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I'm of the opinion that the labels needed Apple (or someone like Apple) in order to solve the download fiasco. They certainly can't do it themselves; each attempt by the labels has failed miserably.

The labels don't trust each other (ie a Sony music store can't get Warner Music titles) and in an attempt to attract consumers Bertelsman (spelling?) has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in copyright infringement suits because they simply put paid download music online they didn't own the rights to. Without a company outside the industry, music-for-download will never get off the ground.

We might see it as a big thing for Apple, but it's a huge, monstrous, gigantic, colossal leap to solve the paralysis that continued to dog the music industry. When we read all about it in the future, I think it will be the labels that will look upon the Apple Music Store as a major turning point for their industry.

I do like the new focus Apple is placing on Windows users (or, computer users in general, regardless of the OS). It's hard to say how much UNIX played a role, but it seems Apple was pleasantly suprised as to how well the command-line community has embraced Apple's HW.

Along with the iPod, Apple seems to have taken a conceptual leap; they are actively placing their products and services smack in the middle of Windows users' radar screens. Hopefully the Wintel port of iTunes will further that. I don't think it went unnoticed by Microsoft that anyone who uses Windows and the Music Store will be required to run QuickTime6 (for the MPEG-4 codec). A handy little tie-in indeed.

I would be interested to know a bit more about the contractual arrangement Apple has made; if they were able to extract an exclusive license over a decent term, it's a great asset.

[ May 01, 2003, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
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