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The Music Industry: History Repeats Itself

Writer and blogger Tristan Louis has an interesting overview of the four stages of panic in the music industry: Ignorance, Panic, Protection and Litigation, and Quiet Acceptance. Some interesting food for thought.

“The recent fights of the music industry remind me a lot about the early days of the personal computer industry. While I was still a kid then, it seems the software industry went through a similar experience in terms of trying to figure out how to deal with piracy. In this entry, I examine what I consider to be the four stages of dealing with piracy of digital assets.

I believe that any industry that is seeing a move of their intellectual assets to a digital medium will go through four basic stages: ignorance, panic, protection and litigation, quiet acceptance. This was the case with software in the 80s and 90s, is currently the case with music, and will soon be the case with movies. I suspect that other industries like the professional photography market are facing similar issues currently or have in the past.”

MS Not Budging Over “Limitations”

  • November 10, 2003

But Seattle Times Columnist Paul Andrews has asked whether that’s really important…

“In follow-up queries from me, [Microsoft Windows Media GM, David] Fester refused to budge. “Apple has done a fine job building a solution, but it is a closed solution—their service, their device, their player and no one else can play in that island.”

What interests me about this case is not who’s right—both sides make legitimate points—but whether openness really matters.

Where does that leave Apple? I frankly don’t think it matters to 99 percent of consumers whether a player or service or format is open or closed. What matters is whether it works.”

Wired: Sony’s User-Friendly Copy Block

“Sony Music, home to such artists as Beyonce Knowles and Bruce Springsteen, said Monday it plans to introduce new CD technology in Germany that prevents users from copying songs to file-sharing sites, but allows them to make copies for their personal use. [...]

To copy the music to the Sony portable player, the technology requires an extra step to copy the files to a separate program to transfer the music to the portable player.

At this point, music can be transferred only to Sony portable players, although Sony executives note that Apple Computer’s popular iTunes service works the same way with the Apple-branded iPod.”

Spinning iPods

  • November 10, 2003
  • iPod,

“Somewhere in East London the turntables are motionless. The only thing spinning is a chorus of iPod hard drives, or the ceiling(if you’re friends with the bartender).

The club’s name is Dreambagsjaguarshoes and the event is called noWax. The concept for noWax is simple: MP3s, not wax. iPods, not decks. On noWaxnights, mp3j’s bring their iPods and wait for the automated projector above the DJ booth to flash their number. They then plug-in and mix three songs back-to-back against another mp3j.”

How expensive is it to legally fill an iPod?

  • November 9, 2003
  • iPod,

I don’t know how many other people have done the math on this one, but I was thinking about iTunes and the new iPod when I realized that to fill a 40GB iPod (legally) from iTunes would be rather expensive.  If you believe the 10,000 song capacity, it would run $9900 dollars, plus the cost of the iPod.  Assuming that an average CD album is $12.50 and has 15 tracks,  it would cost about $8,330 dollars to fill the iPod.  All this makes me wonder when a more affordable alternative is going to turn up.

30GB iPod for $419 with free cases

  • November 9, 2003
  • Deals,

MacConnection is offering two separate deals on the 30GB iPod for $419; one deal with free Action Jacket silicone case by DLO and the other with a free 3-pack of iPod Skins by Speck Products.

iTunes Music Store Gift Certificates Available at Apple Store

Apple has now made available gift certificates for the iTunes Music Store through Apple Store online.  You can purchase gift certificates for any persons residing in the U.S. from $10 to $200, or you can also try your luck by entering our Happy Birthday iPod Giveaway.

TIME Names iTunes Music Store Coolest Invention of 2003

“Other inventions this year may have more altruistic intentions (like Dean Kamen’s water purifier) or be more visible on street corners (like those ubiquitous camera cell phones). But for finally finding a middle ground between the foot-dragging record labels and the free-for-all digital pirates and for creating a bandwagon onto which its competitors immediately jumped, Apple’s iTunes Music Store is Time’s Coolest Invention of 2003.”

iPods and more in Japan

Jeremy Horwitz, part of the iLounge review crew has sent in some photos of his recent travel to Japan.

“Thought you might like this

Best-Selling Author Neil Gaiman on the iSkin

“As a side comment: I loved the iSkin for the original iPod. It made the thing better: harder to scratch or to damage, harder to touch keys by accident, it made it easier to transport, and look cool. [...]

The trouble is, the new iSkins make the thing work less well. The bottom of my iSkin has now been cut off to allow it to sit in the dock of the iPod speakers. The recessed keys are harder to get to and to press properly (and the “lock” key is almost impossible to get to). The microphone-notes attachment doesn’t work with the iSkin in place.”

TechNewsWorld: Napster: ‘We Will Take Market Share from Apple’

“Not to be upstaged by Apple, Roxio chairman and chief executive officer Chris Gorog challenged Apple’s statistics and told TechNewsWorld his company will be chipping away at Apple’s market share with a powerful marketing campaign already underway.

“We expect as soon as we get the word out to consumers that Napster is back, it will significantly impact our growth,” Gorog said in an exclusive interview with TechNewsWorld. “We would also expect to be taking away market share from Apple on a weekly basis.”“

The Apple Store: $25 off $249 Coupon

  • November 7, 2003
  • Deals,

Engineered Audio RemoteRemote is fixed, updated units shipping next week

Engineered Audio has emailed another update reporting that they have fixed the RemoteRemote to work with iPods using firmware 2.1, and the shipping of units will begin next week.

The Register UK: iTunes is ‘not a money maker’

“‘Most of the money goes to the music companies,’ admitted Jobs.

‘We would like to break even/make a little bit of money but it’s not a money maker,’ he said, candidly.

So now we have it on record: the music store is a loss leader. Jobs said Apple would pay its dues to the RIAA, then seek to make money where it could, from its line of hardware accessories. When the conversation turned to rivals such as eTunes and Napster, Jobs said: ‘They don’t make iPods, so they don’t have a related business where they do [make money].’”

CNET: Five reasons not to buy an iPod

  • November 7, 2003
  • iPod,

“For the past year, the media has been clamoring about iPod killers on the horizon—new MP3 players with more features, longer battery life, and designs nearly as svelte as the iPod’s. However, this oversimplifies the situation; in truth, while the iPod rocks, it’s not now, nor has it ever been, perfect for everyone.

We too have run our fair share of iPod-centric headlines—for a good reason. With about 1.5 million units sold, the iPod is the most popular MP3 player in the world, and it still makes other players look and feel inelegant in comparison. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still our favorite overall MP3 player. Although everyone can think of reasons why they want an iPod, I’ve decided to use this column to list a few reasons why not to buy one.”

ZDNet UK: What’s wrong with digital rights management?

“The problem, critics say, is that companies can all too easily turn DRM into a powerful tool for locking customers into proprietary technologies. For example, files that users purchase through Apple’s iTunes music store won’t work with portable music players other than the company’s own iPod device.”

Taiwan News: Here Comes the iPod Music Bus

  • November 6, 2003
  • iPod,

“One of Apple’s latest gimmicks is the iPod Music Bus. Four buses - they come in yellow, purple, blue, and green - are digital music stores on wheels. Each bus represents a consumer’s taste in music - yellow for hip-hop, purple for dance music, green for inspirational and family tunes, and blue for R&B and jazz. Those iPod buses will be plying Taipei’s 3C areas - Hsimenting, Kuanghwa, and Pateh Rd. to name a few - until the end of December. [...]

‘Every iPod bus passenger will also get a raffle coupon from us,’ he said. ‘We will hold the raffle draw in InfoMonth, the biggest consumer electronics show in Taiwan. We will give away tons of products including Mac computers, digital cameras, digital printers, and of course, iPods. So, who says there’s no such thing as a free ride?’”

Engineered Audio to fix RemoteRemote

Engineered Audio has sent us another notice following a recent statement regarding the RemoteRemote receiver being incompatible with iPod firmware 2.1.

“11/06/2003 Update ... Currently we have identified where the problem is and why it is related to v2.1 of the iPod firmware. While we can not get into exact details (due to various NDA agreements), we are confident that we understand the problem and the necessary corrective actions. Today (and perhaps tomorrow) we will be testing an updated version of our firmware, and will start fixing inoperative receivers beginning next week. We will post further details on how to send back units later this week.”

iTunes stomps Napster in sales

“Music fans purchased and downloaded 1.5 million songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week of operation. More than 17 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the iTunes Music Store had more than 80 percent market share of legally purchased downloads last week.”

MacDonald’s: No Deal To Announce

“Responding to inquiries about a story in Thursday’s New York Post that the fast-food giant will team up with Apple Computer Inc. (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) to offer up to one billion free iTune downloads, McDonald’s issued a statement saying, ‘There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation.’”

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