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iTunes rivals still falling short

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri April 7, 2006

iTMS rivals falling short

A new column notes the superior position Apple's iTunes Music Store holds, and offer a possibility as to why none of the competition has managed to dethrone the digital music king. An enterprising company would need to develop a site with virtually the same content as iTunes, add the ability to use it with a variety of non-iPod players, and then offer better prices to effectively compete with Apple. This has already happened, according to Forbes; however, it isn't enough -- partially due to sub-par players and partially due to Microsoft's "software failings." iTunes competitors, the report says, are pushing subscription-based models, hoping consumers will warm up to the idea of unlimited track rentals that deactivate when they stop paying money. iTunes sells tracks for .99 cents each, but because buyers own the music they can stop using the iTunes Music Store at any time and continue to enjoy the tracks they already paid for.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    this just in!

    the subscription music model still sucks!

  1. southtdi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It would take alot

    The thing is the ipod has moved from a fad to a mainstream device. Basically it's at the level of an audio playback format such as cassettes or CD's. The reason I say this is there are quite a car makers that have hookups for the ipod with more on the way. Unless Apple really messes up it would take several years for iTunes and the ipod to be knocked off the top spot.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    everyone wins except

    This is a situation where everyone is happy and a winner except for the competitors. Customers know the limitations of the DRM before they get into it, and they are quite content. It is not all that restrictive and not unreasonable. Granted, there is third party software for the subscription models that remove their DRM, just as there is HYMN for iTunes downloads. So what! I have been through three iPods and been a user of iTunes for a long time...never once had a problem.

    If you back up your hard drive (I keep mine on a Linux server RAID) AND remember to de-authorize your computers before they are mothballed...you're set for life.

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    now if only...

    All the downloads were 320 kbps versions, I'd be in heaven!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: everyone wins but

    Customers know the limitations of the DRM before they get into it, and they are quite content. It is not all that restrictive and not unreasonable.

    Are you sure everyone's knows the limitations of the DRM beforehand? Where exactly is that spelled out. Right there when you first purchase the music? Or just because its in the EULA and we know everyone reads all of that?

    And you don't think people can understand the DRM limitations of the other services?

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    they do understand...

    ...the DRM limitations of the other services. that's why they don't use them.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    now if only...

    ...my biggest gripe with iTunes Store is the bit rate of 128. that's not high enough for archival music.

    i would gladly pay a small premium for a higher bit rate version.

  1. st56k

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: "now if only..."

    As to higher bitrates, I absolutely agree! I use the iTunes client to manage content on the two iPods I own but I still purchase music on CD. If higher bitrates were offered, I would purchase from the iTMS even if the higher bitrates were sold for a premium. ($1.50 per track would be fair if I could buy tracks in Apple lossless format. Maybe $1.25 for high bitrate MP3.) The other thing that would be really cool is if the iPod firmware could be enhanced to support the pre/post gap tags to allow proper playback of album oriented music. (And, of course, Apple should add support for writing per/post gap tags to the MP3 encoder in iTunes for the same reason.)

  1. jhorvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Subscriptions/renting

    Subscriptions/renting music is a bad deal all the way around. Pay a monthly subcription plus pay to burn your tracks, plus if you forget about your subscription bye, bye, music. Most are Windows only IE6 or above to even get into. No iPod compatability. iTunes has the most music, the best DRM for burning your tracks and moving them onto an iPod. The best interface for browsing music and one click buy and auto download it to your iTunes software and ready to play. It's really the ease of use and compatability with Mac and Windows.

  1. Cubester

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    bit rates

    I'd like higher bit rates too, but NO WAY I'm paying more for them. Come on, suckers, you're already dramatically overpaying for reduced quality, limited use, digital download versions. Where are your ears? There's simply no comparison to CD quality. And I've noticed some better prices appearing for CDs - perhaps the RIAA is catching on, afterall?

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