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post #41 of 74
I don't know why I'm bothering to reply to these posts because I know when people start using phrases like "one of those people" and "you obviously belong to one mindset" that any valuable debate has flown out the window.

So I'll just say this. I don't use P2P. Never have. I don't see where I said that Apple should illegally give away free songs. But you want to put words in my mouth, go ahead. I couldn't give a flying f**k.

I do make my living full time as a dance artist and cop the music industry's shit on a daily basis. I changed my views about a lot of this stuff after considering the way I promote and sell my art and the music industry's approach. And no the two aren't directly comparable because dancers and choreographers can't really mass produce their work. But I certainly give stuff away for free because it's great for business.

And yeah I'm jumping around from one narrow aspect of the whole music debate (iTMS) to wider issues (characteristics of the music market in general). Sosumi. I do think iTMS is helping to stir the pot a bit as are music consumers, P2P, yeah the downhillbattles and EFFs of this world, the garageband.coms and the independent labels. But I'm not going to just accept that iTMS is the be all and end all when there is clearly a lot more going on.
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post #42 of 74
Quote:
But I'm not going to just accept that iTMS is the be all and end all when there is clearly a lot more going on.

Your last quip is precisely what I'm referring to. Nobody said the iTMS was the one way to do things. But here is what you said:

"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."

"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."


You've got a real problem with the iTMS by the looks of it. You don't think it'll work out in the "real world" for some reason. I'm trying to figure out why it's any different than a Tower Records or Virgin Megastore. The only thing that makes it different is the packaging, so your beef really just *seems* to be with the thought of licensing music, which is what we've been doing all along for decades.
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post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Eugene
Your last quip is precisely what I'm referring to. Nobody said the iTMS was the one way to do things. But here is what you said:

"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."

"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."


You've got a real problem with the iTMS by the looks of it. You don't think it'll work out in the "real world" for some reason. I'm trying to figure out why it's any different than a Tower Records or Virgin Megastore. The only thing that makes it different is the packaging, so your beef really just *seems* to be with the thought of licensing music, which is what we've been doing all along for decades.

I don't see that those comments are particularly contradictory. And yeah, it's similarity to a Virgin Megastore is probably one of the reasons I don't like it. Which is why I buy my music from an independent record store with a vast selection of music, that will hunt down and find any piece of music I want, that offers a lot more besides and nearly always sells CDs for prices less than Virgin.
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post #44 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I don't see that those comments are particularly contradictory. And yeah, it's similarity to a Virgin Megastore is probably one of the reasons I don't like it. Which is why I buy my music from an independent record store with a vast selection of music, that will hunt down and find any piece of music I want, that offers a lot more besides and nearly always sells CDs for prices less than Virgin.

Not quite. I wasn't directly comparing it to the Virgin Megastore. I was just using it as an example. I could have just as easily used Rasputin's or some hole in the wall on Telegraph in Berkeley.
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post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I don't know why I'm bothering to reply to these posts because I know when people start using phrases like "one of those people" and "you obviously belong to one mindset" that any valuable debate has flown out the window.

I think you'll find the argument went downhill when you presented a totally incoherent argument against the iTMS and accused anyone who disagreed with you of being an Apple bigot (and called both their hearing and the price tag of their music system into question if they didn't agree with your unsubstantiated, and frankly incorrect, opinions about a 'huge disparity' between the quality of CD and iTMS encoded tracks.)

I am more than interested in any real insight into the future of music distribution. If you have some problem with iTMS other than the fact that it sells music that people want to hear at a price they are obviously willing to pay then I'm all ears.
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post #46 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by stupider...likeafox
I think you'll find the argument went downhill when you presented a totally incoherent argument against the iTMS and accused anyone who disagreed with you of being an Apple bigot (and called both their hearing and the price tag of their music system into question if they didn't agree with your unsubstantiated, and frankly incorrect, opinions about a 'huge disparity' between the quality of CD and iTMS encoded tracks.)

Wow that "bunch of US Mac fanatics" really got to some of you didn't it? Weird. I see people say much more insulting things than that around here and it just flies by. Wonder what that's all about.

Anyway, iTMS is only available in the US if you weren't aware. And most people around AI (and I include myself in this) are Mac fanatics. And if you want to translate that into "Apple bigot" that's your business. Personally, I prefer to consider issues from a variety of different perspectives including ones I might not necessarily agree with.

Re: hearing and quality of audio equipment. The fact different people hear different things when comparing sound quality is something that has come up many times in these forums. Likewise that the quality of audio equipment plays a big role.

But here if it makes you happy......

iTMS is the best thing Apple has ever done, it is unquestionably a huge success and represents the future of the music industry.

And I promise never ever to voice an opinion again about iTMS that doesn't accord with everybody else's.
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post #47 of 74
You still haven't substantiated your comments.

1) How has Apple misread "the whole file sharing thing?"
2) How do people acquire music in "the real world?"
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post #48 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
The fact different people hear different things when comparing sound quality is something that has come up many times in these forums. Likewise that the quality of audio equipment plays a big role.

Different people hear different ranges of frequencies, are more attuned to hearing certain artefacts, which vary across different encoders and styles of music. That's why the only sensible way to evaluate psycho-acoustic codecs is through large scale testing. That testing has been carried out, by a variety of groups and AAC does very well, even at 128kbps. It simply doesn't matter what one individual hears unless their ears, their mind and their music happen by chance to be representative of the masses. Links to any serious discussion about the quality of iTMS encoded music are welcome.

Note that I wasn't offended (except about being mistaken for an American) I just thought your comments had the effect of shutting down the debate in a audiophile/emperor's new clothes kind of way (i.e. only the *special* people can see/hear it, so if you disagree you're only admitting to being cloth-eared pleb). You're still doing it with the "I'm correct but can't actually back up my claims because I'm being shouted down by the boorish Apple fanatics" schtick.

I'm still interested in hearing about real problems with iTMS (or the recording industry in general if you want to refocus).
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post #49 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.

That is the heart of the matter. At some point, the cost benefit equation does not balance. That point is at different places for different people. Compressed audio and a JPEG might be acceptable at $9.99. At full CD price, it is not. Frankly, I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date. I think there are some people on these boards who just want to see Apple be successful regardless of the offering or the tactic. I am not among them. I could care less about Apple's success. My loyalty is to myself when it comes to the products I buy. I don't buy a certain type of pants because I like the company. I buy whatever product suits me at the time. How much of the success of the music store is due to fan loyalty as opposed to a good business model? I couldn't say. If the iPod could play WMA media, would iTMS be as successful.? I don't know. For my money, Best Buy and Music Millennium have all the music I want for $10 or less. I think the novelty of iTMS drove success initially, along with a sense of hope that this is only the beginning of the music industry heading in the right direction. With prices now going up instead of down, that hope is diminishing rapidly.

Peace to all.
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post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
That is the heart of the matter. At some point, the cost benefit equation does not balance. That point is at different places for different people. Compressed audio and a JPEG might be acceptable at $9.99. At full CD price, it is not. Frankly, I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date. I think there are some people on these boards who just want to see Apple be successful regardless of the offering or the tactic. I am not among them. I could care less about Apple's success. My loyalty is to myself when it comes to the products I buy. I don't buy a certain type of pants because I like the company. I buy whatever product suits me at the time. How much of the success of the music store is due to fan loyalty as opposed to a good business model? I couldn't say. If the iPod could play WMA media, would iTMS be as successful.? I don't know. For my money, Best Buy and Music Millennium have all the music I want for $10 or less. I think the novelty of iTMS drove success initially, along with a sense of hope that this is only the beginning of the music industry heading in the right direction. With prices now going up instead of down, that hope is diminishing rapidly.

Peace to all.

You have a good point, and I too won't buy at iTunes if the price is too close to that of the CD. I think at this point, though, Apple and the Record Labels are experimenting with different price points. Being businesses they want to charge as much as the market will bear, so they'll raise a few prices here and there and see how it effects sales. If no one buys NERD at 16.99, they'll know that's too much. So I see the raising prices not as an ominous sign, but merely as an inevitabel marketing experiment.

I'll vote with my pocketbook by buying only those songs and albums I think are a good deal. But for certain albums at certain times, I sure like the instant gratification of online purchases.
post #51 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Frankly, I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date.


Don't you perceive a benefit in the ability for users to "cherry pick" their favorite tracks. I have yet to buy a full album because i'm sort of an individual track guy. If I know I want the whole album then I'm just going to buy the CD.

Quote:
How much of the success of the music store is due to fan loyalty as opposed to a good business model?

iTMS wouldn't be putting up the numbers it is without a majority of PC users purchasing tracks. So as for loyalty to Apple I don't think it exists. I think iTMS + iPod make for a compelling strategy.

Quote:
I think the novelty of iTMS drove success initially, along with a sense of hope that this is only the beginning of the music industry heading in the right direction. With prices now going up instead of down, that hope is diminishing rapidly.

Your comments to the effect of " I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date." renders you're conclusion moot. You've admitted that you don't use the service so basically your the last person that people who use iTMS will depend on for salient information. You view that iTMS is a novelty which will diminish over time is fair but have never tried the service so you only offer weak supposition and conjecture. Try the service...see how it moves you and then make a conclusion.
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post #52 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Don't you perceive a benefit in the ability for users to "cherry pick" their favorite tracks. I have yet to buy a full album because i'm sort of an individual track guy. If I know I want the whole album then I'm just going to buy the CD.



iTMS wouldn't be putting up the numbers it is without a majority of PC users purchasing tracks. So as for loyalty to Apple I don't think it exists. I think iTMS + iPod make for a compelling strategy.



Your comments to the effect of " I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date." renders you're conclusion moot. You've admitted that you don't use the service so basically your the last person that people who use iTMS will depend on for salient information. You view that iTMS is a novelty which will diminish over time is fair but have never tried the service so you only offer weak supposition and conjecture. Try the service...see how it moves you and then make a conclusion.

I guess I'm more of an album guy. I have discovered some of my favorite music on albums. There may have been only one top ten song on it, but the rest were right up my alley as well. I feel like I am missing something if I don't buy the album because only a few of the songs will ever get radio play. That is why music ala carte' (not sure how to spell it) does not appeal to me. Also, albums can be had from $4 to $10 if one shops carefully.

I agree that my opinions about the quality of the service are not worth spit since I don't use it. That is why I have tried not to give such opinions. I do have a valid opinion about the business model, however, as I do buy music from time to time and I am technologically connected. Therefore, I am part of the target market. That is why I believe that my reasoning for not buying iTMS tracks are quite valid. When the service was first launched, I was excited about it and I really wanted to like it. The total inability to find songs or albums that I wanted to buy was a big drawback. Later, I became concerned about spending so much money for downloaded tracks. I have lost all kinds of data in the past and I know from hard experience that bad things happen to good downloads. A catastrophic hard-drive failure can leave you $100+ in the hole with nothing to show for it and no way to recover your loss. If you have to make back-up CDs and keep hardcopies anyway, why not just buy cheap CDs from a music store?

Currently, I have 8 winning bottle caps and I have no idea what to use them on. I'm sure I'll find something. Anyway, there's something to be said for instant gratification. But there is even more to be said about a secure and unrestricted format. When the price hits $7 for downloaded albums, I might change my tune (iTune). That's just me.
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post #53 of 74
actually, the main reason i won't use the iTMS is that at high volumes on quality speakers, they sound like crap.

i don't like giving money to the RIAA, and i refuse to pay good money for a poorer quality product.

i haven't bought a CD in ages because of the RIAA, and i won't buy through iTMS because of the quality.

give me a .flac encoded or other lossless audio file format. i could even deal with mild DRM in that case. but i'm not paying for a crap quality DRM'ed file that gives money to the RIAA.
post #54 of 74
Suddenly I have this mental image where just as the foot soldiers have decided discretion is the better part of valor and have beaten a hasty retreat, the heavy artillery, apparently impervious, moves into position.

But carry on. I watch with interest.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
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post #55 of 74
About RIAA concerns, this gadget tells you who belongs to the RIAA. :

http://www.magnetbox.com/riaa/

As a bonus, it works for CDs too, because equating everything on iTMS with the RIAA is simply wrong:

http://cdbaby.org/stories/04/01/05/0558572.html
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post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by alcimedes
actually, the main reason i won't use the iTMS is that at high volumes on quality speakers, they sound like crap.

They only sound crap at 'high volumes'? Interesting finding. Ever tried double blind testing AAC to find out what bitrate is transparent to your ears?
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post #57 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by alcimedes
i refuse to pay good money for a poorer quality product.

That is such a *ridiculous* statement.

So you've never bought anything but the highest quality item available, regardless of any other factor? No wonder you've not bought many CDs lately.

To state that you've never paid any money (never mind a premium, which you could probably argue iTMS is charging) for convenience, availability, time-savings or choice at the expense of audio quality puts you firmly in the ranting audiophile category.

But I don't think you mind being put in that box and at least you haven't tried to claim that the average person cares about audio 'quality' as much as you. In fact you probably look down on people without the taste, sophistication, and $10,000 stereo necessary to realise that all psycho-acoustically compressed music sounds like 'crap'.

(Of course, if you had *really* good hearing you'd also be complaining about the loudness race, which not even .flac is going to save you from, and may even be what you're hearing when you listen to iTMS tracks)
---------------

I have to agree with you on the DRM though. I know that *I* can work around it but the average person can't. The really sad thing is that (if you believe Tim O'Reilly's claim that Piracy is Progressive Taxation) this DRM only benefits the bestselling artists and actively harms new, and particularly less commercial, artists.

I'd really like it if you could choose whether your songs on iTMS had DRM or not. The RIAA and other paranoids would still be able cling to the belief that this will stop all copyright infrigement while new acts could take advantage of the free publicity of having their tracks traded around.

George Michael, and others following his lead, may want to take advantage of this (donating proceeds to charity etc.) or Gutenberg Project style endeavours could add out of copyright works and use the proceeds to cover running costs.
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post #58 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
Suddenly I have this mental image where just as the foot soldiers have decided discretion is the better part of valor and have beaten a hasty retreat, the heavy artillery, apparently impervious, moves into position.

But carry on. I watch with interest.

Don't watch. Respond.

Quote:
Originally posted by Eugene
You still haven't substantiated your comments.

1) How has Apple misread "the whole file sharing thing?"
2) How do people acquire music in "the real world?"

Please.
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post #59 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by stupider...likeafox
That is such a *ridiculous* statement.

What. The. Fsck.

What is ridiculous about refusing to pay the same or more money for a product that overall could be considered inferior to another (in this case iTunes vs CDs)?

Some people and lossless audio and unrestricted (in older CDs) access over instant gratification. That's *SO* ridiculous.

Barto
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post #60 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Barto
What is ridiculous about refusing to pay the same or more money for a product that overall could be considered inferior to another (in this case iTunes vs CDs)?

What you think you are agreeing with is not what was stated. I'm all in favour of people making decisions about what product "overall could be considered inferior" to them. But the difference between an iTMS track and an Audio CD however is not limited simply to a further level of compression. Like:

* Instant gratification
* Lack of physical medium and special packaging, booklets etc.
* Buying one track from a CD
* Buying tracks that aren't available otherwise
* and others ...

This gives you a range of different factors to weigh up in deciding whether you should buy a particular track or collection of tracks from iTMS or from a physical CD store. You could easily decide that a $10 dollar CD that you order online and receive in a week in order to get one track is 'inferior' to downloading it for 99ยข from iTMS. An opposite decision is equally possible even if your tin ear cannot differentiate between the CD and AAC because you want the limited edition booklet or if want all the tracks then the CD is cheaper.

Taking a stance that audio quality is the only thing that matters, and then expanding that to a general principle that you will not ever spend money (not 'more money', just 'money' or 'good money' to be exact) on any product that isn't the 'best' quality available *is* ridiculous in its extremism, (and certainly rules out the CD format in many cases, which just adds to the craziness).
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post #61 of 74
Question. How will iTMS ever improve in sound quality? If a half million songs are encoded with 128 bit AAC, then the only way to ever improve is to re-encode the original to a different format. Is that not so? That is a very time consuming and expensive process so the more music they do at low level AAC, the less likely it is we will see an upward migration of quality. Is space and size the only consideration or are there other technical or marketing reasons why loss-less formats are not used? Why are they married to AAC, and such a low bit rate? Just curious.
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post #62 of 74
One more thing. Why is there no loss protection or re-download option for purchased tracks. I am an Audible subscriber (which is a great service, by the way), and all my downloads are kept in an area called "My Library". I don't have to keep my archived books on my hard drive. I can re-download them anytime I like. I never have to worry about losing my investment in audio books. It is a great system and I wonder why iTMS does not employ such a system. That would eliminate one of the major hassles and concerns of using iTMS.
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post #63 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
Question. How will iTMS ever improve in sound quality?

Yes, to improve sound-quality they would have to re-encode all those tracks from the original source. I don't think it is *that* expensive/time-consuming in the big scheme of things. I know that CDBaby has all it's albums backed up as .flac files so it can transcode them easily to whatever format is needed by online stores. Getting them from the CD to .flac was the hard bit. I imagine the big players have similar systems in place for digitising their content.

I would think the number one consideration is the iPod because that is what the iTMS is really selling, so space and size will always be important particularly in the way it impacts battery life. There is a lossless Mpeg 4 audio encoder being developed but it wont be ready for about a year, and even when it is finished I can't see Apple liking the extra complexity of having two versions of a song in iTunes on your computer (one for portable listening) or selling two different bitrates in iTMS.

Also the listening tests that the AAC developers carried out showed what they would probably call 'CD-quality' (not a term I like personally) at 128kbps. In fact you could probably say that AAC was designed for 128kbps, just as newer AAC techs like AAC-HE are designed for around the 64kbps range so it's probably not correct to describe 128kbps per second as a "low" bitrate in AAC terms.

Nero claims transparency for its AAC encoder at 180-210kbps VBR which isn't any better than LAME -aps despite the inherent advantages of AAC so you can see that there has been less focus on tweaking the high end.

I personally can't really see Apple ever increasing the bitrate, though never is a long time. Also that doesn't mean the quality won't improve. According to one of the engineers working on Apple's AAC the last few releases have contained no work aimed at improving quality and yet Apple's implementation is still considered the best at 128kbps (even allowing for competitors that use VBR). Probably the biggest threat is the other stores playing the numbers game and it turning out like Intel vs. Motorola all over again.
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post #64 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Eugene
Don't watch. Respond.


Please.

Nope Eugene. To me a promise is a promise and when I promised never to voice an opinion again about iTMS that doesn't accord with everybody else's, that's precisely what I meant. However, as I see the next charge will be that I'm opting out because I don't have a response, I'll explain my reasons for refusing to continue to play the game.

Firstly, I'm finding it a bit trying and difficult to argue with several people at once who are making a variety of different points. I find it too hard to know which one to focus on especially when you don't agree between yourselves on every point. For example, back on page one, a_greer says previews are to distinguish between the same song recorded by different artists but later on the same page you seem to argue that they are designed to allow you to try before you buy.

Secondly, you make comments like this

Quote:
Contrary to whatever your belief may be, the buying public barely complains about paying up to $20 for a CD.

and this

Quote:
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.

Which sound an awful lot like "your opinion" based on "your mindset". And then in your very next post, dismiss my comments with

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

Thirdly, in regard to some issues, for instance characteristics of file sharers, as far as I can tell we're actually pretty much in agreement and yet you've still replied as if there's some sort of challenge going on. I've read back through this thread several times to see if I can pick up on something I've missed. But I'm still left with the feeling you either haven't read parts of my posts carefully or you've misunderstood my meaning. And yet it seems pretty clear to me and I can't think of a way to make it clearer.

Fourthly, both you and others have failed as far as I'm concerned to present your case particularly well and have chosen to hide behind weak arguments that are guaranteed to lead nowhere. The most glaring example being this one from hmurchison

Quote:
Your comments to the effect of " I don't much care for the deal even at $9.99 which is why I haven't bought any music from iTMS to date." renders you're conclusion moot. You've admitted that you don't use the service so basically your the last person that people who use iTMS will depend on for salient information. You view that iTMS is a novelty which will diminish over time is fair but have never tried the service so you only offer weak supposition and conjecture. Try the service...see how it moves you and then make a conclusion.

Not directed at me in this case but it doesn't leave Mac Voyer with much room to move. Although I thought the counter argument a winner myself.

Finally, and this isn't directed at just you (although I still don't know what that broken record comment meant) but I've had enough of copping everything from this

Quote:
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.

(what keeping report cards now are we Amorph) to this

Quote:
I think you'll find the argument went downhill when you presented a totally incoherent argument against the iTMS and accused anyone who disagreed with you of being an Apple bigot

Frankly, people who try to put words in my mouth or who try to tell me what I should think just piss me off. Although, I guess to stupider.....like a fox's credit, he did dish it out to alcimedes eventually. But then it would have started to look a little odd if he hadn't.

Quote:
That is such a *ridiculous* statement.

So you've never bought anything but the highest quality item available, regardless of any other factor? No wonder you've not bought many CDs lately.

To state that you've never paid any money (never mind a premium, which you could probably argue iTMS is charging) for convenience, availability, time-savings or choice at the expense of audio quality puts you firmly in the ranting audiophile category.

But I don't think you mind being put in that box and at least you haven't tried to claim that the average person cares about audio 'quality' as much as you. In fact you probably look down on people without the taste, sophistication, and $10,000 stereo necessary to realise that all psycho-acoustically compressed music sounds like 'crap'.

Still looks like I might have copped another back-handed swipe in there again. I never realized I had such an ability to piss people off without even trying.

Oh and before you give me the "too thin skinned" treatment, I'm perfectly confident of my ability to crush balls from a very great distance but I prefer not to because I know I'm pretty uncouth and unattractive when doing it and I figure I should behave better in polite company.

And the bottom line is it's not actually important to me whether you agree with me or not.
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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 #65 of 74
Quote:
To state that you've never paid any money (never mind a premium, which you could probably argue iTMS is charging) for convenience, availability, time-savings or choice at the expense of audio quality puts you firmly in the ranting audiophile category.

no, it puts me squarely in the camp of "if i pay money for music, i'm not going to do it for inferior quality". if i want convenience, availability, time-savings or choice, iTMS is not the best choice any way. P2P is.

more songs, more versions, better quality, more choice. the only thing the iTMS would have in it's favor on that list is time-savings. of course, that only applies for the songs that the iTMS actually has. every other category goes to P2P. (other than legality)

as for iTMS quality, at high volumes, the distortion is more noticeable. bass distortion is obvious. where an uncompressed file will have tight hits, low encoded files sound sloppy. same thing happens on the high end.

it's the same thing where some people are happy with VCD's, other people want DVD quality. i'm sure as hell not going to pay more for a VCD over a DVD though.
post #66 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by alcimedes
no, it puts me squarely in the camp of "if i pay money for music, i'm not going to do it for inferior quality".

...

if i want convenience, availability, time-savings or choice, iTMS is not the best choice any way. P2P is.

more songs, more versions, better quality, more choice. the only thing the iTMS would have in it's favor on that list is time-savings. of course, that only applies for the songs that the iTMS actually has. every other category goes to P2P. (other than legality)


Yeah, that's what I said. You've decided that 'uncompressed' CD audio is good enough for you even though it's not the best quality available and that all 'compressed' music necessarily sounds 'crap/inferior' and therefore you won't pay money for it at all, an extremely black and white view.

It's interesting that you say (sort of vaguely) that you'd buy DVDs rather than VCDs depending on the price. So despite both being compressed in the exact same way as AAC and MP3 (and therefore automatically being 'crap/inferior') you find them both worth paying for.

The only time you'd rule out the VCD is if there was a DVD cheaper or at the same price. This is a much less extreme stance, but totally ignores all the differences between a physical CD and a track by track download which don't exist when comparing DVD and VCD. I assume you'd happily buy a downloadable VCD file if you only wanted one particular episode of a series that would cost you 99c rather than pay $10-15 for the entire series on a physical DVD.

...

On the almost totally seperate topic of iTMS vs. P2P, you must be using different P2P apps/networks from me. I find locating relatively rare music a pain in the bum. Overall, I'd say P2P currently loses on convenience, legality, easy previews, time-saving and paying the artist (though only just in the case of most RIAA bands) and I'd score it a draw for finding rare stuff and actually being able to download it successfully. Whether those add up to 99 cents worth of your time and trouble is obviously debatable and varies on a song by song basis.

I'm fairly sure that iTMS is the best way to confirm the title and artist of a song when someone says "what's that one that goes blah de blah", 10 seconds later ... "you mean this one", "yeah that's it". Oh also, not being bombarded with incestous porn is a benefit in some circumstances.

...

So to sum up, I think the iTMS, like Cassettes, Minidiscs (yes,I know they didn't catch on in the US), CD singles, Box Sets, Limited edition 24-karat gold CDs, and even P2P bootlegging, has a found a niche in the music industry. I'm not demanding anyone buy all their music from iTMS any more than I think you should all buy limited edition box sets or stop buying CD singles because you can get the entire album for a few bucks more and the remixes are always rubbish.

I *would* ask that anyone offering their armchair CEO opinions on iTMS give me more than "I don't like it" or "I won't use it" because, although you're entitled to your own subjective opinion, you're not convincing me that iTMS is a flop because the audiophile-I-only-just-accepted-CDs-but-prefer-SACD-or-DVD-Audio market and the penniless-student-with-free-high-speed-broadband-and -time-on-their-hands market aren't flocking to buy from it.
a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #67 of 74
Maybe some of you are too tired to read stupider...likeafox's post. I'll paraphrase it for you guys. "Stop being ridiculous. If what you value is anything different from what I value, you are wrong."

Barto
Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

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Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

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post #68 of 74
Quote:
You've decided that 'uncompressed' CD audio is good enough for you even though it's not the best quality available and that all 'compressed' music necessarily sounds 'crap/inferior' and therefore you won't pay money for it at all

no, what i've said is that the iTMS level of compression (128kbit) sounds like crap and i won't pay for it.

at 256k most stuff sounds just fine to me, and you don't get the massive distortions.

128kbit is poor quality, plain and simple. anything better than laptop style speakers make that obvious. someone who's half deaf could blind test 128kbit and 256kbit and tell you which is which. to me that's an indicator that 128kbit is obviously inferior and unacceptable.
post #69 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Barto
"Stop being ridiculous. If what you value is anything different from what I value, you are wrong."

I think you must be tired, or you suck at paraphrasing. Try: "Stop being ridiculous. If you think that what you value is the only thing important for the commercial success of a product or service, you are wrong."

If what *I* valued decided whether the iTMS succeeded then it would fail, as I prefer losslessly encoded audio so that I can transcode it into different formats, which iTMS doesn't provide. Why are *you* so special that your custom can make or break a service?
a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #70 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by alcimedes
massive distortions ... 128kbit is poor quality, plain and simple ... anything better than laptop style speakers make that obvious ... someone who's half deaf could blind test 128kbit and 256kbit and tell you which is which ... obviously inferior and unacceptable.

Now this stuff I have a particular beef with. I'm glad you've clarified exactly what bitrates you find 'crap' but anyone who makes wild accusations about compressed audio and justifies it with a comment about owning expensive stereo equipment or being a musician/recording engineer immediately trips my audiophile BS meter.

According to this summary of this report the BBC, NHK and MIT Media lab have done extensive listening tests and disagree with your conclusions. Obviously their results can't invalidate your claims about your own hearing and subjective response, but I think they clearly blow your generalisations about other people's reactions out the water.

Quote:
Is the performance of the coding of AAC codecs at the tested bitrate distinguishable from the original signal?

Sections 10.7 and 11 show that there is a statistical difference between the source and coded items, both overall and for some specific items. However, there were a large number of items for which no difference was recorded."

Is the performance of AAC codecs at the tested bitrate achieving indistinguishable quality in the EBU definition of that phrase?

paraphrasing: yes.

Is the following requirement of ITU-R Recommendation BS.1115 [5] fulfilled? "For emission, the most critical material for the codecs must be such that the degradation may be 'perceptible but not annoying' (grade 4)"

AAC Main Profile at 128 kbps passes this criterion. [The average for AAC Low Complexity at 128kbps i.e. iTMS is slightly below 'perciptable but not annoying' but the confidence interval doesn't go as low as 'slightly annoying']

Looks like you have great hearing, congratulations! But it also looks like you're wrong about everyone else's experiences with AAC.
a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #71 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by stupider...likeafox
Why are *you* so special that your custom can make or break a service?

I always assumed you were the "special" one in this forum.



Barto
Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

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Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

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post #72 of 74
Actually, I was very ra ra ra about iTMS when it first started up. But I did a complete reversal on a lot of my views and as it happens, Barto was instrumental in making me consider the issue from different perspectives (although he didn't know that until now).

Must be something about his eloquent debating style.

What a champ.
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 #73 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
Must be something about his eloquent debating style.

I try my best
Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

rotate zmze pe vizspygmsr minus four
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Self Indulgent Experiments keep me occupied.

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post #74 of 74
Quote:
Originally posted by Barto
I always assumed you were the "special" one in this forum.



Barto

Surprisingly, as I live in the UK, I actually own that exact (or an incredibly similar) Charlotte Hornets T-Shirt. I don't remember that photo being taken though.
a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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