“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.”
“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.’”
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?
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.
Independent UK is reporting that Apple is delaying its European version of iTunes Music Store due to licensing disagreements.
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!
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.
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.
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.’”
“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.”
Author Jim Heid of Avondale Media has posted a great tip on keeping iTunes 4.0 Internet sharing capabilities with the recent release of 4.0.1.
“Anyone who listens to AAC audio will want to upgrade to iTunes 4.0.1, since it fixes a playback problem that existed in version 4.0.
But you may have become fond of iTunes 4’s Internet sharing features, which, as I wrote yesterday, are no more.
The solution? Keep both versions—they’ll coexist on your hard drive.
Before installing version 4.0.1, simply drag the iTunes application icon out of the Applications folder and into a different folder. Then install the 4.0.1 update.
When you want Internet sharing, simply launch version 4.0.”
Note: Jim also has some good info on what’s new in 4.0.1 and how it handles sharing.
‘The Pop Life’ columnist, Neil Strauss writes about Apple’s success with iTunes Music Store and the recent disabling of iTunes Internet sharing capabilities.
“In just its first month of operation the service, by the company’s estimate, has sold three million songs online, at 99 cents each. This is an impressive figure considering the limited access that music fans now have to the service.
“We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well,” the statement said. “But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know. This was never the intent.” A spokesman for Apple, Chris Bell, said the company made the decision by itself.”
Apple’s iTunes Music Store is to face competition from Real Networks, which will today announce a music download service for only 79 cents a track. According to the Wall Street Journal, the service will be based on the Rhapsody service from listen.com, which Real bought last month.
The move means Real won’t push Musicnet any more, a joint venture between it and major firms EMI, AOL and Bertelsmann. But the Journal points out that Real Networks owns 40 per cent of Musicnet and has already plunged an estimated $4 million into the service. Most people are waiting to see what Microsoft will do, as the race to sell music online gathers pace.
Ian Fried, staff writer for CNET News.com reports on the latest iTunes upgrade which limits sharing to local networks.
“‘The new iTunes 4.0.1 update limits Rendezvous music sharing to work only between computers on a local network (its intended use) and disables music sharing over the Internet,’ Apple said in a statement provided to CNET News.com.
‘Rendezvous music sharing…has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us,’ Apple said. ‘We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well. But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know.’”
Apple has released iTunes 4.01, a small upgrade, with “a number of performance and network access enhancements”, some AppleScript changes and, most notably, the disabling of Internet Sharing.
On Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. Eastern, The Screen Savers cable show will have Gary Valan, Director, Computer Audio Initiative (Dolby Laboratories) talking about MPEG-4 and AAC. This episode can also be watched on Wed., May 21 at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Eastern.
Paul Roberts, IDG News Service for PC World reports on iTunes sharing/swapping, and websites offering a catalog of users sharing their iTunes library.
“Only days after the appearance of Internet-based music streaming services that capitalize on Apple’s ITunes technology, many of the Web sites that hosted them have removed the feature, citing concerns about piracy.
Within days of its first public release, however, programmers outside of the company found ways to expand ITunes’ reach. They harnessed an ITunes client feature called Rendezvous that enables Mac users to share downloaded songs with other systems on a LAN or over the Internet.”
Gunnar Van Vliet has written Part 2 of his “REPORT ON THE RELATIVE QUALITY OF AAC AUDIO TO MP3” at RecordStoreReview.com.