The Math is Done: Napster Doesn't Add Up. (Washington Post)


Brize

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
732
0
Europe
I didn't realise that you can't even burn tracks from Napster To Go onto a CD. What a crock!
 

sord

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2004
352
0
Yea and what happens when Napster goes out of business? You're no longer paying for your service so your songs no longer work.
 

macreator

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2003
105
0
New York City
sord said:
Yea and what happens when Napster goes out of business? You're no longer paying for your service so your songs no longer work.
You know that's actually a good question -- what does happen when Napster goes out of business? I guess you're screwed -- the music companies aren't exactly going to let you keep the music. And how can Napster not go out of business? People are going to be quite mad once they figure out they now have a $15 dollar a month bill over their head and they can't even use their music with their new iPod let alone on a CD.
 

Jerry Spoon

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2002
624
0
Historic St. Charles
"At its best, music has the same lasting value as books or paintings or any other sort of meaningful art: It isn't a disposable good that you use and then forget about. It's something that you keep listening to and discovering new things in. When music is good, you want to know that it can't be taken away from you."

A great argument about why people want to OWN their own music, not rent it.
 

simX

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2002
755
0
Bay Area, CA
sord said:
Yea and what happens when Napster goes out of business? You're no longer paying for your service so your songs no longer work.
You know, you could say the same thing about iTunes. It requires an internet connection for authorization, in which case it contacts Apple's servers and authorizes your computer to play the music. If your computer isn't authorized, then you can't play your music. And if Apple goes out of business, who's to say that you'll be able to authorize your computer?

Of course, there are ways around this with iTunes, since you can burn your music to a CD. But that's loses quality in the original music you purchased. And if Apple goes out of business, existing authorized computers will stay authorized, so it's not an immediate threat.

But it's still not guaranteed that you'll be able to do everything you can do with your iTMS purchases if Apple goes out of business. Just a thought.
 

RHutch

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2003
290
0
Amsterdam, OH
simX said:
You know, you could say the same thing about iTunes. It requires an internet connection for authorization, in which case it contacts Apple's servers and authorizes your computer to play the music. If your computer isn't authorized, then you can't play your music. And if Apple goes out of business, who's to say that you'll be able to authorize your computer?

Of course, there are ways around this with iTunes, since you can burn your music to a CD. But that's loses quality in the original music you purchased. And if Apple goes out of business, existing authorized computers will stay authorized, so it's not an immediate threat.

But it's still not guaranteed that you'll be able to do everything you can do with your iTMS purchases if Apple goes out of business. Just a thought.
You have to be connected to purchase the music, and you only need to authrorize the computer once. After that, you can use your music however you like even if you never connect again. And it's not true that you lose quality if you burn your music to CD. You can make an exact copy of the song you purchased, so it will be of the same quality.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that this comparison to Napster is at all accurate.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
...Napster To Go's offer was once a common feature at early music sites until Apple's iTunes Music Store swept them from the market with its simple 99-cents-a-song setup.

Napster, however, uses newer Windows Media software to lend these songs a longer leash -- you can now copy them to certain digital music players.

Because this underlying software is so new, Napster To Go is the least compatible music store in existence. You can use it only on a Windows XP computer running Windows Media Player 10, and you can transfer your downloads only to a Windows Media-compatible player that includes special software and circuitry to enforce the pay-to-play deal.

So not only do these downloads not play on any iPod, they also don't work on most non-Apple players. Napster's site (www.napster.com) lists a total of nine compatible devices, seven of which need software updates. Microsoft suggests that others should work, including the latest Pocket PC handhelds from Dell and Hewlett-Packard, but Napster says it hasn't tested them yet....
And they said the iPod was the least compatible music player on the market...

Nice for Napster to prove that statement wrong.
 

Sharewaredemon

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,927
83
Cape Breton Island
RHutch said:
You have to be connected to purchase the music, and you only need to authrorize the computer once. After that, you can use your music however you like even if you never connect again. And it's not true that you lose quality if you burn your music to CD. You can make an exact copy of the song you purchased, so it will be of the same quality.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that this comparison to Napster is at all accurate.

I'm not sure how it works, but if a computer does not connect to the internet in 6 months, it is automatically de-authorized, which means existing music on the computer will no longer be playable.

Anyway that's the way I see it.

So if iTMS goes bust, you have 6 months to back up all your music to audio cds.
 

RHutch

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2003
290
0
Amsterdam, OH
Sharewaredemon said:
I'm not sure how it works, but if a computer does not connect to the internet in 6 months, it is automatically de-authorized, which means existing music on the computer will no longer be playable.

Anyway that's the way I see it.

So if iTMS goes bust, you have 6 months to back up all your music to audio cds.
Can you please tell me where you found this information? I searched for this detail about the automatic deauthorization, but I could not find this anywhere?
 

rendezvouscp

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2003
1,526
0
Long Beach, California
Apple does not have automatic deauthorization, but I believe I read on Napster's site that music will automatically deauthorize after a certain amount of time (six months as posted).
-Chase
 

JeDiBoYTJ

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2004
859
0
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sharewaredemon said:
I'm not sure how it works, but if a computer does not connect to the internet in 6 months, it is automatically de-authorized, which means existing music on the computer will no longer be playable.

Anyway that's the way I see it.

So if iTMS goes bust, you have 6 months to back up all your music to audio cds.
not true, at least as far as I know. I had a computer at my school that was never connected to the internet. I brought all my iTunes music from home, onto the computer, connected to the internet to authorize the music, then I never connected again. 10 months went by in the school year, and my music still worked. ;)
 

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
5,551
695
having a drink at Milliways
there are a couple of things that I thing represent an additional problem with the napster service.
The first one is that I am POSITIVE, that a lot of people will subscribe, download like maniacs for one months, burn CDs or duplicate the files (and whatever they say, I'm sure it's a piece of cake) and get out of there.
It's going to be like the old napster, with one initial fee. and you get a simple way to download, with no malware.
Of course as soon as the RIAA realizes this, good bye napster.

edit: thinking about it, this should be possible with the existing subscription services, and they don't seem to bee bothered

The second issue I have is time to download and related questions.
how long is it going to take, between browsing and actual downloading time, to get, say, 5000 song? anybody knows? how good is their site to get the stuff you want? can you do batch dowwnloads (i.e. an artist, genre, a list of artists?)
what happens if you miss a month? after you re-join, do your songs get re-activate or you have to start from scratch?
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
I can't wait for the first snob I meet who touts that they have 10x more stuff on their player then I do. Never mind the fact that in 5 years the amount of money I've spent on my tracks will still be the same. 10 years. 15 years. All the while you are going to have to continue to pay to play. Who was the sucker again?
 

simX

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2002
755
0
Bay Area, CA
RHutch said:
You have to be connected to purchase the music, and you only need to authrorize the computer once. After that, you can use your music however you like even if you never connect again. And it's not true that you lose quality if you burn your music to CD. You can make an exact copy of the song you purchased, so it will be of the same quality.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that this comparison to Napster is at all accurate.
Well, you reiterated two of my points:

simX said:
Of course, there are ways around this with iTunes, since you can burn your music to a CD. ... And if Apple goes out of business, existing authorized computers will stay authorized, so it's not an immediate threat.
As for losing quality when burning to CD (and in regards to being able to use your music however you want), what I meant was this:

If Apple goes out of business, and you switch to a new computer, iTunes will not work on it, and you certainly won't be able to authorize that computer. So the only way to guarantee that you can continue to use your music on your new computer is if you get a DRM-less version of your music, which necessitates a loss in quality when burning to CD (if you don't want to break the ridiculous DMCA law and use hymn).

I'm not trying to equate Napster with iTunes, I'm just pointing out that accepting DRM has potential consequences down the road.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
simX said:
You know, you could say the same thing about iTunes.
No. Burning a CD from iTunes gives you FULL and EXACT quality of the original AAC download. And you've legally and easily stripped the DRM in the process! Without paying additional. Re-importing iTMS purchases from CD back to computer CAN lose quality, depending on the format (but then, same goes to some extent for any store-bought CD). WAV, AIFF, CDDA, or Apple Lossless will take you through the whole process with zero loss. WAV, for instance, means you can have zero loss and zero DRM from iTMS to CD to any other brand of player you EVER want. Yes, that ideal option means using more storage space--but by the time Apple "goes under," that storage cost will be trivial. Or if you prefer the flexbility and reduced storage of high-bitrate MP3/Lame, you have that option. You can even rip to WMA if you wish, using any software you like! :)

And iTMS music will NOT stop playing--no Internet access is needed after the initial purchase. Now, your current computer might stop working--ALL of your authorized computers might--and if Apple went under, it's possible nobody would take over iTMS re-authorization (pretty far-fetched considering the number of users a buyer would snag). So there IS an iTMS doomsday scenario... But since you need NO further authorization with iTunes, you have an easy way out of it: if Apple disappears (I imagine you'll have some warning signs!), then burn your music to CD--at full quality--before your current computer(s) die. I recommend that as a flexible (plays in car CD players, friends' stereos, etc.) DRM-free backup anyway.

I also cry foul on the 6 month thing. That's not true with iTMS. People would have been complaining about it and finding it in the terms of use long ago... not to mention that my old laptop has been playing iTMS purchases for well over 12 months without being on the Internet. In addition, iTMS lets you play on unlimited iPods, and iPods NEVER have to "check in" like Napster players do: so Napster can track your listening!

Lastly, you've got a LOT of chances to play or convert your music, with Apple, and not lose it: you can store UNLIMITED copies of your music on UNLIMITED computers. And not just for backups--you can PLAY that music on all of them! But you can only listen on (or burn DRM-free from) five computers at any ONE time. That's a lot of flexibility if you decide you "want out" and plan to return to all physical CDs, or all MP3s. If you want to change WHICH five, that--and that alone--requires an Internect connection ONE time. That and that alone requires Apple to still exist, or someone else to have taken over iTMS.

In short...

a) Apple is FAR less likely to go under than Napster any time soon, and iTMS is even less likely to vanish than Apple.

b) If iTMS does vanish, you'll still have your music, unlike with Napster. No 6 month limit.

c) Your DRM-free CDs from iTMS will always play at full quality, anywhere, at no additional cost. And if you choose, you can rip from CD back to any player without loss as well.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
nagromme said:
b) If iTMS does vanish, you'll still have your music, unlike with Napster. No 6 month limit.
So what happens when you:

1. Upgrade your computer to a new system?
2. Redo your computer because of a bad hard drive.
3. INsert any reason to redo your computer. For a Windows system there are about 1,000.

c) Your DRM-free CDs from iTMS will always play at full quality, anywhere, at no additional cost. And if you choose, you can rip from CD back to any player without loss as well.[/b]
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you. Are you talking CD's ripped from AAC files from iTMS? When you do that and then encode it back into a lossless format you lose quality. This isn't up for debate. Its WELL documented and it happens from trying to compress a file that was already compressed to begin with. Just google it.