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Apple's Music Sharing Solutions

weather: sunny
outside: 12°C
mood: half impressed
I was just watching Steve Jobs' live webcast about Rendezvous and the ability to stream music from another person's machine on your LAN which, emphatically, isn't copying the music "because that is verboten" >KD

The big thing, though, was the new iTunes Music Store. It's open now. I don't have the URL, but I'm sure the servers are way packed right now anyway. =) Apple has gotten together with The Big Five music distribution companies and worked out what looks like a new-ish business model for the sales and distro of music.

You have access to a "gigantic online music store" with over 200,000 songs/tracks (and growing). You can look up songs by artist, genre, title and all that. You get a free preview of the first 30 seconds of the song. You buy individual tracks for (USD)$0.99 each which is about on par with buying a CD. The advantage is that you don't have to buy the entire album just to get the one song you want.

They're in high fidelity AAC audio (thanks for catching that, kvance) that is built into the MPEG-4 format that is (will be?) available on the iPods. So, CD quality or better (because for some of these tracks, they got right from the master tapes that the distro companies had in archive).

Purchasing can be done with the 1-Click Shopping thing (Amazon patented it, Apple licensed it). After you've purchased it, you can burn it onto as many CDs as you want. The only catch for this is you have to change the burn playlist after every 10 burns. Most people aren't burning it to resell (in North America anyway), they're just burning it for themselves and maybe a few friends, so that's essentially unlimited.

You may copy the the tracks onto 3 Macs (I can't remember if they all have to be iPods...). There will be a registration/authorization mechanism online to "tell them" which 3 machines you're using to play your tracks. Again, most people only use a few workstations, so this is essentially "unlimited"... that's Steve's argument anyway.

There's no PC support for AAC audio right now (I don't think), so I don't know what this means for PCs.

And all this is touted to be The Solution against online music piracy.

Soundwaves hitting my eardrums is a naturally occuring phenomenon and not one for which I am willing to pay money. With my lack of purchasing power and priorities in life right now, I don't believe in paying for that kind of entertainment. I do buy CDs, but only if I feel the artist is worth my hard earned money and usually only if there's a priceless "value added" component to it, such as a face-to-face meeting with a brief chat and a personalized autograph from the artist.

If that offends you, well, it was nice knowing you... =)

But this is a step forward. It makes sense to start changing the business model because, obviously, the old model isn't working and is causing nothing but lawsuits. I'll be watching how this progresses.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2003 12:11 pm (UTC)
It sounds nifty compared to the old model.

David, wonders if he will be able to find music by obscure artists whose names he probably can't recall
Apr. 28th, 2003 12:21 pm (UTC)
wonders if he will be able to find music by obscure artists whose names he probably can't recall

That's a good question. Steve Jobs seemed to hint that they're keen to get more obscure artists. But as long as it's a partnership with The Big Five, I really don't know.

All through the presentation, I was thinking, "What about the Classical selection?" (he played one Beethoven piano concerto); "What about foreign music?". Jobs did touch on World music, but he just played Enya's "Adiemus" from the LOTR soundtrack... *roll eyes at ceiling* =P I was thinking Chinese/Indian/etc. pop culture type music.
Apr. 28th, 2003 12:13 pm (UTC)
I would agree within limits? The majority of music that I actually buy is small label music done by musical groups who are living on the threads of hope more than anything else. Of course that is not that different...in most cases I hav bought the cds at concerts, festivals,etc where the groups are performing.
Apr. 28th, 2003 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: smaller label music

Yeah, definitely. =)
Apr. 28th, 2003 12:50 pm (UTC)
ACC? Or AAC? AAC is still a lossy codec, "high fidelity" or no. Apple's solution is useless to me, though the $.99/track price is not so bad. If not for the compression and restrictions, I'd buy some tracks now and again. I've said before what I'd buy off the internet:
...the purchases are of single tracks, maybe with some discount for purchasing an album; the audio is CD quality, uncompressed or losslessly compressed; there are no digital restrictions -- if I play it in Linux running on a m68k on my watch, it's my business...
Apr. 28th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC)
Oy, sorry... AAC - Advanced Audio Coding. Too many As and Cs =D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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