The iTunes Music Store is dumb

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by alex_ant, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #1
    I just never understood its success... the convenience seems to come at a tremendous price. Why would you pay $10 for an album's worth of ephemeral, DRM-encrypted, 128k AAC audio files when you can go to half.com, buy the used album on CD for $5 or less including shipping, and always have a pristine uncompressed digital copy, plus authentic printed liner notes, that will still be there when your harddrive crashes, that you can always rip into any format you choose, even 10 years down the line when better-sounding lossless compression formats are in vogue and DRM'ed AAC is a format of the distant past that no modern electronic device can decode? It always seemed to me that buying iTMS music was a great way to give yourself the shaft. What's the scoop on this poop?
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I would never buy an album from iTMS, it wouldn't make sense. I can get the album new from play.com on CD including free delivery for the same price. But when I just want a single track, iTMS is perfect for me.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    Having never bought a tune from iTMS, I'm still going to venture an opinion...

    From Apple's point of view, it cements the relationship between iPod, iTunes and user. Probably even more importantly, it leverages Apple software onto the Windows platform and exposes many iPod-wearing PC users to Apple as a brand.

    From the consumer's point of view, it offers immediacy, convenience and choice. Immediacy that satisfies the 'must have it now' instinct and 'choice' in the sense that if I wanted, I could just buy the single & selected tracks instead of the whole album... the singles market has been on a terminal decline and this is a way to grab a track for a small sum with as little fuss as possible.

    Add to that, the indifference and benign tolerance that most people have towards the quality of their audio and that all adds up to an appealing package.

    I don't see it as something to get upset about. If they stopped making CDs than that would be something else altogether...
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #4
    Some of us don't care about liner notes or ultra high fidelity. Much less the idea of ripping the cd and then storing it somewhere. I'm a minimalist at heart, if not always in practice, and enjoy the simplicity and lack of clutter that the iTMS offers. Why go through the hassle of finding the cd you want by searching dozens of websites and then have it mailed to you. It could take a week or more. Also, much of the music that I want is extrememely hard to find and while the iTMS doesn't offer everything I would like it to, it has the majority of what I want. I suppose if you're into mainstream music going the buy.com route is perfectly fine but definitely not for me.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    Most of what I've bought on iTMS have been impulse purchases of individual tracks that I hadn't heard for a while and felt like listening to. There's no way that I'd have bought the full album for it but I'm happy to pay 79p for it.

    However, I've bought a couple of albums on it. Mainly when I wanted to listen to it 'now' rather than in the 4-5 days that it takes to arrive from Play etc. Unless it's a band/artist that I really like, I'm not going to look at the liner notes often and for casual listening, the 128 AAC is OK (particularly when you're listening on the Tube! in any case!). The few times that I've felt the AAC wasn't up to scratch, iTunes support have been very good about checking the file and refunding money.
     
  6. alex_ant thread starter macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #6
    It's not ultra-high fidelity that is the CD's biggest advantage, it's future-proofness and having that "master copy" on hand. Will you ever want to play your music on non-Apple software/hardware? If not in a year, how about in 15 years? Will Apple still be in the music business in 15 years? Will AAC still be supported in any hardware/software players? I'm pretty sure if you can find it on itms, you can find it used from half.com or some other music site for less. I don't think there is necessarily that much searching involved for a CD unless your tastes are REALLY unique.

    I understand the simplicity and I understand using iTMS for downloading singles here and there but some people really do use it for downloading LOTS of music - I was reading one thread in these very forums where a poster talked about how he had downloaded 10,000 songs from iTMS and lost them all to a disk crash or something. It sounds very scary to me and I wonder why people do this.
     
  7. alex_ant thread starter macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #7
    Here's what iTMS could do to snag me

    #1 Offer a choice of paying $10 to download the digital album, OR paying $12 to download the digital album and get a CD and liner notes in the mail

    #2 (This wouldn't be necessary if they do #1) Store a record of which songs I download in my account and let me re-download them for bandwidth costs in case I lose them.

    People don't realize how volatile digital information is. How many files do you have on your computer that you've had for 10 years? If any, how close have you come to losing them at some point due to hardware failure or whatever? How many websites do you know of that haven't changed in the past 10 years? How many pieces of software do you use that are 10 years old? And this is only 10 years. In 10 more years, AAC is going to be like Cinepak or Indeo Video is today. When you buy from iTMS, you are paying for a fleeting wisp of intangibility... which may be okay for some purposes, but I wonder if people really think about this.
     
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    That I agree with 100%. They already know what people have bought. The fact they they don't let you re-download for a small bandwidth fee sucks.
     
  9. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    #9
    iToons fan

    I may not be the most prolific of it's users .... only downloaded about 25 albums to date and about 60 indidvidual songs so I don't think I'll be winning any loyalty awards .... but I like the conveniences and, I think from the UK perspective, the prices are good - new albums are a full sterling unit below Play.com.

    Sure, so you don't get the inlay card or the DVD extras, but I can't remember the last time I wanted to buy a CD cos there were some lovely shiney pictures in the nice pamphlet they provide.

    As far as the full service offerings and the techie parts goes, sure it's a teensie bit restrictive and you guys have got totally valid points, but I shove my purchase prowess down the necks of my work colleagues and they revere me as a God ... (probably) :eek:
     
  10. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #10

    or maybe u wanna use it but can't find the funds and are venting ur cynical anger out on a net' message board... lol jp' yea i get 10 bucks a month allowance for it... i bought an album ONCE.. most of the time its just singles.... ill gurantee u one thing... im gonna keep these songs for a while... no way they are gonna get lost... i could always just burn em to a cd as a data disc and BAM theirs my backup copy... cdrw makes it even better :)
     
  11. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #11
    There is absolutely no excuse for this. Data storage costs are so low it's almost free. My 4,000-song iTunes library (including apx 100 purchased thru iTMS Canada) has been backed-up at least four different ways...

    1) On my Lacie external firewire 160GB harddrive
    2) On my 40GB iPod
    3) On 4 DVD's, safely stored elsewhere (off-site)
    4) On 4 DVD's, stored on-site

    I hope and pray nothing ever happens to my precious iBook, but if it does at least I'll be prepared. Not having a complete system backup in this day and age is completely irresponsible.

    By the way, the biggest problem I've had with purchasing CD's is storing them. I've got a Sony 300-disc CD changer which is great (a DVD changer would be even better!) but I've got a small cupboard overflowing with empty jewel cases. iTMS rocks!
     
  12. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #12
    Fallacy.

    My Casette Tapes were "Future Proofed" because they were physical copies.

    My Vinyl albums were "Future Proofed" because they were physical copies.

    My Laserdiscs were "Future Proofed" because they were physical copies.

    My dad's 8-tracks were "Future Proofed" because they were physical copies.

    I can't play any of them anymore, and the only one that I can easily buy a replacement player for is the casette tapes (and even that is getting harder by the month).

    My VHS collection is in danger of being unplayable.

    Looking at the speed of changing tech, I have no confidence in being able to play my DVDs in 5 years time, let alone 10 years.

    Information has become a transient item, the ITMS popularity is simply a reflection of that.
     
  13. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #13
    I'm with you on this one. I have a philosophy that you also appear to subscribe to: "I don't buy bits; I buy containers that happen to be full of bits." I'm not buying electrons. I demand physicality in the things that I purchase. CDs are a ubiquitous format that, unlike 8-tracks and laserdiscs, will be around for a VERY long time (my prediction: at least until the end of the 21st century).
     
  14. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #14
    Not a hope. CDs are only there for as long as our current information storage tech is based on 6" wide circular disks, that are read by a laser, and so make it cheap to throw in the extra hardware to be able to read CDs.

    Just look at the mess with DVD+, DVD- and DVD-RAM to see how wrong it can go really quickly.

    If you want a permament medium carve it into rock. Anything else will disappear as soon as the current tech shifts to something else.
     
  15. brap macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #15
    Nice thought, about the transience, but hardly.

    Each one of those has specific limitations, of being fully analogue (and therefore hard to reproduce), large (therefore hard to store/prone to break) or non-standard. Most have a combination of the above.

    I believe the CD will stay in regular use for at least 60 years, if only through the form factor compatibility it has with DVDs. It is recognisably ubiquitous - and the fact that there are so many ways of accessing and manipulating the data held on a CD make it even more of a safe bet. Personally I'd rather have a bona-fide physical copy of the CD and a lossless audio file, rather than a lossy audio file and take the time to produce a data DVD backup.

    You make backups, right? :rolleyes:
     
  16. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #16
    Its not a "feature", but they will let you re-download your songs if you have lost them due to some unexpected reason. I've gotten to re-download once due to a Powerbook hard drive failure, and have had friends who have gotten to re-download at least twice. However, you have to email them and they send you a nasty email about how its your responsibility to back up. You also get flooded with warnings everytime your purchase music from the store to backup your data after you get to re-download. Hehe.

    I just wish there was an official way to sync all your downloaded music onto every computer you have authorized. It would make things simple, as I forget which computer I downloaded what on.
     
  17. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #17
    Maybe because there is no guarantee I can get the album I want from half.com for $5 or less including shipping. That site is not a retailer, just a listing service.
     
  18. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #18
    I'm gonna have to agree

    I mean think about from the Napster standpoint. To fill you iPod its totally gonna cost you like $10,000.


    On a serious note I like to store all my music on my computer because its the easiest for me. I can take them with via iPod. Play them on the stereo via Airport Express. I can burn them onto a CD to take them in the car/ to a friends place.

    The whole idea of the iTMS is thats its convenient. Its the 7-11 of the music world. Sure its not as versitile as a CD, but sacrifices are made to save time.
     
  19. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #19
    Only if you choose to fill your iPod with music only from ITMS (or "purchased" CDs too). The iPod can also double as a hard drive and can be used to data storage. My iPod has about half data on it and about 2GB of storage on it. Napsters point of view only targets people who choose to use ITMS and, to be more specific, who own the 40GB model. Some people have the 20GB model which holds 5,000 songs, so I will only cost you $5,000 to fill your iPod if you use ITMS (yes I'm being a bit funny about the 5k :D). And too take it even further, how about the iPod mini? Or iPod shuffle, that wouldn't cost $10,000 from ITMS. Ok ok, I'm being a bit technical here, and yes I know that saying "$10,000" makes Apple looks worse that saying "$120" (for the iPod shuffle 512MB model) regarding marketing for Napster.

    But people can say what they want about the iPods and ITMS, "iPods are too expensive", ".99 is too much for a song", "ITMS is Apple's way of selling more iPods". Bottom line, iPods are selling and the ITMS has sold, what, 2,400,000 + songs. People are buying iPods and using ITMS regardless of the critics.
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #20
    You all seem to be forgetting the fact that some of the tunes you can't get anywhere else. Lots of acoustic and exclusive stuff. I've done more of the free weekly iTunes, but I've made some purchases of some live things. Alanis Morissette had an iTunes original album for $9.99 that had 21 songs on it.

    Plus, not all of us care about high fidelity. If I can hear it without a lot of static and pops it still beats my radio and those records I still have in storage somewhere.
     
  21. alex_ant thread starter macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #21
    Well it's not quite the same thing. If in 15 years you want to be able to play any of those, you can simply buy a used player if you don't have one. On the other hand, no amount of money you can spend will buy you a player for an obsolete file format for Mac OS 15, unless you plan on funding development yourself.
     
  22. alex_ant thread starter macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #22
    half.com is just an example, I'm sure there are a hundred other sites or locations from which you could fairly easily get the CD.
     
  23. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    afk
    #23
    Well, maybe you can keep an old computer that can run those media players?

    I'm guessing both are almost the same, its just a matter of perception and how trusting you are of computers and technology. I have got casette tapes that can't be played due to poor upkeeping (maybe a equivalent of if you don't back up). Some of my back-up CDs can't be used as well (maybe due to mouldings or they have exceed their lifespan). A lesson learnt so I am now more careful about storing my CDs.

    When statements about CD being able to last for 60 years are made, it is just speculation as it very difficult to predict technological trends in the far future. Even then I remembered that the lifespan of a CD is only about 10 years?

    The only predictable thing is change
     
  24. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #24
    iTMS in Canada is slow. Apple needs to add another 100 xserves to handle 1.2 million downloads a day. They are seriously lagging.
     
  25. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    on the sofa
    #25
    Just before Christmas my wife called me on the cell phone and told me to put on our local PBS radio station. She was driving home from work and was listening to a great Christmas parody song based on the B52s "Love Shack". I made a mental note to buy the CD for her and then thought, hmmm, is it available on iTunes?

    Had the whole album downloaded before she came home. Had "Santa's Sack" cued up on the stereo as she walked in the door. Priceless even with the lossey compression and DRM.
     

Share This Page