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LA Times: Apple to launch music service
March 4 - 02:51 EST   A story in today's LA Times (free registration required) reports that Apple is planning to offer an online music service for Mac users, and only Mac users, that several record labels approve of. "The new service was developed by Apple Computer Inc., sources said Monday, and offers users of Macintoshes and iPod portable music players many of the same capabilities that already are available from services previously endorsed by the labels. But the Apple offering won over music executives because it makes buying and downloading music as simple and non-technical as buying a book from Amazon.com," notes the article. An individual familiar with the negotiations is also quoted as saying "This is exactly what the music industry has been waiting for. It's hip. It's quick. It's easy."

Sound pretty cool eh?

Parousia
 

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parousia wrote:
Sound pretty cool eh?

It does, but I'll wait to see the implementation before I pull out my credit card and start downloading music. I'm skeptical that downloading music through this service will be significantly cheaper than buying music conventionally (i.e., CDs). Plus I'm curious as to what file format they're going to use, what sort of quality we'll be able to expect, and whether it will be encumbered with any sort of digital rights management.

Plus, they mention this will be an Apple-only service. Does that mean the client software will only be available for the Mac, or that the songs won't work on anything but a Mac?
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
jfpoole wrote:
they mention this will be an Apple-only service. Does that mean the client software will only be available for the Mac, or that the songs won't work on anything but a Mac?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Considering their adhereance to more open standards lately, I'd be willing to bet that it will be a Mac only client as opposed to a Mac only file type. At most, I could see releasing an iPod firmware update and making it a file only the iPod can read, but even that is stretching it a bit.

The prices would have to be pretty good for me to sign up though. Especially since Limewire et al are still free.

--PB
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
It does, but I'll wait to see the implementation before I pull out my credit card and start downloading music. I'm skeptical that downloading music through this service will be significantly cheaper than buying music conventionally (i.e., CDs). Plus I'm curious as to what file format they're going to use, what sort of quality we'll be able to expect, and whether it will be encumbered with any sort of digital rights management.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, it sounds too good to be true. If the music execs like it, it might be expensive. Which brings up the question - how much would I (we) be willing to pay for a song? $1? $2? $0.75? You normally get 12-16 songs on a CD and a CD costs $16 when it's reasonably priced.

In this article http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0303/04.applemusic.php they state the file format will be AAC (Advanced Audio Codec).

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:

Plus, they mention this will be an Apple-only service. Does that mean the client software will only be available for the Mac, or that the songs won't work on anything but a Mac?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They mention in the article I attached that it will be iTunes that gives this functionality - makes sense. iTunes isn't available on the PC. Also, maybe the deal with the music companies will be Mac exclusive. Wouldn't that draw a nice crowd from the PC dark side.
 

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All the more reason to buy a Mac. I remember when Shaquille O'Neal of the LA Lakers basketball team had an iPod on the team bus to the Staples Center and was filmed singing to a tune he had on his playlist. He then decided to buy each member of the Lakers' team a personal iPod. Free advertising of a real user, and then they go to Yao Ming to do the new AlPB commercial. Strange.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kosh:
Which brings up the question - how much would I (we) be willing to pay for a song? $1? $2? $0.75? You normally get 12-16 songs on a CD and a CD costs $16 when it's reasonably priced.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I always dreamed of having a reliable online music service, but an Apple branded service (iMusic) on top of that? Wow! That would grow the market share pretty darn quick, since I believe that could be the "must have" software available only on a Mac.

I would pay $2.00 (inclusive of all fees and taxes) per song, BUT:

- tight integration with iLife

- quick search results, have no waiting and fast download times

- cross searching (song to artist, album to song, artist to album, etc.)

- I would expect to have free (30 second?) previews to sample a song before I pay and download

- permission to keep one copy, but be allowed to transfer to different media (computer to iPod to CD-R)

- all possible song info transferred to iTunes including album cover pictures (visuals in iTunes would be album covers instead of crazy, moving tie-dye)

- as a .Mac subscriber, I would get 10 free song downloads ;)

- in the future, actual music videos (if they exist) of songs to be played in iTunes or on video enabled iPod


- more???
 

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Dr.G. wrote:
All the more reason to buy a Mac.

Unfortunately, I own a number of computers, only one of which is a Mac. I don't mind being able to download music only on my Mac, but if I can play it only on my Mac, too, then it's next to worthless for me. I may as well wander down to the store, buy the CD, and rip it into MP3 files.
 

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It certainly sounds interesting. I for one like the idea but i fear what wll become of it.

I'm not familiar with AAC or DRM, or what all that means, but I suspect that AAC will also work with Windows (Possibly through the MusicPlayer for Windows iPods?

And lets face it. A legal method of getting digital music? Not exactly a bad idea.

Having it Mac only might be the way it starts, but I doubt it will be exclusive for long.

Also, cost per song will certainly have to be "right" or the consumer mindset won't go for it.

Cheap music, such as $1.00 or less per song (or perhaps $10.00 or less per album if you want the entire thing) would be a good start for prices, in my humble opinion.

:cool:
 

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Strongblade wrote:
I'm not familiar with ... DRM, or what all that means....

DRM stands for digital rights management. An example of a DRM scheme is allowing, say, an audio file, to only be played on a certain computer. The idea behind DRM is to stop people from sharing digital media, but it also infringes on fair-use rights (i.e., you're unable to copy and use media files on other machines or devices you own).
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
Dr.G. wrote:
All the more reason to buy a Mac.

Unfortunately, I own a number of computers, only one of which is a Mac. I don't mind being able to download music only on my Mac, but if I can play it only on my Mac, too, then it's next to worthless for me. I may as well wander down to the store, buy the CD, and rip it into MP3 files.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

True, you could do that, but then again, if you do that, it's legal anyway...

However many people will download MP3s from some Napsteresque file sharing service and avoid the costs altogether...
 
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