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iCloud is bringing sexy, er DRM, back. Dammit...


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 09 2011 - 01:31 AM

I though I'd get all the tracks I still haven't upgraded to iTunes plus converted over for free, but nope, they are still DRM wrapped via iCloud.


http://gigaom.com/20...ple-icloud-drm/


Oh well...


I understand this, but I expect a lot of foot stomping from other quarters.


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#2 of 33 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 09 2011 - 01:44 AM

Well crap. It'd run me $638, as of today to ItunesPlus all my drm purchases. I had hoped this could fix that. I get that it makes economic sense, but this seems to reward people who pirated and the 'match' ahead of me, a person who paid, and that sucks. :(

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#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 09 2011 - 03:42 AM

$740 for me last time I checked.  Jeez, that meant I bought almost $2k worth of tunes up till that point, no idea what the damages are today.  I buy most of my new music from Amazon now tho and since my collection is pretty much complete on historic tracks it's mostly new releases....


Anyway, here's a great article fully running down iCloud:

http://www.macworld....ed_to_know.html


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#4 of 33 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 09 2011 - 04:58 AM

I have to admit, the more I think about this the less happy I am. People who paid money are getting the screw and I would be definitely be better off if I had just pirated. That is preposterous. Most of what is in my Plus option is things I won't buy again (a ton of baby and infant stuff, when we snapped up everything in those categories). I understand why they are doing it. I just don't like it.


(I'm editing since I'm now at a PC instead of on a Blackberry)


Most of my buys anymore are amazon or Audible. My Audible membership which goes back six years has always been a better deal then I've found anywhere. Maybe the best buy out there for audiobook listeners  Audible's example is one I wish others would deal with.  My library goes back to 2005.  I can access it anytime at their website.   Redownload audiobooks as I want.   When they come out with a higher quality version, I get it for free.   I originally bought some books in 2005 when "4" was the highest standard they supported.   Then, later, they came out with "E".. all of my books, free upgrade if I wanted them.   ooh, need to redownload an audiobook I haven't heard in a while?   Grab it right away.


It made me wonder why anyone would ever buy audiobooks through iTunes, which are about twice the cost and their download system sucks.   The same with Amazon and MP3s.   I used to buy straight through iTunes because it was easy and things were available.   But with choice, it's drifted way down in my list of places to buy because with Amazon Prime, I find it's easier to just grab there.


But it's the Audible policy that makes me think of this.. Audible was storing my library online years ago before anyone used terms like "Cloud"  And their solution works:  We keep anything you buy, redownload as much as you want, if we have a better version, it's yours free.   Apple did the same thing with apps.  Buy, we'll hold it for you, redownload (kind of, there are some quirks with that) but we'll update it too.


Great.


But Music, they now want to ding me for an upgrade to the exact same thing, just n o DRM at 30 cents a pop while someone pirating the stuff may end up with free amnesty.   Grr.   Maybe I don't need all the Wiggles in non-DRM.   Kids are too old for that now.  But it's the principle of the thing.


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#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 09 2011 - 06:15 AM

Word!  (except I swear I don't own any Wiggles)


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#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted June 09 2011 - 06:21 AM

It's not bringing DRM "back". If you have it now, you will continue to have it. Yes, you may be getting a "raw deal" compared to someone paying for iTunes Match, but it also has slightly different parameters.




#7 of 33 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 09 2011 - 06:23 AM



Originally Posted by Ken Chan 

It's not bringing DRM "back". If you have it now, you will continue to have it. Yes, you may be getting a "raw deal" compared to someone paying for iTunes Match, but it also has slightly different parameters.




But what really are the "different parameters" ?   I understand they just keep it in DRM.   But let's be honest, if I was a terrible person and just grabbed everything I bought only in clean-non-DRM form illegally, Apple would be OK with that and I'd have full, clean, ready to use Apple-certified versions in my iTunes Match.


So, it seems like Pirates gets a steal: $25 for amnesty.  Meanwhile, everyone who legitimately paid gets a screwjob.    I don't know what "different parameters" out there change those factors.


http://www.mobiledia...news/93159.html



In a move to possibly please the music industry, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company plans to charge users a $25 flat-rate to stream music not purchased through iTunes. Although this fee covers music ripped from hard-copy CDs, it also covers music downloaded illegally.


http://www.todaysiph...-or-protection/



So, here is the problem. For $25 bucks a year, you can match your music with the same song from iTunes but at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality. That means for some who acquired the music illegally—like torrents—they can get higher quality versions of all their music for only a few dollars. Now let’s do the math. 50 songs from an illegal source at 25 dollars a year mean each song is 50 cents. Now suppose you got those same 50 songs from iTunes at 99 cents each. That’s 50 dollars and that’s all you get. It seems to me that this is a win for the pirates, no?   But is this also stopping pirates? With the example above, it is hard to find an argument against piracy, but at least it monetizes it. Pirates are still going to have to pay to have their music in the cloud and in a way, the 50 cents a song is a whole lot better for the music companies who have been getting absolutely nothing. If it is any consolation, whether Apple came up with iTunes Match or not, pirates would have still kept on pirating. It wasn’t as if this new service was going to make them see the light or anything.


Are you kidding me??!?!?!?!@    "let's assume you download 50 songs a year illegally, but you pay $24, the math still works for the industry?!?!@


Really?  Hell, if you knew you could instantly legitimize with the $24 a year, why would you EVER pay Apple or anyone?    There are going to be a lot of people who will see this almost as a blanket amnesty of "do whatever, just pay the $24 a year and you're good"..   50 songs?   Try thousands.   Try every hot single that comes out, albums people have missed, whatever.. doesn't matter it all gets justified in the end.


MEANWHILE, those of us who do the right thing and pay for our music, well, we don't get that option, they still want an extra 30 cents per song out of me to legitimize everything.



According to rights lawyer Michael Speck, who ran the music industry's court case against file-sharing network Kazaa, the service is a $25 alibi.


"If you can store all your pirate content you won't need to buy content will you?" said Speck told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Let me put it this way: if you can legally park your stolen car in my garage will you rush out and actually pay for your own car?"


"Putting aside that, this means a 1,000 song catalogue will only cost the pirate 2.5c a song, there is no way that Apple could fairly compensate the actual victims and still take its cut," he said.


Meanwhile, a BBC Twitter feed quoted digital content firm Rovi, which works with Apple, as saying iCloud was "a $25 a year amnesty on those who have illegally copied music".



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#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

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Posted June 09 2011 - 06:41 AM

I don't have any of these DRM'd songs myself, but couldn't you burn them to a standard audio CD, reimport them into iTunes, then have iTunes Match kick in and get the better quality versions in the cloud?


Granted, that would be a bit cumbersome but it least it works around the issue (sort of).


-Keith


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#9 of 33 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 09 2011 - 06:58 AM

I don't have any of these DRM'd songs myself, but couldn't you burn them to a standard audio CD, reimport them into iTunes, then have iTunes Match kick in and get the better quality versions in the cloud?


Granted, that would be a bit cumbersome but it least it works around the issue (sort of).


-Keith

Kind of. A lot of my stuff isn't full albums. There are some full albums I can do it with that will work. But stuff where I have a single here, a single there.. if I burn them to a CD, they work fine as a CD.. when I rip them back into iTunes, it doesn't know the name of the song, the information, etc. So, I rip them back into iTunes, then have to go through editting each title, I'll end up using an external program which is easier to edit ID3 tags then iTunes, to go back and label them all up so they will match. So: Ton of time on my part + about a 50 pack of CDs ($10) so my cost is still considerably higher in parts & labor then some pirate who gets it without all the hastle

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#10 of 33 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 09 2011 - 11:05 AM




Originally Posted by mattCR 


It made me wonder why anyone would ever buy audiobooks through iTunes, which are about twice the cost and their download system sucks.   The same with Amazon and MP3s.   I used to buy straight through iTunes because it was easy and things were available.   But with choice, it's drifted way down in my list of places to buy because with Amazon Prime, I find it's easier to just grab there.

The articles I read claimed that Apple gave the studios variable pricing to get DRM-free. The studios used variable pricing to price iTunes higher than Amazon, and worked in effect to back Amazon, to try and break Apple's stranglehold of the industry. Apple saved the industry and the industry wants to kills Apple for it. Everytime someone buys from Amazon over iTunes, a Music exec gets his blackjack and hookers... ;) (Not that it stops me, because I prefer $0.99 over $1.29)




My guess is these DRM concessions are Studios' requirements, not Apple's.



#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted June 14 2011 - 07:18 PM

Who says that iTunes Match is going to give you permanent copies of songs?


All the comments I've seen about it, pro and con, seem to assume that this is the case.  But if you look at what Apple says, they only use the word "download" with respect to new purchases, or past purchases from them.  They also use the word "upload" with respect to iTunes Match, for those cases where bits already in your possession cannot be matched to recordings on their servers.


But as for accessing the "iTunes Match" songs?  "Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device."


My guess is, that's not them giving you permanent copies of music that you appear to own.  That's them streaming temporary copies of music that you appear to own, and charging you $25 a year for the privilege.  Perhaps your devices will store temporary cached copies of some songs, to increase availability and reduce load on their servers, but that's implementation detail.  As soon as you stop paying the $25 a year, my guess is that all cached "iCloud library" files will be deleted or will (through use of DRM) become unusable.  (Assuming that you really did own the music in the first place, you would still have the option of preparing your own AAC files and using iTunes to push them to your devices.)




#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted June 14 2011 - 08:00 PM





Quote:

According to rights lawyer Michael Speck, who ran the music industry's court case against file-sharing network Kazaa, the service is a $25 alibi.


"If you can store all your pirate content you won't need to buy content will you?" said Speck told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Let me put it this way: if you can legally park your stolen car in my garage will you rush out and actually pay for your own car?"


Maybe he wouldn't pay for his own car.  If this quote is accurate, he seems to think that anyone who can steal, will.


But I'm sure I've passed by my share of unlocked cars in parking lots, some of them with the motor running.  I've never been tempted to take the "five finger discount" on any of them.  Guess the upbringing you get at home and at Sunday School counts for a little more than lawyers give credit.




#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted June 15 2011 - 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomas Newton 
Quote:

According to rights lawyer Michael Speck, who ran the music industry's court case against file-sharing network Kazaa, the service is a $25 alibi.


"If you can store all your pirate content you won't need to buy content will you?" said Speck told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Let me put it this way: if you can legally park your stolen car in my garage will you rush out and actually pay for your own car?"


Maybe he wouldn't pay for his own car.  If this quote is accurate, he seems to think that anyone who can steal, will.


But I'm sure I've passed by my share of unlocked cars in parking lots, some of them with the motor running.  I've never been tempted to take the "five finger discount" on any of them.  Guess the upbringing you get at home and at Sunday School counts for a little more than lawyers give credit.



The car thing is a false analogy that keeps getting trotted out.  If you were to steal a card you are stealing *someone's* car -- she will be in a terrible situation not having a car anymore.  If you copy a digital track, you are not making your neighbor's copy of Groove is in the Heart disappear.

Note, as someone who has a music collection of 1000+ CDs I am obviously not condoning music file sharing.  But please, stop calling it stealing and equating it with the stealing of physical objects.  It isn't.  Digital copying isn't piracy either, which involves someone making a profit.


And even in this very late stage in the game the music industry keeps encouraging file sharing.  Example: Were I to get nostalgic for my misspent youth, I might want to buy a copy of Maureen McGovern singing "Torn Between Two Lovers" from iTunes.  Nope, I can't -- the music industry refuses to sell it to me.  Or maybe Ella Fitzgerald doing "All Through The Night" from The Cole Porter Song Book Vol. 1 -- no, they refuse to sell that to me as well.   The number one cause of file sharing is the music industry itself.


They need to stop playing games -- and don't tell me "they don't have the rights blah, blah, blah" because it is instantly fixable if they wished to fix it:  a the turn of the 20th century cover songs were illegal -- you could only perform a song you wrote yourself.  Congress remedied that by passing legislation mandating the "rights holders" to automatically license all their music for covers in exchange for a fixed, affordable royalty.  The same type of legislation could be passed to remedy all of today's "rights" BS -- the music industry would just need to lobby for it, and it would be passed overnight.  But they won't and thus all file sharing hangs on their necks.




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#14 of 33 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted June 15 2011 - 08:45 AM


Originally Posted by Thomas Newton 

Perhaps your devices will store temporary cached copies of some songs, to increase availability and reduce load on their servers, but that's implementation detail.  As soon as you stop paying the $25 a year, my guess is that all cached "iCloud library" files will be deleted or will (through use of DRM) become unusable.


Not too much point in speculating about it -- we'll all know for sure in a few months. But the files will be DRM-free. (Maybe someone with some free time can point to the timestamp during the keynote when this is said.) So if the files are on your Mac or PC, you can easily move or copy them.




#15 of 33 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 21 2011 - 08:27 AM

What's weird is everyone else thinks iTunes Match is DRM free. Is it thought that this slide is missing a footnote and fine print:DRM-shackled music is exempt, and remains DRM'd? I don't think we know that the GigaOm article is accurate until the service launches.


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#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted June 21 2011 - 07:53 PM

Three different kinds of songs:

  • Existing iTunes Plus songs. The current format: 256k, DRM-free
  • Older iTunes songs that did not get upgraded to Plus. 128k, DRM. No need to Match these; already in iTunes.
  • Non-iTunes songs that get Matched. Like Plus, 256k, DRM-free -- and perhaps some more as-yet unknown characteristics
The bogus complaint that started this thread is about the second kind.



#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 22 2011 - 01:53 AM

Why do you say it's bogus Ken? Why do pirates get a better version than those of us who paid our 99 cents fair and square but didn't bow to Apple holding us hostage for a DRM removal fee?

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#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted June 22 2011 - 02:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

Why do you say it's bogus Ken? Why do pirates get a better version than those of us who paid our 99 cents fair and square but didn't bow to Apple holding us hostage for a DRM removal fee?
I expected better from you, Sam -- quote from the very GigaOm article you linked to:


The good news is that iCloud’s Music Match will likely also work for DRMed iTunes purchases (Apple PR didn’t respond in time to requests for comment), meaning that paying subscribers will be able to free their existing iTunes libraries from DRM by paying $25 per year instead of $0.30 per track.

In fact, it would be a single payment of $25, because you'd get to download the 256K DRM free versions into your iTunes Library, at which point you are all set for life.  Yes, ideally Apple would do the upgrade for the free version of iCloud but probably have contractual junk to worry about.




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#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 22 2011 - 03:54 AM

So far Apple has NOT confirmed this. And so far working on Roardacted and without being able to upgrade by paying my $25 tithe my files are still locked. It makes sense. I hope it's true. But so far it isn't. And Ken is on record saying they won't be, If he's right then I am wrong and this remains a screw job.

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#20 of 33 ONLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 22 2011 - 04:54 PM

Here's the deal.. if Apple will free me up and upgrade my "Non-plus" library to plus now, for $25, I in effect save more then $600.  A lot of that stuff is things I don't listen to as much anymore, but you know what, that is a HUGE reason I would subscribe.    I would do it instantly and I would cheer.. I know Sam would too.. it would be flat out awesome.   When my wife asks for an iPhone5 later, I will snap it up and count it as the difference with a huge perk.


But I haven't seen anything that says that happens.   I agree with the article that it SHOULD happen, but nobody knows for sure, they sure haven't stopped from offering me to "plus" my music everytime I open Itunes..


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