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Apple iTunes is a hit!


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#1 of 24 Scott L

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Posted September 08 2003 - 07:35 AM

Quote:
iTunes Sells 10 Millionth Song

In just over four months, Apple's iTunes music service has sold 10 million songs.

The company said that the service, which sells individual songs for 99 cents and allows more freedom for owners than most legal download sites, has averaged 500,000 a week since its introduction.

The milestone song was a copy of Avril Levigne's "Complicated," which was downloaded on Sept. 3

As someone else said it makes more sense to pay $10 for 10 songs you like than $15 for only 2 or 3. I plan on getting this once it's available for Windows. Posted Image

www.apple.com/itunes

#2 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted September 08 2003 - 09:19 AM

I'll consider it depending on the quality of the songs. I personally don't like anything below a 192/44 because I can hear distortion, but that's with MP3. I've never heard the quality of AAC. Any audiophiles out there want to give the low-down on its quality?

#3 of 24 Scott L

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Posted September 08 2003 - 01:33 PM

Yea I'm curious about it too. Since it's derived from MPEG-4 I'd assume it compresses more efficietly than MP3. Whether that means better file sizes or better quality still has me wondering. Here's what Apple has to say about it:
Quote:
AAC: MPEG-4 audio
AAC (for Advanced Audio Coding, a big part of the MPEG-4 specification) is the cutting-edge audio codec that’s perfect for the Internet. AAC encoding compresses much more efficiently than older formats like MP3 (which iTunes still supports, by the way), while delivering quality rivaling that of uncompressed CD audio. In fact, expert listeners have judged AAC audio files compressed at 128 kbps (stereo) to be virtually indistinguishable from the original uncompressed audio source. iTunes 4 and QuickTime 6.2 is all you need to get started.


#4 of 24 John*Jones

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Posted September 08 2003 - 02:00 PM

This site offers some observations on mp3/AAC encoding.

I was very curious about this issue myself, especially since iTunes is coming to PCs soon. I am by no means an audiophile, but I did come across a number of commonly held observations about this issue. Generally speaking for sound quality, if <192k AAC was preferred, if >192k mp3 was preferred. Of course, when it comes to sound quality, such observations are highly subjective.

#5 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted September 08 2003 - 02:34 PM

Seems like AAC is slightly more efficient at retaining audio quality than MP3. I might have to look into this when it's finally availble, depending on what kind of draconian DRM will be implemented.

#6 of 24 DonRoeber

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:49 AM

The DRM isn't bad at all. AAC-Locked files (like ones purchased from the iTunes Music Store) can be listened to on up to three authorized computers. If you have three computers authorized, you can de-authorize on and authorize another, so no problems there. They also play fine on an iPod, because it's AAC aware. The iPod doesn't count as one of your authorizations. You can also burn an AAC file 10 times before you need to change the playlist that it belongs to around a bit, then you can burn it again.

I think Apple is being very fair with their DRM. I buy songs and listen to them on a few different Macs, and the AAC-Locked files have never been a burden at all. The iTunes Music Store has the same rules for all songs, which is something that the BuyMusic store doesn't have.

You can also encode your own music in AAC format, and those files will have no restrictions. Since I ripped my entire CD collection recently, I wasn't up for re-ripping it in AAC. I'm happy with my --alt-preset=standard encoded MP3s.
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#7 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:51 AM

Quote:
AAC-Locked files (like ones purchased from the iTunes Music Store) can be listened to on up to three authorized computers.
That's my gripe. I have more than three computers in my house. When I buy a song I should be able to listen to it on any PC or CD player in my house.

Then again, I could always buy the song, burn it to CD, then re-rip the CD so that it's available as an MP3 to the rest of my home network.

Quote:
As someone else said it makes more sense to pay $10 for 10 songs you like than $15 for only 2 or 3.
If iTunes takes care of this situation, then I think they have a new customer here when the PC version comes out. The latter is exactly the reason why my CD sales have dropped. I haven't stopped buying CDs because I download them. The truth is that I DON'T download albums. I just can't do it. But I'm not going to pay for a few songs and have a majority of crap songs. That's like buying a rusted car with terrible suspension problems just because the super-powerful engine is in great condition.

#8 of 24 TyC

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Posted September 09 2003 - 07:00 AM

I refuse to download songs from sites such as iTunes until they offer songs uncompressed or use lossless compression.
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#9 of 24 DonRoeber

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:17 AM

TyC: You realize that they'd need to charge much more than $1.00 just to cover their bandwith and storage costs, right? Such a proposition would hardly be financially responsible, since so few users would want to download a 60mb music file.
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#10 of 24 Jeffrey_Jones

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:26 PM

Hello,

While I agree that paying $10 for 10 great songs is better then spending $15 for 2 or 3, I don't find this to be the case with most of the albums that I buy. Perhaps I’m just picky.

At close to $1 per song I still don't see the value or the cost savings. Why pay the same amount...sometimes more for a compressed version of a song with pretty serious DRM limitations when the uncompressed unlimited original is sitting on music store shelves all over the country and on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I burn almost all of the CDs that I buy for distribution throughout my house so I'm a big fan of digital music. I would be a huge fan of services like iTunes if they would increase the quality, loosen up the DRM rules and lower the price. Until then I will continue to buy and burn regular albums.

Thanks,
Jeff

#11 of 24 Scott L

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:08 PM

http://www.theregist...nt/6/32731.html

#12 of 24 Dave F

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:57 PM

$10 for 10 songs seems like a waste of money, when you are getting lossy compressed files, and you have nothing physical. No liner notes, no nifty cover artwork etc... Their DRM is better than the other services, but like John, I have more than 3 pooters in the house. And I don't think I'd be able to stream these files to my Xbox. Posted Image

Still, even with these negatives, this is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully someone in the industry will pull their head out of their butt & realize this. (In between suing 12 yr old girls and 70 yr old men, of course)

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#13 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted September 09 2003 - 04:37 PM

Quote:
Why pay the same amount...sometime more for a compressed version of a song with pretty serious DRM limitations when the uncompressed unlimited original is sitting on music store shelves all over the country and on the internet.
This statement makes a hell of a lot of assumptions, the most obvious being that I'd use the service to download a whole album. No, I wouldn't do that. A full album will be purchased on a real CD, assuming that it's available. I'd only consider using iTunes if there are a number of songs that I want that are on completely separate albums. In that case, $1x10 for songs that I want is a far, far better deal than $16x10 with 90% comprised of songs that I don't want.

#14 of 24 Patrick Larkin

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Posted September 10 2003 - 02:37 AM

Quote:
but like John, I have more than 3 pooters in the house


I can't speak for the future Windows version but this really is not an issue on Macintosh. iTunes can "share" its songs to any computer on the local network. There is absolutely no need to store redundant copies on multiple computers. On a Mac, there isn't even a config, everything auto discover itself using Rendezvouz.

From Apple.com:
New Music Sharing feature
iTunes 4 has a Music Sharing feature that uses Rendezvous to give you remote streaming access to your personal music library from any room in your house. Let’s say, for instance, that you have thousands of AAC and MP3 music files stored on a Mac in your home office. With iTunes 4, you can stream that music to other Macintosh computers anywhere in your house. And you won’t have to manually configure anything, either: Rendezvous seeks out the other Macs on your local network and connects to them automatically.


Windows is somewhat less sophisticated at this point to support these features but I'm sure Apple will find a way. Or perhaps there will be less features in the Windows version.

#15 of 24 Scott L

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Posted September 10 2003 - 06:40 AM

Oh ok, Dan gave us a false impression when he said the files can only be listened to on 3 computers. Streaming music works great in Windows and is really more of a hardware issue than software.

Does this mean you can have the actual files copied onto 3 computers in the house?

#16 of 24 Jeffrey_Jones

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Posted September 10 2003 - 07:02 AM

Quote:
This statement makes a hell of a lot of assumptions


I'm not making any assumptions...I'm stating an opinion. It doesn't matter how many songs you download from the same album...I think these services are charging way too much per song given the level of compression they use and the restrictions imposed by DRM. Until that changes I will continue to buy and burn my music.

Thanks,
Jeff

#17 of 24 Patrick Larkin

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Posted September 10 2003 - 08:21 AM

Quote:
Does this mean you can have the actual files copied onto 3 computers in the house?


Yes, or more realistically, a home system, a laptop, and a work system. I think thats how they settled on the number 3.

I'm sure streaming works fine on windows but I'm not sure if there is a windows implementation of Rendezvouz or not...

#18 of 24 Patrick Larkin

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Posted September 10 2003 - 08:25 AM

BTW, a whole album on ITMS is not the number of songs x $.99.

Most full albums are $9.99 even if they have 16 songs. Today, I bought The Jayhawks Rainy Day Music for $9.99 and it contains 14 tracks. I doubt I could find it in a corner music shop for less than $12.99 and more realistically it would be $13.99 and up. But I'd have to search for $12.99 and waste gas and time. $9.99 is well worth it.

#19 of 24 Dave F

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Posted September 10 2003 - 10:48 AM

Quote:
I can't speak for the future Windows version but this really is not an issue on Macintosh. iTunes can "share" its songs to any computer on the local network.
That doesn't resolve the issue for me (I actually assumed that streaming/sharing the files would be possible). I don't want to have to dedicate a computer to 100% uptime for file sharing.

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#20 of 24 John_Berger

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Posted September 10 2003 - 02:12 PM

Quote:
I'm sure streaming works fine on windows
Quote:
I don't want to have to dedicate a computer to 100% uptime for file sharing.
You can't stream from one system to another and file sharing is not the issue. In order for DRM to work, the song is licensed to one system through its unique Media Player ID. If you attempt to play that file through a Media Player on another system, which almost guaranteed will have a different ID, Media Player will attempt to get a license for that file. What I'm gathering from iTunes is that you can get up to three unique licenses (i.e., three different installations of Media Player) for each song. Just putting the songs on a file server will not bypass this issue.


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