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Apple Intros 17" Unibody MBP, DRM-Free iTunes

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the life-after-jobs dept.

Apple 1079

Phil Schiller delivered the keynote at MacWorld, the first after the Steve Jobs era of keynotes. Here is Engadget's live blog. The big news, predicted by many rumor sites, was the introduction of the unibody 17" MacBook Pro. As rumored, the battery is not removable, but it's claimed to provide 8 hours of battery life (7 hours with the discrete graphics): "3x the charges and lifespan of the industry standard." $2,799, 2.66 GHz and 4 GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive, shipping at the end of January. There is a battery exchange program, and there is an option for a matte display. The other big news is that iTunes is going DRM-free: 8M songs today, all 10+M by the end of March. Song pricing will be flexible, as the studios have been demanding; the lowest song price is $0.69. Apple also introduced the beta of a Google Docs-like service, iWork.com.

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1079 comments

Darn... no Mac Mini update (5, Insightful)

GeneralTao (21677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346225)

I was really hoping to see an updated Mac Mini.

Re:Darn... no iPhone update (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346351)

Yeah...I was hoping for the announcement of the 32G iPhone....

Oh well, guess I'll go buy one in a week or two, since no upgrade came for it, and I don't wanna wait till summer for the next possible upgrade.

Re:Darn... no Mac Mini update (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346441)

I was really really hoping for a mid-line system that didn't have a freaking built-in monitor! I've already got a 27" flatpanel which I'm not about to throw away for an iMac.

Re:Darn... no Mac Mini update (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346617)

How about a DOCK so that people who don't want to work all the time hunched over a laptop screen but DO want the convenience and reliability of a Mac laptop can work without having to place their laptop on a stack of paper reams to get it to eye level?

Frankly, I've never understood why any manufacturer of ANY laptop, Mac or PC, would make a desktop-replacement grade laptop with no way to dock it so you can comfortably work AT A DESKTOP!

Get a clue laptop makers!

So,no more DRM (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346241)

What are people going to whine about now?

Re:So,no more DRM (4, Insightful)

k_187 (61692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346253)

Tiered Pricing.

Re:So,no more DRM (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346357)

Yeah... but those people who claimed $0.99 was too expensive and songs shouldn't cost more than $0.70 will need a new excuse.

Re:So,no more DRM (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346593)

The lowest price is $0.69. You can bet that many will be well above $0.99 that they are now.

Re:So,no more DRM (0, Redundant)

noc007 (633443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346359)

No doubt. Trade one PITA for another.

It'd be nice if one could upgrade their existing purchased DRM'd songs for the non-DRM.

No I didn't RTFM or watch the keynote.

Re:So,no more DRM (4, Informative)

k_187 (61692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346423)

You can upgrade, but apparently not for free. At least I couldn't yet. Not everything I've bought from there wasn't listed as eligible yet however. So it might not be completely implemented yet.

upgrading purchased music (4, Informative)

j-beda (85386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346539)

This article says you can do so for a fee http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1711 [apple.com] but when I tried for my two purchased albums, it did not work crapping out with some "product has changed" error message. It reportedly worked back when they first introduced DRM-free tracks, so maybe it is a temporary problem as things get retooled.

Re:upgrading purchased music (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346577)

Yeah, less than half of my purchases were eligible. I'm hoping they become so soon.

Re:So,no more DRM (2, Informative)

FangVT (144970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346521)

It'd be nice if one could upgrade their existing purchased DRM'd songs for the non-DRM.

According to the keynote, this will be easily done. When they went DRM-free for the EMI catalog, iTunes offered an option to pay the (then) 30 cent price difference per track and upgrade all songs that you had previously bought.

Re:So,no more DRM (2, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346485)

Apple sold out.

The labels wanted tiered (or really, higher) pricing and a larger cut of revenue for anything downloaded via cellular; Apple wouldn't initially give in and they were too big & powerful for the labels to simply ignore. So the labels propped up Amazon's store by allowing them to sell everything DRM free and taking a smaller cut of revenue than from Apple, and refused Apple the same rights. This was to force Apple's hand; to either risk being driven out of business, or to "play" with the labels.

Apple could have taken the correct option and continued to hold out for fair treatment and reasonable pro-consumer policies. Instead they sold out. The iTunes Music Store is now just yet another front for the labels, controlled by the labels.

And all their other fronts (e.g. Amazon and WalMart) will quickly adopt the same policies now that the labels have no reason to continue offering them favorable terms.

Re:So,no more DRM (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346655)

Meh, who cares? This isn't about Apple or Amazon. This is about the labels being dragged, kicking and screaming though they are, into the 21st century.

This was a fairly nice development. Let's not cloud it with pointless conspiracies.

BTW, Apple, by definition, can't "sell out". Thanks for playing though.

Re:So,no more DRM (2, Insightful)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346705)

And all their other fronts (e.g. Amazon and WalMart) will quickly adopt the same policies now that the labels have no reason to continue offering them favorable terms.

Perhaps not. I don't think they want any one online music store to have a big enough market share where the retailer can more or less dictate the terms and conditions of online music sales. By continuing to offer favorable terms to Amazon, WalMart*, and friends, they can potentially keep iTunes from having the monopoly they used to.
On the other hand, you're probably right.

Re:So,no more DRM (5, Insightful)

Weeksauce (1410753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346325)

If people hadn't wined, would they still have done it?

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346737)

Doubtful. Being dined, but not wined, is usually not enough to secure a ticket to the pantsal region.

Re:So,no more DRM (-1, Troll)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346337)

"prices as low as 69c" means 10% at that price, the majority of selling tracks at $2.50

There'll be plenty to whine about.

Re:So,no more DRM (5, Informative)

j-beda (85386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346455)

"prices as low as 69c" means 10% at that price, the majority of selling tracks at $2.50

The press release at http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/06itunes.html [apple.com] claims "... in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points--69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29--with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29."

This would seem to indicate that the average price should fall, and that there will be no $2.50 tracks.

Re:So,no more DRM (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346517)

Where do you7 get 2.50 from. .69, .99, 1.29
Probably based on download popularity. That's just a guess.

However you do accidentally make another point: People will continue to make shit up so they can whine.

Re:So,no more DRM (2, Interesting)

FangVT (144970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346607)

"prices as low as 69c" means 10% at that price, the majority of selling tracks at $2.50
There'll be plenty to whine about.

There will be three prices: $.69, $.99, and $1.29.
According to the keynote, there will be more tracks priced at $.69 than at $1.29.

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

iretch (198577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346383)

My guess is the vast majority of songs will now be sold at the $1.29 price point, and only indie bands hoping to break through will be reduced in price.

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

j-beda (85386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346587)

The press release at http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/06itunes.html [apple.com] [apple.com] claims "... in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points--69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29--with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29." This would seem to indicate that the average price should fall.

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346669)

What the GP and what the parent are claiming are both true. I'd imagine that there is much more "obscure" music available than popular music. The stuff that the masses are buying will be $1.29 "Long Tail" stuff will be $.69

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346605)

My guess is the vast majority of songs will now be sold at the $1.29 price point, and only indie bands hoping to break through will be reduced in price.

If the established labels do that, it is a win for the indie bands.

(BTW, how much you want to bet that the established labels have the contracts written such that royalties paid to performers on the 69 cent songs drop, but royalties paid to performers on the $1.29 songs don't increase)

Re:So,no more DRM (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346411)

"What are people going to whine about now?"

That they aren't selling them without DRM AND in a lossless format?

Hey..when they do that...I'm sold, and will buy my first online music purchase!!

They mentioned higher quality, but, I did not see they say lossless qualities would be offered.

Re:So,no more DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346601)

Sorry, I can't tell. Was this post serious, or supposed to be a joke about how people will make any excuse to continue pirating music?

Re:So,no more DRM (3, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346563)

It's great to see competition in the market for DRM-free music. Until now, the only DRM-free option with a comprehensive catalog was Amazon. I've been using Amazon for a while, and there are definitely some significant pros and cons:

  1. Con: You can't use it if you're outside the U.S.
  2. Pro: I find it much easier to use than iTunes. YMMV.
  3. Con: The only format is MP3, no option for less lossy formats.
  4. Con: Although I was able to help my daughter figure out how to buy MP3s on Amazon via her Linux box and put them on her iPod, it was a real pain.
  5. Unfortunately Amazon makes you use special software if you want to download an entire album at the album price (which is cheaper than buying the individual tracks). But fortunately they explicitly support Linux. But unfortunately their Linux support sucks, and if you call with a problem, you get a tech support person in India who insists that Amazon's own web page lies, and there's no support for any browser other than IE. But fortunately there's third-party software called clamz that works better than the software Amazon supplies.

It will be interesting to see if the advent of competition encourages both Apple and Amazon to improve.

Karl Popper would disapprove... (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346291)

3x the charges and lifespan of the industry standard

This is a completely unfalsifiable statement. A Mac user wouldn't be caught dead with this model once the new 17.1" Macbook Pro comes out in six months. No one really knows how long any Apple product "could" last.

Re:Karl Popper would disapprove... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346403)

They were referring to the battery, not the laptop. Although it's not removable by the end-user, it has 60% more capacity per charge and degrades 3x slower than the industry average batteries, as well as being the right shape for a super-slim laptop.

I know a lot of folks are going to gripe about the lack of removability, but I've never actually hot-swapped a battery and would much rather have a 7 hour usable life on a 17" laptop. Wow.

Re:Karl Popper would disapprove... (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346651)

It's about hot swapping a battery. I have a 2.5 year old macbook pro and the battery needs replacement (holds charge for 10 minutes).
I know the new batteries are better but I don't want that to force me to get a new computer.

Re:Karl Popper would disapprove... (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346719)

I'm sure it won't force you to get a new computer. First of all, the new battery is supposed to last much, much longer, so it'll be more like 5 years before you're in the same boat. And if you still want to keep this machine 5 years from now, you can probably take it to a service location to have the battery changed, like Apple does with iPods.

Battery?! (4, Insightful)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346303)

Come on, it isn't that hard to make a user removeable battery. Just do it -- people want it. It is a freaking laptop!

Re:Battery?! (5, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346419)

Sorry this is an Apple article. Apple not only gives the consumers what they want but the list of what they are supposed to be wanting in the first place.

Re:Battery?! (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346725)

Wow. It's rare you see a post on slashdot that properly qualifies for trolling and insightful moderation. I'm suitably impressed.

Re:Battery?! (5, Informative)

GoCal92 (695108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346489)

Of course they could do a removable battery. The point they made in the keynote was that a removable battery takes up a bunch of space. By making the battery non-removable, they gained 40% more room for a bigger, longer-lasting battery. The design trade off here was removable battery for more battery life. The market will decide whether that was a good trade.

Re:Battery?! (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346535)

Come on, it isn't that hard to make a user removeable battery. Just do it -- people want it. It is a freaking laptop!

I recall people complaining a lot louder when they lost their floppy drives, LPT ports, RS232, ADB/PS2, etc. Nobody's stopping you from keeping your old laptop, getting one on ebay etc.

I have the previous gen 17" MBP and have never needed to remove the battery except to upgrade RAM/HD. I'd happily trade the feature in exchange for more internal charge capacity.

Well two ways to look at it (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346557)

One is that you do save some space by integrating the battery. There is a non trivial amount of extra material for making it removable since it had to be in it's own enclosure and such. So one could claim that is was done to either decrease size, or to increase capacity (by having larger cells).

The other is that this makes the device much more disposable. Apple is in the hardware market, they make their money on buying new gadgets. It would be best for them if people viewed the gadgets as disposable and simply tossed them after a few years.

Re:Battery?! (1, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346595)

Come on, it isn't that hard to make a user removeable battery. Just do it -- people want it. It is a freaking laptop!

Who moderated this to "insightful"? If you had a quick look at www.apple.com/macbookpro/17inch-battery , you would find that by making it non-removable, Apple managed to make it 40% bigger in size. A user-removable battery takes more space for packaging the battery, more space for the mechanics to get it in and out, and more empty space inside the computer.

Re:Battery?! (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346693)

If it makes the laptop smaller and lighter, some poeple (myself included) happily will give up a replaceable battery.

Thinking back over the last 15 years for the seven or eight laptops I've owned (two Mac, the rest various brands of Linux/Windows laptops) I've bought a new battery I believe twice, both as replacements not secondary batteries.

I've never carried two at a time so I could swap one when it was dead.

Apple isn't a stupid company. They wouldn't make that change if they didn't believe that loud-mouth-whiners-aside, it would impact sales in the least.

Case in point -- they dropped Firewire from the MacBook. That means you can't use your family's DV or HDV camcorder anymore with a MacBook to use the new iMovie to edit your videos... and yet sales took off of the new laptop. That feature excluded that laptop from my consideration, but the fact that I don't like it doesn't mean it wasn't the right decision for them.

Just because you don't like a fixed battery doesn't mean "people want it" or it was a bad decision.

Re:Battery?! (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346733)

Come on, it isn't that hard to make a user removeable battery. Just do it -- people want it. It is a freaking laptop!

Give me a reason why you would need a removable battery for anything other than having to swap a battery mid-flight from Japan to North America because your laptop battery only gives you a 4-5 hour window of use per charge. If it last for up to 8 hours, that should be more than enough even for a long flight across the Pacific or Atlantic. You are not going to be using your laptop the entire time anyway since people have to eat, get up and use the toilet and potentially take a nap.

We're being weened of MacWorld (4, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346323)

I'm glad to see Apple stepping away from a massive release of new products every January. While it was exciting from a geek perspective, it was awfully timed. Introducing a slate of cool new gadgets just after Christmas was a marketing nightmare for Apple - hundreds of thousands of new iPod owners would be upset to learn that their new player was suddenly "last year's model," and many other Apple enthusiasts would simply put off their purchases until after the Christmas season in anticipation of "one more thing" in January. That can't have been good news for retailers who ramp up inventory in the months leading up to xmas. Now, Apple has more control over their release cycle. They can keep their products under wrap until they're ready to unveil them to the world, and can stagger releases for maximum coverage.

Re:We're being weened of MacWorld (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346425)

Yeah. It's kinda like E3. So much pressure to show the best off at that event only to get a load of bullshot. [penny-arcade.com] Now, no more half-promises. Your game can be showed off as you want it. No need to razzle-dazzle at the trade show.

Re:We're being weened of MacWorld (2, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346519)

In fact, all the important announcements will come direct from Apple PR events, probably on this new schedule:

April for new Mac Pros and iMacs
June for new iPhones (during WWDC)
September for new iPods
October for new MacBooks

slashvermacment. (3, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346349)

It is extremely important that Slashdot apprise us of every new product coming from Apple Corporation, in near-realtime fashion.

Please slashdot, tell us more about Steve Jobs' health, Apple Corporation mythology, and Mac purchasing opportunities!

Re:slashvermacment. (5, Insightful)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346583)

It is extremely important that Slashdot apprise us of every new product coming from Apple Corporation, in near-realtime fashion.

Please slashdot, tell us more about Steve Jobs' health, Apple Corporation mythology, and Mac purchasing opportunities!

Usually I'd agree with you but this news about DRM is pretty important because it completely changes the dynamic of the music industry in relation to the Internet considering iTunes recently surpassed Walmart in music sales. That is clearly stuff that matters and if you can't see that you're geek license should be revoked on your way out.

17" Macbook (3, Insightful)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346355)

I simply cannot fathom why Apple keeps making these things without a number pad. If I'm going to lug around the weight of a 17" I feel like a proper keyboard with keypad is a must, especially since almost all of the other brands have no trouble fitting one in.

The weight on this thing is mighty impressive though, I'm not familiar with any 17" laptop that is only 6.6 lbs. Of course, I'm not sure if it's worth the trade-off of not having a removable battery.

Re:17" Macbook (4, Informative)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346405)

" simply cannot fathom why Apple keeps making these things without a number pad. "

Probably because the number pad prevents the QWERTY keyboard from being centered.

Re:17" Macbook (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346589)

the battery trade off is between having a removable battery and having a battery that lasts 8 hours (according to apple). If they really have managed to get that much more life out of a battery by making it non removable (saving a lot of space) then that's a much more tempting trade off.

I might trade the removable battery for 35% more battery life.

Re:17" Macbook (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346625)

The weight on this thing is mighty impressive though, I'm not familiar with any 17" laptop that is only 6.6 lbs. Of course, I'm not sure if it's worth the trade-off of not having a removable battery.

It has a potential 8 hours of operation per charge. That is more than enough for basically anyone. Even if you are "working" on a 10 hour flight, you are not going to be "working" for all of those 10 hours. So this not only saves you on weight with the laptop itself but also not having to carry around additional batteries to compensate for the short usage per charge.

I'd say that it is an acceptable trade off since the longer life basically eliminates the need for a battery swap in 99% of possible situations.

Should have better video then 9600m for a $2700+ s (5, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346369)

Should have better video then 9600m for a $2700+ system come on other laptops have SLI at that price.

And $1200 to go from 4gb to 8gb?

I hope apple has a big Superbowl ad to show off the other new hardware.

Re:Should have better video then 9600m for a $2700 (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346495)

"And $1200 to go from 4gb to 8gb?"

Well, with all Apple computers...it is best to buy them with minimal RAM, and put it in yourself from 3rd party purchase. Apple has pretty much always been a rip off when having them to upgrade the ram.

Re:Should have better video then 9600m for a $2700 (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346687)

You're usually always paying a slight premium from a retailer. It's DDR3 SODIMM memory, so expect to pay a HUGE premium (especially at that size).

http://shop.crucial.com/1/1/302292-ct2kit51264bc1067-8gb-kit-4gbx2-204-pin-sodimm-ddr3-pc3-8500-memory-module.html [crucial.com]

The 8GB kit (4GBx2) = US$1179.99

It is a little to go from 4GB, that you're already paying for, up to 8GB, but nobody is holding a gun to your head. You're still better off buying it third party, and selling the sticks that come with it, but then you don't have the same level of support than if you purchased with it. Any manufacturer will be quick to assume the memory is the problem and refuse warranty until the original sticks are put back in place.

Re:Should have better video then 9600m for a $2700 (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346753)

I expect it ships with 2x2GB, filling the two slots. To upgrade to 8GB you need 2x4GB, and 4GB DDR3 SODIMMs are still pricey.

If there were 4 slots, it would be much cheaper, as going from 4 to 8 would just mean buying another 2 2GB SODIMMs.

Macrumorslive.com feed hacked (1)

th0mas_g (1442333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346373)

If anyone saw the macrumors.com keynote feed, it was hacked and someone inserted some pretty funny (albeit inappropriate) comments into the feed. I'll need to find a link to a screenshot...

Re:Macrumorslive.com feed hacked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346481)

That site has been reported to the SEC.

Sometimes CEOs are really worth the billions. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346377)

You know, its pretty fashionable to argue these days that CEOs are just like everyone else, interchangeable parts that you can just get rid of. Steve Jobs isn't one of them, and I don't think Bill Gates was either, for that matter.

But, in the case of Steve Jobs, the dude could walk out onto a stage, show you a product, and you would think, wow, that's really brilliant.

Regardless of how Shiller is, he's not the guy that founded Apple, beat developers into the ground trying to make a product better. Sometimes took the company into the ground chasing after a vision but a lot of times made a mountain of money chasing after the same.

You can't get the same vision from somebody who runs as a company as you can get from the guy that founded it. Even for CEOs, its just a job, but for founders, its a vision, and I'm going to miss the Apple of Jobs old, even as I miss the Microsoft of Gates the Evil.

Re:Sometimes CEOs are really worth the billions. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346717)

The case for Jobs' value is almost uniquely strong, since he left Apple for a while and it tanked, then he came back and it recovered.

That said, the opposite happens too; HP's stock shot up by billions the day Fiorina departed. So when my dad said, "Jobs proves CEOs are worth their pay," I had to disagree. You can't generalize like that.

Re:Sometimes CEOs are really worth the billions. (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346757)

PS. the most valuable executives build a business that can thrive even after they are gone. Again, Jobs' temporary absence provides a data point, but a negative one.

At least now we know why.. (1)

jltnol (827919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346379)

... Steve Jobs wasn't there.... mostly software announcements.. and the iWorks Cloud Service... no biggie, really. And this is probably why Apple has decided to pull out of MacWrold... too much pressure to give updates, even if they are not quite ready. But as usual, you can expect more hardware announcements in the upcoming weeks. I'm sure Apple decided to leave stuff OUT of the keynote once the rumor mills grab onto something.. just to piss them off...

Why is the death not mentioned? (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346393)

Why is there no mention of Steve Jobs' death announcement? I saw it on MacRumorslive! WTF!

Re:Why is the death not mentioned? (0, Redundant)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346499)

Why is there no mention of Steve Jobs' death announcement? I saw it on MacRumorslive! WTF!

That site was hacked.

Re:Why is the death not mentioned? (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346609)

Really? man, I tried to hack their admin panel and was stumped. I guess my elite hacker skills are rusty.

So....what about TV? (4, Interesting)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346397)

Two semi-glaring points:

-What about TV show and movie purchases? What level of DRM can be expected there (I don't know level of DRM applies now, so feel free to call me a clod who's talking out of an orifice other than stdout ). The verbiage seems to very carefully mention "songs" only, no other iTunes available media.

-What about my current iTunes song library? Will the DRM magically disappear with my next update? Do I need to download my library again, (and thereby lose the totally pointless play count next to my songs? What will I do? That's how I keep score damnit!)

Re:So....what about TV? (3, Informative)

Have Blue (616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346659)

TV and movies have the same DRM as before. You can have the DRM stripped from existing songs for a fee, which will also upgrade them to a higher bit rate.

Re:So....what about TV? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346661)

What about TV show and movie purchases?

No mention of it, but most likely the same DRM as there ever was. Certainly you can't blame them for the movie *rentals* having DRM, but putting DRM on the purchases is a little annoying. I wish they had TV rentals that were cheaper than "buying" them.

What about my current iTunes song library?

The last time I checked, there was a $0.30/song, $3.00/album upgrade fee to strip the DRM and increase the bit rate to 256kbps. The last time I checked was about 10 minutes ago. However, when I went to purchase some of those upgrades, I got an error message that I couldn't buy them because the price had changed, and it wouldn't give me any more details. So maybe it will end being free?

I think the last time I upgraded a song to "iTunes plus" or whatever they call it, they gave an option to simply replace the songs, keeping old metadata. I might be remembering incorrectly, though.

Re:So....what about TV? (4, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346711)

-What about my current iTunes song library? Will the DRM magically disappear with my next update?

You still have to pay 30 cents per song [apple.com] (or 30% of album price) to remove the DRM on previously purchased songs.

Re:So....what about TV? (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346743)

Two semi-glaring points:

-What about TV show and movie purchases? What level of DRM can be expected there (I don't know level of DRM applies now, so feel free to call me a clod who's talking out of an orifice other than stdout ). The verbiage seems to very carefully mention "songs" only, no other iTunes available media.

Movies still have basic DRM, tv shows too -- you can back them up in their current format, but burning to a standard SVCD, VCD or DVD format is prohibited.

-What about my current iTunes song library? Will the DRM magically disappear with my next update? Do I need to download my library again, (and thereby lose the totally pointless play count next to my songs? What will I do? That's how I keep score damnit!)

As others (and the Apple website) have pointed out, you can/will be able to upgrade to DRM-free for something like 30% of the price of each song or album. Of course, burning to a CD and re-ripping is still free.

Re:So....what about TV? (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346763)

For your current library, if DRM free tracks are available, you pay .30 to "upgrade" each song, And some other amount per album (based on the current price)

Re:So....what about TV? (2, Interesting)

SeanMon (929653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346767)

Do I need to download my library again, (and thereby lose the totally pointless play count next to my songs? What will I do? That's how I keep score damnit!)

iTunes separates the metadata from the data somewhat: a song entry in the iTunes database has a pointer to a file.
I updated my library to iTunes Plus when it first was released, and I didn't lose anything (play counts, ratings, and playlists!)

One down, two to go (1)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346413)

Unlocked music from iTunes, finally.

Now they can focus on getting television episodes and movies unlocked.

iTunes DRM-free songs international or U.S. only? (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346431)

One thing that's not mentioned anywhere is whether iTunes DRM-free music will be available internationally or only in the U.S.

Does anybody know?

Re:iTunes DRM-free songs international or U.S. onl (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346645)

I can't speak for the entire world, but I've noted that the Apple Canada site (apple.ca) is advertising DRM-free music. So that's one place outside of the USA.

No more DRM on music, but... (5, Funny)

thesolo (131008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346435)

Great news about the music going DRM-free, but what about the rest of the iTunes store? It seems from this announcement that DRM will still be applicable on audiobooks, films, and TV shows, which is lousy.

Still, it's a step in the right direction, and I applaud the people over at Amazon (and everyone else selling music without DRM) for doing it first. Without that step, I'm willing to bet that Apple would have stayed with DRM on their music catalog. It looks like part of Defective By Design's Anti-DRM wishlist [defectivebydesign.org] came true.

That said, Apple is also now charging if you want to get rid of your DRM (which means upgrading to 256 kbps tracks). From Apple.com:

You don't have to buy the song or album again. Just pay the 30 cents per song upgrade price. (Music video upgrades are 60 cents and entire albums can be upgraded for 30 percent of the album price.)

Yes, just $0.30 per song to get rid of the crap that we forced on you in the first place. Awful.

In other news, I was getting my updates from MacRumorsLive.com, when their feed was cracked by 4Chan. The site crashed half-way through the keynote. Here are some screen caps for anyone interested:
http://www.realfx.com/images/macrumorslive_pwned.jpg [realfx.com]
http://www.realfx.com/images/macrumorslive_pwned2.jpg [realfx.com]
http://www.realfx.com/images/macrumorslive_pwned3.jpg [realfx.com]

Upgrading songs from DRM to Plus is not free (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346461)

I have just had a look, and it will cost 20 pence to upgrade each song to DRM free and better quality of the Plus store. Good one Apple!

Re:Upgrading songs from DRM to Plus is not free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346569)

You know what you bought, and you're complaining about a discounted upgrade offer that they had no obligation to give?

Removable Battery (2, Interesting)

localman (111171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346467)

I was drooling over the new 17" until I got to the non-removable battery part. On long trips I've always loved the ability to swap through multiple batteries. 8 hours (which surely means 6 real world hours) is very good, but it still falls short of two or three swaps. Probably not something most people care about, so perhaps a good business decision... but I'll be holding on to my old 17" until it croaks, I guess.

iWork.com not a Google Docs-like services. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346509)

Apple also introduced the beta of a Google Docs-like service, iWork.com? Bzzt! Wrong. There was no mention or demo of editing the documents online in the presentation, only viewing, annotating, uploading, and downloading.

constantly-powered battery reliability (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346575)

I am not particularly concerned with the general idea of a non-removable battery. I know that by removing the extra two walls internally, they fit a bit more charge-storing mass inside the slim case. I know that the life span of this new material is able to hold more Amp-hours, which is welcome.

What concerns me is the "stays plugged in" case. Many people with this class of laptop leave the thing plugged in most of the time, but need the ability to untether just often enough to go on the road. I have had bad luck with batteries in the past, even with the best "smart charge" electronics, where the battery loses its peak capacity if it's left plugged into the DC wallwart 98% of the time. I don't discover the problem, of course, until just when I open the laptop in the airport, waiting for my departure flight.

How about just letting me move files to my iPhone (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346621)

Through the sync chord in iTunes. *sigh*

Offload my photos. Give me the option to buy TomTom or another REAL GPS software tool.

iTunes DRM-free - But Shell Out To "Upgrade" (4, Informative)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346623)

If you want to upgrade your old purchases to DRM-free status, though, you can pay the "upgrade" price [apple.com].

I bought three albums on iTunes this past weekend. At least one of them is DRM-laden. Colour me unimpressed, but I'm not really surprised. I don't have rose-coloured glasses on when it comes to Apple. I sometimes use iTunes when it's 3:00 a.m. and I'm hankering for new music. I fire up the Bands Under the Radar podcast and poke around until something catches my fancy. They made it convenient, so I put up with the conversion process to other drm-free formats.

"It's also easy to upgrade your iTunes library to iTunes Plus. You don't have to buy the song or album again. Just pay the 30 per song upgrade price. (Music video upgrades are 60 and entire albums can be upgraded for 30 percent of the album price.)"

what's with non-removable batteries these days? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346675)

Every cell-phone from entry-level to smart phone has a removable battery, why is there this trend to prevent that? I'm not even talking about the need to swap to keep working on the road, I mean swapping when the damn thing wears out. If the number of rated charge cycles isn't over 800, these things are going to die way too quickly. I'm still a bit miffed that I can't get at the battery for my palm tungsten, it's about half of what it used to be. My new mp3 player has an integrated battery, just one more excuse for getting rid of it in a few more years. :eyeroll:

The thing that really miffs me about tech companies and Apple seems excessively guilty of this: they seem to be following the model of the fashion industry with rolling out new products with incremental changes, feature dribbles that could have all been brought out in one unit, etc. I like to run a longer lifecycle on my hardware. I want my lappy to last for 8 years, not 2. Put all your good ideas in one model, then save them up for another one. It's like they expect us to behave like the fashion-conscious, throwing out the old wardrobe not because it's worn out but because it has become unfashionable. Fuck that shit, if I wanted to be a fashion-conscious slave I'd get an Apple -- I don't want to see the bad ideas adopted in non-Apple products!

"iBattery syndrome" (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346751)

Every cell-phone from entry-level to smart phone has a removable battery, why is there this trend to prevent that?

My old iPaq didn't, and of course the iPhone doesn't.

I hereby dub it "the iBattery syndrome".

I'm glad my original Macbook Pro didn't have an iBattery, or else it would have been trashed when my battery swelled out of its case.

Re:what's with non-removable batteries these days? (2, Informative)

saddino (183491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346755)

If the number of rated charge cycles isn't over 800, these things are going to die way too quickly.

The new MBP battery is rated for 1000 recharge cycles, or 5 yrs of typical use.

Still too high (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26346701)

the lowest song price is $0.69

Still forty cents too high. Back when a single came on vinyl and cost a dollar, the manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, etc. gave them maybe a dime profit at most. Now they want a buck with no manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, or any other costs except profit.

Actually producing and recording the sucker was incredibly exoensive back then too. It's dirt cheap these days, but we're still paying the same inflated prices (well, not "we", I stopped buying RIAA drack back when Napster was illegal).

I blame cocaine, the shit makes people greedy. The labels' own greed is causing their downfall.

Apple's Google Docs-like service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26346759)

...will cost $99 [apple.com].

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