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Yahoo Introduces Competitor for iTunes

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the rumblings-of-giants dept.

Media 819

LadyDeath writes "After a year in development, Yahoo has launched its competitor to Apple's iTunes and Napster To Go, a subscription and download music service priced at only $4.99 per month. Tracks are offered in 192Kbps WMA, and can be transferred to portable devices. Perhaps most interesting to the Slashdot crowd is that the Yahoo! Music Engine is built on an open platform that facilitates plug-ins - both DLL and Web based. Podcasting and video playback plug-ins are already available." Update: 05/11 13:06 GMT by T : ian c rogers, formerly of Nullsoft, just led the build of the media player, and writes with information about "the the plugin architecture it supports as well as some of the 20 plugins that are already available for it. I've posted my thoughts on why someone should or shouldn't use the Yahoo! Music Engine on my blog."

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819 comments

Oh good, yet another (3, Insightful)

bodger_uk (882864) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497140)

pointless DRM based lossy music service. Just what we all need. When will "they" realise that this isn't going to cut the mustard?

Re:Oh good, yet another (4, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497176)

The problem is, either it's DRM'd or "very few songs". The condition for obtaining permission for selling many of the songs (from RIAA) is that they are DRM'd.
But in the other hand, I wonder if they could go with a hybrid service - DRM only what has to be DRM'd, release the rest as "open". (even if that "only" was to mean 80% of their catalogue)

Re:Oh good, yet another (2, Interesting)

bodger_uk (882864) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497194)

It's not so much the DRM that bothers me (although it does) it's the formats they put it in. DRM me a lossless format and away we go.

Obviously, I realise the DRM would be cracked in minutes, and we would all have perfect copies of tracks we could do what we liked with, but don't tell me this has occured to the *AAs!?

Re:Oh good, yet another (4, Interesting)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497282)

The evil genius behind some of DRM is that it's hardly crackable (except with some serious quality loss.) If it's in software, it probably will be crackable. If in hardware, much harder.
The idea is that you get all the data encrypted. You can copy, share, spread, mangle, edit it, whatever - it's useless like that anyway. When you want to play it on a DRM-based device, you must first connect to a key server. Your device identifies itself, a secure handshake is performed (man in the middle won't help much, public keys of the device and the server have been exchanged at the manufacture time), then receives the key to decrypt the song, so it can be played. Of course the key may include additional instructions like limit, so you can play it within next 10h and then it should be disabled, or you can play it once only (pay per view), or such, and the device must obey them (otherwise it wouldn't be DRM-approved). In software you should be able to intercept the key, then bundling it with the song, or releasing it decrypted you could keep copying it. For embedded devices it's much harder because you won't be able to authenticate as the keyserver or the device and the key is transferred by secure means. All you can do is to re-encode the analog output, i.e the video or audio that is being sent to screen/speakers. With obvious quality loss. Anyway, still, to obtain the key you must "purchase" it by some legal means, i.e. the DRM'd song contains unique ID with a flag "paid", then you get the key and the ID is removed from the "paid" list so when the key expires for some reason (i.e. pay per view), you need to pay again. Also, someone else with a copy of your song won't get the same key again without paying again...

Re:Oh good, yet another (5, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497203)

pointless DRM based lossy music service.

It's mainly a subscription based service. It doesn't matter if it's lossy, because you're never converting the music to another format. Ever.

When will "they" realise that this isn't going to cut the mustard?

I'm willing to bet that this does cut the mustard for most people. If you use Windows and have a WMA player, this service seems fine as long as you don't mind all your music self destructing when you stop paying. But honestly, at $5 a month for music, I'd be willing to pay that for quite some time. That's the lowest monthly bill I'd have, and I'd get to access a huge library of music on demand.

Too bad I use Linux and have an iPod shuffle.

Re:Oh good, yet another (4, Informative)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497267)

I'm willing to bet that this does cut the mustard for most people. If you use Windows and have a WMA player

But, given how much market share the iPod (in all its incarnations) currently has, the prospect of being a Windows user with just a WMA player seems unlikely. If the iPod was just for the Mac, then yeah, you'd be right. But with the iPod also working with Windows, it gave the iPod the market share it now has... which is somewhere around 70%-75% or so of hard drive music players.

Sure, there's more "choice" for Windows users with the ability to buy multiple brands of players with WMA support... but this choice hasn't been cutting into the iPod's market share, or at least not in any noticeable way as of yet.

I don't have any sort of portable digital music player, but if I did, I'd get an iPod, and for various reasons. It's compact and easy to use; it has a decent battery life; and since I have a Mac, it can easily act as a FireWire external hard drive if I need it to. The music I have on my iBook is 4.59 GB... so I could get myself a 40 GB iPod and still have 35 GB of space for other things besides music. I could currently back up my entire hard drive's contents (music included) and still have almost 11 GB left over on a 40 GB iPod.

I can't think of any WMA players that would let me do that, or at least none that would let me do that easily.

Re:Oh good, yet another (1, Funny)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497295)

But, given how much market share the iPod (in all its incarnations) currently has, the prospect of being a Windows user with just a WMA player seems unlikely.

Right. I don't think the business model is very sound because the iPod is fairly entrenched. It's still a pretty attractive service if you don't have an iPod.

I can't think of any WMA players that would let me do that, or at least none that would let me do that easily.

Maybe not Firewire, but all the hard disk WMA players can do the same thing. I don't know about the battery life.

Re:Oh good, yet another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497287)

It doesn't matter if it's lossy, because you're never converting the music to another format.

I think you forgot to include the part where you explained how that could make it not matter.

Re:Oh good, yet another (5, Insightful)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497224)

"They" will realize it doesn't cut the mustard the moment that "you" realize that 99% of the consumers out there don't care whether it's DRM'd (so long as it's not incredibly prohibitive) or whether it's in a lossy format. Ever realize how most people can't tell the difference between FM and a CD?

Re:Oh good, yet another (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497264)

well allofmp3.com is still the best!!

about 0.15$ the track! NO DRM! Online Encoding permitting users to choose the format of their choice (mp3/ogg/aac/wma/even FLAC!)

wow technology (3, Insightful)

xintegerx (557455) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497143)

$60 a year for music? I bet that this will encourage the prices of WMA players to drop, and hackers cracking the WMA format. By June 2005, we will have unlimited mp3's for $60 a year. Maybe somebody will create a file sharing network that will decrease the price even further.

Re:wow technology (4, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497183)

If you're paying $60 a year for music and buying a WMA player, what does hackers cracking the DRM have to do with anything?

By June 2005, we will have unlimited mp3's for $60 a year.

The only thing different from what's available now is "mp3". If you have a Windows computer and a WMA player, the restrictive DRM still lets you do everything you need to, namely play music. It's nice to be the first guy to say "I can't wait until they crack this," but chances are, nothing will change for you when they crack it.

$60 a year for music is cheap, especially for people like me who don't appreciate the value of building up a music collection yet. If their DRM allows you to do everything you plan to do with the music, then buy it. Novel concept, eh?

If the DRM doesn't allow you to do what you want, buy music from likeminded artists. [magnatune.com]

Not buy! (2, Interesting)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497279)

Quote:"If their DRM allows you to do everything you plan to do with the music, then buy it. Novel concept, eh?" I think you mean If their DRM allows you to do everything you plan to do with the music, then rent it. Novel concept, eh?

Re:Not buy! (0, Troll)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497301)

When I said buy, I was referring to the service. There are plenty of things we rent instead of purchasing outright. I think the subscription model is attractive to a large chunk of people.

Or it would be if all those people didn't have white earphones hanging out of their ears.

Re:wow technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497235)

That'd be unlimited WMAs, unless you want to further degrade quality.

JAJA PRIMER POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497146)

JAJA Saludos desde Madrid, España

Re:JAJA PRIMER POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497248)

Usted lo falla!

YOU FAIL IT SPIC LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497253)

TÚ FRACASAR ÉL!

Call me crazy, but... (5, Insightful)

pyite (140350) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497147)

I don't know how a music service that's intended to provide music for "portable players" can succeed when its format doesn't support the player that has 70 - 80% marketshare. It just seems like a losing proposition from the get-go.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497162)

Well it doesn't support just one player it supports ALL music players that handle the WMA standard and that I would suspect is well over half the players out there now

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497182)

half by number of player models maybe, but not half by number people have actually bought.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497189)

1) Which WMA? They are quite incompatibile. 2) It means it won't work for at least half of us. 50% of the customers out in the cold. Compare that to IE-only websites...

Re:Call me crazy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497198)

No, the iPod has close to 90% of the HDD player market, and well over 50% of the flash-player market. All-up, I'd be surprised if Apple's market share was less than 75%.

Now we just have to wait until we can say that about their computers.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (4, Insightful)

samael (12612) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497213)

When that portable player doesn't allow anyone else to support them, what else do you suggest?

And Apple survives on 5% of the home computer market - why can't Yahoo survive on the 20% of the portable player market?

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Interesting)

rokzy (687636) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497265)

>When that portable player doesn't allow anyone else to support them, what else do you suggest?

this is the biggest load of BS ever. please explain yourself. why can't other people support mp3 constant, mp3 variable, AAC, wav etc. ?

the only thing that you can be sure of is that if you have DRM WMV the only people legally using your service are Windows users. seems like yahoo is the one denying support from people.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (4, Insightful)

samael (12612) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497319)

The only reason Apple is allowed to sell mainstream music is because they support DRM.

Yahoo will not be allowed to sell mainstream music without DRM. They cannot use DRM on the IPod. Therefore they cannot sell mainstream music for the IPod.

It's not complicated.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497340)

What makes you think Apple would license AAC to any store or portable-player company for any less than exorbitant fees? What good does it do Apple if people can play AAC music bought from Napster on a Dell player, unless they get huge license fees that no company is gonna pay? Apple has a huge share of the player market, and locking people into the iTunes store is the most profittable thing they can do. It also get many of those buyers thinking about buying a mac.

Meanwhile you're dreaming if you think RIAA will let anyone sell unprotected mp3s, and just about nobody wants giant-sized .wavs.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497316)

You're comparing two different figures: Apple's actual market share, and Yahoo's potential market share: i.e. the percentage of people who *could* be customers.

The *potential* market for Apple computers is anyone looking for a computer (100%), and they get 5% of them. The potential market for Yahoo is 20%, and they will then get some fraction of that.

Of course, discussing market share figures like this assumes that only people with portable music players buy music online.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

Rhone (220519) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497269)

when its format doesn't support the player

That's quite an interesting way of putting it. I don't think I've ever heard of a format not supporting a player/program/whatever. I would have thought that it's the player that doesn't support the format, but maybe I'm just weird.

If Apple cares about their customers enough, they can release firmware updates to allow iPods to play WMA. (Well, assuming firmware updates are possible with iPods... maybe I've just been spoiled by my Neuros.)

On a side note, one of my roommates wants to buy an iPod soon. Knowing that he doesn't have a lot of money to spare, I started telling him about other mp3 players that would be a better deal for him. His response was, "Yeah, but I want to use iTunes."

How come we bash Microsoft's monopolizing tactics but praise Apple for doing pretty much the same thing with iPods and iTMS?

Re:Call me crazy, but... (5, Informative)

pyite (140350) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497283)

How come we bash Microsoft's monopolizing tactics but praise Apple for doing pretty much the same thing with iPods and iTMS?

Because, as has been said a million times, there's nothing monopolistic about the iPod. You can play MP3s on the iPod JUST FINE. Don't sell WMA, and you'll be alright. And don't say that the RIAA won't allow it, because emusic.com has been selling non-DRM plain vanilla MP3s for some time now.

Re:Call me crazy, but... (4, Insightful)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497297)

How come we bash Microsoft's monopolizing tactics but praise Apple for doing pretty much the same thing with iPods and iTMS?

Without owning an iPod or other digital music player, I can only speculate.

I would assume it's for ease of use. iTunes synchs up with iPods, and allows for quick playlist changes and updates as well.

I don't know if other digital music players do this, or if they plan to. But I do know, from seeing my friend's synch up their iPods, that the ease of use for moving songs from PC/Mac to the iPod is a definite plus for people. No finding the folder and manually dragging the files, just choose the files you want, and they head on over to the iPod. If the other players don't have this ease of use, well, then Average Joe Users might not like them.

How come we bash Apple? (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497298)

Making apple cider?

You can get music anywhere. Apple competes with radios, CDs, antique tape decks, vinyl, not to mention mp3 and microsoft.

microsoft competes with, uhm, microsoft. and itty-bitty-teensy-weensy bit players like Linux and Apple.

And not praising wma to high heavens is somehow bashing microsoft?

Re:Call me crazy, but... (2, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497299)

How come we bash Microsoft's monopolizing tactics but praise Apple for doing pretty much the same thing with iPods and iTMS?

Because Microsoft cares about control and winning at all costs, whereas Apple cares about making a good product.

So simple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497327)

If you own something you really really like, and it happens to be popular, that doesn't feel wrong.

If you own something you hate and despise, but try as you might you can't find a reasonable alternative, that feels very wrong.

This is perfectly normal. Even ordinary people dislike Windows, but there isn't much choice a lot of the time. People adore their iPods.

Now, if we ever get to a point where people don't like their iPods and they are unhappy they can't move their music, then people will start complaining. This is probably inevitable, and will be messy.

Until then, people are happy. They are listening to their music. Happy people don't complain much. It's really that simple. So... fucking... simple. Dude, come on. How is that not obvious?

Bandwagon, much? (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497149)

The lifestyle segment will use iTunes.

The power music consumers will use allofmp3.

What segment are Yahoo selling to exactly, the confused?

Re:Bandwagon, much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497195)

The lifestyle segment
What, is this the new politically correct way of saying "gay?"

Re:Bandwagon, much? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497223)

No, it's a polite way of saying "people who spend their way into being cool and trendy and different, just like everyone else."

Re:Bandwagon, much? (2, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497215)

The! People! Who! Love! Exclamation! Marks!

(with apologies to The Register for nicking their standard Yahoo! joke)

Re:Bandwagon, much? (1, Funny)

samael (12612) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497222)

You're right! The market already has two players in it! It's saturated! Once consumers choose one technology they never change their minds! Nobody else can break in now - they're doomed to failure!

Re:Bandwagon, much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497226)

What segment is Wall-Mart selling to exactly?

Re:Bandwagon, much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497324)

The wife-beater segment?

Re:Bandwagon, much? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497336)

What segment is Wall-Mart selling to exactly?


That's what I wondered. So I stopped in and checked out the prices of a couple titles. It isn't the K-Mart segment. I left the music on the shelf and bought a couple under $5 DVD's instead.

Believe it or not, Wall-Mart is selling some DVD's for under $2 which are all region. It is older material, but hopefuly the selection will expand!

Threat to iTunes? No way (4, Insightful)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497150)

It's hardly going to be a threat to iTunes. The DRM WMA files won't play on ipods, which have over 80% of the hard disk player market and 58% of the flash player market.

Re:Threat to iTunes? No way (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497177)

I heard that 97.3% of statistics are made up.

Re:Threat to iTunes? No way (0)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497200)

How are iPods -any- part of the flash player market?
"Intel Pentium 4 have now 40% of the CPU market and 25% of the GPU market"?

Re:Threat to iTunes? No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497274)

are you completely retarded? see the multiple posts above for the answer to your ridiculous question.

Re:Threat to iTunes? No way (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497225)

And this has one of two possible outcomes. Yahoo's music service bombs or people start buying players other than the iPod. If someone could create a (relatively) sexy iPod replacement and couple that with an easy-to-use store, it would definitely bring competition to the digital music world. Competition is good; lower prices and striving for better services (or other quirks) to lure customers away from their competitors...the only downside is being locked into one particular format over the other. Personally, I like AAC more, but since Apple seems hell bent on never letting others use the same format...

Thanks, but no thanks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497152)

I'm really getting sick and tired of all these competeing, incompatible and crippled formats.

All I want is a standard format to purchase music in, that works on every player and that allows me to freaking do with the music I bought what I want.

Re:Thanks, but no thanks (2, Funny)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497216)

And all I want is global domination over men, to live in a palace surrounded by a sea of sapphires, and eat chocolate all day long without getting fat.

About as likely to happen, too, unfortunately :(

Re:Thanks, but no thanks (1)

nicuramar (869169) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497304)

I agree, and most consumers do, I am sure (as do most geeks, since we "know" that ogg-vorbis for instance, is as good or better than the other formats).. unfortunately this is the flip side of the free market :-(.

Re:Thanks, but no thanks (1)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497306)

CDDA - Still the way to go for me.

Best quality, acceptable price, no DRM (at least when speaking about sane labels, providing sane, non-crap music), and a bunch of nice extras like CD-covers. With Amazon and other online retailers shipping for free, I fail to see where the merits of "pay for download"-services lie, except for the lower delivery-time.

Re:Thanks, but no thanks (3, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497320)


The biggest advantage of Apple's FairPlay over Microsoft's DRM is that FairPlay establishes one set of rules for all items purchased via ITMS. With WMA, the rules are variable. You're never exactly sure what you're getting. FairPlay is a better deal for customers, and a more understandable one.

Look at it another way. Hilary Rosen is advocating the death of ITMS and the iPod and their replacement with WMA-based services. What does that tell you about the two systems?

Support your local dmca/drm (1, Troll)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497157)

Pledge now! Time is running out! Point your browser to yahoomusic.com or itunes.com and inject us with cash so we have enough money to sue your ass over fair use.

interesting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497161)

This is great, but I'm not entirely sure I'd trust Yahoo for music content. I've tried out other music services, but so far iTunes has provided almost everything I've wanted, with a few rare exceptions. And those I've ended up having to order the CD anyway. I do think that Apple will eventually need to open up their format a bit to allow third-parties to at least play their files if they're going to compete with the increasing number of competitors. Sure, for a few competitors, Apple can hold its own. But a thousand tiny rabid dogs will eventually take down the prey. I just hope Apple learns from the mistakes of the past this time around and doesn't repeat the mistakes in a way that becomes fatal.

Re:interesting (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497184)

Don't write Yahoo off so quickly. I've been had a subscription to their Launch service for the last year, and I love it. I get to hear new bands I've never heard before and I'm not stuck with commercials or music genres I don't even like. Yahoo did a great job with Launch, so I don't see why they would do a horrible job with another music service.

Launch [yahoo.com]

Re:interesting (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497192)

Oh, I should note that Launch won't work with anything other than IE without extensive tweaking. I believe you can install ActiveX for Firefox and get it to work that way, but that seems like an all 'round bad idea to me. I'd rather use IE just for launch and know that Firefox is still secure on other sites.

Obviously, non-Windows users are kind of screwed. 'Tis sad.

bankrupt (2, Insightful)

tdmg (881818) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497170)

T3 ani i2 users (like myself) are gonna bankrupt Yahoo and Napster. Do these companies have any limits at all? Otherwise, they are doomed. I could easily download thousands of songs in a day, bursting their $5 threshold. The majority of users won't download that much. I'm sure they have educated economists working it out, but when I see something that looks too good to be true it's usually because it is and I'll get reamed by some legal clause or their company's might as well skip to chapter 11.

Re:bankrupt (3, Insightful)

Hungus (585181) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497207)

form TFA:
"As with any such music service, songs will become unplayable if the subscription lapses. Alternatively, users can purchase individuals songs they wish to keep indefinitely for 79 cents, or 99 cents for customers who forego the monthly fee."
So if you stop paying th emonthly fee you will either get a hudge bill or have a lot f useless data on your hands... until the authentication is cracked of course.

Hey George! (4, Funny)

camperslo (704715) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497171)

Forget that WMD thing we never found across the planet, there's WMA right here and WMV around the corner.

Yeah, cross platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497173)

Perhaps most interesting to the Slashdot crowd is that the Yahoo! Music Engine is built on an open platform that facilitates plug-ins - both DLL and Web based.

Maybe I can use this service in Linux, but I'm not permitted to play WMA files in Linux - I know, there are codecs (I have them), but they are reverse engineerd, and AFAIK not legal outside Europe.

haha (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497181)

I tried it out, the DRM is an annoying voice at the beginning of each song that goes "Yahooooooooo-oooooo!". Noone will copy that!

Won't play on my MP3 players (4, Insightful)

jedrek (79264) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497185)

I, along with MILLIONS of people world wide, own an iPod (and an iPod Shuffle). They are, for my money, the best portable music players available. They sure aren't the cheapest - but I'm not a consumer for whom the prices is the main selling point.

That said, my players won't play WMA, which makes Yahoo's years of development a moot point.

I guess that the millions of 15-35 year olds who paid a premium price for our players aren't Yahoo's target market.

FAG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497219)

FAG

Re:Won't play on my MP3 players (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497275)

Exactly, not to name the other digital media players that play MP3 (the defacto standard). I do not own the money to buy an iPod (and I find it quite overprized), but I bought an MP3 player which was like $80.

As for buying music?, after buying music in here [allofmp3.com] I have not seen any other store that gives me the an approximatley so good service.

Re:Won't play on my MP3 players (0, Insightful)

Rhone (220519) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497334)

You chose a player (iPod) that is designed to lock you in to a specific service (iTMS). Take some responsibility for your choice instead of blaming others for not bowing down to the almighty iPod.

192 KB/s WMA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497206)

That's the problem right there. When will someone wise up and give us lossless, reasonably-priced downloads? Until then I'll continue to use BitTorrent.

Re:192 KB/s WMA (5, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497245)

That's the problem right there. When will someone wise up and give us lossless, reasonably-priced downloads? Until then I'll continue to use BitTorrent.

Stop trying to justify your copyright infringement. You don't care about paying anyone, or you'd just buy regular CDs and get your lossless music that way. You really don't understand how to get what you want as a consumer. You stop using the product until they give you what you want. Taking it without permission still perpetuates your reliance on their product.

There are artists who sell lossless, reasonably priced downloads. [magnatune.com] Put your money where your mouth is.

Re:192 KB/s WMA (1, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497325)

Regular CDs are very bad for the environment. They are pure pollution. Think of future generations, do not buy DVD or CD media! And please do not encurage other people to contribute to the destruction of our planet by telling them to buy such immoral things. And the user did not encurage to justify copyright infrinement, most BitTorrent users are mature and more evolved than you apparently are, BitTorrent users generally only download the broad range of LEGAL torrents with artists who are sensible enough to release their music under a creative commons license -- generally they also do not download copyrighted music because they do not want to justify the facist-like MPAAs attempts at gaining more power.

Yawn ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497209)

Wake me up before I go go ;-)

I thought MP3 *is* supported (3, Interesting)

g2swaroop (814719) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497220)

(Extracted from the Wall Street Journal May 10, 2005): The new service, dubbed Yahoo! Music Unlimited, will give individuals unlimited access to over a million music tracks for $6.99 a month, or, alternatively, for $60 a year. The service, which also lets users transfer the songs to select portable MP3-format music players, is priced far below rivals' services: RealNetworks Inc., for example, charges $179 a year for its comparable subscription service.

Re:I thought MP3 *is* supported (4, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497328)

Just like Napster implies that's the case. Isn't it funny how WMA-based services tend to advertise themselves as MP3-based services? It's like WMA is unwanted by the marketplace, and service providers have to lie about it to sell product.

WMA or WMA? (2, Interesting)

martijnd (148684) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497239)

They are pretty much dead from the start. My old flash MP3 player supports WMA, so do my DVD players. The fine print is that they do not support any form of encrypted WMA files.

It must be the same for millions of similar devices out there in the "real" world. Imagine 70-90% of clueless first time Yahoo music users trying to figure out why their US$ 60 subscription downloaded WMA files just don't work at all....

I just hope they outsourced the helpdesk support because it will get busy.

paying to not own the music (5, Interesting)

coffeecan (842352) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497241)

somehow the idea of paying $5 a month, even for unlimited downloads, is unappealing if i dont actuallly own the music. As much as I hate the nature of DRM at least Apple has come the close to drawing a balance between user control and "artists" rights. as fun as it might be to have unlimited access to music downloads I think the psycological barrier of not actually owning the music will keep most consumers out. At least with iTunes when you buy a song you allways have the option to burn an audio or Mp3 cd.

Re:paying to not own the music (2, Insightful)

01000011011101000111 (868998) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497290)

Paying £3 (roughly converted) for unlimited downloads is unappealing because you can't keep a copy? Presumably in the same manner that paying £15 a month for unlimited SkyTv is unappealing bc you don't own a vcr and so can't keep a copy? (Not saying I find it attractive either, just pointing out how it could be to some people).

Re:paying to not own the music (1)

wodz Galopujacy Skle (738748) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497294)

Look from another side... It's a kind of a radio station. You can listen to this, but you don't own it. The difference is you have much more stations here... What for keep all the files on your own disks if you can get them from the net every time you want.

Re:paying to not own the music (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497310)

There is a bunch of people that subscribe to XM and Sirius and that costs more. Yahoo doesn't even need to launch a satelite, and people pay hundreds of dollars for Sat radio equipment. So with less start up costs, and lower monthly charges. I can see yahoo making some money.

Will beat up Napster and Rhapsody (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497246)

At the price point Yahoo is hitting I don't see how Napster and Rhapsody can compete. The only way for those two to survive Yahoo would be to have more music than Yahoo.

However iTunes is defintely not threatened. About the only way that that could happen is if the paid per song downloads (burnables) could be transformed into a form that iTunes can understand EASILY. If so you could sample any number of songs from Yahoo then burn those you want for .79 each. It really depends on how far the plug ins will be allowed to go. I would like that solution simply because the 30 second snippets from iTunes are not enough for some songs.

Yahoo is claiming over 1 million songs... this could be interesting. With a 7 day trial

OK reading further it appears that burnable music can be transfered to your iPod. Even more intersting

Not a itunes competer .. (1)

busman (136696) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497254)

but I'm sure it will take some market share from other subscription based services like http://www.listen.com/ [listen.com] for example.

iTunes is a different market, for different people.

requirements (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497256)

IE?
Latest service packs?

No Linux? No BSD? No MacOSX?

Competing for the majority desktop, yes, but with whom are the competing? malware?

Perhaps the idea is that if enough companies come out with stores that compete with iTunes, there will be some some of critical mass and some sort of chain reaction.

Heh. Chain reaction.

No, this is primarily to distract us from writing our congresspeople about realstinkingIDiotcards.

Terms of Service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497277)

I don't like the way there is no detailed TOS or EULA provied, untill you have already signed up for a Yahoo account there by saying yes to Yahoos's default TOS.
Sign up with us then we'll tell you how restrictive we are going to be...

No thanks. I don't want to lease my music. (4, Interesting)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497284)

$4.99 a month is great - really great. If I was running a platform that could play WMA I might even consider it but my Mac and my iPod won't play it. These format wars suck.

Aside from a non-compatible format, I can't stand the thought of all my music going away if I don't want to subscribe anymore. Yes, I can then decide to buy the music but then you're faced with "Okay, I want to stop my subscription and keep these 50 albums but I don't have $500 to lay out right now." Then what? Live without the music or take out a loan.

As a consumer of iTunes music, I am seriously considering going back to CD's so I get the full audio quality, the artwork and I can do whatever I want with it (i.e. send an mp3 to a friend 'hey, check these guys out - you might like them', etc.). While the iTunes DRM is fairly non-intrusive, I'm disliking DRM in any form more and more. I want my music for the long term. I want my kids to be able to play it 20 years from now if they want. I have zero guarantee of being able to do that with my iTunes DRMed music.

Subscription-based services practically guarantee I won't be able to do any of those things.

Who funds these things? (4, Interesting)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497286)

It must be nice to watch this battle over the niche WMA market unfold from the comfort of Cupertino. These subscription services are a disaster waiting to happen. The WMA market isn't large enough to sustain all the vendors out there. Once the first subscription service folds, everyone will stay far, far away from them. "I paid money every month for my music, then it all went away because they had a crappy business model." Tragic.

With Apple's model, there's no dependence on Apple's success for your music to play. You don't even have to depend on any specific hardware because you can burn it all to CD. $5 a month for the rest of my life for a huge library of music is an awesome deal. $5 a month for that library until the service folds and I'm left with no music isn't all that attractive.

Someone needs to point me to the venture capital firms that back things things (except in Yahoo's case). I have an idea for a company. I think I'm going to call it Webvan.

"...songs will become unplayable..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497313)

TFA says, "As with any such music service, songs will become unplayable if the subscription lapses."

How does my portable player know my subscription has lapsed?

As an aside, I read a lot of 'WMA sucks for quality' comments on /.

How does 192kbps quality compare to 128kbps mp3 (which i find acceptable for portable and mobile listening).

Re:"...songs will become unplayable..." (1)

natrius (642724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12497330)

How does my portable player know my subscription has lapsed?

I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think if you don't connect the player to your computer within a certain time frame, the songs deactivate themselves. When you connect it to the computer, it checks your subscription and refreshes the time to live.

Kinda makes the "Plays For Sure" certification seem like a misnomer, no?

The Slashdot Press Release Marketing Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497323)

Great news! Yahoo has released a new download service.

It costs only $7 per month, or $60 per year. If the service changes business model, you have no music. If the service changes it's rates to something prohibitively high, you have no music.

It is, in effect, a radio subscription services without radio.

its NOT iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12497326)

be a bit more precise please, its the iTunes Music Store where you can buy music.

iTunes is simply the player application and its free.

Why I write this ? Ive been told by several PC users that they dont want to try iTunes because the software costs money.

iTunes and iTMS are too confusing...........

Same applies to QuickTime. Most PC people think QT is a player application and movie format/codec. Both wrong.
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