The Day The Music Crashed…

from the uh-oh... dept

Now that we’re being told all the time that we should only buy digital music, what happens when your computer screws up and you can no longer access your music? Apparently, there are a ton of stories going around right now about how the latest version of iTunes is completely trashing some Windows machines, making all of the songs stored unaccessible. So, as Jeremy Wagstaff asks in the first link, will this prompt people to go back to more tangible storage, such as CDs? It seems unlikely (and I say that as someone who actually does still prefer CDs, call me old fashioned). Instead, it may do two things: (1) encourage people to get better backup solutions, so that if a computer has problems, their music is still available and (2) push to get rid of stupid copy protection that makes solution (1) useless.

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Comments on “The Day The Music Crashed…”

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Mr Audiofile says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

My ear is better than yours. I don’t understand how anyone can listen to anything less than a live performance with front-to-middle-center seats (depending on the acoustics of the theatre). It makes me feel smug to post messages about the ignorant people who listen to “music” on computers. I wouldn’t play nursery rhymes to my kids on less than OGG. When I encode my own music one song fills an entire hard drive and even then the poor acoustic reproduction environment of the PC is like needles to my ears. My ears are so great. If there was a prize for great ears I’d win. If Apple had me on their AAC evaluation panel, I would have told them their 128 AAC is as poor as the CD it was ripped from. CDs!!!! Vinyl was bad enough… I can’t finish this post – somebody shoot me

Mr Audiofile says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Subject Given

AllRightsReserved, I wish I could claim credit for the preceeding posts, but alas my Ironic rant stands alone…

But just to keep the conversation going:

iTunes is pitched at many people who, like my Mum, can just about download tracks, to to whom if you were to say “Plug in an external hard drive and create a slave volume which you should synchronise regularly with your hard drive” would either panic and run away or hit you for taking the p!ss.
How hard would it be it keep a record of tracks purchased, matched against the licence number of your copy of itunes and allow tracks to be re-downloaded in the event of a corruption… or *something* like that (I’m sure nerds are thinking of a thousand loopholes and problems that would cause… in fact i’m thinking of many myself – but I’m sure there is some feasable solution)

Allrightsreserved says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No Subject Given

Oh, we all have our interests. Not everyone is an audiofile…..fer instance I like itunes preference is smooth jazz, and they have an excellent selection. I use windows media player to keep my tracks sorted, and it does an acceptable job. I like itunes, but am just so familiar with wmp that I stay with it. I don’t do a lot of ripping, but have no compunctions about doing so for my own personal use. I think these programs are aimed at the casual user anyway…….as you have said…if one wants fidelity…ya ain’t gonna use a computer, but for transferring to my mp3 player and playing over my car radio it works fine. Ta

pat says:

No Subject Given

mp3s/wma etc are overrated with the exception of ogg.

you can’t get really good quality out of a PC unless you prepared to spend thousands on studio level equipment. feel free to slate me on this but you know its right. theres too much interference going on in a PC to get any real level of fidelity.

i may be tainted by the huge ammounts i spend on hi fi gear instead but i feel justified in agreeing with the fact that yes music should remain on cd.

or perhaps even minidisc? ATRAC is a fantasic method of encoding and its a real shame it never took off.

as far as copy protection goes i don’t see the point. save your money. at best its a mild inconvenience to anyone who wants to rip/copy it.

Bob3000 says:

Re: No Subject Given

” may be tainted by the huge ammounts i spend on hi fi gear ….”

Yes you are. The vast majority of digital music users are not looking for high fidelity. They are looking for portability and money savings. Personally I enjoy many one-hit wonders and select songs from select artists, to me Napster was a godsent as I don’t care to spend $20 to get the one song I want. And proper encoding at 192 is fine with me.

Netguru says:


For me, if i want quality I’ll listen to Super Audio or vynil and it works only in my house because my house is quiet. MP3’s at 192k and up should be the standard (not 128k) because it sounds like CD quality and I don’t need fidelity when i’m in my car because you can’t hear fidelity when a car is running, rednecks with loud mufflers, or in public with an iPod or knock-off. So please, put the stuckup “only high fidelity is good enough for my ears” act away. If your computer crashes, its a result of bad computer management, use a registry cleaner periodically and you’ll probably be fine. Windows is a crappy OS i admit, but 95% of Windows problems can be fixed through user intervention and user knowledge. Worried that your 10000000000GB or porn will be ejected into a byteless void? Back it up. I don’t think that technology is meant to cater to our needs as much as we’d like it to, some thinking on our part is necessary.

“I don’t fear computers, I fear the lack of them”

MLO says:

Great Timing

I had just downloaded version 5.0 (after being directed there by a prompt from the program)and was getting ready to install when I read this article. Thanks for saving me from some real headaches.

Unfortunately, quite a few people where I work have this installed, most notably the executives. I’ve send some carefully worded emails warning against upgrades, but I’m sure some will slip through the cracks.

Incidentally, the earlier version of iTunes doesn’t work that well with Windows either.


Tanner Moore says:

I tunes WTH

I’ve been using Itunes for a little while now, and i gotta say it runs fine… except for one Giant annoyance, and that is that for some reason it is constantly making duplicates of my mp3s, or just simply listing duplicates and then giving me an error message when it can’t find it. both of these problems are damn annoying and if i hadn’t been stupid enough to let itunes reorganize my entire library when i first installed, i would get rid of the whole shabanger and go back to winamp.

As far as the Audiophile nonsense goes, i just need to say that i am a certified sound engineer, i play in an experimental noise band, and work at an indie record store, my life revolves around music, and recorded sound in general. In my opinion you will not be able to notice anything dicernable in a 192k and up encoding. Yes, you can notice it, if you put on headphones, and really really listen, without any external distractions. But who does that on a day to day basis? i only get that chance maybe twice a week for an album or two and then i listen on vinyl, which pops jumps on occasion, even with virgin vinyl. in the end it doesn’t matter how it’s recorded, sound is sound, and should be taken as it is, on it’s own merits, there is no “Pure” recording, even going directly from the instrument (which can be played poorly) to your ear, you’re going to get loss and distortion, humidity, accoustics, air pressure, fluid in your ears, wax, you name it. In the end, the question should be “Is this enjoyable.”

Eric T says:

Re: AAC?

AAC, Vorbis, MP3,; they are all acceptable if given an appropriate bit rate.

AAC is a very strong codec (though there is still room for improvement). What you have to do is rip a CD starting at a low bitrate and listen to it. If it is not acceptable to you at that bitrate try it again at the next highest rate and repeat until you find the quality that is acceptable TO YOU.

A lot of people will tell you that a lossy codec is not acapable of producing quality reproduction, but if you ask them to prove their claim with an ABX test the seem to disappear for a few days because of them can not do so. As someone already said, you may not be able to get perfect reproduction, but if you try different bitrates you can get enjoyable quality from just about any lossy codec. If lossy is still unacceptable to you you can always use lossless codecs like ‘Apple Lossless Encoder’. The file size will be a lot bigger, but you will have the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have an exact copy of the audio as it is recorded an the CD.

For the record I use OGG Vorbis for listening on my computer, but I use AAC @ 160kbs for my Shufle and it is quite enjoyable FOR ME.

Anonymous Coward says:

A disturbing pattern here

I have to wonder if buggy Windows software is being deliberately released by Apple to make Windows look bad in comparison to the Mac OS. Every time they release a major new version of software (Quicktime springs quickly to mind), the Mac version works fine and the Windows version is full of bugs. I can easily see an Apple spokesman saying, “well that just goes to show how bad Windows is – switch to Mac!”

Scruffy Dan (user link) says:

Why not just re-download

Music stores like iTunes should allow you to re-download any songs u have purchased anytime you want. If your hard drive crashes, or it fills and you need more space don’t worry delete the music you can always download it later. That the way it should be, and I guess Valve?s steam works like that, so it would not be unprecedented.

I still won?t be paying for any music that has any kind of DRM on it.

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