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MacRumors
Feb 20, 2004, 09:23 AM
According to DanceFrontDoor.co.uk (http://www.dancefrontdoor.co.uk/article2591.html) the PortalPlayer chip used in the Apple iPod (PB5502B-C) is capable of decoding WMA (Windows Media Audio) by default.

Certainly, Apple's decision not to allow the iPod to play WMA-formatted songs is a strategic one rather than a technical hurdle.

With HP's recent adoption of the iPod, there was some speculation that the iPod would support the Windows format, but HP clearly stated (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/01/20040113162137.shtml) that WMA support was not planned. As well, reliable sources (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/01/20040112145522.shtml) had indicated the same.

virividox
Feb 20, 2004, 09:27 AM
so we can assume someday someone is gonna hack it and then it will support wma...

well if napster goes down then whats the point of wma

jeffgarden
Feb 20, 2004, 09:27 AM
I kinda want more music stores, i guess like Sony and Real, to come out using their own proprietary formats just because it'll make it seem less like Apple vs. The World.

Right now everyone but Apple uses WMA and a lot of articles make it seem like Apple's not playing nice.

I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but does anyone know if the WMA files from all the music stores that use them play on each other's MP3 players ? Like can you download from Napster and put the songs on the Dell DJ ?

Spagolli94
Feb 20, 2004, 09:29 AM
I am getting sick of all this iPod news...

iPod this, iPod that.

Yet, it's still silent when it comes to any hardware updates. As a creative professional, Apple has been completely stagnant for almost a year now.

arn
Feb 20, 2004, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by jeffgarden

I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but does anyone know if the WMA files from all the music stores that use them play on each other's MP3 players ? Like can you download from Napster and put the songs on the Dell DJ ?

Yep... all players that support _Protected WMA_ work with each other's songs...

the list of players that specifically support Protected WMA is a much shorter list than those that support regular WMA... but should be growing.

arn

tazznb
Feb 20, 2004, 09:31 AM
to see WMA evaporate, but there are wayyyyyyyy too many lemming about.

arn
Feb 20, 2004, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by Spagolli94
Yet, it's still silent when it comes to any hardware updates. As a creative professional, Apple has been completely stagnant for almost a year now.

Maybe there's nothing coming out in the immediate future?

Would you rather there had been (incorrect) daily claims of PowerMac G5 updates throughout January and February?

arn

mustang_dvs
Feb 20, 2004, 09:35 AM
Personally, I see no problem in Apple's decision to leave WMA support out of the iPod specifications. The iPod supports MP3 and AAC, both of which are industry-standard and have numerous encoder products available.

pkradd
Feb 20, 2004, 09:37 AM
This information is not new. It was reported over a year ago before iTunes was introduced. A software upgrade would give WMA compatibility. But why bother now? Anyone who has a bunch of WMA files can burn them to a CD as MP3 then load them into the iTunes "jukebox" and then into an iPod. Duh.......................

jakeludington
Feb 20, 2004, 09:38 AM
PortalPlayer is also used in the Rio Karma, which supports WMA, MP3, and OGG. The PortalPlayer platform supports all four formats.

If you purchase WMA format music from *any* of the online stores, like MusicMatch.com, BuyMusic.com, Napster, etc, it will work on *any* player supporting WMA format audio.

Love or hate either Apple or Microsoft, the player shouldn't dictate which formats will work. Apple admits to making no money on music, so why not support every format and just concentrate on making great players?

AirUncleP
Feb 20, 2004, 09:41 AM
FYI. This article on CNN talks about the same thing and how most consumers don't realize this.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/18/technology/ipods_0403/index.htm

Photorun
Feb 20, 2004, 09:42 AM
If Apple went with WMA it be the nails in the coffin for AAC. People are lemmings, as I've said repeated in these forums, people are pretty dumb, they're sheep, they just hear buzz words and go "oh, well, if everyone else is drinking the Koolaid, guess I'll drink it too." WMA is that Koolaid. It's sh**ty and, much like the company that came out with it, lackluster and crappy and people just assume it's standard. To accept this format just champions mediocrity even more and allows Microsh** more power and influence over the industry... it's that simple. No WMA is a good thing.

Photorun
Feb 20, 2004, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by AirUncleP
FYI. This article on CNN talks about the same thing and how most consumers don't realize this.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/18/technology/ipods_0403/index.htm

Wow, and the person who wrote that article is a complete and total DUMBASS!!! He should wake the ******* up and smell the java, does he use a peecee?!? Has he no idea how locked into EVERYTHING he is on that WIntel piece of crap he's using?!? What a moron!!! Proves nothing except just how CLUELESS people are!

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 10:00 AM
Truth be told the music industry screwed the pooch by not defining one music codec to rule them all. This is by far their biggest gaffe. They should have sanctioned only one format with appropriate DRM. Instead they're letting every Tom Dick and Harry with digital aspiration create a music store with their own format. Very messy.


As for today. No the iPod should not support WMA. Just because the chipset plays it doesn't mean the licensing is free. Apple should remain the course with aac but they also need to start licensing out the protected AAC format(with fairplay of course) to select 3rd parties like Roku Labs, Phatnoise and some other high-end companies like Request and Escient. Don't get greedy Apple get smart.

Adding WMA only supports your competitor and being that Apple has 56% share of the total online stores the questions begs...why aren't the other portable players chomping at the bit to add AAC support? We're confusing things here by asking the majority to bend to the will of the minority.

jakeludington
Feb 20, 2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Photorun
WMA is that Koolaid. It's sh**ty and, much like the company that came out with it, lackluster and crappy and people just assume it's standard. To accept this format just champions mediocrity even more and allows Microsh** more power and influence over the industry... it's that simple. No WMA is a good thing.

While Microsoft is still perfecting the DRM scheme for WMA on Mac OS X, the format is technically as good as or better than AAC at all comparable bitrates.

Honestly, who cares which format survives as long as I can play it on any player of my choosing. With AAC/Fairplay, I can listen to the music on any player, as long as it is an iPod. That's not choice.

AAC/Fairplay won't work with my Rio Karma, or my Dell DJ, or the cheap flash-based player I take to the gym so I don't have to risk losing a $300 device in the locker room.

If you want the AAC format to thrive, don't blame Microsoft. Convince the powers that be at Apple to do a hard sell on other device manufacturers. Of course that won't happen. If other players supported AAC, people wouldn't buy as many iPods, because the could get a "good enough" player for a fraction of the cost.

robotrenegade
Feb 20, 2004, 10:08 AM
WMA files sound like poop. Who care only 10% of the world uses that file format.

0 and A ai
Feb 20, 2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Spagolli94
I am getting sick of all this iPod news...

iPod this, iPod that.

Yet, it's still silent when it comes to any hardware updates. As a creative professional, Apple has been completely stagnant for almost a year now.

lol can u say troll:p

j33pd0g
Feb 20, 2004, 10:16 AM
So what, you can buy a few decent players for under $100; most hold only 30 or so songs at a time. Following this logic you would have to buy 100 devices to hold up to 3,000 tunes. 100 devices will cost you 10,000 bucks. You're better off buying a 15gb iPod for $299.00 that can hold 3,700 songs. You would save 9,701 dollars.

Also I think that if M$ had made their own winPod, devices from Creative, Dell, iRiver, Rio and Samsung would not have been allowed to support the WMA format. They would be forced to use only the mp3 or ogg.

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 10:17 AM
From
http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/18/technology/ipods_0403/index.htm

Go Apple and you'll own what's still the best-designed player on the market, working in tandem with the best combination of software and an online music catalogue. But you'll also pay more and have fewer choices. (Hey, longtime Mac users -- ring a bell?)

The Author makes an assumption that he doesn't back up. The assumption are Apple is always more expensive and choices are limited. I'm failing to see the limitation. Fairplay DRM allows me to move my songs amongst 3 computers, burn playlists up to 10 times unchanged and send to ipod unlimited amount of times. In fact my choices are pretty damn vast.


With WMA, your costs go down as your options go up.

If they are it hasn't been proven. My choice is Protected WMA from a few other stores...some with varying levels of Fair Usage. I have choice in portable players but not all will support Protected WMA so I must be careful.

I think what's happening right now is that many writers simply aren't capturing what readers really need to know. Fair Usage and what they can do with the music upfront. There is too much pressure to align with Microsoft tech...simply because they're microsoft.

siliconjones
Feb 20, 2004, 10:20 AM
If you think about it logically the music industry would most likely champion codec non-interoperability when it comes to the distribution of music. Interoperability facilitates easy SHARING and we all know they don't want that. As far as WMA goes, blechhh!! If quicktime doesn't play I don't want it. I would N E V E R install Windows media on my machine. E V E R. I do use VLC to play the occasional WMV though.

fixyourthinking
Feb 20, 2004, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by pkradd
This information is not new. It was reported over a year ago before iTunes was introduced. A software upgrade would give WMA compatibility. But why bother now? Anyone who has a bunch of WMA files can burn them to a CD as MP3 then load them into the iTunes "jukebox" and then into an iPod. Duh.......................

The previous chips in 1st and 2nd gen iPods were exclusive to the iPod. The 3rd gen iPods use a chip by portal player (PB5502B-C chip) that is found in at LEAST 8 other players.

The previous rumors weren't really all that possible - adding WMA to the iPod is now plausible.

I had posted this in my slashdot journal a few days ago:

So, the question here is, if people have access to the firmware updates that Apple has already released and people have knowledge of this chip at OTHER companies (like Samsung and Creative) why would it be so difficult to release an underground WMA firmware update for the iPod?

Cochrane
Feb 20, 2004, 10:29 AM
That WMA is in there ain't new. Portal Player has been claiming "all chips with WMA support" for two years and more, so even if Apple had an own chip only for themselves it wouldn't be a surprise if it supports WMA and it does.

What I think is interesting, is the OGG support mentioned above. Why isn't that active? Maybe because Apple would then have a rival to AAC.

jakeludington
Feb 20, 2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
The Author makes an assumption that he doesn't back up. The assumption are Apple is always more expensive and choices are limited. I'm failing to see the limitation. Fairplay DRM allows me to move my songs amongst 3 computers, burn playlists up to 10 times unchanged and send to ipod unlimited amount of times. In fact my choices are pretty damn vast.

Compare the 20GB iPod to the 20GB Dell DJ, or 20GB Rio Karma. Both are cheaper than the iPod.

Choices are limited to playing songs in iTunes or playing them on an iPod. What if I want to play a song in RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, MusicMatch, or WinAMP? What if my company gives me a Dell DJ as a bonus for sales performance? Do I sell it on eBay so I can keep buying songs from iTunes? That's not choice, that's Ford's Model T in any color as long as it's black.


Originally posted by nuckinfutz
If they are it hasn't been proven. My choice is Protected WMA from a few other stores...some with varying levels of Fair Usage. I have choice in portable players but not all will support Protected WMA so I must be careful.

Name a player that doesn't support Protected WMA besides the iPod.

Creative, iRiver, Rio, Napster, Gateway, Dell, Archos, Audivox, Audible, Casio, CenDyne, Bantam, Intel, Samsung, TDK, Sanyo, and many others all support protected WMA.

Yes, many of those players suck. The first 6 companies on that list all make players that are good enough to compete with the iPod at better price points.

Originally posted by nuckinfutz
I think what's happening right now is that many writers simply aren't capturing what readers really need to know. Fair Usage and what they can do with the music upfront. There is too much pressure to align with Microsoft tech...simply because they're microsoft.

Buyers shouldn't have to think about what they can do with files upfront. We don't want to read the label to see where the files will work. If I have a CD, I know it will play in a CD player. If I have a DVD, I know it will play in a DVD player. If I have a VHS tape, I know it plays in my VCR. If I have a digital music file, who knows where it will play.

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 10:38 AM
While Microsoft is still perfecting the DRM scheme for WMA on Mac OS X, the format is technically as good as or better than AAC at all comparable bitrates.

Subjective statement. Plenty of people could say the exact opposite.

Honestly, who cares which format survives as long as I can play it on any player of my choosing. With AAC/Fairplay, I can listen to the music on any player, as long as it is an iPod. That's not choice

No you can Burn a CD and then re-rip to any format you want. Meaning you can make your investment portable. If you really cared about buying non "lossy" you wouldn't be buying compressed music anyways. This arguement is based on laziness moreso that actual limitations.

Again a unified format would have been most preferrable but instead we have people trying to justify why WMA should be it over AAC and vice versa.

jakeludington
Feb 20, 2004, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
Again a unified format would have been most preferrable but instead we have people trying to justify why WMA should be it over AAC and vice versa.

This isn't a WMA vs. AAC arguement, it's a discussion of portability. WMA is irrelevant. A unified format isn't necessary either.

Apple currently restricts usage of iTunes files to very narrowly defined parameters, because they fear competition from other hardware vendors.

For the sake of arguement, say I purchase 10,000 songs from iTunes. I probably have twice that many songs on CD, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

I certainly could burn all 10,000 to CD and then rip them to WMA or MP3 so that I can listen to them on a device other than an iPod.

The average CD takes somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes to burn, with another 5-10 minutes to rip the tracks to WMA or MP3. On the low side, that's 10 minutes per CD, with the average CD containing 10 tracks, or 1,000 CDs. I can think of better ways to spend a week of my time.

After investing $9,900 in music, that seems to be a rather high price to pay for being able to use my songs where I want.

takao
Feb 20, 2004, 10:55 AM
hmm whats those discussion about really ? i mean i am a windows user (i know, i know...)...

i never ever saw a .wma or .wmv file
i know _zero_ people using one of those formats

perhaps some user which are ripping their cds with windows media player...but who does that ?

sparks9
Feb 20, 2004, 10:59 AM
It's great to have alot of iPod news on this site. It's probably my main reason for visiting this site.

alset
Feb 20, 2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by jakeludington
While Microsoft is still perfecting the DRM scheme for WMA on Mac OS X, the format is technically as good as or better than AAC at all comparable bitrates.

Honestly, who cares which format survives as long as I can play it on any player of my choosing. With AAC/Fairplay, I can listen to the music on any player, as long as it is an iPod. That's not choice.

Right. I forgot that it's Apple's fault for supporting a standard. Read it again.... It's a variation on an industry standard. WMA DRM formats are a variation on a proprietary format.

I'm going to guess that you can't hear the difference between and MP3 and a CD. If that's the case, lemme end your suspense and let you know that WMA sounds terrible. OGG is the only challenger to AAC, among lossy compression schemes. I'll say again, WMA sounds god-awful. If the world switched to WMA and I couldn't get around using it, I would encode all my music to AIFF and chew hard disk space to avoid mangling sound.




AAC/Fairplay won't work with my Rio Karma, or my Dell DJ, or the cheap flash-based player I take to the gym so I don't have to risk losing a $300 device in the locker room.


So use those and stop whining. Personally, I don't leave my iPod sitting around when I take it to a gym, but if you can't be asked to guard your possesions, maybe the more expensive player isn't for you. Sounds like you would rather buy a lot of cheap units than spend money on one quality player.


If you want the AAC format to thrive, don't blame Microsoft. Convince the powers that be at Apple to do a hard sell on other device manufacturers. Of course that won't happen. If other players supported AAC, people wouldn't buy as many iPods, because the could get a "good enough" player for a fraction of the cost.


Nobody is blaming M$ for AAC not taking off. What has been said, and what you should realize, is that AAC is an industry standard. M$ has created an inferrior (doesn't sound as good, remember?) compression scheme and has begun to move into a market where their help isn't needed. Don't kid yourself, this isn't because they think they can do a better job. They just want a bigger piece of the pie.

As for your bit about other players supporting AAC, you say it as if Apple controls the liscensing for AAC and can shut everyone out of the market to keep the format iPod only. I won't respond to this, other than to say that you should pay attention to the market. Oh, hell, I'll provide some links, too. (1 (http://www.buy.com/retail/electronics/product.asp?sku=90122821&sp=1&loc=111&queryType=) , 2 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000066R5K/qid=1067257260/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-electronics/002-0402444-1900006?v=glance&s=electronics&n=172282) , 3 (http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/svsr100/) ) These are without digging. But feel free to use a weaker compression scheme, pay license royalties to M$, and allow yourself to get locked-in to a format controlled by a company who is known for bullying distributors. It's the smart move. Really.

Dan

crees!
Feb 20, 2004, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by jakeludington
Honestly, who cares which format survives as long as I can play it on any player of my choosing. With AAC/Fairplay, I can listen to the music on any player, as long as it is an iPod. That's not choice.


I care. I switched to Apple to get away from MS and shoddy hardware/software. Using MS Word is already pushing it. MP3 -> AAC is a logical progression.

alset
Feb 20, 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by takao
perhaps some user which are ripping their cds with windows media player...but who does that ?

Tons of people. It's only getting stronger, sadly.

Dan

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 11:02 AM
Compare the 20GB iPod to the 20GB Dell DJ, or 20GB Rio Karma. Both are cheaper than the iPod

Yes but the Dell DJ and Rio Karma are still being outsold by the iPod. Therefore we must attribute that to other beneficial qualities of the iPod.

iTunes plays AAIF, MP3, OGG with a plugin as well as AAC. Sounds like lot's of choices. ipods play AAIF, MP3, and AAC. I can transcode my AAC files into whatever I want. You're "lack of choices" statement is borne of laziness rather than ability. I DO have the ability to have my music meet the needs of my playback device. To say otherwise is disingenuous.



Name a player that doesn't support Protected WMA besides the iPod.

Easy. Go to www.phatnoise.com protected WMA is not supported...yet.



The first 6 companies on that list all make players that are good enough to compete with the iPod at better price points.

Perhaps people want more than "good enough" Jake. There is a reason why the iPods are selling well and it's not based on flashy looks. It works

Buyers shouldn't have to think about what they can do with files upfront. We don't want to read the label to see where the files will work. If I have a CD, I know it will play in a CD player.

I got a few "CDs" that don't play in my CD player because of copy protection. WMA is no better than AAC in this regards. Again without a universal standard it's all for naught.


Life is really pretty simple. If the value proposition you get with Apple or whatever company doesn't suit you...vote with your dollars. I don't have an iPod but it will likely be my first choice when I do look for portable players. I use both platforms daily....and sometimes I want something to work ....and work right. Choice is great but it can be a hinderance too.

Le Big Mac
Feb 20, 2004, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by jakeludington

Apple admits to making no money on music, so why not support every format and just concentrate on making great players?

See, and that's why it doesn't really make sense not to include it if they're not going to license fairplay. As it is, they're using iTMS to sell the iPod. What does it hurt apple to allow folks to buy music elsewhere adn put those tunes on the ipod? They're already selling the ipod because it's better. Putting WMA on makes it only that much better.

jocknerd
Feb 20, 2004, 11:12 AM
We shouldn't be purchasing any music whatsoever that is not CD quality or contains DRM. We should be insisting on pure CD quality music to download without any DRM restrictions whatsoever. Hell, I'm as guilty as the next person. I've spent over $100 on iTMS. Its convenient. But it almost makes me sick to think I'm paying for inferior quality music. We're paying almost the same price to download music as we would pay for the CD. Now there is no room to offer us CD-quality download without it costing us more than actually going out and purchasing the CD itself. Something's wrong here and once again, we the consumer, are being led around by our purse strings.

blueBomber
Feb 20, 2004, 11:16 AM
in reply to original post:

Didn't we already know this? Why is this suddenly information of interest? Not trying to start trouble, just wondering why this story landed on the front page.

MorganX
Feb 20, 2004, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Photorun
Wow, and the person who wrote that article is a complete and total DUMBASS!!! He should wake the ******* up and smell the java, does he use a peecee?!? Has he no idea how locked into EVERYTHING he is on that WIntel piece of crap he's using?!? What a moron!!! Proves nothing except just how CLUELESS people are!

I'm really not to interested in this topic. If Apple needs to, rest assured they will enable WMA playback. They won't unless they need to.

The the ferocity of your comments is distrubing. Let's see, if you go with WMA you can choose from how many players? from how many different vendors? from how many music stores?

If you go with iTMS, you can go with how many players? from how many different vendors? how many music stores?

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by jakeludington
This isn't a WMA vs. AAC arguement, it's a discussion of portability. WMA is irrelevant. A unified format isn't necessary either.

Apple currently restricts usage of iTunes files to very narrowly defined parameters, because they fear competition from other hardware vendors.

For the sake of arguement, say I purchase 10,000 songs from iTunes. I probably have twice that many songs on CD, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

I certainly could burn all 10,000 to CD and then rip them to WMA or MP3 so that I can listen to them on a device other than an iPod.

The average CD takes somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes to burn, with another 5-10 minutes to rip the tracks to WMA or MP3. On the low side, that's 10 minutes per CD, with the average CD containing 10 tracks, or 1,000 CDs. I can think of better ways to spend a week of my time.

After investing $9,900 in music, that seems to be a rather high price to pay for being able to use my songs where I want.

1. AAC offers plenty of portability. Being able to burn Red Book Audio means you can transcode into whatever you want. All it takes is a modicum of effort.

2. Universal formats are preferred. CDs DVD's wouldn't have had their huge success without becoming "Universal" it is indeed important.

3. Apple restricts their service to narrow parameters because they seek to make a profit. That's not a dirty word. As long as their is mutual consideration for both parties the deal is fine.

4. Ripping CDs isn't fun. Therefore Caveat Emptor....choose your download service wisely.

neoelectronaut
Feb 20, 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by siliconjones
If you think about it logically the music industry would most likely champion codec non-interoperability when it comes to the distribution of music. Interoperability facilitates easy SHARING and we all know they don't want that. As far as WMA goes, blechhh!! If quicktime doesn't play I don't want it. I would N E V E R install Windows media on my machine. E V E R. I do use VLC to play the occasional WMV though.

Wait, VLC plays WMVs?

Wow, maybe I should uninstall Windows Media Player.


.....only if it wasn't for the streaming media.

blueBomber
Feb 20, 2004, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by jocknerd
We shouldn't be purchasing any music whatsoever that is not CD quality or contains DRM. We should be insisting on pure CD quality music to download without any DRM restrictions whatsoever. Hell, I'm as guilty as the next person. I've spent over $100 on iTMS. Its convenient. But it almost makes me sick to think I'm paying for inferior quality music. We're paying almost the same price to download music as we would pay for the CD. Now there is no room to offer us CD-quality download without it costing us more than actually going out and purchasing the CD itself. Something's wrong here and once again, we the consumer, are being led around by our purse strings.

I guess I just don't understand why your upset. The reason that ITMS is so popular is because of the reason you suggested, it's convenient. Also, the music downloading craze taught the music industry that people wanted a way to selectivly by tracks that doesn't involve buying countless overpriced cd singles. Not once has anyone claimed that AAC is superior to cd (in ITMS encodings), but for most people the sound is more than good enough. I don't feel I'm being led around by my purse strings, I'm fully aware of what I'm getting, and I find myself buying music more often than I used too.

nuckinfutz
Feb 20, 2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by Le Big Mac
See, and that's why it doesn't really make sense not to include it if they're not going to license fairplay. As it is, they're using iTMS to sell the iPod. What does it hurt apple to allow folks to buy music elsewhere adn put those tunes on the ipod? They're already selling the ipod because it's better. Putting WMA on makes it only that much better.


Again ....you two share the same fallacious logic. iPods are the #1 portable player device. iTMS is the #1 service. You're asking the Majority to add the features of the Minority to "better" itself. Doesn't that sound silly to you??

Apple has succeeded "despite" not having WMA support or a plethora of portable players. This tells me that consumers who are purchasing music and players are savvy and keen on getting a system that works for them and not against them.

mrsebastian
Feb 20, 2004, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
I got a few "CDs" that don't play in my CD player because of copy protection. WMA is no better than AAC in this regards. Again without a universal standard it's all for naught...

you got a good point there and it's the kind of thing that'll make conumers say [bleep] you to companies. i like mp3 simply because that's what i converted my entire album collection to and become a well enough accepted standard. even at high bit rate mp3s for good sound quality, my 2000+ album collection now rests comfortably on 200+ mp3 cds and they are efficiently archived so everything is easy to find.

we finally as a group accepted mp3s as the mainstream, so why do companies keep giving us new formats? considering that many stock car players now support mp3, why do they think we are going to change formats again? i love apple, but i think even aac was not such a great move. they would have been better off with figuring out a protection scheme for mp3. though itms is really cool and i have bought a couple of albums from there, it's just too much of a pain to convert to mp3 library. i believe in legally optaining my music, so that's not the point, but why am i going to bother with aac or wma, when i can't put on a cd (or other format) and play it at home, on my laptop, at work, and in my car?.. and yes i have an ipod, but that's not the point. i want one format and it better be mp3!

rotorblade
Feb 20, 2004, 11:36 AM
I agree with others that the music industry itself should have championed a format/DRM that was compatible for everyone. Then, both players and services would have been left to compete on their merits.

I would encode all my music to AIFF and chew hard disk space to avoid mangling sound.

Other than the songs I purchase at the iTMS, my entire iTunes music library is AIFF. While my iPod certainly can't hold the entire library, I don't need to bring a 1,000 songs with me when I take off for a weekend either, so it's not an issue.

In the meantime, I'm just going to sit back, enjoy my music and watch this entire mess unfold.

jocknerd
Feb 20, 2004, 11:46 AM
If Apple really wants to keep WMA from winning, it needs to just sell us the music in its original format. Forget AAC. Forget WMA. Forget MP3. Forget OGG. Offer it to us in either AIFF, WAV, or better yet, FLAC.

Nobody can tell me that an AAC encoded song sounds as good as a CD on good equipment. Its just not the same. Let me be the one to decide what compressed format I want to listen to my music in. But give me my music in its original clarity.

But what about DRM? We shouldn't be buying music with that either. How many of you refuse to purchase a CD that has copy protection on it? If you won't buy a CD with it, why is it ok to purchase music online that has DRM?

Fairplay and Microsoft's DRM have nothing to do with rights. They are designed to "lock you in".

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Le Big Mac
What does it hurt apple to allow folks to buy music elsewhere adn put those tunes on the ipod?

What does it GAIN you to buy music elsewhere?

jasonbw
Feb 20, 2004, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by neoelectronaut
Wait, VLC plays WMVs?

Wow, maybe I should uninstall Windows Media Player.


.....only if it wasn't for the streaming media.

VLC plays some wmv files, older ones (wm 8 and below) mostly. Most new files won't play on it.

jocknerd
Feb 20, 2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by ccuilla
What does it GAIN you to buy music elsewhere?

It might be cheaper. Competition is good.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Photorun
If Apple went with WMA it be the nails in the coffin for AAC.

Exactly correct.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
Truth be told the music industry screwed the pooch by not defining one music codec to rule them all. This is by far their biggest gaffe. They should have sanctioned only one format with appropriate DRM. Instead they're letting every Tom Dick and Harry with digital aspiration create a music store with their own format. Very messy.

Probably quite true. Oops.


Originally posted by nuckinfutz
As for today. No the iPod should not support WMA. Just because the chipset plays it doesn't mean the licensing is free. Apple should remain the course with aac but they also need to start licensing out the protected AAC format(with fairplay of course) to select 3rd parties like Roku Labs, Phatnoise and some other high-end companies like Request and Escient. Don't get greedy Apple get smart.

I think they will. But they are "working the market" right now. Trying to skim as much profit as possible. Then, when margins would naturally tend down...license Fairplay. Let every Tom, Dick and Harry make $5/device...while Apple makes the same amount from the Fairplay license.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by adzoox
adding WMA to the iPod is now plausible.

It is certainly possible, but not sure it is plausible. That is a matter of opinion.

corey
Feb 20, 2004, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by jakeludington
Buyers shouldn't have to think about what they can do with files upfront. We don't want to read the label to see where the files will work damn right! i dont want to have to think where something can play when i buy it!

now why wont this vhs tape work in my dvd player? :rolleyes:

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by jakeludington
After investing $9,900 in music, that seems to be a rather high price to pay for being able to use my songs where I want.

f you've invested $9,900 in music then it seems like quibbling over the paltry $50-$100 difference in price from an iPod (or Mini) to any competitor is just laughable. Sorry, it is.

iPC
Feb 20, 2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by neoelectronaut
Wait, VLC plays WMVs?

Wow, maybe I should uninstall Windows Media Player.


.....only if it wasn't for the streaming media.
mplayer for os x is even better than vlc.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

http://mplayerosx.sourceforge.net/

iPC
Feb 20, 2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by ccuilla
Exactly correct.
No one is saying for Apple to not support AAC anymore. We are saying for Apple's players need to have the capability to play windows formats, ogg, etc. AAC and MP3 are not enough. The iTMS would still sell only AAC.

Again, most Mac users just don't understand choice. It's not a Windows versus Mac thing at all...

:rolleyes:

jasonbw
Feb 20, 2004, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Cochrane
That WMA is in there ain't new. Portal Player has been claiming "all chips with WMA support" for two years and more, so even if Apple had an own chip only for themselves it wouldn't be a surprise if it supports WMA and it does.

What I think is interesting, is the OGG support mentioned above. Why isn't that active? Maybe because Apple would then have a rival to AAC.

ogg is not a rival to aac, ogg cannot be protected. if enough people requested it, i'm fairly certain that apple would activate it.

nagromme
Feb 20, 2004, 12:09 PM
http://www6.tomshardware.com/consumer/20020712/2u4u-05.html

The green line is the original music spectrum. Guess which format is closest? AAC in blue.

MP3 is the worst in red, with WMA good--but not AS good as AAC--in the middle in yellow.

Apple should NOT support WMA because that will be turning the whole industry over to Microsoft mediocrity--not from the specifics of the format, but due to giving MS the control they seek over everything.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by jocknerd
It might be cheaper. Competition is good.

There appears to be a lot of competitors already, yet they music is still NOT cheaper. They are selling for the same price.

Why is this?

I suspect, if our information on the cost structures are accurate at all, we know. Margins are already razor thin.

The dot-com days of selling at a loss and making it up in volume are over. I hope.

They all have basically the same selection of music as well.

So why do you want another store?

- Price?
- Quality?
- Service?
- Convenience?

Where does iTMS not meet or beat its competitors?

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by iPC
No one is saying for Apple to not support AAC anymore. We are saying for Apple's players need to have the capability to play windows formats, ogg, etc. AAC and MP3 are not enough. The iTMS would still sell only AAC.

You don't get it though. If the #1 music player (iPod) supported WMA...what is the POINT of having AAC? None. AAC would be dead in a year.

Originally posted by iPC
Again, most Mac users just don't understand choice.

Don't be a moron with such stupid statements. I am a Mac user and I "understand" choice quite well, thank you very much.

You're right...it is about choice. But what choices do you want? What will you gain with those choices?

Media format? Store? Player?

Those are the possible choices...what will you gain with those choices?

ganryu
Feb 20, 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by iPC
No one is saying for Apple to not support AAC anymore. We are saying for Apple's players need to have the capability to play windows formats, ogg, etc. AAC and MP3 are not enough. The iTMS would still sell only AAC.

Again, most Mac users just don't understand choice. It's not a Windows versus Mac thing at all...

:rolleyes:

You have a choice to NOT buy an iPod.

If MS is all about choices, they wouldn't be found guilty of being an illegal monopoly.

applebum
Feb 20, 2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by jocknerd
We shouldn't be purchasing any music whatsoever that is not CD quality or contains DRM. We should be insisting on pure CD quality music to download without any DRM restrictions whatsoever. Hell, I'm as guilty as the next person. I've spent over $100 on iTMS. Its convenient. But it almost makes me sick to think I'm paying for inferior quality music. We're paying almost the same price to download music as we would pay for the CD. Now there is no room to offer us CD-quality download without it costing us more than actually going out and purchasing the CD itself. Something's wrong here and once again, we the consumer, are being led around by our purse strings.

The only way we are idiots is if we are buying "inferior" music with no value. I personally buy music this way because I already have over 500 cds. Do you know how hard it is to find space for all those things? I have moved a couple of times, and what a pain in the a**. Now I can put those 500 cds on on little bitty iPod and my computer. I can now take all my music with me on a trip. Couldn't do that before. Of those 500 cds, probaly only 25% of them are worth the money I paid, since I only like 1 or 2 songs on the whole cd. With iTunes, I like every song I buy. So what it's lossy - my ears aren't good enough to hear the missing information. I think they sound just fine. I am not an idiot, because I have thought through my purchases, and there is plenty of value in buying in this format. Now if someone is buying while thinking it is truly worthless, that is idiotic.

billyboy
Feb 20, 2004, 12:51 PM
The more that DRM-ed CDs become the norm, the more strength to the elbow of iTunes Music Stores, because itms is basically the dl version of the drm-ed CD with the added versatility of being available on a per track basis. The music industry push for DRM CD's means the CD is going to fizzle out over the next few years and only audiophiles will be interested in them, much like only a minority are interested in vinyl now.

With relation to WMA blah blah blah, Apple are in a very strong position. Remember they launched this industry, Steve Jobs is Mr big wig in the game and the business plan is working. If the opposition turn up the heat, Apple can draw on their strengths to retaliate quickly ie they are a hardware company making great software, brand awareness to burn and with $4.5bn in the bank they can turn on a sixpence to keep up the heat.

I reckon iTunes will eventually get more plug-ins to convert any format to AAC, MP3 or AIFF, but the iPod will surely remain an open standards only player - the aggro at the moment is from those consumers shouting for choice and the ability to play their music on whatever mp3 player they want. The trouble for them is that it looks as though they are going to be a minority part of the equation when the iPodmini gets going. So Apple have no reason to be listening to that sector just yet. If HP bottled out of WMA at the last minute, imagine who else might be popping a question to Apple with a view to similar tie ins.


Let us hope though that Steve Jobs isnt as nasty as other dominant entrepreneurs and does what he can to accomodate the sizeable minority - EDIT

Because they are all potential Mac buyers, Apple's other little line of hardware if I remember rightly.

bellychris
Feb 20, 2004, 12:57 PM
I don't understand supporting wma. The ipod supports plenty of the standards they should support. AAC, mp3, etc. Maybe we should put the blame on the other stores that decided to to support wma. I wonder if microsoft had any pull on what format these music stores should use?

mcclint
Feb 20, 2004, 12:57 PM
Show Package Contents for the iTunes icon and navigate to Contents/Resources and you will find a file called iTunes-wma.icns open it in Preview and you'll see Apple already has plans to support wma files in iTunes. When? well that's the $64,000 question.

IndyGopher
Feb 20, 2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by jakeludington
Buyers shouldn't have to think about what they can do with files upfront. We don't want to read the label to see where the files will work. If I have a CD, I know it will play in a CD player. If I have a DVD, I know it will play in a DVD player. If I have a VHS tape, I know it plays in my VCR. If I have a digital music file, who knows where it will play.
Except that not one of those statements is true. Lots of protected CD's don't work in older CD players. DVD's have to be the same region code as the players, and I could box up and send you a hundred Beta videocassettes that won't play in your VHS VCR.
Now, if you are saying the utopian ideal would be that any piece of media you pick up would work in any media player, well duh. It's not the case, though, and it certainly didn't start with Apple.

MrMacMan
Feb 20, 2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by mcclint
Show Package Contents for the iTunes icon and navigate to Contents/Resources and you will find a file called iTunes-wma.icns open it in Preview and you'll see Apple already has plans to support wma files in iTunes. When? well that's the $64,000 question.

They have been there since the orignal Os 9 iTunes...

I mean since like iTunes 2 or whatever.


Waayy long ago, still no support.



BTW, come on brilliant hacker!

Come on!

:D :D

gwangung
Feb 20, 2004, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by iPC
No one is saying for Apple to not support AAC anymore. We are saying for Apple's players need to have the capability to play windows formats, ogg, etc. AAC and MP3 are not enough. The iTMS would still sell only AAC.

Again, most Mac users just don't understand choice. It's not a Windows versus Mac thing at all...

:rolleyes:

Auugh!!!! It >>IS<< a windows vs. Mac thing!

WMA support removes any pressure to use AAC. No pressure to use AAC means WMA gains support and will eventually win vs. AAC because of the majority of the market will use the codec that's built into the system of the computer they use.

Auugggh! :rolleyes:

wHo_tHe
Feb 20, 2004, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by alset
As for your bit about other players supporting AAC, you say it as if Apple controls the liscensing for AAC and can shut everyone out of the market to keep the format iPod only. I won't respond to this, other than to say that you should pay attention to the market. Oh, hell, I'll provide some links, too. (1 (http://www.buy.com/retail/electronics/product.asp?sku=90122821&sp=1&loc=111&queryType=) , 2 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000066R5K/qid=1067257260/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1_etk-electronics/002-0402444-1900006?v=glance&s=electronics&n=172282) , 3 (http://www.avland.co.uk/panasonic/svsr100/) ) These are without digging.
Dan, the players you cite support AAC, but not the Fairplay DRM, of which Apple does indeed control the licensing.

0 and A ai
Feb 20, 2004, 01:52 PM
Creative, iRiver, Rio, Napster, Gateway, Dell, Archos, Audivox, Audible, Casio, CenDyne, Bantam, Intel, Samsung, TDK, Sanyo, and many others all support protected WMA.

Yes, many of those players suck. The first 6 companies on that list all make players that are good enough to compete with the iPod at better price points.
Creative, iRiver, Rio, Napster, Gateway, Dell, Archos, Audivox, Audible, Casio, CenDyne, Bantam, Intel, Samsung, TDK, Sanyo, and many others all support protected WMA.

If they are good enough to compete with ipod and are cheaper why aren't they even coming close to the ipods market share?

alset
Feb 20, 2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by wHo_tHe
Dan, the players you cite support AAC, but not the Fairplay DRM, of which Apple does indeed control the licensing.

Yes, but the poster to whom I was responding had this to say:

If you want the AAC format to thrive, don't blame Microsoft. Convince the powers that be at Apple to do a hard sell on other device manufacturers. Of course that won't happen. If other players supported AAC, people wouldn't buy as many iPods, because the could get a "good enough" player for a fraction of the cost.

My links were not in the section of my post that dealt with DRM.

Dan

alset
Feb 20, 2004, 01:56 PM
What is being completely forgotten, in all of this, is that the iPod is the number one selling portable music device. Apple holds all the cards, for the moment. They can support whatever they want. Don't blame Apple for not making a player to support WMA, blame other stores for not selling in a format that the installed user base can take advantage of.

Actually, this is even better - don't blame anyone. Just vote with your dollars, have a cup of cocoa and take a nap.

Dan

iPC
Feb 20, 2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by gwangung
Auugh!!!! It >>IS<< a windows vs. Mac thing!

WMA support removes any pressure to use AAC. No pressure to use AAC means WMA gains support and will eventually win vs. AAC because of the majority of the market will use the codec that's built into the system of the computer they use.

Auugggh! :rolleyes:
You guys really need to get a clue. The iPod being able to play wma has nothing to do with how well the iTMS is going to do. Apple is negotiating contracts with the big 5, as well as others, on what music it will sell in the iTMS. The iTMS only sells AAC with DRM. A big factor in these contracts is the DRM that Apple is using, not the fact that it is AAC or not. iTMS only supports iPods. The iPod does not care where the data comes from. It would be nice if it didn't care what format the data was in.

In the end, DRM is a bad idea. Whether it is Apple's, Microsoft's, or someone elses; IT STILL SUCKS. Period.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by iPC
In the end, DRM is a bad idea. Whether it is Apple's, Microsoft's, or someone elses; IT STILL SUCKS. Period.

And in the end...It's ALL about the DRM. That's the game here.

jocknerd
Feb 20, 2004, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by iPC
You guys really need to get a clue. The iPod being able to play wma has nothing to do with how well the iTMS is going to do. Apple is negotiating contracts with the big 5, as well as others, on what music it will sell in the iTMS. The iTMS only sells AAC with DRM. A big factor in these contracts is the DRM that Apple is using, not the fact that it is AAC or not. iTMS only supports iPods. The iPod does not care where the data comes from. It would be nice if it didn't care what format the data was in.

In the end, DRM is a bad idea. Whether it is Apple's, Microsoft's, or someone elses; IT STILL SUCKS. Period.

DRM is like the Patriot Act. Slowly erode your freedoms until you forget that you had freedoms.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by jocknerd
DRM is like the Patriot Act. Slowly erode your freedoms until you forget that you had freedoms.

That seems a bit harsh. In Apple's case, in particular, I think they are legitimately trying to balance the (true) needs and desires of all parties into a reasonable win-win-win situation. Copyright holders rights are protected. Fair use is supported. Apple makes money.

It is important for people on all sides of this debate to realize that copyright law is (or at least was) about providing creators with SOME level of monopoly over their works for a LIMITED time along with FAIR (reasonable) use rights for users of copyrighted materials.

The "everything should be free and unencumbered" crowd doesn't want restrictions on ANYthing. Well guess what...that isn't a realistic position in a society with more than one person.

The "I own it and I want to control everything you do with it, every minute" crowd is equally dubious. This is a strategy that will fail. Period.

With digital materials that can be copied WITHOUT any degradation of quality thousands of times, very cheaply, something needs to be in place to balance all party's concerns.

Now, there is another argument that copyright owners out not rely upon income from such easily/cheaply re-produceable products. Okay. Fine. But how then? Musicians? Performance. Fair. Book authors? Hmmm. Movie and TV makers? Again, live performance? Maybe. Software makers? Actually writing the code (performance)?

louden
Feb 20, 2004, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by jocknerd
We shouldn't be purchasing any music whatsoever that is not CD quality or contains DRM. We should be insisting on pure CD quality music to download without any DRM restrictions whatsoever. Hell, I'm as guilty as the next person. I've spent over $100 on iTMS. Its convenient. But it almost makes me sick to think I'm paying for inferior quality music. We're paying almost the same price to download music as we would pay for the CD. Now there is no room to offer us CD-quality download without it costing us more than actually going out and purchasing the CD itself. Something's wrong here and once again, we the consumer, are being led around by our purse strings.


What a heated and sometimes irrational discussion. I use both Windows and Apple PCs, - I work and develop on Windows, play on Apple. I own an iPod and don't care what format my music is purchased in as long as it's extremely high-fidelity. - I envision a day (very soon) where my home network can play video (like Tivo) and music from a shared central source in my home. I'll want to make sure that my music is in a format good enough to listen on my home stereo system.

I've converted my music collection (about 300 CDs) to 168 bit MP3 format (which is fine for the iPod), over the course of time. I believe I'll wind up ripping those again into some lossless format (which today, only WMA allows) that will be readily usable on all players, or at least convertible to some other lossless format.

It is easy for me to rip a CD and throw it in a box (I've got my CD collection in two book cartons) and forget it. Which is what I plan to keep doing in the immediate future.

I'm fine with not being able to copy a CD if a friend of mine bought it. That's protects the music industry's rights. I'm only OK with DRM, however, if it allows me from to play music on any platform of choice, because I need to protect my rights.

Until then, I'll stick with MP3s and occasionally bring down a free ITMS song because I drink Pepsi, or maybe because I wanted a song (like OutKast). I won't be buying an album because that's my choice. When I can, in the way I want to, however, I will gladly fork over lots of cash to the vendor that gives me that opportunity. I'm betting there are many other people out there like me, and am betting there are companies like Apple and Microsoft that want that money. Users shouldn't be locked into any vendor for music formats or DRM formats.

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by louden
Users shouldn't be locked into any vendor for music formats or DRM formats.

But we probably will be, just as we are locked into OS or application vendors.

louden
Feb 20, 2004, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by ccuilla
But we probably will be, just as we are locked into OS or application vendors.

But we're not for DVDs, CDs, Phono Albums, 35 MM Cameras, Unleaded Driving Automobiles, etc...

D*I*S_Frontman
Feb 20, 2004, 04:48 PM
When I read about the hand-wringing over the fidelity of AAC vs AIFF for a portable player, I have to laugh. We are talking about a portable device for listening to tunes on, not an audiophile listening device for a studio.

Before you complain about the "lossiness" of AAC, I would ask a few questions first:

1) Are you listening on the provided earbuds or a set of $300 studio headphones?
2) How much ambient noise is there in your car/gym/neighborhood when you are using it?
3) How "perfect" does the playback have to be for you to happily continue jogging/lifting/driving?

Two decades ago a high-end Sony Walkman playing audio cassettes (with Dolby NR--woo hoo...) cost almost as much as an iPod Mini, and people loved them. Tape hiss like a DC-10 at lift-off, warble, flutter, and the occasional munched tape.

One decade ago, the Discman was the rage. Great bitrate, but a joke to run with--skip to my lu, my darlin'.

Now we have a device that is no bigger than a box of Chicklets, holds the best songs from every album you'll ever own, and plays back at least 25 minutes without a single skip. Oh, and the artists who write and record all that music have their intellectual property rights protected--all while allowing the user extremely liberal rights to the use of that music.

The whining is ridiculous. For what it is intended for, AAC is playback quality overkill, especially when in noisy environments using lo-fi ear buds.

Apple's DRM scheme is the perfect balance between the artist and the user who buys his/her music. I don't trust MS to keep its controlling mits off of that relationship. I do, however, trust Apple to keep that balance intact without screwing it up for everyone.

I am a musician who has spent hundreds of hours in a recording studio environment. Yes, I CAN tell the difference between mp3. AAC, and uncompressed 44.1/16bit audio. I just don't care. My expectations for a portable unit are different than those for a home stereo or studio monitors. The playback equipment's ability to broadcast the sound should determine how good the sample rate must be. Earbuds have far more limited frequency response and far less accurate renderings of the audio spectrum than more expensive phones or speakers. For the sheer joy of listening while performing some other task (working out, gardening, housework, long drives, etc.) AAC is fabulous.

Apple's protection schemes are so liberal that they are essentially transparent to a lawful user. Only thieves are frustrated by it. To those of you who hate DRM because you can't steal music as easily as you once did, I say: quit acting like you have some God-given right to all the recorded music of the world. Stealing someone's intellectual property is illegal and immoral. If you don't want to pay for music, then don't: write your own songs.

I am glad Apple turns a deaf ear to the "we must be compatable with MS" crowd. Remember everyone complaining about the $249 price tag for the iPod Mini? "Won't compete--too expensive--we must petition them to drop the price!" was the cry. Well, 100,000 sight-unseen preorders tells me those people were and will continue to be dead-wrong. In two years from now when they sell their millionth iPod Mini, with 70-80% of them sold @ the $249 price point, you should all post your sheepish apologies for whining that Apple didn't give away the store.

I think Apple is on the right track with their iPod strategy. Be the best. Not the biggest. Keep the premium price, but always make it worth the extra expense. Lead--don't follow.

J-Squire
Feb 20, 2004, 04:55 PM
I recently was checking out a new Nokia phone that had a built-in MP3 player, and was incredibly impressed to see that it supported mp3 and aac, but not wma.

Maybe Apple has more of a partnership with Nokia than we all think.......

ccuilla
Feb 20, 2004, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by louden
But we're not for DVDs, CDs, Phono Albums, 35 MM Cameras, Unleaded Driving Automobiles, etc...

True enough.

And we may not be for this new thing (digital, downloadable music). Time will tell. I think there is a strong likelihood that Apple will end up licensing Fairplay to other vendors.

Standards are generally a very good thing, that have been responsible for phenomenal growth in certain industries. The humble screw is a great story.

The problem is, we are early yet, and people are drawing comparisons to more mature marketplaces. Both Apple and MS are trying to establish the standard "screw" of DRM for digital music (perhaps among other things). Right now Apple is leading in this fight (though it is far from over).

I am betting (perhaps foolishly) that Apple has learned its lessons from the past and will likely end up licensing Fairplay to other hardware vendors after much of the profit "cream" has been skimmed. When margins on these devices start to thin, Apple will license Fairplay to hardware vendors for something like $5/device, while retaining a high end "BMW" product line for those of us that really like Apple products.

When this happens you won't be locked into any particular vendor.

The HP deal is a good leading indicator of the "new Apple" in this regard. OEM the actual device is step one in the process. Higher margin than licensing, lower than direct sales of Apple iPods.

savar
Feb 20, 2004, 05:04 PM
Apple is right on the money here:

DON'T UNBUNDLE!!

This _is_ very Microsoftian, except that iTMS and the iPod are both superior products (as is AAC). Not to mention that turnabout is fair play.

Hopefully, Apple's gambit will work and they will be able to use their already existing market share to edge WMA and the other online music stores out of the market, and thus sell ridiculously more iPods.

And if it doesn't work? Then Apple merely bails out by releasing a firmware update for WMA playback, and --voila-- no harm done. There were no mistakes made here.

MrMacMan
Feb 20, 2004, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by 0 and A ai
If they are good enough to compete with ipod and are cheaper why aren't they even coming close to the ipods market share?

They aren't...

Together... sure all of them together will eventually top the iPod... But not today, and not tomorrow.

They are competing sure, every product against products in the same market are competing, they are cheaper, but if you see the WSJ, or the NYT the iPod is still king.


What would make the iPod better?
1. AM/FM Radio -- Sure you have all the song you ever need, but what about when you just want to listen to generic songs on the radio?
2. OGG/Other Codec Support. You don't have to make it *easy* to sync with these files, heck make it hard, but allow it to be done.

iggyb
Feb 20, 2004, 05:24 PM
All this talk about AAC vs WMA and what the iPod should support brings me to a question...

iPod can support regular open AAC format, right? Does this mean that it can support AAC with DRM that is NOT Fairplay? In other words, does Apple need to adjust software for that, or can the iPod simply support any AAC file?

daveL
Feb 20, 2004, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by jocknerd
DRM is like the Patriot Act. Slowly erode your freedoms until you forget that you had freedoms.
I agree with you on the Patriot Act, but DRM exists because a certain segment of the population feels that they are above paying for products and services produced by others. And *please* don't start with the endless rationales for this behavior. Theft is theft. If you don't think something is worth the price being charged, don't buy it.

Docrjm
Feb 20, 2004, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by IndyGopher
Except that not one of those statements is true. Lots of protected CD's don't work in older CD players. DVD's have to be the same region code as the players, and I could box up and send you a hundred Beta videocassettes that won't play in your VHS VCR.
Now, if you are saying the utopian ideal would be that any piece of media you pick up would work in any media player, well duh. It's not the case, though, and it certainly didn't start with Apple.
An NTSC video will most likely not play in a PAL player.
Agree with your gen gist

hokka
Feb 20, 2004, 06:07 PM
Here's the first example I have found on the net - here in Oz, the Destra service have stated the following:

"The tracks will also be available in the AAC Format, compatible with iPod and some other devices"

http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,8728989%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html

Now Destra has traditionally (well, a few months of it's operation) used WMA (protected of course) - now they will also support AAC and to me, it has to be DRMed as well - and if it is compatible with the iPod - it means they licensed something from Apple for it to work.

splashman
Feb 20, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
When I read about the hand-wringing over the fidelity of AAC vs AIFF for a portable player, I have to laugh. We are talking about a portable device for listening to tunes on, not an audiophile listening device for a studio.

<Snippage>

The whining is ridiculous. For what it is intended for, AAC is playback quality overkill, especially when in noisy environments using lo-fi ear buds.

Thank you. That's the best whiner antidote I've read on this issue. A thoughtful and informed post, unlike most of the others here.

splashman
Feb 20, 2004, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by mcclint
Show Package Contents for the iTunes icon and navigate to Contents/Resources and you will find a file called iTunes-wma.icns open it in Preview and you'll see Apple already has plans to support wma files in iTunes. When? well that's the $64,000 question.

Obviously part of Apple's plan, eh? I'd say it's obvious you haven't been paying attention in class. That "wma" file has nothing to do with "WMA", as has been noted many, many times on these discussion boards.

sethypoo
Feb 20, 2004, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by virividox
so we can assume someday someone is gonna hack it and then it will support wma...

well if napster goes down then whats the point of wma

Let me know when!

:eek: ;) :)

sethypoo
Feb 20, 2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by splashman
Obviously part of Apple's plan, eh? I'd say it's obvious you haven't been paying attention in class. That "wma" file has nothing to do with "WMA", as has been noted many, many times on these discussion boards.

Really? When?

sushi
Feb 20, 2004, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by ccuilla
And in the end...It's ALL about the DRM. That's the game here.
Agreed!

At least Apple has implemented a decent compromise with their DRM implementation with their Fairplay ACC encoding.

Sushi

thatguy_youknow
Feb 20, 2004, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by wHo_tHe
Dan, the players you cite support AAC, but not the Fairplay DRM, of which Apple does indeed control the licensing.



I thought that fairply was licensed by Apple from another company. As in they do not control the fairplay aspect of it, just the retrictions that they put on the files.


Could be wrong.

michaelb
Feb 20, 2004, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
When I read about the hand-wringing over the fidelity of AAC vs AIFF for a portable player, I have to laugh. We are talking about a portable device for listening to tunes on, not an audiophile listening device for a studio.

Before you complain about the "lossiness" of AAC, I would ask a few questions first:

1) Are you listening on the provided earbuds or a set of $300 studio headphones?
2) How much ambient noise is there in your car/gym/neighborhood when you are using it?
3) How "perfect" does the playback have to be for you to happily continue jogging/lifting/driving?

Two decades ago a high-end Sony Walkman playing audio cassettes (with Dolby NR--woo hoo...) cost almost as much as an iPod Mini, and people loved them. Tape hiss like a DC-10 at lift-off, warble, flutter, and the occasional munched tape.

One decade ago, the Discman was the rage. Great bitrate, but a joke to run with--skip to my lu, my darlin'.

Now we have a device that is no bigger than a box of Chicklets, holds the best songs from every album you'll ever own, and plays back at least 25 minutes without a single skip. Oh, and the artists who write and record all that music have their intellectual property rights protected--all while allowing the user extremely liberal rights to the use of that music.

The whining is ridiculous. For what it is intended for, AAC is playback quality overkill, especially when in noisy environments using lo-fi ear buds.

Apple's DRM scheme is the perfect balance between the artist and the user who buys his/her music. I don't trust MS to keep its controlling mits off of that relationship. I do, however, trust Apple to keep that balance intact without screwing it up for everyone.

I am a musician who has spent hundreds of hours in a recording studio environment. Yes, I CAN tell the difference between mp3. AAC, and uncompressed 44.1/16bit audio. I just don't care. My expectations for a portable unit are different than those for a home stereo or studio monitors. The playback equipment's ability to broadcast the sound should determine how good the sample rate must be. Earbuds have far more limited frequency response and far less accurate renderings of the audio spectrum than more expensive phones or speakers. For the sheer joy of listening while performing some other task (working out, gardening, housework, long drives, etc.) AAC is fabulous.

Apple's protection schemes are so liberal that they are essentially transparent to a lawful user. Only thieves are frustrated by it. To those of you who hate DRM because you can't steal music as easily as you once did, I say: quit acting like you have some God-given right to all the recorded music of the world. Stealing someone's intellectual property is illegal and immoral. If you don't want to pay for music, then don't: write your own songs.

I am glad Apple turns a deaf ear to the "we must be compatable with MS" crowd. Remember everyone complaining about the $249 price tag for the iPod Mini? "Won't compete--too expensive--we must petition them to drop the price!" was the cry. Well, 100,000 sight-unseen preorders tells me those people were and will continue to be dead-wrong. In two years from now when they sell their millionth iPod Mini, with 70-80% of them sold @ the $249 price point, you should all post your sheepish apologies for whining that Apple didn't give away the store.

I think Apple is on the right track with their iPod strategy. Be the best. Not the biggest. Keep the premium price, but always make it worth the extra expense. Lead--don't follow.

Look, you're going to have to leave. We just can't have people here who know what they're talking about! If you're not going to play by the rules, then these bitching forums will fall apart.

Seriously, thank you for the very coherent and well supported post.

dricci
Feb 21, 2004, 12:59 AM
Something people should keep in mind is that Apple's contracts with the labels prohibit iTunes songs to be compatible with non-Apple devices. So even if Apple *wanted* to license their implementation of Fairplay to other manufacturers, they couldn't, at least not with other negotiations.

Regarding DRM and File Trading: No matter how you look at it, DRM is a bad thing for the consumer. While I don't condone or support file sharing, I can understand it. If you don't like the price of something, then you shouldn't buy it. But, in today's world people want instant access to stuff, at the lowest price. The artists and labels should stop prosecuting and alienating their fans, and instead find out *why* the activities are going on, and *how* they can correct the problem and still make money. CD manufacturing and producing costs have gone way, way down over the past decade, yet the CD prices are going up and up and up. Peer to peer was a wonderful invention, and really shows potential for a lot of uses. It also shows how consumers are fed up with high costs and lack of choices, and instead of hiring a team of lawyers to sue 12 year olds who just want the latest song that their friends have, they should instead be hiring people who can "think different" and breathe new life into music and the way it's created, discovered, and distributed.

As for the person that said Apple's DRM is so liberal that the only people that are complaining are the thieves: WRONG. What if I want to play my purchased songs on my TiVo? Sorry, not allowed because Apple won't/can't license Fairplay to 3rd parties. What if I want to use a 3rd party music player *that supports standard AAC files*? Same situation, Fairplay DRM is controlled by Apple so the songs won't work on devices that even support the standard. The same can be said for WMA players and WMA music stores - your stuck to using it in Microsoft-approved devices by manufactuers that pay Microsoft licensing fees (which pretty much means you'll never see an open source player that can play purchased music store tracks from any music store, which is a *bad thing*. Limiting paying customers choices is _always_ a bad thing.)

The ultimate solution would be to allow the downloading of FLAC-like files at low, low fees, that can then be transcoded to *ANY* format *legally* without any limitations. That way, you can purchase a song using a nice interface such as the one by the iTunes music store, but have no limitations as to what devices you can play it on. Ever. Plus you'll have a CD-quality sound file. Have a iPod? Import it to iTunes as a lower quality AAC. Have a MP3CD player? Use toast to encode it as MP3, but keep the same no-loss file on your HD. Audiophile? Have a hardware device that can play the intact music file directly into your stereo's aux-in port. Offering a CD-quality file that has no limitations is the best choice for consumers for past, present, and future device compatibility.

So I guess in conclusion, DRM is a bad thing for everyone. It only limits the choices legit paying customers have (and thus encourages more piracy), and does absofrickenlutly nothing to stop copyright-violating file sharing. But it's not going away until the record industry and the average customer can strike a deal that works for everyone. And in today's American Idol/Top 40/Clear Channel world where the majority of people play "follow the leader" for whatever the latest artist/song/trend are, it's not going to happen, so piracy will continue and the artists and labels will lose, and consumers will keep getting bent over and screwed up the ass with DRM and lawsuits, and in the end, *NOBODY WILL WIN*.

end rant.

uberman42
Feb 21, 2004, 01:31 AM
just a lil off topic, but i hope sony's music store uses AAC. they are one of the supporters and designers of the AAC format. And I think sony would be smart if they use AAC and come out with their own music player that supports AAC. Heck- they went alone with the whole ATRAC thing, why not differentiate themselves in the Windows world with and AAC player (of course there is HP). But anywhoo...

MacSlut
Feb 21, 2004, 01:46 AM
"When I read about the hand-wringing over the fidelity of AAC vs AIFF for a portable player, I have to laugh. We are talking about a portable device for listening to tunes on, not an audiophile listening device for a studio."

I agree with everything else you wrote. You made the assumption that the iTMS is just for the iPod. I have no problem whatsoever with Apple's quality of 128K AAC for use on the iPod or in environments where it would be used...but...

I hate CDs, I don't want to use them or own them or buy them anymore. I just transferred my entire 3,000+ CD collection to a set of hard drives. I would like to never have to buy another CD again. The iTMS allows me to do that today, but besides being limited in titles, the songs are not the quality level of CDs and I can hear the difference on my home system.

The time to download, and the space required are insignificant between 128K and 192K, but if I can hear the difference, any difference, it is significant.

That being said, because of everything else, it's still far better than anything else, including CDs.

Earendil
Feb 21, 2004, 02:11 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dricci

Regarding DRM and File Trading: No matter how you look at it, DRM is a bad thing for the consumer.

I don't think anyone is claiming otherwise. DRM isn't supposed to be good for the consumer, it's supposed to be good for the artist and those trying to make a profit on a product (which, btw, is OK, and not immoral)

While I don't condone or support file sharing, I can understand it. If you don't like the price of something, then you shouldn't buy it. But, in today's world people want instant access to stuff, at the lowest price. The artists and labels should stop prosecuting and alienating their fans, and instead find out *why* the activities are going on, and *how* they can correct the problem and still make money. CD manufacturing and producing costs have gone way, way down over the past decade, yet the CD prices are going up and up and up. Peer to peer was a wonderful invention, and really shows potential for a lot of uses. It also shows how consumers are fed up with high costs and lack of choices, and instead of hiring a team of lawyers to sue 12 year olds who just want the latest song that their friends have, they should instead be hiring people who can "think different" and breathe new life into music and the way it's created, discovered, and distributed.

Ok, I whole heartedly disagree. There is no mistaking why people use P2P file sharing over buying a CD. It's not because P2P is easier (though that is great), It's not like a large % of kids don't hang out at or live near malls. It's because it's *FREE*. The only way to "compete" per say without legal action, is to offer the same thing, and make it a better deal. Now explain to me how, without legal action, they are supposed to persuade people away from instance free downloads?

As for the person that said Apple's DRM is so liberal that the only people that are complaining are the thieves:

Those people were wrong. There are people that complain, as you are now, they just don't have a valid reason. If Apple were trying to replace a system that already allowed what you are talking about, you'd have a right to complain. As it is, Apple is offering another alternative to buying CDs.
You seem to forget that Apple, Artists, and the recording companies are not in existence to MAKE YOU A HAPPY COSTUMER. No, the fact that at times you are happy is a side effect of them wanting to stay in business.

WRONG. What if I want to play my purchased songs on my TiVo? Sorry, not allowed because Apple won't/can't license Fairplay to 3rd parties. What if I want to use a 3rd party music player *that supports standard AAC files*? Same situation, Fairplay DRM is controlled by Apple so the songs won't work on devices that even support the standard. The same can be said for WMA players and WMA music stores - your stuck to using it in Microsoft-approved devices by manufactuers that pay Microsoft licensing fees (which pretty much means you'll never see an open source player that can play purchased music store tracks from any music store, which is a *bad thing*. Limiting paying customers choices is _always_ a bad thing.)

Always a bad thing...for the consumer, not for the producer. Microsoft, the symbol for no choice, is doing QUITE well right now.

The ultimate solution would be to allow the downloading of FLAC-like files at low, low fees, that can then be transcoded to *ANY* format *legally* without any limitations. That way, you can purchase a song using a nice interface such as the one by the iTunes music store, but have no limitations as to what devices you can play it on. Ever. Plus you'll have a CD-quality sound file. Have a iPod? Import it to iTunes as a lower quality AAC. Have a MP3CD player? Use toast to encode it as MP3, but keep the same no-loss file on your HD. Audiophile? Have a hardware device that can play the intact music file directly into your stereo's aux-in port. Offering a CD-quality file that has no limitations is the best choice for consumers for past, present, and future device compatibility.

That is a great idea. Now if only businesses thought it would actually make them money...See, that's the deal, and where you argument appears to fall through in my eyes. You are expecting MORE from a company's alternative to the current system (that being CD purchase). And you feel you have a right to complain about it, and make demands, on the basis that you are the costumer. see closing argument...

So I guess in conclusion, DRM is a bad thing for everyone. It only limits the choices legit paying customers have (and thus encourages more piracy), and does absofrickenlutly nothing to stop copyright-violating file sharing. But it's not going away until the record industry and the average customer can strike a deal that works for everyone. And in today's American Idol/Top 40/Clear Channel world where the majority of people play "follow the leader" for whatever the latest artist/song/trend are, it's not going to happen, so piracy will continue and the artists and labels will lose, and consumers will keep getting bent over and screwed up the ass with DRM and lawsuits, and in the end, *NOBODY WILL WIN*.

Today vs 2 years ago...
2 Years ago we had P2P, we didn't have legal online downloading, we had to go to the store and buy a CD for music.

Today, the ONLY difference is that the Illegal actions of P2P are rightfully being persuade by the law, and companies are making ADDITIONS to the ways that consumers can purchase music.

Now you claim that choice is the best way, well, you have more choices then you did 2 years ago. So what if current businesses don't find it financially viable to meet ALL your needs when it comes to how you want to purchase other peoples music, so what.

Companies exist to make money, as I said, costumer satisfaction is only a side effect of that. The only thing that would actually make me angry, and make me feel I have the right to complain is if -
A: A company was doing something shady to make a profit at the expense of costumers. I do not believe Apple is doing this
B: A company was trying to replace an already set and more beneficial to the costumer way of doing things. Apple isn't doing this either, they are making an addition to the way we already purchase music.

In closing. You have some great ideas, I agree that that would be a great perfect world. Unfortunately Apple, Record companies, and Artists need to make money. Apple isn't run by a munch of idiots, I'm sure they have thought of the things you speak of. But until they think it will be good for their company, they will not make MORE additions to the system that is music distribution.

Take a look at music distrabution in the 1600s. It was called get on your horse and hope the band coming though town was good. The alternatives are getting bettter, and as far as I can see, we are still taking steps forward, not backward.

[end rant]

Tyler
Earendil

Scottgfx
Feb 21, 2004, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by Photorun
Wow, and the person who wrote that article is a complete and total DUMBASS!!! He should wake the ******* up and smell the java, does he use a peecee?!? Has he no idea how locked into EVERYTHING he is on that WIntel piece of crap he's using?!? What a moron!!! Proves nothing except just how CLUELESS people are!

Hmmm, as a mac user with an ipod, I find your comments truly without any class. While I agree that the writer doesn't get the complete picture, I wouldn't resort to name calling as you have.

Also, on your sig... moveon.org buys ads on the TV station where I work. Ads pay my salary. Moveon.org pays me to support GWB. :) Ha!

Scottgfx
Feb 21, 2004, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by dricci
Something people should keep in mind is that Apple's contracts with the labels prohibit iTunes songs to be compatible with non-Apple devices. So even if Apple *wanted* to license their implementation of Fairplay to other manufacturers, they couldn't, at least not with other negotiations.

Just curious... Can you really refer to iTunes for Windows as a "device"? Just curious... Or is this only in reference to portable players. Let's see if we can get a Windows PC smaller than the iPod and can still run iTunes on it, we will have circumvented the contract! :)

dricci
Feb 21, 2004, 03:22 AM
Originally posted by Earendil
[B][QUOTE]I don't think anyone is claiming otherwise. DRM isn't supposed to be good for the consumer, it's supposed to be good for the artist and those trying to make a profit on a product (which, btw, is OK, and not immoral)

But as a consumer who is actually supporting the artist, I shouldn't be punshed. DRM on CDs and downloaded files won't stop file trading. The #1 reason being that DRM can *always* be circumvented, and #2 I'd be willing to bet that the majority of files on the Peer to Peer networks come directly from within the labels and other affiliated companies themselves, who have direct access. How else can you explain that a good number of songs are released to Peer 2 Peer networks before the album is available for sale? And it only takes one file, then it can be copied hundreds of thousands of times, so by the time the CD is released, what's the point of the CD DRM? The only thing it's limiting at that time is what the *paying* customer can do with it. Even if the person were to circumvent the DRM and rip it and upload it to a network, it wouldn't make any difference - it's already there! The labels and artists need to treat their paying customers with respect, not like thieves, or else they may just turn into thieves out of spite (I've seen this happen to many people I know.). My point is don't piss off your customers, especially with DRM methods that won't change a damn thing other than John Doe's opinion of you when he finds out he can't rip his new CD he just spend $20 to his iPod (looks like he'll have to break out the sharpie and "fix" the CD or just *gasp* go on a p2p network and download the song he legally has a right to hear!). Same thing with DRMed Music Store files - what's it going to matter if the wma or aac file you buy isn't encrypted or DRMed - the song is already available on the peer to peer network, so your addition of +1 of the same thing being shared by millions of other people won't make a difference in the big picture. Again, the only thing it will do is limit the choices of the customer.

Ok, I whole heartedly disagree. There is no mistaking why people use P2P file sharing over buying a CD. It's not because P2P is easier (though that is great),

Easier than what? Easier than going out to the store and buying a CD? Well I'd have to disagree - Opening up a program and clicking a button is a lot easier than getting in your car and driving through traffic, battling the mall parking lot, and then dragging yourself to a store that may or may not even have the CD you want

It's not like a large % of kids don't hang out at or live near malls.

Don't be fooled by "kids" being the only file sharers - I know *far* more adults (30+) who download than I do people 18 and under.

It's because it's *FREE*.

Yes! And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. A good portion of the people I've talked to download their favorite band's music first, and then go to the store when they get a chance. But no, they don't always buy everything they download. Why? because they can't afford to with current CD prices! Sure, they *could* go to an online music store and maybe get a discount, but what if they're under 18 and don't have a credit card, or want to use the song on a 3rd party player or their TiVo, or their PDA, etc etc etc? Or heck, just for the sake of argument, what if they use Linux, Mac OS 9 or <insert any non Mac OS X or Windows OS). Their only option then is to go buy the CD at full price. And this can be expensive, because if somebody likes an artist, they don't want just one 99 cent song, they want all the good tracks on the album!

The only way to "compete" per say without legal action, is to offer the same thing, and make it a better deal. Now explain to me how, without legal action, they are supposed to persuade people away from instance free downloads?

Well, I can't give you a definite answer, because I don't know what goes through every person's mind who downloads music for free. Everyone has different reasons. But here's some things that would get a *larger* percent of people buying music rather than downloading it and not paying:

-Lower album costs
-High quality downloads with less restrictions - This is ESENTIAL if you ever want to get more people paying, because right now the music stores are leaving out the people who want to play by the rules, but have NO OPTIONS (not even CDs anymore, thanks DRM!) because they either want cd-quality audio, or their OS or device or even entire _country_ isn't even supported.
-Less law suits - Do you seriously think suing people is going to stop P2P? If anything it'll just piss of more and more people from ever having respect for artists and the RIAA, et all again, and encourage more downloading. The customer is always right - listen to what they want.

As it is, Apple is offering another alternative to buying CDs.
You seem to forget that Apple, Artists, and the recording companies are not in existence to MAKE YOU A HAPPY COSTUMER.

YES THEY ARE! If you piss off people, they WON'T BUY YOUR PRODUCT! I *won't* do business with someone that treats me like a criminal. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

No, the fact that at times you are happy is a side effect of them wanting to stay in business.

And if they want me to support them by giving them my money, then they better keep me happy.

Always a bad thing...for the consumer, not for the producer. Microsoft, the symbol for no choice, is doing QUITE well right now.

But what are they doing well at? Providing a low cost desktop. Sure, you don't have many choices with their bundled system software, but you can put *a lot* of 3rd party stuff on top of that which will make things work the way you want them. If Microsoft's next OS only worked with Microsoft software and allowed no 3rd party developer support, do you seriously think people would just say "Okay" and deal with it, or start looking for other options? But this is starting to get off the main topic... moving on.

That is a great idea. Now if only businesses thought it would actually make them money...

Businesses might think that this would make them money, but are limited by the monopoly that is the RIAA. Do you think the RIAA is going to allow downloads of non-DRM files any time soon, even if people paid $10 per track? Nope, because they're stuck with the notion that DRM will change everything, even though it's been proven time and time again DRM does *nothing* to stop pirates, and *everything* to annoy and limit paying customers.

See, that's the deal, and where you argument appears to fall through in my eyes. You are expecting MORE from a company's alternative to the current system (that being CD purchase). And you feel you have a right to complain about it, and make demands, on the basis that you are the costumer.

Why can't I demand more from a company, and want change, and the industry to move forward, instead of taking 10 leaps backwards? I *AM* the customer, I legally purchase the companies' goods, and as their paying customer I think I have the right to say it's time to move forward if you want to keep my business. If you're not listening to what your customers want, and instead doing the exact opposite and pissing them off by the thousands every day, then you're making some very, very, bad business decisions, and need to pause and reflect.

Today, the ONLY difference is that the Illegal actions of P2P are rightfully being persuade by the law, and companies are making ADDITIONS to the ways that consumers can purchase music.

The law can't change people's opinions - You can sue all you want, but in the end you'll just end up forever ruining any respect you had from a lot of your former loyal customers. Sure, there are music stores, but they're still very limited, unlike a CD. And they're only available to certain countries, and people with credit cards, etc etc.

Now you claim that choice is the best way, well, you have more choices then you did 2 years ago. So what if current businesses don't find it financially viable to meet ALL your needs when it comes to how you want to purchase other peoples music, so what.

But they're not the choices that the majority of the downloaders want, obviously. It's a start, but a lot of changes need to be made. "So what" Seems to be a very arrogant attitude to take towards your customers. Work with customers to "get with the times" and give them what they want, instead of pushing them away and forever losing their respect.

Companies exist to make money, as I said, costumer satisfaction is only a side effect of that.

But is a company that keeps pushing itself to modernize and get with the times and meet the demands of many of it's current (and former) loyal customers going to get more customers (and thus, more money) than a giant monopoly that feels it can do no wrong, even though they refuse to change and keep wondering why everyone is pissed off at them?

B: A company was trying to replace an already set and more beneficial to the costumer way of doing things. Apple isn't doing this either, they are making an addition to the way we already purchase music.

Yes, Apple isn't doing this. But the record companies are putting their DRM and Copy protection on more and more CDs, which as I've said above does *nothing* to stop piracy.

In closing to this, I just want to reiterate that the law cannot change people's opinions and habits. We should *not* be in a situation we are in right now regarding music and peer to peer. The RIAA and labels need to start taking the steps to fix the problem at it's source rather than only trying to treat the symptoms with lawsuits.

dricci
Feb 21, 2004, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by Scottgfx
Just curious... Can you really refer to iTunes for Windows as a "device"? Just curious... Or is this only in reference to portable players. Let's see if we can get a Windows PC smaller than the iPod and can still run iTunes on it, we will have circumvented the contract! :)

oops - I meant apple devices and software, basically any apple product. my bad :D

(although.. you may be able to get a tiny tablet PC working with a PDA-sized display, but looking at iTunes on it (or anything else for that matter) would be painful :p )

yakirz
Feb 21, 2004, 04:57 AM
I've bought two other mp3 players because they were "cheaper" than the iPod. One worked on and off for a year, and now sits in my drawer as the power jack was damaged; the battery never worked for more than 20 minutes, and half the time the player ignored commands from the controls. I was able to take the hard drive out and use it in another enclosure, but I consider the player $100 flushed down the toilet!

The other is a MP3 CD player that sounds decent for books on tape, but not very good for music (a Rio something or other). Luckily I got it for $29. And I listen to a lot of books on tape, so it's not too much of a loss.

To me, regardless of the format, iPods are the best player out there, and I won't buy anything else. For my music collection, it's all in MP3 (mostly 128 kbps) and I can play them on the iPod. If I buy any music in the future, I will get it from the iTMS.

billyboy
Feb 21, 2004, 06:55 AM
The two issues that online music stores are addressing are - an alternative to p2p free, and provision of a digital player to listen to digital music when you are on the go.

When you sell something, you need to have done your market research and be clear in your mind who you are targetting and why the specific market will want your product over a competing product. Apple with AAC and the iPod have got it right so far, WMA and suppliers of iPod killers have not been so successful.

For those that think AAC sucks, and for those that think the iPodmini will bomb are precisely the people Apple are not appealing to.

The sound quality argument about AAC v CD quality is really misleading. The comparison is AAC v MP3 because Apple are looking to provide a better alternative to the music freely available on p2p networks. So, hands up who reckons Apple are not improving on the quality of MP3 by going with AAC? The audiophiles who think AAC sucks are not the people Apple are interested in. Go buy a CD if you want CD quality, but if you want to have instant access to a good selection of music that sounds great on an iPod or through your computer speakers, AAC does it for you

People who dont think the iPodmini will sell are also not in the market sector that Apple are targetting. Go buy a 15GB iPod and make Appple really happy, or go buy one of the players that hardly anyone else has, and find out first hand why they are not selling that well.

30 million downloads later, 2 million iPod sales later, and 100,000 bought unseen iPodminis later suggests that Apple are on to something and the WMA brigade are getting walloped and expect Apple to help them out..

applebum
Feb 21, 2004, 09:24 AM
want to use the song on a 3rd party player or their TiVo, or their PDA, etc etc etc? Or heck, just for the sake of argument, what if they use Linux, Mac OS 9 or <insert any non Mac OS X or Windows OS). Their only option then is to go buy the CD at full price. And this can be expensive, because if somebody likes an artist, they don't want just one 99 cent song, they want all the good tracks on the album!


Umm yes they can. Anyone may burn their legally purchases music to CD. Once they do that, they can go play their music on any of those things you mentioned. They may have to re-rip the songs to mp3 or wma, but they can do it. Will the sound quality be as good - no. Does it take some time - yes. Look, just because a choice is too much work or has a negative, doesn't mean it is not a choice.

dricci
Feb 21, 2004, 09:46 AM
Umm yes they can. Anyone may burn their legally purchases music to CD. Once they do that, they can go play their music on any of those things you mentioned. They may have to re-rip the songs to mp3 or wma, but they can do it. Will the sound quality be as good - no. Does it take some time - yes. Look, just because a choice is too much work or has a negative, doesn't mean it is not a choice.

Actually, I believe doing that is a violation of the iTunes TOS, and besides that, it's just further proof of my point about why DRM is a bad thing for consumers, it creates extra hurdles and hassles and wasted blank CDs and poorer quality audio files that take away from the whole concept of point and clicking. "There's no step 3."

Sure, it's possible, but you're still being treated like a criminal by being limited to what you can do with the music you payed for, while the pirates have virtually unlimited choices for what they can do with their downloaded songs. That's just wrong.

Zardoz
Feb 21, 2004, 10:50 AM
This has probably been said, but I need to throw in my 2 cents...

Who is clammering for WMA on the iPod?! No one! Except Microsoft! Who wants to get tied into a Microsoft format, given their history of jacking around other companies with interoperability in Word, etc.?--let alone being subjected to another protected format! If I was a tech company executive, if I had to go with a protected format like WMA or ACC, I'd go with ACC or just make my own a la Sony. Microsoft wants WMA on the iPod so they can have some power over the device.

ccuilla
Feb 21, 2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by dricci
Something people should keep in mind is that Apple's contracts with the labels prohibit iTunes songs to be compatible with non-Apple devices. So even if Apple *wanted* to license their implementation of Fairplay to other manufacturers, they couldn't, at least not with other negotiations.


How do you KNOW this?

Earendil
Feb 21, 2004, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by dricci
Actually, I believe doing that is a violation of the iTunes TOS, and besides that, it's just further proof of my point about why DRM is a bad thing for consumers, it creates extra hurdles and hassles and wasted blank CDs and poorer quality audio files that take away from the whole concept of point and clicking. "There's no step 3."

As I posted before, I don't think anyone is arguing that DRM is an annoyence to some costumers. To say that DRM is "bad for all costumers" is a bit extreme. My Dad, who has downloaded hundereds of songs, doesn't have a prob with DRM. In fact, I bet the average consumer doesn't even notice DRM (few people own more than 3 computers). It is, on the other hand, the right of the artist/record company to do whatever they want to with their own music. And if they want to sell it that way, they WILL sell it that way. If you don't like their DRM products, don't buy them.

Sure, it's possible, but you're still being treated like a criminal by being limited to what you can do with the music you payed for, while the pirates have virtually unlimited choices for what they can do with their downloaded songs. That's just wrong.

You have a good point. But here is how I see DRM actually countering the file sharing. A few tings will happen.
A: They will shut down a very LARGE % of the P2P networks. I think a 1000 of the largest file sharers are already caught and being courted by the law. No, I don't believe P2P will ever go away (no one seems to touch the HotLine servers for some reason...)
B: Computer-to-computer sharing will still happen, especially among College students. I walk into dorms, and there are thousands of songs that I could copy from any one of a numbere of HDs. DRM won't cure P2P, it will put a dent in file sharing in communities among computers.

Even if P2P were gone, without DRM everyone would still share at college. If everyone brought their own music, plus their parents music to college, and shared it among even just their dorm, you would have 10,000 songs on every computer. Now if all those tracks were DRMed by either CD or Download, you wouldn't be able to do this NEARLY so easily.

I would like some higher quality from iTMS, this is agreed upon. But for being such a loud voice for anti-DRM you haven't told us how it effects you. Do you really own 4+ computers? Give us something to identify with so we can see your side. The "it takes away my freedom and rights as a consumer!" line is getting old...

Tyler
Earendil

Mr. G4
Feb 21, 2004, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by jakeludington
Choices are limited to playing songs in iTunes or playing them on an iPod. What if I want to play a song in RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, MusicMatch, or WinAMP? What if my company gives me a Dell DJ as a bonus for sales performance? Do I sell it on eBay so I can keep buying songs from iTunes? That's not choice, that's Ford's Model T in any color as long as it's black.

What's wrong with converting your song into Mp3 and put it on your iPod, or are the other stores don't allow you to do that.

If I have a DVD, I know it will play in a DVD player. If I have a VHS tape, I know it plays in my VCR. If I have a digital music file, who knows where it will play.

That's not true if you buy a DVD in the US you cannot play it in Europe or Asia unless you break the law by de-zoning your player...is that Fairuse also????

louden
Feb 21, 2004, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
When I read about the hand-wringing over the fidelity of AAC vs AIFF for a portable player, I have to laugh. We are talking about a portable device for listening to tunes on, not an audiophile listening device for a studio.

Before you complain about the "lossiness" of AAC, I would ask a few questions first:

1) Are you listening on the provided earbuds or a set of $300 studio headphones?
2) How much ambient noise is there in your car/gym/neighborhood when you are using it?
3) How "perfect" does the playback have to be for you to happily continue jogging/lifting/driving?



I agreee that mp3/wma/aac are fine formats for listening on the iPod. As a consumer, however, I'd like to manage one complete digital music (and video) library (hopefully very soon), and have that music suitable for use in a portable player, where quality doesn't matter that much, and on a home music system, where I don't like the sound of tiny cymbols and where quality does matter.

That's just my choice. I agree we've come a long way and the quality is very good, but i'm not going to put a huge investment into iTunes until the quality gets better.

In my Oliver Stone moment, I also think the only reason record companies are OK with Apple selling music is becuase it's of lower quality.

D*I*S_Frontman
Feb 21, 2004, 01:22 PM
Let me spell this out for you:

1) Music is intellectual property, just like a patent, a book, a photograph, or a painting.

2) That property belongs to the ARTIST. They own all rights to it (or they have a partnership agreement with a label sharing ownership)

3) The artist and their representatives develop production and distribution schemes to "sell" their customers the usage of their intellectual property under very specific conditions. No copying except for back-ups for your own usage, no unauthorized duplication or distribution of their work without permission, etc.

4) When you buy a CD, you don't fully "own" the music to do whatever you wish with it. You bought the packaging, but you are really only "leasing" the music itself--a lifetime of use under the terms prescribed by the artist, enforced by law.

5) DRM helps protect artists and their representatives from theft. Protecting these property rights encourages artists to keep writing their music and keeps them fed. Yes, the enterprising hacker can get around any DRM, but the average Joe-Schmo won't waste the time to do it when a song costs $.99 .

6) By helping to assure an artist that their hard work won't be immediately stolen from them mere seconds after an album release, musicians can continue to roll the dice with their music and careers. I know, I know, musicians are all rich right? Well, not only isn't that true, but it makes no difference--stealing from a rich guy and a poor one is still stealing in either case. And musicians, especially pop musicians, tend to have "flash in the pan" career arcs and need to make a lot of money very quickly with any selling opportunity to stay alive artistically and musically in the long run. Or else it's back to baggin' fries @ Wendy's.

7) When you go to a bookstore and see the electronic sensing devices at the exit which detect retail theft, do you resent those measures? It means there is a little metal tab in you book that the store can use to expose thieves, altering the original packaging of the product you bought. And you are paying for those countermeasures in the price of your book. As well as guards, plainclothes agents, additional retail employee staffing, surveillance cameras, etc. Do all means of deterring theft bug you as much as DRM?

8) At the end of the day, it is your right to not be happy with any DRM. It is also your right not to buy any music encoded with any of them. Buy an acoustic guitar and a tape recorder. Write some of your own songs. Copy them to your TiVo, computer, 8-track, or whatever medium you find most convenient for you. Share copies with your friends at will--you are the artist, so you are in the driver's seat now. Of course, if the million-to-one shot occurs and you write a fabulous hit, don't be mad when it gets P2P'ed to ten million file sharers and you don't get a dime for your work.

In summary, an DRM is a compromise between the rights of the artist and the consumer. Apple's DRM scheme is by far the best ever devised to meet the needs of both sides. And until people stop stealing music, DRMs are unavoidable.

clr900
Feb 21, 2004, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by jakeludington
This isn't a WMA vs. AAC arguement, it's a discussion of portability. WMA is irrelevant. A unified format isn't necessary either.

Apple currently restricts usage of iTunes files to very narrowly defined parameters, because they fear competition from other hardware vendors.

For the sake of arguement, say I purchase 10,000 songs from iTunes. I probably have twice that many songs on CD, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

I certainly could burn all 10,000 to CD and then rip them to WMA or MP3 so that I can listen to them on a device other than an iPod.

The average CD takes somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes to burn, with another 5-10 minutes to rip the tracks to WMA or MP3. On the low side, that's 10 minutes per CD, with the average CD containing 10 tracks, or 1,000 CDs. I can think of better ways to spend a week of my time.

After investing $9,900 in music, that seems to be a rather high price to pay for being able to use my songs where I want.
Why would you purchase songs off of iTunes instead of on cds. Lets say its because it is convenient. Hmm It's interesting how convenient and simple and easy Apple makes it to download music and transfer it to the best mp3 player on the market. Why would you want some crappy mp3 player made by dell that is a pain in the ass to use? If you are buying songs on itunes why do you want to play them on a crappy mp3 player when it is so easy to use them on an ipod? If you want to play songs on a crappy mp3 player then buy cds or buy them on an inferior online music store. The truth is Apple makes the best music jukebox software and makes the best mp3 player so why should they change so that their songs will work on other mp3 players or so that their mp3 player will play songs from other online stores.

Photorun
Feb 21, 2004, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
Let me spell this out for you:

2) That property belongs to the ARTIST. They own all rights to it (or they have a partnership agreement with a label sharing ownership)


BZZT! Wrong answer D*I*S, nice though, wrong answer. Unless you're Metallica, Madonna, Dr. Dre, or a select privileged (and might I add rich) few, artists don't own or get in terms of money, jack poo!!! The big evil rich white businesses who could actually care less about music, artistry, or the real artists for that matter, own the music. This is the reason 99% of the state of music today SUCKS and why illegal downloading, had it succeeded in total implosion of the curret three or four big evil record companies that put out the drivel that is Britney/boy bands and other exceedingly slick packaged sh** would have been awesome... back to basics and true artists win. But you're wrong, artists don't own their own music, almost every contract is practically a deal with the devil, that's the sad state of the soulless music industry as we know it.

Signed,
An ex musician who was under a label and knows the real deal

Docrjm
Feb 21, 2004, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Mr. G4
What's wrong with converting your song into Mp3 and put it on your iPod, or are the other stores don't allow you to do that.



That's not true if you buy a DVD in the US you cannot play it in Europe or Asia unless you break the law by de-zoning your player...is that Fairuse also????
Actually in Europe it is not illegal to buy or sell multi region dvd players.
In Canada you can also buy a multi region player, no laws broken. I have one, it is a supplemental player, a Daiwa.

dontmatter
Feb 21, 2004, 04:23 PM
So, I was just wondering, does anybody know how much, per CD, your average artist makes? And, not just the ranting and raving about the evil music industry sort-does anyone actually hae solid statistics? what is it for pop music vs. indie lables?

Of course, this has very little to do with AAC vs WMA, but then again, that doesn't seem to be the discussion anymore.


This is just out of curiosity, because I have a friend who is a *MAJOR* p2p user (windows, of course), and he justifies his use by having a policy where 2 weeks after downloading, he either deletes the thing, or sends a couple bucks to the artist. So, he claims that the artist is getting several times what they would if he bought the music legally, and he's getting it several times cheaper.

Now, I don't know if I believe him, as I think it would be almost impossible to figure out where to mail those $3 all over the country, and postage sucks, but....

just wondering on the moral question here, how much is the "music industry villian" justified, how much do musicians make from record sales vs. performances.

couch11
Feb 21, 2004, 06:23 PM
For those of you that say the Recording Industry should have picked the standard format and DRM should look back a couple of years. The industry dragged their feet when it came to DVD audio. They couldn't agree on the copy protection scheme and argued over it for years. While DVD video took off the DVD audio disc just stayed in development. Finally when they all agreed on the final format and copy protection, someone cracked it in a matter of days. The industry basically killed any chance for DVD audio to be a success. They would have done the same for legal downloads.

D*I*S_Frontman
Feb 21, 2004, 06:41 PM
It is you who are wrong regarding ownership. First of all, music all starts out as being owned by the artist exclusively. Sometimes they retain these rights, sometimes they sell them--but that is all up to the artist.

You are wrong about the numbers as well. There are 100-fold more artists who own their own rights than those who have been "signed" to a major label. They are called INDEPENDENT ARTISTS. That's what Metallica, Madonna, and your garage band down the street all have in common, actually.

If an artist, in the interest of expediency, decides to sell his/her publishing/royalties/mechanical rights to a label, that is not the label's fault. There is no gun to an artist's head--only their own knawing impatience and megalomania. Those who "sign" do so are cashing in their work for short term cash and a chance at mega-stardom, hoping the big marketing arms of the label will make them a household name. The label is betting that the artist and their material will be worth far more in the long run then they will offer him/her in a contract.

And so it goes. I get tired of the "evil label" crap. Of course they are there to sucker you. Everyone KNOWS this. No one is forcing you to bite that apple. There are indie bands out there who sell 10,000 units a year and make more money than a signed artist for a big label who has a gold record. The difference? The indie band scratches and claws there way to that level, usually though agressive touring--or just actually being good and original. Is is right to rob a casino because they are designed to rip people off? Don't go in and they can't touch your hard-earned money. Steal from one and you'll be coyote food in the Nevada desert faster than you can say "snatch 'n' grab."

The "labels are evil so p2p stealing is what they deserve" is one of the lamest argument ever for illegal and immoral behavior. I am all for the development of reasonably unobtrusive DRMs and for the smackdown the RIAA is doing on thieves. They can come check my HDs anytime. I OWN everything I listen to.

billyboy
Feb 21, 2004, 07:18 PM
From reading around, not personal involvement, the record companies are renowned for being sharp operators, no surprise, and bands who sign up to them are often very naive, or very forgetful of what they have signed up for.

I dont know the exact percentages paid to the bands, but my understanding is that a band is offered say 15% of revenue from all record sales. That sounds good if you sell millions of records, (which is what lures musicians to big companies in preference to signing for a little indie guy lucky to sell thousands of records) but in the short term the deal is exclusively in favour of the record company.

There is quite a good reason why the record companies dont pay their bands for a long time, and the bands know the reason very well. It costs a lot of money to become famous and it costs a lot to get a million records made and distributed. Also the failure rate is massive even with the best marketing. So when the likes of Sony agree to put up all the necessary money to promote an unknown entity with hit potential, then they cover themselves by saying, "All being well, one day you could be sickeningly wealthy, but until then from day 1, the band basically goes into debt for all the money needed by Sony to get them to the top. Sign here." The band agrees to pay the debt off by giving their 15% royalty straight to the record company until nothing is owed. Thereafter, the 15% or whatever percent was agreed ends up in the band's hands and they get filthy rich - in theory.


The evil associated with the record companies is not always justified, especially when disconsolate wannabe rock stars with flagging sales and flops slag off the record company for not paying any royalties. The reality is, they are being paid royalties, but they are being deducted at source, as per the contract, and they arent selling enough records to pay off the initial debt.

The genuine evil occurs when bands who are successful are either not being paid royalties even though they believe they have paid off the original debt, or they are receiving less than 15% of record sales in their hand.

The record companies have a habit of tagging on unexpected costs which boosts the debt unbeknown to the artist, and they likely will never pay off the debt nor see any 15% royalties in their hand. Also the record companyies have a reputation for keeping very "bad" records of how much royalties they have actually credited to bands.

Either way, when a successful band gets annoyed that they are being short changed, the costs to get a record company's books audited to prove any wrong doing can cost tens of thousands of dollars. That protects the record companies from being sued by all but the richest bands.

thewickedmusic
Feb 21, 2004, 07:39 PM
You know I'm not quite sure about this but... take an analytical adventure with me and ask..

Which of these two companies know more about audio? just to help you think about it I'll give you some of their achievements too.

Dolby Studios (Creators of AAC):

Analog Recording Technologies :D

•A-type NR
•B-type NR
•C-type NR
•Spectral Recording (SR)
•S-type NR
•HX Pro

Digital Audio Coding :D

•AC-1
•AC-2
•Dolby Digital (AC-3)
•Dolby E
•MLP Lossless
•AAC

Film Sound (I don't beleve anyone has significant has been used) :D

•Dolby Stereo
•Dolby SR
•Dolby Digital
•Dolby Digital Surround EX

Consumer Surround Sound (which they revolutionized) :D

•Dolby Surround
•Dolby Surround Pro Logic
•Dolby Surround Pro Logic II
•Dolby Digital
•Dolby Headphone
•Dolby Virtual Speaker
•Virtual Dolby Surround and Virtual Dolby Digital

Microsoft (Creators of WMA):

Computer Audio :confused:

•Propriety wma & wav (Enhanced with Digital Rights)

Now please correct me if I'm wrong, because I would love to have the facts straight, but who of those two has more experience and technical know how on audio? Yes that would be Dolby Studios and they have been recognized as the standard in almost every audio related field that they have touched. I'm not trying to put down anyone's opinion im just asking that if you consider yourself a true audio lover, then you should do some research before manifesting an opinion and considering it "superior." Besides looking up the achievements of the companies I surveyed the local audio professionals for their opinion on the job that Microsoft and Dolby had done in creating close to non-lossy audio in their compressed formats. Most of them backed Dolby

:eek:

Well that's my little mini report on the issue and I dare you to ask "Who would you rather have in your player at the end of the day?" :D

Oh and please excuse my spelling or grammar - I never was a gifted writer :D ;)

splashman
Feb 22, 2004, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by thewickedmusic
Which of these two companies know more about audio? just to help you think about it I'll give you some of their achievements too.

Dolby Studios (Creators of ACC):

<SNIPPAGE>

Oh and please excuse my spelling or grammar - I never was a gifted writer :D ;)

The spelling and grammar are excused. But you could at least get the acronym right: AAC (not ACC).

:)

thewickedmusic
Feb 22, 2004, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by splashman
The spelling and grammar are excused. But you could at least get the acronym right: AAC (not ACC).

:)

hahahahahaha wow lol aaaaallll that and I slip up on the acronym :rolleyes:

dontmatter
Feb 22, 2004, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
You are wrong about the numbers as well. There are 100-fold more artists who own their own rights than those who have been "signed" to a major label. They are called INDEPENDENT ARTISTS. That's what Metallica, Madonna, and your garage band down the street all have in common, actually.

Now, I have to be nitpicky and annoying, but since you present yourself as an authority, stating fact, I feel justified. I would be quite surprised if there were a hundred times as many independent artists as signed artists, and if that were the case, I would like to know your source, or your definition of "artist". But you claim 100 FOLD. I believe that is 2^100, or about 1.268*10^30. And, unless I'm mistaken, we're several years away from having 126765060000000000000000000000 people on earth, nevermind the number of independent artists.

Barronbe
Feb 22, 2004, 11:34 PM
How do I go about unlocking my iPod for more than one MAC? I know its possible, but I can't figure out how to do it?

D*I*S_Frontman
Feb 23, 2004, 12:44 AM
Fine. I'll play along.

By 100-fold I meant the old biblical term meaning 100 times. If you take all of the current active recording artists from every MAJOR label, move the decimal point over two places, that would be how many independent artists there are. My definition of "artist" to be a performing musician of any type, either completely unsigned or on some sort of distribution-only arrangement with a boutique label.

Thios was meant to be an expression of overwhelming majority in the unsigned artist category, not a perfect statistical model. Sorry if the exaggeration threw you. My point is no less valid for the hyperbole.

dontmatter
Feb 23, 2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by D*I*S_Frontman
Fine. I'll play along.

By 100-fold I meant the old biblical term meaning 100 times. If you take all of the current active recording artists from every MAJOR label, move the decimal point over two places, that would be how many independent artists there are. My definition of "artist" to be a performing musician of any type, either completely unsigned or on some sort of distribution-only arrangement with a boutique label.

Thios was meant to be an expression of overwhelming majority in the unsigned artist category, not a perfect statistical model. Sorry if the exaggeration threw you. My point is no less valid for the hyperbole.


Point well taken. Sorry, I understood that it was meant for the effect, not as pure data in and of itself-I just went overboard, because you stated your argument with the firmness that implies authority, and if you're claiming to be authoratiative, the details become important.

I must say, I do agree with the argument anyway, artists don't have to sign with the major labels that people villify. And while those labels may still be dominant enough that the choice to sign a deal may not be that much of a choice, if you wish to make a living as a musician, there are still many smaller and indie labels that musicians can make a living with, and I imagine are more artist friendly, such as my hometown sub-pop records.

68k_575
Feb 23, 2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by alset
I'll say again, WMA sounds god-awful.


I agree wholeheartedly, it does sound like crap. However, that's not a good deterrent because most people just don't care about quality. The legions of people who download <128 K MP3's off Kazaa have already proved that. Also, how are you going to get the typical person to think about formats? They just use whatever comes with their machine/MP3 player. Right now, iTunes for Windows is what Apple is using to turn the tide against WMA and get their software proliferated among PC users.

louden
Feb 23, 2004, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by 68k_575
I agree wholeheartedly, it does sound like crap.

How can you call it crap if you can record at a higher bit rate? Are you saying 128 bit MP3 is better than 128 bit WMA? or 128 bit AAC?

What happens if you crank up the bit rate? Do you agree the sound is better? and if that's the case, can you get any better sound than lossless WMA? Comparitively, MP3 is crap... Please don't spread FUD.

I don't care what compression technology or DRM technology is used, just as long as it's open. The only thing open so far is AAC, but not when wrapped by Fairplay.

thewickedmusic
Feb 25, 2004, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by louden
What happens if you crank up the bit rate? Do you agree the sound is better? and if that's the case, can you get any better sound than lossless WMA? Comparitively, MP3 is crap... Please don't spread FUD

Just as a side note, if a song is recorded in a certain bit rate and you turn up the bit rate you [B]do not[B] gain any sound quality what-so-ever. A song is in its bit rate and that's all it can ever be; unless you convert it to a lower bit rate which would lose sound quality. It is what it is. So a 128 song cranked up to say 198+ is only going to sounds as good as its 128 originator (plus a few megabytes for the 60 some "ghost" bits, or bits that you can't hear):cool:
:confused:
As yet another side note WMA is far from a lossless format. I'm not saying that mp3 or AAC are lossless formats either. As of today's technology there is no consumer audio format that can hold lossless audio sound and have compression in the same package. However many Audiophiles agree that Dolby has made headway in the audio quality:compression ratio :cool:

Please excuse any grammer or spelling mistakes I'm not a very gifted writer :) :) :D

louden
Feb 26, 2004, 02:21 AM
Assuming you start with a recording of pristine quality - the higher bit rate rip from that initial master will sound better, but some lossy formats are comparatively better than others. That pristine quality could be in wav format, or whatever a CD would be. Of course I agree if you try to convert from a less than lossless format to another, it's only going to get worse. Trust me, I've tried it. That's why I want lossless.

Now, there are a couple of lossless formats out there, and WMA and APE are the only two I know of - check out Windows Media 9 if you don't believe me. I'm sure AAC will soon as well. You don't lose quality in ripping to those lossless formats. They're a step in the right direction.

rogo
Feb 27, 2004, 04:35 PM
There is indeed a lossless WMA format available now in Windows Media 9.

There is also FLAC.

APE, from Monkey's Audio, appears to be the most user-friendly of the three.

Mark

Photorun
Feb 27, 2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by rogo
There is indeed a lossless WMA format available now in Windows Media 9.

There is also FLAC.

APE, from Monkey's Audio, appears to be the most user-friendly of the three.

Mark

There's lossless AIF too, and MP4 has a lossless ability, so WMA is one of a few. It's sucks. It's Microsuck. Microsuck sucks. So does it. It sucks not because it's made by Microsuck. It sucks because it is made by Microsuck. I have spoken, nothign more the argue.

louden
Feb 27, 2004, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Photorun
There's lossless AIF too, and MP4 has a lossless ability, so WMA is one of a few. It's sucks. It's Microsuck. Microsuck sucks. So does it. It sucks not because it's made by Microsuck. It sucks because it is made by Microsuck. I have spoken, nothign more the argue.

Don't sugar-coat it kid, tell us how you really feel.