Napster blames Microsoft for iTunes domination | iLounge News


Napster blames Microsoft for iTunes domination

Napster’s chief executive says that Microsoft and its hardware partners are to blame for Apple’s dominant 80 percent market share in digital music sales.

“There is no question that their execution has been less than brilliant over the last 12 months,” Napster CEO Chris Gorog said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York. “Our business does rely on Microsoft’s digital rights management software and our business model also relies on Microsoft’s ecosystem of device manufacturers.”

“It’s a lot more complex to get organized properly than it is to build one device and one service as Apple has done,” Gorog added. “It’s always been painful at the introduction of new technologies. But it always takes shape like it’s done in the past.” Gorog still contends that the Microsoft partners will win. “Ultimately, the consumer electronics giants… are all going to come to this Windows Media party,” he said. “This is really going to be the ubiquitous format.”

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Gee Mr. Gorog, say it enough times and maybe it’ll start to be true!  Sooo…the “less than brilliant” execution by MS and its HW partners is to blame for Apple’s 80% market dominance in this area…and yet, Windows Media will be the ubiquitous format and all the electronics giants are going to come along?  Geez, make up your mind Napster-Boy.  Peopple talk about the Steve jobs reality disotortion field…what about this guy?

Posted by JonYo on March 1, 2006 at 10:05 AM (CST)


i think Mr. Gorog has pod envy.

Posted by tobiwan on March 1, 2006 at 10:15 AM (CST)


Before my total change to a Mac nut, I used Windows Media for an HOUR, and threw it away. What an awful format, I can’t believe this is IT. The only reason a bad format will win out, is the money behind it, just like VHS over BETA, etc.

Posted by jonyem on March 1, 2006 at 10:27 AM (CST)


is the money behind it, like VHS over BETA

Bad example. At least initially, there was more money and development behind BETA (Sony and its partners).  VHS (primarily backed by Panasonic and JVC) won out because people could easily see that they record more material on that format per tape cassette than on BETA, giving the impression of more value for the consumer even though the recording results were often of lesser comparable quality.

Posted by flatline response on March 1, 2006 at 11:21 AM (CST)


Well, if Microsoft Executed so poorly, create your own Mr. Napster. 

It’s easy to bash apple’s completely proprietary (monopolized) iTunes Music Store and the iPod.  But it’s because Apple developed this from the ground up, did not rely solely on other peoples technology / development / delivery, they have executed the best end-to-end package.  That’s why they have 80% of the market.

Posted by RCG on March 1, 2006 at 11:45 AM (CST)


You say it best RCG: “they have executed the best end-to-end package”

The problem with Napster is its “ease of use”. I was a member of its subscriber service for two months (because I got two free months with my Sansa MP3 player as a bonus) and after the first month, one of my two computers started giving me DRM license problems. I sent an email to Napster support and it took them over two weeks to respond, and the recovery steps in their email were not trivial. They involved re-installing Windows Media player, and then doing other steps to go into folders and rename drm files and re-sync my library. These steps fixed my files I downloaded from the subscription, but the worst part was that the recovery steps from Napster did not fix the licensing problem with the songs I purchased! Luckily, I had already burned them to a CD. Nonetheless, I let my second month subscription run out. The subscription service was great when it worked, but it was a hassle to fix when it didn’t.

My conclusion is that the compilications of Windows Media DRM are killing them. I’m an experienced computer user, but I can’t imagine a mom or pop trying to mess around and understand the Windows DRM/licensing restrictions.  I would visit the Napster message boards and there were many posts form people trying to figure out how to get their MP3 players to work with Napster’s service.  As long as iTunes can guarantee ease of use, then they are going to kill the competition.  If you buy and iPod, you know it will work with iTunes, simple.  I’m out…

Posted by iSheep on March 1, 2006 at 11:55 AM (CST)


I thought the main contributing reason why BETA lost was because Sony charged exhorborant licensing fees, while JVC and Panasonic let other manufacturers use VHS for a pittance.
This lead to VHS being Ubiquitous for consumer electronics, while BETAMax remained a Professional Format

The relationship this has to the MP4-Fairplay/WMV-WMA battle is that While MP4 requires minimal licensing fees from manufacturers, and WMA decoding is Ubiquitous on most Decoding Chipsets, FairPlay and jAnus limit compatibility.
Manufacturers who want to use jAnus must comply to Microsoft’s “Mein Kampf”, while no-one but Apple are allowed to use FairPlay.
If someone introduced a GPL DRM structure, which functionally restricted content, without relying on Security-through-obscurity, but being easily implemented in a chipset, it would trump jAnus.

Posted by Salvo on March 1, 2006 at 2:23 PM (CST)


iSheep, your NTG experience sounds identical to my Rhapsody/Yahoo Music Unlimited experience.  Have you tried other services, or did you give up?  So much money spent on music, I wish the sub. model worked better…

Posted by Brad on March 1, 2006 at 4:06 PM (CST)


why BETA lost was because Sony charged exhorborant licensing fees

That would’ve impacted manufacturers signing on more than directly affecting consumers, though I don’t doubt that there would’ve been some sort of trickle-down effect on pricing (from what I remember, VHS decks did tend to be less expensive than comparable Beta machines, though not by much when I actually entered in to the marketplace). Ultimately, it was still the consumers’ buying AND viewing habits that tilted the balance, and not how many VHS VCR deck and tape manufacturers JVC had on board. I remember many of my friends and family choosing VHS over Beta for exactly the reason I cited above, not because of some vagaries of Sony’s licensing agreement.

Sony’s name was ubiquitous with Betamax then as Apple and iPod are now; most people I knew back then didn’t have any problem with Sony the Company or their Betamax machines from a technological standpoint, despite their increased transport complexity over VHS counterparts. In fact, I recall comments from at least a couple of different friends that WISHED Sony would’ve made their VHS machines from the very start instead of peddling Beta units—Sony’s rep back then was THAT trusted and there were plenty then who were Sony fanboys before anyone knew what a fanboy was.

Yet it still came down to how much content one could cram on a tape without having to change over to the next blank. The value of convenience won out in the end.

Posted by flatline response on March 2, 2006 at 5:18 AM (CST)


Hey greedy napster im glad metallica kicked your behinds!!!

Posted by roger767 on March 2, 2006 at 6:56 AM (CST)



I did not try any other subscription services.  I’ve already been using the Russian websites to buy my music and I’ve used eMusic also.  I’m an MP3 guy who likes my music without DRM.  Also, with Napster, once I got my problem fixed with all of the files that I downloaded for the subscription, I ran all of them through tunebite to convert them to MP3 files anyway.  If I was to subscribe to another service again, then the conversion to MP3 is the way to go!  I’m out….

Posted by iSheep on March 2, 2006 at 9:15 AM (CST)

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