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."