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Spotify Challenges iTunes With iPod Support, Playlist Synching

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the device-vs.-infrastructure dept.

Music 95

Stoobalou writes with this excerpt from thinq.co.uk: "Spotify has made a surprise announcement, and while it's still not the long-awaited US launch, it will be making a splash over the pond: the streaming music service is morphing into an iTunes competitor. In what is a clear attempt at rattling Apple's cage, Spotify has unveiled a pair of major new features: the ability to synchronise Spotify playlists with iPods, and the option to buy MP3 files to own — both key features of the iTunes platform. Any playlist created via the Spotify player can be downloaded in a single step, making 'digital mix-tape' creation significantly simpler."

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95 comments

A new lawsuit (1, Funny)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022726)

So Spotify is the next company which will be sued by Apple.

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022810)

Agreed...

What makes Spotify think that they wont get sued, or that Apple wont update iTunes and disable this function?

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022838)

More likely, Apple will simply include a feature in the next update that makes it impossible for this to work.

I like my Mac and my iPod, but not the closed garden I am allowed to use them in.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023262)

If you don't like the walled garden, why support it? There are some things about Sony I like... but I don't like Rootkits and lost functionality (and the ability to not lose all cc data ZING). I don't support Sony. I also don't support Apple. I had an iPhone because it was the only "good" phone on AT&T 2 years ago... now I have an Android phone and am much happier (despite some AT&T dickery).

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

berwiki (989827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023380)

why support it?

because there's something evil about every big corporation.
that's how it works.
there are ZERO white knights in the list of Fortune 500 companies.

Your only other choice is to become f'ing Amish.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023996)

Naaa....Amish are assholes. The other choice is Mennonite (Amish Mennonite...I know, but they are not the same.)

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025604)

Your only other choice is to become f'ing Amish.

Not really. And you don't even need to become a luddite. You just need to get a fucking clue and become a hacker (the good kind, though I am sure Apple lumps 'em all together, which is ironic considering Jobs and Woz got the initial money to become a company by selling blueboxes to steal long distance telephone calls from the phone company)

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023646)

I think it's more likely that Apple will add this feature, thus promoting "Why would I switch?" amongst its user base, than break it somehow.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022896)

Afaik, they are not present in the US.
And, afaik, software patents aren't valid outside the US...

Maybe this might be a valid reason NOT to enter the US market?

Re:A new lawsuit (2)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023224)

Sued for what? When did Apple sue AOL for Winamp's iPod sync support?

Re:A new lawsuit (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023318)

Don't worry, they were able to sue Samsung over a rectangle with rounded corners, I'm sure they'll devise something to get rid of the pesky competitor.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023386)

A vast misrepresentation of the true scope of Apple's allegations, but if a misrepresentation is the only way you can chime in then I guess that's what you've got to do, right?

Re:A new lawsuit (2)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023624)

I can't believe people simplify the issue to this extent (but reveals their bias). Even respectable sources for news have done it (FOTO8) and yet Nilay Patel has explained it in great detail: http://www.macgasm.net/2011/04/19/recommended-read-nilay-patel-apple-samsung-lawsuit/ [macgasm.net].

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36029404)

So you point to an article that does nothing but point to a better article by Endgadget? Nice click-troll.

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36034026)

And yet it still accomplishes the goal of explaining the true scope of the allegations rather than hedwards simplistic attempt to mislead everyone in his comment. Nice attempt to try and rip on someone who actually provided information on the topic.

Re:A new lawsuit (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023332)

Yeah they won't sue. They'll just make the next generation of devices harder to interface with. This is what they've done in the past to block 3rd-party iTunes alternatives.

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023802)

Depends on how Spotify did it. If all Spotify did was read the iTunes db file, then they are in the clear as it is a simple xml file. Other software exists that does the same thing. Where others like Palm go in trouble was that they tried to trick iTunes into thinking that a WebOS device was an iPod/iPhone.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36024048)

So Apple is the next company to pay the EU billions.

Re:A new lawsuit (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025560)

Apple doesn't appear to be suing CopyTrans, and they produce CopyTransManager [copytrans.net] as a free download. It lets me copy mp3 files onto my 3rd Gen iPod Touch directly. I've shitcanned iTunes. Granted, you have to download and pull the driver binaries out of Apple's big wad iTunesSetup.exe file to use it on an iPhone or iPod Touch. But it works great.

Re:A new lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36030134)

Nope. Palm got sued for using a fake USB manufacturer/device ID.
It's easy to do iPhone syncing. Just do what iTunes does. No USB hacks are needed.

Palm's use of Apple's USB manufacturer ID is what got them sued,
as it violated rules set by the USB Implementers Forum.

Seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022766)

But for me I'm happy with using iTunes, as well as the Song Exporter Pro app to wirelessly transfer/stream songs to my pc.

Re:Seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36024178)

You fucking douche!!!

Firmware patch coming... (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022816)

in 3...2...1...

Re:Firmware patch coming... (4, Informative)

leamanc (961376) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025392)

Ummm, no. What Apple stops is non-iPod devices showing themselves as iPods to iTunes. They do not stop iPods from syncing with 3rd party apps. There are a metric shit-ton of Linux apps that can sync individual MP3s or playlists to iTunes and Apple cannot give a shit.

Remember, iTunes and its music store exist to sell iPods. If you've already bought that iPod, then great. Just don't make your device pretend to be an iPod, like Palm did with the Pre.

Re:Firmware patch coming... (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36026636)

metric shit-ton of Linux apps that can sync individual MP3s or playlists to iTunes and Apple cannot give a shit.

Except that Apple keep changing the way iPods sync in ways that break these apps. It's not entirely clear that Apple are making these changes in order to break the third-party apps, but some of the changes don't seem to have any other purpose.

Re:Firmware patch coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36031912)

umm umm Apple has dumped their iTunes music store to garbage bin now?

Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (3, Informative)

Mascot (120795) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022826)

Being able to buy an entire playlist, instead of one tune at a time, is though. Just to clarify.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (2, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023192)

Being able to buy an entire playlist, instead of one tune at a time, is though. Just to clarify.

You've been able to publish playlists on iTunes for years, and each one can be purchased in it's entirety with a single button click. In addition to people's playlists, iTunes also publishes "Celebrity Playlists" from famous people.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (2)

Mascot (120795) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023258)

This is a thread pertaining to new functionality in Spotify. Do I really need to spell out that I am talking about functionality in Spotify when correcting the article's listing of old Spotify functionality as new Spotify functionality?

I guess so. Let me rephrase then.

Being able to purchase MP3s IN SPOTIFY is nothing new. Being able to buy an entire playlist IN SPOTIFY, instead of one tune at a time IN SPOTIFY, is though. Just to clarify. In Spotify.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023324)

The article I was reading read "Spotify Challenges iTunes With iPod Support, Playlist Synching". So while it might be new to Spotify, I didn't think it was particularly new as a concept. But it's not a thread about new functionality, it's a thread about new features leading to a presumed new attempt to compete with Apple's music ecosystem. There are things Spotify does that iTunes does not, but this wasn't one of them. It's nice to have, sure.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 2 years ago | (#36029506)

The article summary read "Spotify has unveiled a pair of major new features: the ability to synchronise Spotify playlists with iPods, and the option to buy MP3 files to own". Which is the point I posted my correction on.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36032232)

I don't see a mention of this being mentioned as a novel concept. They do mention that they are actively challenging iTunes now however. I think that qualifies as interesting news.

Re:Being able to purchase MP3s is nothing new (1)

mirshafie (1029876) | more than 2 years ago | (#36045128)

"But it's not a thread about new functionality, it's a thread about new features leading to a presumed new attempt to compete with Apple's music ecosystem."

And that's why the summary points out that Spotify is now cloning some iTunes features, such as iPod syncing and one-click playlist purchasing.

Changeup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36022858)

Brilliant. Now Apple will change up their iPod authentication again, resulting in even worse support for those of us who use free software.

Re:Changeup (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022932)

Apple is not for people who want free, customized, private or self-made software, media or data.
iOS has shown the path to profit, and I fear Apple may start "securing" OS-X soon.

Re:Changeup (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023420)

This. If you care about software freedom you shouldn't buy from Apple. You're destroying your hobby and your job prospects. It's like a gearhead buying a Maybach.

Re:Changeup (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027164)

Yes: Your phone should be an OpenMoko FreeRunner [openmoko.com], and your handheld gaming device should be a GP2X [wikipedia.org]...

Re:Changeup (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027340)

Well the GP2x is a nice device, but the Pandora is also an option. If you were trying to pick the black sheep of open devices you failed on that one.

For your phone you could choose an N900 (which can also make a decent handheld gaming device), and before you say Maemo isn't 100% FOSS, you can also run Meego on it which is 100% FOSS. You could also go with a phone running a rooted Android build, if you can find a device without eFuses and similar tivoization mechanisms (many older devices certainly allow it).

Re:Changeup (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024878)

...even worse support for those of us who use free software.

I didn't realize iTunes wasn't free.

Re:Changeup (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025642)

It's only free for the first several seconds after you download and install it.

And even then it's only free-as-in-beer.

Re:Changeup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36025938)

It's free but it isn't Free

Good (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022912)

Competition = Good.
It gives us customers a better chance to finally get what we want!

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 2 years ago | (#36022996)

Competition = Good. It gives us customers a better chance to finally get what we want!

Deliberate somewhat off-topic de-rail:

Not all competition is beneficial. In fact, in the general case, competition generally means that the stronger or more cunning party succeeds, not the better party. For instance: I do not want to have to compete with other people for my food.

A better phrase is probably "Coexisting Diversity = Good." Take Coke and Pepsi (or a car analogy: GM and Toyota): it is better for society to have both of these than to have just one, because people who prefer the taste of either product are satisfied. If one company "wins the competition" and puts the other out of business, then the people who preferred the "loser" suffer real loss. Also, resources spent competing are probably always better spent cooperating instead.

So for all the people wanting [platform X] to win: be careful for what you wish.

Re:Good (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023146)

Coke & Pepsi compete. GM & Toyota compete.

You already are competing with people for food. Coexisting diversity without competition is known as collusion. When you say resources spent competing are better spent cooperating, what exactly do you mean. You expect Coke and Pepsi to sign a pact to not compete, then spend their advertising budget on charity? Price cuts would be a competitive use of resources. Why would they? They have owners, who invested money intending to profit, they would take the saved expenditure in increased share dividends, or use it to buy out other smaller players, leaving the cartel of 'coexisting diversity' as a monopoly.

Re:Good (2)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025362)

There are some of us who believe in a resource-based economy, rather than the current money-based system which is broken beyond repair. Within that context, resources expended to compete, are resources wasted outright. Competition is a destructive process.

Re:Good (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025696)

rather than the current money-based system

Money is just the lubricant that keeps the gears of the economy running smoothly.

Sure, you can pour an abrasive into the crankcase, in place of the (oil) money, as your forefathers Lenin and Stalin attempted. It keeps the gears free and moving for awhile. But it grinds up the bits doing the actual work.

Re:Good (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#36029494)

Money is just the lubricant that keeps the gears of the economy running smoothly.

I would argue that recent history has shown us that money can also be the goop destroying the whole machine.

Re:Good (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025432)

Coke and Pepsi could agree to not compete ... it's called a cartel and means prices go up ...and is illegal

Competition keeps companies honest, if there is an real alternative then they cannot let quality slide ....the problem comes when it is a false alternative, like Apple were to Microsoft some time ago, people generally bought Windows, knew Mac's existed but very few used them, MS always quoted Apple as the competition but in reality they were no threat (at the time) ...

Re:Good (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023222)

It depends on the topic. Coke and Pepsi are end-user consumables. I can readily substitute one for the other at any time. There is no cost of change. Contrast that with a more infrastructural component or protocol such as HD-DVD or BluRay. Both of those represent an investment in media as well as the cost of the player and pose a large cost of change.

Spotify has a delicate but good position. Apple has their proprietary DRM AAC format media, so the cost of change from them is high (lock-in). Spotify uses MP3 with a low cost of change. People can easily give up spotify and use anything else on a whim.

Re:Good (1)

minasoko (710100) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023344)

Your point is valid for the other examples you give, but someone should point out that Apple does not DRM its AAC files in the ITMS and hasn't for years.

Re:Good (1)

axx (1000412) | more than 2 years ago | (#36026310)

Actually, I believe Spotify use Ogg Vorbis (smaller size for same quality and all that).

Re:Good (1)

Stackster (454159) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027006)

Streamed songs are Ogg Vorbis, downloaded songs are MP3.

Re:Good (1)

axx (1000412) | more than 2 years ago | (#36034196)

Thanks, I did not know that.

It's kind of silly to use an inferior codec for downloaded songs (and one that requires royalty fees at that) but I guess it's due to most people having portable music players that can read about 3 formats, Vorbis not being one of them.

Re:Good (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023352)

You sir are an idiot. That's why we have regulators that are supposed to be monitoring the situation and ensuring that there's still competition. There's no inherent reason why the stronger or more cunning party shouldn't succeed, they are generally the better party in a genuinely competitive market. And competing for food is precisely what you're doing now, it's just that we call it competing for work.

Coexisting diversity is also known as a oligopoly or duopoly or similar is inherently bad fore the customers, it's the primary reason why broadband is such as waste in the US.

Re:Good (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023358)

Competition as opposed to monopolies is a good thing. Coexisting diversity sounds great but it can't exists without some competition (money/peope/limited resources) otherwise it would be a cartel (with price fixing etc.). Corporations are entities that come and go (which isn't a bad thing) in never ending change. There are only two situations where mayor changes stop: monopoly and cartels. These two 'deadlock' situation make it very hard for new change to occur in that market... so they are both very much unwanted (from a consumer perspective obviously).

You warn all the people wanting [platform X] to win (causing a monopoly), but we can warn you just the same for wanting coexisting diversity (causing a cartel). Both are unwanted and should be avoided.

Re:Good (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024202)

I think people made some assumptions by what I meant by "coexisting diversity". I was not advocating the creation of cartels (which is a form of cooperation, but is not really beneficial). There are most definitely forms of positive cooperation.

An important point is that "coexisting diversity" is not mutually exclusive to "competition."

Perhaps a helpful addendum is "not all competition is created equal." I agree that product differentiation (based on features) is "good" competition. But once competition starts involving things other than features things get more complicated. Price competition, for instance, is very insidious because while it has short term benefit for consumers, the long term effects can be detrimental if the price was lowered at the expense of quality, sustainability, or relocation of employment.

Re:Good (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024638)

Indeed not all competition is created equal, but the situation you describe is typical for competition under capitalism. While competition in theory benefits the consumer the problem with price competition under capitalism is that the monetary value is the only cost that is considered (or deemed important). The non-monetary costs in other areas (of which you already gave a few examples) is ignored... But when you take those costs into account and get the real 'price' of the product competition should not be a negative thing (then price competition becomes closer to the ideal theoretical capitalism where competition helps improve technology to produce products cheaper = using less resources).

Competition under capitalism clearly does not work optimally for consumers, humankind or our planet...

Competitor to iTunes? Not with their catalog... (3, Interesting)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023008)

I am a Spotify premium customer, because it gives me access to lots of streaming music on my iPod. However, they are not an iTunes competitor. Their catalog is no where near iTunes in comprehensiveness. For many somewhat popular songs (try, for instance, finding the original "MacArthur park" the only results you get are a zillion bad karaoke albums, or covers. They have lots of random crap though. They are not really a competitor to iTunes, but rather a complement to it.

Re:Competitor to iTunes? Not with their catalog... (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023082)

However, they are not an iTunes competitor. Their catalog is no where near iTunes in comprehensiveness. For many somewhat popular songs (try, for instance, finding the original "MacArthur park" the only results you get are a zillion bad karaoke albums, or covers. They have lots of random crap though. They are not really a competitor to iTunes, but rather a complement to it.

They're just stealing Apple's genius marketing strategy for the iMac. An inferior product with less choice at a higher price.

The hipsters will be all over it in and acting like it's awesome in days!

Re:Competitor to iTunes? Not with their catalog... (1)

zppln (2058178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023372)

I would say it's pretty much the other way around. That iTunes would be a compliment to Spotify. I'm not sure how much the catalogues differ from country to country though. Not that I purchase tracks I can't find on Spotify from iTunes though, I simply pirate them. Spotify has a model I can live with. For a very small fee every month (49 SEK) I can listen to unlimited music. Of course, the catalogue could be a lot better but this is somewhat of a chicken and the egg situation. They need more subscribers in order to convince artists and labels to allow their music to be on Spotify. And in order for people to subscribe the catalogue has to be satisfactory. But I'm willing to bet my money on them.

Re:Competitor to iTunes? Not with their catalog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023434)

The first result for "MacArthur park" which comes up on Spotify Search is the orginal Richard Harris version (It's a 1997 re-release of the original 1968 Album version) .

Re:Competitor to iTunes? Not with their catalog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023628)

I too pay premium, and it has a lot of music I like. The absences, though, are unforgivable. They have EVERY track by The Scorpions except The Zoo and Rock You Like A Hurricane, their two most famous. Just an example, YMMV, but I see that quite a lot.

Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023026)

iTunes is a flaming piece of crap. They must keep only one developer on it. Still no auto-monitor for new library tracks, painfully slow interface. I switched to Media Monkey and haven't looked back.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (0, Troll)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023120)

Media Monkey is shit, too. I use and will always use Winamp without all the bloated extra Media Library crap, and I Play and / or Enqueque tracks from Windows Explorer, like anyone else with brains.

I can't see the point in all this "organising media" crap - if you're too stupid to use Directories to organised your own music collection, you should send your computer to somebody like me to add to their add to their Beowulf-cluster.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023152)

OK spelling and grammer trolls, GO!!! My angry rants always give you guys something to eat, I fumble the keyboard when I'm angry. Also, isn't Media Monkey some kind of malware?? Like MediaMatch Jukebox and Realplayer?

webmistressrachel - "SLOW DOWN COWBOY" - SCREW YOU TROLL FILTER!!!

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (4, Interesting)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024000)

Itunes' (and other softwares') "organising media crap" amounts to the software creating and managing a bunch of directories on disk for you. I'd respectfully submit that anybody who's managing their music collection by manually creating and shuffling folders around, and manually updating filenames should turn in their self-congratulatory geek card.

I'm pretty sure being someone "with brains" amounts to more than "right click -> new folder..." or "cd ~/music; mkdir 'The Beatles'", and doing that a thousand times doesn't make you any more of a geek than doing it once. In fact, insisting on doing something manually which is adequately, consistently, and automatically performed by software would tend to make you a luddite.

WRT to your follow-up to your own post: perhaps some perspective would be helpful when you find yourself getting "angry" over the opinions other people share about a piece of media playback software? The submit button will still be there after you've proofed your comments, and spewing bile doesn't generally make people more likely to want to spend time reading your opinions.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025648)

The problem with all that automated software is they lack configurability or interoperability. Maybe I like having my folders arranged a certain way. Maybe I store my music on a file server, and I want the parsing/sorting/searching to happen server-side. Or, maybe, just maybe, I like the fact that Winamp does one thing and does it well. It has a compact, functionality-driven interface. It loads up instantly, even with thousands-long playlists. CPU usage is minimal, and its plugin architecture lets me extend it to new formats and sound APIs such as ASIO, taking advantage of my pro audio gear.

Think of it as an application of "the Unix way": simple, single purpose tools strung together to create something that works efficiently while being tailored to each user's tastes. You just can't do that with these giant monolithic media-whoring behemoths.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027982)

Yes you can, at least in iTunes.

Preferences > Advanced > uncheck "keep iTunes Media folder organised"

Then it behaves exactly like Winamp if you want to do all the folder and music management yourself.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36040616)

If it behaved exactly like Winamp, I'd still keep using Winamp, because it's an order of magnitude faster than iTunes.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (1)

vosester (1163269) | more than 2 years ago | (#36026014)

In fact both your points are right.
The fail is with filesystems, I know I will get a lot of flack form the filesystem guy's but it's their fault for not developing a way to maintain metadata in a ubiquitous way, a media player should just be a overlay on top of the filesystem used to view and the OS should manage the metadata not individual applications.

How it work with iTunes,WMP,Amarok, etc. it's kludgy at best, having to keep the data and metadata in separate databases.

I keep my music is top notch order with album art embedded in the ID3 tag. So it's portable and because I hate having lose pictures in my dirs. But if I load my music with different player there's always a bit of metadata missing.

The beast manager I found before I got an iPhone was Jajuk but it was written in Java so I despise it more that iTunes.

I propose a new file format, like the bundles concept in OS X, just plonk all the data raw in a dirs, give it an extension, like .album, show me the album art as a thumbnail and have the info in an XML file. we could use compressed achieves like rar or zip to be cross-platfrom. They did the same with comic books, the CBR/CBZ are just rar and zip files treated differently, it keeps the raw file for easy editing, a lot more elegant then PDFs.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025528)

I'm with you... I can't stand these "modern" media players that insist on bossing your library around, when good old Winamp does its singular job perfectly. I use a spreadsheet-style ID3 tagger on any new acquisitions, which also moves them into directories according to genre/artist/album.

That said, I'm also importing some tags into a MySQL DB, which feeds a simple PHP site where I can search and spit out playlists. Very handy if I'm at a friend's house since I can easily stream tunes from home. I suppose Ampache does something similar, but I just rolled my own.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36024166)

Runs fine on my Mac. Maybe there is something wrong with your computer.

Re:Not Hard to Challenge iTunes (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024304)

What is it with the tech people and the monkey moniker? I mean, if I'm going to setup a new test box the first thing that comes to mind for a PC name is testmonkey, and I'm not the only one around here that does that. "Allright! Who has testmonkey!?" Discuss.

major "new" features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023106)

> he ability to synchronise Spotify playlists with iPods, and the option to buy MP3 files to own

Aren't those features of, well, pretty much any online music store at all, such as Amazon?

With Amazon I can buy mp3s, and syncing mp3s to my player is not a function of the damn store I bought it from! Drag and drop through USB mass storage has been around forever - I was doing that on my old IRiver player back ages ago.

I don't understand stories like this. Mp3s can be bought in a million and four ways, and syncing them to my own devices (although I don't own an iPod) has been possible for as long as there have been mp3s at all. What's the big deal here? If something today couldn't do that, it means it was behind basic functionality of the early 1990s.

Re:major "new" features? (2)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023202)

iPods (and apparently all Apple devices) munge filenames on the devices so that you are forced to install a music management application like iTunes. Apple chose not to follow the standard that every other device manufacturer was using and went their own proprietary route.

Re:major "new" features? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025700)

Well, yes. It is rather lame that in 2011 you still can't map a drive to your iPod and copy files over, but that's Apple for you.

That said, munging file names is not always a bad thing. I do that with my own music collection, rather than fussing with funky characters in file names. I extract the ID3 tags to a database, then rename the file to match the row ID. If, by some disaster, I were to lose that database, I can always batch-rename the files according to their ID3 tags.

Re:major "new" features? (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36023218)

Aren't those features of, well, pretty much any online music store at all, such as Amazon?

With Amazon I can buy mp3s, and syncing mp3s to my player is not a function of the damn store I bought it from! Drag and drop through USB mass storage has been around forever - I was doing that on my old IRiver player back ages ago.

I don't understand stories like this. Mp3s can be bought in a million and four ways, and syncing them to my own devices (although I don't own an iPod) has been possible for as long as there have been mp3s at all. What's the big deal here? If something today couldn't do that, it means it was behind basic functionality of the early 1990s.

Note to most Slashdotters - almost every time you stamp your feet declaring something unnewsworthy, you're usually missing something.

The key point here is that it syncs with iPods. Not "MP3 Players", not to a USB Mass Storage Device, but to an actual honest to goodness iPod. Amazon doesn't do that, specifically because iPods use a proprietary sync routine and can't be synced like most other players.

Re:major "new" features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023760)

> The key point here is that it syncs with iPods. Not "MP3 Players", not to a USB Mass Storage Device

So the story should then be how far behind the times iPods were.

The headline makes it sound like this is some new thing. It isn't, and the device is still locked down to non-standard mechanisms.

Re:major "new" features? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024112)

Wrong. When I buy MP3s from Amazon, they automatically show up in iTunes. There's even a folder called ~/Music/iTunes Media/Automatically Add to iTunes/ and... (wait for it) anything that you or any program puts there will wind up in iTunes.

ANY music service can EFFORTLESSLY sync this way.

Re:major "new" features? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024418)

No shit Sherlock - the operative word there is iTunes. You're still syncing through iTunes which negates your entire point. Until you have something that takes you away from iTunes completely then you haven't found a complete replacement.

Re:major "new" features? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024974)

Yes, Amazon's mp3 downloader adds the file to iTunes, and iTunes syncs it to your iPod/iPhone.

Spotify is cutting out that step and syncing directly; you won't need iTunes at all.

Re:major "new" features? (1)

Pikkebaas (1665451) | more than 2 years ago | (#36024322)

Spotify isn't an online music store; it started out as a music streaming service. They are actually doing very well, I've been using Spotify for over a year now and can't even imagine going back to anything else. The Spotify client allows me to purchase mp3's, manage my local library which I ripped from my CD's, and gives me a mind bogglingly huge array of music ready to sream at any time.

I strongly recommend you give it a try. Dont listen to the naysayers; people who complain about the recent restrictions on free accounts should really consider that a subscription which grants [b]unlimited[/b] access costs $5/month.

If they pull this off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36023906)

I will be impressed. If they don't, I wont be surprised.

Apple is a hardware company (2)

DaveOrZach (1002903) | more than 2 years ago | (#36025834)

Apple only blocks their software from working with other people's hardware (Palm syncing with iTunes) or if the software turns their hardware into a commodity (Flash on iOS.) Once you buy their hardware, they couldn't care less if you use non-apple software.

Sportify does not benefit musicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36026142)

For each play of a track the artist gets less than .01 pence

Compare that with the 5 pence or so which they might expect to get when you download a track from itunes.

It was always the case that most of the money went to the retailer, the distributor or the label but streaming media is the rip off of the century with the media companies taking a cheap (not quite free) ride on the backs of the musicians whose work they stream.

Re:Sportify does not benefit musicians (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027388)

Of course Spotify does not benefit musicians - after all, it is owned in part by the Big Four record companies... Spotify thus especially screws indie labels not in their slave pens.

So what I do is I listen to old music on Spotify, and discover new music there - which I then proceed to buy on iTunes. The latter would have been a blessing to indie artists if it weren't for the requirement that you have to go through a record label - but cdbaby and magnatune come to the rescure there I guess.

So: Spotify has value to musicians because it provides "free" advertising. The listeners can then go and buy the actual music. But do we really want to keep letting the layers between artist and consumer siphon off their "take" much longer?

Re:Sportify does not benefit musicians (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36027530)

True, streams usually pay only a cent or less but where did you get the iTunes royalty figure? Depending on location I get up to $0.64 per track. If your 5 pence is correct at all, it must be that the record companies are keeping the balance of the royalty. I think your gripe should be with the record companies, not the didgital download and streaming services.
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