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French Lawmakers approve Bill threatening Apple's iTunes, iPod - Page 2

post #41 of 108
This is not about conusmer protection, or consumer rights. This is about France trying to protect native companies from competition. Apple will pull it's music store from France, and that is exactly what French politicians, backed by French companies eager to fill the void, want.

Protectionist policies veiled as consumer protection.

I say we boycott all things French, and start calling them freedom fries again.
post #42 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
I wasn't going to, but I've decided to throw the solution for all of this out there:

http://www.allofmp3.com

Yes! Let's solve the problem of labels giving their artists too little money and applying customer-unfriendly restrictions by, uh, giving the artists no money whatsoever.

That sounds like FairPlay(TM) to me!

post #43 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
The massive loss in sound quality?

There is no loss in sound quality when you burn a song to a CD. It'll sound as good or bad as the original and no better.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Really, I'm amazed by the number of people jumping to the defence of DRM. DRM sucks. Apple do not need it to be successful, the quality of the iPod/iTunes combination will do that.

Agreed. Now tell the record companies.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
What if I want to play my iTunes purchased songs on an iPod and something else (like a Roku, Sonos or Sony Ericsson Mobile)? Ever thought of that? Why should I have to suffer quality degredation just because Apple refuse to licence Fairplay to anyone else?

The quality degradation has nothing to do with Fairplay. It's entirely due to transcoding from one lossy format to another. In the absence of an industry standard for DRM what's Apple to do? use Microsoft's DRM?
post #44 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I'm surprised by the faces in here.

The fact that Apple can get away with a closed DRM scheme is highly annoying. Legislation such as this would help consumers, not hinder them. Except, if it only happens in France, Apple will probably just exit that market and nothing will change.

How in the world ANYONE would think this is suspect. ( Are you french;?) The fact is Apple is going to become more and more of a target of these anti-capitolism moves the more enormous the whole iTunes/iPod sect becomes. Everyone wants to upset a good thing. Apple should be allowed to make all the money they can for offering such an easy way for us all to enjoy our music. If you dont like it.....buy something else. Its called competition. Nice and healthy competition.

If the French think they can do it better let them deal with not having ANY ipods available for their citizens. Because obviously thats what Apple will do. ( AT least I think so.) Why would Apple change a recipe that is the biggest thing since the Walkman in the early 80's. The French are proving once again that they hate all things American. Which is fine because seemingly the feelings are mutal.

WAKE UP FRANCE!!! Its called Capitolism.
post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Zubba
This is not about conusmer protection, or consumer rights. This is about France trying to protect native companies from competition. Apple will pull it's music store from France, and that is exactly what French politicians, backed by French companies eager to fill the void, want.

Protectionist policies veiled as consumer protection.

I say we boycott all things French, and start calling them freedom fries again.


Amen...AMEN!!!!
post #46 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
By the way, the iTunes Music Store France is not a French company, it's based out of Luxembourg or some such place. As such, I do not see how it would be affected by this new law.

And in any case, they already supply a method of making iTunes purchases compatible with other devices. It's called 'Burn to CD'.

The real issue here is for DVD production and Music subscription services which do not allow you to burn to CD. ie. all the Microsoft services.
post #47 of 108
Cool! No more copy protection on DVDs in France!
Now I can rip them to my video iPod!

What's that? I won't be able to?
Just as I thought, this bill (and that's all it is) is so going nowhere!
post #48 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean812
WAKE UP FRANCE!!! Its called Capitolism.

Capitalism even. Want to buy a dictionary?
post #49 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I'm surprised by the faces in here.

The fact that Apple can get away with a closed DRM scheme is highly annoying. Legislation such as this would help consumers, not hinder them. Except, if it only happens in France, Apple will probably just exit that market and nothing will change.


Ridiculous. iTunes exists thanks to the protections the recording industry demanded, not the other way around. Consumers can take their business elsewhere if they don't like it. Go buy a Samsung player or a Sony player with their lousy design. I dare you.

Apple can live without Paris.

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post #50 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx
Cool! No more copy protection on DVDs in France!
Now I can rip them to my video iPod!

What's that? I won't be able to?
Just as I thought, this bill (and that's all it is) is so going nowhere!


You could have done this at any time anyway.

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post #51 of 108
That Associated Press piece is doing the rounds but can anyone spot the difference between the report on...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11943799/from/RSS/

and

http://www.cnn.com/2006/BUSINESS/03/....ap/index.html
post #52 of 108
Quote:
What if Apple stops selling iPods 10 years down the road like they stopped selling printers? Bang, all the music you "bought" is gone. What if the competition develops a better player? a smaller, cheaper, whatever? You are locked in if you bought at iTMS.

I don't believe the above statement is true. I can burn any song I've bought on a cd, then do whatever I want with it. Who knows what will be available 10 years from now. I don't recall crying when I switched from 8-track to cassette, or from cassette to CD's. Change happens, and you enjoy what is available at the time.

Anyway, I was under the impression that one could have an opinion without being called "a boneheaded nationalist". Oh well, it seems that most here so far are somewhat against what France is doing here, so I am not alone.

Personally, I could care less what they do in France. It is an interesting topic, and as an Apple stockholder, I have a right to an opinion. I never said that France would fall apart if they lost itunes, just that it is a possibility that Apple could choose to pull out of France if they so choose.
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose....
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He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose....
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post #53 of 108
I bet Apple pulls out of France if this passes. They'd rather say goodbye to 2% of their sales then let this happen.
post #54 of 108
Burning your iTMS songs then reripping to an mp3 for playback on another type of player will have a quality loss, you are compressing a compressed audio source again.

As I said I wasn't ultra familar with Monopoly Law (microeconomics isn't my favorite subject) but when would you consider Apple a monopoly on the Downloadable Music and MP3 Player Market? Wasn't there market share for both industries like 80% thats pretty damn close to being a monopoly.

For all the complaining and moaning from all you people, interoperability is great. If this was the other way around and they made a law that hurt MS more then Apple you'd be praising it. Hopefully this will get companies to start offering DRMless music.
post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by European guy
What Boccaccini said !
Apple's DRM IS NOT CLOSED !
Burn the music into CD and rip it to whatever piece of shit mp3 player you have ! Done !
Where's the problem ?

You're confused. The original file is still Closed. The copy of the file you suggest making is the one that's not Closed. Is it really that hard to understand.
post #56 of 108
I would expect that this law has far reaching consequences that have not yet been discussed, like copy-protected CDs.

The exact ramifications are still up in the air, but Apple has to adhere to existing agreements with record labels so I doubt Apple will open up the iTMS. I doubt they want to drop the store, but they may. I think they'd rather sell more devices like iPods and Mac minis, however these are increasingly tied to the iTMS and its content, so who knows.

The big question is if this law also applies to video. I suppose iTunes can still be available, its just that the iTMS might be disabled.
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post #57 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
Hypocrites!

The French have never lifted a finger to force interoperability of computer software, gaming consoles, etc. that would help consumers. So, why the sudden assault on Apple (a perennial victim of Microsoft's lockout)?

It's not for the benefit of French consumers, it's to help out companies like FNAC and the French subsidiary of Virgin and other losers that failed to win the business of their countrymen.

FairPlay is the most consumer-friendly version of DRM, and DRM is the ONLY way the owners of content (not artists) will make the material they control available for legal download. FairPlay, therefore, is a necessary evil and Apple is to be commended for keeping it as consumer-friendly as it is.

At this point, Apple's only course is to shut down iTMS France on the day the law goes into effect and advise angry French consumers to take action against their legislators who caused the termination of service.

You're also confused - in order to make software iterorable with other operating systems you have to add something. In order to make Fairplay AAC tracks work with other music players you have to remove something. There lies the difference.
post #58 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
For all the complaining and moaning from all you people, interoperability is great. If this was the other way around and they made a law that hurt MS more then Apple you'd be praising it. Hopefully this will get companies to start offering DRMless music.

This DOES hurt MS more than Apple. It blows large holes in the side of their subscription services.
post #59 of 108
Quote:
[i] then you'll hear France do what they do best.....whine. [/B]

the only people I can hear whining are americans..
post #60 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Zubba
I say we boycott all things French, and start calling them freedom fries again. [/B]

Call them Belgian Fries. It's a hell of a lot more accurate, as that's where they're from.

That, or English Chips (but cut them thicker!).

Don't be a land of pissants and call them Freedom Fries, it's lame and xenophobic. There's no single way to live life, and the French are always different, but does it make them wrong all the time?
post #61 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
That Associated Press piece is doing the rounds but can anyone spot the difference between the report on...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11943799/from/RSS/

and

http://www.cnn.com/2006/BUSINESS/03/....ap/index.html

What I don't get is how:

Apple: AAC (Open Specification) + Fairplay (Proprietary DRM)

is somehow MORE proprietary than

Windows: WMA (Proprietary) + PlaysForSure (Proprietary)
Sony: ATRAC (Proprietary) + whatever they use (Proprietary)

Why these articles are written in such a way is beyond me, but it does seem likely that there's some behind the scenes stuff going on to try and damage Apple's system.
post #62 of 108
I can say for sure that in it's present form that this bill will not pass the French Senate. Why? Because one of the biggest record companies in the world is based out of France. Universal Music Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi Universal. Though its a multi-national, mega-corporation, it has main offices in France, and its stock trades on the French Stock Exchange.

Check out this link:
http://consumers.umusic.com/dmd/retailers/index.html

That is Universal Music's web page that discusses digital downloads, and all of the online retailers that provide digital downloads of UMG's artists. Scroll down to the bottom, and UMG lists fnacmusic.com as a French vendor of their music downloads.

Another link:
http://www.fnacmusic.com/toolboxmenu/telecharger.aspx

What do you know, fnacmusic.com uses Windows Media Player and the Windows Media DRM for the sale of their music. So tell me, why would the French government attempt to cripple the sales of the online music of one of the largest French corporations (and one of the largest French tax revenue generators)?

The fact of the matter is, the members of the French legislature today voted on something that they don't quite understand. It sounded good. Everyone is pointing it towards opening up the iPod, the ITMS, and Fairplay. Who this really aggrivates, however, is Microsoft. Microsoft, just like Apple, has no desire to open up its DRM schemes to work with Media Players that do not support them. Imagine Windows Media Player DRM for Linux? I don't think so. Politicans can easily get caught up in the hype just like we can.

As we speak, Microsoft is lobbying to have this law modified in some way that will prevent itself from having to modify its own DRM to satisfy the new law, and it will be lobbying through its powerful partner in Vivendi Universal. Universal Music Group wants DRM. In the end, the record companies would like to control the DRM, not the software companies, but their not there yet. Regardless, Universal Music group would have to take a step backwards if Apple and Microsoft had to re-engineer their DRM's or change their policies on licensing. Because the DRM is in the hands of Apple, Microsoft, Real, and Sony, the music companies loose out while this legislation gets bashed to pieces by everyone who has a stake in the music industry.

Maybe the end product of this legislation will be signifigantly modified enough that we can all say its biased toward Apple and its products, but at this point, everyone is screwed, and Microsoft, Vivendi Universal, and their partners, have the most to loose, and the French Senate will hear this soon enough.
post #63 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Hattig
Why these articles are written in such a way is beyond me, but it does seem likely that there's some behind the scenes stuff going on to try and damage Apple's system.

It's more 'in your face' going on in the MSNBC report where they've changed the list of companies affected from 'Apple, Sony and Microsoft' to 'Apple, Sony and others'. Can't have the share price being affected can we.
post #64 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
It's more 'in your face' going on in the MSNBC report where they've changed the list of companies affected from 'Apple, Sony and Microsoft' to 'Apple, Sony and others'. Can't have the share price being affected can we.

Well, would MS have to open their systems or would all the music stores that use Windows Media and Plays For Sure have to open their systems. Really its an issue for MS either way but I can see MSNBC technically having an out.

But does their reporting or lack-of-reporting of MS really surprise you?
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post #65 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Hattig
Call them Belgian Fries. It's a hell of a lot more accurate, as that's where they're from.

That, or English Chips (but cut them thicker!).

Don't be a land of pissants and call them Freedom Fries, it's lame and xenophobic. There's no single way to live life, and the French are always different, but does it make them wrong all the time?

It's called a joke.

Nobody is serious about changing the name of french fries here in the states.

Way to skip the main topic of the post... French (and to a lesser extent E.U.) protectionist policies. The real truth here is that French companies can't compete in this market... because, well, they suck; that, and Apple has a huge market lead. So, what the French have decided to do, is find a measure that makes little sense to adopt, but alters the current status of the maret in a way that makes it much easier for native companies to gain market share. It's about money and French nationalism. Itl be interesting to see what spawns out of the void Apple leaves. I bet itl be a French/British co-op that tries to take on Apple in the rest of the U.E., and with the aid of European governments, it probably will.

As Americans we need to wake up to the reality that the E.U., while politicaly an ally, is a chief economic rival, and they are waging war against American companies every day.
post #66 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
All European iTMS stores are, and have been from the start, operated in Luxembourg. Not in France.

So that argument is moot.

Well if Apple does not operate an iTMS in France and from what you say it does not then this law cannot apply to an iTMS in Luxembourg. The problem may be that the law applies to the hardware, and that could be more problematic.
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post #67 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Zubba
It's called a joke.

As Americans we need to wake up to the reality that the E.U., while politicaly an ally, is a chief economic rival, and they are waging war against American companies every day.

Hmm.. sounds like xenophobia to me.

I think we should call them chips!!!
post #68 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
There is no loss in sound quality when you burn a song to a CD. It'll sound as good or bad as the original and no better.

I know that. I was responding to the suggestion of burning to CD and then re-ripping. The re-ripping part is where the quality loss happens.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
The quality degradation has nothing to do with Fairplay. It's entirely due to transcoding from one lossy format to another. In the absence of an industry standard for DRM what's Apple to do? use Microsoft's DRM?

At the moment, the only way to play iTMS songs on something non-Apple is to transcode (or use JHymn, but that isn't going to work indefinitely. As soon as Apple disallow pre iTunes 6 access to the store, bye bye JHymn). If Apple licensed fairplay, anyone could then write an AAC+Fairplay decoder = no quality loss.

As I understand it, the proposed French legislation concerning DRM is not about removing DRM, but forcing companies to license their DRM schemes. Apple could, if they wanted to, licence PlaysForSure from Microsoft, and then the iPod could play said content. But Apple don't want to do that. This bill would not change that in any way. It would still be up to consumers to lobby Apple to licence PlaysForSure.

However, if someone wants to write software capable of decoding AAC+Fairplay, they cannot, as Apple will not licence FairPlay. This bill would change that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dean812
How in the world ANYONE would think this is suspect. ( Are you french;?) The fact is Apple is going to become more and more of a target of these anti-capitolism moves the more enormous the whole iTunes/iPod sect becomes. Everyone wants to upset a good thing. Apple should be allowed to make all the money they can for offering such an easy way for us all to enjoy our music. If you dont like it.....buy something else. Its called competition. Nice and healthy competition.

If the French think they can do it better let them deal with not having ANY ipods available for their citizens. Because obviously thats what Apple will do. ( AT least I think so.) Why would Apple change a recipe that is the biggest thing since the Walkman in the early 80's. The French are proving once again that they hate all things American. Which is fine because seemingly the feelings are mutal.

WAKE UP FRANCE!!! Its called Capitolism.

I'm in two minds as to whether I should reply to this, but lest anyone is confused, no, I am not French, and yes, I own an iPod. But there are devices which do not compete with the iPod which would benefit from being able to decrypt FairPlay. So, as an iTunes+iPod owner, I still have plenty of reasons to want to see Apple licence FairPlay to third parties.

So much of this thread smacks of xenophobia + Apple worship it makes me feel a little bit sick. Forcing Apple to licence FairPlay would not harm them at all, in fact, it would probably boost their income (from licensing fees). Additionally, the fact that FairPlay is closed, adds to the user experience in no beneficial way whatsoever. Having FairPlay licenced to third parties would not make the iTunes+iPod experience any worse.
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post #69 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
The re-ripping part is where the quality loss happens....



....AAC+Fairplay decoder = no quality loss.


Wrong.
I work for a company that designs "peripheral chips" for Portal Player.
I am a digital filter designer. And I am a Electrical Engineer, too.

Re-ripping is only lossy if you choose a lossy encoder.
You can re-ripp using AIFF or Apple Lossless.

AAC is by definition a lossy encoder , so AAC + Whatever DRM = lossy encoding.
Although AAC is by far the best perceptual encoding codec available, and that is not only my opinion, it is well suited for a myriad of applications, frontmost portable music.
But the scenario in portable storage media is about to change VERY SOON.
10 GB Flash memory in 2007 will be cheaper than 1 GB today. Mark my words.You will be able to carry all your songs non-encoded in your iPod.
And the French know this.

Back to topic. What the french are doing is illegally protecting their industry. Apple's FairPlay "policy" is one of the faintest DRM policies I 've seen in the industry. It is well implemented, largely benign and works in the best player in the market.

So you anti-DRM "environmentalists" should see it as it is. A scam !
post #70 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by mark2005
I think DRM is bad from the consumer point of view. My issue is that France is singling out just one instance but not all the others. Like why can't I play DRM-protected WMA music, including subscriptions, on my Mac? Computers are music players, too.

Anyway, here are your choices:
1. Don't buy songs from iTMS. Buy CDs or buy from eMusic.
2. Don't buy a Roku, Sonos or Sony Ericsson Mobile.

Either you like the iPod enough to use the Apple system (iPod, iTunes, iTMS, ROKR/SLVR, iPod accessories, Mac, PC, iPod Hi-Fi) or don't. If the market didn't like it, the iPod and iTMS would suffer and die. But the market has clearly indicated that they don't mind or at least that the alternatives aren't better.

I hate it when the government thinks consumers are stupid and have to be protected from themselves. Because more often than not, the government is stupid and the consumers have to protect themselves from the government.

It's not that consumers need to be protected from themselves. Consumers need to be protected from monopoly. Capitalism breaks when monopolies rule not only because other companies aren't competing to find the fair market value but also because the monopoly can conceal information that a competitive market would make public. Well informed consumers are fundamental to the functions of capitalism.
post #71 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by European guy
But the scenario in portable storage media is about to change VERY SOON.
10 GB Flash memory in 2007 will be cheaper than 1 GB today. Mark my words.

Before marking your words I'd like to know which source(s) of information you're basing that on. This is still a rumor-oriented forum so it helps to back any speculative claims with at least some bit of supporting evidence.

Interesting comments, btw.
post #72 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean812

WAKE UP FRANCE!!! Its called Capitolism.

post #73 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by VF208
Hmm.. sounds like xenophobia to me.

I think we should call them chips!!!

Why do our friends across the pond constantly toss around the term xenophobic whenever we raise concerns that run contrary to their beliefs? I've noticed the word overused even among school mates who were from Europe. Do they take you all aside during middle school for a lecture on Xenophobia and the American experience?

The fact still remains, American firms face much stricter barriers in entering European markets then their counterparts do in entering American markets. I still contend that this is less about consumer rights and more about creating a way for French companies to gain market share.
post #74 of 108
The only ONLY thing this is about is French pride and French business. The french government wants french money to go to french companies and stay within france.

That's all this about.
Random French music store can't do as well as American company because of difference in product.

Well then make it legal for French music stores to sell the same product as American ones!

This doesn't change what any player can play this just allows other companies to sell their stuff in itunes format.

This isn't useful to the consumer because I strongly doubt that ANYONE will sell songs for better prices or easier restictions than apple.

No French company will go "Bonjour! Buy any song in iPod downloadable format for $0.50 and once you buy it, it's yours! Put it on as many computers as you want, do with it what you like!"

This benefits them, not us.

Unless your into buying the same thing for what most likely will be a slightly jacked up price.
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post #75 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Zubba
Why do our friends across the pond constantly toss around the term xenophobic whenever we raise concerns that run contrary to their beliefs?

The comment was aimed at you actually because I didn't find your joke funny and I thought you were being xenophobic. It wasn't aimed at all americans.
post #76 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by VF208
The comment was aimed at you actually because I didn't find your joke funny and I thought you were being xenophobic. It wasn't aimed at all americans.

If you lived in the states, you'd realize the whole freedom fries subject was nothing more then a joke. People still call fries, french fries, and allways will. As to calling me specificly xenophobic... ok. If making a rational statement about the motivation behind the new French legislation makes me a xenophobe, I guess I am one. Since we're free to toss around cliches, you're comments come across as being ignorant, and prissy. I guess we fit nice and snuggly into our various stereotypes, don't we.
post #77 of 108
...isn't weird that there's not a single line dropped by a French user? I'm not speaking ironically, I swear: just wondering why.
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post #78 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Zubba
If you lived in the states, you'd realize the whole freedom fries subject was nothing more then a joke. People still call fries, french fries, and allways will. As to calling me specificly xenophobic... ok. If making a rational statement about the motivation behind the new French legislation makes me a xenophobe, I guess I am one. Since we're free to toss around cliches, you're comments come across as being ignorant, and prissy. I guess we fit nice and snuggly into our various stereotypes, don't we.

Look, I don't wan to continue this but I would like to say that I don't think you were making a "rational statement" as it wasn't based on fact, it's just your personal opinion and I happen to disagree with it. I don't see what is ignorant or prissy about it.

Plus you were the one that brought up the subject of France stance on the Iraq war in reference to this matter and as I remember it, the french wanted the UN to spend more time looking WMD's before invading - the same WMDs that never actually turned up.

By linking the two subjects, I came to the conclusion that you're paranoid about the french and therefore xenophobic and I'm basing my opinions on what you say - not on what my stereotypical view of americans are - where do cliches come into it?
post #79 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by ecking
This isn't useful to the consumer because I strongly doubt that ANYONE will sell songs [with] easier restictions than apple.

That isn't what this legislation is about. It's about letting people use DRM protected music on any device they want, without removing those restrictions. It is also not being proposed in the hope that a new AAC+Fairplay store will spring up with fewer restrictions. The bill is actually heavily in favour of restrictive DRM and provides stiff penalties for any company or individual who tries to circumvent it.
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post #80 of 108
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
I know that. I was responding to the suggestion of burning to CD and then re-ripping. The re-ripping part is where the quality loss happens.

But that loss in quality happens anyway, even if the original source was a shop bought CD. The complaint here would be the low quality of Apple's iTMS songs at only 128kbps.
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