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Newsweek knocks \"closed\" iPod/iTunes system

updated 08:50 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2005

Newsweek on iPod/iTunes

Apple's "closed" iPod/iTunes music ecosystem is under fire, in the "This Won't Work With That" awards, which honor "self-serving perpetrators of toxic incompatibilities." Newsweek technology columnist Steven Levy says that the inability to play iTunes songs on non-iPod music players and the inability to play music purchased from other music stores on the iPod frustrates customers and interferes with interoperability standards. Third prize went to the satellite radio services Sirius and XM, while the America Online received the "grand prize" for "shamefully maintaining AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) as a closed system."

"Second prize goes to Apple CEO Steve Jobs for selling songs on the iTunes Music Store that play on iPods, but not on anyone else's music players. Also, Apple has rigged the iPod so that (un-less you perform some digital surgery) songs purchased from other online stores won't play on it. Jobs's explanation is that it's not something users are asking for, and if a groundswell of users clamor for compatibility, he'll consider it. Take my word for it, Steve--when people pay for music, they want it to be playable on any device they choose."

by MacNN Staff



  1. macimmortal

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Who in the h*** is actually frustrated by this? Everyone I know OWNS an iPod and actually rips their CDs into iTunes or buys from the ITMS. This is total c*** imho.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh No!

    Omigod! Apple won one of Newsweek's "This Won't Work With That" awards! The iPod and iTunes are doomed for sure now. Or Newsweek had to have something on the pages between the ads. One of the two.

  1. EchoSierraTwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So FRIGGIN what?

    this only proves that if the software works and or if the people want it (the hardware) it can be "closed" all it wants to be. If it were not for the "closed" system and tight intergration, the iPod, iTunes and Macintosh would just be another POS mp3 player, Jukebox and computer system. Keep it closed i say. Show the world how it should be done. I know that there are tons of professionals that use Macs that would like to see visio, not a visio-like-app, I dont see NW having STUPID contests and rankings crying that it should not be a "closed" system and made for "all" platforms, etc.

    Anyways, Back to enjoying my coffee.

  1. Drakino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Good. I'm personally tired of all the praise the iTunes music store gets from Mac fans who also traditionally dislike closed systems. the iTMS is a closed system no matter how you look at it.

    The iPod doesn't have 100% market share. The music store shouldn't act like it does.

  1. macFanDave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My guess is that

    Microsoft has been permanently eliminated from this contest so that others can have a chance.

    Mr. Softee is so incredibly adept at making closed products, formats, etc, no one else really has much of a chance unless MicroShaft were disqualified.

  1. MacNorway

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Okay then

    So, what does the other side look like? The other stores are using software that doesn't work on a Mac, so how can this be a so one-sidedly iTunes/iPod problem. Why should I buy a Rio and buy music from "the others" when they don't offer Mac support? Gee...

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yep, the iTMS is a closed system. But, lets look at how it got that way. First, the iPod was not the first MP3 play. Second, iTMS was not the first legal method of downloading music. Third, the iPod was originally Mac only. Forth, none of that early era had a fully functional method of Mac users to download music. So, other MP3 players existed and had a huge head start, what did they do with it, nothing, oh, and many of those didn't support the Mac platform, so it was "CLOSED" to Mac users. Online music stores had a pathetic model, oh, and if not closed to mac users it might as well have been "CLOSED" to Mac users. That sucking sound that you may or may not have notice back in the day was due to a vacuum, which was filled by, yep, Apple. So then what, well, the iPod, amazingly (note sarcasm) came out with a easy to use well thought out design, surprise surprise, Apple's iPod was hit, then, content, where was Real, where was MS Media Player, no where, doing what they allows did, produce garbage and expect people to take it. So no, I shouldn't like that Apple is a closed system, but that part of me that has had so many things denied to me because I choose to use a (whether you agree with me or not is moot) a superior OS, now that tables are turn, and who is really doing the complaining? Window users, no, their using iTMS, why, well because it freaking works. Sorry real, sorry M$, sorry Napster, walmart and all the rest. They were there, they could have had what Apple is now enjoying, but their inability to be truly innovative, to think beyond the immediate dollar and what the other guy is doing has put them at the end of the line.

    My name is slider, I'm and iPod using, iTMS downloading, and CD ripping Mac user and actually enjoy my digital music with ZERO headaches. Bite me News Week :P

  1. caddisfly

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Book of "Job"s.....

    first, "Job" created itunes. I burned by CDs to it and created a library. I used it and it was good.

    second, "Job" created ipod. I downloaded by my burned CDs from my library to it and listened. I used it and it was good.

    third, "Job" created itunes store. I bought music. Downloaded music to my library to listen. I could also download to my ipod. I could burn this music to a CD. I used it and it was good. what was the problem again?

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't Blame Apple

    Blame the dumbass record companies. None of the music stores would be any less successful if they were selling unprotected MP3s that would work everywhere. The record companies required DRM and that is the only thing that has led us to these kinds of incompatibilities.

    Furthermore, Nobody is buying an iPod because they really need a player that works with the iTunes store. People are using the iTunes store because it's the only store that sells music that will play on the iPod. To compete with the iTunes store, other stores need only to start selling music that the iPod can play. To compete with the iPod other hardware companies need only... Um...

  1. bokubob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What do the letters "ms" in stand for in the link to this article?

    Then, it's complaining about blu-ray (supported by apple, sony and other Microsoft competitors), iTMS (competes with Microsoft supported music stores) and AIM (which the author complains doesn't work with Microsoft and Yahoo). Anyway, Microsoft plays the part of the loser in all of these.

    This isn't journalism, it's propaganda.

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