chain somewhere who will want to charge a "handling fee" for this 'DRM Service'. Its just the old bit of "Folllow The Money"...

FWIW, I have to personally wonder how many people go out and buy a stack of Used CD's, rip them (thus gaining the DRM) and then taking the CD's back to the Used CD store and trading them in to get another batch. Yeah, that takes some work, but we have to remember that the reality to all of this is that consumers are motivated to find alternatives when costs are outlandishly high. IMO, if AOL can send me an infinite number of free CD's in the mail, the music industry can still turn a profit at 1/3rd to 1/4th their current retail prices, which would eliminate most of the motivation (some of which are not legal) to find lower-priced alternatives.


-hh

singletrack
Feb 2, 2004, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Converting for DRM bla bla bla...

Just make WMA work on an ipod and AAC work on other players. Why make it so the music is MORE lossy?

AFAIK, the iPod has no DRM in it at all. When you copy DRM'd songs to it in iTunes, the Fairplay DRM part is removed by iTunes. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

The DRM only relates to your Mac/PC, not your player.

AAC already works on other players. Panasonic have a growing range of AAC based players and Nokia have a couple too. They don't use Apple's Fairplay DRM. If iTunes supported copying iTunes store bought tunes to them then that would be great and that is what needs doing. The Nokia players have some weird file format problems but otherwise work with non-DRM AAC files.

Real are also using AAC but with their own Helix DRM. It would just need Apple to support Helix in iTunes for the iPod to support the Real store.

Apple have more to gain by opening up iTunes to other DRM methods than supporting WMA IMHO.

1macker1
Feb 2, 2004, 08:43 AM
It's about darn time!

singletrack
Feb 2, 2004, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by weave
Good point. Microsoft doesn't own a music store -- yet.

YES THEY DO.

Microsoft run the MSN Music Club with OD2.com and have been running a European music store since last August.

Obviously this doesn't register on the grand scheme of things as it's not USA-ian but OD2/Microsoft have been quietly signing up European music companies and licencing their technology to other music stores in Europe for some time.

Apple are way behind in Europe, again.

Wendy_Rebecca
Feb 2, 2004, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by marco114
AAC = Open Standard
WMA = Closed Proprietary Technology

WHen you put it like that, seems like a no brainer...

Yeah. when you put it like that. Unfortunately, you failed to note that PROTECTED AAC, which Apple uses in the iTunes Music Store, is not an Open Standard, requires licensing (and the attendant fees) and is as "closed" as you claim WMA is.

In fact, there are hundreds of devices that use WMA. There are dozens that play back WMA with DRM. You can't say that of FairPlay Protected AAC.

Therefore, your argument is moot.

singletrack
Feb 2, 2004, 09:08 AM
For those of you still in the Apple reality distortion field...

http://www.ondemanddistribution.com/eng/press/pressdetails.asp?id=261

OD2 use only Microsoft WMA DRM.

rinseout
Feb 2, 2004, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Macrumors
[Unfortunately, this may be both time consuming and lossy (potential loss of audio quality).

It definitely would be lossy, since "conversion" would require lossy compression of a de-(lossily) compressed stream.

Better to worry about hardware that can play both, if this is identified as a goal.

Even better to forget WMA compatibility for now and keep plugging AAC/iPod technology. Apple can still win this one.

csimmons
Feb 2, 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by singletrack
YES THEY DO.

Microsoft run the MSN Music Club with OD2.com and have been running a European music store since last August.

Obviously this doesn't register on the grand scheme of things as it's not USA-ian but OD2/Microsoft have been quietly signing up European music companies and licencing their technology to other music stores in Europe for some time.

Apple are way behind in Europe, again.

So what?

According to the Register, iTMS sold three times as many downloads in a week than MSN Music Club/OD2.com sold in a year.

iTMS, when it hits Europe, will BLOW EVERYONE ELSE AWAY, if only because of the goo-gobs of positive international press.

frankly
Feb 2, 2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by singletrack
AFAIK, the iPod has no DRM in it at all. When you copy DRM'd songs to it in iTunes, the Fairplay DRM part is removed by iTunes. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

The DRM only relates to your Mac/PC, not your player.


I don't have an iPod so I can't test this theory. There was a quote by Phil Schiller saying that the DRM was built into iTunes so this may have some validity. The question is, does the DRM get stripped as the songs are transferred to the iPod OR does the iPod simply ignore the DRM???

Does anyone that has an iPod want to test the theory? Is so, copy some iTunes music store songs onto your iPod and then use the Terminal (or a free program (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12731)) to transfer those songs back to your Mac and see if they are still protected.

Later, Frank

frankly
Feb 2, 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Foocha
Actually, whilst BeOS is not UNIX, it could be said that it was derived from UNIX (XINU) - it has a lot in common with UNIX.

No, it could be said that it was inspired by XINU. You can't say UNIX (XINU) as if they are one in the same.

XINU is an acronym that stands for:

Xinu
Is
Not
Unix

so to act like it is UNIX is silly.

Later, Frank

NavyIntel007
Feb 2, 2004, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by ITR 81
I say why doesn't MS kill it's WMA and just start using AAC only.

It's more likely that Jesus would sit next to you in your living room.

Wash!!
Feb 2, 2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by frankly
I don't have an iPod so I can't test this theory. There was a quote by Phil Schiller saying that the DRM was built into iTunes so this may have some validity. The question is, does the DRM get stripped as the songs are transferred to the iPod OR does the iPod simply ignore the DRM???

Does anyone that has an iPod want to test the theory? Is so, copy some iTunes music store songs onto your iPod and then use the Terminal (or a free program (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12731)) to transfer those songs back to your Mac and see if they are still protected.

Later, Frank

The DMR stays with the song no matter where it is I know cause I try to copy one song out of my ipod to my brothers ibook and after I copied it ask me to authenticate the song with my user/password when I try it told me that my 3 computer limit was used and I have to unauthorized one for the song to work with the ibook.

Cheers

scat999999
Feb 2, 2004, 11:38 AM
Most of you probably aren't old enough to remember the VCR wars of the early 80s. Sony's Beta was clearly the better format, but it was Sony's way or the highway. JVC on the otherhand was like WMP, not as good but widely available to anyone that wanted to license it. Try to find a Beta machine now. ;)

jettredmont
Feb 2, 2004, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by Foocha
Actually, whilst BeOS is not UNIX, it could be said that it was derived from UNIX (XINU) - it has a lot in common with UNIX.

In fact, way back when, I seem to recall reading the NT was derived from UNIX as well, although clearly you wouldn't call it UNIX.

NT is "based off" (as in, designed in large part by the same team that designed) VMS, not Unix. Microsoft stole the BSD networking layer (because BSD gave a bit too liberal of a license which allows MS to sell what BSD gave away), but that's about it for Unix in NT.

NT really isn't "based off" VMS either, though. Yes, it borrows concepts and conventions from previous OS's, but that's to be expected from any "new" program.

Dreadnought
Feb 2, 2004, 11:53 AM
I sure don't hope that this true. WMA can go into the trash ASAP!

sethypoo
Feb 2, 2004, 11:56 AM
Is is possible for the iPod to say, play both AAC and WMA formats? Or is there a physical block to this, other than DRM's and MS and Apple's qualms?

Fukui
Feb 2, 2004, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by awulf
What ever is going to happen, if it involves Microsoft, then Microsoft will probably come out better in this deal than Apple.
I don't recal scully/amellio was still working at apple?

jettredmont
Feb 2, 2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Stolid
On the Apple vs Microsoft debate:
Please, could some of you guys grow up? Microsoft doesn't make money of WMA nor does apple make money off of AAC. It's a *format* for crying out loud.


Yes, it's a format. But, control of the format buys three major advantages:

1) Format licensing fees (more an MS concern than an Apple concern; not sure how much if anything Apple gets from AAC licensing ... Fairplay may be licensed though).

2) Format control gives leverage to OS control. If MS controls the music format 99% of all users have archived their music in, then 99% of all users can never switch to a non-MS OS (after, that is, Microsoft gains sufficient market domination to kill or cripple their OS X port).

3) Format control gives considerable hardware market control as well. This is where Apple makes the short-term big bucks as we all know.



I'm aware of past problems where MS was hesitant to give out Word's .doc format but people figured it out anyway; when you know what information is there finding how they put it there is generally not too difficult.


Really? Even OpenOffice.org has trouble reading Word documents and reliably creating new Word-format documents. And forget macros: no one is even thinking of supporting VBA macros.

Microsoft's control of the Word .doc format, which continues to this day, is their primary defense of their OS marketshare.


On the Unix OS debate:
To say an modern OS doesn't take some queues from UNIX would by silly; but there are also many ways to do things differently. It's like the automobile, most cars have signs of the model T but have obviously better features. I know some people that would call WinNT a UNIX system without blinking, I know others that are adament that MacOSX and Linux *aren't* UNIX.

True. But, Linux and OS X are a lot closer to the classical Unix design than Windows is.

I can take most Unix-based applications and port them to Mac/Linux (using X-Windows, not native toolkits, if they were originally X applications) in about 1% of the time it would take to port the same code over to Windows. This is because OS X and Linux are, at a certain level at least, designed with Unix-ish features (and POSIX compliance) in mind, whereas NT and certainly 9x Windows are not.

rjwill246
Feb 2, 2004, 12:32 PM
Apple are way behind in Europe, again.

Yes, but it's not of their doing. And the European services are not iTMS by a long shot!

Snowy_River
Feb 2, 2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by l008com
"Something's wrong with my computer"...
"Yeah, its a dell"

While I like poking fun at Dells (aka 'Dulls') as much as the next Mac user, in all honesty, they aren't bad machines. I'd say a better version of your quote would be

"Something's wrong with my computer"...
"Yeah, its running Windows"

After all, a Dell running Linux is actually a pretty decent machine...

As to the DRM issue...

I think that it's good news to hear that they are talking. I can't imagine that Apple initiated the talks, so that would mean the MS is aware of how tenuous their position is. What I'd really like to see is more players being produced with the capability of playing AAC and pAAC.

synergy
Feb 2, 2004, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by scat999999
Most of you probably aren't old enough to remember the VCR wars of the early 80s. Sony's Beta was clearly the better format, but it was Sony's way or the highway. JVC on the otherhand was like WMP, not as good but widely available to anyone that wanted to license it. Try to find a Beta machine now. ;)

One need not be old enough to remember. Just old enough to use a search engine on the internet. :-)

AAC is widely available to anyone who wants to license it. It is made by Dolby Labs also known for Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital.

Microsoft is trying to cram WMA down everyone's throat.

The whole VHS Beta thing does not compare here.
Just ask HP and Real who have licensed AAC.

X86BSD
Feb 2, 2004, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
NT is "based off" (as in, designed in large part by the same team that designed) VMS, not Unix. Microsoft stole the BSD networking layer (because BSD gave a bit too liberal of a license which allows MS to sell what BSD gave away), but that's about it for Unix in NT.

NT really isn't "based off" VMS either, though. Yes, it borrows concepts and conventions from previous OS's, but that's to be expected from any "new" program.

Oh for christs sakes. I'm so sick of stupid moronic comments like "Microsoft stole the BSD networking layer (because BSD gave a bit too liberal of a license which allows MS to sell what BSD gave away)"

So which is it?? They stole it? Or they used code which was G-I-V-E-N A-W-A-Y??

You GPL/Linux hosers really annoy me. You have no concept at all what "free" is.
BSD code is *GIVEN AWAY*. Repeat after me. Given.... Away.
You can't steal what someone GIVES you.
If we didn't WANT people to use our code we would slap the GPL or some other restrictive viral license on it.
</Annoyed>

Second MS BSD networking code came from a *company* that MS bought. That company just happened to have been using BSD licensed network code. Big Friggin Deal. That is what BSD code is there for. To be used. By anyone. For any reason. We're not interested in dictating usage of that code to people. We are only interested in getting that code into as many hands as possible. To further quality code use across the board. Not just for selective people that agree with a socialist philosophy. If you don't like the BSDL, fine don't use it. But stop spreading total garbage like "You stole freely available code that was given away!"
It makes you look like a FSF monkey.

singletrack
Feb 2, 2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by rjwill246
[B]

Yes, but it's not of their doing. And the European services are not iTMS by a long shot!

OD2 have licences with 5 major labels in Europe. Apple do not.

OD2 are a tiny small company ran by Peter Gabriel and what was once a small 3d graphics software company. Apple are one of the worlds biggest computer makers, own the largest online store and have billions of cash.

Sorry, but the 'not their fault' thing bears no grounding in reality. Their strategy has been lame from the start.

Incidentally, the OD2 infrastructure will work with AAC files and Apple's DRM. They could have been up and running in Europe off the back of OD2 months ago.

warmd
Feb 2, 2004, 01:10 PM
"There's a lot of buzz going around about how to bridge the gap to create a seamless experience. But there are some tough issues with that," says Dave Fester, GM of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media division. "We collectively need to do the right thing for the consumer."

Uncle Fester, if you really wanna do the right thing for the consumer.. give the stockholders back their money and call it a day (to paraphrase M. Dell on Apple)!

Microsoft are such soft and fuzzy care bears for the consumer when it suits them, aren't they?

Cysecool
Feb 2, 2004, 02:19 PM
I was just thinking that the situation that iTunes is in is very reminescent of Netscape back in 1995. They have a clear format adoption advantage and a much better curve for growth than anybody else. The Pepsi promotion and HP stuff pretty much lock up the market assuming they don't stumble.

So, the WORST thing they could do would be to make the system (iTunes/AAC) interoperable with WMA. This would be analogous to the idiotic tactic that Netscape engaged in by licensing SSL to Microsoft. Without the SSL interoperability, Netscape might have been able to hold on to market share much more aggressively because MS would have had to fight a standards war over electronic commerce instead of just assimilating the Netscape technology.

Similarly, if Apple can lure MS into a standards war, it will cost MS ten times the money to compete based on the adoption vector that iTunes has. Music assets are MUCH harder to switch from than bookmarks. MS will tire of this because the only way they could win is to cheat - i.e. use low level API changes to disrupt iTunes or push Media Player conversion deeper into the OS (i.e. more "product tying" - and they may be fresh out of "get out of jail free" cards.

I think Apple should go ahead and fight this out and then they will be in a position of strength. MS will adapt when they have to. They don't make money from Music - it is a potential market - and they can afford to write off a potential market or two.

Just my 2cents.

kcmac
Feb 2, 2004, 02:34 PM
quote:
Originally posted by frankly
I don't have an iPod so I can't test this theory. There was a quote by Phil Schiller saying that the DRM was built into iTunes so this may have some validity. The question is, does the DRM get stripped as the songs are transferred to the iPod OR does the iPod simply ignore the DRM???

Does anyone that has an iPod want to test the theory? Is so, copy some iTunes music store songs onto your iPod and then use the Terminal (or a free program) to transfer those songs back to your Mac and see if they are still protected.

Later, Frank

Posted by WASH
The DMR stays with the song no matter where it is I know cause I try to copy one song out of my ipod to my brothers ibook and after I copied it ask me to authenticate the song with my user/password when I try it told me that my 3 computer limit was used and I have to unauthorized one for the song to work with the ibook.

Cheers

With AAC format purchased from ITMS, you can burn onto a CD and import it to another computer encoding it as mp3. This removes the DMR and anyone can play it.

Someone tell me if you can take a DMR version of WMP and encode it to anything else. I don't think you can but I stand corrected if this is possible.

For anyone giving any kind of choice option scenario to M$ you have a short memory. Word processing used to be very easy when they were text documents.

Now of course they are ruled by .doc documents in the business world and even in for the home user. M$ has made .doc compatability a moving target and will keep doing so with their form of "open format XML". Yah sure it's open. (No other word processor on the planet has been able to read .doc at 100% compatability for complex docs with tables, etc. Even Office v.X for the mac falls short in those areas and this was designed by you know who.)

If M$ wins this format battle with WMP, it is extremely hard to imagine that they will let this format stay as it is. Sooner or later, we would all be bowing down to the WMP format which would then be the defacto standard, not an open one.

the_mole1314
Feb 2, 2004, 02:55 PM
Well, I remeber saying something like this a while ago about conversion of formats while keeping DRM. It seems like it might happen. But from the looks of it, it seems the music companies are pushing this, not Apple or M$. I bet we'll see something soon that'll convert files and save DRM, but why would you do it anyway? If you have all your files in WMA or AAC, why waste your time to convert them? I frankly think that it's going to be some BS software that'll never get used, just like the Add/Remove software program from Windows, nobody uses it since software comes with their own versions.

jettredmont
Feb 2, 2004, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by X86BSD
Oh for christs sakes. I'm so sick of stupid moronic comments like "Microsoft stole the BSD networking layer (because BSD gave a bit too liberal of a license which allows MS to sell what BSD gave away)"

So which is it?? They stole it? Or they used code which was G-I-V-E-N A-W-A-Y??


If you leave a bike out in your front yard and someone walks off with it, which is it:

1) Someone stole it

2) You were stupid in leaving it out front.

The answer, of course, is both.

The BSD code was poorly licensed, although the intention of that licensing was NOT to have it sold as a part of a for-profit OS. This is, effectively, proven by the fact that to get the TCP/IP stack they had to buy a company which had licensed the stack from BSD.

IOW, yes, Microsoft was within their legal rights to use it, just like they were within their legal rights to fully emulate the Mac OS in 1995 because of a stupid deal signed by Apple in 1987.

"Stole", then, was a bit too extreme of a verb. "Used", though, would be a bit too understated. I'll have to consult my thesaurus before commenting next time. :)


Second MS BSD networking code came from a *company* that MS bought. That company just happened to have been using BSD licensed network code. Big Friggin Deal. That is what BSD code is there for. To be used. By anyone. For any reason. We're not interested in dictating usage of that code to people. We are only interested in getting that code into as many hands as possible. To further quality code use across the board. Not just for selective people that agree with a socialist philosophy. If you don't like the BSDL, fine don't use it. But stop spreading total garbage like "You stole freely available code that was given away!"
It makes you look like a FSF monkey.

Quotes from BSD developers at the time tended to use words like "stole" when referring to MS using their code. I apologize if you are offended by that, but I think it is historically inaccurate to say that "We [were] only interested in getting that code into as many hands as possible." That may be the BSD philosophy today, but it certainly wasn't the case when MS started using BSD code. There were a lot of sour grapes flying around at the time.

OTOH, I think the sour grapes would have been nearly or even completely dispelled if MS had in any way acknowledged the BSD origins of its TCP/IP stack.

By now, of course, the point is largely moot. While many utilities are still BSD-based (ftp.exe, for instance), MS minions claim that the TCP/IP stack was rewritten for NT 3.5 or one of the later NT variants (which one, precisely, varies by minion; the fact that the TCP/IP stack was rewritten is largely agreed upon, though).

kcmac
Feb 2, 2004, 03:07 PM
By the_moleI bet we'll see something soon that'll convert files and save DRM, but why would you do it anyway? If you have all your files in WMA or AAC, why waste your time to convert them?

I don't want to convert them, just stated that you can. I don't think you can convert the protected WMP files which then means WMP is more of a concern than protected AAC files which you can convert.

X86BSD
Feb 2, 2004, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
If you leave a bike out in your front yard and someone walks off with it, which is it:

1) Someone stole it

2) You were stupid in leaving it out front.

The answer, of course, is both.

The BSD code was poorly licensed, although the intention of that licensing was NOT to have it sold as a part of a for-profit OS. This is, effectively, proven by the fact that to get the TCP/IP stack they had to buy a company which had licensed the stack from BSD.

"Stole", then, was a bit too extreme of a verb. "Used", though, would be a bit too understated. I'll have to consult my thesaurus before commenting next time. :)



Quotes from BSD developers at the time tended to use words like "stole" when referring to MS using their code. I apologize if you are offended by that, but I think it is historically inaccurate to say that "We [were] only interested in getting that code into as many hands as possible." That may be the BSD philosophy today, but it certainly wasn't the case when MS started using BSD code. There were a lot of sour grapes flying around at the time.


If I leave my bike out in my yard and someone takes it, thats THEFT. That's private property they are trespassing on.
Go ask any law enforcement officer your same ridiculous question.

BSD code is not poorly licensed. It does *exactly* what it is licensed to do. Get adopted widely and with no strings attached. Saying that BSD licensed code was not intended for being sold for profit is absurd. And you clearly understand nothing of the license itself. And no MS did not have to buy a company to get a BSD stack. Nor did that company *license* a BSD stack. The company they bought merely did the obvious, grabbed the *freely available with no strings attached BSD network code* and put it in their product. Then MS bought that company and their products. It's that simple. MS merely chose to buy that company and as part of the assets of that company was a stack that used BSD network code. Since they paid for the company they might as well use the assets they obtained with it. But they did not have to, they could have just as easily CVS'ed the entire BSD source tree and picked anything they wanted.
I'd love to know who you got your quotes from. Because if you ask Kirk McKusick about what the BSDL philosophy was, he will tell you, and in fact he's quoted in the oreilly open source book, that the goal was it was not copyright, nor copyleft, it was copy center. As in take it down to the copy center and make as many copies as you want. So again id love to see who's quotes you are quoting as gospel over MS using BSD code. Because im betting it's not even a BSD developer. So if you can provide quotes and sources id love to see them. The philosophy of BSD Licensing has not changed since day one. Make quality code available to all, with no strings attached.

jasonbw
Feb 2, 2004, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by singletrack
AFAIK, the iPod has no DRM in it at all. When you copy DRM'd songs to it in iTunes, the Fairplay DRM part is removed by iTunes. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

The DRM only relates to your Mac/PC, not your player.



I believe that ipods simply ignore DRM. Thats why you can transfer to unlimited ipods. I'm not exactly sure how wma players deal with it. could be the same method. walmart says you can transfer to unlimited drm-capable players, so i'm assuming there is some generic drm approval built in.

billyboy
Feb 2, 2004, 04:23 PM
Apple were the guinea pigs who volunteered to show the Big Five how to do music online. Apple has demonstrated that the technology and the business model work. Apple have done their bit and are in the driving seat, well, Steve Jobs is. He must have known the music world would be round the iTunes honeypot when it worked, so he must have had a plan for stage 2 and he must have outlined that plan to the big five.

It seems to me that this recent co-operation talk, if it is true, was probably driven by the music industry big five super brains, trying to get it straight in their own heads what the hell is going on.

Probably every person who matters at these dinosaur outfits owns an iPod and knows there is still no alternative anywhere near as potent as Apple. AAC is sweet, the DRM is secure, the public seem to like it, and the independent figures show that the public look set to like it even more for years to come. However, the seeds of doubt are being sown. The Big Five are having their ears bent by the struggling WMA brigade plus MS, who are pleading and giving bs predictions of what they can theoretically do for music if only they had the time to get their acts together. And to be fair, the Big Five have to listen to the WMA lobby because on the surface it sounds so powerful - even if sales figures say nothing serious is really happening. It is a good bet that their wavering dodderinesses are the ones slowing down iTunes Europe.

Technically, if the Big Five caved in to proprietary standards and said they didn't want to support the Apple way, then that's game over for iTMS once the current contracts run out. The main saving grace for Apple is that

a) iTunes works, and is working too well for any number cruncher in the big five to ever justify dumping the 70% market leader and industry darling.

b) Apple have the infrastructure and marketing ability to develop music stores on a global scale.

b) SJ hasnt spoken with forked tongue yet, his vision has panned out, so his vision for stage 2 has to carry a LOT of weight. He seems to have the respect of the music industry and although he is out to do well for Apple, it seems that the model so far has proven good for the music industry and consumers.

Hopefully SJ can keep talking fast enough to get the point across that Apple has set the industry standard and stage 2 is to make that standard truly open, now it is known to work. For his part, in return for the Big Five's continued support of AAC, SJ will have to make Fairplay DRM available to all and sundry by 2005. The "beta" will go into general production and the gloves are off for an AAC stampede.

I think that would fit in quite nicely for Apple and suit the music industry. Another year and a bit of iTunes mania till 2005, when Apple throws the doors open to a straight shoot out between the best music stores and the best digital music players. Real networks and whoever else on the AAC trail slip nicely into the market, but Apple can fight there corner better than anyone in the next few years simply because their "integrated player and music store culture" is two years more engrained into the company than most of the competition. The mindset of the consumers is more iTunes oriented too.

Quite how MS or the wannabe WMA music stores fit in to a free world of open standard music formats, I don't know. Just because they have spent hundreds of millions backing WMA desnt mean it is worth $$$$ in the market place - Apple spent $500m on a Newton that bombed.

I reckon a show of faith would be for Apple and the BIg Five to recompense the people who have downloaded WMA format music whilst iTunes has been going- $12 million so far? - and leave MS to do what the hell they like with their proprietary format!

jettredmont
Feb 2, 2004, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by X86BSD
If I leave my bike out in my yard and someone takes it, thats THEFT. That's private property they are trespassing on.
Go ask any law enforcement officer your same ridiculous question.


Which, of course, misses the point that (in many parts of the US as well as the rest of the world), it's still a really stupid thing to do. In other words, as I said, it's both. Which, to get back to what your original assertation was, it is certainly possible for one party to do something really stupid and for another party to take advantage of said stupidity, and, therefore, both parties being partly at fault for something.

At least, that's how I read your initial blustery response. I apologize if you were trying to make a different point.


Anyways ... sorry to get your panties in a bunch over a throwaway single-line comment (of which, I believe, you found only one word objectionable to begin with).

Do I have a library of quotes to reference? Of course not. I'm not a part of the BSD development program, nor have I ever been. I did frequent the BSD developer usenet groups at the time, however, and there were a hell of a lot of folks claiming to have developed bits and pieces of BSD's toolkit who weren't happy with MS at all. Was that somehow an "official" view? I don't know. Sounds like you know the "official" line from BSD, so I'll freely accept that, officially, BSD is just plain f'n pleased as peaches that Microsoft chose to use their code as one of the key selling points of Windows NT (without officially attributing the code to BSD). If you've worked for any development team in your life (as your username would suggest) you'll understand, however, that there is often a huge chasm between the Party Line and the Word on the Street, especially in projects as diverse as BSD.

So, I'll hereby bow out of the debate. This really isn't the place for it (Windows being or not being Unix was off topic ... Microsoft's TCP stack and the BSD connection is a few steps farther off).

That having been said ... Sheesh!

csimmons
Feb 2, 2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by singletrack
OD2 have licences with 5 major labels in Europe. Apple do not.

OD2 are a tiny small company ran by Peter Gabriel and what was once a small 3d graphics software company. Apple are one of the worlds biggest computer makers, own the largest online store and have billions of cash.

Sorry, but the 'not their fault' thing bears no grounding in reality. Their strategy has been lame from the start.

Incidentally, the OD2 infrastructure will work with AAC files and Apple's DRM. They could have been up and running in Europe off the back of OD2 months ago.

Again, the actual numbers demonstrate how well OD2 is doing; not very well.

Here in Germany, T-Online has had it's Music On Demand service up and running since 2000. It hasn't done very well, for the same reason OD2 isn't taking off as many in the industry had hoped: The price of downloads, and the hassle of actually getting the music onto your player. Also, the iPod is the number 1 player sold in Europe as well, and neither OD2, nor T-Online's MOD work with it the way iTMS does.

The European music industry is a joke anyway. I know, because I work in it. Each country has it's own licensing schemes, royalty rates, fees, performing rights agencies, etc. so it is no trivial task for an American company to get the kind of rights that Apple was able to get for iTMS in the States. OD2 was able to get agreements from the "major" labels because in Great Britain only; It's not available in any other country on the continent AFAIK.

Xapplimatic
Feb 2, 2004, 10:49 PM
Won't it be terrible for the owners of those mp3-only players which don't have an upgradable EPROM when their players can't play the new formats? Remember there was a time when the iPod couldn't play AAC.. That was added later when the music store came online! I was never more excited when suddenly the iPod got the firmware upgrade that allowed it to play those AAC files that I had just tried encoding stuff in in the older iTunes (3?).. It will be nice to see it upgraded again with a unilateral standard, if that ever comes to be.. I am not intimidated by the proposition of an upgraded cross-platform standard.. However, since iTunes AAC is somewhat cross-platform (excluding only Linux and old 16-bit machines nolonger developed for), I would insist that the standard is already here and now.. Embrace and use...

HP/Compaq has already thrown in the towel and is grovelling before Apple's feet. It's only a matter of time before one more chooses this example and then the avalanche consumes Micro$haft uh I mean Micro$oft too.. My prediction is they will succumb and give up plans for taking over the music format war to focus on content providing with MSN to make their precious greenbacks.. by no later than 2005.

howtoplaydead
Feb 2, 2004, 11:43 PM
this is what i was talking about in the superbowl ad thread. this is what i was feeling uneasy about. call it AAPL or ESP, I had the intuition that something bad was on the verge of happening, something along the lines of 1996. this is Microsoft shooting Apple down again. (maybe this is an extremist poin of view :confused: ) I believe that sound quality below 160 is less than acceptable for music, if I'm listening to Carlin, i don't mind it at 80. (most of my 32gb music collection is at 192)

748s
Feb 3, 2004, 01:06 AM
hope steve's first words to gates were "knife the baby bill". if not i hope he went in with that attitude.

singletrack
Feb 3, 2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by csimmons
Again, the actual numbers demonstrate how well OD2 is doing; not very well.

I don't know about that. The market for WMA DRM'd players is tiny and there's more of a culture of downloading off of Kazaa amongst Windows users.

Not being able to use an iPod must hurt OD2 quite badly.

And although they have 260,000 tracks, they also cost almost twice as much as in the Apple store.

Originally posted by csimmons
OD2 was able to get agreements from the "major" labels because in Great Britain only; It's not available in any other country on the continent AFAIK.

France and Spain do ok also but yes, OD2 have taken a piecemeal approach to signing up labels in each country whilst not holding back for the whole of Europe.