iTunes Bad, WMA Good | iLounge News


iTunes Bad, WMA Good

“After immersing myself in audio codecs (as research for a future article) and re-ripping most of my own collection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like WMA—and I really don’t like the whole iTunes/iPod thing.

AAC is a perfectly fine audio format. It sounds good. I don’t really want the music I pay money for to be encoded at 128k, but none of iTunes’ competitors are offering a higher bitrate, so I don’t have much choice there. The problem with AAC is that it doesn’t really have digital rights management, so songs you buy through the iTunes Music Store have an Apple-specific proprietary digital rights management scheme called FairPlay attached to them. AAC may be a format that many desktop applications (like Winamp) can understand, and it’s certainly possible for non-iPod portable players to build in support for it, but iTunes and iPods understand FairPlay. If I buy music through the iTunes store, it will only play on iTunes or an iPod. That’s it, until the end of time.”

Related Stories



That was a confusing article. ummm? Proof reading needed?

Posted by Gab in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:23 AM (CST)


Indeed.  I sort of agree though.  I don’t buy music through itunes, and I don’t use Itunes for my library either.  I don’t know, I just want to have complete control over my music.

Posted by chrisnorton in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:39 AM (CST)


perhaps it would been smarter to say “i don’t like the itunes store files because i can’t play them on my other mp3 players”.

besides that, what the hell is this?
“Pick a bitrate and I think WMA delivers as good or better sound as AAC, MP3, or OGG Vorbis.”

maybe, maybe mp3, but ogg or aac? yeah right.

it seems the only reason why wma would be considered better is because all of the other kids use it.

Posted by Fiddytree in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:41 AM (CST)


Here let me translate the article:

Waaaaahh!! WaaAAAaaaaaaah!! Waaaaa!
(insert other whiny noises here)

Posted by Inspector Gadget in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:42 AM (CST)


I didn’t find the article confusing at all. It’s on Extreme Tech, so a certain amount of tech talk is to be expected, but aside from that, it follows a logical and rational path.

I just don’t agree with it.

Sure, it would be great for apple to include wma compatibility, but as for the sound quality being superior? Maybe if you’re listening with a pair of

Posted by doctorjuggles in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:44 AM (CST)


Why is WMA good? I dont get it. WMA is good just beacause it can be played on a larger number of second rate mp3 players?
Thats stupid.

If you rather use the Napster mp3 player then use the Napster software.

Music you buy through the iTunes store will only be played with iTunes, why is that a big deal? you already use iTunes, the best mp3 software, so what if your limited to the iPod, the best mp3 player?

get over it, if you really want to transfer you AAC music just burn it onto a CD/ then you can play it on any or the millions of CD players out there or re-rip it into mp3 or WMA format.

Posted by ariza910 in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:46 AM (CST)


Uh, I can play any of my iTunes music on winamp or anything else.  It plays just fine.

Posted by JBF in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:53 AM (CST)



I take it you mean iTunes music you have converted yourself, not that which you have purchased from the iTunes Music Store, right?

Posted by ronco in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 11:59 AM (CST)


you can play songs bought at iTMS with a winamp plugin. winamp has plug-ins for damn near everything.

Posted by eric in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:09 PM (CST)


Let’s call the Whaaaaabulance!!!!!!!
Cry me a river.

This guy is just a moron. The 128bit rate AAC file are comparable to any 192bit rate WMA file. Plus you can rip CDs of your AAC files then import them back into iTunes as any type of audio file you prefer.

Posted by JQDesigner in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:16 PM (CST)


I cant buy music from any store because I use wmp and an iPod.

By using a proprietary format, Apple forces you to use their software and their player. If I buy another type of MP3 player in three years I cant play any of the music I have purchsed and own.

It would be like buying a CD and having to have a certain brand of CD player to play it in.

Posted by eightdotthree in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:26 PM (CST)


Listening to people argue between AAC and WMA is a joke - they are both lossy and sound like crap. Now if we were talking about WMA Lossless, or FLAC…

Posted by lossy in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:30 PM (CST)


ever notice that audiphiles know next to nothing about music?

Posted by Daddo in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:36 PM (CST)


Ever notice that audiophiles also lie out their a**es about being able to hear quality differences?  I’ve got a pair of $5k Klipsche speakers… and you know what?  AAC sounds as good as the original.

Get over it.

Posted by dv8 in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:41 PM (CST)


I don’t agree with anybody claiming the author is whining. I think he has a fair point in reference to being ‘locked’ in to an extent by AAC. All my music is ripped in this format and today I am happy. But what happens when I want to replace my iPod? I’d be much happier if the format was more universal. Maybe it will be in the future, who knows? But no-one here can tell me that someone won’t come out with a better product. I love my iPod but let’s face it, there are a number of disadvantages or features lacking that competitors will exploit.

And I’m going nowhere near the sound quality argument!

Posted by bobsyerunkle in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:43 PM (CST)


Well, the comparison just makes no sense in the first place.

“iTunes Bad, WMA good”.

Last I checked, iTunes was a software application, and WMA was a file format/audio codec/DRM scheme.

If he meant to compare codecs, the proper comparison would be AAC vs WMA.

If he meant to compare software, it would be iTunes vs. Windows Media Player.

Based on the author’s lack of logic, you can rest assured that no further discussion will make any sense.

But beyond that, he obviously failed to check the facts. Winamp also supports .m4a files.  In fact the latest version of Winamp provides high quality .m4a encoding by default. And as pointed out above, will also play iTMS .m4p files.  Even RealPlayer 10 can play iTMS files.


Posted by parannoya in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 12:57 PM (CST)


If you burn the music you bought off itunes to a cd, couldn’t you then rip the cd into whatever format you want? Makes sense to me… since AAC isn’t that lossy, i don’t think your music would sound that bad..

Posted by Eric in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 1:24 PM (CST)


Here we go again…insult the guy because he has the nerve to dislike iTunes/Apple, it’s not suited to what he wants…so he must be a moron, a whiner, he dosen’t make any sense…etc. Why don’t you guys pass the Kool-Aid around already?

He has an opinion, it’s his right to speak his mind, this is America after all. It’s possible to disagree with the guy without sinking to insults.

Posted by boogie_doggie in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 1:33 PM (CST)


just to make things clear.. the poster named Eric is not actually me… i’m eric.

Posted by eric in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 1:36 PM (CST)


Texas Oxygen vs Alaska Oxygen!!

I prefer Alaska oxygen because its crisper and make me feel better. Texas oxygen is heavy and cannot compare to the quality of Alaska oxygen.

See how silly that is. Now read the article…same thing.

If listening to music is such a burden that you can actually hear the smallest of variance between formats and must complain about it, then dont buy an iPod…as a matter of fact dont buy anything. Make us all happy.

Posted by R Torres in Irvine, CA on February 13, 2004 at 1:41 PM (CST)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy