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Can itunes work with non-ipod mp3 players?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon_Are, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    A perfect analogy is tough to come by. My jeans and panties analogy was definitely worse than the DVD/VHS analogy.

    The memory stick example isn't great either because Sony does license the technology to other companies. My non-Sony monitor has a memory stick reader, as does my non-Sony PDA. The memory stick I've got in my camera was made by Lexar. So yeah, you can only use the Sony-proprietary media (the memory stick) in a Sony-proprietary slot (the reader), but Sony allows other companies to provide such a slot and to create such media. Apple allows neither. If anything the memory stick example supports the conjecture that Apple's practices really are different from the norm.

    Even though Apple's restrictions would strike me as wrong even if it didn't directly affect me, the biggest reason this is a pet peave of mine is because it gets in the way of my preferred usage scenario - managing all my media on a central server and streaming to extenders. Apple won't support non-Apple DRM in iTunes, and they won't let anything but iTunes provide support for Apple DRM. That makes it impossible (outside of transcoding) to manage all my media in a single app. As many legitimate complaints as there may be against Microsoft, they did a good job of making media center extensible. There's even a way to add AAC/MP4 capabilities (3ivex codec), but it won't work with Apple's DRM because Apple won't license the technology.

    Bottom line is that it bugs me but doesn't seem to bug most other people. Oh well, I can live with that.
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Honestly, I am not trying to sound pompous (I truly believe this) I think that it doesn't bug people because a lot of people like iTunes and iPods. If I didn't have an iPod, I wouldn't be using iTunes, so it doesn't bug me that much.

    Also, I think the iPod is the best audio player out there and iTunes is one of the best computer players, so it's restrictions don't bug me because I'm usually not trying to go outside of those restrictions.

    Again, I think people are fine with the restriction because the pros are worth dealing with said restirctions.
     
  3. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    People are "fine with the restrictions" because a; most of them don't even think about it being there until it up and smacks them in the face and b; they don't think ahead worth a darn.

    It's the same situation with ebooks and DRM; future security is nonexistent. If you buy a DRM:ed ebook today and want to read it, say, 30 years in the future (farfetched for most of us perhaps, but still) which format is more likely to be successfully converted into whatever format is used then - an open format like TXT, HTML and XML or encrypted LIT? I for one am not at all sure Microsoft will have people standing by so I can "activate" my Microsoft Reader in 2036...

    Should some other player come out that makes the iPods look like yesterdays rancid fish by comparison, I'm thinking all the fatuously smiling iPod users today will be a little less fine with it when they can't get the content they paid for out of the system without murdering the sound quality of said product (and for most of us listening on personal headphones, bad encodings and evil transcodes are much more easily discernible than when listening on speakers, especially if one is using really good noise isolating headphones.)
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Like I said, AAC files will still play on your computer even if you no longer have an iPod. So it's not as restrictive as you make it sound. Since they still work on a computer, you can't call them 'useless' if iPods (in the future) go away. And again, you don't need an iPod to burn them to CD (which releases the DRM).
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    First off, the re-acronyming is juvenile; do you expect people to take you seriously? Second, if pirates have to wait and download from potentially dodgy sites, it sounds like they're inconvenienced too. It's certainly not as convenient as using the iTunes Music Store. And for those in the iPod/iTMS ecosystem, the DRM is hardly an issue. You're limited to five computers and no limit on iPods. If you ever want to switch, you're better off than those that invested in 8-tracks, Betamax, Laserdisc, and other consumer media over the years (you can switch, as Mark describes).
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Speaking of why I don't mind iPods, I stated before that my first three MP3 players were made by Creative. Having both Mac's and PC's I liked how the first 2 players were hybrids. After getting my 3rd Creative (Creative Nomad Jukebox 3) I suddenly found myself not being able to connect it to my Mac...

    SURPRISE! Creative Nomad Jukebox 3's don't work with Macs. - Ok, so I enjoyed it on my PC, but when I got a new computer at work and tried to hook up my player to it...

    SURPRISE! Creative Nomad Jukebox 3's only work with Creative sound cards (to get the drivers to work). So not only was I limited to ONLY PC environments, but I was also limited to PC's with Creative sound cards. So any of my 'integrated' sound cards were off limits.

    Talk about restricted???? [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Anyone who is concerned about sound quality is not paying for overly compressed 128K music files from the iTunes store -- they are encoding CD's using a higher bit rate.

    I've owned an iPod for over 1.5 years, and the only iTunes downloads in my library are some of the free ones that the store offers weekly. I find these low bit rate music files lacking in sound quality and would never pay any money for such quality. My 9,000+ song library consists of 192K or higher VBR MP3's encoded from my own CD's.

    So, DRM is not an issue with this iPod owner. I simply do not purchase any such music files.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Scott, you basically sumed up one of my points that I made in one of those "Why would anyone want to pay for low quality music?" threads.

    Basically I only buy iTunes songs that I really don't care about. If I REALLY want longevity out of a song, I buy the CD...otherwise, my iTunes purchases (to me) are 'disposable'.

    Sure, it would stink if I could no longer use those songs on another player (if iPods went away), but I've already put a price on those songs and it won't bug me if that ever happens. I figure that at $1/song, I've gotten enough use out of them.

    Like I said, my iTunes purchases are purchased with that frame of mind, so it doesn't bother me in the least.

    Also, if iPods (all of a sudden) went off the market, I'm sure there'd be a MAJOR law suit against Apple in coming up with some application to strip the DRM from the iTunes files, so I'm not too worried about being "stuck" with DRM AAC files.
     
  9. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Hmmm, funny, I didn't see anyone make a post saying that in the absence of an electronic police state, they would ignore any and all laws, to copy works on whatever terms they wanted.

    Claiming that those are the only options would be a classic "excluded middle" fallacy, and claiming that someone who opposes DRM must be a law-breaker would be a classic "ad homenim" fallacy. Sort of like asking someone "When did you stop beating your wife?"

    But if you're asking about copyright vs. free speech, the answer is that free speech is an inalienable right, and copyright isn't. Court rulings and Thomas Jefferson's writings make it clear that U.S. copyrights are not recognition of any natural property rights in works.

    Instead, they're utilitarian in nature. We dangle a set of copyright privileges (privileges carved out at the expense of free speech and of free markets) in front of authors, hoping they will produce more published works, that in turn, must fall into fully-copyable public domain after a "limited Time".

    I'm willing to offer some period of protection against commercial competition on works. But I'm not willing to throw in Government-protected & mandated electronic policeware, a root kit on my "CDs", and a slap on the wrist for the company that distributed the root kits while the parents of 12-year-olds are being hit up for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    But it's not illegal to take an iTunes DRM AAC, burn it to CD (releasing the DRM) and then ripping it as a non-DRM file to put on a non-iPod player (or whatever 'legal' purpose you intend).

    As opposed to a DVD where just bypassing the copy guard is illegal, no matter what 'legal' thing you're going to do with it.
     
  11. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    No, the latter is a "loaded question" or "complex question" fallacy.
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    But aren't people doing the same with DRM AAC's? Because the RIAA is doing nasty things, then Apple must also be evil because they are putting protection on their product?
     
  13. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    We have an enforcement mechanism. It's called the court system and due process. For criminal infringement, law enforcement may also be involved in seizing counterfeit copies or in apprehending the defendants.

    Entertainment companies might want perfect, before-the-fact enforcement of monopolies: cost to "innocent until proven guilty", due process, free speech, Fair Use, First Sale, private property, and public domain be damned. That doesn't mean they are entitled to such enforcement. That would be asking for a special level of enforcement that nobody else gets (not rape victims, not murder victims).
     
  14. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Wow, what an absurd thing to say. I suppose women don't actually ask for perfect before-the-fact protection against rape, because they know it is not feasible. But do you fault them for wanting it?
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Thomas, the court system won't protect you against theft. All it does is to help punish after the law is broken. That's why we have to use locks and protection.

    You mention 'counterfeit copies', which means the law enforcement acts AFTER the law is broken and not before.

    If it were possible to immediately know once a product was being used illegally (and the law can immediately step in and prosecute), then there would probably be no reason for copy protection. But since the law can only apply after the law is broken, it's much harder to control illegal activities.

    It's like one man trying to stop a heard of stampeeding bulls. The only way to effectively stop the heard is to make sure they don't stampeed in the first place.

    And sure it sucks that it feels like this DRM is treating us like criminals, but that's how lots of things work in life. I've been to concerts where you can't re-enter the arena once you've stepped outside (like if you needed to go to your car for something). I have to leave my license with the attendant when I play a game of pool at the pool hall. I also have to leave a credit card with the bar tender (at the larger bars) when I have a tab going. The same thing applies with other activities.

    I just bought some Claritin for my allergies and had to sign a sheet because too many people are using it to get a buzz.

    How about a 'security deposit'? Ever had to pay one of those?
     
  16. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Why is it that before-the-fact protection against rape is not feasible? Just institute a police state, and have police go and monitor every man in the country 24x7, especially in private areas. Authorize use of extreme force at the first hint that there might be a rape, and trash due process for any person the police accuse.

    I did not say that the cost of this method of crime control was acceptable. But then, neither are the costs the public is being asked/forced to bear in the name of protecting copyright.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    iTunes doesn't lock you out of purchases though.

    And as was explained before, the protection is under my control as well. I can remove the DRM very easily and it's legal.

    The keys to my car only work in my car, they don't work on anyone elses car. If I lend my car to someone, I also have to give them the key. It's like iTunes music prucahses. You can't give your friend the song without giving him the 'keys'.
     
  18. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    You lock your car because when you put it out in public, you know there are a few criminals (of both the chop shop and joy ride variety) out there, and it's a deterrent. When an artist puts their content out there in trivial-to-copy digital form, why can't they do the same thing? Because you have a right not be inconvenienced? An absolute right to your "purchase"? So you are for that now?

    I haven't said so before, but the DMCA, rootkits, and RIAA are all pretty stupid. But it seems like you are not willing be bear any cost at all. The present cost for the vast majority using the iTunes Music Store is zero. They gain from the convenience of having the content available. They may have some future cost, but as long as they know the deal, how does that hurt "essential public values"?
     
  19. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    My bank account will sure be happy to learn that all of those hundreds of CDs in my collection came at "no cost at all".
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    You don't own any type of audio/video media. The same goes for computer software....what your money goes to, is a license that allows you to play the music, video, software that they gave you. The media and content still (essentially) belongs to the artist or studio (or whatever).
     

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