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Why Won't Apple Sell Your iTunes LPs?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the can-anyone-think-of-a-reason? dept.

Media (Apple) 306

jfruhlinger writes "Over the weekend there's been a bit of controversy over the fact that Apple has effectively shut indie artists out of the iTunes LP market by charging $10,000 in design fees. But the real question is why Apple is in charge of designing the new iTunes LP at all, since the format is based on open Web design technologies. There's at least one iTunes LP already available outside the iTunes store. Why won't Apple sell it?"

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306 comments

LP? (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731239)

I don't use iTunes so I must be missing something. Do they sell Long Play records on iTunes or does LP stand for something else?

Re:LP? (4, Funny)

Cheesetrap (1597399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731279)

It's part of that retro-is-new thing, all the kids are doing it, it's alltuhh-9ytujhff all the rage (sorry, electric typewriter keys got stuck - one of the hazards of being cool).

Re:LP? (4, Informative)

Cheesetrap (1597399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731415)

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, what they're calling an 'LP' is essentially a DVD-style menu for your album. With pics, lyrics and bio - you know, the kind of stuff any 5-year-old can get from google or can be auto-loaded by many modern music players (WinAMP, Amarok, take your pick).

So on a scale of usefulness from "necessary for human survival" to "would rather have my balls in a vise", it scores about a "meh".

Re:LP? (3, Interesting)

mmeister (862972) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732085)

Actually, there is more. They showed the Doors LP which contained exclusive interviews and other video media. The idea is to get you to buy the whole album instead of just a track or two. I don't think they're really charging much more for it, maybe an extra $1, although the one's I've looked at seem to contain more songs than the standard album.

Whether it works out or not, I at least give them credit for trying to add some additional value to the digital media and provide some better incentives to buying whole albums.

Re:LP? (5, Informative)

jitterman (987991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732223)

Another example: the new Alice In Chains release includes a few tracks that are (according to iTunes) not on the CD release. For all those who are completists and want to stay "legal" will probably think this is a good thing. Also, the cost of the album is (for now) $9.99, whereas the cost of the various tracks (and you can't get the bonus tracks without buying the album, so they don't even count towards this cost) add up to more than that.

Re:LP? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732273)

"So on a scale of usefulness from "necessary for human survival" to "would rather have my balls in a vise", it scores about a "meh"."

I'm confused. Given some people's attitude towards human survival and what is necessary for it, and some people's attitude towards, er, exotic activities between consenting adults, I have no clue where "meh" sits in the spectrum you've specified.

Re:LP? (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731673)

>>>It's part of that retro-is-new thing, all the kids are doing it, it's alltuhh-9ytujhff all the rage (sorry, electric typewriter keys got stuck - one of the hazards of being cool).
>>>

I have an old manual typewriter that's virtually new in appearance. Wanna buy this old piece of ju.... er, fine piece of retro engineering? ;-)

I can understand why retro has become cool, after all I collect old Commodores fr retrogaming, but I never liked the LP even when it was popular. Those old records were typically two good songs, and ten other songs I've never heard before and frankly didn't care to hear (if they had been good, they would have played on the radio). I'd rather just buy the 45s... oops I mean the singles, or wait for the "best of" collection.

Bringing back the LP holds zero interest for me. Give me individual songs so I can buy just the best and filter out the crap.

Re:LP? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731997)

"if they had been good, they would have played on the radio"

you're joking, right?

Re:LP? (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732153)

So true!
That's exactly why I prefer reading the ads on Slashdot over reading the posts.
USA today factoids are also better reading than short stories or novels.
Hello brave new world!

Re:LP? (5, Insightful)

Vindicator9000 (672761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732155)

For real? I've heard people complain that new albums only have a few good songs, and thought it was bunk... if that's the case, you're not listening to the right bands to begin with. Now old albums only have a few good songs?

What about Zoso? Dark Side of the Moon? Tommy? Van Halen I? Bookends? Electric Ladyland? Brothers in Arms? 2112? I could go into modern examples too, starting with everything Dredg has ever made, and finishing with everything Muse has ever made

There are thousands of albums that are great, start to finish. What's killing the music industry is not piracy, it's the fact that people no longer have the attention span to sit through a great album, and aren't willing to pay album prices for the singles that the radio has drilled into their heads.

Re:LP? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731345)

nope

they want you to buy a whole album and not a few songs so they sell you an LP which is all the songs, a few videos, and DVD type making of crap that you can only view on a computer

Re:LP? (1)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731371)

I think the OP has the same issue I do - when I think of "LP" I think of a vinyl record. Since videos aren't coming out on vinyl, I'm guessing that the meaning of LP has changed.

Re:LP? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731459)

Nope, videos are recorded in H.264, then recorded on vinyl. It does require a 50000 RPM turntable though.

Re:LP? (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731605)

RCA invented a video-record back in the 1970s. It used a needle and concentric grooves, but instead of touching the platter the needle hovered above the grooves. Using this method they could store 60 minutes of broadcast quality (440x480) analog video on one side of a 12 inch record.

I still own one of these things. Unfortunately it failed for the same reason LaserDisc failed - it couldn't record live television or home movies as VHS could do. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc [wikipedia.org]

Re:LP? (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731645)

50000 RPM. sounds like dependency hell if you ask me!

Re:LP? (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731697)

Bring back VideoDisc!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc

Re:LP? (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731663)

Since videos aren't coming out on vinyl, I'm guessing that the meaning of LP has changed.

You need better hallucinogens.

Re:LP? (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732207)

If it helps, think of the new LP as standing fro "Long Phormat"
(see, its descriptive and by definitions it's cool since it uses "Ph" . . . )

Re:LP? (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731359)

The LP is part of the move toward providing a more complete product back like they did with CDs, cassettes, and vinyl. With those things, you typically got extra stuff, like elaborate cover and inside art, and song lyrics, and with CDs there could be a data track with videos and other stuff. These are things that have gone by the wayside with digital downloads. Now that we are reaching the point where CD's are becoming a thing of the past for a much larger number of people, there has been an outcry about the loss of all of those extras. The digital LP is a focus to get those things back, so you can have all your extras for the complete experience.

Re:LP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731541)

so instead of downloading *.mp3 you could download a *.zip file (for example) with extras. I do not see how this would effect anything other then the file format of the download and the price.

Re:LP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732147)

Don't forget the ability to create another proprietary format that tries to lock you into iTunes.

Re:LP? (2, Funny)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731689)

Yeah, it's too bad that MP3s can't store lyrics and additional artwork...

Re:LP? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731817)

the format was created back in the 1990's when PMPs with 32MB storage were high end

Re:LP? (2, Informative)

cyxxon (773198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731893)

The post by PRMan was sarcasm... you can store lyrics and additional art in mp3s...

Re:LP? (4, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731693)

The digital LP is a focus to get those things back, so you can have all your extras for the complete experience.

How are you supposed to sort the seeds out of pot on the back of a digital LP?

Re:LP? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732183)

How are you supposed to sort the seeds out of pot on the back of a digital LP?

Stop buying schwag and the problem takes care of itself ;)

Re:LP? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731749)

>>>Now that we are reaching the point where CD's are becoming a thing of the past for a much larger number of people

I hope CDs don't die.

It's still the only way to get uncompressed music. Some discs even have full surround sound encoding. The compressed AACs sold on itunes sound like crap on a full-sized 5-speaker stereo.

Re:LP? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732089)

Indeed, the quality between cd vs vinyl is slightly arguable (in weather you can hear it). The difference between cd and shitty mp3's etc is not.

Re:LP? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731759)

>> there has been an outcry about the loss of all of those extras

From who? I think this favors the record labels (and Apple) more than anybody else.

Re:LP? (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731941)

Agreed. This sounds like more crap for me to not care about and possibly purge during the acquisition process.

Re:LP? (4, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731919)

The digital LP is a focus to get those things back, so you can have all your extras for the complete experience.

Ahh, so it's like a torrent that comes complete with cover art and an nfo file, then, but overpriced? ;)

Re:LP? (1)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732007)

The LP is part of the move toward making you buy a bunch of songs you don't want like they did with CDs, cassettes, and vinyl.

FTFY.

Re:LP? (3, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731365)

From gizmodo [gizmodo.com] :

iTunes LPs: These are effectively like bonus CDs for digital albums. Each one comes with extra songs that you only get if you plunk down nearly $20 on the whole album -- you can't download these individually. Along with that, you get video content -- in most cases, live concert recordings -- as well as photo albums and lyrics, which serve as a sort of modern-day liner notes, I guess? It's a bit like buying one of those loaded-up "Digipack" CDs record companies used to release, except on iTunes.

Re:LP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731651)

It's a bit like buying one of those loaded-up "Digipack" CDs record companies used to release, except on iTunes.

Digipak [wikipedia.org] refers to a low-plastic-content type of CD/DVD package, and has nothing to do with "extra" content. I've never seen the word (or its homophones) used in any other context than this. Perhaps they meant something like "Bonus Packs"? Then again, it's Gizmodo. I shouldn't expect anything resembling "accuracy" from them.

Re:LP? (1)

windex82 (696915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731825)

I think the gizmdo article actually meant Enhanced CDs [wikipedia.org]

Enhanced CD, also known as CD Extra and CD Plus, is a certification mark of the Recording Industry Association of America for various technologies that combine audio and computer data for use in both compact disc and CD-ROM players.[snip].

Re:LP? (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731881)

If this format actually takes off and Apple insists on charging labels $10,000 per LP, expect:

(1) A lot more user-packaged LPs like the Tryad album. For proprietary recordings, these could be distributed minus the tracks without incurring the wrath of the more clueful artists and their labels (though some will inevitably get upset).

(2) Official complete LPs available for purchase via band and label websites or 3rd party distributors, or as free downloadable add-ons for already purchased tracks.

(3) Interactive CDs containing the LP files ready to import.

(4) Several competing point and click tools to generate your own LP from tagged mp3s, cover art, lyrics, band photos and videos, ideally harvesting existing online sources like the various album art and lyrics databases, YouTube, etc.

Re:LP? (2, Insightful)

robmv (855035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732189)

(5) Apple start blocking those LPs not made by Apple on iTunes, they will add a hash to verify who build them

Re:LP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731413)

I seached online and the only deinition that makes sense is:
"LP album, a vinyl record that spins at 33 rpm"

Other possibilities like Lumbar Puncture, or Little People (a term used to describe Snow Whites companions) Large Print, Libertarian Party, Limited Partnership, Long Pointer, and Les Paul don't seem to be relevent.

Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731253)

I'm on the record (ha ha, "record," get it?)

Did anyone else make it past this? Because nothing (not even a goatse link) makes me stop reading faster than a bad pun.

Anyway in regards to:

Why Won't Apple Sell Your iTunes LPs?

Allow me to make a guess (and all you Apple fans get your negative moderation ready): Apple is bending over for the big labels that want to charge you more for this content you don't own (and also have a sketchy license to) when you purchase it. Now, they can't really DRM it and some people loathe DRM so really it's just bundled images, lyrics and videos. In the good old spirit of security through obfuscation, they think that keeping the creation technology secret to the big five labels prevent word getting out how to 'reverse engineer' this to get the content out so that you can replicate it and use it ... *SHOCKINGLY* ... somewhere else (which brings us back to the unclear licensing terms you're paying for).

Bottom line is that Apple is making the customer suffer and bating them with paying more for content they're not owning in any sense nor having a clear lifetime license to. Can I print out this artwork and put it on my bedroom wall? I'm guessing not. Personally I'm buying the box set instead.

Like DRM iTunes songs, it'll fall apart. Anyways, as the summary points out, it's futile. A clever 24 year old in Uruguay just made one. And I love that. I'm betting the open source community will make some extractors if you want the images, videos, lyrics and extras.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (4, Informative)

shinma (106792) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731523)

Extractor? On a mac, you just have to rightclick on the LP file and do a "show package contents." It's just a bundle that uses HTML5/CSS3.

Doesn't take a lot of work.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731681)

Wait... Right Click on a Mac?!?! You mean they hid functionality into a context menu?

I expect the end is near!

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731895)

My poor Mac only has one button.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (0, Offtopic)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732113)

Wait... Right Click on a Mac?!?! You mean they hid functionality into a context menu?

Apple never hides functionality in a context menu. They offer it in a right click context menu in addition to offering it in a location you get to with a single click. In this case, that is the action menu in each finder window (looks like a little gear). You can also get to it from the CLI just by using the "cd" command to navigate into the folder. That doesn't mean OS X now has the same usability as Linux.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731709)

Right clicking is extremely hard for normal people, why do you think it only recently made its way onto the mac? The average user should never have to worry about rightclicking, therefore we need extractors!!

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732179)

The average user should never have to worry about rightclicking...

You just have to click the action menu and select it from there. No right clicking is required.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (3, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731533)

I believe that Apple wants to control -- to "curate" -- the new experience of the LP while it is in its nascent stage of marketing. They want to sell these things, they want to convince people they are worth buying, and to accomplish that they cannot let the floodgates open for every garage band to participate before some kind of clear quality benchmarks are established.

Let's face it: There is a lot of great Open Source software. Open Source design? Not so much...

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (4, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731859)

so in the end we are right back at apple wanting to deliver that special fairy dust experience that only "they" can deliver...

talk about marketing machine...

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732041)

so in the end we are right back at apple wanting to deliver that special fairy dust experience that only "they" can deliver...

Companies underestimate the disposable income of discriminating fairies at their own peril.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1, Insightful)

NtroP (649992) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732031)

(and all you Apple fans get your negative moderation ready)

Apple has already responded: it is "releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own. There is no production fee charged by Apple," without confirming a date for the release.

You can put your AppleHate thingy back in your pants now. A reasonable assumption might be that Apple wants to get some solid examples out there as a benchmark to ensure quality (since they are charging a premium for the experience) so that we don't get the LP-version of the blink tag on grandma's homepage when we plunk down our hard earned dough. They also may be waiting for the HTML5 standards to be better clarified. Who knows, but the whiny "indie" band isn't willing to admit that what Apple probably told them was along the lines of "We aren't giving it out to just anyone yet. We'd also like to start with albums people have actually heard of. Right now, if you want your album to be an LP we will help you with it, but it will cost you around $10K if you really want it that bad."

It's amazing how when a company creates a brand and a marketplace that becomes popular everyone steps up and screams that they're "entitled" to it, for free, no less. And they want it NOW. But give it to them now and watch them bitch about how it's not polished enough or how they could have done it better. Apple can't win. It's funny that those who bitch the loudest seem to be the ones who don't even buy from iTunes and probably don't even use Apple products.

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732095)

I'm on the record (ha ha, "record," get it?)

Did anyone else make it past this? Because nothing (not even a goatse link) makes me stop reading faster than a bad pun.
 

Did anyone make it past this? Because nothing (not even a bad pun) makes me stop reading faster than someone who kept on reading when they say they would've stopped. :P

Re:Groan ... Pay More Money for What Exactly? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732117)

I'm on the record (ha ha, "record," get it?)

Did anyone else make it past this? Because nothing (not even a goatse link) makes me stop reading faster than a bad pun. Anyway in regards to:

Apple is bending over for the big labels that want to charge you more for this content you don't own (and also have a sketchy license to) when you purchase it.

I would say it's the other way around. Labels want it so Apple told them to bend over and spit out 10k per boundle and they would do it, and the Labels in their greed did bend over and spit over the 10k.

Bottom line is that Apple is making the customer suffer and bating them with paying more for content they're not owning in any sense nor having a clear lifetime license to. Can I print out this artwork and put it on my bedroom wall? I'm guessing not. Personally I'm buying the box set instead.

Apple has not made me do anything. I just what the music, i can't care less about pretty extras. I already learned from countless DVD purchases that i NEVER will look at the extras enough to make it worth the premium. I'll just buy the tracks I want and keep going with my day. Oh and seeing how there is no DRM, you can pretty much do whatever you want other than redistributing these things. Not sure if the resolution of these will be high enough to print anything worth sticking on a wall, though.

Like DRM iTunes songs, it'll fall apart. Anyways, as the summary points out, it's futile. A clever 24 year old in Uruguay just made one. And I love that. I'm betting the open source community will make some extractors if you want the images, videos, lyrics and extras.

It's only "futile" if you missed the entire point, and that's obvious. Besides, you need an "extractor" only if you have no clue how to navigate folders. It's all just a bunch of files in a directory.

Oh that's the $10,000 question. (2, Insightful)

buellisti (876927) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731267)

The answer is simple. The labels have made quiet little threats to pull hot product if Apple doesn't charge $10,000.

Re:Oh that's the $10,000 question. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731815)

The answer is simple. The labels have made quiet little threats to pull hot product if Apple doesn't charge $10,000.

You and some paranoid mods have been sipping from the same tainted batch of Kool-Aid.
The simplest answer is that Apple is, once again, acting as a control freak.

Never forget that Apple doesn't just provide a product, they provide an image. The roadblocks they've thrown up for the iTunes "LP" are there so they can control quality without a bitchfest every time they reject someone a la iPhone's App store. So while $10K & major labels is harsh and arbitrary, it allows them to manage the launch of their new 'product' without the destablizing influence of the larger masses.

Re:Oh that's the $10,000 question. (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732093)

And Apple laughed and said, "Sure, we'll take that money of yours, thanks!" Threats? This is iTunes. The program that sells more digital music than anything else. The music companies have very little power over what Apple does.

Re:Oh that's the $10,000 question. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732131)

You don't think Apple can be greedy and controlling on their own?

Can anyone think of a reason? (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731277)

You mean, can anyone think of a reason better than greed? It's notable that this is basically what IUMA was doing for artists back in the day; they were the pioneers and they didn't charge anything like ten grand for their similar service (which promoted acts via the web long before any software even LIKE iTunes existed.)

I can think of one other reason: Someone at Apple is seriously deluded. $10,000 will buy a lot of web hosting and SEO. I don't buy for a second the idea that this was pushed on Apple; it seems very much like something Apple would do. They think people are going to pay them these outrageous sums for their design work, but the reality is that their design work outside of computer cases (all impressive examples of which have been done under contract) has always been lackluster at best. Apple's claim to design fame is their nicer version of Garamond.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731373)

I can.

What if this is to prevent labels from dumping crud into the iTunes store and making iTunes LP look like a joke? By forcing the studios to commit at least so much money to the project, they may only do it for bigger bands and when they can do a good job, instead of just putting 20 images together and just saying "Look! It's an LP" for everything in their catalog.

Basically, this may be a way to help with initial quality control.

The question is if it continues or not. Whether it's adjusted up or down, how it starts to work with indie labels, that will be the question.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731553)

It is also probably a work in progress. Can you image the uproar if there were hundreds of LPs and Apple decides to change something? If the price is high enough, people will delay creating them and at 10K a pop, Apple could afford to go in and "fix" the existing LPs to work with the new format. This is basically what happened with the iPhone, at $600 they didn't sell as well as they could have and gave Apple time to make enhancements before dropping the price.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731751)

This is basically what happened with the iPhone, at $600 they didn't sell as well as they could have and gave Apple time to make enhancements before dropping the price.

Some of us see the release of a smartphone without MMS and without the ability to take apps anywhere but the browser (which is what the iPhone was like when it was released) to be beta-quality at best. We're talking about a phone missing major functionality. Apple didn't hold that castrated phone back from the consumer though, so it's nothing like what happened with the iPhone. Instead, Apple released a phone which only early adopters and fanboys would buy, and they bought one. Then when Apple got their act together enough to add the rest of the needed functionality, they did so. It did not harm consumers in any way. Nor would changing the format for iTunes LPs; there is no reason they could not convert from an old format to a new format, and there's no particular reason the iTunes client couldn't support both formats.

So no, this is nothing like what happened with the iPhone, and this is an even more bullshit excuse than wanting to maintain high quality.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732125)

So, you are saying that at 10K a pop, this is NOT something that "only early adopters and fanboys would buy"? The early iPhone is something that more people WANTED to buy, just weren't willing to do so at that price. Also, how is this harming consumers? From your statement, I assume that a high prices iPhone didn't harm consumers but a high priced LP development cost does? Would it harm consumers less if they LP development cost was less and then things changed (breaking existing LPs)?

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732217)

So, you are saying that at 10K a pop, this is NOT something that "only early adopters and fanboys would buy"?

That is correct. This article, in fact, is about it being something that only major labels could afford to buy. Try again, please; the two are very different things.

From your statement, I assume that a high prices iPhone didn't harm consumers but a high priced LP development cost does?

That's correct, and it's based on Apple's position in the market. The iPhone is just a phone. iTMS has become the way that people expect to purchase music online.

Would it harm consumers less if they LP development cost was less and then things changed (breaking existing LPs)?

You have completely failed to demonstrate some way in which "things" could "change" that would result in "breaking existing LPs". In fact, Apple controls both iTunes and the iTMS, so it's easy to see that iTunes can support multiple LP formats, as can the iTMS.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731857)

Apple charges more and restricts choice for "your" benefit. That is one of the arguments someone uses to defend Apples position when no other reasonable explanation or technical points can be reasonably argued. I'm surprised you did not throw in the other commonly used and equally unmeasurable and undefinable buzzwords typically used in defence of Apple like slick, style, and "overall user experience".

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (4, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732023)

What if this is to prevent labels from dumping crud into the iTunes store

Have you heard the pop charts recently ?

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732035)

This same kind of quality control would be just as effective at $50 an LP. $10,000 is just some randomly chosen BIG_NUMBER.

Re:Can anyone think of a reason? (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732079)

"What if this is to prevent labels from dumping crud into the iTunes store and making iTunes LP look like a joke? "

It's not for that. They already police the iPhone app store, and it doesn't cost $10k for a developer to have Apple review their app. They could easily hire a team to do QA and charge a reasonable fee for this, but they haven't. It stinks.

XXS and other issues (2, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731301)

It is quite likely that if they let people design their own LP's then Apple has to vet them for programming issues like cross site scripting especially if it allows HTML, Javascript or other languages to be active within them. And they just don't have the time to go over everyones code.

In which case, they need to come up with a standardized couple of formats in which people can plug in artwork, videos and other data to create their own LP.

Re:XXS and other issues (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731587)

True - they should just use that famous Apple software innovation to create an IDE and then sell it... then anyone could create their own "LP" and distribute it... oh gawd I can only imagine what nice old aunt Betty will churn out for her grandkids and quilting club!!!

Re:XXS and other issues (1, Troll)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731633)

And they just don't have the time to go over everyones code.

And don't have the competency to write some static screening tools that will reject all the XSS stuff etc?

And don't have the legal chops to write contractual language that will let them pwn your ass if you do submit LP's with XSS etc in them?

While putting a paywall up does have the advantage of creating a somewhat self-policing marketplace in this regard, my sense is that a $500 fee would do the same job and not exclude smaller players. It isn't the fact of the fee but its size that provides the evidence of Apple's malicious intent in preventing iTunes users from having access to LPs from smaller players.

Re:XXS and other issues (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732111)

"And they just don't have the time to go over everyones code."

iPhone. App. Store.

That's easy (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731319)

Because Apple is a big corporation primarly interested in making money. Getting $10000 in design fees is a handy way of making $10000 more then if they just let you put it up for free.

Re:That's easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731527)

10k is not too outragious either. That is 3 people for about 1.5k each for 2 weeks. Plus a bit of profit (double your inputs costs and you will make money not sure why it works but it does). But probably mostly profit and to see if people will balk at the large fee then come out with the 'real fee'. 'See its onnnnnnnly 1k now instead of 10k'. See how that works?

Re:That's easy (1)

teg (97890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731637)

Also, what does the money get you? Does it just give you the ability to submit extra material? Or does it include things like increased exposure? If you get a more prominent spot, and thus sell more... it's no surprise that Apple would like to charge for that, just like brick and mortar stores. Another possibility is that they will roll it out gradually - and that early adopters just have to pay more.

Until the format it supported in other devices (apple tv, ipods etc), it looks pretty irrelevant.

Because they're idiots? (0, Flamebait)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731335)

just guessing here.

the answer (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731337)

I might be able to answer that question if I knew what "LP" meant in this context; come on people, enough with the obscure acronyms, put what it means in the story summary.

Re:the answer (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731393)

LP. Long Play. Synonymous with record albums; you know the big black CD like things that you read with needles.

It refers to iTunes songs with bonus content like pictures, lyrics, stories, video clips, etc attached instead of just bare music.

Re:the answer (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731481)

It refers to iTunes songs with bonus content like pictures, lyrics, stories, video clips, etc attached instead of just bare music.

And that's "synonymous" with the large black old timey records?

Re:the answer (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731567)

More so with the large decorated cardboard sleeves that hold the large black old timey records than the large black old timey records themselves.

Apple hates it's customers (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731339)

It seems to me that Apple hates it's customers and is angry that it depends on them for revenue.

Apple is not run for the benefit of their customers, but for the shareholders, executives and their friends.

They hate you, and their corporate behaviour says so again and again.

But some victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^H customers just keep going back.

the eye-candy is so... pretty... but they are not your friend. They still remember the time when you (their customers) left them and apple nearly went down the pan, and they blame you.

Re:Apple hates it's customers (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731877)

I don't know if Apple "hates" their customers, but they do tend to ignore them.

Take almost any other product out there today (any electronic product.) You buy it, and you enjoy it. The manufacturer releases updates to the software and you get new features and bug fixes. They let you control many aspects of the device operation. Sweet! More bang for the buck, and more people will want to buy the product for the new feature.

Apple, on the other hand, releases a product. Say, the iPod. They MIGHT fix bugs, eventually. Or not. They give you a few selectable options and NEVER, EVER add features. To get new features, you have to buy iPod 2.0 and throw away the old one.

I have an iPod 160GB Classic and the only reason I got it was because it's the only portable player with that kind of capacity. Once I can get one of those new fancy Zunes with over 120GB capacity I'll use that. Have you seen the new Zune HD? It's a really cool device. Considering I don't buy music online, and I only have MP3's in my library, I can use any player.

Re:Apple hates it's customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732201)

Appreciate the hater attitude...but you have noticed that the iPhone/iTouch have had several software releases that added new features (sure I think it is lame for iTouch users to drop $10). When I had an older iPod (now know as the classic) there were a few updates in software that added features in navigation, look and feel.

I'm sure the Samsungs and Sony players of the world offer much of the same ...or do you need to buy a new mp3 player when they update everything?

Apple doesn't hate customers...they offer value. Sometimes not what some of the users would like to see but overall most are happy. The iPhone app submission debacles and the LP tollgate are hating content produces, not the users.

Re:Apple hates it's customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732231)

You will never get one of those Zunes with that kind of capacity.

Hard drive Zunes are OELed and Microsoft won't be interested in Zune HD long enough to get to 120GB of Flash.

Why won't Apple sell it? (0, Troll)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731369)

Because, as they've shown time and time again, the big difference between them and Microsoft is the total amount of power wielded. They've made it known that they're a competitor in the Industry of Evil.

More bleating whiners (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731423)

Seriously, what "indie" groups are they keeping out with this supposed $10,000 thing (which isn't even proven true). As an 'indie' you can't get your music onto the iTunes store without backing of a distributor (and hence you're not 'indie' anyway).

Considering there are only 12 iTunes LP's available, if I were an 'indie' it would be a no-brainer to pony up $10k, since you'd have a massive audience for people who are buying them just to see them. Just like when CD's and DVD's were new and you bought whatever was available because so little was actually for sale.

Re:More bleating whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29732049)

I'm sorry but you'll find plenty of independents with distribution deals. $10k means that only established independents can release albums on iTunes; the fee is unjustified, arbitrary and (because of the iTunes market share) acts as a restraint on trade.

I'm not even opposed to Apple charging a fee but it needs to be equivalent to the cost of manufacturing a few thousand albums as physical product. Retailers wont stock something that they wont sell and that shouldn't be any different for an online store. A label or a band that's considering putting out 2 thousand vinyl or CD copies of an album should be making commercially viable music.

If someone stumps up $2k to get a vanity project on iTunes, it'll be their loss. If Apple charge $10k, consumers will simply get used to purchasing music elsewhere.

If any of this makes me a "bleating whiner", then so be it.

WRONG WRONG WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731435)

Your all off the mark,

1) Apple is the Music Industry, it may not appear so but they are like it or not and in order
      to continue to that relationship as a retailer, they must abide, confirm, defer to
      industry pressure, via their lawyers

2) The reason for the 10k extortion is to please the industry and prevent the unsigned
      meaning "free from major label and industry contractual slavery" from making a stand
      without them reaping or rather raping the artist. Why 10k, because the legal cabal that
      controls the industry thought that would be enough to deter

Plain and simple, its about control as usual

Who cares? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731443)

These things are a last attempt to try and make "albums" relevant. They don't matter. Albums are an ex-parrot. They're pushing up the daisies. They're singing in the... no, that's it, they're not singing at all. That's the problem. They're tragically unhip.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

ReneeJade (1649107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731679)

I disagree that albums are unhip or dead or anything like that. Anyone who is serious about their music knows that a complete LP should be, and often is, a single work of art. Many artists put a lot of effort into selecting and arranging songs on an album such that it reads like a single story. Albums may be dead among the teeny-boppers, but anyone over the age of 18 who loves music should appreciate the importance of albums. I agree with "who cares" though. I wish people would go down to their local CD shop and buy a record and support a small business instead of feeding some giant middle man like apple. Then you can read the lyrics, see the art, put the songs on your HDD, lend it to your family and do whatever you want with it. I hope albums and CD stores stay alive.

Re:Who cares? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731963)

Anyone who is serious about their music knows that a complete LP should be, and often is, a single work of art.

I've had a few albums that I would count as "works of art", not many, and they were all actual vinyl LPs. I loved Roger Dean's album covers, more than the music inside the sleeves in some cases, but CDs are too small a canvas to satisfy that desire, and so it's died out in my heart long since. CDs get ripped into iTunes as soon as I get them, and the shells lay in a bookshelf mortuary where I never see or think about them. I pull down The Album Cover Album or Views now and then, but as I turn the pages my background music isn't ASIA or YES, it's whatever's playing on Party Shuffle.

It's a TEASER!!! (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731485)

Come on guys... this isn't news at all... it's what I call a TEASER!

I think most of you are missing... (1)

fostro1 (1557269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731509)

...a big point of the article. I think record companies are being threatened by how easy it has gotten for unsigned artists to record their own music, and sell it on their own as well. Who needs to sign a big contract with a record company so they can steal all your sales $$ when you can do it all by yourself?

Apple is doing evil because they are evil. (1, Insightful)

Crass Spektakel (4597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731513)

Whats the deal?

Apple is doing evil because they are evil.

Face it, customer, you are just consumer cattle being milked. You gave Apple a defacto monopoly on online music, now you face the consequences.

Shut up, don't complain, buy moar, be happy.

Lousy Product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29731565)

LP really means "Lousy Product" -- Just like everything from crapple.

They don't want to be the next mp3.com (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731613)

MP3 had a lot of crap, and by crap I don't mean "bad taste, but will sell reasonably well." It was the sort of stuff that is obscure because even with wide exposure it wouldn't get many fans.

My guess is that Apple wants to discourage said bands from participating so that most of the stuff that gets on there is of decent quality by serious artists not some fly-by-night garage band that cobbled together a CD using an Audacity tutorial.

Market economics 101? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731659)

Why is Apple charging $10,000? Because they can (or at least, think they can). When they no longer can, they will reduce the price.

In the case of Apple, they are betting that the 'majors' are willing to pay $10,000 to have Apple setup "iTunes LPs" for them. The article asks why Apple "controls" iTunes LPs, when they are based on open standards. My guess is that the answer is that, sure, anyone could create an iTunes LP, but Apple controls iTunes, so you can't publish your third-party created LP on iTunes, right? Hey, thems the brakes. It's been said that "Freedom of the Press belongs to those who own one". Maybe the smaller labels just need to man up, and work together to establish a viable competitor.

I'm happy for Apple that they've been successful, but as for me, I like to see a competitive marketplace, so I try to throw some business to other comapanies, where I can find them. (Though I will occasionally buy one of the non-drm tracks from Apple).

Marketing (2, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731671)

So that Slashdot will have something about it to write, to generate buzz about this new "iTunes LP" thing no one has ever heard about.

Don't like it, don't do it. (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731685)

$10k to have your music get massive potential exposure via iTunes doesn't sound all that bad to me. Nobody is forcing the business model down peoples throat. iTunes isn't the be all, end all of music distribution. The alternative is open it all up for everyone until iTunes becomes as over congested and so full of crap that it is no better than youtube.

Apple says there is no $10,000 charge (4, Informative)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731703)

http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1038901&c=1 [musicweek.com]

However, an iTunes spokesman says the fee is fiction. “There is no production fee charged by Apple,” he says. "We're releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own.”

If it's just an itlp file and a bunch of m4as (1)

plazman30 (531348) | more than 4 years ago | (#29731715)

Then why couldn't you sell the m4a files on iTunes, and just make an itlp file available on your website. DRM is gone now from iTunes. There is nothing to stop you from doing that.

Same reason they won't sell your iPhone App (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732171)

It hasn't passed the approval process. In this case, maybe they haven't finished designing the gargantuan process your LP will have to go through yet and exacting restrictions your LP must obey to get approval, hence the difficulty...

NEWS FLASH! (0)

dskoll (99328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29732243)

In a stunning new development, Apple revealed itself to be an anal-retentive control-freak of a corporation, with delusions of monopolistic grandeur. Video at 11.

In other news, it was revealed that the Pope is, in fact, Catholic, and that bears tend to defecate in the woods.

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