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Overhype

by Mike Masnick




Apple's Me-Too (Plus) Music Service Launched

from the one-step-closer dept

In one of the worst kept secrets coming out of Apple in years, today they announced their own downloadable music service, with deals with each of the major record labels so that they have 200,000 songs to offer at $0.99/song. My initial reaction is that this is a step closer, but it's still not there yet. This is really a "me too" music downloading system, patterned on previous (failed) attempts to do the same thing with only minor improvements. First, the number of songs isn't nearly high enough (though, of course, that will improve), and the price is still too high. What the service does right is let people move the songs to an iPod (which you would expect, of course) and let people burn songs to a CD as many times as they want. The service is currently limited to Apple machines, but that will change with time. The bigger issue is that this absolutely takes away the benefits of offering music online. First, music sharing applications let people discuss, sample, share, and discover new music. Forcing people to pay $1/song doesn't encourage me to explore new music at all. Second, by making a distributed peer-to-peer system, distribution costs are dropped to next to nothing. So, this is a nice step for the music industry, but it's still missing the point. People are coming out saying that this will change the music industry - but I don't see that just yet. The only real "innovation" here (and it's incremental) is that you can burn the songs you download to CD.

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  • identicon
    brian, 28 Apr 2003 @ 12:50pm

    i agree...

    The only part I think is interesting is the music sharing part via rendevous. I may be able to see other people's list from within my company? Too bad no-one else uses a mac. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2003 @ 12:56pm

    No Subject Given

    The 30 second previews aren't good enough to sample new music with ? Not bad while preventing a complete download. Think this is a nice trade off for the consumer and the artists.

    Hopefully some artists will offer songs up for free so that consumer's can get an idea of what their music is about. But if your the Eagles, U2, Sheryl Crow, etc, everyone pretty much already knows what you're all about.

    Another thing that apple could do with this service is allow musicians to offer songs for a charity and have the money directly deposit to support the charity instead of filtering through too many hands and coffers.

    This could be big or just another small niche. Suspect most people will continue to take (can't bring myself to say steal) songs for Free where they can find them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dr_Stein, 28 Apr 2003 @ 1:16pm

    other stuff

    cool new iPod units too. iTunes 4 as well.

    Also, the files are in AAC - 128kbps file sounds better than a 192kbps mp3 in many tests.

    It might be a pretty cool thing. $9.99/album isn't too bad either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      msykes, 28 Apr 2003 @ 2:03pm

      Re: other stuff

      Yes, I'll admit I was happy to see 30 second previews of songs available. Sure, it's not quite as good as hearing an entire track from an artist, but it's a good step.

      As for the price, 99c sounds pretty reasonable to me. I can't remember the last time I bought a CD that was actually at 99c a track or better (at least not in the States, back in Canada CDs are cheaper).

      For someone like me, who's really not interested in downloading hundred's or even dozens of songs every week, but just one or two once in awhile as I think of them, this service seems like it will be really nice.

      msykes

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 28 Apr 2003 @ 2:05pm

    No Subject Given

    I have purchased CDs based on nothing more than a review that caught my interest and whatever snippets were available at Amazon or CDnow. However, more often, a couple of 30 second samples has not been enough to get me to part with $15+ for a CD by somebody I had never heard of 15 minutes prior. I frequently would like to preview the entire album, but I'm too paranoid about viri and spyware to utlize Kaaza or the other file trading networks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe Canadian, 29 Apr 2003 @ 8:18am

      Re: No Subject Given

      TOO TRUE - 30 sec. clips aren't enough at all!

      At Future Shop here in Canada we can walk in, pick any CD off the shelf and sit at booth's to listen to it. That HAS made me buy 2 or 3 more CD's than I intended when I first walked in... And although offline buying habits often do NOT correlate to online because the users intentions are different, I know there were some experiments with that online, using lower fidelity streaming albums. I assume the ratio of listeners-to-sales wasn't enough to recommend the practice elsewhere?

      By the way Chris - download KaZaa Lite, and grab something like AdAware's spywatcher software, and join into this while you can before the RIAA puts 1/2 the country in jail.


      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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