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August 22, 2005

I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago on August 22, 2005

Om Malik says ask the consumer, they got no problems with iTunes. Untrue. I am a consumer too, and won't consider purchasing from the iTunes store because it is an Apple lock-in (plus the bitrate is insufficient). Many people only discover this when they try moving their purchases to another device. I know this is the case, because ever since I reviewed a couple of iRiver devices I've receieved a steady stream of emails complaining about iTunes and other DRM issues. Yes, I realise you can burn your iTunes music to CD, rip it back as MP3, suffer even worse quality loss, and then copy the MP3 where you want. No thanks to that too.

Is all DRM lock-in? Some is worse than others. The key question is, can any vendor licence it on reasonable terms? With Apple that is apparently not the case. Microsoft is better in this respect. It is still nothing but hassle for the customer.

Never forget that you are better off buying the CD.



Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by Scott Schuckert • • • Reply

All of the Fairplay limitations are fully disclosed on the Apple web site; all you have to do is pay the slightest bit of attention to what's going on. As for licensing, just because you want something doesn't mean a manufacturter has to provide it. I'm sure Apple has evaluated licensing and decided it's not in the best interests of their shareholders - as is their right and obligation.

I agree that purchasing CD's is the best way to obtain music, for as long as unprotected disks are available. When they're not, I'll re-evaluate. Then again, I mostly listen to 70's stuff, and I buy those disks used 90% of the time.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by Charles Bucket • • • Reply

i agree with the previous poster (scott schuckert) that the itunes music sharing "limitation" is quite flexible and user-friendly.

according to the terms of service, itunes purchased music can be:

1 - played on an unlimited number of ipods
2 - played on 5 itunes-authorized computers
3 - burned to an identical playlist 7 times

get informed before spouting off misinformation, you clueless pinhead.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by Tim Anderson • • • Reply

Hmmm, not sure what is misinformed about my post. I am familiar with what Apple's terms allow and disallow. Unfortunately, while that works well for you, it doesn't work well for me or for everyone. For example, I have an iPod, but don't use it much because the iPod is poor for recording, which is a feature I need. Other devices are better for recording (iRiver, Archos, Cowon being examples), but I can't copy Fairplay-ed music to these other devices. This is the downside of lock-in and why the iTunes/iPod setup is properly called inflexible. Having said that, I understand that many people have no problem with it, because they fit with what Apple intended.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by Havagan • • • Reply

> Never forget that you are better off buying the CD.

Until you make the mistake of buying the new and improved DRM protected disks (Dave Matthew's most recent release for example).

Hav

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by James Bailey • • • Reply

The reason that iTunes Music Store is number one is because Apple forced the recording industry to accept a simple licensing and DRM scheme. All tracks have the same capabilities and the same price.

Microsoft and it's myriad of WMA music store OEMs has nothing similar. People don't like DRM but it isn't some sort of peace love and hippy thing--it is simply about convenience. Apple made DRM encumbered music convenient so consequently we don't worry much about the DRM. I can get rid of the DRM on the purchased tracks if necessary but so far it hasn't been necessary.

Inevitably the complaints about FairPlay revolve around something you can't do with the track. Play on a non-Apple multimedia device without burning to a CD and re-ripping being at the top of the list. But ultimately what the recording industry and Microsoft don't understand is that the DRM that will work is DRM that is nearly invisible to the user.

Now the recording industry is decrying the lack of "flexibility" in Apple's iTMS. Nice try. That lack of "flexibility" is translated to "we can't rape the consumer enough, wawww!"

Thank God for Apple and iTunes.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3259 days ago by Tim Anderson • • • Reply

"DRM that is nearly invisible to the user" - well, until, as you say, you want to do something that Fairplay doesn't allow. Then it becomes horribly visible. Perhaps this is why some people get caught out.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3258 days ago by steve • • • Reply

Download Jhymn, drag files onto it, done.
This is for *your own* use of course.
PS: I don't think any of the other services are any better, with those you don't even own the music, when you unregister the *puff* the music dissappears.

Re: I have problems with iTunes

Posted 3258 days ago by Tim Anderson • • • Reply

Jhymn works but it is unofficial, may not work in future, and breaks your iTunes EULA. Another practical issue is that you still end up with AAC rather than MP3 (or alternatively lose quality). Nothing wrong with AAC, except that most devices can't currently play these files (I'd like to see that change).


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