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  1. #1
    MacHeadCase
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    His Steveness talks about music
    Steve Jobs posted on Apple's site a reply to those who accuse Apple of using DRM on their iTMS online stores.

    Thoughts on Music.

    ...To begin, it is useful to remember that all iPods play music that is free of any DRM and encoded in “open” licensable formats such as MP3 and AAC. iPod users can and do acquire their music from many sources, including CDs they own. Music on CDs can be easily imported into the freely-downloadable iTunes jukebox software which runs on both Macs and Windows PCs, and is automatically encoded into the open AAC or MP3 formats without any DRM. This music can be played on iPods or any other music players that play these open formats.

    The rub comes from the music Apple sells on its online iTunes Store. Since Apple does not own or control any music itself, it must license the rights to distribute music from others, primarily the “big four” music companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI. These four companies control the distribution of over 70% of the world’s music. When Apple approached these companies to license their music to distribute legally over the Internet, they were extremely cautious and required Apple to protect their music from being illegally copied. The solution was to create a DRM system, which envelopes each song purchased from the iTunes store in special and secret software so that it cannot be played on unauthorized devices. ...
    A very interesting read, IMO. I invite all those who have the time to read this post.

  2. #2

    Sobe's Avatar
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    He has many great points..

  3. #3

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    ...To begin, it is useful to remember that all iPods play music that is free of any DRM and encoded in “open” licensable formats such as MP3 and AAC. iPod users can and do acquire their music from many sources, including CDs they own. Music on CDs can be easily imported into the freely-downloadable iTunes jukebox software which runs on both Macs and Windows PCs, and is automatically encoded into the open AAC or MP3 formats without any DRM. This music can be played on iPods or any other music players that play these open formats.
    This is the part that most of the iPod/iTunes/Apple "haters" seem to conveniently forget about. That or they are that daft and don't even realize that you can put any music you want on an iPod. They usually think that you absolutely must buy from iTunes and that you have to use a Mac.
    These same people like to "blame" Apple, when they fail to realize that simple fact... Apple doesn't own or control the music. They have no say in the matter and they must comply with the demands of those that do control it. Either that, or they don't sell it.
    Good read.
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  4. #4

    mathogre's Avatar
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    Very interesting post, MHC. I especially enjoyed the contrast between copy protecting a few digital songs versus keeping CDs open. These are interesting times. Thanks!
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  5. #5

    ToddG's Avatar
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    I bought my wife her first MP3 player a couple years ago because she wanted to listen to audiobooks on it. The local library had them in MP3 format and I believed -- obviously mistakenly -- that you couldn't play them on an iPod. This was also what the girl working at the library had told her. So, we bought her some other cheap piece of crap.

    Now she has her 80G iPod for watching TV and movies, and I just bought myself a little Shuffle this evening.

  6. #6

    nukemm's Avatar
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    I stayed away from iPod's until the 5th gen (Feb. '06) and a lot of it had to do with not wanting to give up my .mp3 files - everyone that I knew of used AAC encoding, mainly because they didn't know how to rip to .mp3 in iTunes. Once I learned the truth, however, I went out and bought me a new iPod 30GB Video. I've been a very happy iPod owner since then, and use it about 3 hours per day, even more when I'm out to sea. My iPod turned me on to Macs, and now I have the two Macs and the iPod. What a great joy.

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  7. #7

    Discerptor's Avatar
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    Well, it's good that Steve addresses a lot of good points in that article, but the fact remains that while you may not need the iTunes music store for your ipod, you do need to use the iTunes program itself, which forces a lot of Windows users into using it for that convenience when there are several lighter-weight, less glitchy music players available for Windows. Furthermore, you need music files to be in a format specifically supported by the iPod (and this excludes ogg and flac). Granted, Steve wanted to address the DRM issue more than anything else in the article, but I just thought I'd point out that there are restrictive aspects on the iPod and iTunes deal that irk people aside from the DRM thing. The article doesn't suddenly make users of other MP3 players and music players realize they were wrong about something; DRM is only one thing that has become associated with iPod, but it's also probably the most wrongly associated one so the article was good to post.

  8. #8

    yogi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    This is the part that most of the iPod/iTunes/Apple "haters" seem to conveniently forget about. That or they are that daft and don't even realize that you can put any music you want on an iPod. They usually think that you absolutely must buy from iTunes and that you have to use a Mac.
    These same people like to "blame" Apple, when they fail to realize that simple fact... Apple doesn't own or control the music. They have no say in the matter and they must comply with the demands of those that do control it. Either that, or they don't sell it.
    Good read.
    Some of those "daft" people I've met are more bugged about having to use iTunes exclusively to load the iPod. They don't feel iTunes is a good enough Jukebox (I never ask why they think so), but they feel intimidated by being forced to use certain software.

    It's a critical tipping point, because as Mac users, we invariably use more Apple software than 3rd party apps. It's a very dicy discussion. Are Mac users less free? I feel we use the apps because they are convenient, and they are good, or good enough. For some reason I would love to have pages as my main word processor, but Microsoft has done a good job with Office, and Office 2007 is very nice and they've really made an effort on usability. Pages lacks certain level of complexity and adaptability. Too many Newsletter templates, and making own templates is relatively difficult. I'm swerving off here, but you get the bigger picture :-)
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  9. #9


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    that was a good read thanks for sharing it MHC ^_^

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Discerptor View Post
    Well, it's good that Steve addresses a lot of good points in that article, but the fact remains that while you may not need the iTunes music store for your ipod, you do need to use the iTunes program itself, which forces a lot of Windows users into using it for that convenience when there are several lighter-weight, less glitchy music players available for Windows.
    So why don't these music players support the iPod? Seems a bit daft to me, if I was writing a music player I would want to support the majority of MP3 players out there!

    I've used shell scripts to load up my iPod before now and the index format is plain XML which you can knock out with a simple Perl script so it isn't like there is any technical reason stopping them supporting the iPod.

    Amen-Moses

  11. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi View Post
    It's a critical tipping point, because as Mac users, we invariably use more Apple software than 3rd party apps. It's a very dicy discussion. Are Mac users less free? I feel we use the apps because they are convenient, and they are good, or good enough. For some reason I would love to have pages as my main word processor, but Microsoft has done a good job with Office, and Office 2007 is very nice and they've really made an effort on usability. Pages lacks certain level of complexity and adaptability. Too many Newsletter templates, and making own templates is relatively difficult. I'm swerving off here, but you get the bigger picture :-)
    Pages is very new and I'm expecting a lot of changes in this years version, i.e iWork 2007, when it arrives. Apple will have accumulated a ton of feedback so we'll just have to see how much they've taken notice of.

    Office has had several decades of development otoh and I still can't stand it, even simple things like trying to select a peice of text is annoying because it seems to think it can decide better than me what I actually want to select and the rules it uses to second guess me seem to change from one version to the next!

    Amen-Moses

  12. #12

    eric's Avatar
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    i know i can use standard mp3s on an ipod.

    i know i could use hard drive mode to circumvent itunes.

    i know i can use rockbox to make an ipod do anything hard drive mode won't quite allow.

    i also know i want to continue to buy sandisk players when i need a flash player despite the hoops i have to jump through to get music on them from a mac simply because of the greater options to price ratio (including an FM tuner).

    my next HD player might just have to be a creative player using XNJB software to connect to my mac...
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  13. #13

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    What ever happens with DRM Apple is in a win ,win situ. If the Music industry drop the DRM then they will no doubt ask for more money from Apple. This extra cost will of course be passed on to us that use iTunes music store.
    So why not keep the DRM ?

  14. #14

    Discerptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amen-Moses View Post
    So why don't these music players support the iPod? Seems a bit daft to me, if I was writing a music player I would want to support the majority of MP3 players out there!

    I've used shell scripts to load up my iPod before now and the index format is plain XML which you can knock out with a simple Perl script so it isn't like there is any technical reason stopping them supporting the iPod.

    Amen-Moses
    Well, my point was laying more in the fact that there are a good number of MP3 players out there that let you just "drag and drop" your songs into them, without being tied into using a bloated music player or using programming knowledge that most computer users don't have (granted, Perl is kind of... ). MP3 players shouldn't need a specific music player to be used by the average person.

  15. #15

    ToddG's Avatar
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    It seems that about 80% of the MP3-player using market disagrees with that assessment.

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