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iTunes, One Billion Suckers Served?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the drm-ftw dept.

653

Thomas Hawk writes "Apple is out hyping their one billionth iTunes download today, but is building your music library in a format that could be obsolete in the future really the best strategy? Will the consumer once again have to someday replace their iTunes track just like they had to replace their LP, cassette, and CD only to get their music on their hot new non Apple mp3 phone of the future? "

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you can backup all your itunes purchases (2, Insightful)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798481)


you can burn all your itunes tracks to AIFF or MP3,
and then backup that as many times as you would
ever want... so what's the problem??

exactly! (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798486)

as long as there are format wars, there will be translating. I'd convert to good ol' WAV myself, it's the Red Book standard encoding as found on CDs worldwide.

Doesn't work quite so well (5, Informative)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798498)

Converting to any other format is going to cause a loss of quality. Even if you go to WAV or CD Audio, if you ever want to rip it back into some compressed format, you're going to lose quality.

Also, if you rip to WAV or CD, you lose all the meta-data for the track. So if you want to know the Artist, Title, and Album, you're going to have to re-enter that info on your own.

There's also no clean/easy way to export to MP3. Even if you jump through the hoops to do it, though, you're back to loss of quality.

I just went through the hell of exporting all my iTunes-purchased songs into Oggs so that I can play them on my Linux box, which has the nice sound system. That took quite a few burned CDs and I still haven't gotten the Oggs all retagged yet. Plus there's the quality issue, which while I've only noticed anything in a couple songs, that's still more quality issue than I would prefer.

Re:Doesn't work quite so well (2, Informative)

bob whoops (808543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798525)

Linux can play .m4a files.

Re:Doesn't work quite so well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798643)

Legally? I think not.

Since you are going to prison anyways, you might as well skip a step and just download the MP3s from eMule.

Re:works half as well... (4, Informative)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798537)


> Converting to any other format is going to cause a loss of quality.
> Even if you go to WAV or CD Audio, if you ever want to rip it back
> into some compressed format, you're going to lose quality.

the quality you get from converting from aac > aiff will BE what you hear,
because the aac file has to decompress for you to hear it!! -- so it is not
less quality doing your aac backup to AIFF (and then you could convert
back to apple-lossless encoding if you want to save some space).

your second point, however, is correct -- you will lose quality
if you convert back from aiff TO some other lossless format,
due to dithering and artifacts.

in short:
i) lossy (aac) -> lossless (aiff) = no quality loss
ii) lossy (aac) -> lossless (aiff) -> lossy (mp3/ogg/whatever) = quality loss

Re:works half as well... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798552)

Note to confused faggots: CDs don't really use AIFF. It just looks that way in the GCI (Gay Computing Interface, commonly known as the Finder).

Re:works half as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798564)

Thanks, Captain Obvious!

Re:works half as well... (1)

Chrispy1000000 the 2 (624021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798597)

Actually, some lossless encoders tend to *enhance* artifacts that wern't previously there. So sometimes, they do sound worse.

Re:works half as well... (2, Informative)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798634)

Actually, some lossless encoders tend to *enhance* artifacts that wern't previously there. So sometimes, they do sound worse.

If the putatively "lossless" encoder produces output that decodes to anything other than what the original input decodes to, then by definition it was not lossless.

(If the way I phrased that sounds odd, I wrote it to handle the MP3 -> FLAC "direct" encoding case. "Encodes to anything other than its input" isn't quite right in that case. I'm sure you can FLAC an MP3 file with the right command line argument but you won't get much out of it.)

Thus, if a lossless encoder adds artefacts, it is, ipso facto, not lossless.

Given the relative ease of testing a lossless encoder/decoder combo and the testing any one you've ever heard of has gone through, I find it far more likely that either A: An encoder you think is lossless is in fact lossy, B: You've got a serious flaw in your encoding software (rice up our Gentoo install too much, maybe?) or C: You're full of shit.

Re:works half as well... (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798622)

Out of curiosity, would an AAC -> AIFF -> AAC conversion reduce quality? Or would the second AAC sound exactly like the first?

In general, different. (2, Informative)

Cybert14 (952427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798644)

Remember, it's AIFF -> AAC -> AIFF -> AAC. The first AIFF is the original, and the second AIFF has lost some of the information. Keep doing it and you probably end up with a concert A sine wave :) .

Re:Doesn't work quite so well (1)

bark (582535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798585)

So what if the quality is lost? Are you one of those people who refuse to let go of their 50 year old, heavily scratched up LP's because you fear quality will be "lost" once you start buying CD's? Lossy compressed Music of future years is likely to be higher quality than real CD's of current year. In 50 years, will you be whining about how your AAC -> MP3 conversion caused you to looks quality when there are holographic sound being sold?

Get with the times. Nothing is supposed to last forever in this world, even your precious mp3 music.

Re:Doesn't work quite so well (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798633)

Even if you go to WAV or CD Audio, if you ever want to rip it back into some compressed format, you're going to lose quality.

Converting to CD audio ("AIFF") format is not going to lose anything. it's the conversion process back to MP3 (recompressing) that is going to cause quality loss. And if you are thinking future, do you really think we will be bothering to compress anything in the future? (do you really need to compress your 60mb AIFFs to 9mb MP3s to fit them on that 6TB mini CD?)

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (0)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798508)

Yes but you can only do this with an older version of itunes. itunes 6 only allows you to burn 5 CDs then burning is locked out forever. apple changed this in 2005.

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798524)

This is captian obvious speaking:
you only need to be able to burn one CD ;) ;)
-nB

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798550)

Ok captain obvious... what if I like making compilation CDs and a song ends up on several of them? That's something I happen to like to do and I know that there a few songs that have ended up on more than a few compilations.

Of course it's no problem for me because I REFUSE to purchase low-quality Digitally Restricted Music (That's REALLY what DRM stands for).

-S

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798556)

one burnt CD can then be ripped endlessly.
-nB

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798558)

Make CD. Rip CD. Make new CDs from ripped, unencumbered music.

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798631)

what if I like making compilation CDs and a song ends up on several of them? That's something I happen to like to do and I know that there a few songs that have ended up on more than a few compilations.

You don't seem to understand how iTunes DRM works. You can burn a particular song onto an infinite number of CDs, there's no limit there. The only thing limited is how many times a particular playlist can be burned. but you can have a track in all the different playlists you desire.

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (4, Informative)

cmdrbuzz (681767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798548)

itunes 6 only allows you to burn 5 CDs then burning is locked out forever.

Got any proof of this, because iTunes 6 on my Mac says:

If your playlist includes songs that were purchased from the iTunes Music Store, you can only burn seven copies of the playlist to an audio CD. You may have exceeded the number of times you can burn this playlist.
You can then create a new playlist with your iTunes Music Store songs on and burn again 7 more times....

Maybe your getting confused with the play protected songs on 5 authorized computers at a time?

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798580)

What the hell are you talking about? iTunes allows you to burn up to 7 copies of the same playlist. You can change the playlist and burn 7 more if you want. There are no limits to the number of times you can burn a song....

The only limit is to the number of times you can burn a single playlist (i.e. burning a copy of a CD for your friends with all the tracks in order). This is spelled out in the Terms of Service [apple.com] .

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (0)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798601)

Well it used to be ten didn't it. What happens when apple reduce it to zero and don't provide the old versions of itunes with the keys to play itunes music? what happens if apple decide you only get to play 5 songs a day. Apple already reduced your rights down from ten to seven. they get control over "your" music. this is the problem. What happens when you no longer find apple's terms which you are bound to, acceptable?

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798626)

5, 6, 7 or 10 copies. What does it change?

You are buying the right to listen at a specific song/music, didn't you? So, when imposed a restriction on the number of copies you may want to do for your private and personal use for whatever reason, you are denied the right you just bought and gave money for.

Re:you can backup all your itunes purchases (1)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798618)

Yeah, I can think of no better way of spending my time than burning and re-ripping everysong I own.

Not very likely (5, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798483)

I understand how media can be obsoleted when players for that media are no longer available. However, it's much more difficult to make a data format unuseable.

Surely that can only occur if the format can only be read by a non-open source application that is only available in binary format and where the hardware to run that program becomes unavailable. I suppose it could also happen if the media you use for your iTunes storage becomes obsolete and you don't remember to copy your music to another media format.

I think a billion downloads (and counting) will ensure that iTunes music will remain playable for a long time to come and will sound just as good then as it does now.

DRM makes it unusable (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798516)

The songs bought in iTMS are DRM protected. They cannot be played on computers or devices that are not authorized by iTMS. So, if iTMS ever goes under, or you somehow lose the ability to access iTMS (only machines that run iTunes can do this), your songs will then only play on the devices they've been authenticated on. And when those devices are obsolete, you're stuck with no way to get the songs to play on your new devices, unless they're Apple-approved.

Not only that (5, Funny)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798485)

But when the sun explodes your music won't play whatever format it's in! And what does Apple do about this? Nothing!.

It's a class action suit waiting to happen.

Worst post ever (3, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798487)

This post is just stupid. It's full of lies. How did this get onto the main page?

Re:Worst post ever (4, Funny)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798505)

Like all other lame articles did. Surprisingly though, Dvorak seems not to be involved this time.

Re:Worst post ever (1)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798549)

I totally agree with you. This guy is so full of himself that it gets in the way of objectively comparing and contrasting the benefits of iTMS and its proprietary format with regular mp3s without DRM.

Sounds like just another rant from someone who doesn't like the fact that Apple succeeded in something.

dupe... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798488)

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/02/24/ 0617244 [slashdot.org]

(damn lame time filter...)

Re:dupe... (1)

xerxesdaphat (767728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798536)

Hey. Different story. Different aspect. Not a dupe.

Durability (2, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798492)

I think part of people's willingness to upgrade is that they see the obsoleteness of the older format. Its a little bit harder to see that CDs are lower quality and less durable than DVDs or mp3s. mp3s would probably last longer because they would just move from hard drive to hard drive and never lose quality.

Re:Durability (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798512)

Err, less durable than dvds? dude, I've had CDs take real beatings and whatnot, and they remained playable, DVDs ont he other hand complain loudly from the smallest scratch it seems.

Re:Durability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798583)

how does a cd lose quality?? and how is a compressed drm'ed lossy format better quality than an audio cd?

Pimp my blog (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798494)

... and post something ranting about DRM.

Blogger admits he has never used service. Does not address the fact that you CAN covert to another format if you wish.

Is iTunes perfect? No. But I have purchased 20x more music than what I would have otherwise.

And even if iTunes shut down tomorrow, I would lose 0% of my music.

Only thing I wish is that it would serve up a higher bit rate....

Is this article baiting? (4, Insightful)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798495)

Look, I have an iBook, but have bought very little from iTunes Store, however I think everyone understands Apple's decision to go with an audio format that would support a DRM; which they see as key to keep the people coming to them for tracks, and not to someone else who just bought them. It *is* annoying that you can only play the tracks on 'authorized' systems, and the other contrastrants, but people know this. By your arguement then people that bought games for Nintendo 64 were 'suckers' because they bought a game that was 'locked in' to a certain platform and wouldn't play on the Gamecube.

In this throwaway society of ours I really think that for most people the idea that something they buy might not always be around forever is OK. Hell, I guess we could start talking about other things too, cars, cameras, hot water heaters, etc...

Re:Is this article baiting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798557)

I have every album I've ever bought, and I still enjoy albums I bought 30 years ago, although I long ago ripped the vinyl and play the result on my computer.

So yes, I also have no use for paying for music that's in a secret DRM'd format held hostage to one company.

Re:Is this article baiting? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798612)

If you are happy with vinyl -> mp3, then I think you probably won't care much about the slight loss of quality you get from protected AAC -> mp3. Also, some of the mp3s that I've gotten from the P2P networks sound like they were recorded under water... if someone is happy listening to them, then I am certain that they won't care about the AAC -> MP3 conversion.

That said, I haven't bought anything from iTMS since Hymn stopped working on iTunes 6.

Re:Is this article baiting? (1)

Jongpil Yun (950511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798561)

No, people who bought games for the N64 other than a select few Nintendo titles were suckers for an entirely different reason.

Re:Is this article baiting? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798610)

Crappy games? Not really true. Back in the days of N64 there were a few firms (HAL Labs, Rare) that third-party developed exclusively for Nintendo and made damn good games doing it.

You might be able to guess that I keep my N64 around.

Welcome... (1)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798496)

...to the world of free software. If ever the iTunes format becomes obsolete, someone will just write a conversion algorithm that will convert your entire library to the new format.

And, since I seem to recall that copyright law allows you to convert any digital media you purchase from one format to another, this will be a perfectly legal activity, regardless of how much DRM the software writer has to break through to do it.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798511)

Enjoy the quality loss.

Fucking morons.

Re:Welcome... (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798565)

It's a good thing you can convert from one lossy format to another without making your music sound like crap.

Um, oh yeah...

Re:Welcome... (3, Insightful)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798571)

I seem to recall that copyright law allows you to convert any digital media you purchase from one format to another

Then you haven't looked at copyright law since the mid-1990s. Prior to the DMCA, US law worked as you remember. But post-DMCA, the mere act of decrypting your own files or any other way to circumvent a content access control is illegal. You have the right to copy, but not to break the DRM to do it.

The analogy I give my students is that when a friend has your CD you have the right to get it back. You do not, however, have the right to break into his house to get it. The analogy is imperfect, since the DMCA bans you from breaking into your own house, so to speak. But you get the point: No bypassing copy protection ever, for any reason, without explicit consent from the content provider. Oh, and it also turns out that simply downloading the tools to break DRM ("trafficking" in the law's terms) is also a felony, even if you never actually crack the DRM.

It's a brave new world, folks.

Re:Welcome... (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798623)

this will be a perfectly legal activity, regardless of how much DRM the software writer has to break through to do it.

Uh-huh. And you've heard of the DMCA, right? Breaking the DRM is illegal, regardless of whether you think your cause is noble or not.

-S

Hymn? (2)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798500)

Why not just run your purchased songs through Hymn to remove the protection?

Re:Hymn? (2)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798570)

Good plan ... unless you "upgrade" to iTunes 6+, in which it won't work anymore. Stick w/ iTunes >6.n if you wanna do this.

It's a dollar. Or twenty. Or two hundred. So? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798502)

I always find it amusing to hear people use the word "sucker" when talking about a person paying $0.99 for a bit of portable entertainment they like from a musician they respect... as they drive in their car - which they'll never fully own, on which they'll pay thousnds in interest - to a friend's house, where they'll talk about how smart they are ("Ogg Vorbis, dude!") while they drink $2.00 imported beers that will only be in their collection for about an hour.

Re:It's a dollar. Or twenty. Or two hundred. So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798551)

I call these morons suckers. And I own my car and I don't drink beer at all and a large portion of my collection is ogg vorbis. Although I didn't author this article, your assumptions hold no merit.

Asshole.

Re:It's a dollar. Or twenty. Or two hundred. So? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798639)

Although I didn't author this article, your assumptions hold no merit.

Oh, come on. You know exactly who I'm talking about. The world is full of people making far sillier (and short-termed) use of way more money than most people will ever spend on iTunes. Never mind that TFA is full of crap in the first place (MP3's, which you can produce directly from what you purchase at iTunes, are not going to be portable to other players, formats, or uses? BS!), the point is that if you're going to rant about people foolishly spending their tech/entertainment dollars, just look at how they're paying for their mobile telecomms, how much they're spending to be an early adopter of a very expensive video board just so they can frag at 1FPS faster, and so on. There are plenty of suckers, but people deciding to use iTunes don't even come close, by comparison.

Re:It's a dollar. Or twenty. Or two hundred. So? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798569)

Hate to tell ya, but I own my car, bought it straight up. In my belief if you dont have the money to pay for it up front, you dont need it all that bad.

Replace what? (1)

zaren (204877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798503)

I haven't had to replace my turntable, cassette player, or CD player to listen to my previously purchased music. All of those songs on all of those medias play just fine on the appropriate devices (well, the tapes aren't all so hot - least reliable media, indeed).

No format is "obsolete" as long as you have a device to use it on, or have an adapter... or in the case of digital music files, have a converter. You know, like the converter that's built into iTunes, the one that turns AAC files into MP3 files?

Re:Replace what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798596)

Have you tried playing any DIVX-Silver discs lately?

Thought so. Without the central DRM server (permanently down for the count), DIVX discs are coasters. Due to a deliberately-engineered layer of incompatibility above, and beyond, what's intrinsic to the format.

Now if the iTunes DRM server went down for the count, I don't believe all of the Mac and PC and iPod clients would go down as quickly as the DIVX players did. Probably the authorizations would remain valid until the next time you formatted a disk, or bought a new computer (and needed to move your iTunes library).

But at THAT point, unless you had non-DRM-format backups (such as audio CDs), you'd be hosed.

Re:Replace what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798619)

I'm very familiar with that converter, actually! It also converts my meh sounding AAC into shitastic sounding mp3's thanks to algorithm quality loss! Hell yeah!

Of course asking an apple fanatic to think would be terribly absurd. I apologize.

Lame. (5, Insightful)

d3kk (644538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798506)

"Personally I've never bought an iTune and I don't own an iPod."

I stopped reading right there. It's kind of hard to criticize a service without actually ever using it.

Re:Lame. (1)

shidarin'ou (762483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798559)

I also stopped reading there. Why was this story even linked when the author admitted he had no clue what he was talking about? He didn't even understand the basics of Apple's DRM.

Not Lame (2, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798605)

DRM is DRM. Apple's may be one of the more palatable ones to the masses, but it is still RESTRICTED. The fact that they are DRM'd is all some people (myself included) need to know. I've purchased $1.98 worth of music from iTunes. Then I realized that I can't stream them to my Roku Soundbridge [rokulabs.com] in another room. I'm certainly not going to build a music collection only to have some company or computer service dictate what I can can can't do with it.

Screw that. Even if a new service pops up, if it has any level of DRM I know all I need to know about it. So no, it's not unreasonable to me that this person commented on Apple's service even if they haven't used it.

-S

Slashdot, One Billion Suckers Sent to a Blog? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798507)

Come on... the debate about iTunes' "might-be-obsolete" format and sorta-DRM has been had over and over on slashdot; is it really news every time someone posts a blog entry about iTunes? I'm an apple fanatic as much as the next guy, but what purpose is really served by another discussion about whether the most popular online music store is going to be "obsolete" soon?

Heh... I guess more purpose is served by that than by me bitching about it, so I'll shut up now.

Obsolete? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798510)

1) Burn to audio CD
2) Rip
3) ???
4) Profit

Re:Obsolete? (1, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798566)

128 kbps lossy (which is sucky quality no matter how you slice it) to CD. And then you can rip it and compress it again (or even if you don't compress it, you're still stuck with that or original 128 kbps crappy sounding file, but now it's the size of an uncompressed file).

No thanks. That's a non-solution.

-S

Re:Obsolete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798579)

If AAC at 128 kbps (or an MP3 copy made at 192 kbps) sounds crappy to you, then iTunes is not for you.

The other 99.999% of us are just fine with it.

Re:Obsolete? (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798617)

If what ever your doing in step 3 leads to step 4.
Then i guess the copyright holder (and their lawyer) is going to have words with you. ;-)

Unless by profit you mean purely personnel enjoyment, and enrichment of your standard of living.

Technically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798514)

I'd call anyone who gets their music from the internet but pays for it a sucker.

Call me flaimbait, and call me troll, but the fact of the matter is that getting music from the internet for free remains both incredibly easy and still carries an absolutely minimal chance of getting caught.

I'm perfectly happy letting other people legitimize an online business model of music distribution, because that means it'll only be easier for me to get mine for free.

Assumption (1)

Y3J5cHRpYwo (678079) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798518)

Your assuming that mp3 will be around? Or what about being able to read standard CD's? Copy protection is ruling out your basic CD player.

Kind of tangent to your point. Libraries and archivist are worried about how do we read formats that are 5, 10, 50 years old?

Blog Whoring? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798520)

Why is this guy always submitting his blog entries to Slashdot and Digg? Whining about being ripped off by a camera shop, whining about iTunes...

Who the hell cares? (1)

lunchlady55 (471982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798521)

You expect everything to last forever? You can't take it with you! And I'm sure your great-great grandkids aren't going to care that they won't get your precious copy of "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas.

suckers indeed.... (-1, Troll)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798522)

... only homos pay for what they can easily get for free. complete internalization of arbitrary social mores with no room for revision or improvisation. I'd never buy anything that I can easily get for free with little fear of recrimination. It's just stupid. My music collection is great and timeless. If they want me to pay for music - make sure I can't get it anywhere else for free.

That goes for you too, Hollywood. You can pry bit torrent from my cold dead fingers!

Re:suckers indeed.... (1)

Gordigor (789419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798627)

I stopped reading after '...only homos pay for'. Nice to see the twelve year olds are back representin' on slashdot.

"Have to" replace? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798523)

What utter nonsense.

My vinyl records didn't self-destruct when I got my CD player, and my CDs didn't quit working when I got my first iPod. I bought some albums on CD that I already had on vinyl because I wanted a non-perishable copy, but that doesn't make me a "sucker" for buying those records in the first place.

-jcr

WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798529)

You call me a sucker?!? Wanna step outside? ...

The poster answers his own question (1)

Lewisham (239493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798534)

"Will the consumer once again have to someday replace their iTunes track just like they had to replace their LP, cassette, and CD only to get their music on their hot new non Apple mp3 phone of the future?"

What, so you mean, we all expected Apple to break the cycle from the dawn of the gramophone? Music quality will continue to get better, music portability will continue to get better, yada yada yada. No-one forced people to upgrade their music libraries from cassettes to CDs, they did it because they wanted better sound quality. Soon enough, iTunes AACs will be superceded with something worthy of a switch, and we'll all buy our libraries again.

As much as I love Apple, I have never confused them with some sort of magical beast that has technology that will last for all time. This is a very silly story designed to stir the pot.

yes, I replied to the correct parent (1)

n.e.watson (835126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798535)

mod parent -1 flamebait

is it really such a big deal? (1)

uncreativ (793402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798540)

burn to cd and convert back to mp3, make it into avi, ogg, whatever

i really don't understand the arguement that the format will be obsolete. Just convert it to whatever comes out.

How is apple's DRM "terrible?" (4, Insightful)

LupusUF (512364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798541)

Maybe this will cause me to get nailed by mods, but I feel that it needs to be said.

The blog rant that is linked to complains that apple's DRM is "terrible." I simply don't understand the argument. The DRM is as lax as possible while still keeping the music industry from having a fit. Sure there are limits to how many times you can burn a playlist, but if you change the list by only one song you the counter resets. How many times have you burned more than a couple copies of the exact same playlist anyway? Perhaps the sound isn't exactly the same as a CD, but it is good enough that it really doesn't matter on most sound systems. What the blogger really misses is the fact that itunes gives you what you can't get at the CD shop. The ability to buy just one song off of a CD. If an artist makes one good song and the rest crap, you only pay .99 and get that one song.

Since you can burn your ACC files and then rip them to mp3 if you want, there is no danger of not being able to play your music in the future like the blogger claims. Yes you have to pay for the songs, yes there are some restrictions to prevent piracy, but itunes is still a great thing. It should be something that slashdot readers support, it gives us cheap music and DRM that has plenty of flexibility.

Re:How is apple's DRM "terrible?" (2)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798581)

It's terrible because the iPod is only the tip of the iceburg. You now own one (1) device that plays digital music files. In five years, every last single piece of consumer electronics (phone, stereo, car stereo, television, game console, etc etc) will play digital music. Unless, of course, you bought that music in the "wrong" place -- in which case people find that they have been screwed out of something they paid for.

So one of either two things happens. Either Apple licenses their stuff to a lot of people at a very cheap Microsoft-style price, OR the proprietary DRM backlash is going to hit back hard.

The DRM is as lax as possible while still keeping the music industry from having a fit.

The DRM is exactly what the Music Industry specified. Please don't pretend otherwise, there's absolutely no evidence.

Re:How is apple's DRM "terrible?" (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798615)

Every digital music device on the market today (with a smattering of minor exceptions) will play MP3. Burning a CD from iTunes and then ripping it back to MP3 is trivial. If you can't afford the media, get a CDRW. The whole rant is "you'll be locked into Apple's proprietary format!!!" and that's bullshit. Even if Apple *doesn't* provide a way to migrate forward, the aforementioned "work around" is very likely to be sufficient.

The DRM is exactly what the Music Industry specified.

Yeah, that's why the "work around" is so easy, because the Music Industry wants that to be possible. Riiiight.

"awful DRM" ? (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798543)

I think Apple's DRM is awful and represents a major step back for us all.

Got something better[1]? If so, don't just bitch...do it!

[1] Something that meets the needs of both the user/consumer and the creator/owner.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798555)

No.

It's trivial at this moment to convert iTunes music (AC3) to MP3.

The submitter is a paranoiac. Come join us in the real world, dude.

Re:No. (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798590)

s/AC3/AAC/, but i'm sure that's what you meant.

I am not a sucker. (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798562)

I am not a sucker -- I have not consumed the iPod Kool-Aid. I do like the iPod from an embedded-systems point of view -- good use of resources, space, and they have a good design. Unfortunately, the unit does not have the features I want (FM Radio, FM Transmitter, Scheduled FM recording, Line-In recording, mid rec). My El Cheapo Cowon U2 player works just fine for my needs.

No, I don't download MP3s, and I don't have a big CD collection. I mostly listen to SomaFM [somafm.com] 's stations, and the news FM station. No need for wasting disk space...

Yeah? Well.. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798572)

That's like just your opinion, man

you get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798586)

i'm not a fan of itunes, i prefer to buy and rip cd's. yes, that's more expensive than itunes, but isn't that the point? if you want something cheap and legal, you take the restrictions. if you want to immunize yourself about changes in the future, you buy a cd (sans drm).

so, basically, i guess i agree with the article. apple isn't cheap enough for me to justify taking their restrictions so i buy cd's. i don't think apple is evil, but i think purchases from them are similar to downloading games for my cell phone. they are only meant to last a couple of years till i replace the phone. i prefer to have my music around for years, especially so i can mock my musical tastes later in life.

Depends on who you ask (1)

Trevin (570491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798588)

Will the consumer once again have to someday replace their iTunes track just like they had to replace their LP, cassette, and CD only to get their music on their hot new non Apple mp3 phone of the future?

RIAA: YES!!! (ka-Chiing!)

Suckers? (1)

Velocir (851555) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798592)

There will always be a more efficient (by efficient i mean storage-wise) format. LP's were very efficient when they first surfaced. Now mp3's are becoming relatively inefficient as new formats are created. There are no suckers here, just music appreciators.

vi generated text files (1)

pigwiggle (882643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798593)

And what's next, I won't be able to read all that crap I wrote in vi either? Dumbass.

Applies to everything? (1)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798594)

I'm more than a little confused.

Presumably, based upon history, it's a case of will be obsolete not could, but that's not the issue. This argument could applied to any form of digital media collection: why store stuff on CDs/MP3s/vinyl etc. after all they could become obsolete and then you wouldn't have any mean to play them sucker! This is nonsense, we'd never have any collections of music based on this kind of insight (or indeed films or even data files). It's an ill-founded argument at best and scaremongering at worst.

Here's something that could shock Mr. Hawk too, I like buying music from iTunes and because of the way I use it I don't find the DRM constrictive. Now, I appreciate that some people do and some people make a reasonable choice not to purchase from iTMS because it is right for them. What I haven't done is created an argument name calling the people that don't agree with my choice and stick it on the front page of slashdot. I have tons of personal views on the computer industry, why aren't they worthy of the same attention?

Of course... (1)

berchca (414155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798595)

It's incredibly important not to get locked into any single format, so you probably don't want to be using that newfangled MS Word program, either.

My Wife Says Never Again (-1, Troll)

snarfer (168723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798598)

A few weeks ago I blogged that [seeingtheforest.com] my wife won't ever buy form iTunes again. She said,
"I will never buy another album online again. I feel ripped off. All I got are some lines on my iTunes. When I buy a CD I have the CD and I can do what I want with it. I don't want to look at pictures of albums someone is trying to get me to buy. I don't want anything where people are trying to get me to buy something and I don't want to pay another subscription fee. I want to see and feel the music I have."
But THEN:

My wife is in a belly-dance troupe and they rehearse at our house. Each week she burns a CD of the night's dance music and puts in into the little stereo in the rehearsal room because the speakers are loud enough for the dance practice, and the buttons for replay, advance, etc. are easy to use. But last night the computer refused to make the CD. It said she had already burned seven CDs with a certain tune on them. She had purchased the album containing that tune at iTunes. 'Rented' might be a better term than purchased, I guess. Or maybe I should say that she was alowed to listen to it a few times, for her money.

Do I need to add that now she is even less thrilled with the idea of getting her music online?

Clueless users are NOT Apple's problem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798614)

Your wife is clueless. This is not iTunes's fault.

Anyone who does not immediately burn Red Book CDs of all DRM-encumbered iTunes purchases is at risk of losing their investment. iTunes gives you the ability to back up your purchases and strip the DRM from them with two clicks of a mouse. If your wife gives money to Apple without understanding what she's buying or how to protect it, that can hardly be seen as anyone's fault but hers.

It's called Darwinism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798599)

Who wants that crap music preserved anyway? Do you really want future civilizations sifting through pop music? Or National treasures?

Since a lot of Apple's "strategy" (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798603)

is dictated by what the RIAA and the studios are willing to accept in order to make the music available, and since they have a history of happily selling the same damn music over and over again as media becomes obsolescent, I'd say that, yes, buying Apple's proprietary format is a bad idea if the long-term survival of your music collection is an issue for you.

Sure, you can "rip mix burn" and put your tracks on a CD, but let's be realistic: the bulk of iTunes users (particularly those with an already-large collection) won't bother to back up their collections to raw CD PCM or MP3 or some other format unburdened by DRM. They will, however, be royally pissed when the day comes that their files won't play anymore, for whatever reason, and they have to go spend money to replace it all ... again.

So, um, which format can't become obsolete? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798606)

Sorry, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any audio-recording format or technology that doesn't become obsolete.

Off the top of my head, I've only been able to think of wax cylinders, vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette, CD, miniDisc, DVD-audio, then various digital formats stored on hard disks, flash memory, or whatever.

Every single thing I listed suffers from degradation over time. Most of ones toward the start of the list have already suffered from reduced availability of playback equipment.

So... it seems that anyone who builds a music library is doing so "in a format that could be obsolete in the future."

Is there some obsolescence-proof format I'm forgetting?

dumass punks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798611)

why, I tell ya CLICK the younger generation is CLICK a buncha pansies, why back CLICK in the day we used 8 tracks CLICK like men! CLICK and we LIKED IT! CLICK WHIRRRRRR TANGLE @#%%^ ...wait.... modern tech GOOD! Keep it up younguns, bless you! /me fires up new fangled "laser disk" stuff nephew sold him *cheap* hmm, looks good....

Just wait until they change the DRM (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798616)

Ask someone who bought an "HD-ready" big-screen TV. It's not going to work with Blu-ray players, because the DRM isn't compatible.

Sucker!

My Backup Strategy (1)

ktakki (64573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798621)

You see, this is why I back up my iTunes purchases to a Studer 2-track open reel deck [blastingroomstudios.com] and then store the tapes in a temperature and humidity controlled vault guarded by ninjas trained by Chuck Morris. It's the only way to be sure.

I'm not a good enough coder to write my own AAC codecs, should that format no longer be supported on comtemporary computers, but I can keep that Studer running until the heat death of the universe.

Plan B involves hexadecimal, a chisel, and a shitload of stone tablets. I've heard that this is really hard on the wrists, though.

k.

What's the alternative? (1)

jcroft (23893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798624)

Okay, so iTunes DRM'd AAC isn't perfect. What's the alternative? The music labels won't let anyone sell non-DRM'd music. Since you can't legally buy non-DRM'd music, what would you have us do?

If DRM went away, online sales of digital music would go away, too. Period.

as opposed to, say, subscription services (1)

mstone (8523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14798632)

So.. we have someone ranting that AAC and FairPlay might become obsolete at some unspecified time in the future. That makes perfect sense if we ignore the facts that:

  1. if Apple falls off the face of the Earth tomorrow, I'll still have all the songs I paid for.
  2. AAC is an open standard.
  3. As of today, there are tools that will strip the DRM off the files.

Meanwhile, we have competing services that run on a subscription model, where everything I've paid for disappears:

  1. if the company goes out of business or just shuts down the music service
  2. if I want to move to a different company
  3. if I miss a subscription payment

Wow.. those Apple bastards. No wonder they only have.. uh, what was that market share again?

Who is Thomas Hawk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14798636)

And why is the personal blog from someone (apparently minor) linked from the main page? He didn't say anything ground-breaking that hasn't been said here by /. commenters.

If this were on k5 [kuro5hin.org] , I could at least -1 him directly and call it a day. Now all I can do is block Zonk.
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