I don't have a scoop to offer but I saw Arianna on CNN this morning and she mentioned that the blog would be interactive and I want to respond to my old colleague Hillary Rosen's comments about Apple.
Background: I was president of Reprise Records when Hillary was head of the RIAA and when Apple was developing iTunes. I admire Hillary and Apple-- A LOT. But I have to say that Apple is not anti-consumer in the way they have built their music system; it actually offers a superior overall experience for the customer. What Hillary needs to reconsider is that what Apple is offering isn't just a piece of cool hardware (the iPod). Sure, everyone latches on it because it such a great piece of consumer electronics-- with or without the baby blue leather case-- but the reality of why it works so well and is so easy to manage isn't just the hardware, but the software too - iTunes. Much to the delight of consumers, Apple-- and only Apple as far as I can tell-- has been able design and implement an integrated hardware/software system offering a superior-- might I say "fabulous"?-- experience; it just works... flawlessly. And there is only one company responsible to keep it working, growing, improving - and they do it. Contrast that to the PC world, the antithesis (in the music space as any other space). One company makes the hardware, another makes the software. When something doesn't work, one company points to the other, or to the OS; it's a mess. No one likes it.
I'm no techie but I suspect that if Apple opened iPod up to talk to other software systems, it would be subjecting its customers to the potentially horrid experience we have all faced when trying to work with the cheap, low-quality junk that makes the PC world such a... challenge. Remember, the power and simplicity of the iPod experience is hardware AND software.
Why isn't everyone complaining about this? Because they are rocking out!
Posted May 9, 2005 04:05 PM
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First, the cheapest iPod is not hundreds of dollars but less than one hundred dollars (iPod Shuffle).
Second, the iPod probably plays more music formats than most players (something like 5 or 7 depending on the counting).
Third, it is possible to import other music to the iPod. First burn it to a CD then import it into iTunes. The same goes with music purchased on the iTunes Music Store, burn it to a CD and then you can import it to any other player. This may require more steps than you like but it is not impossible, not even very difficult.
Also, Sony has their own format which is not compatible with the iTunes format. Microsoft is not the only company out of step with Apple.
Apple with the iPod and iTunes provides by far the best experience
for obtaining and listening to digital music available. Market share
for iPod of 90% and market share for iTunes something like 70% shows
that most consumers are happy with this product.
Posted by: John Konopka at May 9, 2005 04:37 PM
I know that Hilary Rosen is anti-tech so it's not surprising she's gotten almost all of he major facts wrong.
a) WRONG. EVERY song purchased from another music store can be loaded onto the ipod. Other than the ipod shuffle ultra portable - all you need to do is convert it CD audio - then just drag into the FREE itunes to load onto your ipod in 8 DIFFERENT audio format choices (the shuffle accepts 3 different choices).
b) Again, you could not be more wrong. If highlighting a track's name and selecting CONVERT is considered 'geek,' so you consider turning on your computer a miraclous act? As mentioned, you can select one of 8 choices including three LOSSLESS choices (which means no additional fidelity is lost)
c) But the question is also why? With a few exception, every song available on the 'other stores' in WMA is also available in the itunes stores so the choice is yours. If you only want to spend $29 for a cheap player because you only like a few songs - great, you can buy the same tracks at walmart.com as you can at itunes. The walmart.com interface is not as nice but if you're willing to spend much more time per song in searching and trying to download it to save $.11 a track - great for you - the CHOICE is yours.
d) And vice versa - if you decide to switch to non-ipod player, EVERY track you buy at the itms can be converted to CD audio format playable on BILLIONS of devices worldwide. How many other media is designed for that kind of change and portability?
The most important point of it is - the IPOD & ITUNES tracks are ONLY locked if you let them stay locked. And of course, the extreme irony is that they are ONLY locked because the RIAA does not let its members sell 'unlocked' Mp3 tracks ... so your argument really comes down to two points?
Digital audio tracks should be DRM free? (I agree if that's what you're saying).
Or Microsoft WMA files are okay to sell as proprietary formats but not AAC M4p's (Apple's format?) Why?
Posted by: jbelkin at May 9, 2005 04:52 PM
Let's not forget the fact that IMNSHO, Apple is a morally superior product!
Apple from its earliest days banned bias based on both gender identity (which Microsoft has YET to do!) and sexual orientation.
Microsoft stomped on way too many little people had bought then out of business on their way to the top, which is vitually a monopoly, and thanks to the idiot from Texas, has turned the other way.
The *only* reason Gates is giving his billions is most likely to assuage his conscience, trying to make up for all those people he's hurt and destroyed through the years. (Can you tell I dislike Micro$oft?)
I've been a Mac addict for decades and happy for it for at least one reason: when Mac OS updates, you rarely (if ever!) havge to download a patch to insulate against a worm/virus/etcetera.
Posted by: Marlene Bomer at May 9, 2005 04:53 PM
Thank God someone pointed out the fact that all you have to do is burn and re-rip. Also, has anyone reminded people that Hilary used to be a huge proponent of DRM? hmmm. Welcome to the blogosphere!
Posted by: Ryan at May 9, 2005 05:05 PM
Hillary did get every substantial tech point wholly wrong.
It seems she did her research by listening to alot of anti-Apple Windows evangelists. Digital audio is digital audio- there are multitudes of tools found online to convert one format type to another. Every music filetype can be played on any other type of music player.
Apple's iTunes has had and continues to have the libraries of every major music label (compared to two or three for other online music stores) and more than 85% of the independant labels on the National Distribution circuit. depending on which service youre comparint iTunes to, Apples store has something like 3 to 4 times the amount of music tracks- its not just ridiculous, its a nobrainer choice for consumers.
Yes Hillary it is scary when one company has such a command on a market but not so much when that company is doing everything not just right but perfectly. When did you ever see Microsoft work so hard just to maintain its status quo?
'nuff said let it rest People Apple owns this space whether we like it or not.
Posted by: Barkley Anderson at May 9, 2005 05:06 PM
Really, you should do some research or at least ask someone before you put out an article as ignorant as that. For Shame!!!
Posted by: Joseph at May 9, 2005 05:11 PM
I am bothered that music purchased from the iTunes store cannot be easily played on non-ipod players without the hassle of writing it to CD and then ripping it back to the desired format.
However, I do not know whose fault this is. Does anybody know if Apple has intentionally prohibited competing electronics manufacturers from playing songs from the iTunes store? Or, are there other business entities causing the incompabilbility?
Posted by: Bullistic at May 9, 2005 05:11 PM
Hillary Rosen ...
Isn't she charged with filing a false report about some fund raiser?
Posted by: Randall Watts at May 9, 2005 05:13 PM
In regards to Apple Computers and the iPod, everyone just needs to take a deep breath and relax. We are in the first inning of a nine-inning game. It seems that companies and consumers alike constantly complain about freedom of choice when it comes to buying and playing music over the net. It reminds me of the public outcry to force AOL to open up its instant messaging program. Hmmmm...no one brings that up much these days; and so too this [iPod] shall pass.
Instead of complaining, I think consumers and record executives should be thanking Steve Jobs for bringing order to chaos and respectability to where there once was none. We rejoice in the fact that the iPod and iTunes combination works seamlessly. Better yet, we should all be pushing the industry to adopt a set of software and hardware standards. Interestingly enough, if Apple were to maintain its current market share, it could become the standard much like Microsoft. But you have to ask yourself, why don’t the other vendors adopt Apple’s hardware and software as the standard? It’s very simple, it’s a business and they would like to be in Apple’s position so that they can dictate and profit from being the standard.
In due time, Apple will see the added benefits and will open up its software/hardware combination. In the mean time, it’s a business and these guys know from experience that they have to maintain some amount of vertical control to maintain order and efficiency. Otherwise, you end up with bloated software that must maintain compatibility with multiple encryption protocols and plethora of hardware configurations. We should all rejoice in the fact that we are benefiting from Apple’s simplicity and efficiency.
Posted by: Whitney at May 9, 2005 05:21 PM
Hilary you can download/transfer MP3's or Music to your iPod, and the only reason why your the one complaining is because you don't go the extra mile to figure out how. You think its simple to just point and click..........if that's the case -- i should be able to point and click and get this rediculous blog posting off internet. focus you energy on something that really makes a difference in this world, take your pick Education/China/N. Korea/Healthcare/Russia/Germany/BUSH!!!!!!!
Posted by: turlie at May 9, 2005 05:22 PM
If this is the quality of the commentary then you are in trouble Ms. Huffington.
Hilary Rosen seems to be making a complaint about the iPod and iTunes. However, as pointed out in other posts she is almost 100% wrong. An iPod will play any mp3 file that is not protected by a DRM (digital rights management). The iPod doesn't care where the file came from, an album, another music store, or a peer to peer network. The music purchased from iTunes does come in AAC format (Advanced Audio Codec - think mp4). You can convert that file to an mp3 and use it with any other player pretty easily if, you do something radical, read the instructions.
Just what is the complaint? Apple made something that is so cool and so easy to use, the iPod and iTunes, that everyone wants one? Damn this free market system! For a superior product with a designer label you pay more? Watch out Calvin Klein, Gucci, Prada, Porsche, Starbucks, etc. The iPod can't read a users mind to know that they want to convert a file to more different format so it can be played somewhere else? Microsoft tired that, remember 'clippy' from MS Office, and everyone hated it.
Hilary Rosen's position is virtually undefendable once you bother to do some research into how an iPod and iTunes actually works. If this is the level of analysis Ms. Huffington hopes to bring to the web she should not expect to be around long.
Posted by: badlydrawnbear at May 9, 2005 05:24 PM
> I am bothered that music purchased from the iTunes store cannot be easily played on non-ipod players
> However, I do not know whose fault this is.
It's the fault of the RIAA and the music industry. They demanded that Jobs include DRM in the music, and he did, he just didn't provide them with the MS scheme but his own of course. That Apple is leveraging this is the fault of the music industry, for being so idiotic to treat non DRM music as illegitimate.
Posted by: ElCapitanAmerica at May 9, 2005 05:25 PM
Wow this has got to be the most dead wrong article i have ever read. Hilary should be ashamed of herself for this propoganda for the association she once worked for. One of the main reasons apple has to keep thier format proprietary is the rulings by the RIAA that the music should not be able to be transfered from person to person easily.Hence why apple has the system set up where songs can be played by a maximum of 5 ids. At first i hate dthe fact that all the songs were proprietary, but after i looked at the facts, the great system apple has in place, and the variety of songs on itunes(now including Goth, Industrial, EBM) i am a proud owner of and ipod and use it everyday(yes including right now.) I think the best part of apples conglomerate here has to be Itunes, which has revolutionized storing and retrieval of your music files. Hilary i think you need to get your lackeys to do some more research before putting out propoganda like this. I only hope that lies like these harm you.
Posted by: Gary at May 9, 2005 05:29 PM
I do not see how the DRM and music industry prohibits partnership with other hardware manufacturers to provide support for the DRM used by the iTunes store.
Instead, Real has one, Napster has one, Apple has one. Likewise, you have a bunch of consumer electronics that is proprietary to one online music provider only. I do not know whose fault this, but the consumer electronics industry needs to think things out a little better.
I would gladly buy an iRiver 10-20gb mp3 player if it played the iTunes store's music.
Posted by: Bullistic at May 9, 2005 05:36 PM
You can easily move music from the iTunes store to an iRiver. Its as simple as everyone else has said. Burn a cd for permanent backup, and rip it to MP3. You can even rip it to OGG if you so wish.
The iRiver (my opinion) is the best player out there as you just drag an drop your files. Its basically an external HDD which can play some music files for you.
Posted by: ignipotentis at May 9, 2005 05:49 PM
Mac people can be such zealots. Why do you get angry when people criticise a company whose product you purchased? Why do you feel emotionally invested in their corporate image? You are their customer. You ought to demand everything you can from their products instead of defending them when they fail you.
I switched to the Mac a few years back because it is a fairly good UNIX workstation. I'm now finding myself a bit frustrated by the fact that I cannot use a subscription music service with my computer. Some people like to pay for tracks. I would prefer to explore a wider array of music on a more temporary basis. I don't really have that option, because I have a Mac and an iPod.
No, I'm not particularly persuaded by the notion that I can run another program on a PC and then burn stuff to CD and then import it and file convert it. Thats silly.
No, I'm not particularly persuaded that I want Apple to "protect" me from "inferior" competitive product offerings. I can make up my own mind about what products I want to use. In the real world open standards trump closed, proprietary technology. I want choices, not barriers.
What I am persuaded of is that PC users will blow past Apple user in a very short period of time in terms of the quality and variety of players available, the variety of music available, and the business models that music is offered through. The day you can't listen to the song you want to hear because you own a mac is the day you can sell your Apple stock.
Apple's closed platform for music will probably work about as well in the long run as their closed platform worked for video games in the early 90's. Content goes where the people are. Right now they've got the market share, but its only a matter of time before the early adopter's ipods start to wear out and they replace them with a different player that gives them more options.
This essay is probably the only thing that Hillary Rosen has written in a decade that I agree with. Ironically, its the DRM standards that cause this problem.
Posted by: Tom Cross at May 9, 2005 05:53 PM
I love my ipod. If you want to read about injustices check bulgegata.com!!!
Posted by: Pina at May 9, 2005 05:54 PM
"I would gladly buy an iRiver 10-20gb mp3 player if it played the iTunes store's music."
May I ask what is stopping you? If you have purchased songs from iTMS burn them to a cd and re-rip them into mp3 or wma files. If you like iTMS then get an iPod, the integration is great. If you want an iRiver use napster or msn music.
I do not see why people get all tight in a wad about this. No one is forcing you purchase an iPod or music from iTMS.
Posted by: Shinken at May 9, 2005 05:55 PM
Hilary Rosen, aye, aye, aye.
Hey Hilary, why is it you only 'know' about the workings of an ipod after your girlfriend gave you one...and then you seem more enamored with it's looks and leather case than the possibilty of carrying your music collection around with you...oh yeah, you're probably not much of a music fan.
I'll tell you what's unamerican Hil...it's what your former employer is doing to little kids all across the country - ruining their lives, and probably their parents' lives as well. I've got an idea, instead of these sort of nitwit posts in between cruisin around town in your Bentley from power lunch to cocktail reception, how about trying to solve the real problem - record labels trying to stop technology from delivering music to the masses.
Former Sony Chairman Idei said years ago that a digital download should probably sell for no more than 10 cents. How about finding a way to license p2p for a low, reasonable monthly fee...now that would be real American of ya!
Posted by: floyd at May 9, 2005 05:57 PM
I'm a 36 year music-industry veteran...and whether or not Hilary Rosen thinks the iPod is anti-consumer or not is a simply ridiculous issue.
The iPod now RULES in the marketplace with over 20 million sold and millions of other similar devices have also been sold.
Wake up Ms. Rosen. If you REALLY want to something meaningful tell the RIAA to stop wasting time suing a few hundred downloaders every month. THE LAWSUITS HAVE DONE NOTHING TO STOP DOWNLOADING AND NEVER WILL.
President - Smart Marketing
Publisher - DISC&DAT - A New Media Newsletter
Las Vegas, NV
Posted by: Steve Meyer at May 9, 2005 06:01 PM
"I do not see how the DRM and music industry prohibits partnership with other hardware manufacturers to provide support for the DRM used by the iTunes store."
I didn't say this prevents them from doing that, I'm saying Hillary and her cohorts in the music industry invited this for demanding Apple have DRM in order to sell their music.
If the RIAA weren't so fanatical about DRM, which does *NOT* prevent piracy, then there wouldn't be any need for AAC and there wouldn't be anything for Rosen to complain about.
Again, my point is that in my opinion, the RIAA created this "problem".
Posted by: ElCapitanAmerica at May 9, 2005 06:10 PM
Ms. Rosen has a point, if a bit of a hypocritical one.
Let me respond to a point raised in other comments:
1) Rip to CD->place on iPod
Keep in mind that Ms. Rosen specifically qualified that as without losing quality. Converting the purchased track from .wma -> CD -> iPod-supported format or .aac -> CD -> other player-supported format results in a loss of audio quality.
Now.. as the former CEO of the RIAA.. Ms. Rosen was in a perfect position to prevent this. She could have mandated interoperability between online services (don't license the music to stores that don't play by the rules), or - heaven forbid - sell the tracks not encumbered by DRM technology.
Apple certainly shares some of the blame with the RIAA for the state of online music.. since Apple INTENTIONALLY blocked Real Media from placing songs purchased from their Rhapsody service onto customer's iPods. This is not simply Apple not supporting Real's workaround - this was Apple INTENTIONALLY PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM USING THEIR IPODS TO PLAY LEGALLY PURCHASED MUSIC.
Personally, the only music I download is unencumbered MP3 files from peer to peer services. But I have this luxury, given that I am a Canadian, and such services are legal for us.
Posted by: d_jedi at May 9, 2005 06:12 PM
Downloading the song from iTMS and burning to a CD is stupid. It is a waste of time and CDs. I was just saying that it would be nice for a little bit of cooperating amoung the groups. I like the iRiver because of the built in radio. I like iTunes because of the playlists, the ease of use, the nice clean interface into the store, etc.
I just wanted them to all get along without having to waste a f***ing cd every time I want to add some songs to my player.
Posted by: bullistic at May 9, 2005 06:26 PM
Didn't the recording industry try to renege on their deal with Apple and up the price to something like $2.00+ per song just a year or so after the iTunes Music store opened for business? And didn't this happen while Ms. Rosen was still at the helm of the RIAA? Hmmm.... What a coincidence that she might not particularly care for Apple since Steve Jobs stood his ground and kept the price at 99 cents.
From never paying royalties for the songs they stole from Afro-American blues musicians in the 20th century, to price fixing in the 21st, the greed of the recording industry never ceases to amaze.
Posted by: Mescalito at May 9, 2005 06:26 PM
Well first off you can use any mp3 with your ipod. I do it all the time. I have 1000's of cd's that are stored as mp3's and I can listen to them on my ipod all day long.
Hillary you continue to not understand anything about the industry
Posted by: Wyly at May 9, 2005 06:29 PM
Does it really surprise anyone that Hillary Rosen is going around saying something idiotic?
This, remember, is the woman who thinks it's a great idea to go around suing 12-year-olds for piracy while the recording industry simultaneously gives $200 million a year in payola to radio stations and indie promoters to -- you guessed it -- give away their music for free.
Further, I've never met an A&R rep who was not terrified of radio. Apparently, what happens is, you spend millions bribing radio stations, who, like some sort of pasha, pick and choose which songs they LIKE to accept bribes for.
Look, when you own a house, and some joker comes and lives in your house -- which you built and paid for -- HE pays YOU. You don't pay him, HE pays YOU. And when you, say, hire a waiter to work in YOUR restaurant and PAY him, you don't pay him to serve only the dishes he likes, you pay him to serve whatever in the hell you tell him to. If he doesn't, YOU DON'T PAY HIM. If you own some little TV station, and you think "Will & Grace" is kind of funny and you just start airing it, NBC doesn't come and wine and dine you and give you thousands in cash and buy you hookers. NBC comes with an army of lawyers and crushes your mind with law.
The four major distributors, between them, own and control nearly every single important piece of recorded music in history. Without their express legal permission to use these songs, radio as we know it cannot function on any level. The majors have the power to change a $200 million annual loss into a $200 million (or more) annual profit virtually overnight, but why do that when there are 12-year-olds to sue and artists to rob and iPod genies to be stuffed back in the bottle?
Ms. Rosen should master the amazing 21st-century business paradigm called GETTING PAID FOR YOUR PRODUCT before she weighs in on technical aspects of file formats and the iPod. Sheesh, with lobbyists like this, who needs pirates?
Posted by: Tim Ferguson at May 9, 2005 06:34 PM
"The problem is that the iPod only works with either songs that you buy from the on-line Apple iTunes store or songs that you rip from your own CD’s. But those other music sites have lots of music that you can’t get at the iTunes store."
Ms. Rosen's article is conclusive proof that she is still pushing the agenda of her former (current?) paymasters. It seems clear that if the problem is music not being available on the iTunes store a perfectly valid solution is for the music industry to make sure that music is available on the iTunes store. One does not need to attack Steve Jobs or Apple to solve this problem. Instead, Ms. Rosen should call on her clients to change their behavior and make more music available on the iTunes store thus enabling consumers to have access to music and Apple's wonderful solution. Alas, we see that Ms. Rosen is the one who is anti-consumer -- not advocating for consumers to have access to more music at their preferred choice, the iTunes store.
I hope this blog does not become an easy forum for paid lobbyist to make their clients case, as Ms. Rosen has just done, and justify their fees. It would be useful for the blog to identify its policy in regards to posts from paid lobbyists.
Posted by: Mike at May 9, 2005 06:38 PM
It's nice that all those who say that it's easy to transfer a Fairplay file (iTMS) to another player conveniently omit the fact that the user also suffers a loss in audio quality.
Posted by: gisboth at May 9, 2005 06:39 PM
Dear Tom Cross,
you said, "I'm now finding myself a bit frustrated by the fact that I cannot use a subscription music service with my computer. Some people like to pay for tracks. I would prefer to explore a wider array of music on a more temporary basis."
Guess what, market demand drives the market. I can't find really good roasted pumpkin seeds. Know why? Most people hate them.
Guess what, most poeple hate "subscription music service", too.
Posted by: DNA at May 9, 2005 06:47 PM
A bit of an overstatment, but in fact, Apple makes the finest products marketable each and every time. They are to the computer/digital gadget world what Sony was a long time ago in everyday consumer electronics. And if they don't bend...while continuing to carve away at the price points when they can without harming the integrity of the hard/soft ware... they will not be in the fix Sony is at present; nor will they be the scourge the PC is for millions daily.
Posted by: Richard P. McDonough at May 9, 2005 06:48 PM
When I was very young, my parents taught me never to give in to a bully, because this would send the message that intimidation would work on me, and I would always remain a target for it. This lesson holds true whether you're talking about school bullies or Mafiosi: there is no such thing as "appeasement" with that sort of person. Apple has tried to cater to the demands of the RIAA...and the only result is Hillary Rosen deciding she can try to throw her weight around some more.
Posted by: Richard Bensam at May 9, 2005 06:54 PM
Is Hillary Rosen an idiot?
Rosen: "The problem is that the iPod only works with either songs that you buy from the on-line Apple iTunes store or songs that you rip from your own CD’s. But those other music sites have lots of music that you can’t get at the iTunes store."
Really? How about the 60 gig's of shorten files I downloaded LEGALLY from archive.org, converted to wav and thwn to Apple Lossless? Oh, no sound quality loss there either!
I am embarrassed for Rosen, she is neither "hip" nor technologically savvy.
Posted by: Rob at May 9, 2005 06:59 PM
With any luck at all, people like Rosen will abandon their interests in the iPod so that they can donate their money to WalMart, Microsoft or Sony and let the rest of us enjoy superior products, a pleasurable user experience and consistently high quality without having to worry about being sold down river.
Just curious...when did innovative companies take on the obligation to make their products work with every mediocre distribution channel that springs up? Last I checked, millions of dollars were being spent to force Microsoft to make their products play better with others and that STILL isn't proving effective.
Posted by: Jeff at May 9, 2005 07:16 PM
Re: the comments that you can burn to CD, the rip in an apple compatible format. I don't know that this is true. Apple allows this, but I don't think the Microsoft DRM that Hillary is pusing allows it.
Bottom line, you can't expect the number One player manufacturer with the Number One music service to start paying royalties to Microsoft (it's arch competitor) on every IPOD to use Microsofts DRM. Most likely most won't use it anyway, as they already have the best online store available.
Posted by: Peter at May 9, 2005 07:25 PM
Rosen is a shill for the RIAA and Microsoft.
Apple now enjoys a huge place in the distribution of music, formally the RIAA's stronghold. Now Rosen and the rest of her buddies have figured they gave away the store, and this is a LAME shot across the bow of Apple by Rosen.
Incredibly lame, since now we know she really knows squat about anything, except who is signing her checks.
Posted by: hilbillandnill at May 9, 2005 07:32 PM
Frankly there is a lot of great new music available on the Internet that by-passes the Big Four altogether. Aspiring musicians and songwriters can now record, mix, and market their creative talents in their living rooms with just a few instruments and a computer. And a lot of it is better than anything being produced commercially. And playable on the iPod no doubt. I would much rather have a wider selection to choose from and pay the artist/producer directly than have to constantly pick from the same tried acts year after year. I think we are on the verge of a music explosion ... all due to the digitilization of music and file sharing. Pretty exciting actually.
Posted by: Mescalito at May 9, 2005 07:35 PM
See, Hillary? This is exactly what all of us users were complaining about when DRM was foisted upon us. The RIAA wants to have it both ways. They want music to be LICENSED when it comes to fair use, by telling us we can't convert it to another format or make copies for our own use. But when our CD media is lost, stolen, or damaged, we have to pay the full purchase price to get another copy. (They want it to be a SALE in that instance.)
You can't have your cake and eat it too, Hillary. Either it's mine and I'm free to do with it what I wish, or kindly point me to the person I can request replacement media for all the CDs that I used to have, but for various reasons I'm now without.
It never ceases to amaze me how people can say things like this with a straight face. My brain hurts.
Posted by: Jeff K at May 9, 2005 07:37 PM
Wow! This Hilary lady sure got ripped on this article! Where's your response, Hilary? You were way off the mark, and came off looking like an idiot on the first day of this website! Ouch!
Posted by: Cameron Cunning at May 9, 2005 07:42 PM
For me, the emotional reaction comes from the fact that I wantto use
my Mac—a great UNIX platform, I agree—to download music and I can’t
from Real, Walmart, or the others. Why? Because, Real and others have
chosen to wrap their files with Microsoft’s DRM-scheme, which is not
available for the Macintosh platform. Furthermore, Real does not even
allow Mac users to access their site, requiring IE 5.5 for some unknown
reason. This is distinctly unfair, even if it only affects 3.7% of
users out there. (Linux users are out too).
iTunes works with both Windows and Mac OSX, has a better rights system and works with a great player, it’s the best of what’s out there.
I, for one, would love a standard DRM-wrapper, unencumbered by any
particular corporation, be it Real, Apple, or Microsoft, so that the
best music store and player could win in the market-place. But, that
hasn’t happened yet, and until it does, iTunes remains the fairest
system to consume digital music.
Hilary Rosen’s essay ignores these facts, and frankly I would prefer her to use her former-executive muscle to create a real standard that everyonecan use, independent of platform or device. But, nope she doesn’t do that, preferring to be the mouth-piece of Microsoft’s Plays for Sure campaign.
Posted by: armedmemory at May 9, 2005 07:45 PM
I agree with the above commenters - this problem was created in part by the RIAA demands for an encryption system. The way I see it, Steve Jobs had to create his own system, because iTunes started on the Mac, and no one even offers (to this very day!) an equivalent DRM solution that works on the Mac. Windows Media claims its DRM "Plays For Sure" - not on the Mac. I can't even try any of those stores like buymusic,com, walmart.com, music.msn.com, etc. - because Microsoft doesn't offer their DRM system for any desktop operating system besides Windows.
A small company called Telestream at flip4mac.com may be able to work with Microsoft to provide WM-DRM on the Mac, but it really shouldn't take a 3rd party effort. If Microsoft was truly committed to "Plays For Sure", they should be willing to license their DRM to every computer operating system. Linspire (a version of Desktop Linux) asked Microsoft for a DRM license and were flatly refused.
It's much the same with Real - their "Harmony" DRM system might work with the iPod, but only on Windows.
Now - for the Mac user above who complained about the lack of subscription services - there are at least three I can think of right off the top of my head. XM Radio Online works with both Safari and Firefox browsers on the Mac, and is roughly $8 per month. For roughly $10 per month, Mac users could choose the Real SuperPass - a service that includes both music channels and video clips, or a music-only service from StreamWaves.com is available. StreamWaves is very similar to, say, Napster 2.0's subscription service, but it's all streaming-based. No downloads are required. Downloads are offered to Windows users for 99 cents each, but the streaming service works with Internet Explorer on both Mac and Windows platforms.
Now, what I'd like to see from Real is support for their Rhapsody service on the Mac, and support for downloading "subscription" songs to the iPod. I think they could really make some money off Mac users if they offered that.
I am not holding my breath for Microsoft to improve substantially, but hopefully Flip4Mac can help the situation.
Posted by: Johnathan at May 9, 2005 07:46 PM
Sorry Ms Rosen, you will not get much support for your trivial consumer complaint(other than maybe from Apple R&D), just as Apple was the first to cave into the RIAA/DRM shize about it preventing piracy. From what I know of the iPod and iTunes, is that they are pretty friendly towards other formats as long as you actually open the manual and read a bit. I for one will never purchase any hard/software product that forces any DRM type encumberment upon me and restricts me from using it in anyway(no, I will not sell or redistribute media and never have) I deem to be of my choosing.
I also am among the P2P and only share what is considered Public Domain videos, music tracks, etc..and resent highly Ms Rosen for the attacks levied by an industry that is attempting to children and pensioners into poverty, just for downloading a music track and passing it on to others(I have no sympathy for those that re-sale for profit though). I remember back to the early 80's in Germany where it only cost me DM3-4 more for the CD over the 12" LP and now also a DVD movies are cheaper. Music CD's as currently released sound great, but really suck as to the content contained(2 hit tracks followed with 8+ tracks of trash music that the band even on a bad day would not play at a concert, muchless release, per CD).
To those of you that are Microsoft bashing: Remember, it was Bill Gates that got Steve Jobs his job back(remember the Apple vs HP/MS/Xerox lawsuit??).
Posted by: Wolfgang at May 9, 2005 08:06 PM
I do have an opinion on Ms. Rosen's little school essay, but I let others speak instead.
The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/09/rosen_joke_jobs/
You should also read Bob Lefsetz's articles on issues like this.
You'll get more knowledge from him than from a former RIAA executive
who misses her mark.
Posted by: Christian Hoeferle at May 9, 2005 08:13 PM
hilary rosen is a moron! she gripes that apple's DRM is incompatible with everyone else's DRM (gee, who might THAT be?!?). hey hilary, this ones for you! PHHHHHTTTTT!!!!! the ipod wouldn't have DRM in the first place if it weren't for you and your evil pals!
and, um, excuse me, hilary, but the ipod is compatible with the best DRM of them all: NO DRM! i guess they removed the part of your brain that would let you understand that you can upload ANY mp3 to ANY ipod.
jeez, what a ditz!
Posted by: peg dash fab at May 9, 2005 08:17 PM
While Ms. Rosen gets (deservedly) savaged by the Mac-Addicts above, some people have a REAL problem with iTunes. Not because it's incompatability with other players, but because it is a facelift for a dying distribution system that screws artists. See how at http://www.downhillbattle.org/itunes/
Posted by: Neil at May 9, 2005 08:33 PM
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