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CNET: iTunes auction treads murky legal ground

“Consumers can resell CDs purchased in a record shop, but what about digital music files downloaded from an online store?

George Hotelling wants to know. In a move that could spark a novel legal test of Internet music resale rights, the Web developer in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Tuesday night put a digital song he purchased online at Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store up for auction on eBay. [...]

The effort has apparently resonated with online music aficionados, many of whom have expressed anger at copyright controls used by licensed Internet music services, including iTunes. With the auction set to end Sept. 9, the price on the song had gone up to $15,099 as of Wednesday evening.”

iTunes Music Store coming to Australia

“Legal, pay-per-track music sites are about to proliferate. Australia should have its first by Christmas. It is likely it will be a local version of the successful Apple iMusic Store, which operates only in North America. Locally, Telstra is working on a licensing deal with at least one record company.”

New Media Age: iTunes beats music rivals for awareness

“Market research body NPD Group found that Apple’s iTunes music service registered the highest awareness, with 20% of consumers aged over 13 knowing of the service. Among Macintosh users, the initial target market for iTunes, the awareness level jumped to 46%.

6% of Mac users also said they’d paid for a song or album via iTunes.                

In contrast, services like Rhapsody and Pressplay, which have been on the market for longer than iTunes, only showed 14% awareness among consumers. Less than 1% said that they had downloaded music from either site.”

TechTV: BuyMusic.com vs. iTunes Music Store

“Digital music expert Kevin Arnold, founder of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, says BuyMusic.com lacks Apple’s seamless, one-price-fits-all approach to downloading music. But that’s the nature of Windows, a multitude of platforms and very few licensing rules. Apple, he says, is the epitome of refinement.

‘I would compare Windows to the wild, wild, west,” says Arnold. “And Apple is like a gated community.’”

“iTunes Sales Continue to Fall”

“In the first day April 28th iTunes sales were at 200,000 per day. By May 5th CNet were reporting that sales had topped 1,000,000 meaning 140,000 songs were been sold per day. By May 14th this figure had fallen to 125,000. While figures published in the The NY Times on May 28th translate the figure into 100,000 per day.

The decline continued from there. 5 million tracks had been sold by June 23rd meaning the average daily sales had now hit 89,000. The figure hit 6.5 million on July 22nd translating into 52,000 sales per day.

The sales figure may reflect seasonal variance and other launch hype related factors. However there is a clear decline in place and with iTunes still failing to sign up some big bands the perceived success of iTunes is not quite what all are making it out to be.”

Syllabus: iTunes and the Technology Beyond MP3

“What’s the difference between MP3-encoded sound and AAC-encoded sound? AAC became part of the MPEG-2 standard in 1997 to provide efficient encoding for surround sound audio. It supports up to 5.1 channels (Left, Center, Right, Left and Right Surround, plus a low frequency channel). Its quality at 64Kbps is comparable to MP3 at 128Kbps. MPEG-2 AAC is a continuation of the MP3 coding scheme. Like MP3, AAC exploits the psychoacoustic properties of human hearing, using sound-masking techniques to achieve efficient compression with very little noticeable degradation in audio quality. Finally, it provides a compression advantage of about 1.3 to 1.4 that of MP3 with better sound quality.”

O’Reilly: Unsung Heros and Other iTunes Tips

Derrick Story has written a tip on how to create a smart playlist for those songs that don’t get played often on i iTunes/iPod.

“So I created a new smart playlist titled “Unsung Heros.” In the parameters for the list I set Last Played -> is not in the last -> 30 days, and then I set up a couple more limiters such as Album -> does not contain -> Christmas so Bing Crosby doesn’t constantly appear at the top of my list. One other parameter I set is Limit to 50 songs -> selected by song name.”

Reuters: Rivals Ready to Take a Bite of Apple

“Spurred by the runaway success of iTunes, Apple Computer Inc.‘s online music store, competitors are readying their own music download services in a surge of activity that record executives see pulling the music industry out of a three-year slump.  A crowded field is gearing up to offer single songs for sale,  including retailers Amazon.com Inc. and Buy.com, and leading Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner’s America Online.”

Fast Company: Digital Squared: Living in an iTunes World

“The success of Apple Computer’s iTunes venture is a harbinger of something big. In the first two weeks, Apple supplied nearly 2 million songs to be downloaded onto personal computers all over the world, at a cost of 99 cents per song. Assume for a moment that Apple continues to sell 1 million digital tracks per week for the next 12 months. By next year, the company will have collected nearly $52 million in revenue to divvy up between the partners in the enterprise. That is the beginning of a real business.”

NYT: What Albums Join Together, Everyone Tears Asunder

“The pop album made its way through the 20th century by staying adaptable, transforming itself from analog grooves to digital bits. But can the notion of an album — a collection of songs sold as a single unit, to be heard in a certain sequence — survive the Internet?

That question has been raised more insistently since Apple Computers started its iTunes store, where songs can be downloaded for 99 cents and complete albums for $9.99. Apple recently announced that 6.5 million songs have been downloaded since the store opened on April 28, fewer than half of them as part of albums. Its competition, Buy.com’s buymusic.com, is expected to announce its opening on Tuesday, selling downloads for the much more widely used Windows operating system.”

Macworld UK: iTunes ‘will become Net-songs king’

“Apple’s iTunes Music Store could capture 20 per cent of the US paid-music download market, claims Needham’s analyst Charles Wolf in a report this week.

Wolf believes Apple could generate annual revenues of $600 million through its store, and that this figure could increase. He describes the Store as ‘providing an arguably superior customer experience.’”

Blender 100 names iTMS No. 2

The iTunes Music Store was awarded the number 2 spot in this year’s Blender 100 of the most sizzling stars, gadgets, bands and booties. The list is only available in the print edition. What’s really strange is that the iPod did appear anywhere in the list of 100. How could this be?

“Apple’s new music service is saving the record business, one download at a time,” writes Rob Tannenbaum in the August 2003 issue of the popular music magazine. ‘It’s a phenomenal success,” says Lyor Cohen, CEO of the Island Def Jam Music Group. ‘Kids are the laziest human beings on Earth, so I was thankful that someone made it easy to get music delivered in the comfort of your home.’”

Source: MacMinute

 

Peter Frampton touts iTunes

Live onstage in front of 500,000 people, Peter Frampton promoted iTunes. While performing outside the Philadelphia Art Museum before the big 4th of July fireworks display, Frampton gave a plug for his new album which is being released in late August.  He then encouraged the crowd to buy it on the iTunes Music Store. He even said something to the effect that it’s only 99 cents a track.

European iTunes Music Store Delayed

Independent UK is reporting that Apple is delaying its European version of iTunes Music Store due to licensing disagreements.

“Attempts by Apple Computer to launch a European version of its online “Music Store”, where people can download individual songs, has been held up until next year by disputes between record companies and their artists over licensing.”

Source: Macminute

Workaround to share your music with iTunes 4.0.1

Recently I wrote this tutorial on how to enable the feature of sharing your music collection in iTunes 4.0.1 again… which Apple disabled with the latest update. The funny part is it can use freeware made by Apple itself! The tutorial shows you how to set up a proxy for the iTunes server and makes iTunes think the stream is coming from a local area network.

Have fun, but don’t steal music!

Wired: iTunes Music Swap Just Won’t Die

Leander Kahney has a report about Apple axing iTunes’ Internet sharing feature and how developers are answering back by programming new solutions to keep the sharing feature alive and well. Two software solutions and a tip are presented in the report, including iCommune 401(ok), Andromeda and author Jim Heid’s simple solution to use both iTunes 4.0 and 4.0.1 on one Mac.

“MP3.com backs Apple’s new iPod”

Internet Magazine reports MP3.com Europe will be promoting its service to registered iPod owners by offering exclusive tracks.

“‘With the launch of iTunes Music Store in the US and now the new iPod, Apple is leading the industry in the delivery of pay-per-track online music,’ said Leanne Sharman, VP of sales & marketing, MP3.com Europe. ‘This represents a resounding vote of confidence in our European marketing and distribution mechanism that they’ve chosen to market this exciting new product on our sites on the back of the successful campaign we ran for the company at the end of last year.’”

Daring Fireball vs. Knee-Jerk Critics

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has weighed in on the iTunes Internet Sharing issue, offering a sound rebuttal to the several digital pundits levying criticism against Apple for disabling the feature in iTunes 4.01.

“I think it was more of a social experiment. Rendezvous networking is built on top of IP networking, so once the programming work was done to support sharing locally, it was likely very little extra work to allow it to work between any two IP addresses. The potential for abuse was obvious, but so was the potential utility. And so I think Apple tried giving everyone the benefit of the doubt with iTunes 4.0’s sharing capabilities. “

NY Post: Apple, Amazon in Online Music Talks

It seems that Amazon might soon be jumping on the iTunes Music Store band wagon. Tim Arango at the New York Post reports Apple and Amazon are negotiating a deal to make iTMS available on Amazon.com.

“The parties are in advanced talks and a deal is expected, though sources warn that negotiations might still unravel.

[...]

At Amazon’s annual meeting last week in Seattle, Jeff Bezos, the company’s chief executive officer, talked about opening a digital music store, telling reporters, ‘We’ve been looking at it for years.’”

CNET: Microsoft, again: Apple’s old nemesis

“In a masterstroke of technological and marketing acumen, Apple Computer appeared to have seized the digital music industry last month by boldly creating its own retail download service.

The Macintosh maker, diagnosed being near death in the 1990s, seemed to have pulled off another miracle: Its iTunes Music Store sold 2 million songs in its first 16 days, dwarfing rival download services and drawing raves from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. Yet even before the initial euphoria could subside, the company began hearing familiar rumblings from points north—namely, Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.”

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