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APPLE: iTunes 4 (1 Viewer)

Yumbo

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now is this amazing software or what!??

anyone else try it out?
is buying easy?

I don't have a US credit card so no go for now.

the AAC codec (yet to test fully) and rendevous listening are a plus!
 

Mark Cappelletty

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It is cool and easy to use. I downloaded two songs last night (most of the stuff I'm after is more obscure than what they have).
 

EdR

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I'm not sure this belongs in this forum, but yes, I tried it last night and was very impressed by the ease with which I could browse music, preview and buy.

It makes actually going to a record store seem so arcane. To be able to listen to anything in stock by simply clicking is so nice.

Now all they need is more artists, and it will really take off.

Even so, i was surprised at the variety of music they offer, even some hard to find works are there.

the quality of the encoding was high, although I did notice some artifacts on a few previews. AAC is definitely an improvement over MP3.

In all I was left with the feeling that this is so obvious that it will replace shopping in a record store in less than 10 years, it's just a better experience.
 

Yumbo

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were the downloads fast?
browsing the store is a tad slow on my 56k modem end.

I do know they've apparently fixed the sound check distortion on low passage tracks.

my take on AAC on 1 comparison (with sound check on) is that I can hear a difference with a CD (warmth and depth is missing).

I am mostly after scores and pop singles.

are the downloads in 128kbps format?

this is the software forum ;)
 

Peter Kim

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Yes, the downloads are 128 kbps .m4p format. I've got cable broadband so I cannot address the download time on modem, but it took me about 5 seconds to download a 4.1 mb file.

I like the ease in which you can browse songs/artist. Although 1.07 (.99 with tax) can really add up quickly.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Cool concept, it'll be interesting to see if people pay for what they can already get (illegally) for free. And if the AAC format is lack the warm of CD it certainly won't take off with audiophiles... to my ears CD is one of the coldest, most stark formats there is.
 

EdR

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Browsing on DSL is super fast, the previews are nearly instantaneous. Downloading is also very fast.

I never got into downloading MP3's (for free), I tried it a few times but was always turned off by the quality and the hassle. To me, it's easily worth $.99 to get a track with the ease and quality that the iTunes Music Store offers. The free previews are a real joy too.

Last night I checked out dozens of artists that I've been curious about, but never heard (Sheila Chandra, DJ Shadow, Talvin Singh, etc).

It's very possible that in the future I will use iTunes to preview music and then go buy it on CD to get better quality, but for a lot of stuff convenience will probably sway me into just buying it right there.

For particularly treasured works, the CD will continue to be my prefered medium, but most of the time I listen under less than ideal conditions anyway, with environmental noise, while house cleaning, or even during conversation, etc...where pristine quality really dosn't matter.
 

EdR

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Did you buy tracks by them all or just listen to the snippets?
I only listened to them only because money is tight (I bought a 30GB iPod too :). I plan on buying some of the Sheila Chandra tracks (not all) and probably the whole Talvin Singh album, although I may get it on CD.

I did buy on track, though. "Pastime Paradise" from Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life - which was the very first album (or cassette) I ever purchased. I'll buy the rest of the album later.

It seemed fiitting to make my first purchase with this new system the same work of music that was my first music purchase ever, particularly since the original cassette disintegrated eons ago.
 

Craig F

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With headphones connected to my Tibook, I can not tell the difference between the MP3 and AAC. I plan to rip a song into different formats, then burn a CD from them. Then I can test on my sound system.
 

Yumbo

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I must say that the (MP3) tracks in general sound better in iTunes 4 compared to iTunes 3.

going to compare MP3 and AAC now.

ok - CD...as is, AAC (128) - close, MP3 (160) - some audible loss.

what is interesting is that:

1. AAC is inherently smaller.
2. Sound check reduces MP3 more than AAC, which theoretically points to AAC being more 'efficient' or representative rather.

almost like a DD/DTS comparison! :D

bottom line is that with sound check on, AAC sounds better than MP3, but CD still sounds better than both (not subject to Sound check).

happy listening!
 

David Lawson

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It makes actually going to a record store seem so arcane. To be able to listen to anything in stock by simply clicking is so nice.
I guess it depends on which record store you visit. The Barnes & Noble location across the river has offered this for months, and you get a physical CD to boot. ;)

Personally, I can't see myself using the service. My music purchasing habits haven't been centered around singles since high school, and at $9.99 an album, I'll pony up the extra couple of dollars for an actual disc. I do hope the service takes off for Apple, though. It might even prompt some Mac purchases, since Windows users will be left in the cold until the end of the year.
 

Yumbo

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it'll be great for international customers who have NO record store to visit in the first place!

this is where some major bucks will come from!

no more customs hassles with importing!

darned exclamation points :D
 

EdR

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I guess it depends on which record store you visit. The Barnes & Noble location across the river has offered this for months, and you get a physical CD to boot.
I live only 2 blocks from a great Tower records, about 15 minutes away is the world's largest used CD store (Amoeba Records in SF), but there's something undeniably cool about browsing, and sampling music in real-time, in the comfort of your room, while drinking a beer and relaxing.

Until every work of music is online, and bandwidth allows uncompressed downloads, I will continue to shop at record stores, but I do believe that this is the future.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Browsing on DSL is super fast, the previews are nearly instantaneous. Downloading is also very fast.
The problem is, without mentioning any details, so are the more popular filesharing programs. YOu can download a 200 MB file in about 10 minutes, and an average song in less than a minute. I'm not sure this will take off, though I'd like it to, now that the industry's finally reacting to the demand.
 

EdR

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And of course, some people have been doing this for free for 5 years.
I understand, my main reason for even trying P2P software was to simply listen to music to decide if it was worth buying, but in reality what I got more often than not was:

- slow servers, or disconnects halfway through a DL
- Mislabled music
- terrible quality and partial tracks

I like the iTunes system precisely because it avoids these problems, not because it offers me something completely new.
 

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