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iTunes Use Surges Past QuickTime, RealPlayer

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the statisicians-and-liars dept.

281

QuatermassX writes "Forget increased sales of Mac computers, think media players. The iPod 'halo effect' shows its true power in recently compiled statistics from Nielsen/NetRatings and Apple. From the report on WebSiteOptimization.com: 'Podcasting is taking off and iPods are seemingly ubiquitous. Unique users of Apple's iTunes player should pass RealPlayer by mid-2006 with nearly 30 million users in the US alone. People are tuning in over twice as long with iTunes than with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. As broadband penetration increases we are spending more time on our computers.'"

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281 comments

The Halo Effect (5, Funny)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940857)

The iPod 'halo effect'....

I've never heard of the "Halo effect" but apparently it kicks Slashdot's arse [googlefight.com]

__
Funny Porn videos from Laugh DAILY [laughdaily.com]

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

edgr (781723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940875)

But take a look at "Halo effect" vs "/. effect" [googlefight.com]

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

Seta (934439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940884)

I think it's a reference to the success of the XBox game Halo, and the maddening fanboys that grew up all around it. Though I suppose that could be taken rather negatively.

Re:The Halo Effect (2, Informative)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940960)

If that was a joke then I'm sorry.

But if it wasn't a joke I think I'll clarify - the Halo Effect is the effect that the popularity of one thing can cause increased popularity in related things - a halo being an area of light surrounding a light-source.

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

Seta (934439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941107)

Heh, it was a joke, sorry I didn't make it more obvious. I just figured that the growth rate of the Halo game fanbase would work perfectly when compared to the adoption rate of iTunes. No worries.

Re:The Halo Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940962)

iTunes and video -- big business for Apple. Now you know why Apple's new Intel-based Macs come with DRM built into the hardware, and why Apple insisted on using EFI (roughly speaking, a type of BIOS designed with DRM as its ultimate goal).

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

TrueKonrads (580974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941003)

It should have been "ipod halo effect" vs. "slashdot efect" Fight! [googlefight.com]

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941038)

I had never seen googlefight before. I did a quick test. [googlefight.com]

It's a good thing!

Re:The Halo Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941082)

Of course "slashdot effect" would lose, but battle "halo" against "slashdot" & see what happens - the ass kicketh comes full circle...

Re:The Halo Effect (1)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941155)

Oh yeah?

Googlefight probably won't be so cocky after a good slashdotting!

On /. should be "halo affect" or "slashdot affect" (0)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941165)


Where is an open source grammar checker or close source that works with wine?

Spellbound works nicely for spell checking posts in firefox, but I want to catch idiotic crap as well.

I wonder... (4, Funny)

Seta (934439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940861)

...if it has anything to do with the fact that everyone and their dog I see these days owns an ipod. Hmm.

Re:I wonder... (5, Insightful)

fracex (591622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940888)

I wouldn't rule out the fact either that iTunes has a slick interface that makes organising your music, buying music, podcasting, listening to internet radio and so much more, really easy. Try saying that about RealPlayer.

Re:I wonder... (2, Interesting)

Seta (934439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940918)

Quite true, and given the number of iPod users that readily advocate it, the adoption rate is high enough i'm sure. Real...I don't have much to say about Real products. At least nothing that hasn't already been said.

Re:I wonder... (4, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940954)

My dog doesn't have an iPod!

But then, I don't have a dog.

Who "uses" real player? (5, Interesting)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941014)

What is this figure trying to say? Is it refering to the installed base, as in, how many unique software installs you have? Or is it saying that you have X users who fire up the app everyday to browse their music?

If the former is the case, then it is completely bogus. It is very difficult to get Quicktime without the iTunes bundle, first you need to know that they are bundled, then you need to google the link as the standalone Quicktime installer is hidden away on the site. I've never found a link to it on the Apple site.

And everyone has the Quicktime player on their PC. It's in the list of bog-standard things you do when installing e.g. Windows for someone. Quicktime, Firefox, RealPlayer (maybe) and Acrobad Reader. The reason RealPlayer is a maybe is because they have been doing some pretty shoddy tactics to get their marketshare and profits up. Things like hiding the free cut-down version on the site, so that you have to download other nonsense that you don't want.

Sounds like Apple has been reading Real's playbook. Just because someone has iTunes on their PC, it doesn't mean that they are an iTunes user. Especially when they trojaned the iTunes install in via a Quicktime download. The bottom line however is that Apple want to be able to say to the music industry that "we have X million users" when really they are saying "we have X million users running iTunesService.exe, but only a fraction of them actually use iTunes, but we want to omit that detail as the former marketing point is technically correct and way more sexy".

Re:Who "uses" real player? (4, Insightful)

Seta (934439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941071)

Chances are that they're following the age old corporate habit of following completely unreliable and sometimes unrelated statistics. For example, downloads doesn't equal users (See: Browsers, Chat clients, Websites, etc), discovering more bugs doesn't make the product insecure (See: Browser and Operating system security debates.), etc. However 9 times out of 10, someone will make an outrageous claim based on these statistics, and people, not knowing better, will write articles about it. In the end it's just publicity.

Re:I wonder... (1)

ScuxxletButt (758085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941080)

That would be the "iPaw'd"

HAHAHAHAHA!

Thank you folks! I'll be here all week. Try the lutefisk!

Re:I wonder... (2, Funny)

GingerDog (907579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941146)

Shit, I hope my dogs don't ask for IPods this next Christmas.

Re:I wonder... (2, Interesting)

tdemark (512406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941238)

According to TFA, in January '06, there were 18,568,000 unique users of iTunes. In 2005, Apple sold 32 million iPods.

That's 32 million iPods and 18.5 million iTunes users. What are the other 14 million people using to get music into their iPods? The only way the 18.5 million iTunes users could be true would be if people, on average, bought two iPods for themselves over the course of the year.

- Tony

frosty piss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940862)

frosty piss

Good. (1, Redundant)

imdylbert (856454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940889)

So people are finally realizing that RealPlayer and WMP suck. Good! Now if only this could happen with winblows...

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941017)

Calling it winblows makes you look so mature.

Re:Good. (1)

imdylbert (856454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941087)

This is slashdot. Even worrying about maturity here is pointless.

Re:Good. (1)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941173)

Seriously - you need to decide once and for all whether windows sucks or blows!

Cause doing both at the same time doesn't make any sense!

iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (4, Informative)

dennism (13667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940890)

Last I checked, QuickTime was a part of the iTunes installation under Windows. I think they meant to say Windows Media.

But, this has certainly done wonders for the adoption of QuickTime under Windows. It's the iTunes Trojan Horse -- get them hooked on a great music player and a great portable music player. As more installations of iTunes are done, more QuickTime installations as well. Suddenly, it becomes easier to convince the big websites (and small too) to put up QuickTime versions of the media. And to top it off, because of the increased usage of QuickTime, us Mac users get a better web experience as well.

Bravo Apple :)

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (2, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940903)

Last I checked, QuickTime was a part of the iTunes installation under Windows. I think they meant to say Windows Media.

I think they really meant Quicktime Player, rather than Quicktime per se. Explaining that Quicktime is a framework which comes bundled with one possible player takes some time, and it's a game I gave up playing even here on Slashdot quite a while ago. You know the kind of thing: "Quicktime sucks! It can't play full screen!". Err...yes it can, you mean that particular player doesn't use that capability.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (1)

DarthVdr (115873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940945)

Yes, I've heard the QT sucks for full screen thing myself many times. I just tell that it's a free player that won't "present movie" and if you get the pro version it will do that and much more.
Or I put them in front row (on the new macs) :D

yeah, first thing in my head about this story was, I haven't been able to download "just" quicktime in a looooong time. wich makes me mad for computers that the users *shouldn't* have access to music software like itumes.
*sigh*

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (0, Troll)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941042)

I just tell that it's a free player that won't "present movie" and if you get the pro version it will do that and much more.

Why should I pay? There are numerous, superiour players that are FREE. Some as in BEER, but some as in SPEACH.

Apple will always look bad in my eyes as long as they seek to lock people in via proprietry formats that they strictly enforce to prevent competition. Why do I need a separate media players just for *.mov files? Why can't I play *.mov files on my mobile; all my other media works just fine. Full screen video came to us via a Weezer track in Windows fucking 98. And Apple still don't do full screen, eight years later?

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (1)

Francisco_G (676828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941070)

I know something you can do directly: buy a Mac and help them gain marketshare! That's your best bet for watching .mov on your cell.

Fullscreen (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941077)

an option only if you pay, more offensive to me if they want market penetration- but it is infact available...

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (5, Informative)

ioErr (691174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941098)

Apple will always look bad in my eyes as long as they seek to lock people in via proprietry formats that they strictly enforce to prevent competition.

QuickTime uses an open format [apple.com] .

Why do I need a separate media players just for *.mov files?

Because the maker of your main player has chosen not to support the QuickTime format.

Why can't I play *.mov files on my mobile

Ditto.

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941213)

That's an awful answer to an awful question.

Quicktime, like AVI, is a container. It forms part of a format, with the encoding of the actual moving images or audio waves being seperate from the encoding of the container. We generally seperate the two in terminology, the encoding of the images or waves being termed a codec.

In some cases, both formats use well documented codecs, in others they don't. A substantial amount of Quicktime content is encoded using Sorensen codecs. These are not documented, and due to a licensing agreement, are only available for Apple's implementation of Quicktime. Apple has veto power on what devices can use Sorensen codecs.

The reason, therefore, why there's no universal reader is because there cannot be. Microsoft, to use an example, cannot license "Quicktime" except for the publically documented, publically available, format and codecs. A substantial amount of content would not play under such a player. (Likewise, VLC cannot license most of WMV, though they're doing what they can.)

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (2, Interesting)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940963)

The QuickTime Player does come bundled with the Windows version of iTunes though. Quite annoying, if you ask me. It's come to the point that I don't update iTunes anymore because for every bloody minor version I have to download yet another version of the QuickTime Player (that I didn't ask for) only to have it throw its icons around my start menu and completely ignore my preferences by showing up in the system tray.

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941002)

iTunes comes with so much shite I sold my iPod and got an iRiver. For some reason it starts up services in windows even before I start the program. It's a resource hog. Quicktime has always been a resource hog. Everything Apple makes turns out to be hogs, look at OS X. Snappy it ain't..

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (4, Informative)

spooje (582773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941121)

I understand you didn't ask for it, but without QuickTime you can't have iTunes. iTunes is just a pretty XML based interface for QT. All the music and videos are played via QT.

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (1)

La_Boca (201988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941167)

That's funny, iTunes does come bundled with the Windows version of QuickTime though. Quite annoying, if you ask me. It's come to the point that I don't update QuickTime anymore because for every bloody minor version I have to download yet another version of iTunes (that I didn't ask for) only to have it throw its icons around my start menu and completely ignore my prefernces on associations.

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (1)

DRM_is_Stupid (954094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941006)

Another confusing thing about the article is what they mean by "unique users" when they say "iTunes has eclipsed QuickTime in unique users."

It's impossible for the iTunes installation base to exceed the QuickTime Player installation base, since iTunes doesn't function without QuickTime Player installed.

I can believe that the iTunes frontend would be used more frequently than the QuickTime Player frontend (especially since QTP doesn't support fullscreen), but I'm not sure what that has to do with the number of "unique users." Also, what about players that don't report back "anonymous usage statistics." How could one know the usage levels of MPlayer, VLC, and Media Player Classic (CCCP)?

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940991)

I like how on /. if Apple bundles some software together it's deserves a cheer and a great big /. circle jerk, but if Microsoft were to do the same actions /.'ers would gather in a fervent posting frenzy of hate.

It shows two things:

1. /.'ers are Apple fanboys who are indoctrinated by Apple marketing and;

2. /.'ers don't really give a damn about the actions of others.

Truth must be modded down.

iTunes Trojan Horse (3, Interesting)

dirtfox (920178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941101)

It's certainly a hefty package. I once noticed itunes added 50+ secs to a fresh windows instalation. You don't have to used iTunes at all, If you have an iPod shuffle - you can use the "rebuild_db.exe" 9k application and simple drag and drop your music onto the player.

Re:iTunes use surges past QuickTime? (4, Interesting)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941175)

Precisely. I have been telling people for years, QuickTime is the crown jewel at Apple, and many of the most successful projects, like the iPod and iTunes, were created in the hopes of pushing QuickTime adoption on Windows.

As a web video and multimedia programmer, I have long wished for one universal standard based on QuickTime. Everyone's web experience would be so much better if we could all standardize around QT. But many times I encounter users who work in corporate IT environments with locked down PCs that are forbidden from installing QT. This seems to be a relic of olden times when online video and audio were seen as frivolous, and a big waste of bandwidth.

Podcasts with no Pod (3, Interesting)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940895)

I don't own an MP3 player, but occasionaly listen to 'podcasts' on my computer but I've no idea how representative I am.

How good a solution to general multimedia handling is iTunes? Why might a non-iPod user like me use it?

Simon Hibbs

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (3, Interesting)

edgr (781723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940923)

It is fantastic for handling all your music. I use iTunes to manage my music, even though I don't have an iPod (I play some music from my computer). Its by far the best of all the players I've tried; it is intuitive, works, and looks great.

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941130)

Which format does it plays. Are there plugins for less used formats like .mod etc?

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941232)

iTunes plays everything QuickTime plays -- no more, no less. You can get plugins for Ogg Vorbis and DivX video, but I don't think there's one for tracker files like mods.

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941243)

I put my music in various directories on my file server. I access that music with my PSP, my mp3 player, my cd buring software, and my various windows and linux machines either directly or through a PHP web front end. iTunes may be great if you are using one computer and one portable that has all of your music.
I view iTunes or any indexing, organising music software to be like using a single propietary email application (like Eudora or Thunderbird and using native storage). Works great with that one computer with that one application but nothing else. IMAP rocks..
I could still use iTunes and keep my actual files in thier existing file structure but why bother? Slick is not a term that comes to mind when I think of software.

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940925)

The mac version is very good, the windows version is very similar (which of course means that it doesn't feel as much like the rest of teh OS as one might like), there is, unfortunately, no Linux version.

To be honest it's free so why not try it and make the decision for yourself (unless you run Linux, in which case you can't)?

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940929)

I don't own an iPod either. Then again, I don't listen to much music other than when I'm on my computer. Long live the good ol' Winamp 2.0!

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941013)

Itunes works really well. I like it alot. Some people hate it and want winamp to make a comback.

My main problem with it are minor things. Like I'll type a song in the search box, release it doesn't find what I want because I'm searching a playlist, click the library and have to type the search again (no type ahead ala browser windows).

Its pretty intuitive, although I've met people who couldn't figure out how to find all songs on one album (the "browse" button seems to be a mystery to a couple of my friends who)

The podcasting is good, although its done through the "store" which isn't where it should be , even though its free. It does a good job automatically picking up new podcasts as they become available

I like the fact that its so easy to can share music from my tower to my notebook anywhere in the house saving precious notebook HD space.

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (1)

jpietrzak (143114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941069)

Actually, iTunes does make locating and subscribing to podcasts fairly easy. I started using it to play some public radio podcasts, but I discovered weird and interesting podcasts listed in the iTunes store that I would probably have never tried otherwise (Japanese language lessons, a history of the Byzantine empire, an Anime video podcast, etc.).

I did eventually break down and get an iPod, but iTunes is quite usable without one, and I still play iTunes directly from my computer when I'm at home.

--John

Democracy Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941170)

Check out democracy player. It's a much nicer general player (more video-oriented, but plays audio too of course), which supports bittorrent feeds.

Re:Podcasts with no Pod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941171)

I'm a Mac user of 15+years standing, and I use iTunes everyday. I don't have an iPod and have struggled to work out how one might fit into my lifestyle as I don't use the train anymore, fly only a few times a year and find that using a Walkman while walking in the city is the best way to get run over that I've ever known. My iTunes organises ALL of my digital music and podcasts, and I wouldn't be without it.

Oh RLY? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940912)

YA RLY!

And the thing is (5, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940914)

iTunes is sorely lacking in so many areas too!

'Automatic updates' consists of downloading a 35Mb new iTunes setup package each month or so...

The library doesn't update itself automatically...

There's no concept of 'checking for existing entries on import' - importing the same folder will just give you each track twice...

It doesn't work very well at all with keyboard shortcuts...

No plugin facility...

It's weighty as hell in memory...

but yet, after all these sore points, somehow, it's way cooler than WMP, RealPlayer, and sod it...anything else I've seen.

If Apple were a woman, she'd be a sexy slim figure - and you'd buy anything shite from her, just because she was so damn fine! Not like the fat moose of a wreck a Microsoft woman would be - she could be selling the moon on a stick, and you wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!

And on that note, perhaps I should mingle with real people some more.

Re:And the thing is (4, Funny)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941051)

I don't think Microsoft would be a fat moose. Maybe a somewhat attractive lady, but you can't shake the feeling that "she" is a "he" under that skirt.

Re:And the thing is (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941103)

I agree on the flaws, which are unfortunate.

I thought the program checks for existing tracks on folder or CD import, it's stopped me a few times and asked if I wanted duplicate tracks or replace them.

I am not sure about library updating itself automatically, you mean somehow updating the media files or the back end code? If you mean updating the media files, I don't know what you are asking to automatically update.

I thought there was a plugin system, it's just not obvious. Maybe I am thinking of Quicktime.

Re:And the thing is (3, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941108)

Apple isn't perfect, but they usually get the interface right. I use iTunes and friends on my PowerBook at home. I also sometimes use Windows Media Player for various training videos at work.

The difference is like night and day. Both can play sound and video perfectly adequately - but Windows Media Player is just so awkward and cumbersome compared to iTunes. No, WMP isn't *hard* to use, it's just cumbersome. For example, when I watch video on my Mac, the screensaver doesn't kick in if I've not touched the keyboard and mouse. When watching video at work, I have to periodically waggle the mouse to stop the screensaver starting (or turn off automatic screen locking, which is also cumbersome). One training CD is made up of about a dozen WMV files with a menu. When you start the next WMV file, Windows Media Player forgets your last volume setting and blasts you through your headphones. By comparison, my PowerBook doesn't forget volume settings between files. (Even my Linux system doesn't forget volume settings between files - or turn on the screen saver when I'm watching video, for that matter). There are numerous other niggles with WMP that don't exist with the Apple product.

Re:And the thing is (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941148)

For example, when I watch video on my Mac, the screensaver doesn't kick in if I've not touched the keyboard and mouse.

Tools -> Options -> Uncheck "Allow screensaver during playback". Been there since at least WMP 8 if memory serves, which is when I started using it.

Re:And the thing is (1)

thona (556334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941183)

To add Insult to injury.... I reinstalled my windows some days ago. The option is unchecked by default. So, the poster, basically, complaints about a setting he has set himself. Now THAT is smart.

Re:And the thing is (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941181)

When watching video at work, I have to periodically waggle the mouse to stop the screensaver starting (or turn off automatic screen locking, which is also cumbersome).

Ah, yes, that "feature" in Windows. For those who don't know, Windows does indeed go around to all the running applications and ask them "is it OK to bring up the screensaver?" so that media players can indeed prevent the screensaver from starting. Unless you have "automatically lock desktop" checked. Then it doesn't, and always brings the screensaver up. (I think it still alerts programs that it's going to, but doesn't listen to them if they say "don't open the screensaver."

This is, of course, a "security feature" to prevent malicious programs from preventing the computer from ever locking. 'Course, if you have a malicious program runnning in the first place, you're pretty much hosed anyway, making the feature pretty pointless.

So your only options are to disable automatic locking, and always remember to lock your desktop manually, or to simply wiggle the mouse every x minutes.

Re:And the thing is (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941128)

The one feature that prevented me from using iTunes instead of Winamp was the lack of keyboard shortcuts. I eventually bit the bullet, downloaded the sdk from apple, and coded up a fairly simple app. I can now change tracks, fast forward, rewind, pause and change the volume without needing to give iTunes the focus. Huzzah!

ZzzzSleep

Re:And the thing is (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941202)

For me, there's one thing that keeps me away from iTunes and on WMP - WMP's toolbar mode. I love the way that I can minimise the interface to the taskbar, so I can still access the controls while doing something else.

The real killer features that iTunes brings, namely tight integration with iTMS and the iPod, are of little interest to me, as I don't *have* an iPod.

iTunes (2, Funny)

pwrtool 45 (792547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940938)

Yeah, their Linux client is gre...oh. Wait.

Re:iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941009)

amaroK [kde.org] is a million times better anyway. I just bought a new Macbook Pro and I wish there was an easy way to get it working on OS X, because it's way better than iTunes.

Re:iTunes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941144)

Yeah, their Linux client is gre...oh. Wait.

I think the popularity of Macs on Slashdot really has shown how many users have abandoned the idea of having a usable Linux desktop system when they could have a UNIX workstation on a laptop or desktop by just buying a Mac running OS X. When I first got an iBook several years ago it was a dream compared to the headaches of trying to run Linux on a Dell Inspiron notebook while trying to get my wireless and sound working. In its defense, Linux support for my 6 year old Dell and 802.11b card has finally caught up and they're fully supported, but some of us prefer not to have to wait around for our computers to become obsolete before they're usable. If you take the average brand new computer today off the shelf, it's likely at least some of its components will not work with Linux. On the other hand, you can take any Mac off the shelf and it will work 100% with MacOS X.

Not needed on Linux (2, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941189)

It's not needed on Linux. For audio podcasts, there's amarok, which is better than iTunes. For video (and audio, and other) podcasts, there's PenguinTV (use the latest unstable version).

WMP still No 1 and growing but slower than iTunes (5, Interesting)

orlinius (181137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940939)

Did you notice that Microsoft is on a linear growth "curve" no doubt due to OS sales.
iTunes is growing faster though, so if this trend continues, in a year or two, iTunes will be the No 1 media player on the market. Not bad at all. God bless those iPods :)

Reminds me of Netscape when they launched version 4 and announced that Windows will become irrelevant as people will spend most of their time in Netscape. Is it possible that iTunes will do that in the near future as people will increasingly use their computers for entertainment (and not TV, radio, DVDs, outdoor activities, etc.)?

Re:WMP still No 1 and growing but slower than iTun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941046)

Well, if they bring Quicktime to Linux, they can increase their ipods to another area of the market.

Re:WMP still No 1 and growing but slower than iTun (1)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941089)

It's an interesting thought, certainly. Check this out: http://www.songbirdnest.com/ [songbirdnest.com] It has a much better chance of eclipsing the stereotypical desktop experience with its multimedia capabilities than iTunes does.

Apple of my eye (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940952)

As broadband penetration increases we are spending more time on our computers.

Broad penetration, however, has been decreasing as we are spending more time on our computers.

Re:Apple of my eye (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941124)

But aren't the video-capable iPods intended for watching broadband penetration?

Re:Apple of my eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941220)

Actually with all the 'online hookup spots' people looking for a quick, local bang are getting it faster and easier than ever before.

hell, why spend all night in a bar to only come home broke and alone when you can put up a profile and answer a half dozen questions and find some slut to bang.. even prostitutes are finding john doe's online now.

FrisT psOt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14940986)

goals I personaaly Encountered while Suucesses with the on baby...don't

So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (3, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940989)

In light of this report, I'm wondering if and when I should ditch providing MP3s for my podcast and switch to AAC? I know I could provide both formats but that would entail a lot of extra work.

I'm really eager to ditch MP3s for a couple reasons. First, I understand that AAC sounds at least twice as good at comparable bitrates. Second, I'm no more trusting of the MP3 coalition than I was of the JPG owners, whereas I can't picture apple ever seeking royalty backpayments from podcasters using the AAC format.

An obvious solution is to provide both MP3 and AAC files, but I'm lazy and would prefer to offer only one format. Any thoughts on whether it makes sense for a podcaster to switch entirely to AAC? I'm sure most of my listeners would appreciate the enhanced sound quality. But what percentage of my listeners would be likely to disappear?

Re:So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941111)

Oh no: you should totally do them all in ogg vorbis, then all 12 people who use that format are bound to download it :)

Re:So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (3, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941119)

In light of this report, I'm wondering if and when I should ditch providing MP3s for my podcast and switch to AAC?

You would be an idiot to drop mp3 in favour of mp4.

Mp3 is still the king. There is no format out there that comes close. You don't want to alienate all your listeners with old mp3 players (or the multitude who've bought the $20 256MB chinese cheapies)

Dropping it for mp4 would make about as much sense as dropping it for ogg.

First, I understand that AAC sounds at least twice as good at comparable bitrates.

I don't know what sort of audio files you're distributing - but do your own listen tests. Different codecs perform wildly differently depending on the source audio type & most reviews are using pretty standard music with vocals.

Re:So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941125)

Here's an idea...ask your listeners...

Slashdot knows as little about your listeners as they do about being CEOs and lawyers.

Re:So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (4, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941127)

I _only_ use AAC podcasts. The nice thing about the enhanced ones for iTunes is they can include hypertext links (so when listening to 75minutes, I don't have to work out how that strange band name is actually spelled - the link is right there) and artwork. The AAC podcasts also make it easier to precisely skip the bits I don't want to listen to (for example, I don't like all the genres of music that 75minutes plays, but I can just click on the next track to skip the stuff I don't like, instead of having to carefully fastforward and rewind).

Re:So, when should podcasts ditch MP3s for AAC? (1)

Deaths Hand (93704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941134)

As far as I know, AAC has a coalition behind it, just as MP3 does. After all AAC is part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 standards, (Apple puts it in an MPEG-4 container), just as MP3 was MPEG-1 Layer 3. So the same MPEG group is still behind the standards and the licensing.

Should surpass realplayer? (2, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14940990)

I have to say that I'm very surprised that itunes hasn't long since surpassed real player.

I know plenty of people who use itunes, but none who use realplayer.

Still, both are irritating adware & nagware (along with WMP of course)

We need a firefox for media....

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (3, Informative)

infestedsenses (699259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941027)

We need a firefox for media....

You mean something like Songbird [songbirdnest.com] ? :)

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941059)

You mean something like Songbird? :)

Yup, something like Songbird, but complete, cross platform and with the licensing clarified [songbirdnest.com]
Files that are our original creations are copyright Pioneers of the Inevitable LLC. We plan to keep the vast majority, if not all, of our source code available under a GPL license.[emphasis mine]
Songbird looks cool, but with no linux client its useless to me.

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (2, Funny)

GooglePlexity (959033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941040)

We need a firefox for media...

But how could you afford to leave every song in memory?

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941049)

The community has decided...(drums)...VideoLAN [videolan.org] to become the Firefox of mediaplayers.

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (0, Redundant)

fracex (591622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941052)

We need a firefox for media....

They're working on it, it's call Songbird [songbirdnest.com]

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (2, Informative)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941058)

I know plenty of people who use itunes, but none who use realplayer. Still, both are irritating adware & nagware

Um, which iTunes adverts are you referring to? There's no version that requires payment that they try to nag you to buy. If you're talking about the MiniStore, try going to Edit > Hide MiniStore (this may be different in Windows; I'm using OS X).

Re:Should surpass realplayer? (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941177)

Um, which iTunes adverts are you referring to? There's no version that requires payment that they try to nag you to buy.

You say you use osx - I'm not sure if it does it too, but under windows, itunes installs quicktime which is irritating nagware.

If you're talking about the MiniStore, try going to Edit > Hide MiniStore

Errr right, I didn't say you couldn't turn it off, I just said (and thanks for confirming) that it is adware & nagware.

Haven't used itunes for a while (and that was on my gf's laptop), so my memory is a little hazy.

There are three kinds of lies (-1, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941044)

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.... more to the point, statistics like this are put together in the manner required to show whatever point was trying to be made rather than in an observably fair representation of the facts.

I work with a bunch of geeks, yet no one I know, no one in my family, and no one I iSee iRegularly has been icaught with an iPod... The halo effect has some momentum, but its not like it has the impact or staying power of SARS or something. Its not a disease. Frisbees and hula hoops hardly changed the world. I still don't personally know anyone that uses Mac OS. Besides myself, I know of one person that knows the OS their phone uses...

I think that anyone that doesn't want Apple DRM will be just fine and happy with a Rio Forge MP3 player, and they are cheaper... too much noise about nothing if you ask me. What will be really cool, IMO, is when there is enough WiFi around to use something the size of a MP3 player to pick up Internet radio, or an iPod-ish XM radio tuner. Hours of music you don't have to personally maintain the play list for, just plug in the earbuds, turn it on, and viola! music.... music you like to hear, with no commercials... its iBetter than an iPod...

Re:There are three kinds of lies (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941093)

I dunno.. Drop by a Starbucks or a college campus and there are iPods aplenty. With the 18-25 yr old crowd it seems to be a hit. But that demographic is pretty fickle so who knows what will happen in 6 months or a year.

But Mac users do have that glazed over, SJRDF (*) blankness when it comes to talking about their OS.
Reminds me of that Lovecraft story:

Presently the old man drew back his hood and pointed to the family resemblance in his face, but I only shuddered, because I was sure that the face was merely a devilish waxen mask. The flopping animals were now scratching restlessly at the lichens, and I saw that the old man was nearly as restless himself.

The new iMacs and MacBooks are pretty nice though. It's a perfect size for me, and is otherwise a decent laptop except for the single mouse button which makes it almost unusable with Linux. Hopefully they'll have a two or three button trackpad option.

* SJRDF - Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

Re:There are three kinds of lies (1)

macaroo (847109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941129)

Sir, you obviously been living in an refrigerator box or under a rock. I am a long time Apple fan. OSX 10.4.5 ( Tiger ) is my personal choice for my own music and video work. It is extremely stable and is not at risk from virii and spyware and other malware. I am glad to see the World is starting to recognize the technical superiority of Apple products and software. Yeah, it is a closed shop, but they can and do control the hardware and, more importantly, the software. They don't try to be all things to everybody. Let it be known that I make my living repairing, upgrading and cleaning up Windows boxes. I work on both sides of the fence. In the 3 years that I have been in my business, I have had exactly 3 Apple calls; two of those were re-installations of used equipment. In other words, I would starve if all I done was work on Apples. Bill Gates and his Windows OSs has assured that I will always have food on the table and my bills will get paid!

I have little sympathy for real player (3, Insightful)

helix_r (134185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941056)


Real player has really wore out the good-will of its users. It is now a pretty good player, but for years they annoyed the hell out of everyone that downloaded from them.

You know...

* having to click through and read 10 webpages to get to the free realplayer whose link was always hidden in a corner somewhere. What were they thinking? That users would accidently click on the non-free version and then give up and just pay for it?

* Nag screens, annoying forms, when installing-- no real player, you will never fucking get my home phone number.

* Remember the instability and the crashes...

Sadly, I see some traits like this in iTunes. Recently, I had wanted to download JUST QUICKTIME. I was rudely surprised that I can't do that anymore. I HAVE TO download iTunes+quicktime-- whether I want iTunes or not. Screw that. It looks like iTunes has failed to learn the hard lessons of Real Player.

Re:I have little sympathy for real player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941174)

Standalone player required? Try this link [apple.com] .

Re:I have little sympathy for real player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941193)

"I HAVE TO download iTunes+quicktime"

Use your eyes much? http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone .html [apple.com]

Re:I have little sympathy for real player (5, Informative)

Xyde (415798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941206)

Sadly, I see some traits like this in iTunes. Recently, I had wanted to download JUST QUICKTIME. I was rudely surprised that I can't do that anymore. I HAVE TO download iTunes+quicktime-- whether I want iTunes or not. Screw that. It looks like iTunes has failed to learn the hard lessons of Real Player.

What? [apple.com]

Re:I have little sympathy for real player (1)

howlatthemoon (718490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941209)

I don't know where you were looking, but I find the Quicktime installer at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download [apple.com] . It will bounce you to the installer for the system you are on, but there is a link to the other system on the page. It does not appear to install iTunes. I'd be interested to find out information to the contrary. One thing I found about the article, is that when you add the Quicktime player and iTunes together, it has surpassed Real. Of course the trouble with this survey is that Quicktime is installed by so many things, that most people do not realize they have it on their systems. I bet if they surveyed just mac users, many of them would be uncertain, or even deny having quicktime installed.

Re:I have little sympathy for real player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941231)

Maybe you have just forgotten the lesson you learn from Realplayer.
Got to download Quicktime from the website ... yeh it wants you to download the combo pack with itunes but the link is clearly thier in the bottom right > http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone .html [apple.com]

They may licke to have itunes influence the quicktime install base and vice versa -but it not obligatory and not hard to see the alternative.

Plus both are free, and fairly decent products.

%co3k (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941139)

for *BSD beca!use Juggernaut either

Well, there's always... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14941198)

Winamp! YEAH! ...

What?

Listen to more Podcasts than Music (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14941224)

On my Ipod I listen to more Podcasts than music. Audio Books are great too. Nothing better to pass the time at work.

At home video casts have become a big thing since building a Media PC for my TV.
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