How much longer do you think iTunes will be in the "now"?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ozzyman500, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. ozzyman500 macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2009
    This year I'm finally ditching CD's and going to iTunes full time. I don't even remember the last time I got excited to buy a CD because I just rip it in iTunes and then it sits on my shelf. For the most part iTunes has fairly good prices on music. I really hope it lasts for 10 or 15 more years or beyond that. With all this technology I don't see why it wouldn't. Maybe even one day Apple could sell lossless and lossy, give us a choice. I can't tell the different between AAC 256 and a CD, AAC is far more superior to MP3 anyway. So my question is how long do you think iTunes will be at the top?

    Edit: I'm thinking about this because CD's had a good run about 20 years or so, and now everything is on computers.
  2. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    If you convert to Apple Lossless, you can always convert back to the original WAV files found on the CD, and then to anything else you like. That's worst case scenario as you will lose your tagging data (as there is no such thing on the CDs).

    MUCH more likely, if ALAC ceases to be a supported format, there will still be tools to convert your ALAC files to whatever the new current format is, and it will certainly keep all your tagging.

    I converted about 1200 CDs to ALAC, and it took up less than 500GB. Just remember to make two extra copies, one for home and one that you keep offsite in case of a disaster. After all, you have a lot invested in your music collection.

    PS: While music resolution will no doubt improve sometime over the current 44.1 sampling rate on CDs, while you won't be able to improve the sampling rate from your CDs, when you use ALAC, you won't lose a single bit of information. I've converted to ALAC and back to WAV, and the original and new WAV files were absolutely identical, bit for bit.
  3. ozzyman500 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2009
    I know all about ALAC and FLAC. Did you read my post?
  4. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Personally, I think it is going to have a great run that is going to last years. The popularity of iTunes has grown greatly over the past few years, not just because of applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. To me iTunes is a life saver, never having to buy actual DVDs, CDs or even most books. The day iTunes goes, if ever, will be a very sad day indeed. lol
  5. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    I buy all my music on Amazon. I only use iTunes when it's either A) Free or B) Amazon doesn't have it.

    As far as a media player, I think that unless Apple does something to get this POC software streamlined and in better shape overall, it's got another year or two before a real competitor knocks it out. The key will be if someone can offer something that syncs w/ iPhones as well.
  6. anonymouz1828 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    not itunes but mp3

    I would not say itunes in the now but rather say mp3 in the now. On the internet, you can get song from anywhere .. not just itunes. I dont use itunes for music .. on itunes i just have 50 songs sync to 3g .. i have another player that about 7 gb songs.
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I'm not sure I really understand the question. By 'top' you're talking about the number of sales, right?

    That has more to do with prices and music label contracts than any of the technical specs, so I don't know that there's an answer to be found by talking about AACs or lossless codecs or anything like that.

    It's like asking how long Coke will out-sell Pepsi. If it ever does change it won't be because of the technical details of what's in the drink. It'll come down to price, marketing, and image. Trends change but they're pretty difficult to predict.
  8. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
  9. curmudgen macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2008
    On a side note, I must be old. I had a good chuckle reading "old school" and "cd' used.
  10. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2009
    I think iTunes has been in the now since 03' and will be until Apple or someone else drastically changes the way we get our music.
  11. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Until Apple or some other service sells lossless CD-quality or better songs at the same price as physical CDs I'll keep buying CDs when I want an entire album.

    I just can't pay full price for lossy files. Also iTunes needs to change its policy so that you can re-download music you've previously bought -- similar how you can retrieve an app you have bought but deleted, accidentally or otherwise. That would be a huge perk if you could buy a digital song online and never fear losing it because it would always be retrievable in the cloud.

    The irony is that CDs are now often less expensive than digital albums.
  12. rburly macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2009
    When someone starts selling lossless music at the same prices as either a) iTunes or b) similar to CD prices now, audiophiles will buy their music from there. I only buy music from iTunes if it's something that I wouldn't buy on CD.
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    you are, and so am I:cool:
  14. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I lost over 150 CD's and DVD's during Katrina..the CD's and DVD's that did survive are now housed in a case logic folder (if they were digital they would have evacuated with me)...but the writing is on the wall...record stores have mostly failed and currently Best Buy and walmart are the only places to get music other than Mom and pop stores....the convenience of having an all digital collection has benifits but it has drawbacks as well; your hard drive might fail, or your computer gets stolen...but I think it's still wise to go the digital route, and Apple is pushing for this in all forms of media, Music, movies, and print...I just wish Apple would let you re download anything you've already purchased the way Microsoft does
  15. Jongewehr macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2009
    if you loose it all an email them, they will help you with that
  16. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX

    Really? the'll let me re download what I lost?
  17. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    Sometimes they will. It's not guaranteed. The TOS states that you must keep all purchases backed up because they are a one time download. I have 4 1TB drives full of iTunes purchases so it is impossible for me to back them up now. Most of them are TV shows and movies purchased in iTunes. Full and up to date seasons and complete series in HD if available such as the Office, 30 Rock, X-Files, 6 seasons of 24, Lost (going to probably just delete Lost) and many others that if I lost them, it would take me weeks to download everything.

    I also rarely watch TV even though we have DirecTV and a DVR but I don't have an HD TV and don't plan on getting one any time soon. I prefer to buy each weeks episodes or season passes on iTunes especially on shows that I like watching over and over. Some of the shows I've deleted like the entire series of the Wire. I just couldn't get into it past the first season so I'm a little more careful now and sometimes I just buy the first show to see if I like it.

    Stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are closing for a reason, because rentals are not what they were 5-10 years ago. I have never rented a DVD in my life since iTunes started up with video. Why rent when I can have the same movie downloaded in less than 20 minutes on my computer.

    I also haven't bought a CD in about five years. Ever since my first iPod, it's been too easy to just buy what I want on iTunes and load it on my iPod and play it in the car without having to go to a store.

    I do think that eventually we will be forced into buying whole complete CDs on iTunes instead of like now, being able to buy one song if we want. Pink Floyd won a court case against their record company that will stop individual song downloads. It will be the whole CD or nothing on iTunes and Amazon and any other download service for their music. If that happens, I think I will get music in other places. I rarely buy whole CDs. Until then, I am happy with iTunes. As for Amazon, people say they have lower prices but every time I have gone there to look at a CD, it's only a few cents cheaper and they have the same CD only requirement on songs over 10 minutes. If the song is over 10 minutes, you can only get it by buying the whole CD. A few cents cheaper isn't enough to go over to Amazon for. iTunes all the way... for now.
  18. ozzyman500 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2009
    Even though I love iTunes people just aren't buying full albums anymore. I will always buy the full album, I hate having singles and individual tracks in my library - I usually don't like EP's unless I really like the band. They want to be hip and only have the newest singles so they buy individual tracks.
  19. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    Not trying to be hip at all. I just don't want hundreds of songs on my iPod that I won't be listening to. I have 12,384 songs in my iTunes library right now. I don't think I even listen to 1/3 of them.
  20. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    I'm really confused about what you're asking here. Are you asking how long the Apple Store will last? How long downloadable, non-physical music formats will dominate? How long the AAC codec will be around? Or how long before downloadable music of superior quality to 256Kbps AAC becomes available? Or something completely different.
  21. tommyGB macrumors member


    Jul 19, 2009
    Spotify the iTunes killer?

    I only use spotify now. Until apple bring out a subscription service for itunes i doubt ill buy another track. The only time i use itunes is either movies/tv progs for HD or music for my imovies.

    Does anyone think apple will adopt a subscription model? Spotify has the potential to be an iTunes killer. If only they did video too...

  22. cwwilson macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Well all I know is digital music will be around for quite a while longer and will eventually take over CDs, making them obsolete. There are new "mech-free" stereo head units coming out that ditch the CD slot but have USB/SD/AUX ports instead. I can't tell you the last time I bought an actual CD, none the less listened to one.
  23. ozzyman500 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2009
    CD's have had a good run for about 20 years. They are pretty much obsolete to me. I'm asking how long do you think iTunes/digial outlets will be around. I couldn't think of anything else that would replace it, except when they start selling lossless albums.
  24. LinMac macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    Media has gone digital. iTunes will stay relevant as long as Apple feels that it is the best way to serve media to the consumer and at this point it is doing a fair job.

    It might be a memory hog, it might be slow, it might be buggy, but so far it is the most complete media store and management solution available.

    64bit rewritten iTunes X anyone?
  25. GrindedDown macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2009
    Las Vegas
    I agree with this 100%. I think Apple has plans to offer that content as well as videos above 720p resolution. I think what is holding a widespread, unified, up-comer to the digital music/film/media industry are several limitations that are going to be alleviated pretty well 2 years-ish from now. They are:

    Hard Drive space & affordability

    Secure, uber-fast, affordable internet connections.

    A lot of you will argue that HDDs are already at that point or ridiculously close to it. I am inclined to agree somewhat here. The big problem is that it is an accessory and not installed. Base model computers (not netbooks or ipads mind you) need to come with 1TB of space for a computer and its drive to be consumer friendly.

    I know there are a lot more educated people than I give credit for, but when it comes to computer, the majority of purchasers are kind of idiots/uneducated through necessarily no fault of their own. The advent of the GUI, the average consumer knows how to point and how to click on their icons. Ask them to install a printer and they call support. They pay the Geek Squad $120 to run a simple selective startup, defrag, and a couple of other simple as-it-gets tasks. If the user has to think about it or attempt to install it, it won't be mainstream.

    The other limitation is network speed, reliability and affordability. Lossless albums will typically take up 300+MBs of space. 1080p movies can take something like up to 5+ GBs. With such massive amounts of data, I am sure iTunes and Apple has decided that the average consumer is not yet ready. That and 1080p is not quite standard for them yet with laptops and their cinema displays (plz change in june plz). To stay on track though, the average consumer has neither all of the necessary tools nor the ear, or stereo equipment for that matter, to support a "lossless lifestyle"™.

    I think that these things will become more standard and user-friendly over the next few years. Thinking about it 2 years is prob too soon. Even with HDDs, the expensive transition to SSDs from them will take some time to make massive storage available. I would say iTunes will remain king for the next 2-3 years. People will live the "lossless lifestyle"™ starting in about 5 years. CDs prob have a good 7 years left.


    iTunes for years
    Lossless acceptance in 5
    CD "dies" in 7

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