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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Teck.co.uk claims that Apple is planning on opening up their protected iTunes music and movie content this week.

The iPod maker is expected to make two announcements this week - the first will be to allow streaming of protected AAC content via USB; the second will be to licence its Fairplay DRM to the company's Made For iPod licencees.

Tech.co.uk offers no background on the rumor, and few other hints have been made about such an announcement.
 

Macnoviz

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,059
0
Roeselare, Belgium
Nice!

that will certainly give iTS a better position in the Zune vs. iPod war (or should I say massacre the way it's going now)

One of the oldest arguments against the iPod/iTunes gone. I don't see any music player with Fairplay killing the iPod, although the money is in the hardware for Apple, not the music. for now
 

Photek

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2006
13
0
Warwick, UK
If its true.... that has to be one of the smartest moves Apple has ever made.

Music download companies will fall overthem selves to get their music on iPods and as a result of that... more iPods will be sold.

Nice!
 

freddiecable

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2003
656
195
Sweden
agree - apple has probably more to gain to license Fairplay than not doing it. In the long run apple will probably loose - especially when it will arrive non-DRM alternatives on a broader scale.
 

Macnoviz

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,059
0
Roeselare, Belgium
are we actually talking about letting others make music players that can play Fairplay AAC's or letting others sell Fairplay AAC's? (the second one was already offered by an outsider who replicated Fairplay withouth reverse engineering)
 

Poff

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2003
1,258
1
Stavanger, Norway
are we actually talking about letting others make music players that can play Fairplay AAC's or letting others sell Fairplay AAC's? (the second one was already offered by an outsider who replicated Fairplay withouth reverse engineering)

Replicate Fairplay without reverse engineering? How could he possibly do that? Some revengineering had to take place, orelse he would just be shooting blindfolded.



I don't really think Apple would do this. What good would it do to their bottom line?
 

Glassman

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2006
73
1
In what instances would one want to the ability to 'stream' protected AAC via USB?

nowadays all the iPod accessories like the iPod HiFi and such are connected via analog outputs in the iPod connector.. and iPod clearly isn't the greatest sounding component for a hifi system.. this will allow the devices to get the audio data from iPod in digital form and use a much better digital to analog converters in their devices, hence achieving better sound..

I wonder if that means everyone will have to implement their own MP3, AAC and Apple Lossless decoders in their software.. seems like a waste of resources to me, this should be handled by the iPod which already handels it and only stream the decoded data via the dock connector, protected or not..
 

Macnoviz

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2006
1,059
0
Roeselare, Belgium
Replicate Fairplay without reverse engineering? How could he possibly do that? Some revengineering had to take place, orelse he would just be shooting blindfolded.



I don't really think Apple would do this. What good would it do to their bottom line?

These are the article I was referring to. I read somewhere that what he did was not necesarely illegal, but I don't remember the details.

https://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/10/20061025082316.shtml
https://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/10/20061002155354.shtml
 

GregA

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2003
1,248
15
Sydney Australia
Who knows if this rumour has any truth to it - I would love to see Apple open up.

Allowing IPTV providers to stream directly to iTunes and the AppleTV would be great. Amazon could sell movies, or rent movies (as it does now). IPTV streaming payTV providers could sell to Apple (eg Homechoice UK). Blockbuster could get involved.

Most of all... we could watch something on the AppleTV in Australia. Afterall, they release the AppleTV here in 6 weeks, and there is no TV content that we can watch.

ps. No idea why encrypted USB would be useful. Perhaps it would allow a Nano to plug into a 3rd-party device which plays movies stored on it?
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,745
5,999
Canada
More choice for the consumer is a Good Thing.

Control freak Apple is bad for the consumer.

Roll on the licensing.
 

alywa

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2004
350
1
I hope this is true

Both of my cars have MP3 CD players which can play MP3 (duh) and WMA files. It is a big hassle to burn / rerip Fairplay songs to put them on compilation CDs. I'd love to see apple license car stereo manufacturers to use protected AAC.

Of course, using the iPod in either car is simple, but this is a nice option to have if I don't feel like bringing the iPod, or in hot / cold weather.
 

BenRoethig

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,729
0
Dubuque, Iowa
Apple has the name recognition and dominance in this sector, so why not? This should help against that pending anti-trust suit. Hopefully this will lead to itunes integration in major consumer devices like PS3, PSP, or even televisions with the equivalent of AppleTV in them.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,821
7
Couldn't care less about manufacturers, but licensing for content providers is well overdue.
 

rjwill246

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2003
415
0
USA (often) and Adelaide, OZ
More choice for the consumer is a Good Thing.

Control freak Apple is bad for the consumer.

Roll on the licensing.

It is now very obvious through all your postings that you want to see Apple make cheap devices, have its quality fall and allow everyone to pirate its software-- and see them fail. But why?? You have lots of Dell shares???

Every scenario you paint makes it great for the consumer on the first day and for the next few weeks (maybe)-- then Apple fails because all the things you suggest rips away its profits and the company fails. How can THAT be good for the consumer in the long run? The clones proved that!!! Apple is in no position at this time to go "cheap" or give away services and share its technologies for free. That is pre-Wall thinking.
 

Snowy_River

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,519
0
Corvallis, OR
I wonder if this has anything to do with NetFlix announcement that they are starting up their own download service, using WMV. Of course, this means that it won't be compatible with Mac OS X. And, anyone can tell you that a person is more likely to want to rent a movie than to buy. Maybe Apple wants to leave the rentals to someone else, but to do that they have to license the technology...
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,431
259
Purcellville, VA
Unfortuntely, I can't seem to load the original article, so I don't know precisely what kind of licensing they're describing, but...

Allowing third-party music vendors to ship FairPlay files seems like it would be good for consumers and good for Apple. Despite the huge number of songs sold, the iTunes store's profit is a small percentage of Apple's overall profits. It seems to me that the iTunes store's primary purpose is still to drive iPod sales. Offering FairPlay songs from other sources should also drive iPod sales.

Allowing third party music players to play iTunes store downloads would be good for consumers (more choices) but bad for Apple, since that would serve to cut into iPod sales.

But I doubt either is actually going to happen. This is one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" rumors.

Third-party music vendors would not be happy with FairPlay's default DRM terms (5 computers, unlimited iPods, unlimited CD burning). They will demand the same terms they use for WMA downloads - terms that are almost always more restrictive and vary from song to song. I don't think Apple would want to allow these kinds of alternate terms. Although the confusion might convince people to keep buying from the iTunes store, I think it would turn many people off from downloads (and therefore iPods) altogether.

Third party players? I just can't imagine this happening under any circumstance. I'm sure iPod sales wouldn't be affected too much (since there are many factors besides the iTunes Store that make people want iPods), but it simply isn't in Apple's character to license stuff like this. I can only see this happening in response to a court order, and not for any other reason.

Update
OK. I finally got the article to load. It says that this is only licensing for "Made for iPod" licensees. In other words, accessory makers, not competitors or music stores.

This makes a little more sense. It would allow third party variations on AirPort Express, and other streaming-from-iTunes devices. The article also mentions the possibility of docks that can display additional track information (tags, artwork, etc.)

I think this kind of license would be good for both Apple and consumers. The hard part (for Apple) will be making sure that the tech doesn't escape into products that Apple considers an iPod competitor. (Say, a handheld Apple TV-like device that can stream/buffer/play both WMA files and iTunes files.)
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,745
5,999
Canada
Consumer choice is Good.

The picture you paint is one of:
"Apple cannot complete without excessive control of their platforms".

People would like to be able to play drm'ed AAC files on other devices, such as cell phones, or other MP3 players etc. At the moment the consumer does not have the choice - and 'you can rip to CD and back again' isn't an answer, its cumbersome and time consuming - something the user should NOT have to do.

Nokia have gone with microsoft DRM. The #1 Cell phone company in the world. This could have been Apple if it was willing to license.

Apple would sell vastly more AppleTVs if it wasn't tied 100% iTunes and own formats, i.e., the ability to play DivX. At the moment the AppleTV is only good for u.s customers because there isn't a lot of content in other countries - no TV content for example.

If Apple cannot compete without excessive control, may it doesn't deserve to exist?

As I keep saying - more Consumer choice is a Good Thing, not bad.

The backlash against Fairplay and iPods is just beginning and I'm guessing this is why Apple is starting to think about licensing out Fairplay. If Apple doesn't license Fairplay, it will, sooner or later, be forced to.

Americans are supposed to hate communism ( well, most don't know the difference between that and socialism, but anyway... ) Apple would be the equalivant of a communist company - will tell you want formats to use, and what devices you can use ( i.e., Fairplay, iPod, iTunes ), or what software you can use ( i.e, iPhone )

It is now very obvious through all your postings that you want to see Apple make cheap devices, have its quality fall and allow everyone to pirate its software-- and see them fail. But why?? You have lots of Dell shares???

Every scenario you paint makes it great for the consumer on the first day and for the next few weeks (maybe)-- then Apple fails because all the things you suggest rips away its profits and the company fails. How can THAT be good for the consumer in the long run? The clones proved that!!! Apple is in no position at this time to go "cheap" or give away services and share its technologies for free. That is pre-Wall thinking.
 

balamw

Moderator
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
If Apple doesn't license Fairplay, it will, sooner or later, be forced to.
I agree with this point, sooner or later Apple will have to license parts of FairPlay or they will face both technological and business pressure to license it.

Either Double Twist will license a FairPlay compatible stack or the labels, Made for iPod partners, etc... will demand it.

B
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,431
259
Purcellville, VA
The picture you paint is one of:
"Apple cannot complete without excessive control of their platforms".
And you seem to believe that corporations should do whatever customers want, whether or not it makes good business sense.

You and I may want a feature, but that alone is not going to be enough to make someone else provide that feature.
Stella said:
People would like to be able to play drm'ed AAC files on other devices, such as cell phones, or other MP3 players etc. ...
They'd also like to download free copies of Mac OS to run on their $400 Dell PCs. Does this mean Apple has some kind of obligation to do this?
Stella said:
Nokia have gone with microsoft DRM. The #1 Cell phone company in the world. This could have been Apple if it was willing to license.
Maybe. Maybe not. There are a lot more factors than just one company's willingness to issue licenses.
Stella said:
Apple would sell vastly more AppleTVs if it wasn't tied 100% iTunes and own formats, i.e., the ability to play DivX.
Considering that it isn't available for sale anywhere, you have no clue how many will sell with the current model, so you can't possibly know how many more would sell if your preferred set of changes would be added to it.

Please don't confuse wishful thinking with reality. It doesn't help anybody.
Stella said:
Americans are supposed to hate communism ( well, most don't know the difference between that and socialism, but anyway... ) Apple would be the equalivant of a communist company - will tell you want formats to use, and what devices you can use ( i.e., Fairplay, iPod, iTunes ), or what software you can use ( i.e, iPhone )
Funny you should say that.

Apple develops brand new technology, and you want to force them to give it away to the entire world, at the expense of their own long-term profitability. Your approach sounds a lot more "communist" to me.
 
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