Mix: Music pricing, MP3 player inventor, The Onion, OSU | iLounge News


Mix: Music pricing, MP3 player inventor, The Onion, OSU

The New York Post claims that the record industry “may be abandoning its demand for iTunes to charge different prices for different songs.” The Post reports that “negotiations between Apple and the four major music companies… have reached a crucial point as several record executives now say they are unlikely to convince Jobs to allow variable pricing.”

British inventor Kane Kramer says he created the world’s first digital music player in 1979, but lost his patents in the late 1980’s. Kramer is now consulting lawyers to see whether he has any claim to the design and technology behind current MP3 players.

The Onion has a humorous satire piece on Apple offering consumers the ability to buy their own home movies from the iTunes Music Store for $1.99 each. “Ladies and gentlemen, the future of home-video viewing is now,” the publication quotes Apple CEO Steve Jobs as saying. “As soon as you record that precious footage of your daughter’s first steps, you’ll be able to buy it right back from iTunes and download it directly to your computer and video iPod.”

Oregon State University is the latest college to join Apple’s iTunes U program. “Our deal with Apple will give us the opportunity to podcast lectures and other things,” said Todd Simmons, assistant vice president of OSU News and Communications Services.

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Since the MP3 format hadn’t even been invented in 1979, I fail to see how a player for it could have been created.  A music player, yes, but not an MP3 player.

Posted by Cameron T. on April 20, 2006 at 12:58 PM (CDT)


He “lost” the patent?

Posted by iPodG5 on April 20, 2006 at 1:15 PM (CDT)


taken from the link

” Distracted and unable to raise money in time to renew patents across 120 countries, Kramer watched as the technology became public property. “

Posted by Hell-In-A-Handbasket on April 20, 2006 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


Read the whole story Cameron.  He created a digital music player.  Sure, mp3 compression didn’t exist, but there are plenty of compression codecs out there and he probably was using a proprietary one that he created himself for use with his digital music player.  As for losing the patents, it happens all the time in cases just like this one.

Posted by BrettB on April 20, 2006 at 3:16 PM (CDT)



After reading more closely, You’re right.  I apologize for making what now seems such a pompus comment.

Posted by Cameron T. on April 20, 2006 at 9:22 PM (CDT)


Congratulations to the Onion on their most obvious piece of satire yet.

While no one could question that Apple’s ultimate aim is to make money, they do actually support their user-base with free content - they just don’t shout it from the rooftops.

Apple actually gives the customer a pretty good deal, it’s the content providers who would screw the customers. Apple’s DRM is reasonable, particularly in comparison to Sony’s time-limited DRM. Their pricing is reasonable, especially given that the cartels would love to have tiered pricing in order to milk more money from fans. Apple promotes free content such as download of the week plus audio and video podcasts.

And while Apple don’t exactly shout about it, it is possible to rip DVD content that you’ve already purchased and store it/view it on your iPod. This is something that the studios would rather you didn’t do.

By and large, Apple have given the customers what they wanted, and it’s no coincidence they lead their rivals (read Sony) by a country mile.

Posted by yashin on April 21, 2006 at 6:27 AM (CDT)


“The iPod is the world’s fastest selling electrical equipment ever,” said Kramer, “and I suppose, in a way, I am the world’s biggest failure.”


Posted by flatline response on April 22, 2006 at 3:26 AM (CDT)


Apple’s DRM gives you specific rights; it gives Apple specific rights; it gives the labels specific rights.

That said, nobody is forcing you to play along. Your iPod will happily play non-DRM music from a variety of sources (some legal, some not).

Pissing and moaning about DRM is perhaps to be expected, but can the pissing and the moaning bear some resembalance to the actual facts? Please?

I have the right to own the music I purchase in iTunes. That may not seem especially remarkable now, but people forget that it was just a few years ago that the industry’s accepted DRM model were downloads in four or five competing formats (in addition to Windows Media, there was Liquid Audio and various things from Real) all of which allowed the copyright holder to make files that became unplayable after a set period.

It wasn’t until Apple launched the iTunes Music Store that other companies began selling downloads that didn’t time out, and the record labels finally started to see legal downloads make a dent in the illegal p2p morass.

The competing services simply didn’t meet consumer expectations. Most of them still don’t.

That said, if you heartily dislike DRM, you can just buy CD’s. You’re under no obligation whatsoever to purchase DRM protected downloadable music of any sort.

Posted by babble on April 24, 2006 at 1:34 AM (CDT)



I agree with most of what you say and personally buy CD’s and don’t download. It’s not as clear-cut as that - what about the evil of DRM’d CD’s. Only when everyone stops buying anything that is DRM’d, will it be defeated.

Posted by bean on April 26, 2006 at 8:43 AM (CDT)

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