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back to article Cloud music: Apple set to clean up

Never underestimate the power of an incumbent. And never underestimate the willingness of Apple's user base to try new products bearing the fruit logo. A poll of Cupertino fanbois by NPD has found a remarkably high willingness to pay for a 'cloud' music service. The researchers extrapolate that up to 15 million fanbois would …

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Anonymous Coward

Hardly the same thing

For the tenner a month Spotify subscription I'd have been pushed to get a whole album of DRM infested nonsense from iTunes, which i would struggle to get to play across all my devices. Spotify works on my phone and all my computers, which is all the devices I need, and I probably listen to at least 5 new albums a month for the money.

Sure I'm paying for something I can't keep afterwards, but that's an explicit part of the deal, and is basically why it only costs a fifth of the money for a service that's actually more convenient than torrenting. And I'm getting to actually feel like I'm paying my way, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside

If the market implodes in the end and I have to go out and buy a load of tracks that I only have on spotify now that will suck, but I'll probably only buy a small proportion of the ones I would have had to buy just to sample without spotify, and by then they'll all be at bargain bin prices.

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FAIL

eh???

What DRM infested stuff from iTunes? Oh, you mean the stuff they were selling a few years ago at the request of the labels, before switching to (mostly) DRM free stuff (and optionally upgrading everyones libraries for a small fee per track, including the bitrate). Unless you are one of those who thinks that AAC = evil, in which case there is no hope for you.

And tenner a month = 120 quid a year. That works out at 15 DRM-free albums on iTunes at the standard price of £7.99 (YMMV), and you don't have to dick about with Spotify's crap interface, or worry about it being blocked by proxies / firewalls. Oh, and you can also carry it with you offline.

If you want to listen to music to hear new stuff, then there is always BBC 6 Music, and the DJs rock.

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not as bad as you make out

The ability to sample is handy for sure, but you're misrepresenting iTunes.

Everything on iTunes has been DRM-free for several years now and can be easily loaded onto any device that supports AAC -- which is virtually everything, including Zune, PSP, SanDisk, and phones from SonyEricsson, Nokia N and E series, Blackberry. Or you can convert it to MP3 if you must, right in the iTunes program.

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FAIL

Oh, and you CAN carry it with you offline

"Spotify's crap interface, or worry about it being blocked by proxies / firewalls. Oh, and you can also carry it with you offline."

Actually if you have a subscription to Spotify you CAN carry it around offline - you can sync any track / album / playist locally to any supported device... that includes your jesus phone, windows/mac (not linux, yet!), android or symbian device.

Another nice benefit is that you can login to your spotify account anywhere - like a friends place - and access all your playlists and all music available to you on spotify. Goes down very well at partys.

In otherwords, get your facts straight before posting tripe.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: eh???

"What DRM infested stuff from iTunes? "

Well, quite.

Maybe we attract the world's most out of touch music consumers as commenters at El Reg. Which isn't anything to boast about.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Oh, and you CAN carry it with you offline

Spotify for Linux is out today as a beta -

http://www.spotify.com/uk/download/previews/

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Happy

set

Are the people who moaned about digital download drm the same people who don't moan about spotify drm?

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Silver badge

Loss

Who-o-why-o-why are we being offered music in lossy format ? Compressed formats were for the days when storage was small and expensive. Let me buy it uncompressed please. For small devices, I'll compress it myself.

And ditch the over equalization too.

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it's just different

"Either they don't give two hoots, or haven't noticed yet." The difference being that I pay my Spotify subscription for the use of a service, I know I don't own any of the music and as soon as I stop paying the monthly fee I have no right to listen to what I'd been paying for. "Buying" DRM-ed tracks is a completely different proposition as far as I'm concerned.

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Silver badge
Linux

Renting vs. Buying

Renting is a lot different than buying here.

When you're renting, you don't care so much if the bits go poof in the night because some DRM server went offline. If you can see your rented bits on a wider range of devices that's also a nice plus. I know it's shocking but some people are actually willing to pay and they don't feel the need to pirate the stuff they are renting.

Also, iTunes is only DRM free if you are stuck in the last century. For all of Apple's modern and relevant content, there is still DRM to get in the way of your sense of ownership.

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Grenade

"Also, iTunes is only DRM free if you are stuck in the last century."

Er, no. The music is DRM-free. End of. There's no "if". No "but". The "FairPlay" DRM is now only applied to video media.

This is NOT the fault of Apple: it's the labels and publishers you need to have a whinge at. The same labels and publishers who want to charge you a monthly fee to listen to music, instead of letting you *own* it. How quickly people forget who *owns* Spotify.

Consider this: if an independent musician wanted to sell his new album directly through iTunes, with none of the traditional labels or publishers involved, he can do so. Good luck doing that with Spotify.

Spotify *increases* the old guard's stranglehold over music.

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Silver badge
Linux

Like I said: last century.

> Er, no. The music is DRM-free. End of. There's no "if". No "but". The "FairPlay"

> DRM is now only applied to video media.

...and books, and audio books.

IOW, everything but 1998's poster child for multi-media.

The big picture certainly looks a lot different than the carefully selected bits of propaganda.

Of course the DRM is never Apple's fault. It's never Apple's fault for profiting from the lock-in or this inherently abusive way of treating paying customers.

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Grenade

In truth

All the DRM music I ever bought... broke

(and generally I was rebuying things I already had on vinyl or CD anyway)

what an idiot I am

how crap DRM is

But at least I had pride of ownership

or something

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Badgers

Just on that final paragraph...

Putting aside digital music - most of us are familiar and have accepted the concept of buying something and paying for a service/rental.

My issue with iTunes (and the rest) is that it's pitched as a purchase, but gives me no advantage over the CDs I've been buying for years (apart from 'I want it NOW') - but comes with a whole load of drawbacks.

In my head Spotify isn't selling me album, they're selling me the right to listen to any music they happen to have. When I play that track there is no inkling in my being that I own it, I'm merely listening - therefore the DRM doesn't enter my head.

Can't see ISPs (especially mobile operators) liking this idea at all. Operators are complaining about the drain on their resources of the existing data load - add in every single note playing in through every single users earbuds?

Actually if they billed for the downloads of the streaming music.. it's not going to take that much listening over a month to shove you onto a new data plan that'll dwarf the cost of the actual $10 for the music itself.

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Advantage

I would argue that the ability to purchase single tracks and not a full CD which is 90% crap is a huge advantage.

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Grenade

In response to your question...

...young people nowadays don't actually want, or need, to 'own' music. They just want to listen to it.

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Plus...

... in many cases don't even know the difference (or care to) as long as it plays.

Trouble starts when things don't work as planned. THEN they start asking the questions.

Not that this applies to absolutely everyone -- just many.

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WTF?

I don't get the comparison at all

Spotify is like renting a radio station and choosing what music is broadcast. The rent is £10.

iTunes and the other mp3/aac stores are just selling the same thing that I can buy on a CD with the disadvantage of lower quality audio, no liner notes, no pictures. Unless you want to buy single tracks (which is what most people do on iTunes) the proposition makes no sense at all.

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WTF?

@ Mr. Orlowski

If I spend £500 building a music collection out of "DRM-encrusted digital downloads", then the provider goes bust (or just decides to shut down their servers for a laugh) who do I see about a refund?

If I spend £5 a month for the Spotify *service*, and six months down the line Spotify goes bust, I've still spent six months being able to listen to virtually any music I fancy.

Spotted the difference yet?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: @ Mr. 0

You'll have a job finding £500 worth of DRM-encrusted downloads. DRM disappeared from music last year, but you haven't noticed yet.

Have you really based your purchasing decision on a mistake?

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Er

It was you who wondered why "people who on principle never bought a DRM-encrusted digital download" - past tense, i.e. back when music WAS 'DRM-encrusted' - would now use Spotify. The subsequent death of DRM doesn't change your point of comparison, nor does it invalidate Jerome's point.

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Thumb Up

Forget cloud music

Audio files are small and easy to move around (relatively speaking).

I want cloud video. Let me buy seasons of TV shows and stream them to my phone, please.

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Silver badge
Linux

Ditch the DRM.

>

> Audio files are small and easy to move around (relatively speaking).

>

> I want cloud video. Let me buy seasons of TV shows and stream them to my phone, please.

>

Let them be portable to the device of my choosing.

You can do something like this already with AirVideo.

Buy it. Rip it. Stream it.

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If you buy them

Why not just sync them with your device?

I suppose it might become a question of what costs more/is available at the moment: storage or bandwidth.

Unless you meant rent (like Netflix or some such).

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Re: Ditch the DRM

I have AirVideo and it's a great app, but ripping video is a PITA, and that's notwithstanding the fact that the sellouts running my country are constantly trying to make ripping illegal. I'd really much rather directly buy the right to enjoy a digital file as either a download or a stream. I know better than to hold my breath on a service like that showing up, but I can dream...

Re: Doshu

Storage is the issue. A server could fit a much broader selection of videos than my mobile devices, with no need to juggle files around to make space. And I would love it if the service had a price to rent and a price to own.

But I'm just a consumer who knows what he wants to buy. What do I know?

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Silver badge
Linux

You bought it, you own it.

> I have AirVideo and it's a great app, but ripping video is a PITA, and that's notwithstanding

> the fact that the sellouts running my country are constantly trying to make ripping illegal.

> I'd really much rather directly buy the right to enjoy a digital file as either a download or a

> stream. I know

...except you have no real ownership interest with a "file". This is especially true if this "file" is encumbered with DRM. Your rights to use that file can suddenly disappear. Your ability to use that file in the device of your choosing is extraordinarily limited. You don't have any good way to prove that you have any rights to that file.

Ripping is far less troublesome than dealing with DRM imposed limits.

A better device also allows for a broader selection of videos. You can do some very interesting things with portable video players if you don't see Apple as the entire world.

Yes. We know that you "know what you want". It's something with a fruit on it.

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Silver badge
Linux

10x the storage

> Why not just sync them with your device?

>

> I suppose it might become a question of what costs more

> /is available at the moment: storage or bandwidth.

>

> Unless you meant rent (like Netflix or some such).

An Archos is very handy for this option. They go up to 500G.

The problem with network based solutions is that you can go off

the grid or be on some really unreliable part of it. Your network

provider could also decide to cut off the unlimited internet or you

just may end up in a place where networking is just plain expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

About the fanbois thing...

Have you ever tried to convince one of them that there was any merit in any of the music sales/distribution models other then iTunes? Well, I never got anywhere. They were convinced that purchasing songs, $1 for 128Kbps wrapped with Playfair (back in the day) was the one and only way.

Seems they've changed their minds.

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They can copy one thing from iTunes though:

Get into more countries! I'm so tired of trying online music stores/"internet radio stations"/whatever only to see "This service is not available in your country."

In Australia we seem to only have three choices: Buy from iTunes, buy from a bricks-n-mortar store, or pirate. And most of our physical music stores are tiny and have an extremely limited selection, not to mention ridiculously high prices, which makes the only practical alternatives iTunes or piracy.

The internet is a global communications system which allows IP from one country to instantly be available in any other, whether legally distributed or not. Dividing the world up into regions is bullshit and is going to continue to drive piracy until copyright holders realise that the world just doesn't work that way any more.

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