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I just read why EMusic gets it (and Apple doesn’t) by Trammell Hudson. He makes some good points, I guess, although I doubt there are many people that would agree with him that EMusic gets it, as it’s hardly a service that people are talking much about. I’ve never used EMusic, or even heard of it before now, but even though I prefer MP3 format, too, as the de-facto cross-platform standard, I think subscription models like eMusic’s just suck, and from what I hear, the quality of EMusic’s 128k-encoded MP3s sucks, too. What Hudson doesn’t acknowledge is that most major label artists are just not ready to go with downloads that aren’t copy-protected, even though I think they could make more money if they all just gave their music away for free (more on that soon). Apple seems to have struck on something that works for all those skittish artists in the meantime.

I haven’t bought anything from the iTunes store yet, except for one song as an experiment (What else?)*, and likely won’t until Apple’s DRM has had more scrutiny and the inevitable first round of fixes, when I for one am hoping for either a much higher encoding quality or a much lower price. Apple’s the greatest innovator in the computer industry, but they do rush products to market, and buyers should beware. It should almost be a rule now not to buy any Apple product in its first three to six months: I can make a list of the times I have, and gotten burned. That list goes: PowerPC 7100, Bondi Blue iMac, 5 GB iPod, OS X Server, G4 Cube, and that’s just off the top of my head. It’s fun to be the first to have a new toy, which is how Apple gets away with it, and they nearly always do eventually get fixed — I still am using nearly all of the above — but sometimes it’s not worth it. And if there’s one thing I really hate to do, it’s buy the same record twice.

* Here’s where I learned how to do that nifty linking trick. And here is the result of integrating that trick with Kung-Tunes. Fun but pointless.


04.28.2003: iTunes Storefronts
Mockups — how independent storefronts could be integrated into iTunes, if Apple opens it up as a sales & distribution platform.

05.06.2003: the imp of the perverse
Back in college, we did a horrible, horrible thing. archives