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Trouble in iTunesland rising prices

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
Ok i'm a bit disappointed here.

50+ Million songs have been downloaded via iTunes.

That's at the very least 25 Million tracks that could have been received via more unscrupulous ways. Yet certain individuals would still prefer slap us in the face. What I mean is

Just a quick perusal of iTMS shows that

N.E.R.D album is $16.99
Wyntom Marsalis = $16.99

The new Cypress Hill- By Song only?

Wow I guess there's only so much Apple can do. But I hope these people realize that we just want music. That's all
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post #2 of 74
Yeah, I was sad to see Apple starting to cave on those issues.

The hell I'm spending the price of a full CD for compressed audio and a JPEG. Sheesh!

The big labels will never learn. Never.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #3 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Yeah, I was sad to see Apple starting to cave on those issues.

The hell I'm spending the price of a full CD for compressed audio and a JPEG. Sheesh!

The big labels will never learn. Never.

I've been waiting for this. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Sorry but you've been ripped off from the start. I'm not blaming Apple but the prices were too high all along. The huge disparity between CD quality audio and AAC alone should have meant lower prices and that's before factoring in that you are more limited with what you can do with iTunes music and the whole joke that is the 30 second preview.

After the Rolling Stone interview, I really thought Steve got it. That he must have something up his sleeve to turn the tables on the record companies. But increasingly I find myself doubting this theory (but then the IV makes no sense!) Better hope the P2Pers weather the storm or else we'll all find out just how greedy the labels really are.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #4 of 74
16.99?? wtf, i can get the cd for less and im talking canadian dollars!! i dont understand (other than for singles) why people would rather buy aac albums instead of the real thing with the booklet etc. its actually 14.99 for the new n.e.r.d. (cad) at futureshop.
post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I've been waiting for this. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Sorry but you've been ripped off from the start. I'm not blaming Apple but the prices were too high all along. The huge disparity between CD quality audio and AAC alone should have meant lower prices and that's before factoring in that you are more limited with what you can do with iTunes music and the whole joke that is the 30 second preview.

After the Rolling Stone interview, I really thought Steve got it. That he must have something up his sleeve to turn the tables on the record companies. But increasingly I find myself doubting this theory (but then the IV makes no sense!) Better hope the P2Pers weather the storm or else we'll all find out just how greedy the labels really are.

30 sec. previews are good, many artists have prefomed the same song, find out which is which...now the quality.....what quality, 128k aac holds nothing to a 320 or even 256k mp3, FOR FREE on kazaa, let me pay a set fee for access to the library like the big boys and I would gladly pay for downloads but in the current setting, CD's are king for the foreseeable future.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #6 of 74
Thread Starter 
I really feel for the artists. They basically have to do what the studio says because not many artists have the success to the point where they can dictacte terms.

iTunes is doing a great job of expanding my horizons. I'm checking out new artists and enjoying this. Especially knowing that the artist is being compensated if only to know that someone felt their music was worth paying for.

The studios should not fool themselves. P2P is still going strong and if they burn the bridge that is being created by these "pay for play" services then they will lose trust, possibly for good.

Partial albums are bad enough. But to charge more than a physical cd deserves nothing short of outrage. In fact I think I will send some stern emails to Virgin and EMI and any other label that has the gall to charge this amount for 1010110100101010's.
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post #7 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
30 sec. previews are good, many artists have prefomed the same song, find out which is which

Oh right so that's what the 30 sec previews are for. There I was thinking it was a half-hearted attempt at try before you buy. Silly me. As if the labels would ever permit that.
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post #8 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
I really feel for the artists. They basically have to do what the studio says because not many artists have the success to the point where they can dictacte terms.
........

i agree, the other major problem with the lables is they wouldnt know good music if it walked in the office and slapped them upside the head, why else do we get nothing but rap and crummy country (Toby keith not withstanding). if the rolling stones came in today, they would be told that they were not the right look, but if the lead man goes homo and calls himself timberlake then sings 2 octives higher it would sell.
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #9 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
i agree, the other major problem with the lables is they wouldnt know good music if it walked in the office and slapped them upside the head, why else do we get nothing but rap and crummy country (Toby keith not withstanding). if the rolling stones came in today, they would be told that they were not the right look, but if the lead man goes homo and calls himself timberlake then sings 2 octives higher it would sell.

post #10 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I've been waiting for this. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Sorry but you've been ripped off from the start. I'm not blaming Apple but the prices were too high all along. The huge disparity between CD quality audio and AAC alone should have meant lower prices and that's before factoring in that you are more limited with what you can do with iTunes music and the whole joke that is the 30 second preview.

After the Rolling Stone interview, I really thought Steve got it. That he must have something up his sleeve to turn the tables on the record companies. But increasingly I find myself doubting this theory (but then the IV makes no sense!) Better hope the P2Pers weather the storm or else we'll all find out just how greedy the labels really are.

Could someone, crazychester perhaps, explain what this post means, it sounds interesting but it's a bit elliptical.

for example:

What have you been waiting for?
Ripped off since the start of what? iTMS, CDs?
What huge disparity in quality?
Why should lower audio quality = lower prices?
Why is the preview a joke?
What did you think SJ got?
What tables needed turned?
Why are you now sure they won't be?
What theory are you doubting?
What is the 'IV'?
What storm are the P2Pers weathering?
Is your name a reference to 'The Weight'?
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by stupider...likeafox
Could someone, crazychester perhaps, explain what this post means, it sounds interesting but it's a bit elliptical.

I can't answer all those points, but what seems to be materializing is the fears of copyright critics.

Their arguement is, that even though you have downloaded and paid for your AAC song with certain restrictions ... those restrictions can change at ANY time. If tomorrow, the labels decided you can't play your iTMS song on your iPod, guess what ... the next version of Quicktime or iTunes won't let you do that.

This isn't what has happened of course, but Labels starting to get greedy already and charge premiums for a download - which is kind of kills the point of downloading it. Sure it's convenient, but there's all those distribution and warehouse savings which they are hording for themselves. Their just so fuking greedy.
post #12 of 74
Sorry for being elliptical. It seems to be my forte.
What cool gut said and...

Quote:
What have you been waiting for?

People to question whether iTMS is all it's cracked up to be.

Quote:
Ripped off since the start of what? iTMS, CDs?

I was referring in this instance to being ripped off from the start of iTMS - the prices were always higher than they should have been. Of course, we've been ripped off on the price of CDs as well but that was happening long before iTMS came along.

Quote:
What huge disparity in quality?

Between, in this case, AAC and CDs. Listen to an iTMS song then listen to the same song on CD. Makes any difference between mp3 and AAC pale into insignificance. If you can't hear it, you either haven't got good enough ears or you own really crappy sound equipment.

Quote:
Why should lower audio quality = lower prices?

Because it's an inferior product.

Quote:
Why is the preview a joke?

See posts and replies above. I figured 30 sec previews were there to let you try the product (and 30 secs isn't enough for that). Of course, if they're not for that then it's another area in which iTMS falls short. I can go into a record store and listen to a whole album before buying it if I want to.

Quote:
What did you think SJ got? What tables needed turned?

Well he was the one who said you'll never stop people downloading music illegally. That with other comments in that interview suggested to me that he understood the recording industry's current business model needs a complete overhaul.

Quote:
Why are you now sure they won't be?
What theory are you doubting?

I didn't say I was sure. The theory that Steve gets it. Actually, I do still think it will work itself out in the end and I've always thought the whole copyright and DRM thing will take a long time to play itself out and has much further to go, keeping in mind it goes way beyond just music. I'd just like to see Apple leading the charge and, hopefully, in the process finding a nice cushy little spot for themselves in the new order.

Quote:
What is the 'IV'?

Now I know you're just being obstreperous.

Quote:
What storm are the P2Pers weathering?

The RIAA's law suits.

Quote:
Is your name a reference to 'The Weight'?

Yes.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
Now I know you're just being obstreperous.

I don't think he was being obstreperous. I have no idea about what you mean by "the IV" either.

As for the quality of AAC... I've heard some differences with some music, but I have to listen hard for those differences or have them explicitly pointed out to me. Like all encoders, AAC has some weak points that need to be worked on. (Which doesn't mean other encoders are better, just that they have different weak points.) I'd be happier if iTMS at least gave you the option of buying 192K downloads.

Maybe some people are simply more sensitive to some compression effects as well, but, on the other hand, it's also true that a lot of people can't really hear differences that they think they can hear.

I don't debate the existence of these differences. I've heard them myself, and I've been able to do blind tests where I can pick out these differences. But I'd ask you to try this: use shuffle play to mix up some AIFF CD rips, and AAC rips of the same tunes. Tell me if you don't find yourself working at it to figure out which is which most of the time.

As far as I'm concerned, if you have to work at it to tell the difference, it's not that big a difference.
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We were once so close to heaven
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post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I don't think he was being obstreperous. I have no idea about what you mean by "the IV" either.

As for the quality of AAC... I've heard some differences with some music, but I have to listen hard for those differences or have them explicitly pointed out to me. Like all encoders, AAC has some weak points that need to be worked on. (Which doesn't mean other encoders are better, just that they have different weak points.) I'd be happier if iTMS at least gave you the option of buying 192K downloads.

Maybe some people are simply more sensitive to some compression effects as well, but, on the other hand, it's also true that a lot of people can't really hear differences that they think they can hear.

I don't debate the existence of these differences. I've heard them myself, and I've been able to do blind tests where I can pick out these differences. But I'd ask you to try this: use shuffle play to mix up some AIFF CD rips, and AAC rips of the same tunes. Tell me if you don't find yourself working at it to figure out which is which most of the time.

As far as I'm concerned, if you have to work at it to tell the difference, it's not that big a difference.

Waaaah! IV - my shorthand for interview alright?

Done the AIFF/AAC thing before but OK I'll do the "blind" test just to make sure. But I didn't have to work to tell the difference previously. Sometimes have to work to tell the difference between lossy formats but the CD vs. AAC thing is very obvious to my ears.
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #15 of 74
Worse than that, Napster has that same NERD CD for $9.95. This could just be a bundling deal NERD has with Napster that requires higher prices on iTunes. Dunno.

Kirk
post #16 of 74
Oh, so the basis of your criticism is that since iTMS isn't the most perfect solution conceivable, it's worthless and it deserves to fail.

Noted.

I recognized FairPlay as triage at the outset. Really, what else are you going to get with corporations hammering out an agreement? The only thing that could come up with a more DRM-hostile solution would be Congress, and they were right in the middle of making DRM mandatory, so that all media would be DRM'd by default and bypassing the protection for any reason would be a Federal crime, when iTMS showed up and changed the entire dialog. Remember all that talk about Palladium? About the successor to DMCA? You can thank iTMS for changing the terms of the issue from protecting content to appealing to consumers, and that was only possible because Steve made some compromises to the industry. It's not his job to fix their business model, anyway.

So before you go dancing on iTMS for not being the Platonic ideal of online stores, think about the fact that it exists at all, since it takes a stance on DRM that the industry opposed and a stance on treating consumers that the industry didn't share. Think about how it completely changed the dialog on how to manage digital media, and killed further legislation to mandate DRM in software and hardware (which the RIAA has pledged not to pursue). What it did accomplish was huge, and that matters.

iTMS is a step in the right direction. I support it for that reason (and because it's the best distribution an independent artist can have ). We can take further steps now, but only because of iTMS' success.

It's in that context that I at the labels for the $17 prices. But even $17 for FairPlay-DRM'd AAC with 30-second previews beats the hell out of what we would have had if Apple had never approached labels with their music store. Remember that.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Oh, so the basis of your criticism is that since iTMS isn't the most perfect solution conceivable, it's worthless and it deserves to fail.

Noted.

I recognized FairPlay as triage at the outset. Really, what else are you going to get with corporations hammering out an agreement? The only thing that could come up with a more DRM-hostile solution would be Congress, and they were right in the middle of making DRM mandatory, so that all media would be DRM'd by default and bypassing the protection for any reason would be a Federal crime, when iTMS showed up and changed the entire dialog. Remember all that talk about Palladium? About the successor to DMCA? You can thank iTMS for changing the terms of the issue from protecting content to appealing to consumers, and that was only possible because Steve made some compromises to the industry. It's not his job to fix their business model, anyway.

So before you go dancing on iTMS for not being the Platonic ideal of online stores, think about the fact that it exists at all, since it takes a stance on DRM that the industry opposed and a stance on treating consumers that the industry didn't share. Think about how it completely changed the dialog on how to manage digital media, and killed further legislation to mandate DRM in software and hardware (which the RIAA has pledged not to pursue). What it did accomplish was huge, and that matters.

iTMS is a step in the right direction. I support it for that reason (and because it's the best distribution an independent artist can have ). We can take further steps now, but only because of iTMS' success.

It's in that context that I at the labels for the $17 prices. But even $17 for FairPlay-DRM'd AAC with 30-second previews beats the hell out of what we would have had if Apple had never approached labels with their music store. Remember that.

Is that directed at me? I guess it is. I'm not entirely sure I like what might be implied by "Noted." Please don't go all AO on me or I may be forced to withdraw my petition to the UN to have you made benevolent despot of the world. I'm just expressing my opinion here OK? I already know I'm in the minority so I don't think you need to feel your position is threatened.

And no I don't think iTMS is worthless and deserves to fail. I actually agree with a lot of your points though I wouldn't give iTMS as much credit in halting/slowing the march of DRM as you do. Remember Steve pushed iTMS to the labels using the argument it would discourage illegal downloading. Without P2P, I suspect he'd still be trying to get the labels to listen.

I only think Apple should get involved in changing the current business model because, IMHO, I think that model will fail sooner or later and Apple now has a vested interest in the music biz. And as I said earlier in this thread, I don't blame Apple for what I see as iTMS's deficiencies. Hard as it is to imagine, I think the labels had/have Steve's balls in a vice-like grip.

About the only advantage I can see that iTMS has over a good record store is convenience. Whereas, as I've labored to point out, it has a number of disadvantages compared to traditional record stores.

And I guess it's best I just don't mention that I think nearly all recorded music is ridiculously over-valued for what it is (oops I just did - damn). As someone involved in live performing, I cannot fathom how I can often see a band live for only a few more $'s than it costs to buy their CD. A CD is, at best, a constructed performance in which the artists can do it over and over again until they get it right and then mass produce the result. Live performing on the other hand involves doing it over and over again then presenting it and hoping like hell that you have got it right because there are no second chances. And then coming back the next night and doing it all again.
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #18 of 74
I had a nice long reply all composed, and I clicked Submit, and OW 5 crashed.

I'll reply tomorrow. Sorry. :/
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #19 of 74
Quote:
OW 5 crashed

That and $30 bucks will get you...well a cup of coffee...

Sorry.
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iPad2 16 GB Wifi

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post #20 of 74
but iTunes has exclusive William Hung tracks!
post #21 of 74
I love iTMS, plan and simple.

at least 90% of the time, stuff I buy on iTMS I'd be hard pressed to get through poisoned or any other file sharing program. It'd end using a lot more of my time, and I wouldn't even necessarily get very good ID3 tags, which is a pain in the butt and even more time wasted correcting them.

I don't buy albums that are over $9.99 on iTunes, though there are two that I have been eyeing for a while.

My big gripe with iTMS is partial albums! they piss me off more than anything else. I can handle prices going up here and there, but it's the partial albums that really bug me. I especially hate when they have the [clean] version and it's a full album and the [explicit] version is partial, and only missing 2 tracks

While there are some ridiculous price hikes on iTMS (I have seen 8-10 track albums cost ~$20) there are also some very good deals here and there(I have also seen 8-10 track albums sell for ~$5, as well as 20+ track albums selling for $9.99)

I do hope that apple continues to improve this stuff though, they have a great set up so far, but if they keep up these shoddy discrepancies, then it could really hurt their reputation in the long run. I mean 50 million downloads is crazy! but if they don't do anything about these irregularities, they can and will build up and create a problem.

as far as .aac vs. uncompressed. Sure there is a difference, but ya know what, It's not prevalent enough for me to care, especially since I don't have hi-fi headphones, or hi-fi stereos. I have decent stuff, but not the type of stuff that will make a big noticeable difference in casual listening, and yes I have very good ears, I can hear the difference, I just don't let it get to me.

Album artwork, liner notes..etc. It would be very nice if apple included album info in your purchase like htey do on hte store, but then again, it will always be available on the store, as well as on www.allmusic.com \ still though, it can be nice to have some album artwork and such.

Ever since I got my iPod though, I have had *no* need for CDs, I rip any new CDs I buy instantly and they go on my Pod, I only have about 6 CDs in Boston, out of the hundreds I have at home. They really hold little to no value for me.

[/rambling

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post #22 of 74
On iTMS:

I agree that it was never a great deal. $10 is still too much for music in a volatile, limited, and DRM riddled format. The only thing it had going for it was the ability to pick and choose singles. This is all the more true since most of the albums I looked for (never bought) are more the $10. Albums on iTMS seem to be as much as at traditional stores. Though this is not the case for all albums, it is the case for far too many. One of the biggest marketing pushes for iTMS was the $10 album. Now, that claim feels more like bait and switch.

On sound quality:

I believe the biggest difference between peoples claims of good quality vs. poor quality is the equipment you use to listen to music. On my iBook speakers, AAC sounds great. Through my studio monitor headphones, it sounds like crap. I actually returned a pair of high quality in-ear headphones (not Apples) because they made my 160kb and lower MP3s sound worse than through cheap plugs. The better you sound system, the more obvious the compression. If you are use to blasting everything at the loudest volumes, then it may not matter one way or another. Quality becomes less of an issue at certain volumes.
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post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
On iTMS:

I agree that it was never a great deal. $10 is still too much for music in a volatile, limited, and DRM riddled format. The only thing it had going for it was the ability to pick and choose singles. This is all the more true since most of the albums I looked for (never bought) are more the $10. Albums on iTMS seem to be as much as at traditional stores. Though this is not the case for all albums, it is the case for far too many. One of the biggest marketing pushes for iTMS was the $10 album. Now, that claim feels more like bait and switch.

On sound quality:

I believe the biggest difference between peoples claims of good quality vs. poor quality is the equipment you use to listen to music. On my iBook speakers, AAC sounds great. Through my studio monitor headphones, it sounds like crap. I actually returned a pair of high quality in-ear headphones (not Apples) because they made my 160kb and lower MP3s sound worse than through cheap plugs. The better you sound system, the more obvious the compression. If you are use to blasting everything at the loudest volumes, then it may not matter one way or another. Quality becomes less of an issue at certain volumes.

Excellently said (wish I could have put it that concisely).

Yes I agree with the quality of equipment thing. I just turn off now when people start rattling on about how good AAC is through crappy in-ear headphones.

But be careful. You can get your head kicked in round here for not towing the party line on iTMS. And if you really want to know about copyright, DRM and the wider implications for music and IT in general, you'll have to go some place else for that.
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #24 of 74
hey for everyone complaining about price creeps, check out the newly added beach boys album--17 bucks for 30 beach boys songs--you cant beat that!
post #25 of 74
All this hand-wringing and belly-aching over some overpriced albums that aren't worth the time spent downloading them anyway?

What about the albums that are insanely cheap compared to what you'd get in the store? I've gotten a couple great jazz albums for like $4. Blue Train and A Love Supreme for starters. Why is no one talking about that?

iTMS could stand to be improved but it's certainly much better than anything out there and it stands to get better as labels get the hint that their days of gouging customers are nearly over.
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Ok i'm a bit disappointed here.

50+ Million songs have been downloaded via iTunes.

That's at the very least 25 Million tracks that could have been received via more unscrupulous ways. Yet certain individuals would still prefer slap us in the face. What I mean is

Just a quick perusal of iTMS shows that

N.E.R.D album is $16.99
Wyntom Marsalis = $16.99

The new Cypress Hill- By Song only?

Wow I guess there's only so much Apple can do. But I hope these people realize that we just want music. That's all

yes, they are kinda getting screwed but i mean apple is still doing a great service to the music industry by doing this... they sell songs online so thath people like it. i like it.,,, so instead of buring now i buy real cheap
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post #27 of 74
i saw the new janet was $16.99 but then i saw the hundreds of great vintage (riverside and prestige labels) jazz titles they've added to iTunes in the last 2 weeks and frankly i forgot all about wynton and janet at 17 clams.

riverside stuff is second only to blue note (and some may argue that) for jazz in the fifties. "monk's music" is one i'd highly recommend, coltrane is on it.

as for expensive titles cast your economic vote and don't buy 'em.
post #28 of 74
I think some are missing the point. Apple's marketing push was largely based on price. .99 songs and $9.99 albums. That formula is no longer the case. As far as bargains, Some of you act like there is no discount bin in a regular music store. Some of my favorite CDs I purchased for $4 to $6. iTMS has no monopoly on that. Such deals are not at all unique. Besides the consistency in DRM and the fact that tracks play on the iPod, there is little difference between iTMS and any other store out there. How long will it be before variable DRM joins variable pricing? It is clear that the initial agreements that formed iTMS have fallen apart and that introduces uncertainty. For this reason, the price hikes are a big deal for industry watchers.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #29 of 74
Mac Voyer, I think you completely missed the point. Nothing has changed. Variable pricing isn't something new. $9.99 for an album was just a guideline. To insinuate that variable licensing is just around the corner because some albums are more expensive is just silly.

Apple's marketing push was not at all based on price anyway. It was based on access, ease of use, sound quality, and extra features (previews, album art, exclusives) in comparison to illegal file sharing.
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post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
I think some are missing the point. Apple's marketing push was largely based on price. .99 songs and $9.99 albums. That formula is no longer the case. As far as bargains, Some of you act like there is no discount bin in a regular music store. Some of my favorite CDs I purchased for $4 to $6. iTMS has no monopoly on that. Such deals are not at all unique. Besides the consistency in DRM and the fact that tracks play on the iPod, there is little difference between iTMS and any other store out there. How long will it be before variable DRM joins variable pricing? It is clear that the initial agreements that formed iTMS have fallen apart and that introduces uncertainty. For this reason, the price hikes are a big deal for industry watchers.

Some would say that you, too, are missing the point. If you go into best buy, their cds are different prices, too. Many of them are way overpriced. The sky is not falling.
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Eugene
Mac Voyer, I think you completely missed the point. Nothing has changed. Variable pricing isn't something new. $9.99 for an album was just a guideline. To insinuate that variable licensing is just around the corner because some albums are more expensive is just silly.

Apple's marketing push was not at all based on price anyway. It was based on access, ease of use, sound quality, and extra features (previews, album art, exclusives) in comparison to illegal file sharing.

I don't think you can expect the rest of the music buying public to be as forgiving of iTMS as people here, let alone the non-music buying public.

Firstly, a lot of Apple's marketing push was based on price. In particular, making it so cheap and easy that people wouldn't bother to file share. If that's what Apple really believe is going to happen then they are not only fools but have misread the whole file sharing thing.

Think about it. There are undoubtedly those who illegally download music just to avoid paying. Are they going to use iTMS? No. If they don't want to pay, it doesn't matter how you wrap the package, they will still avoid paying. If all file sharers are nothing more than thieves then you can kiss iTMS's arse goodbye (at least in its current form) because it will not achieve what the labels want.

Why else might people use P2P? 2 main reasons. Firstly, to sample music - iTMS does a poor job here compared to the file sharing networks. Secondly, because of financial constraints. Not only do kids not have the money to afford all the music they want, neither can their parents. Parents with download limits on their internet connections are giving their kids music budgets on their illegal downloads - and it's costing them a lot less than buying from iTMS. And if you think the album art or exclusives will make a difference to their buying habits, I think you're kidding yourself.

To a certain extent the explanation of the music industry's problems can be reduced down to a simple one of over-supply. At least in respect to the cost of commercially available music.

At the moment, my guess would be that most iTMS customers are ex-CD buyers (ie. they're already purchasing music legally). And sooner or later that market will end up being divided up between iTMS and the competition. It's all very well for a bunch of US Mac fanatics around here to say iTMS store is fantastic and doing just fine but that won't make it happen in the real world.
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post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by torifile
All this hand-wringing and belly-aching over some overpriced albums that aren't worth the time spent downloading them anyway?

What about the albums that are insanely cheap compared to what you'd get in the store? I've gotten a couple great jazz albums for like $4. Blue Train and A Love Supreme for starters. Why is no one talking about that?

iTMS could stand to be improved but it's certainly much better than anything out there and it stands to get better as labels get the hint that their days of gouging customers are nearly over.

Yeah, I just got Miles Davis Bitches Brew--Six buck for over two hours of music. A Love Supreme will probably be my next buy. For new releases, iTunes kind of sucks, but for back catalog it rules. Most of the stuff I've bought isn't carried in my local Borders.

Variable licensing would kill iTunes, but I don't think variable price will.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I don't think you can expect the rest of the music buying public to be as forgiving of iTMS as people here, let alone the non-music buying public./

Oh I think you can. Contrary to whatever your belief may be, the buying public barely complains about paying up to $20 for a CD. The non-music buyers aren't the target of the iTMS, and never have been.

Quote:
Firstly, a lot of Apple's marketing push was based on price. In particular, making it so cheap and easy that people wouldn't bother to file share. If that's what Apple really believe is going to happen then they are not only fools but have misread the whole file sharing thing.

There was no push, only a statement. The vast majority of songs are available for $0.99. The vast majority of albums are available for $9.99. Most file sharers don't file-share because they want to screw the man. They file share because they have a nice fast internet connection, and it takes a couple of clicks to possibly get the music they want. It doesn't cost them a cent either, but that's just a little bit of incentive. The value of the iTMS is the complete package. ~70 million downloads by the end of April say you're wrong anyway.

Quote:
Think about it. There are undoubtedly those who illegally download music just to avoid paying. Are they going to use iTMS? No. If they don't want to pay, it doesn't matter how you wrap the package, they will still avoid paying. If all file sharers are nothing more than thieves then you can kiss iTMS's arse goodbye (at least in its current form) because it will not achieve what the labels want.

Ugh this is like arguing with a broken record. Those people make up the minority of file-sharers, plain and simple. I didn't use Scour.net, Napster, Morpheus, Kazaa because I didn't want pay for music. I used them because I was trying the music out, too lazy to truck myself to the store, and/or not particularly pleased by the thought of buying a CD with 2-3 songs I might like.

Quote:
Why else might people use P2P? 2 main reasons. Firstly, to sample music - iTMS does a poor job here compared to the file sharing networks.

iTunes does an exemplary job of allowing you to sample music. You get the sample on demand. You get a feel for the song. Ever use Poisoned? You'll cue a dozen downloads and maybe two of them will download...at all.

Quote:
Secondly, because of financial constraints. Not only do kids not have the money to afford all the music they want, neither can their parents. Parents with download limits on their internet connections are giving their kids music budgets on their illegal downloads - and it's costing them a lot less than buying from iTMS. And if you think the album art or exclusives will make a difference to their buying habits, I think you're kidding yourself.

Free is cheaper than not-free? Oh. My. God! On the contrary, at least with the iTMS, parents have a bit of control vs. just handing them a credit card. And yes, every little incentive helps.

Quote:
To a certain extent the explanation of the music industry's problems can be reduced down to a simple one of over-supply. At least in respect to the cost of commercially available music.

The problem isn't over-supply, it's just gouging.

Quote:
At the moment, my guess would be that most iTMS customers are ex-CD buyers (ie. they're already purchasing music legally). And sooner or later that market will end up being divided up between iTMS and the competition. It's all very well for a bunch of US Mac fanatics around here to say iTMS store is fantastic and doing just fine but that won't make it happen in the real world.

I used p2p to try music before deciding to buy it. In fact, before I discovered MP3s, Scour.net and Napster, I owned 3 CDs total. Now I have several hundred at least. But yes, I was not adverse to buying music before, just like most other p2p users.
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post #34 of 74
Thread Starter 
P2P users, as Eugene states, are not cheapskates that merely want to rob the artists. We're music lovers who may have such an appetite for music, in particular new music, that we use P2P as a testing ground.

Since i've started using iTMS over half my purchases are from artists that are new to me. The previews let me hear the groove and i've not been disappointed. This is the future. Most of my songs purchased will get very little major radio play. I'm glad I can support them and hear music that is new and different.
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post #35 of 74
OK first off that non-music buyers was the wrong phrase. I meant the non-paying music consumers ie. the P2Pers. I know plenty of people who complain about the price of buying a CD.

70 million downloads since April? Illegal downloads are counted in the billions I'm afraid. And I agree with you that most P2Pers are probably trying out music so don't give me that broken record crap. What I'm trying to do here is consider iTMS in terms of what consumers actually want, the characteristics of the music listening public and how well it delivers on that compared to the available alternatives.

I don't see iTMS giving parents any more control than they have over their kids illegal downloads. I've already indicated, for me at least, a 30 second preview does not count as a viable sample of a song. Maybe it will for the vast majority but I have my doubts if the whole song is available for free. So a kid on a limited budget might purchase a favorite song from iTMS but download another 20 for free. Moreover, music has become something of a disposable commodity insofar as kids will listen to a song for a few months then go off it and never listen to it again. Parents know this and I don't think they want o fork out even $0.99 over and over again for stuff they know will be consigned to the trash can in a few months.

Yes gouging is an issue but exactly what has iTMS done to stop that? I can see that for people already purchasing CDs it's quite attractive. What I'm not convinced of is that it competes well against the file-sharing networks. And that's where the real money is to be made.
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post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
I had a nice long reply all composed, and I clicked Submit, and OW 5 crashed.

I'll reply tomorrow. Sorry. :/

*Still waiting* MeH!
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post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
What I'm not convinced of is that it competes well against the file-sharing networks. And that's where the real money is to be made.

I thought you were one of those people (like downhillbattle.org) that was disappointed that Apple hadn't reinvented the entire music industry overnight by breaking millions of existing contracts between artists and labels.

Or one of those people who point to Magnatunes or other such sites with what are effectively unsigned bands' tracks available to download. Bear in mind that I've nothing against unsigned bands, as long as you realise that no-one (*slight* exaggeration) wants to listen to them.

But now you're saying Apple can make more money by illegally giving away songs for free????????????

Please explain how iTunes Music Store (or any legal competing service) could be better in the real world (one were you don't get to make up the rules of law or economics, or pretend that everyone else thinks and acts the same as you and your friends).
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post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
OK first off that non-music buyers was the wrong phrase. I meant the non-paying music consumers ie. the P2Pers. I know plenty of people who complain about the price of buying a CD.

You are never going to sell to people who don't ever buy music. That's why the RIAA figures, much like the SBA's, are always so inflated. Even if you eliminated all P2P, most of these people would just go back to listening to the radio.

What you can do is sell to that sub-section who enjoy music and want to support bands, but prefer to get the music on-line. The question for iTunes and the like is if that is a large enough group to make it a viable business. So far, it seems to be making money for both Apple and the artists--not huge sums, but probably enough to make things worth while.

Some experimenting with price is inevitable as they try to find the sweet spot that maximized profit. Having all albums and all tracks the same price is probably not wise finically, but it sure is nicer for us users.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
OK first off that non-music buyers was the wrong phrase. I meant the non-paying music consumers ie. the P2Pers. I know plenty of people who complain about the price of buying a CD.

Circle of friends. You obviously belong to one mindset, so your friends are likely of the same mindset.

Quote:
70 million downloads since April? Illegal downloads are counted in the billions I'm afraid.

And so what? The iTMS is one service compared a dozen or so major distributed p2p networks. Not all the data being transferred is music. You're speaking as if 70 million is a negligible number. It's not.

Quote:
And I agree with you that most P2Pers are probably trying out music so don't give me that broken record crap. What I'm trying to do here is consider iTMS in terms of what consumers actually want, the characteristics of the music listening public and how well it delivers on that compared to the available alternatives.

You do sound precisely like a broken record. Consumers want everything for free, yet the iTMS is here and so far thriving. That must be puzzling you, right?

Quote:
I don't see iTMS giving parents any more control than they have over their kids illegal downloads. I've already indicated, for me at least, a 30 second preview does not count as a viable sample of a song. Maybe it will for the vast majority but I have my doubts if the whole song is available for free.

30 seconds of the song is free. The whole song is a whopping $0.99. The vast majority of pop out there only has 30 seconds of non repeated melody anyway.

Quote:
So a kid on a limited budget might purchase a favorite song from iTMS but download another 20 for free. Moreover, music has become something of a disposable commodity insofar as kids will listen to a song for a few months then go off it and never listen to it again. Parents know this and I don't think they want o fork out even $0.99 over and over again for stuff they know will be consigned to the trash can in a few months.

People do the same with CDs. Or is the physical sales model also not viable?

Quote:
Yes gouging is an issue but exactly what has iTMS done to stop that? I can see that for people already purchasing CDs it's quite attractive. What I'm not convinced of is that it competes well against the file-sharing networks. And that's where the real money is to be made.

iTMS makes it a lot, lot easier to distribute your music and brand without contracting yourself to a major record label. Tell Shawn Fanning what you just told me.
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post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Eugene
Circle of friends. You obviously belong to one mindset, so your friends are likely of the same mindset.


And so what? The iTMS is one service compared a dozen or so major distributed p2p networks. Not all the data being transferred is music. You're speaking as if 70 million is a negligible number. It's not.


You do sound precisely like a broken record. Consumers want everything for free, yet the iTMS is here and so far thriving. That must be puzzling you, right?


30 seconds of the song is free. The whole song is a whopping $0.99. The vast majority of pop out there only has 30 seconds of non repeated melody anyway.


People do the same with CDs. Or is the physical sales model also not viable?


iTMS makes it a lot, lot easier to distribute your music and brand without contracting yourself to a major record label. Tell Shawn Fanning what you just told me.

you make some good points that if i continued my subscription in this post i would only repeat what you have said i agree completely with what he says in this post

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