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Napster CEO slams iTunes, AAC

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2004
News Categories: iTunes

“‘Napster is a Windows Media Audio house designed around that digital rights management,’ Gorog [Napster CEO] says. ‘We are a believer in the technology and we believe it’s going to be, and basically is, the ubiquitous platform. Companies pushing a propriety agenda are consumer-unfriendly experiences because they’re cloistering them in an experience that they can’t leave and eliminating choice.’

Gorog believes pressure from iPod owners will force Apple to reconsider its stance: ‘The iPod is great if you’re happy to only shop at one record store. It’s like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of pissed off,’ he says.”

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Comments

41

I find a couple of things about this quite annoying.

First up, the whole idea that people buy iPods/music players to listen to music bought off online download stores….excuse me? What about the huge number of people who buy CDs then rip them onto the computer, eh? Where’s this one road that us iPod users are supposed to be driving down then?

Secondly, there is totally no need whatsoever for a format war. There was a VHS vs. Betamax war because the tapes were different shapes and the hardware read them differently. With music formats, all you need is the decoder software, and you can read any format - so I’m sure if people are open-minded, rather than petty, we’ll end up with WMA being compatible with the iPod. No problem.

Posted by iPoddity on March 9, 2004 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

42

“WTF you guys doing, you guys are arguing which one is good. Why TF you guys using those store. It is set up by RIAA who are suing music fans. You support them, they get the funds from you to sue other thousand music fan. Both of them are evil. Just say no DRM. NO DRM AAC, NO DRM WMA. Period.”

Hell, why don’t we just see to it that no-one even remotely involved in the music industry ever gets paid again? Yeah, that’s it. I’m sorry, indie band and label, but unless you can get a huge tour sponsorship you’ll just have to find another way to get money. By the way, all the recording engineers are all broke, too. So you’ll have to mix your own albums in your spare time, on cheap equipment because you never get paid for making an album anymore.

Yippee!

Posted by Common on March 9, 2004 at 1:38 PM (PDT)

43

“As well as selling single tracks (99p each is likely), Napster will offer a subscription option. For a monthly fee, set at $9.95 in the US, users can download as many tracks as they like, although they pay extra to burn them to CD or transfer them to a portable player.”

Interesting…isn’t this a tried and failed model to follow? Does Napster read their history books?

Good luck Napster, you’ll need it.

Posted by duh on March 9, 2004 at 2:08 PM (PDT)

44

Why is the guy saying that if you buy an iPod that you can only shop at one record store.  iPod can still play mp3’s, wav’s, and aiff’s.  Legally downloading WMA is just stupid, you can only listen to it on your computer.  You have to pay to burn it to a CD and to copy it to your portable mp3 drive.  What’s the point of having a music file that can only be played on one pc?  I say stick with AAC, they can be played on my iPod and I can burn them to a CD.  Napster is just worried because iTunes sales have increased.

Posted by stupidNapster on March 9, 2004 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

45

Thanks for your comments Pigpen.

The thing that is especially strange to me is—why don’t the record labels themselves set up websites to sell their music online in high quality files? They could give you the option of downloading MP3s, WMAs, AACs or the binary code itself in Microsoft Word files if they wanted to. And they could charge a little more for a higher quality file, a little less for lower bitrates. The fact that they are willing to pay a fee to a middleman like Napster or iTMS to do this rather easy task for them is another sign of just how backward and stupid the management of the major labels is.

The poster who pointed out that what Apple has done with iTMS—made it very easy to buy the song and load it into your player, all in one application—makes a good point. When the labels finally wise up and realize they should be cutting out the middleman, that will be what iTMS has to offer. Which is why Napster has its own Samsung device too…

But let’s face it Mr. Napster, the iPod blows your device away, and now the mini has blown it off the planet… Stop blowing smoke and make a better product.

That’s what Apple did and see where it got them!

Posted by Paul D on March 9, 2004 at 2:34 PM (PDT)

46

Do you think he would like some cheese with his whine?

Posted by CE on March 9, 2004 at 4:15 PM (PDT)

47

bottom line is….i don’t trust napster, a company that was founded and created it’s identity by being the original “internet music pirate”.

Posted by bollocks to you all on March 9, 2004 at 4:19 PM (PDT)

48

Gorog couldnt have said it any better…in fact the car (insert iPod) that he is referring to happens to the most popular one on the road! To bad for Napster.

Posted by jcshas on March 9, 2004 at 4:55 PM (PDT)

49

I love Napster.

Posted by Adam on March 9, 2004 at 7:52 PM (PDT)

50

“It’s like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road.”

Uhh, no. It’s like buying a car and finding you can only drive it on one type of fuel.

Last time i checked, my car only ran on unleaded petrol.
However, the fuel comes in different octanes.

Last time i checked, my iPod only ran on mp3/wav/aiff/aac.
However, the files come in different BitRates.

Posted by Harrison on March 9, 2004 at 8:40 PM (PDT)

51

Yeah you all make good points, my two cents is that there is already another music store selling music in AAC file format, Realplayer 10.  Granted you have to, no really just can’t load the music into the iTunes application, load the software into your iPOd using Realplayer…unless you have something like Ephpod or Anapod.  THere are other stores out there….Anyway its real funny how he says you are stuck with one store, but we all know you are also stuck with a great piece of technology.

Posted by CoolerPod on March 9, 2004 at 9:32 PM (PDT)

52

He thinks WMA DRM is the “ubiquitous” platform smile Or rather, he says the words… which can’t make it true.

For those wishing us to boycott both stores… if your problem is the RIAA than you must wish us to boycott CDs too. You prefer that the artists get NOTHING.

That’s piracy. It’s wrong. So is the RIAA—which doesn’t give you the right to take artists’ creative work. Write to your congressmen, support the non-label independent on iTunes (they’re there), buy used CDs, send donations to your favorite artists, take a stand… but don’t disguise greed and “wanting all music free” as taking a stand.

If you don’t like the price of music and the contracts the artists signed with the RIAA voluntarily… then don’t listen.

Meanwhile, I do support artists, and I see online purchasing as the SLOW beginning of the end for the RIAA—but nobody’s yet proposed anything that will change that world overnight. So I’ll pay for my music, and will enjoy the convenience, selection, and option of buying singles at iTunes.

Posted by Nagromme on March 9, 2004 at 11:01 PM (PDT)

53

He thinks WMA DRM is the “ubiquitous” platform smile Or rather, he says the words… which can’t make it true.

For those wishing us to boycott both stores… if your problem is the RIAA than you must wish us to boycott CDs too. You prefer that the artists get NOTHING.

The logic seems to be: “I like music but I don’t want to pay what the RIAA charges. The RIAA rips off artists (by their own agreement), so I think I should rip off artists too, to get back at the RIAA. I will steal from my favorite artists for their own good.”

That’s piracy. It’s wrong. So is the RIAA’s power—which doesn’t give you the right to take artists’ creative work without payment. Write to your lawmakers, support the non-label independent artists on iTunes (they’re there), buy used CDs, send donations to your favorite artists, propose REAL solutions… take a stand… but don’t disguise greed and “wanting my music free” as taking a stand.

If you don’t like the price of music and the contracts the artists signed with the RIAA voluntarily… then don’t listen.

Meanwhile, I do support artists, and I see online purchasing as the SLOW beginning of the end for the RIAA. I want to see the RIAA fall, and nobody’s yet proposed anything that will change that world overnight. So I’ll pay for my music, and will enjoy the convenience, selection, and option of buying singles at iTunes.

I won’t steal music (call it what you will, it’s the same) pretending I am “changing the world.”

Posted by Nagromme on March 9, 2004 at 11:06 PM (PDT)

54

(Sorry for the triple post—thought I was still making edits!)

Posted by Nagromme on March 9, 2004 at 11:07 PM (PDT)

55

Napster guy talks CEO speak well and probably goes down well (not literally!!!) in the Board room, but he’s out of touch (and somewhat uninformed). Maybe the Disney background is making him think like Mickey Mouse (or more like Pluto!) LOL! Well, with characters like this around there’s hope for us all on the corporate ladder then ...

Posted by David Conroy on March 9, 2004 at 11:53 PM (PDT)

56

Well, the Napster CEO is right about iPod choice…. if Napster was #1. But it isn’t. iTMS is popular even for those who don’t own an iPod. More whining. Do something original for crying out loud!

Posted by jwmatt on March 10, 2004 at 4:52 AM (PDT)

57

What a retard. You can convert your downloaded AAC files to MP3 with one click…It’s what I do when I use iTMS.

Posted by mongoos150 on March 10, 2004 at 5:30 AM (PDT)

58

Well, only a retard will believe that the only way to download is through iTunes.  Yep, the only way to download is through iTunes, just as iTunes is the only iPoding program availibile… Keep on dreaming, kiddies.

Posted by Alison on March 10, 2004 at 7:18 AM (PDT)

59

“It’s like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road.”


and that road is mostly the entire United States….

Posted by Carson on March 10, 2004 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

60

“The poster who pointed out that what Apple has done with iTMS—made it very easy to buy the song and load it into your player, all in one application—makes a good point.”

This is where the strength of Apple lies. It’s called seamless integration! The next step is for Apple to produce a Wi-fi iPod and service that will allow you to purchase and download songs directly to your device without the need for a computer! How cool would that be? It’s all about the easy flow and integration into your everyday lifestyle! As far as Napster/Samsung/Windows is concerned, I don’t think they’re thinking on this level. They’re still concerned about “standards”. MP3/AAC is working just fine for me and my friends and we don’t have to worry about a learning curve when downloading, ripping or uploading our music.

Posted by Stylescraper on March 10, 2004 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

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