Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Archive > Archives of Old Posts > MacBytes.com News Discussion

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jun 1, 2007, 12:50 PM   #1
MacBytes
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
DRM Wars: iTunes Plus vs. eMusic




Category: Apple Services
Link: DRM Wars: iTunes Plus vs. eMusic
Description:: Apple's iTunes 7.2 is here, and with it, the DRM-free tracks from EMI that Steve Jobs told us to expect sometime in May. Will most people hear the difference in iTunes Plus? To really put it to the test, <i>PC Mag</i> analysts pitted iTunes DRM-free music with eMusic sans-DRM tracks. See what happens when these two giants go head to head.

Posted on MacBytes.com
Approved by Mudbug
MacBytes is offline   0
Old Jun 1, 2007, 01:20 PM   #2
Silencio
macrumors 68000
 
Silencio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NYC
eMusic is probably the second best online music store after iTunes, but too many comparisons and points made in this article are completely specious. Much of their music libraries don't overlap: eMusic is mostly independents and very little major label presence. (Not that I'm interested in much major label music these days.) iTunes has a pretty large indie label presence itself, and I'd love to see them move over to iTunes Plus ASAP.

I see the music world slowly but surely moving over to AAC for several reasons: higher quality, smaller file sizes, fewer legal/ownership issues, cheaper to license than MP3. I see more and more current portable music players on the market supporting AAC: heck, even the lowly Zune will play them. Apple needs to spend more time selling the world on AAC -- I see way too many opinion columnists calling MP3 "superior" for whatever reason.

And yeah, it figures that WMP11 won't play AAC. I would assume the Zune Player program does if the Zune will, FWLIW.

I have hardly bought any iTunes tracks due to the comparatively low quality. 256Kbps AAC files are definitely good enough for my needs, so I see myself buying more stuff from them in the future as the selection of iTunes Plus tracks builds up. I wouldn't pay a thin time for average 192Kbps MP3s.
__________________
"The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."
Silencio is offline   0
Old Jun 1, 2007, 02:38 PM   #3
bmb012
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Can't you export those the DRM-free files to mp3 with iTunes? If you can, why is he complaining about compatibility problems?
bmb012 is offline   0
Old Jun 1, 2007, 03:52 PM   #4
shamino
macrumors 68040
 
shamino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vienna, VA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmb012 View Post
Can't you export those the DRM-free files to mp3 with iTunes? If you can, why is he complaining about compatibility problems?
Any time you re-compress content, you lose quality. Depending on the song, where you plan on playing it, and your personal tolerances, the result may or may not be acceptable.
__________________
In theory, theory is the same as practice. In practice, it isn't.
shamino is offline   0
Old Jun 1, 2007, 04:06 PM   #5
shamino
macrumors 68040
 
shamino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vienna, VA
The article really doesn't compare all that much. I could've written that article without ever using either service. We all know that MP3 is more universal and that eMusic costs less, if you intend on buying a lot of songs every month.

Points that were not mentioned:
  • Which sounds better? 256K AAC is almost certainly going to match or beat the sound quality of any MP3-based download. According to eMusic's FAQ, they are 192K VBR. This will probably sound the same to most people, but some will notice inferior quality, especially when played on good equipment in a quiet room. I'd be interested to see some tests using different listeners (lab equipment, golden ears, normal people) in different locations (studio, living room, outdoors, car.)
  • How about using players other than Windows Media Player? WinAmp, for instance, also plays AAC files. Many car stereos now support AAC as well (on CD and on memory cards.) I'd like to see the iTunes Plus tracks tested on some of these devices in order to make sure that the files really will play universally.
__________________
In theory, theory is the same as practice. In practice, it isn't.
shamino is offline   0
Old Jun 2, 2007, 03:39 AM   #6
hulugu
macrumors 68000
 
hulugu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: the faraway towns
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post
The article really doesn't compare all that much. I could've written that article without ever using either service. We all know that MP3 is more universal and that eMusic costs less, if you intend on buying a lot of songs every month.

How about using players other than Windows Media Player? WinAmp, for instance, also plays AAC files. Many car stereos now support AAC as well (on CD and on memory cards.) I'd like to see the iTunes Plus tracks tested on some of these devices in order to make sure that the files really will play universally.
eMusic and iTunes are actually rather complimentary, I've been using both for years now. iTunes is easier to sample music, eMusic allows more downloads for my dime, and both carry slightly different catalogues with some overlap. Up until iTunes Plus I tried to buy from eMusic when a song was available over iTunes because of the lack of DRM, which is always advantageous.

I don't see there would be any problem with iTunes Plus files, they are AAC files, but possibly have some steganographic data added. This data should be ignored by the device.
Mp3 was a good codec for its day, but AAC (Mpeg-4) should be its successor.
__________________
I look like a soldier; I feel like a thief
hulugu is offline   0
Old Jun 3, 2007, 12:04 PM   #7
shamino
macrumors 68040
 
shamino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vienna, VA
Quote:
Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
I don't see there would be any problem with iTunes Plus files, they are AAC files, but possibly have some steganographic data added. This data should be ignored by the device.
Mp3 was a good codec for its day, but AAC (Mpeg-4) should be its successor.
Steganography, but its nature, won't create compatibility problems. If it does, then it's a completely brain-dead implementation.

Steganography affects the content (hopefully in ways that are invisible/inaudible). If it breaks a player, then the player is broken, because other (non-seganographic) audio data will also break that player.
__________________
In theory, theory is the same as practice. In practice, it isn't.
shamino is offline   0
Old Jun 3, 2007, 09:52 PM   #8
hulugu
macrumors 68000
 
hulugu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: the faraway towns
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post
Steganography, but its nature, won't create compatibility problems. If it does, then it's a completely brain-dead implementation.

Steganography affects the content (hopefully in ways that are invisible/inaudible). If it breaks a player, then the player is broken, because other (non-seganographic) audio data will also break that player.
That was just my point. It shouldn't and I can't think of any way it would, but I accept there may some a possibility, however remote.
__________________
I look like a soldier; I feel like a thief
hulugu is offline   0


 
MacRumors Forums > Archive > Archives of Old Posts > MacBytes.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iTunes DRM removal AppleDeviceUser Mac Applications and Mac App Store 5 Sep 26, 2013 10:17 AM
iTunes remove drm. chimpboy74 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 26 Sep 14, 2013 11:33 AM
Moving to Android, trouble getting DRM free songs on iTunes (using iTunes match) miamialley Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices 2 Apr 28, 2013 11:17 AM
New iTunes purchases are still DRM....?? rob25255 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 0 Dec 24, 2012 08:02 PM
Do you think iTunes will ever be completely DRM free? MacPro23 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 3 Nov 6, 2012 04:22 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:09 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC