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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,441
14,142
This MSNBC article describes other services scrambling to ramp up their music distribution services in response to the early popularity of the iTunes Music Store.

After several years of unsuccessfully trying to convince music fans who download songs for free from Internet file-sharing networks to pay monthly subscription fees for access to digital music, suddenly it?s all about the single.

Notable players include Amazon, MSN, AOL (MusicNet), and MusicMatch. While the per-song sales mentality is spreading, News.com notes that Microsoft is adding security enhancements to allow current subscription services to work in conjuction with portable music players.
 

alset

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2002
1,262
0
East Bay, CA
Betting on Apple

If Apple can push their service to windows quickly they will be able to get a strong following and hold it. They would be as difficult to dethrone as M$ is for OS needs.

Then again, if a monthly service gets the edge, people will build a music collection that basically demands that they keep using the service. It's like having a company charge you to access your own CDs. You may get fed up, but you aren't gonna go and start your collection over.

Dan

edit: I have never had first post to a news article, before now. I guess playing a video game instead of going to bed has it's advantages. :)
 
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ZildjianKX

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2003
1,610
0
I just wish they'd up the music quality in all these online music stores... if I'm going to pay for an AAC/MP3... I want it to be CD quality and then I can downsample it if I want it smaller...

With all these new plans popping up to have secure downloadable music... its going to end up that some standards get obsolete and your music will be worthless in a year or so. Just my $0.02.
 
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peterjhill

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2002
1,095
0
Seattle, WA
A good reason for Apple to work hard on iTunes for Windows. The reason these people are moving so fast is that they want to be there first in the windows market-space.

What Apple needs to do is keep the labels happy so that they have the best selection of music. They also need to add features, like "add to wishlist" and customer reviews, amazon has them, I personally like those features and am sure others do also.

This CNet article explains how "Microsoft is betting that new security enhancements planned for later this year could make renting music, rather than owning it, more attractive to consumers."

I disagree, and I hope the rest of the market thinks this is a bad idea. Once my computer is authorized by Apple, I don't believe that it needs to check in with the mothership. Therefore, Apple could go down the drain and I could still listen to my music and burn it on to CDs and transfer it to my iPod. With the Microsoft plan, you are hoping that they continue the service, if they don't, you are out on the bricks with no music. If you stop paying, all of your music disappears. I don't want Bill Gates to my the landlord of the content on my iPod.

This is another case of Microsoft trying to push a standard that only benefits them. They want their DRM to be THE DRM (digital rights management). They want to either force Apple to implement their plan on the ipod or coerce all the music labels to work only with "the standard" Look what Microsoft did for web browsers.

I don't want what MS has to offer. I would rather have Apple compete with Amazon, as long as the Amazon solution does not use the MS DRM.
 
Comment

iJon

macrumors 604
Feb 7, 2002
6,574
198
Originally posted by ZildjianKX
I just wish they'd up the music quality in all these online music stores... if I'm going to pay for an AAC/MP3... I want it to be CD quality and then I can downsample it if I want it smaller...

With all these new plans popping up to have secure downloadable music... its going to end up that some standards get obsolete and your music will be worthless in a year or so. Just my $0.02.
i thought 128k aac was right around cd quality?

iJon
 
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Falleron

macrumors 68000
Nov 22, 2001
1,609
0
UK
I just wish that Apple had the windows version of iTunes out. Its always the same. Apple comes up with something cool + other people make the money out of it!
 
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maradong

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,058
0
Luxembourg
Re: Betting on Apple

Originally posted by alset
If Apple can push their service to windows quickly they will be able to get a strong following and hold it. They would be as difficult to dethrone as M$ is for OS needs.

Then again, if a monthly service gets the edge, people will build a music collection that basically demands that they keep using the service. It's like having a company charge you to access your own CDs. You may get fed up, but you aren't gonna go and start your collection over.

Dan

edit: I have never had first post to a news article, before now. I guess playing a video game instead of going to bed has it's advantages. :)
lol :D

@ topic: one more reason why apple shoudl release the client for windows AND linux ! as otherwise other music services might have fixed their position on winbloze machines...
 
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Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
1,564
6
Australia
Competition would be welcome

I am glad Microsoft is going ahead with its subscription model because that leaves Apple with the superior alternative. The Apple Music Store is here today and it works great. The competition is still catching up.

We should not frown at the fact that all these companies want a piece of the music pie; after all, competition will surely drive down prices and improve the services available. Provided that all the music services offer the same content we the people buying the music would be the winners. If on the other hand the record companies tie themselves to one particular service then it would be back to square one for music downloads.

By the way, Roxio recently bought Napster and that would be one service worth looking out for when it is re-launched. I just hope Roxio does not shaft us Mac users like they do with the majority of their software.
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Originally posted by peterjhill: Once my computer is authorized by Apple, I don't believe that it needs to check in with the mothership. Therefore, Apple could go down the drain and I could still listen to my music and burn it on to CDs and transfer it to my iPod.

Yes. You couldn't re-authorize NEW computers if Apple went under, BUT you could still use your music freely and forever at the FULL original downloaded quality, on any brand of portable player, CD player, or computer. How? Just burn your downloaded music to Audio CD, and you can fall back on that version universally forever. Audio CD won't lose any quality from the AAC. But what about when/if you re-rip later, for a computer or MP3 player that Apple's not around to authorize? No problem. Just rip UNcompressed then. No loss, STILL sounds like the original AAC, and NO DRM. True, it will take more storage space for those songs--but we are talking far future, worst case here. Storage will be cheap. Bottom line, you have full-quality, no-DRM use of your downloads forever without limit, at the minor expense of some storage space.

Regarding 128-bit AAC quality: Apple's songs for sale seem to be reviewed as indistingushable from CD. Songs you rip yourself use the "Fastest" rather than "Best" QuickTime AAC encoder, so even at 128 bits they may not equal the quality you buy from iTunes. Not that everyone has the ears or equipment to tell! (And supposedly, Apple is internally is using an even better encoder than QuickTime's "Best"--which you can access to rip files manually IF you have QT Pro.) All 128-bit AACs are not created equal. But I must say, I can't tell any of my ripped 128 AACs from the original CDs, personally.

Regarding iTunes wish list: Defintely a good idea! I use the Shopping Cart (see iTunes Preferences) as a wishlist in the meantime.

Regarding competing services: Others may be first on Windows, but the press will compare them to iTunes and they won't look so good. Then when Apple's on Windows too, the "real thing" will be praised. Let's hope that's sooner rather than later--but it doesn't have to be "first" to succeed. It just has to be soon--and best (which is a given!). As for subscription-based services--that's great, I'm all for choice. I wouldn't choose that personally.
 
Comment

daRAT

macrumors regular
May 12, 2002
134
0
Kennebunk, Maine, USA
Maybe some of you are old enough to remember ...

But there was a time when you could not own a telephone, you "rented" the device for about 2$ a month from Ma Bell ...

The phone was just a cheap rotary dial that probably cost the homeowner 300$ over the life of the phone.

If I remember right, it took the courts to make the option of buying a phone possible.

MS's susbscription service has benefits, if for 20$ a month you could download unlimited number of songs to play. Good for the consumer. The bad side is it is greater for MS and it's partners, that is guarenteed money per month, unlike people buying a few songs on an odd scedule, such as myself.

The security thing will win over some record labels, my worry is these labels may force Apple to add tighter security to thier service.

All in all, i'll wait for Itunes for Windows, if MS was smart, they would welcome this and work with Apple on getting it out faster.

Microsoft & Security.

Heh, I just had to say those words together, they don't go well together though...
 
Comment

caveman_uk

Guest
Feb 17, 2003
2,390
1
Hitchin, Herts, UK
...and while the respective companies fight it out in the US the other 95% of the worlds population will keep stealing music because no-one seems to care enough to offer us legal downloads....
 
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iJed

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2001
264
0
West Sussex, UK
Originally posted by caveman_uk
...and while the respective companies fight it out in the US the other 95% of the worlds population will keep stealing music because no-one seems to care enough to offer us legal downloads....

This is nearly as important as getting iTMS on Windows. Surely someone else is going to launch other services throughout the world which could take market share that Apple could of had should they ever get round to launching their service outside the US.
 
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cgmpowers

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2002
129
0
Renting Phones & the 3 Per Machine limit

Wow, that actually brings back some memories.. I remember actually when we bought our first phone.. Hah. and to think now I've seen cheap phones for less than $10...all over the place. They're also not crap either...

Anyway all about the 3 computer limit. Just burn them to CD & rerip them and then it doesn't matter....

I don't know what loss in quality from AAC to CD then reripped to AAC.. But it worked for me on 1 purchased CD.

Christopher

Originally posted by daRAT
Maybe some of you are old enough to remember ...

But there was a time when you could not own a telephone, you "rented" the device for about 2$ a month from Ma Bell ...

The phone was just a cheap rotary dial that probably cost the homeowner 300$ over the life of the phone.

If I remember right, it took the courts to make the option of buying a phone possible.
 
Comment

NavyIntel007

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
1,081
0
Tampa, FL
Subscription services are never going to work. Most people like owning things. Who ever rented cds? And if they did, who didn't copy them on a tape? Come on people, Microsoft is like the Catholic Church in that they are totally out of touch with people. I see this happening. Joe Blow joins this service because they have a few songs that he likes that he can't find on iTMS. So he starts paying the $20 a month, downloads about 60 or so songs but can't seem to find any more that he likes. 8 months later, he's realized that hes paid $160 or $2.66 a song! Then he realizes that he can't stop paying because his music will disappear. So basically he goes and downloads Kazaa and downloads them all for free and cancels the service. He's pretty happy with getting it for free.

See, another problem is Microsoft has a major problem in that many of it's customers have been using Napster or Kazaa for years (very few of us mac users do because neither of these were on the mac) and getting music for free. So lets look at age groups of buyers.

Preteen (into Rap music but have no money): will not join this service because they don't have any money and mom says that the $20 a month is already going to little joey to play soccer this year.

HS teen: The little money they have goes to paying other things. They might sign up for this service but when the one month comes around that they don't have $20 to take Sally on a date... bye bye music. And they won't return.

College Student: forget it. Every college student I've talked to says "why pay for your music when there's Kazaa?"

Adult: We have enough bills to pay.

Seniors: See above.

I don't think they would capture many audiofiles either because audiofiles want to keep their music even after Microsoft pulls the plug.

I'll give another example of why this will fail. Anyone remember Divx. No, not the video encoding, I'm talking about those DVD-like disks you could buy for like $10 from circuit city and play in the Divx player you bought from them. But everytime you watch the movie you pay something like $3. Complete and utter failure. These subscription services aren't making any money, now they think they can? Come on corperate america, we're not stupid!
 
Comment

NavyIntel007

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
1,081
0
Tampa, FL
I definitely agree that Apple should focus on iTunes/Quicktime for linux. The desktop linux market is pretty big and they currently have no options but limewire to get music off the web. Apple could pioneer the service to these users and remind them that OS X is unix based. :D
 
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peterjhill

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2002
1,095
0
Seattle, WA
Re: Betting on Apple

Originally posted by alset
Then again, if a monthly service gets the edge, people will build a music collection that basically demands that they keep using the service. It's like having a company charge you to access your own CDs. You may get fed up, but you aren't gonna go and start your collection over.

Except with Microsoft's service, you never own any songs. You can download anything you want, but you need to keep paying to play. I am sure that their scheme will make it difficult to make backup copies of the files. It won't be in MP3 format, it will almost definitely by WMA files. They control enough of the OS that they can make it difficult to write a program to steal the music. I would not doubt that Microsoft might even disable audio input drivers when DRM music was being played. They could do it. If someone tried to write something to get around it, since it is a monthly service charge to MS, they would have a great incentive to block the release of such applications, perhaps disabling all DRM content of computers running the software hacks. They could do it, since every 30 days, you would need Microsoft's blessings to continue the service. I'll take Apple's DRM any day over anything from Redmond
 
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davem2020

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2002
8
0
i don't know why people are so down on subscription services. for $10 a month with rhapsody I have access to hundreds of thousands of songs. I could never spend the money to buy all those individually. Not to mention the hard drive space it would take. $10/month to have a music catalogue larger than that at tower records piped into my home and office seems worth the price, even if i do not own the music and cannot burn it to cd (i cannot remember the last time i actually played a cd). once they are able to stream their music to cell phones this will be the killer app. no need for cd or mp3 players if you can listen to rhapsody's entire catalogue wirelessly.
 
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P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
I don't think it is going to be the first service that will do the best, but rather the service that has the biggest selection. Take a look at file sharing networks. Morpheus had it all for a while until they went a route that brought them less selection. Everyone jumped to Kazaa because they could. They are not bound by any contract whatsoever. I think Apple should be more concerned about getting those indie labels out the door than getting iTunes for Windows. I'm not saying that it isn't important to get that going, but when a service is on a sale by sale basis, it's price and selection that counts.

P-Worm
 
Comment

HornetOSX

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2003
75
0
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
See, another problem is Microsoft has a major problem in that many of it's customers have been using Napster or Kazaa for years (very few of us mac users do because neither of these were on the mac) and getting music for free.

Not completely true
.....


Napster Had not only an OS 9 client but even an OS X one

but yes we have never had Kazaa
 
Comment

Windowlicker

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2003
713
1
Finland
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Apple could pioneer the service to these users and remind them that OS X is unix based. :D

indeed. also the wishlist system would rock. I've actually been wondering, why doesn't apple have some kind of a feedback forum for their products? They could easily look what people (not only beta testers etc) actually want.
 
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cgmpowers

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2002
129
0
Not exactly true..

Granted MS P2P file swapping is a zillion times more prevelant than Mac's but that's due to Mac's being a tiny sliver of the PC Computer world compared to the Windows deathgrip.

Secondly...I had Napster for the Mac. It worked as well (if not better) than the PC version!! Also, there's Limewire and a few others for the Mac... P2P file copying does exist in the Mac Universe..

Christopher

Originally posted by P-Worm
I don't think it is going to be the first service that will do the best, but rather the service that has the biggest selection. Take a look at file sharing networks. Morpheus had it all for a while until they went a route that brought them less selection. Everyone jumped to Kazaa because they could. They are not bound by any contract whatsoever. I think Apple should be more concerned about getting those indie labels out the door than getting iTunes for Windows. I'm not saying that it isn't important to get that going, but when a service is on a sale by sale basis, it's price and selection that counts.

P-Worm
 
Comment

NavyIntel007

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
1,081
0
Tampa, FL
Well worst case, Apple will probably only have to compete with Amazon because I imagine Amazon being a web based service. Microsoft and AOL will be much more geared towards the windows world.

I still don't think the millions of Kazaa users are going to jump in droves over to a subscription service where they don't even get to keep their music.
 
Comment

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Originally posted by Windowlicker
I've actually been wondering, why doesn't apple have some kind of a feedback forum for their products?

They do, for nearly every product, available on their web site (including the main OS X feedback page) and within the menus of many apps as well. iTunes has it built in, plus the Store itself has a separate feedback section on its home page. And these feedback forms aren't just for bugs, but for feature requests. I submit periodically--and I try to be very clear about what I'm suggesting and why.
 
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beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
1,690
0
Originally posted by P-Worm
I think Apple should be more concerned about getting those indie labels out the door than getting iTunes for Windows.

P-Worm


i think they can do this simaltaneously. its not like the windows programmers at apple have to worry about adding labels to iTMS.
 
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