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MacBytes
Mar 24, 2004, 08:30 AM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Digital Music: Apple Shouldn\'t Sing Solo (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040324093020)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

stingerman
Mar 24, 2004, 08:48 AM
There are so many errors in that article it's ridiculous. He makes it out as if all the online stores are using WMV, but this is the reality:

Apple: AAC
RealPlayer: AAC
Sony: ATRAC3 (Only works on Sony's players.)
Microsoft: WMV


So there you have the real codec lineup. I don't think you are going to see WMV with its brand of DRM go anyplace. Microsoft doesn't have the whole package to pull it off. Nor do they have the focus.

RHutch
Mar 24, 2004, 09:03 AM
There are so many errors in that article it's ridiculous. He makes it out as if all the online stores are using WMV, but this is the reality:

Apple: AAC
RealPlayer: AAC
Sony: ATRAC3 (Only works on Sony's players.)
Microsoft: WMV


So there you have the real codec lineup. I don't think you are going to see WMV with its brand of DRM go anyplace. Microsoft doesn't have the whole package to pull it off. Nor do they have the focus.

I was going to point this out as well. I have a hard time accepting anything written in the article when things like this are so wrong. Did he really do his research?

Stella
Mar 24, 2004, 10:38 AM
I had the impression Sony were going to use their own format and which only their media players could use.

CMYanko
Mar 24, 2004, 01:53 PM
I thought FairPlay was an OpenSource project as well or at least an open standard.

In the end all of these articles are FUD. They spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in hope of staving of consumers until their horse is at the gate.

Daveman Deluxe
Mar 24, 2004, 02:24 PM
When, oh when, will these people realize that there's next to no money to be made in online music sales, and realize that the only way to make money off of them is to sell hardware as well?

mrsebastian
Mar 24, 2004, 02:24 PM
i couldn't disagree more with this article. as we've all talked about before this format battle is quite similar to the the vhs/beta battle. as was the case in the video battle, it's about getting the majority of people to accept a format as the standard. that said, i think apple is on track to do just that, especially with the agreement with hp. in the end it's a waiting game and hopefully apple will become the standard!

winmacguy
Mar 24, 2004, 02:43 PM
i couldn't disagree more with this article. as we've all talked about before this format battle is quite similar to the the vhs/beta battle. as was the case in the video battle, it's about getting the majority of people to accept a format as the standard. that said, i think apple is on track to do just that, especially with the agreement with hp. in the end it's a waiting game and hopefully apple will become the standard!

Agreed!

svenr
Mar 24, 2004, 02:57 PM
There are so many errors in that article it's ridiculous. He makes it out as if all the online stores are using WMV, but this is the reality:

Apple: AAC
RealPlayer: AAC
Sony: ATRAC3 (Only works on Sony's players.)
Microsoft: WMV

So there you have the real codec lineup. I don't think you are going to see WMV with its brand of DRM go anyplace. Microsoft doesn't have the whole package to pull it off. Nor do they have the focus.

Really? Let's look at that "real codec lineup" again:

Apple: AAC

Real: AAC
(but incompatible to iTunes: plays iTMS songs only if iTunes installed, plays through QuickTime, can't play Real songs on iTunes or iPod)

Sony: WMA
yup, that's right:
http://downloads.sonymusic.com/cds/application/commercewf?origin=HELP.jsp&event=link(supWMA)

Musicmatch.com: WMA

BuyMusic.com: WMA

pressplay: WMA

Walmart: WMA

Napster: WMA

OD2: WMA
powers e.g. MyCokeMusic.com, Virgin and a whole list of other popular stores in Europe: http://www.ondemanddistribution.com/eng/home/home.asp

Microsoft: WMA
store planned for later this year

Did I forget any?

What does it look like now? Still think MS can't pull it off? I think the article makes a few very valid points and it would probably be good for Apple (and fans) not always to shrug off such concerns as invalid FUD. Apple's market share is still the largest by far, which I am happy about. But it is slowly declining and forcing people into a closed system won't help in the long run.

What's Apple's long-term goal with this policy anyway? Trying to force all people to use iTMS and iPod only? Drive competition to give up and be the lone ruler on the planet? Won't happen. Think about it: market economy is about choice. Saying "You have to use this one player and this one store!" sounds like a page from a communism cookbook.

svenr
Mar 24, 2004, 03:18 PM
... this format battle is quite similar to the the vhs/beta battle. as was the case in the video battle, it's about getting the majority of people to accept a format as the standard. that said, i think apple is on track to do just that, especially with the agreement with hp.

Only one minor difference here:
Everyone who wanted to sell movies on VHS could do so. If I want to sell music with Apple's AAC in my own music store, I can't because Apple won't give a license to anyone (HP uses iTunes, not their own store).

Everyone who wanted to make VHS players and recorders could do so. If I want to make a player compatible to iTMS, I can't because Apple won't give a license to anyone (HP uses iPods, not their own player).

That sounds more like the Betamax side to me. A superior, but proprietory format closely guarded by Sony and eventually killed by the inferior but open-to-license VHS. We know how that battle ended...

Don't panic
Mar 24, 2004, 03:20 PM
I agree with the last posts. The main point of the article is that Apple should license FairPlay, so that other stores can sell songs that can be played on iPods and iTMS-purchased songs can be played on other players.
And they should.
In the first case this would lead to more ipods sold (good for apple) but less iTunes, in the second case you'd have more itunes/iTMS usage, possibly at the expense of some ipod sales. But the iPods will continue selling like hotcakes (btw, WHO buys hotcakes?) as long as they are far and away the best/coolest product on the market, so to me its a win-win situation.
The overall effect would be the dispelling of apple's perceived incompatibility (and the elimination of MS's BS arguments of "we give more choice"), and a long-term establishment of AAC as THE standard, at the expenses of WMA (which Apple should NOT adopt).
This, IMO, would lead to increase in both iPod AND iTMS sales (because they are, in fact, the better products and people know it) and it would convince people that are fearing/pissed they will be stuck with apple to come on board.
Even if the online stores are not profitable now, I feel it's inevitable they will became the main (only?) access to music in some not too distant future . When it does, it would be nice if Apple is there to reap thee benefits.
Not to mention that the one to benefit most from this would be me, the consumer.

ALoLA
Mar 24, 2004, 04:04 PM
Don't the WMA stores have their own DRMs as well? Can songs bought from one be used with the other, and can any be used with existing players that support WMA, but not their DRM?

As for whether Apple can pull it off.....
iTunes: 70%
all others: 30%

Yeah, I think they can pull it off. :D

svenr
Mar 24, 2004, 05:51 PM
Can songs bought from one be used with the other, and can any be used with existing players that support WMA, but not their DRM?

Most of the other stores are web-based and as such don't have a built-in player. Songs are played through Windows Media Player, and yes, it can play *all* WMA files. The DRM is part of the WMA format as Microsoft provides it.

Also, almost every MP3 player except the iPod today also plays WMA. And if it does, it can play *all* WMA files.


iTunes: 70%
all others: 30%

Yeah, I think they can pull it off. :D

Well, this is a snapshot of one point in time. It doesn't say anything about the trend. Look at one year ago:
iTunes: 100%
all others: 0%
So, where is this going?

And even if they "pull it off", where would this be going? The whole world uses *only* iPods and *only* iTunes? Apple as the monopolist, the only music service? I just don't see that happening, and I'm not sure if that would be good for us anyway...

montex
Mar 24, 2004, 07:08 PM
...when is that "amazing" Dell DJ going to trample Apple's iPod and the iTunes Music Store? Weren't you the guys who claimed that it was all over for Apple now that Dell was getting into the market?

Hate to say I toldja so... but the DJ is DOA.

svenr
Mar 24, 2004, 07:45 PM
Weren't you the guys who claimed that it was all over for Apple now that Dell was getting into the market?

I never predicted anything about Dell or any other firm or product. I believe the iPod is currently the best player out there. I would love to see Apple succeed. But I also believe that Apple would be more successful in the long run if they offered licenses to their technology as the article suggests.

Edit: ok, I didn't see that "Hey Businessweek..." at first, sorry.

gerlitzappel
Mar 24, 2004, 11:20 PM
Did I forget any?

What about Audio Lunchbox? MP3

svenr
Mar 25, 2004, 12:37 AM
What about Audio Lunchbox? MP3
Yeah, just like Magnatunes.com and Nupha, but they all don't have any mainstream music, only independents, so they will always play a niche role.

Here's another one: What about Poisoned? Oops... ;)