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New iPod Owner Onslaught Overwhelms iTunes

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the drowning-in-white-plastic dept.

395

Billosaur writes "In the post-Christmas rush to power up and use their new iPods, an onslaught of downloaders brought iTunes to its knees, according to CNN. Monday and Tuesday saw users posting message after message about slow downloads and the iTunes site denying them entry. The heavy traffic was apparently more than the system could bear, what with the large numbers of people receiving iPods and iTunes gift cards. Perhaps Apple was underestimating just how successful they were going to be?"

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395 comments

First Post! (0, Redundant)

mpitcavage (655718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390544)

I know three people who got them as gifts.

Re:First Post! (4, Interesting)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390586)

Similar here. It'd be easier to count the number of relatives who *didn't* get iPods as christmas presents. That'd be me, my mother, and my two year old nephew. Everyone else closely related that I can think of has a new nano, shuffle or iPod, and they're anywhere from 8 to 71 years old.

Re:First Post! (1)

Praedon (707326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390632)

Is the ipod still the best portable multimedia player out there, or is there something else that can seriously give them a run for their money?

Yes (2, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390726)

Creative's products are better. Especially if you want to play videos in a format people actually use (divx).

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390800)

Which is why Creative is losing huge amounts of money. While DIVX might be popular among people who don't pay for things, it's not something that NORMAL people use. And by that I mean people who don't sit on slashdot all day wondering why everyone else isn't building robots.

Creative stuff is generally big and bulky - not exactly the mass market stylish and simple product that Apple's been churning out with the iPod.

--

Inside Apple's iPhone [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:Yes (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390830)

Depends on what you mean by better. I don't care about video, but I do care about size. The direct competitor for the iPod from Creative seems to be the Zen Vision M (their product line-up seems quite confusing, so I might have missed something). It is about 50% bigger by volume than the iPod.

Oh, and for the record, DivX is a specific implementation of MPEG-4. The iPod also plays MPEG-4, including MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) which gives much higher quality for the same bit-rate (look for anything encoded with X.264; there's a lot of it floating around).

Re:First Post! (5, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391294)

While I'm not an iPod owner, I heard this Zune thing was poised to take over the portable media market.
It did record numbers for November. It'll probably beat last years sales for December too.

Re:First Post! (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390644)

And I GAVE them as gifts (Christmas party grab bag, etc.), so I guess I contributed to the mess.

Re:First Post! (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391092)

I was part of the mess too, I got an iPod on Christmas eve, I was looking for podcasts on Christmas day and I noticed the problem. I thought it was a normal Christmas day overload not an issue. I had no problems on Tuesday.

Re:First Post! (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390742)

Actually, I don't think I know anyone that got an iPod as a gift this year. At least, not that I heard of. I know of two people that got Zunes (somehow...) and my sister got a Sansa because my mom didn't want to spend the extra for a Nano (wanted something small and simple, but with a screen). So I picked out the Sansa as a "next-best" sort of thing for her.

Re:First Post! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391024)

Actually, I don't think I know anyone that got an iPod as a gift this year.

      Maybe it's not just that people got iPods at Xmas, but rather thousands of teenagers getting a gift certificate, or permission to download some songs on dad's credit card as a 'present'.

And strangely, (5, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390556)

The Microsoft Zune store was working just fine.

Huh.

Re:And strangely, (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390966)

Which explains why the Zune support people were able to play Age of Empires. A single visitor could've crashed the server for both the store and AOE.

Re:And strangely, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391098)

That's funny. It wasn't before.

Re:And strangely, (-1, Redundant)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391158)

Yep... IIS works just fine if no one is using it (or attempting to use anything else on the server).

Re:And strangely, (4, Funny)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391360)

Thanks for explaining the joke to us. Do you have a card, so we can call you the next time a joke comes up?

Re:And strangely, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391166)

Even if it did go down, who'd notice?

Oh goody! (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390562)

It's September on USENET all over again.

Re:Oh goody! (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390768)

I don't get it. What happend with the usenet in September?

Re:Oh goody! (0, Offtopic)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390798)

They have something called "Google" for those sorts of things. Googling on "usenet" and "september" would've gotten you a very quick answer.

Chris Mattern

Sorry..belay that post. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390868)

Yes, I've heard of the S/93-AOL stuff, but had filed it somewhere inaccessible.

I thought something actually happened this past September on the usenet and I somehow missed it. There are times I'm just too busy to get on and catch up. There was a bit of panic that my source for audio and video on the net might be somehow threatened. Luckily, it's just iTunes that's borked.

iDoted (4, Funny)

Lucan Varo (974578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390564)

iTunes got slashdoted, iDoted.

Doting on the iPod (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390672)

Actually, most iPod owners could easily have a bumper sticker or wear a T-shirt that says "iDoted" with regard to the little music machines.

Re:Doting on the iPod (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391080)

There's an Illinois Department Of Transportation joke in there somewhere for those bold enough to seek it out.

So what? (1, Insightful)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390574)

So they underestimated how successful they'd be, and will quickly throw money at the problem and correct the issue.

I don't see this as positive, or negative. It happened, if they fix it quickly we'll all move on.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390706)

Damn bears breaking everything...

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390748)

Most likely it was a bandwidth and social issue. That can take a little time, although they could just reroute traffic to other centers or use Akamai or whatever similar services. They probably tried to fix the problem, but the relevant in house people might have been away for the holidays, not to mention wherever they might have called probably cost them a day or so.

Far more likely, they probably don't have to do anything until *next* year since they won't see such a flurry of activity until then. Stuff like this peters out--the people that do download are done, the impatient will try much later, the patient will get in as soon as the first are done.

Sort of reminds me when I consolidated my loans online two summers ago or so when the deadline approached. System was unavailable during day and evening hours was a crawl and erroring. This went on for a few days. But I noticed that at 3am, system was snappy. People have to sleep. I wouldn't be surprised if itunes was more available as more populated regions served turned in.

Although, if some major colleges get back at roughly the same time, it could be an issue again.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390774)

Ah, but the real reason for this "story" is because it follows the reports a few weeks ago about how so few people actually use iTunes, so this is an unsubstantiated, thinly-sourced way for Apple and their cheerleaders to say "Aha! Wrong! People actually do download our low-bitrate, DMC-locked crap!"

I own an ipod and I love it, but I understand Jobs and co. have to keep their propaganda machine rolling.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390910)

Maybe so, but this definitely shows that those rumors of apple's iTune sales being way down were total crap.

Apple and iPod... (0, Troll)

Praedon (707326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390576)

I never invested money in an ipod, due to some of the rantings and ravings about it. What would be its best competition out there on the market? Also, is the ipod store as populated with songs as they say it is?

Re:Apple and iPod... (3, Informative)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390712)

Best competition? There's stuff from Sandisk and Creative, as well as Microsoft's Zune. But none of them have the marketshare of the iPod, or the vast amount of accessories. Whether or not the store is "as populated with songs as they say it is" is really a matter of opinion. It suits my needs, but mine may not be the same as yours. You're free to install iTunes and browse the store anonymously (without creating an account) for free. You can even preview the 30 second clips without an account, though the system will nag you every 4th or 5th preview to log in. If money's a factor, you can always go the route I did - go to the Apple Store online and look in their refurb section. Everything on there is backed by the same warranty as the new stuff. They used to have (and may still have) first gen (black/white) 2Gb nanos for $99, for example.

Re:Apple and iPod... (3, Interesting)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390988)

If money's a factor, you can always go the route I did - go to the Apple Store online and look in their refurb section. Everything on there is backed by the same warranty as the new stuff. They used to have (and may still have) first gen (black/white) 2Gb nanos for $99, for example.

For Christmas I got a refurb'd 60GB iPod video. I'd told my parents that I had no need for 80GB, but 30 was too small (they really should stick a 60GB in that $300 hole) and pointed them to Apple's refurb site. Since the 5G 60GB is for all intents and purposes the same as the current generation aside from the capacity, it seemed like a good call.

Re:Apple and iPod... (1)

ShorePiper82 (1027534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390734)

I can't answer the competition question for you (I myself use my iPod nearly all day. office/headphones commute/car-stereo connection and then home/stereo connection).

it's difficult not to find what you are looking for in the iTunes store. Granted, underground style music is not going to be available, but there are things that arn't necessarily mainstream available as well. You can download iTunes and check for yourself (without having to own an iPod). There is no cost (I believe they may require a paypal account at the minimum in order to access the store, but that's only to limit entry to potentially paying customers). One could easily just set up an account, browse, and never pay)

Re:Apple and iPod... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390816)

I'd get a Sandisk. Somebody handed me an extra iPod Nano that they had the other day, and I've since had it lock up on my twice, and iTunes (the software... not the store) sucks balls. If I wanted an MP3 player right now, I'd get a Sandisk one. They're cheaper, they do a lot more (hopefully, without locking up), and you don't have to use that god-awful iTunes software.

Re:Apple and iPod... (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390990)

I've had a Sansa e260 for a month or two now, and its never locked on me, and has generally been far more robust than my ex-iPod. I'd say its the most reliable mp3 player I've seen since the original Rios. Its not perfect though, it only plays one format of video (quicktime based I believe, I messed with it once and never looked again, though it does come with a converter), the big center button really should be the play/pause button yet isn't, and it comes out of the box with a firmware problem that causes incorrect song listing refreshes when music is moved off of the device (though this is easily fixed with a new firmware, and is likely fixed out of the box on newer units). Its reliable though, gets a great battery life, and works just like a usb stick to load and unload files (you won't need anybody's crappy music organizer program).

Re:Apple and iPod... (2, Interesting)

robert899 (769631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391102)

I recommend the Sandisk m200 series for those who want a mp3 player without all the extra features. I ripped all my cds and created a few playlists and now its all on my 4GB m260 with room to spare. Oh and it runs for 15+ hours on a single AAA battery.

Re:Apple and iPod... (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391174)

What are people doing to their iPods? We've had three iPods of different generations in this house for several years, and we've never had one "lock up" on us ever. Hell, I've dropped my mini on the concrete more times than I can count and still never had a problem.

I've got another friend who has had several problems with his iPods, though. I just don't know what people are doing to them to cause these problems.

Re:Apple and iPod... (2, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390840)

I never invested money in an ipod, due to some of the rantings and ravings about it. What would be its best competition out there on the market? Also, is the ipod store as populated with songs as they say it is?
Why do you base your purchase decisions based on how you feel about the views of others? Give different players a try on the displays, ask questions from the store staff and buy which ever one you find to be the best.

I have a feeling that you are trolling but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Re:Apple and iPod... (1)

shotgunsaint (968677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390904)

Well, personally, I have an iPod mini and I love it, but I'm far from being a fanboy. SanDisk makes a very nice flash based player with a beautiful, albeit small, color screen. Everything I've seen from Creative has been pretty nice, although they want more for their products than their Apple equivalents cost. My only piece of solid advice would be to stay away from the Zune. I've played with one, and the interface was clunky to say the least, not to mention the thing weighs exactly 800 pounds. Plus, the battery life is very weak on the Zunes. Just curious, what rantings and ravings have turned you away from the iPod? You don't HAVE to use the iTunes store. I certainly don't, and won't buy DRM'd music. Any mp3 ripped from your collection or acquired in less savory ways plays just as well on the iPod.

Re:Apple and iPod... (2, Interesting)

fittekuk (1033554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390918)

You know, it goes much beyond simple technical things and DRM. I know at least 4 people who got iPods for Christmas. None of them are technical, and none of them want one of the competing products. For normal (read: not slashdot crowd) people, iPod is the thing to have. It's going to be pretty tough for someone to take a lot of market share away from Apple. My brother is about as anti-computer as you can get. He tolerates it so he can type and read/send email, but only as little as required. He still uses HotMail - I tried showed him GMail, but he is not interested. He knows Hotmail, and does not want to even try something else. Yet, what did he want? An iPod. I personally like iPods, but I did mention some other competitors. Doesn't want to even hear about them. iPod period. There are lots of people like him. iPods are "cool" - normal people don't want the others. If they bought one, their friends would say "What is that thing? Why didn't you get an iPod?"... Right or wrong, it happens.

I helped with this (3, Insightful)

sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390582)

2/3rds of the gifts I bought this year were iPods and iTunes music gift cards. I think I am not alone in this and the traffic shutdown on iTunes shows it. Apple has done a great job with their service and I don't mind paying for it. My wife did have to wait until yesterday to buy the rest of her Tunes though since the site was so hammered.

Re:I helped with this (-1, Troll)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390946)

2/3rds of the gifts I bought this year were iPods and iTunes music gift cards.

If someone bought me an iTunes gift card I'd slap them in the head with it. Why not get them something useful like a Best Buy gift card so at least they can go pick up the CDs at the store instead of settling for the low-quality DRM-encumbered stuff that iTunes shackles you with in the form of their protected-AAC files? Don't get me wrong, I think some day online music sales will be the wave of the future, but until Apple starts selling their expensive tracks encoded in the Apple Lossless codec or FLAC they won't be seeing another dime of my money. It's fantastic that they let you burn a copy of YOUR music that you purchased to a regular audio CD, but the fact of the matter is that what you're burning is sub-CD-quality sound and yet costs the same as the CD would if you had bought it in the store. $10-$12 is the going rate for popular CDs in brick and mortar shops.

Re:I helped with this (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391046)

Please see post above about "normal people" -- aka those not on slashdot, wondering why everyone isn't building robots.

Anyway, even as I sit here, wondering if it's nice enough outside to test this robot I built yesterday, I have iTunes running. I dislike DRM music, but still appreciate the odd iTunes gift card, because IT'S FREE. And if I want to buy, say, Surrender, by Cheap Trick, to add to a mix, I don't really feel like going to Best Buy, buying a full CD of music I don't really want/need, and waiting in line with a bunch of dirty humans to pay for it. And I know once I burn the mix, the music is 'freed' anyway.

Re:I helped with this (5, Insightful)

needacoolnickname (716083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391172)

I'm guessing that someone who might have thought of getting you a gift, you already gave this rant to and they decided just to get you some nice socks.

Shit. It's a gift. Say thank you and smile.

DDOS'ed by their own marketing success! (2, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390620)

That's hilarious!

Somehow, I doubt that Apple feels too badly about this; and I'm sure they're scaling up their server farm to accomodate this, their most recent success.

Re:DDOS'ed by their own marketing success! (1)

kha0z (307162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391352)

I doubt they are doing too much about it. A large spike in consumer demand due to high holiday season sales can be expected but not entirely predicted. After a few appologies to the angry consumers, the demand will return to its usual flow (perhaps a bit higher due to new users) so scaling will probably be kept to keep up with the new user base increase. Although, I think this will help them better predict consumer demand spikes on their network better in the upcoming holidays.

Don't get me wrong. I love my iPod and I am an avid Apple user. However, it doesn't make sense to massively scale a network or server farm for unusual seasonal spikes. Then the rest of the year you have idle network and server equipment.

In the end, Apple made a pretty penny! Which I am glad to see since I am an enthusiast of their products.

I didn't notice (1, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390682)

Well, I was using iTunes last night and it was as responsive as ever. Ripped a CD, listened to a podcast...

Oh, wait, did you mean the iTunes Music Store [apple.com]?

brought to you by Mr. Pedantic(TM)

Re:I didn't notice (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391054)

It's just called "iTunes Store" now, Mr. Pedantic.

Sales were supposed to be weak weren't they? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390696)

Quote: "Perhaps Apple was underestimating just how successful they were going to be?"

I thought the press was saying the iPod wave had crested and the sales were on a downward spiral....
What if Apple believed those reports and scaled back iTunes?... Naaw not likely. But it is nice to see Apple get suprised once in a while.

It's Win/Win for Apple (5, Insightful)

mrshermanoaks (921067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390716)

Apple sells a ton of iPods, and then gets press about how many iPods they sell. You can't just do a news story about Apple selling a lot of iPods for the holidays, that's the story we hear every year. You need a situation where they sell so many damn iPods that their service is overwhelmed. That's a story. And you're further reinforcing the idea that "everyone" owns an iPod and nobody owns a Zune. Yeah, it was a pain for people for a day or so. If I read a story about how many iPods were returned because people had trouble with the iTMS, that's something else. But do you think those iPods went back? Doubt it.

Microsoft may have been just too late (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391002)

to get into the game. Simply put the iPod has had time to establish dominance. It has become part of culture. I know many people who refer to buying an iPod but don't consider it the same as an MP3 player. Being late to enter the market of any product which sparks public interest will leave all others behind, it doesn't hurt that most of the early competitors were trapped under MusicMatch (or whatever that horrid product was)

I think another thing the gave Microsoft issues, and it continues to hit the other players, is that there are too many competeing services for those machines whereas for an iPod the only thing most consumers will associate with it is iTunes.

Honestly it would not matter how good the Zune is, whether in features or price, I just cannot give someone any old MP3 player, kids want iPods and thats all they are going to settle for. With prices below $100 its hard to justify the little you save by not buying one. You would really just have to hate Apple not to buy one. Now when Apple can inspire this type of loyalty for their PC products it will be time for Microsoft to be wary. Right now I know of only 1 new MAC over out of dozens upon dozens of iPod users at work, new and old. The so called "halo" effect the iPod is claimed to have on this site and elsewhere doesn't seem to exist where I live.

PS: I am still waiting on a MacBook Pro is something similar to either the plain Macbook or smaller.

Re:It's Win/Win for Apple (2, Interesting)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391110)

I'm eyeing the Zune. So far, every single detractor I have heard about it is a software problem. Lot of problems, to be sure, but most of them amount to "not an iPod" or "not what I wish it was". Very few of the complaints are in any way reflective of an inability to do the job: play music and video in a portable format.

Compare iPod: can't change the battery, case easily scratched, screen not large and bright enough. Those are hardware. Once you have those problems, you have to just get a different player. However, the software is rock-solid.

So of the two things you could get right, Microsoft chose to focus on the physical device that needs to be shipped and examined and repaired, while Apple chose to focus on the readily copied and distributed software that would otherwise need to be downloaded from the web.

Overall, I think Zune made the best choices of where to fail. Both sides are failing a little, but the Zune doesn't have any failures that can't be fixed free of charge later on down the line.

Proof? (1, Insightful)

repetty (260322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390732)

A couple anecdotes and an analyst who uses the technical term "blew up" are a pretty week foundation for a news story.

I have drawn these conclusions:

1. The iTunes service has operated just fine
2. It's a very, very slow news day

--Richard

Re:Proof? (1)

0tim0 (181143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390870)

Well, I was trying to help my niece set up her new Shuffle and buy some songs with her gift card on Tuesday -- and we were locked out of the music store.

So, there you go, anecdotal evidence ;)

--t

Re:Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390894)

"Couple" is never an adjective.

It is a noun, or (as our friend pointed out yesterday) a verb, like "pair".

That's "a couple of anecdotes and an analyst."

Oh, you also misspelled "weak".

You may not think this is really important, but people will judge your intelligence to be low if you use "couple" as an adjective and misspell words.

Re:Proof? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390932)

1. The iTunes service has operated just fine

      Funny, why is CNN running the story then? I know their standards have dropped a lot in recent years, but SOMETHING must be wrong with the site.

Re:Proof? (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390940)

Well, I had trouble purchasing a song 2 days ago. From what I could gather, the servers used during the checkout of my purchase were responding with an error "503 Service Unavailable". IIRC, the dialog box had "Retry" and "Cancel" buttons. I had to click retry a few times, but I was able to get my copy of "We are the ones" by Zombie Girl. :P

Re:Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391160)

Everyday seems to be a slow news day on Slashdot!

Clearly they were caught short. (5, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390764)

Heh... from the article
"No doubt it was a very, very popular gift, and no matter how well you plan on the server side of the equation, there are always times when you get caught short."
How I love differences in US [about.com] and UK English [phrases.org.uk]... yes I imagine they were caught short indeed!

Re:Clearly they were caught short. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391300)

Well, obviously the UK meaning is wrong. The issue has nothing to do with any "shortage", it's more like an "embarrassment of riches". In this case, it's not really riches, but it's sure to expand on the embarrassment issue.

Signing in. (2, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390820)

I was gifted with an iPod shuffle for Christmas, and haven't even bothered to try out the iTunes store yet.

This post is about as useful as an alligator both on fire and LSD.

Imagine the poor carriers... (1)

djblair (464047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390900)

I'd imagine only 10% of the tracks filling up all the new iPods are legal downloads. Everyone else is firing up their favorite P2P app to get tunes. I can tell you from experience that NOTHING is worse for routers than all the traffic from P2P connections. I wonder what kind of headaches major ISP's faced.

Sales plummeting and yet servers overloaded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17390916)

Remember the Forrester report [bostonherald.com] just two weeks ago claiming that iTunes sales were collapsing? What ever happened to the Forrester that always seemed to predict hockey-stick growth for any and all online endeavors? Lately they just haven't been as upbeat, even when evidence indicates that they ought to be.

Looks like The Register has huge egg on its face.. (1)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390950)

...they were talking of the FAILURE of iTunes just a month a go!

Not paying (1)

petro6 (989039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17390960)

I love iTunes and my iPod. The iTunes Music Store... not so much. I just am surprised that so many pay good money for lossy, DRM-crippled music files. I know its about having the music on demand, but for crissakes, if you need that much music NOW you may want to take a look at general level of patience. My brother got an iPod and a card for the iTunes store. He got some music, but then had problems when the site went down. I think there is more worry about the fact that syncing libraries will only go one way (unless the music is bought through iTMS and you have access to your account), but I'm still not convinced that $.99 songs are worth it for lossy files, DRM, no cover art, etc. Just me?

Re:Not paying (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391198)

Hey, bro. I'll elaborate on my tale a bit. Basically, after I had paid for the content, I could not "authorize" any more devices because the store was down. And I didn't just try once, but about a dozen times before I got fed up with it. I was finally able to get through last night. All in all, it wasn't too bad, but they should have known exactly how much traffic to expect. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that every single iPod and iTunes gift card ever sold in the last few months was going to be used on Christmas.

But you're right, the bigger problem is the inability to "Sync both ways" as advertised on the Apple site [apple.com]. That's true whether or not their servers are up. It's crippled by design. At first I blamed the RIAA, but I'll bet it is also part of keeping the iTunes-iPod-ITMS monopoly. That suspicion is supported by the ease of transferring purchased music compared to ripped music.

FYI: the cover art is included if you buy an album. I don't know if it is the same for just one song. What would be really nice is if it included all the program notes (I listen to a lot of classical music). It wouldn't be that much data, just a kB or so.

Re:Not paying (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391210)

While I agree with you mostly, I should add an FYI... With iTunes you *do* get the cover art, and in fact with most albums you get a pdf copy of the cover booklet too.

Re:Not paying (1)

petro6 (989039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391308)

I meant the kind of cover art you can hold and flip through. (of course there are clear advantages of having a .pdf of liner notes, if you are inclined to copy+paste them to the notes of a given song) Also referring to cool album things like stickers, posters, or other things as with the Pick of Destiny (Tenacious D) album a pick_of_destiny__? Of course not to many artists/publishers do stuff like this, but damned if I'm not happy when they do.

2 days to register (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391056)

I tried to register my ipod on christmas day. I just got the confirmation email today (Dec 28th). The site kept telling me over and over that they weren't accepting new registrations.

Systems and Spikes (2, Insightful)

MrGHemp (189288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391088)

In the brick-and-morder storea if you suddenly had a spike in sales... no one blamed you if you didn't get a new store constructed in a day or two to meet the demand. Plus if the demand spike only lasted a day or two did anyone expect you to construct an extra store and have it just sit dormant until that one or two days next year when you had the sales to support using it? No. So part of me doesn't wonder if some of these big online applications don't kinda expect to have there hardware taxed for a day or two, and consider the cost of doubling there hardware costs to only handle one or two days of traffic spikes not worth it?

Guess I'm wondering if Apple suspected this would happen but considered the cost of increasing there server capasity to handle it (maybe even doubling it) not worth it?

Re:Systems and Spikes (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391490)

Who says increasing server capacity would have prevented the problem. Maybe the problem was in the network/bandwidth area? I'm not an expert in these matters but the problem may have been more systematic than not enough servers to handle the transactions.

Stupid.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391148)

To automatically download album artwork, it requires that you log into your itunes store account, which requires a credit card number to complete, even though there is no mention of any fees involved with doing so.

Idiotic, if you ask me.

Re:Stupid.... (1)

SeanMon (929653) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391492)

You do not need a credit card to have an iTunes Account.
I've been buying music from it since it first opened with gift cards.

Collapsing sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391184)

What was that about iTunes sales collapsing [slashdot.org]?

Hell, if they were to offer DRM-free tunes, even I would shop there.

Oh, Great (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391320)

Now in addition to being swamped, they are going to be slashdotted by everyone checking if they really are swamped.

Or maybe it was Taiwan being offline (4, Interesting)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391336)

The internet was overall extremely slow after XMas, mainly due to Taiwan going
offline for an earthquake. All the traffic to Asia had to go through the Atlantic cables instead of the Pacific cables.

iPod is here to stay (1)

lokiomega (596833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391374)

It has evolved from a gadget toy to a veritable status symbol. Having a hanging iPod from your belt on in your pocket says "I am cool" and, no, no other mp3 player will do, unless it's a nifty phone that does both. Sad world, but this is why iPod will ALWAYS be the dominant player, no matter how much it sucks compared to so-and-so.

I don't get it... (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17391406)

I don't understand the hub bub over iPods...I've used all forms of them from various people that I know...sure, the screen looks nice, but the interface is ATROCIOUS...not to mention the scroller is more like an infected nipple...finicky and ugly. The whole thing just looks like some candy-coated toy. Putting sugar on shit does not make it taste good.

No, for me my Rio Carbon (for work and general runnin around) and my Rio Karma (for my home network and my car) are still both pumping strong. The carbon uses a standard mini-USB cable and requires no software to put music on...it can also be used as a portable hard drive right outta the box. And lasts at LEAST 15 hours if not 20 hours on a single charge (25 if you keep the bass output and volume down)

The Karma comes with a docking station that allows it to be hookied up via your standard ethernet cable. In addition to the connection on the bottom for the dock, it too has a mini-usb connection. Granted, the Karma requires software to load music onto it, but that software also allows you to stream music to the web for free...

BOTH players can play a multitude of file formats, contain no DRM restrictions, and can be found for less than the cost of an iPod nano....

I dunno, I suppose I just don't see the purpose of buying an iPod. Sure, neither my Carbon or Karma can play video, but then again if I am in one place long enough to WATCH something, I would have a portable dvd player, or laptop, or home theater at hand...or I could just buy a PSP, which has MANY more uses if my needs require something more than JUST audio... It seems to me more like marketing superspeak more than anything else when it comes to people deciding to get an iPod; or maybe they just don't know what else is out there, who knows.

It is all a matter of opinion of course, and I don't look DOWN on people that own iPods...I feel sorry for them. Sure, they have all kinds of fun accessories or whatever, but still: they are buying a restrictive, overpriced, underprotected electronic device in which more money is spent in marketing than is spent on research.

I'm not anti-apple, nor am I even anti-iPod...I just think iPod's, while a marketing department's dream come true, are shit incarnate.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17391468)

I'm not anti-apple, nor am I even anti-iPod...

You're not? Wow, nice disguise!
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