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More on iPod and WMA

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,580
13,194
Despite some uncertain rumors (Page 2) that Apple may be working on WMA for iPod, there are further hints that Apple has avoided this route. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (Paid):

Musicmatch President Peter Csathy says Musicmatch users can transfer songs purchased on the site to more than 60 portable devices that support Windows Media. Musicmatch says it has asked Apple to let its users put their songs on the iPod, to no avail

Also, in November 2003, when Steve Jobs was asked about Apple supporting WMA, Steve Jobs said "We decided to support an open audio codec standard [AAC] rather than a proprietary one." .... "That's our plan and we're sticking to it. We're feeling real good about it too".

Of course, the HP deal may have introduced new considerations, but there is no strong evidence to that effect.
 

me_94501

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2003
1,009
0
If you have taken a peak inside iTunes 4.2's package contents, there is an icon for WMA.

I have no clue what this means.
 
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ShadowHunter

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2003
159
0
Fresno
Please, Apple, please!! Stay the course, fight the good fight!

It's ok to adopt MS Office, its not bad. Just don't adopt the joke that is WMA because MS rattles its saber everywhere! :(
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,650
4,461
Originally posted by me_94501
If you have taken a peak inside iTunes 4.2's package contents, there is an icon for WMA.

... and it's been there since (something like) the first version of iTunes

It's not new to 4.2. If it meant something, it meant something 2-3 years ago... when they put it in. Lately, they've just not taken it out of the resources.

arn
 
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varmit

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2003
1,830
0
Hello

If they open up to the wma, which due to the licence most likely taken out by HP, Apple might not have to pay anything to add wma support. What does this do for Apple, means they can support more Music stores, since they don't make money on their store supposably, and they sell more iPods. And iTunes will be able to play wma format, getting more people to take on Apple Software, then maybe switching to Apple hardware.

Open your minds people, just because its MS, doesn't mean it is going to drag Apple down. Would I rather have Apple not support wma, yes, but if it will make Apple money selling iPods, I'm all for. Its all about the dollars and it makes sense.
 
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Awimoway

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2002
1,498
16
California
HP has big enough britches to tell Microsoft where to go.

I don't think they have to support WMA, and if WMA non-support was one of Apple's conditions for a deal, HP was right to agree in exchange for the best player and store on the market.
 
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superfoo

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2002
19
0
I thought I had read that the version of ITMS shipping on the HP's is going to be HP-branded as well... With that (or even without that, perhaps), I would imagine that part of this deal could include HP getting a cut of the ITMS sales made by way of their bundle... Assuming that's the case, wouldn't adding WMA support be a bit self-defeating for HP, too?
 
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pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
This is going to be really interesting. I'd prefer to see the open standard prevail. I suppose it comes down to which format is more available and more flexible or how badly M$ wants to win... They like to win even if they don't make any money for a while.
 
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MCCFR

macrumors regular
Nov 6, 2003
108
0
Guildford, Surrey, UK
Musicmatch President Peter Csathy says Musicmatch users can transfer songs purchased on the site to more than 60 portable devices that support Windows Media. Musicmatch says it has asked Apple to let its users put their songs on the iPod, to no avail

Yeah, I bet!

Nice try, Peter. This is the spin that Peter wants to put on this: "We asked those nasty Apple people to support to WMA and to give our massive consumer base the chance to user their iPods in conjunction with the Musicmatch service".

And - courtesy of Captain Subtext - the translation: "Those bastards at Apple have a stranglehold on the digital music industry and unless they allow iPods to support WMA, our music service and all the services that rebrand us will go down the tubes!"

No, non, niet, nein! Peter, you chose a crap platform because you didn't have the combination of imagination, guts, funding and leverage to go with an option that was actually designed to balance the rights of the consumer with the protection of the rights-holder.

And now, what you really want Apple to do is alter their business model so that a) you don't have to explain to your shareholders where their money went and b) so that you don't have to explain to the (few) customers you do have that they've chosen a dead-end platform.

And on top of that, you'd like Apple to pay MS to put WMA support into iTunes/iPod?

You know something, I really don't see that idea flying really - but I could be wrong.
 
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agentmouthwash

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2003
231
0
It's a Catch-22

Apple wants to sell more Ipods and also sell songs with itunes (AAC), but
the PC world is sort of forced to use the inferior WMA.

Is WMA stopping PC people from buying ipods?

This is a most important decision for Apple. I personally think they should start supporting WMA plus the Ogg Vorbis format just to get the backing from the LInux world.

Get more people to buy ipods and hopefully they will buy a song or 2 from itunes.
 
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Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,666
224
Washington, DC
Re: More on iPod and WMA

Originally posted by Macrumors
November 2003, when Steve Jobs was asked about Apple supporting WMA, Steve Jobs said "We decided to support an open audio codec standard [AAC] rather than a proprietary one." ....

Isn't this claim a bit much? Sure, AAC is open, but the DRM (Fairplay) is not. So, I can burn my CDs to AAC, and I could play those songs on any player with AAC, so it's open that far. But if I buy a song with FAirplay DRM from iTMS, it's gotta be on an apple product. hardly open.

not saying it's bad, just kind of a misleading claim by Jobs.

As for the strategy, I commend to anyone the WSJ article. It makes it pretty clear that digital music could be a winner take all race to get adopted first, and currently apple is winning. And the race could be over by the end of the year. It's pretty obvious why Apple and pepsi are giving away 100 million songs: the more songs out there in AAC/Fairplay, the more quickly people get locked into the format. I'm surprised Apple hasn't sought to get the promotion started sooner.
 
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pkradd

macrumors regular
Dec 1, 2001
184
0
If Apple did put WMA on the HP Digital Music Player they would have to do it on the iPods as well, or they would lose most of the Windows business they'ved managed to attain. Won't happen.

Anyway, some analyst will probably ask the question at the meeting on Wednesday. Tune in to find out (unless they say - "we don't comment etc.). I don't think Apple will not answer the question.
 
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Jackk

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2003
13
0
Why would the HP-deal change anything? They will use the same itms so no need for WMA. Imho HP-deal is crucial to keep wma out of iPods.
 
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Spades

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
461
0
Does iTunes for windows rip CDs to AAC? If that's the case, they're not forced to use WMA any more. Technically they never were force to use WMA, but ripping to MP3 took extra effort (i.e. finding a program besides WMP). If iPods were to add another format, I would want it to be flac. Sure the files will be big, but it's an improvement over plain wav files. And the quality is exactly the same as the original file. My second choice is ogg, just because I have a collection of those, and it's taking time to re-rip to AAC.

Originally posted by agentmouthwash

Apple wants to sell more Ipods and also sell songs with itunes (AAC), but
the PC world is sort of forced to use the inferior WMA.
 
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CrackedButter

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2003
3,221
0
51st State of America
Anybody think that when Steve made those comments about sticking to AAC rather than use WMA he took into account the HP which Apple could of been discussing with HP at the time, its not like it takes 20 minutes to setup a partnership like this.

Besides since iTunes is the number one store on the net, it stands to reason that more and more people are downloading AAC files all the time. What difference does adding make other than hand a life line and give support for a inferior format?
 
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sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,005
3,197
Re: Hello

Originally posted by varmit
If they open up to the wma, which due to the licence most likely taken out by HP, Apple might not have to pay anything to add wma support. What does this do for Apple, means they can support more Music stores, since they don't make money on their store supposably, and they sell more iPods. And iTunes will be able to play wma format, getting more people to take on Apple Software, then maybe switching to Apple hardware.

Open your minds people, just because its MS, doesn't mean it is going to drag Apple down. Would I rather have Apple not support wma, yes, but if it will make Apple money selling iPods, I'm all for. Its all about the dollars and it makes sense.

I totally agree with what you said.

The iTunes Music Store is merely a loss leader to selling the very profitable iPods. Apple probably knows that they'll never, in the end, dominate the paid music download services, despite the fact that they're doing so now.

Apple's main goal is probably to dominate the MP3 market. And by supporting the WMA format, they can expand out to those who have chosen not to use the iTMS and AAC -- Yes, there are many people who don't use the them.

By reaching out to those people and offering an MP3 player that supports WMA, Apple will be able to get their iPods into that many more homes/hands, resulting in more profits. Many people who use/prefer(?) WMA probably would love to have an iPod, but since it doesn't support WMA they're forced to buy something else. And Apple knows this. But if the iPod does support WMA, then they'll most likely buy the iPod.

This is a strategy. It's a way for Apple to dominate the MP3 player market in a way that they were never able to do so with the computer market.

Trying to get people to adopt the AAC format will be very difficult. Most music services use WMA, and with Microsoft's eventual entry into the music download business, it'll be even more difficult.
 
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Rex44

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2004
12
0
Re: Hello

Originally posted by varmit
Open your minds people, just because its MS, doesn't mean it is going to drag Apple down. Would I rather have Apple not support wma, yes, but if it will make Apple money selling iPods, I'm all for. Its all about the dollars and it makes sense.

Such a move would work against their strategy of using iPod as a trojan horse in the world of Windows users, so as to give them a taste of the Apple experience and encourage them to buy a Mac or two. It's very nice to have the ability to support WMA as a fallback capability, but trading a few more iPod sales at the expense of this very significant marketing opportunity just doesn't make any sense.

The source article for this idea was written by a blatantly biased Windows minion, for a tiny publication with virtually no credibility, based on precisely nothing. Calling it a rumour is giving this too much credit; it's just something some jerk made up.
 
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sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,005
3,197
Originally posted by Spades
Does iTunes for windows rip CDs to AAC? If that's the case, they're not forced to use WMA any more. Technically they never were force to use WMA, but ripping to MP3 took extra effort (i.e. finding a program besides WMP). If iPods were to add another format, I would want it to be flac. Sure the files will be big, but it's an improvement over plain wav files. And the quality is exactly the same as the original file. My second choice is ogg, just because I have a collection of those, and it's taking time to re-rip to AAC.

Yes, iTunes for windows does rip CDs to AAC. That's the default setting. Other options are AIFF, MP3, and WAV. I've done it on my Windows box.
 
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Lanbrown

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2003
893
0
Originally posted by superfoo
I thought I had read that the version of ITMS shipping on the HP's is going to be HP-branded as well... With that (or even without that, perhaps), I would imagine that part of this deal could include HP getting a cut of the ITMS sales made by way of their bundle... Assuming that's the case, wouldn't adding WMA support be a bit self-defeating for HP, too?

Why would HP get a cut from the sales? Apple makes no money and they have to pay all the costs too? Apple is providing the servers and bandwidth. It is very unlikely that HP would get a cut unless they are paying for servers and bandwidth. It would be like someone taking your car and driving whenever they want and expect you to keep the tank filled.

HP is doing this to compete with Dell. Before Dell sold the iPod so another PeeCee company would probably not want to offer it. Now that Dell has stopped selling it that leaves the door open for one of the others to sell it. Apple makes money on the iPod and not the iTMS. Dell was satisfied with the sale of the iPod only and HP will as well. They will use iTMS to sell more of their iPod and let Apple handle the music store, even though it will say HP. The profit from the iPod will be very good to their bottom line and now they can compete directly with Dell and whatever Gateway comes up with. They obviously see that people want a one-stop shop. That is something that MusicMatch and the rests can't provide, only Apple and Dell can do that right now. HP decided to jump on the winning side and forget about trying it on their own.
 
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Lancetx

macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
1,986
618
Texas
Originally posted by Jackk
Why would the HP-deal change anything? They will use the same itms so no need for WMA. Imho HP-deal is crucial to keep wma out of iPods.

Exactly. That's precisely why it (iPod WMA support) will not happen, it's not necessary now for sure.
 
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