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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we're locked out of iTunes Music Store has anyone used PureTracks.com?

Apple's excuse for not providing service to Canada has been that they can't come to an agreement on copyright here. How is it that PureTracks can and Apple can't?
 

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Any service that relys on Windows Media player and the infernal DRM (digital rights management) is never going to be used by me.

At least with Apple they made it more liberal.

Can't wait till we get a decent service. (Although I've found a few good ones in Russia and Czechoslovakia... although not sure if they're totally above board)
 

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From the rumblings I have heard, the difficulty with the negotiations to get the copyright licensing for the iTMS in Canada has been on the part of the CRIA, not Apple. I don't think they like Apple's DRM, but there is probably more to it than that.
 

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I have it from a good source the ITMS is ready to go in Canada and waiting for the flick of the switch. Look for MWSF or tied into the SuperBowl.
Apple doesn't want to do one country here and another country there. They want to make a BIG splash making it available "Worldwide"... or close to it.

ITMS Canada is coming early '04. You heard it from ehMax 1st. ;) Get you CC's ready.


This is the 1st song I'm buying. (The one U2 song I don't think I have)
 

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I do agree that it's a shame that PureTracks will only run in a Windows environment, and I can understand why Apple users would feel somewhat neglected because of this.

I work in online chat technical support for high speed internet in the states (I know, best job ever... coffee and chat... hehe). We receive several complaints via e-mail about how "left out" mac users feel as our support site doesn't support the Macintosh platform as all of the proprietary support software is Windows only. (live chat support, automated scripted solutions for configs, etc...) We do offer technical support to Macintosh users, however, they must speak to a representative on the phone or e-mail us.

This does however remind me of how long Windows users had to wait for iTunes. I was quite excited when it was released for the Windows environment (my primary computer) only to rush home and download it to find that the iTunes store was not available to us.

I'm glad they're releasing ITMS here soon!
 

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Actually, I was told it'll run fine on a Mac now that MS released WM9 player supporting their DRM for us Mac boys.

So, If you want to be a tool of the evil empire, it'll work, go ahead, but I'd just wait until iTunes.
 

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insertclevername - Actually WMP9 for Mac does not handle the DRM. So you still can't use it on a Mac even if you wanted to use such a format. (WMA is a horrible codec anyway.)
 

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WMA is actually not a bad codec, in fact at the same encoding rate as an MP3, the file size is roughly the same but it stores more of the sound information.

I have a couple of audiophile friends who swear by WMA for all their compressed audio.
 

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Great news EhMax. A worldwide iTMS coupled to worldwide giveaways will have the WMA dudes skulking in the shadows. However, I'm not sure how successful iTMS (or any other Canadian-based store) will do here since our commercial (uncompressed) music seems a lot cheaper than in the US when the exchange rate is factored in. The cheapest iTMS album is US$9.99 (plus tx) but there are great bargains to be had at (yuk) WalMart, Costco, and even the music store chains. So I doubt price will win people over - it'll be more the experience, convenience, instant -gratification, etc.

I don't really care whether WMA is better/worse than AAC. All I care about is having uncompressed music so that I can encode it how I like (improving over time). I use MMM4/QT6Pro and AAC at 192 kps for my iPod.

On the other hand, my kids seem content with crappy mp3 so I guess they'll be hitting me for a monthly allowance.....
 

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PosterBoy - Yes WMA is now better then MP3. Most comparasions I've found between AAC and WMA show that AAC is a better codec.

eg. On Tom's Hardware in a review for a WMA player, they compare the original file (wav), with its compressed counterparts of MP3, WMA and AAC. AAC won. [Source]

Personally I really detest WMA, although that may be slanted because I can't stand using Windows Media Player.
 

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" ... I'm not sure how successful iTMS (or any other Canadian-based store) will do here since our commercial (uncompressed) music seems a lot cheaper than in the US when the exchange rate is factored in. ..."

Since any iTMS Canada downloads will be paid to Canadian Rights Holders (the RIAA and it's members don't own the rights to anything sold in Canada or anywhere else for that matter outside the US) the price won't necessarily be the $US price per download x an exchange rate.

Whatever they negoitate; the price of the US iTMS is irrellevant.
 

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Apple's pricing problems are a model of what has been ailing American-made exports for years. Goods manufactured and sold from the US tend to be exceedingly expensive in markets where the US dollar is valued higher than the domestic currency.

I'm sure that Apple would love to have an ITMS model in which the price for track is 99 cents, USD, CDN or Euros. It sure would make for a more compelling price than say $1.37. The trouble with doing this, however, is that by lowering the price in Canada, it means that US customers might see ITMS Canada as a place to buy tracks at a discount (factoring in their favourable exchange). Conversely, our friends across the pond might complain at paying .99 Euros since that's a considerable markup for them at current exchange rates ($.99USD = .80 Euros)...to say nothing of the exchange in pound sterling.

Mind you, iTunes seems to do a pretty good job of detecting your country of origin, cross-referencing this with the ship-to address that you include when entering your credit card number...so maybe they can pull it off. We'll see.
 

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Let's hope it is more like 99 cents Canadian - that would be worth the wait. I've a feeling that all my US pals will be asking me to host credit card accounts for them....

The fact is, however, that all these stores sell compressed forms of music. 128k AAC will always be 128k AAC. Why downgrade? One of the mnicest things about the iPod is that you can load it up with uncompressed AIFF's if you want to, or, more practically, with higher bit-rate AACs. 192 kbps is a sweet spot for my aging ears.
 

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True, but among the many troubles with using the AIFF (uncompressed) format is that it is a *huge* drain on the iPod's battery. I use Apple's AAC format for a lot of my stuff, especially old LP tracks that I have converted...still sounds better than the original LP version.

For others, I use 160kbps and it sounds fine, to these old ears at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At a MAC User group meeting in September here in Calgary we had an actual Apple employee, son of a group member, give us a presentation on the G5. During the question and answer period he did say Apple wanted to keep the price of each iTune the same system wide. X.99. We'll see. Hopefully next week.
 

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Now, here is my question. Is the Canadian Store going to sell songs for $0.99 as in the States, or will they be $0.99 + GST? The songs would still be cheaper than buying from the U.S. store though, unless the dollar keeps going up and up and up.
Anyone out there that has tried Puretracks.com....were you charged GST for your downloads???
 

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Just went through the motions of PureTracks and have to say it's a mixed bag.

1. 99 cent songs in Canada - yeah
2. Easily found and purchased an album - yeah
3. Started to download - meh
4. Download crashed part way through - booh
5. Couldn't find my tracks on PureTracks - booh
6. Got a quick answer on finding my tracks - yeah
7. Don't delete your email confirmations as they are your route to download music later - booh
8. Downloaded the rest of the tracks - meh
9. Tried to write a CD - okay
10. got message that I didn't have proper license to write CD from some tracks - what the &^%$&^$
11. played a few seconds of each track to obtain the license - what the (*&^*&^
12. Wrote the CD - yawn (this took a long time)
13. Put cd in my Mac - Thank God for miracles


The biggest surprise was that Windows Media Player on the PC actually burned the disc data in a CDDB usable format and I didn't have to re-enter the info in any other player.

I'd go this route again but can't say it's anywhere near as easy as iTunes. Please hurry up Apple Canada.

I don't think you'll find anyone spending $26,000 PureTracks.
 
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