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iTunes Store Turns 10

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the will-celebrate-by-deleting-all-your-songs-again dept.

Music 184

An anonymous reader writes "On April 28, 2003, Apple launched the iTunes Music Store. In their original press release, they called it 'revolutionary,' in typical PR fashion. As the service reaches its 10th anniversary, it seems they were actually correct. From The Verge: 'At launch, it was Mac-only and offered a relatively tiny catalog: 200,000 songs (it currently has 26 million). But it did have the support of the major record labels of the day: Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony, and BMG. The partnerships were key to helping Apple take control of music distribution — without the songs, the iPod was a nicely designed but empty box. ... Jobs certainly had his challenges. Vidich said he's the one who suggested that iTunes charge 99 cents per track and he remembers Jobs nearly hugged him. At the time, Sony Music execs wanted to charge more than $3 a track, according to Vidich. No doubt a $3 song price would have tied an anchor around iTunes' neck, stifling growth. 99 cents, on the other hand, was below the sub-$1 psychological barrier — and has continued to be an important price point for not only music but the wide swath of 99-cent iOS apps in the store. ... Apple bet that the majority of consumers wouldn't have an issue with its lock-in tactics, and it bet correctly.'"

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All of worlds music just for $26 million (2)

John Wagger (2693019) | about a year ago | (#43573369)

As a mathematician, the price point of $0.99 baffles me. Like the summary notes, iTunes has a catalog of 26 million songs. This means you could buy the entire catalog of Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony, BMG and small labels for just $26 million. That's kind of neat, right?

Re:All of worlds music just for $26 million (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year ago | (#43573407)

No. As a non-mathematician, but someone who is pretty good at simple arithmetic, you could invest that $26,000,000 and if you could get a 5% return, that's $1.3M per year, or $25k per week.
For that, I could have a string quartet at my house every night, a pretty decent rock band live every weekend, or if I was busy for a week or two I could buy a new car instead.
And still leave $26M to my kids.

Re:All of worlds music just for $26 million (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573459)

Exactly! I don't understand why more people don't invest their $26 million in order to live off the interest?

Why don't more people have their butlers find for them a good financial advisor?

Mitt.

Re:All of worlds music just for $26 million (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#43573813)

What's even neater is that you'd be dead of old age before you could listen to all of it. (Feel free to run the numbers, I did. I assumed a 3 minute track, life expectancy of 100, that you started listening at birth, and that you don't need to sleep.) You still can't get through it all.)

Actually I'm not sure if that's neat or not... more sad really.

Re:All of worlds music just for $26 million (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573993)

It's only sad if you think that someone would actually force you to listen to every song of the collection.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573379)

3 dollars a track is preposterous.

Re: WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573551)

Exactly.

"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (0)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year ago | (#43573387)

Close. 98c would be "below sub-$1"; 99c is the first sum in the sub-$1 region.

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573451)

Why does New York have so many niggers and San Francisco have so many faggots?
San Francisco got first choice.

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573573)

Now try reading the rest of the sentence.

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574003)

And how would reading the rest of the sentence change the thing?

98 cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573611)

Close. 98c would be "below sub-$1"; 99c is the first sum in the sub-$1 region.

$0.98 would be the Walmart price or is it $0.88?

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#43573651)

Wouldn't sub $1 include all prices below $1, in which by definitionno price by definition be below sub $1?

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573737)

Except that for individual item payment purposes (e.g. iTunes songs), cents are discreet, hence the first price actually payable that is sub $1 is 99 cents (or 95 cents in places like Canada if paying in cash). Hence a "below the sub $1" does indeed imply 98 cents. It's somewhat pedantic, but this is slashdot, and ambiguity in specification/sloppy writing will burn you in software and technology.

Re: "99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574915)

Ever been to a gas station in America ? Look closely at the units.

Now that we can all agree that sales can be measured in fractions of a cent, we can surely agree that $0.99 is less than 0.99 +9/10Â, and that not meet the pedantic parsing of below "sub $1".

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574039)

Not quite, not quite. You are assuming that prices must be integers, which is not the case. The first sub $1 price is both infinitesimally smaller than $1 and cannot be distinguished from $1.

In other news, iTunes being revolutionary is NONSENSE. iTunes and it's regressive structure helped

1) Popularize / gain acceptance for DRM

2) Convinced the labels that they could survive into the digital era and continue to meddle in the affairs of humans and

3) Funnel BILLIONS into companies, like Apple, who are heavily invested in taking a computer and forcing it to do LESS than it did yesterday (and then convincing you to LIKE it)

4) Hurt the free software movement more than Microsoft ever could have done. At least MS developed / continues to develop it's own foundation - they didn't greedily snatch at GNU / Mach (though I have little sympathy for Carnegie Mellon there) and then contribute very little back (I'm glad that Google forked webkit - Apple could never have done that on their own, they don't *deserve* code like that), all while squawking at top volume "It's UNIX! Real UNIX! Honest!". Protip: OS X / iOS are NOT UNIX. I used UNIX machines back in the day. I still have one or two in the nostalgia file. SVR4 is a wonderful, special system. You can learn it in only one quick decade, and you can do ANYTHING with it. OS X is not UNIX. Full stop.

Of course, real UNIX had DRM even back in the day. The DRM was a dongle that cost about $100,000 and had a very non-Intel, elegant, NUMA, RISC architecture. My favorite dongle was teal, weighed about 80 pounds, and had a cube logo on the front. Others might have preferred the beige / blue trim dongles, still others black / blue trim dongles that took up entire data centers. NONE OF THEM had a startup chime.

Re:"99 cents ... was below the sub-$1" (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43574093)

Your life must feel really worthwhile now that you've added so much to the conversation.

WILL BE SAID, YOU CANNOT BE ZERO CENTS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573399)

And THAT is the revolution !! Pirates of the Dark Zone Unite !! All Beware the HIGGS BOSON !!

Re:WILL BE SAID, YOU CANNOT BE ZERO CENTS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573687)

I'ts Higg's Boson, mate.

Re:WILL BE SAID, YOU CANNOT BE ZERO CENTS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573715)

Re:WILL BE SAID, YOU CANNOT BE ZERO CENTS !! (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | about a year ago | (#43573815)

Off by one error as shown by the incorrect spelling of "it's"

AC really meant "It's Higgs' Boson, mate."

Re:WILL BE SAID, YOU CANNOT BE ZERO CENTS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573915)

AC really meant "It's Higgs' Boson, mate."

So be it. They're still wrong, though, as it's "Higgs boson", just like the Majorana and Dirac fermions (i.e. not Majorana's or Dirac's).

Lock in Tactics? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#43573405)

What exactly is the lock in if I buy a song on iTunes or an eBook?

Re: Lock in Tactics? (5, Informative)

malchus842 (741252) | about a year ago | (#43573429)

Originally, iTunes had DRM on music so it could only be played while iTunes was connected to your account (not always on). They removed the DRM later for music. It's still there for movies.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573843)

Originally, iTunes had DRM on music so it could only be played while iTunes was connected to your account (not always on). They removed the DRM later for music. It's still there for movies.

The article is incorrect to say this addition is Apple's - applying DRM was a prerequisite of the music industry for the licensing agreement with Apple. No DRM, no license. The removal of DRM has only happened because the music industry finally saw the writing on the wall and allowed Apple (and others) to remove it.

The movie industry isn't so enlightened yet. I avoid buying films through iTunes or alternatives, because it is far too easy to fall into a situation where you can't watch the media you legally purchased. We moved house recently and our ISP was late reconnecting us - for that period of time (over a month) we couldn't watch any films we previously purchased online because they required an Internet connection for authorisation. I'm longing for the day the movie industry wakes up to its poor treatment of customers and removes these DRM constraints.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (2)

deergomoo (2689177) | about a year ago | (#43574349)

I don't know why you've been downmodded despite the fact that you are telling the absolute truth. Maybe it's because your opinion isn't 'hurr durr Apple is satan', which doesn't fly with /.ers. Regardless, you are correct, Apple gains little from DRM and never wanted it. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason why they never made any effort to hide the fact that if you really wanted DRM free tracks, you could burn it to a CD (or virtual CD), then rip it again. Yeah it's a PITA, but them's (were) the rules if you want(ed) to play ball with the music industry.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (2, Informative)

oldlurker (2502506) | about a year ago | (#43574523)

Originally, iTunes had DRM on music so it could only be played while iTunes was connected to your account (not always on). They removed the DRM later for music. It's still there for movies.

The article is incorrect to say this addition is Apple's - applying DRM was a prerequisite of the music industry for the licensing agreement with Apple. No DRM, no license. The removal of DRM has only happened because the music industry finally saw the writing on the wall and allowed Apple (and others) to remove it.

Apple have this perception that they pushed for removing DRM, which might be true, but it is interesting that at the time of iTunes DRM the competing WMA "plays for sure" (*) stores actually had less DRM restrictions than Apple (you could keep and use more copies of the songs on more devices simultaneously, burn more copies, re-download if license lost, etc - iTunes caught up on some of these eventually but was not in the lead for less DRM). And it was Amazon who was first with a full DRM-free music catalogue, and at the same price (at the time iTunes had started selling some DRM free tracks at a higher price than non-DRM).

This might be that the record companies were stricter with Apple than everybody else (which would be the opposite of the story that Apple used their power to force the record companies). But at the time Apple had a clear advantage from the lock-in that DRM gave the iPod/iTunes ecosystem in the beginning, so not sure how much they really disliked this situation for a while at least.

(*) Plays for sure became a joke when Microsoft abandoned it, but at the time I used it because my Sansa player supported it.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43575693)

windows drm was never ported to macs (not even in the quicktime wmv component microsoft sells. apple drm played on mac and windows)

Re: Lock in Tactics? (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#43574107)

That is incorrect. You could play titles without being online. And you could export even the DRM titles as mp3, to burn them on CDs.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43574507)

While you are correct, The real issue is not for people reading /.

for example, how many of our mothers and fathers would know that? how many of them even know what DRM is? It will not be until they buy new devices they realize that they can no longer access their music / movie collection.*

* - i know itunes music is no longer DRM bloated, however the movies are and not everyone stripped the DRM, or even knows how to from their songs bought 10 years ago

Re: Lock in Tactics? (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#43575179)

for example, how many of our mothers and fathers would know that? how many of them even know what DRM is? It will not be until they buy new devices they

Creating a CD from an iTunes playlist is very apparent. Once you create a playlist the "burn cd" button is on the same window.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43575459)

and how many machines these days ship without CDROMS? My last 3 laptops were all dvd free

Re: Lock in Tactics? (3, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | about a year ago | (#43575827)

When iTunes music had DRM, most computers had CD-RW's.

For the past 5 years, all iTunes music has been sold as unencrypted AAC files that can be played on any phone.

Before anyone else posts, AAC is not an Apple format, was standardised years before the iPod was introduced, and is one of the required supported formats for Android.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (1)

malchus842 (741252) | about a year ago | (#43575051)

Note that I said "Not always on." In other words, the account needed to be connected to your iTunes and authenticated. But it didn't have to be always on. In other words, what I wrote was correct.

Re: Lock in Tactics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43575845)

It doesn't need to be "connected". It has only ever required a one-time authentication at the device level. There are no recurring checks or persistent connections, either always or sometimes. In fact, you can purchase and download on one device and then copy those files to any other authorized device manually and they will play. No need to connect to anything.

You said it would only play "while iTunes was connected to your account (not always on)"--that's not correct. iTunes does not connect to your account except as momentary authentications for new purchases. Disconnect from iTunes and your music/movies still play just fine.

Question (3, Insightful)

olip85 (1770514) | about a year ago | (#43573427)

I thought software was supposed to improve with time?

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573487)

I thought software was supposed to improve with time?

"Improve with time" means "make more profit for the corporation". It has done that.

What, you didn't think "improvement" meant "give you a better user experience", did you?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574151)

What, you didn't think "improvement" meant "give you a better user experience", did you?

Uhh...yes?

Re:Question (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about a year ago | (#43574261)

You were wrong.

Thank god the iPod is dead (1, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43573431)

itunes is very much part of the iPod success story. It was a horrible bit of software that should be burned with fire. For those of us who used platforms that it didn't work on, it made owning an iPod/iPhone a nightmare, and used to prop up Apples monopoly in the Mp3 players (thank god they Jobs was stopped with books). It was used by Jobs to destroy Firefox unsuccessfully by forcing people to use Safari. It tangles itself to the OS in unpleasantly hard to remove ways. Its still used to update devices!? Play turned 1 a couple of weeks ago without much fanfair, and works through a browser, or native on Android hardware.

Its one redeeming feature is it popularised 3-plane music players. Personally though I'm using Clementine which is everything right about a music player.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year ago | (#43573455)

For those of us who used platforms that it didn't work on, it made owning an iPod/iPhone a nightmare

I used my old iPod with Amarok under Ubuntu for quite some time — I actually found it easier to use that iTunes on Windows, which, for me, crashed more often than it worked.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (-1, Flamebait)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#43573603)

I actually found it easier to use that iTunes on Windows, which, for me, crashed more often than it worked.

Its hard to be impressed with your geek cred for getting Linux to work well for you when you can't manage to run windows without turning it into a steaming pile...

After all, Ubuntu was released in 2004 and the only people who still really had issues with windows crashing in 2004 were people who didn't know what they were doing. :)

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574761)

I do believe Neil_Brown was talking about iTunes crashing on Windows.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (4, Insightful)

Clsid (564627) | about a year ago | (#43573471)

For all the tales of horror with iTunes, I guess I'm the only happy user.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573613)

you used it on a mac didn't you.

Itunes is what saved Apple, not the ipod.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43573801)

You only get that here on Slashdot. In the real world, when I see people play music from a laptop 9 times out of 10 they are using iTunes to do it.

See less and Less itunes (-1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43573877)

You only get that here on Slashdot. In the real world, when I see people play music from a laptop 9 times out of 10 they are using iTunes to do it.

...Then you must be in an Apple store. 80% of the world use Android phones for their MP3 needs, and with Apples market share, also went its store. Its what you argue for in thread after thread. Short term hardware profits over long term advertising/content models from Google/Amazon. Its a niche player now.

Re:See less and Less itunes (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43574133)

80% of the world use Android phones for their MP3 needs, and with Apples market share, also went its store.

You seem to be just slightly confused. I can buy music wherever I like (well, that's Amazon, iTunes, anyone selling CDs, and some smaller players), and it works everywhere I care. Maybe Android phones are too stupid to use these sources, I wouldn't know. In that case, do Android users have to throw their libraries away and start paying for all their music again?

Re:See less and Less itunes (1, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43574315)

It's not quite that easy. Apple seems to want to keep iTunes as part of its platform lock and doesn't have an iTunes app for Android. If they were interested in actually selling content rather than locking in users you'd think they'd have one.

Do Android users need itunes? (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43574409)

You seem to be just slightly confused

Really what is confusing about the fact that Apple sell to Apple users through itunes and google sell to Android users through the Play store, and while it is possible to sell to each other now (although some Apple customers are still trapped by DRM...unless they pay a premium) in practice it happens less, and in Apples case...Apple don't allow alternative stores on their (not your) devices, so buying from Amazon has extra problems :), and management of mp3's again on their (not your) device relies on itunes!?

Re:Do Android users need itunes? (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43574863)

pple don't allow alternative stores on their (not your) devices, so buying from Amazon has extra problems :)

Are you clueless or just trying to be obnoxious? Any music that you buy from Amazon ends up in your iTunes library automatically. There is an amazingly simple API that you can use to put songs into the iTunes library: Just move it into the folder "~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes". Which is what Amazon does.

I'm Sexy :) (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43575271)

you can use to put songs into the iTunes library: Just move it into the folder "~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes". .

That is "Just Broken", on a Android you don't need a third party program :). Having to remember such a complicated hierarchy of directories...and still use a third party program is a disgrace. iOS is so complicated.

Re:I'm Sexy :) (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43575777)

That is "Just Broken", on a Android you don't need a third party program :). Having to remember such a complicated hierarchy of directories...and still use a third party program is a disgrace. iOS is so complicated.

Remembering directories is for Android users. There's no user file handling involved whatsoever in the Amazon/Apple process. Amazon's store downloads it to that directory. iTunes picks it up from that directory. That's implementation. User doesn't have to know that any more than they have to know HTML to read a web page.

Re:Do Android users need itunes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43575901)

Are you clueless or just trying to be obnoxious?

Both. Dude's a troll with just enough plausibility to be upmodded occasionally.

Re:See less and Less itunes (2)

deergomoo (2689177) | about a year ago | (#43574423)

...Then you must be in an Apple store. 80% of the world use Android phones for their MP3 needs, and with Apples market share, also went its store.

Yes, it's certainly not like like the iTunes Store is the single most popular music store worldwide or anything..

Play is the largest online store, by every metric (-1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43574503)

Yes, it's certainly not like like the iTunes Store is the single most popular music store worldwide or anything..

Its not...that would be Play...that is the point, and Music is just a small potion of what is sold.

Re: Play is the largest online store, by every met (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574851)

Now , re parse music store.

See ?

Re:Play is the largest online store, by every metr (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43575793)

In your wildest dreams sunshine. Google sell a tiny fraction of the music the Apple iTunes Store does.

Re:See less and Less itunes (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43575727)

80% of the world use Android phones for their MP3 needs

You're still a poor liar, with little feel for credible numbers.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (2)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about a year ago | (#43573823)

For all the tales of horror with iTunes, I guess I'm the only happy user.

And me. I've been using it on a Mac since it was SoundJam so I've seen it all. It's gotten a bit convoluted when you add in supporting other iDevices ("How the eft do I add music to a playlist that gets synched with only the iPhone and not the iPad again?"). By and large, I suspect that most--if not all--of the bitching is coming from Windows users having to deal with Apple trying to carry across functionality that's been in MacOS forever to a non-native platform.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43574153)

It's gotten a bit convoluted when you add in supporting other iDevices ("How the eft do I add music to a playlist that gets synched with only the iPhone and not the iPad again?").

That's not really difficult. You make an "iPhone playlist" and an "iPad playlist", maybe a "Jim's iPhone playlist" and a "Jill's iPhone playlist", and set each device to sync with that playlist.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | about a year ago | (#43575167)

No. It's just that there's a very loud anti-everything-Apple crowd on slashdot. And since iTunes is an Apple product, it's obviously the worst possible piece of software one could imagine for what it does.

Now, I'd agree that it's by no means the best piece of software has written, and there are large areas where it could be improved. I especially dislike the swiss-army-chainsaw approach they went with. I think it's be far better, for example, if Apple broke the media server aspects into a service controlled through System Preferences, broke out the store part and rolled it into the separate App Store software, resurrected iSync to handle iDevice syncing and management, and restored iTuned itself to its roots as a media player and playlist manager.

That said though, as bloated as its become with functionality that seems better placed elsewhere, iTunes is nowhere near as bad as all the hate directed at it would seem to indicate. I think it really is just more of the same mindless Apple-bashing that has been the norm for decades.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#43573501)

Even Google Play isn't perfect. It doesn't seem willing or able (I'm not sure which) to play licensed videos on my Linux laptop.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0, Troll)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43573561)

Exactly. The creation of online music shops was inevitable after Napster and widespread CD ripping. Apple was one of the first to do it but also compromised by including DRM and making restrictions mainstream. Imagine if Sony decided Sony Music CDs would only play on Sony players. Somehow the Apple reality distortion field made it okay.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574255)

Exactly. The creation of online music shops was inevitable after Napster and widespread CD ripping. Apple was one of the first to do it but also compromised by including DRM and making restrictions mainstream. Imagine if Sony decided Sony Music CDs would only play on Sony players. Somehow the Apple reality distortion field made it okay.

Shite. Sony Music CDs being exclusive to Sony hardware would only be a valid comparison if they provided something beyond standard audio CDs. minidisc outside of Asia is a better comparison. It offered both advantages and disadvantages when compared to audio CDs.

Those restrictions weren't there for decoration. Would the majors had signed-up for a strictly no DRM store? Probably not, at least there and then. While downloads were inevitable, when would it have happened and in what form. Without iTunes Store showing that money could be made from digital downloads, would Amazon have been able to just negotiate DRM free mp3s for their store? Possibly. Were affordable compact cars inevitable, in which case Ford's original plant need never have happened?

Is Steam reality distortion field powered or do people accept its DRM because it provides benefits? Apple offered some kind of benefits here:

1) Legal method of buying music by the track
2) Easy enough interface for buying, managing and syncing music
3) Marketing razzle dazzle

No distortion field necessary. You might prefer getting music via a web site to be copied manually to a Wakimoto Industries Play-U 3330 mp3 player which you then shove up your ass. Many don't.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573593)

It was used by Jobs to destroy Firefox unsuccessfully by forcing people to use Safari.

This is complete bullshit by any reasonable understanding of what it is to force someone to do something. Safari came as a default extra via the installer and the auto update mechanism. That approach is a turnoff for me. Even so users could still use Firefox. How were they forced to use Safari?

What is your understanding of being forced to do something? You buy a ticket on the Alcatraz boat tour, part of which requires you accept a ticket that on the back offers you a free starter at a restaurant nearby. Do you feel compelled to change your dining plans because you're being forced to go eat the coupon shrimp?

Help! Help! You're being repressed!

Safari a failure. (1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43573811)

This is complete bullshit by any reasonable understanding of what it is to force someone to do something. Safari came as a default extra via the installer and the auto update mechanism. That approach is a turnoff for me. Even so users could still use Firefox. How were they forced to use Safari?

http://www.tuaw.com/2007/06/18/is-apple-aiming-at-firefox/ [tuaw.com] This is a sad looking Jobs in 2007 and the famous graph that does not include firefox anymore. How wrong he was.

Re:Safari a failure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574943)

So how does this establish that people were forced to use Safari? At best you can argue that they wanted to take Firefox market share.

Re:Safari a failure. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43575853)

If you count Safari on iOS he's about right for market share.
If you count all the WebKit browsers, he vastly underestimated.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43573773)

Its still used to update devices!?

It CAN still be used to update devices. That functionality is still there. Though of course iOS devices have been able to update themselves over the air for a long time now.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#43573835)

Speaking as an Apple fan, I agree entirely that it needs to die in a fire already.

That said, this story is about the iTunes Store, which just turned 10 and is actually pretty decent, not the iTunes software, which is over 12 years old at this point. iOS devices haven't required the iTunes software to do updates or sync for a few years now, and they've been capable of making purchases from the iTunes Store without having to use the software since the very beginning.

But when it comes to complaining about the iTunes software, I'm right there with you complaining about it. On Windows it's buggy, bloated, unfriendly towards users, and has a history of bad behavior (e.g. the auto-installing Safari thing). On Mac, it's inconsistent with other UI paradigms, poorly structured, and breaks from the usual UNIX and Mac way of making separate tools for each task.

In contrast, the iTunes Store, while not the easiest thing to navigate, does have a number of extremely nice features going for it, beyond just helping to pave the way for later entrants in the field. Besides which, it remains the largest digital music platform, and with digital music sales finally passing physical sales as of 2012, it makes sense to look back on the history first big digital music store that is currently the biggest music store period.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43575631)

I'd reverse the complaints. The iTunes Store still has worse functionality than Amazon did in 2000. Now that I've recently started selling an app, it's all the more obvious: if something isn't on the front page of a section, users are rarely going to find it. That's bush league design for a software store, stemming from the fact that Apple has never cared about helping users find apps that they might want. So long as people keep buying the hardware, having the iTunes Store work like Yahoo! search in the mid-late 90s is up to Apple's standards.

ITunes is only a problem for me every so often when I'm developing and testing on hardware. That said, I've never tried it on Windows.

Re:Thank god the iPod is dead (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#43575049)

It was used by Jobs to destroy Firefox unsuccessfully by forcing people to use Safari.

Are you referring to the brief period in which Apple Software Update had Safari pre-checked as an update option? As I remember, that didn't last very long, and it didn't change the default browser. While the default checked bit was annoying, it didn't trample any user settings and didn't force anyone to use anything.

It tangles itself to the OS in unpleasantly hard to remove ways.

How so? It installs a driver an an app, both of which are easily removable.

Its still used to update devices!?

No?

Play turned 1 a couple of weeks ago without much fanfair, and works through a browser, or native on Android hardware

I can buy tracks straight from my iOS device too without iTunes.

It doesn't sound like you've ever really spent much time with the Apple ecosystem, and are just armchairing it.

Sex with Snoopy Snow Cone Machine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573479)

i'm out there jerry

and i'm LOVING EVERY minute of it!

Fuck Universal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573497)

Fuck Universal geh zurück nach West-Deutschland.
Wir waren schon immer verückter als der Rest von Deutschland.

It's on topic!

No DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573539)

Apple bet that the majority of consumers wouldn't have an issue with its lock-in tactics, and it bet correctly.

Give Apple some credit. Jobs spoke out against DRM, and they removed it from music in the store as soon as the labels agreed.

BFD (0, Troll)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about a year ago | (#43573599)

You say this service has been around 10 years, aye? I've never had to use it. Seems like such an important service.

Re:BFD (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573621)

You say this service has been around 10 years, aye? I've never had to use it. Seems like such an important service.

QFT. Why is Slashdot covering services not used by Eggplant62?

Re:BFD (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#43573759)

And I've never installed Linux on a home machine (though I have been looking into it, to be fair). Clearly it's unimportant too? Or are we only excluding things that you've not used?

The iTunes Store is currently the largest digital music distribution service available in terms of downloads, and as of last year, digital sales numbers passed those of physical media. That you're not using a service does not mean it's not noteworthy. Considering it was the first big service of this sort and set the stage for all of the ones that followed, looking back on the last 10 years of it seems to make sense.

Re: BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573795)

You've never had sex either. Doesn't mean it's not a big deal.

Re:BFD (1)

SuneSpeg (662034) | about a year ago | (#43573873)

I sure miss the part of history before the 10 years, more han i miss using itunes. There are (stille) wiki pages describing how apple computer tricked/sued/bought the Apple Corps right to the Apple name/brand.

Re:BFD (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | about a year ago | (#43573927)

Solipsistic, much, are you?

Re:BFD (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43574113)

I've never had to inject myself with an epi-pen, so it's an unimportant medication, right?

Dumbass.

Re: BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574881)

I've never used the NYC subway, it must be unimportant.

I've never had a bee colony, bee keepers are unimportant.

I've never has the need to own a farm, they must be unimportant.

ever sucked your own penis? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573751)

while laughing like Skeletor?

Re:ever sucked your own penis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574111)

ever sucked your own penis while laughing like Skeletor?

Funniest off-topic post of the day, and yes.

You missed the point (1, Insightful)

mauriceh (3721) | about a year ago | (#43573825)

The important part of all of this is that iTunes is the means by which the industry transformed our purchasing method form possession to renting music.

When you die the rights to that music dies with you.

Re:You missed the point (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43573925)

The important part of all of this is that iTunes is the means by which the industry transformed our purchasing method form possession to renting music.

When you die the rights to that music dies with you.

Hint: Your local library probably has tons of CDs available to lend. CD's that can be ripped into drm-free mp3 tracks, and rename them as you like ( 'Artist name' - 'Song title' ). Just make sure you have multiple backups created (flashdrives, sd cards work well).

Re:You missed the point (1)

mauriceh (3721) | about a year ago | (#43574027)

I live in Canada, where this is probably legal.
We have a federal law regarding copying music for personal use.

In other locations, notably the USA, not so much..

Re:You missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43574217)

Sadly, that only proves that you own the music you borrow from the library more than the one buy from iTunes.

Re:You missed the point (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43574179)

When you die the rights to that music dies with you.

Legally, I suppose it is part of my estate and goes to whoever inherits that estate. It certainly won't stop playing. Sadly though I must say that when I die, those who inherit it might lack the taste to appreciate it.

Re:You missed the point (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43574651)

I don't think iTunes music or an account is transferable. You 'rent' it for life (the life of you or of iTunes), then if it isn't backed up offline in a drm-free format, it's lost. There was recently a case of some celeb who wanted to bequeath his large iTunes collection to his heirs, he learned that he couldn't do it.

My advice for people is to burn your music collection to disc, copying it from the discs rids the tracks of any drm (I've heard this works). Then do offline backups of the tracks.

Re:You missed the point (1)

berj (754323) | about a year ago | (#43574463)

When you die the rights to that music dies with you.

It does? Where does it say that? I've looked over the TOS and I can't find that anywhere. What have I missed?

http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/us/terms.html [apple.com]

Re:You missed the point (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43574695)

Apple’s iTunes terms, for example, stipulate:

You can’t sell or give someone else your purchase; the license is for the “end user use only.”

You can play music, video and e-book content on up to five different computers – except for film rentals.

You can burn music playlists onto a disc seven times.

You can’t make copies for anything other than your own personal backup.

In practical – but legally grey — terms, people who want to pass on or sell digital media files could simply hand over a computer or iPod filled with the digital media. And, as with other digital accounts, there’s nothing stopping someone from handing over account details and passwords before they pass away, allowing a survivor to continue accessing their libraries.

While not designed to bequeath a library after death, the website Redigi.com has tried to set up an online marketplace for people to re-sell some of their existing digital media files purchased through iTunes. But Redigi is in an ongoing legal fight in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York with Capitol Records, which has claimed the “first sale doctrine” doesn’t apply to its digital music files.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/01/04/why-you-cant-bequeath-your-digital-library/ [wsj.com]

Re:You missed the point (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#43574993)

And this is something that needs to be resolved for all digital purchases. I would be very happy to see legal protections in place to allow the re-sale and transfer of such content. Media companies fight this tooth and nail.

Who is Vidich? (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | about a year ago | (#43573913)

It would help to know who this Vidich is without having to click through to the article. Editing fail.

Re:Who is Vidich? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43573973)

It would help to know who this Vidich is without having to click through to the article. Editing fail.

Are you sure that the article says who Vidich is? Does that mean that you read the article and know that it says, "Paul Vidich, the former executive vice president of Warner Music Group and the first label exec to cut a licensing deal with iTunes"?

If you already knew that, would it have killed you to have included that in your comment so that others could benefit? Commenting fail.

The real story (4, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | about a year ago | (#43574181)

The real revolution was that Apple became a big enough player with the iPod to force the hand of the big 5 of the RIAA to actually offer their music online in digital form for what many people deemed a fair enough price to not pirate. It seems commonplace now in 2013 enough to forget, but in the mid 2000s there were very options for consumers to get their music online, and one could argue this was one of the bigger reasons for online piracy. We see echoes of this still today as the news reported last week that the HBO show Game of Thrones is one of the biggest pirated shows online, and some would argue this is because of consumer's perceived lack of options for watching it online. Apple challenged the old distribution model and won, that's what the story is.

Re:The real story (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43574857)

The real revolution was that Apple became a big enough player with the iPod to force the hand of the big 5

I agree that Apple's battle with the RIAA is the real story, but that's not a revolution, it is just trading one monopoly for another.

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