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EMI Music launches DRM-Free iTunes downloads in higher-quality - Page 4

post #121 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngettler

No thanks Apple. If you are truly committed to DRM free music, then the only choice should MP3 files. If the goal is to use truly portable and universally playable music, then MP3 is the only choice. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple for taking the industry down this path, but to offer non DRM AAC files...they missed the mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I don't agree at all. AAC is a superior codec to mp3. Just petition your hardware provider to provide AAC support via a firmware update.

As Mr. H says, AAC is a superior codec. Mp3 only became "standard" because there was no viable alternative to it when digital music took off, I mean really what is the point of using .wav's in the early 90's when a HD was hardly bigger than a CD?
Now we have many alernatives, and while I may personally prefer Vorbis to AAC, if I were to be looking at a new handheld device, I would most likely look for AAC over vorbis simply because of the hardware requirements. Vorbis uses more processing power, and therefor more battery as well.
Currently, if I want music on my portable, I transcode for the portable from Vorbis to mp3, why, because my player is over 4 years old and the only thing that supported AAC at the time was the iPod. Granted my player supports Vorbis out of the box, and that was why I got it, but it drains at least 40% more battery to use it that way.
Now as has been said, pretty much every new phone on th market supports at least AAC if not AAC+, which adds the ability to perceptually keep the same sound at half the size. On a portable, or an internet stream, the tradeoff in real quality is not a huge deal, and they are still higher quality than a 64bit mp3 which is what would need to be used to get close to the same size file.
As time passes more and more players will support AAC out of the box, will they drop mp3 support? Only if the lawsuits make it too cost prohibitive to use anymore, or the perceieved number of songs that would be used with that antiquicated format is at a low enough percentage that they can just include an auto transcoder in the transfer app. Heck, Sony already does this for ATRAC-3... not that it is a good format, but it is there.
post #122 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The NPD data cited only covers the US for 2006 and appears to be on a household rather than individual basis.

Regardless of which way you wish to parse your comment, the NPD data still seems to indicate that there are both more households (15M vs 13M) using P2P networks and more songs downloaded on P2P networks than paid networks (5B files vs 500M files).

Perhaps you would be better off questioning the way NPD conducts these surveys as opposed to their relevance to the discussion.

Unless you are implying that your "most people" comment encompasses the entire music market vs just the digital music market. Which would beg the issue of the relevance of that observation on whether EMI's risk is very large (given CDs are higher quality and mostly DRM free) and what sentences 2 and 3 of the quoted paragraph mean in that context...(you know the parts about 128 quality and price increase).

Perhaps you could also be a tad less defensive in our discussions eh?

Perhaps if you didn't quote questionable sources in the first place there wouldn't be a problem.

Responding isn't being defensive, though you seem to be acting that way.

Quote:
I don't believe I've commented on AAC/iTunes quality given I don't personally own an iPod. It seems good enough for mobile use but that's neither here nor there.

Please refrain from saying what I have or have not stated in the past unless you have a quote. This is the second time you've done so and the second time I believe is inaccurate.

Please don't comment if you don't remember what you've said.

Quote:
The suggestion that audiophiles are a major demographic of interest is well... Is a demographic of some value? Yes. But not as much as a mainstream one.

I'm not talking about audiophiles, but rather those who buy a lot of music. There are far more of us that do that, than those who are purely audiophiles.

Quote:
So I don't believe it's a stretch to say that that kids both outnumber audiophiles in number and economic value by orders of magnitude. Within the context of what "most people" do with respect to music searches/purchases, one demographic matters to such a discussion.

The other not so much.

Vinea

Again, a meaningless comparison.

That's enough on this subject, if you please, unless you wish to continue it onesided, after making you usual insulting parting dig.
post #123 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Indeed. That's what made me add the "depends how you define audiophile" comment at the end of my post. I'm sure there are plenty that would turn their nose up at anything less than lossless, probably without even listening first. (There are even some crackpots who like to pretend that lossless sounds different because "compression is compression"! If they really do hear a difference, it's a perfect example of psychosomatic influences upon perceived audio quality). Personally, listening on an iPod through Sure e3C earphones, I can't tell the difference between uncompressed and 128 kbps AAC, but I can hear the difference when listening through a HiFi amp + speakers. At 256 kbps AAC, I can't hear that difference any more, so this change of bitrate is most welcome from my point of view.



According to that definition, I used to be one. Over the last few years I haven't really had the time




In my experience, audiophiles are often really separate from those who listen to a lot of music.

Think of them as two separate, but intersecting, sets.

Those who are audiophiles are always tinkering, and buying, selling, and trading equipment. Those who listen to a lot of music might not care much about their systems. Then there are those who do both.

Despite the fact that I designed audio equipment and have bought a lot of equipment over the years, I was "accused" of not being an audiophile, because I haven't bought anything major for several years, by an audiophile manufacturer. He said that I was instead a "music lover", almost as though that was a bad thing to be. And for him, it was.

Many audiophiles have given up buying new equipment in recent years, because the prices have rocketed out of sight.
post #124 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngettler View Post

No thanks Apple. If you are truly committed to DRM free music, then the only choice should MP3 files. If the goal is to use truly portable and universally playable music, then MP3 is the only choice. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple for taking the industry down this path, but to offer non DRM AAC files...they missed the mark.

Totally disagree. You do realise that MP3 is not a free format for manufacturers? The all have to pay a fee. The same thing is true for AAC.

Except that AAC is a higher quality format. This has been shown to be true over the years in many listening, and technical, tests.

In fact, AAC is acknowledged as being better (as are other codecs), by the research being done right now, to improve MP3.

If they do come out with a new version of MP3, it will possibly be like having a new format. Why bother? Royalties, that's why.

The consumer doesn't need a new version of MP3. AAC will serve fine, and is becoming the new standard anyway.

I wouldn't be surprised if in five years, younger people ask - "What's this MP3 thing for?".
post #125 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Perhaps if you didn't quote questionable sources in the first place there wouldn't be a problem.

NPD is questionable?

Quote:
Please don't comment if you don't remember what you've said.

It's not a reasonable request that you not say I said things I don't believe that I have? That's rather funny...

Quote:
That's enough on this subject, if you please, unless you wish to continue it onesided, after making you usual insulting parting dig.

Nope, sorry. No insulting parting digs here. Just links.

Duh...forgot linky:

http://www.jupitermedia.com/corporat...presearch.html

"The JupiterResearch report reveals that European consumers who download music from illegal file sharing networks currently outnumber those downloading from legal services such as Apple's iTunes Music Store by a factor of three to one: 15% file share while just 5% pay to download. There is solid demand for paid downloads, however, 10% of European consumers are willing to pay, rising as high as 31% in Sweden.

File sharing penetration in Europe is highest among younger consumers (34% of 15-24 year olds) and is impacting the way they value music with many having little concept of music as a paid commodity. Among the 46% of European online 15-24 year olds who use the Internet to consume music, the CD is becoming increasingly irrelevant: 40% do not consider the CD to be a good value for money and 43% prefer to copy rather than buy CDs. Unless these consumers are encouraged to develop music purchasing behavior soon they may never develop meaningful music buying habits."

Yah, I'd say EMI is not risking the world on this move...not that it isn't welcome, appreciated and for the industry quite revolutionary. Risky? Mmmmm....not so much...more like risky if they don't do something...

Vinea
post #126 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

In my experience, audiophiles are often really separate from those who listen to a lot of music.

I think Mr. H's smiley indictates that we both get that...

Vinea
post #127 of 161
I like.
If you don't care about DRM or sound quality, don't pay more!

If you do care, like I do, then pay for the nice stuff...
post #128 of 161
Do people think there is a chance Apple might encode a user ID into the song files so people sharing music could be tracked? (Might not be enough evidence to prosecute, but it would be very interesting data.) I guess it will be easy to tell once they start selling them. I guess no.
post #129 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by d.mantic View Post

Do people think there is a chance Apple might encode a user ID into the song files so people sharing music could be tracked? (Might not be enough evidence to prosecute, but it would be very interesting data.) I guess it will be easy to tell once they start selling them. I guess no.

Yes, I'd guess no too. It would crater Apple's good will in releasing unencumbered downloads for no gain...MPAA wouldn't be appreciative and most folks would hate the idea as a big brother thing.

Sony, on the other hand...well...

Vinea
post #130 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

NPD is questionable?

There have been quite a few questions as to how, and where, they get their info from. They don't count Apple's stores when counting product sales, or online sales of computers or other devices. Who knows how they are getting these figures? If Apple says it has 100 million accounts on iTunes, then with over 2 billion songs sold, I'm inclined to take them at their word.

Quote:
It's not a reasonable request that you not say I said things I don't believe that I have? That's rather funny...

No, it's certainly not unreasonable. But, as you said in that same post:

"I don't believe I've commented on AAC/iTunes quality..."

Well, you have.

Quote:
Nope, sorry. No insulting parting digs here. Just links.

Good.

Quote:
Duh...forgot linky:

http://www.jupitermedia.com/corporat...presearch.html

"The JupiterResearch report reveals that European consumers who download music from illegal file sharing networks currently outnumber those downloading from legal services such as Apple's iTunes Music Store by a factor of three to one: 15% file share while just 5% pay to download. There is solid demand for paid downloads, however, 10% of European consumers are willing to pay, rising as high as 31% in Sweden.

File sharing penetration in Europe is highest among younger consumers (34% of 15-24 year olds) and is impacting the way they value music with many having little concept of music as a paid commodity. Among the 46% of European online 15-24 year olds who use the Internet to consume music, the CD is becoming increasingly irrelevant: 40% do not consider the CD to be a good value for money and 43% prefer to copy rather than buy CDs. Unless these consumers are encouraged to develop music purchasing behavior soon they may never develop meaningful music buying habits."

Yah, I'd say EMI is not risking the world on this move...not that it isn't welcome, appreciated and for the industry quite revolutionary. Risky? Mmmmm....not so much...more like risky if they don't do something...

Vinea

I won't argue with the European data, since song buying there is much lower than it is here.

But, overall, I do question the people numbers, but not the file numbers.

One reason is that those numbers are not hard numbers, while song purchases are. For all we know, even more people are illegally downloading songs, but it can't be proven, just generalized, and guessed at. Surveying illegal activity is notorously inaccurate.

I also know people who have downloaded songs illegally, but have also bought songs.

A lot of kids don't even know that downloading songs from pirate sites, and bit torrents is illegal. My daughter didn't know that until last year.
post #131 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I think Mr. H's smiley indictates that we both get that...

Vinea

I was just looking at the some of the comments which indicated otherwise, at least on your end.
post #132 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boukman View Post

Don't forget also the multitude of indies that asked for this sort of arrangement for years. I understand that Jobs wanted to have one of the heavyweights first to commit to non-DRMed music, but now that it's done, nothing stops the indies to jump right in. That would allow Apple to claim more than only the EMI tracks as being DRM-free, even if the other big 4 don't follow.

Yeah, there's absolutely nothing in the way of indies having non-DRM music now, too. In fact, a large number of indie labels already sell DRM-free music through eMusic, and it has some of the more significant labels, like Matador and Merge. So clearly there's no objection on their end. Now that iTunes will have the interface and infrastructure necessary to sell non-DRM music, this should be incredibly easy.

I pay for eMusic solely so I can get non-DRM music (and I like the labels they have on there). But I would end my subscription with them if all those labels ended up selling DRM-free music on iTunes.
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post #133 of 161
So, is it possible to search the iTMS by label?
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post #134 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post

Yeah, there's absolutely nothing in the way of indies having non-DRM music now, too. In fact, a large number of indie labels already sell DRM-free music through eMusic, and it has some of the more significant labels, like Matador and Merge. So clearly there's no objection on their end. Now that iTunes will have the interface and infrastructure necessary to sell non-DRM music, this should be incredibly easy.

I pay for eMusic solely so I can get non-DRM music (and I like the labels they have on there). But I would end my subscription with them if all those labels ended up selling DRM-free music on iTunes.

I've never gone there. What does EMusic charge, and how do they encode. I think they use MP3, but at what bitrate?

I'm wondering if they will think it's time to change to AAC instead.
post #135 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I've never gone there. What does EMusic charge, and how do they encode. I think they use MP3, but at what bitrate?

I'm wondering if they will think it's time to change to AAC instead.

They have a subscription model (an in real subscription as opposed to napster-style rental). You pay a certain amount each month, and that entitles you to download and keep indefinitely a certain number of tracks each month. Your allowance, if not used up, does not roll over to the next month.

They use, on the whole, high bit-rate VBR mp3 (averaging 160 to 200 kbps depending on track).

You know, I really don't understand why eMusic don't offer AAC as an option. There are no fees for distributing tracks encoded in AAC format, whereas there are fees for using mp3. It'd be cheaper for eMusic to use AAC.
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post #136 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

They have a subscription model (an in real subscription as opposed to napster-style rental). You pay a certain amount each month, and that entitles you to download and keep indefinitely a certain number of tracks each month. Your allowance, if not used up, does not roll over to the next month.

They use, on the whole, high bit-rate VBR mp3 (averaging 160 to 200 kbps depending on track).

You know, I really don't understand why eMusic don't offer AAC as an option. There are no fees for distributing tracks encoded in AAC format, whereas there are fees for using mp3. It'd be cheaper for eMusic to use AAC.

They have no option to buy as most other music subscription services do? That's odd, if true.

It seems as thought their quality is lower at the slower bitrates, and about equal at the higher one. 192-200 VBR MP3 is about equal to 256 AAC non-VBR, though Apple could do that, and I wish they would have. It takes no more download bandwidth, though it does take a bit more encoding time. But, as they aren't likely using an old G3 to encode them, that shouldn't be a problem (unless they ARE using an old G3 to encode them!).
post #137 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

I don't think any other players support AAC, and iTunes still only syncs to iPod, so this still locks the songs into the Apple system. It doesn't offer any more "freedom" to the average user, except to copy the files and give them to friends who also use the Apple system.

My Nokia phone supports AAC.
But my ~US$100 Sony car stereo that plays MP3 does not. It would have been about an extra $50 for that feature (it was about $30 extra for the MP3 capability)

Apple's move may really make other players advertise their AAC capability, or make them add AAC capability. They'll want to encourage people to move from their iPod AND take all their music with them. The main gain for the average user is that you will have that choice if you want it (and do now depending on which player you're looking at).
post #138 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They have no option to buy as most other music subscription services do? That's odd, if true.

You missed my point about this being true subscription. It is not rental. For example, if you subscribe to a magazine, and you get sent one magazine a month for a year, and then you cancel your subscription, you don't have to give those magazines back; you own them. Same applies with the eMusic service. You pay a subscription fee, which gives you the right to download a certain number of tracks. Once you've downloaded the files, they are yours to keep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It seems as thought their quality is lower at the slower bitrates, and about equal at the higher one. 192-200 VBR MP3 is about equal to 256 AAC non-VBR

I'm not sure that's accurate. Given that AAC is superior to mp3 at any given bit rate, and the highest bit rate in a 200 kbps VBR mp3 is probably around 256 kbps, an AAC which is 256 kbps at all times should be of higher quality.
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post #139 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I offered to buy her some starter iTunes downloads and she replied "oh, don't bother, I have Limewire"...

My sister was similar. She wanted to be legal, and told me that she bought all her music through Limewire.

She explained that she thought it was unfair for artists not to get paid, so she didn't have the free/illegal version and had paid for the Limewire Pro version. The thing is - she's actually really smart. She knew about illegal downloads, but didn't know enough to realise that she was still doing that after paying.
post #140 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No. Anyone can use AAC. It's a rare player that doesn't already have it. This puts the onus on those companies who haven't put AAC into their players.

Actually, it's quite common for the PlaysForSure players and the really cheap flash players to only support MP3 and WMA even if they use a chip that also supports AAC. It's supported in mobile phones because it's part of the GSM phone standard IIRC. They have to support it alongside 3GPP.

There previously wasn't much use for AAC in non-iTunes compatible players since none of the other stores did AAC and Microsoft's media player was notoriously bad at AAC. That's why you get people proclaiming AAC is a stupid format I think as it's based on what Microsoft have done with it. The fact it's better (quality/size) and cheaper and simpler to licence than either MP3 or WMA seems to get forgotten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

My big beef is with car audio systems: why can't any of those (as far as I know) play AAC burnt to CD-Rs (as they do MP3s)? It is convenient to have a couple of CD-Rs with hundreds of songs in them lying around in my car, rather than carry my iPod with me at all times.....

See above. It's also probably because most car audio is far eastern in design/origin where the iPod isn't so big a thing.
post #141 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

For those of you who have read through the article too quickly, here is the very first sentence:



That takes care of the "how many bands" question, as well as the "will it be here in Europe?" as well.

I know what was said, but what are the real logistics of music publishing? Take Depeche Mode. The EMI Group website lists them as one of their artists. Looking on iTunes and one of their CD's, they are published in the U.S. by Reprise Records which is a Warner Music Group Company. Does EMI have the ability to release those tracks without DRM or would that fall under the control of Warner Music Group which strongly advocates DRM?

It seems to me (I'm no expert on music publishing) that this is similar to the messy distribution systems that movies have where the producing company many not have distribution rights in all countries. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd love to see all of the artists on EMI's page be available in high quality DRM free format, I'm just curious about the realism of that from a business perspective.
post #142 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Actually, it's quite common for the PlaysForSure players and the really cheap flash players to only support MP3 and WMA even if they use a chip that also supports AAC.

There were allegations that Microsoft insisted that WMA licensees didn't implement AAC. I don't know if that was ever proved. (obviously it's not true of all WMA licensees now, because there are plenty that do support both. However, it could still be the case that Microsoft offer incentives not to implement AAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

The fact [AAC is] … cheaper … to licence than either MP3 or WMA seems to get forgotten.

Do you have evidence of this? I've never seen anything that details the cost of licences. Can you provide a link? I'd be very interested. Do you know if you have to pay a license fee to Microsoft to distribute content in WMA format?
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post #143 of 161
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Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Do you have evidence of this? I've never seen anything that details the cost of licenses. Can you provide a link? I'd be very interested. Do you know if you have to pay a license fee to Microsoft to distribute content in WMA format?

The licence on AAC is on the codec, not the content. Apple have to pay to licence the codec in iTunes or the iPod but not for each and every song they distribute. If they used MP3 or WMA they would have to pay royalties on content sales. mp3 is 2% of all related sales so imagine Apple giving away 2% of the iPod and iTunes sales to Thomson.

http://www.vialicensing.com/Licensin...AQ.cfm?faq=6#6

http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/
post #144 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

The licence on AAC is on the codec, not the content. Apple have to pay to licence the codec in iTunes or the iPod but not for each and every song they distribute. If they used MP3 or WMA they would have to pay royalties on content sales. mp3 is 2% of all related sales so imagine Apple giving away 2% of the iPod and iTunes sales to Thomson.

http://www.vialicensing.com/Licensin...AQ.cfm?faq=6#6

http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/

I'm familiar with the mp3 licensing (in that a fee has to be paid for each track sold in said format). Do you have similar evidence for WMA?
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post #145 of 161
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There have been quite a few questions as to how, and where, they get their info from. They don't count Apple's stores when counting product sales, or online sales of computers or other devices. Who knows how they are getting these figures? If Apple says it has 100 million accounts on iTunes, then with over 2 billion songs sold, I'm inclined to take them at their word.

Has Apple announced 100M users? 100M is a great milestone that Steve didn't mention when he said 2B songs sold and with "only" 90M iPods sold...do you have an official Apple source?

"Through the end of 2006, customers purchased a total of 90 million iPods and 2 billion songs from the iTunes store. On average, thats 22 songs purchased from the iTunes store for each iPod ever sold."

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/

Quote:
No, it's certainly not unreasonable. But, as you said in that same post:

"I don't believe I've commented on AAC/iTunes quality..."

Well, you have.

A quote would be nice and would quickly end the "did to" "did not" responses.

In any case, I'm simply asking you not to say I said anything in the future without a quote given that we disagree. I certainly cannot show that I haven't said something...and as I said to Mr. H, I'm always willing to accept a link/study/whatever to show that I am incorrect.

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I won't argue with the European data, since song buying there is much lower than it is here.

But, overall, I do question the people numbers, but not the file numbers.

Then how can you say with certainty that most folks do one thing or another?

Quote:
One reason is that those numbers are not hard numbers, while song purchases are. For all we know, even more people are illegally downloading songs, but it can't be proven, just generalized, and guessed at. Surveying illegal activity is notorously inaccurate.

I also know people who have downloaded songs illegally, but have also bought songs.

A lot of kids don't even know that downloading songs from pirate sites, and bit torrents is illegal. My daughter didn't know that until last year.

I don't think too many folks would disagree that there are a lot of folks using P2P services and they dominate the digital download arena. The internet usage statistics bear this out and that is a more or less objective measure.

http://www.cachelogic.com/home/pages...es/2005_07.php

This would imply that more users used P2P services to look for content than for pay services since P2P traffic dominates all others...and if your daughter didn't know it was illegal I would expect most others to be even less informed or care.

In any case it is a large enough number that an assertion that EMI is risking little has merit.

Vinea
post #146 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

My sister was similar. She wanted to be legal, and told me that she bought all her music through Limewire.

She explained that she thought it was unfair for artists not to get paid, so she didn't have the free/illegal version and had paid for the Limewire Pro version. The thing is - she's actually really smart. She knew about illegal downloads, but didn't know enough to realise that she was still doing that after paying.

Yah, I don't think it has to do with intelligence of the user as much as the lack of intelligence of the music industry as a whole. Naive as it may sound I believe most folks are honest...when given the opportunity anyway.

Vinea
post #147 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Naive as it may sound I believe most folks are honest...when given the opportunity anyway.

And the non-heavy-handed education.
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post #148 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf View Post

First time poster but long time reader and Apple shareholder.

The press release and commentary pushes "DRM free" but if other players that don't support AAC can't play the tunes doesn't DRM still exist? In other words, isn't AAC just Apple's own DRM?

Or is Apple opening up AAC so that these "DRM free" tunes can be played on any player that supports MP3?

AAC is an open format. Plus, if people want to use the AAC files as MP3s, all they have to do is use the built-in converter in iTunes. AAC isn't a DRM - it's a completely open standard - just not that many companies have went ahead and supported it. So far, it's Apple, Sony, and Microsoft (grudgingly).
post #149 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

15M folks actively do and downloaded 5 Billion files in 2006 vs 13M households that use paid digital music download services.

http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_0703141.html

"Paid usage is gaining on P2P; however P2P users tend to download many more files per user, than do those consumers who pay for music downloads, Crupnick noted."

I would say that Limewire moves more music than iTunes...



You aren't in the target demographic. The folks that engage in P2P are likely clustered in the younger demographic.

Ancedotal evidence is questionable but if folks find it compelling, when we bought a niece an iPod I offered to buy her some starter iTunes downloads and she replied "oh, don't bother, I have Limewire"...

I think there is small risk for EMI but also smaller payoff than some think. I think there will be a bump as the anti-DRM crowd buys in but in 10 years looking back the historical data will follow the same trend lines (i.e. this isn't a hockey stick event). IMHO of course.

Vinea

Oops, you're right about some of those numbers.

I just spent 30 minutes searching. I had the number wrong. Jobs stated that they had 10 million accounts, all with credit cards, not 100 million.

Mea culpa!
post #150 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I'm familiar with the mp3 licensing (in that a fee has to be paid for each track sold in said format). Do you have similar evidence for WMA?

Sorry. Got that wrong. Scratch WMA from the above. Content doesn't attract a royalty.

Apple would only have to pay Microsoft for encoders/decoders.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...ing/final.aspx

It doesn't look cheap though by the time you add up all the variations of iPods and Macs and audio and video. You can see why they transcode from WMA to AAC/MP3 in Windows iTunes instead of supporting WMA on the iPod directly.

$400,000 for a WMA decoder on the iPod + $800,000 for DRM + $400,000 for WMV
post #151 of 161
Quote:

Thanks for the link.
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post #152 of 161
Well, this is great news. Finally a good reason to shop at the iTunes Store.
post #153 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Oops, you're right about some of those numbers.

I just spent 30 minutes searching. I had the number wrong. Jobs stated that they had 10 million accounts, all with credit cards, not 100 million.

Mea culpa!

Thanks.

Vinea
post #154 of 161
I don't understand why Apple has gone to 256k instead of full lossless which would have made more sense to me. I understand the sound quality is better but technically not quite CD equivalent quality. So why not go the whole way to lossless as many of us have been asking for?
post #155 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

So why not go the whole way to lossless as many of us have been asking for?

Bandwidth probably.

That and I strongly suspect the number of people who really can differentiate (i.e. in a double-blind test) between lossless and 256 kbps is much, much smaller than the number that can differentiate between lossless and 128 kbps.

256 is a good compromise IMHO.
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post #156 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Bandwidth probably.

That and I strongly suspect the number of people who really can differentiate (i.e. in a double-blind test) between lossless and 256 kbps is much, much smaller than the number that can differentiate between lossless and 128 kbps.

256 is a good compromise IMHO.

Shouldn't that be a 'double-deaf' test
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #157 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I don't understand why Apple has gone to 256k instead of full lossless which would have made more sense to me. I understand the sound quality is better but technically not quite CD equivalent quality. So why not go the whole way to lossless as many of us have been asking for?



Imagine an iTunes that is 3.5 minutes (210 seconds) long...

At 128kbps the song is 26,880,000 bits.

210 x 128,000 = 26,880,000 bits (b)
26,880,000 ÷ 8 = 3,360,000 bytes (B)
3,360,000 ÷ 1000 = 3.36 megabytes (MB)


At 256kbps the song doubles to 53,760,000 bits.
210 x 256,000 = 53,760,000 bits (b)
53,760,000 ÷ 8 = 6,720,000 bytes (B)
6,720,000 ÷ 1000 = 6.72 megabytes (MB)


Apple Lossless is a different ball of wax.
It uses a variable rate, but for most songs it is over 1000kbps (1,000,000 bps or 1Mbps).
210 x 1,000,000 = 210,000,000 bits (b)
210,000,000 ÷ 8 = 26,250,000 bytes (B)
26,250,000 ÷ 1000 = 26.25 megabytes (MB)


Now consider the bandwidth and storage expense needed to maintain a 5 million song library that is now more than 8x larger than before. Can you imagine how much extra Apple would be charging per song?

And what a hassle for most customers whos HDDs and iPods can now hold an eighth of the songs it previously could. My black 8GB iPod Nano with an advertised 2,000 song capacity can now only hold 250. I don't think so!
And for what? a sound quality that isn't even discernible from 256kbps AAC.


For the sake of this discussion I've used BASE-10 instead of BASE-2. It's more easily understand, doesn't change the overall result, and, probably most important, I'm too lazy to do the math.


PS: Lossless isn't "CD quality", it's just a form of compression--like ZIP or RAR--that doesn't remove any of the original data when it compresses the file. In other words, lossless is without loss.

Lossy compression methods essentially use an algorithm to remove data from the low and high end of the audible spectrum. The lower the bitrate, the more data that has to be removed to maintain the correct overall size.

Here is an experiment: Do you have any low bitrate files in your iTunes library? Perhaps from an audiobook? Take that low bitrate file and convert it Lossless, you get a much larger file that states a current bitrate well above what you had in it's lossy format but you're still retaining the same quality as before.
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post #158 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

[FONT="Courier New"]

At 128kbps the song is 26,880,000kb.

210 x 128,000 = 26,880,000 kilobits (Kb)
26,880,000 ÷ 8 = 3,360,000 kilobytes (KB)
3,360,000 ÷ 1000 = 3.36 megabytes (MB)


At 256kbps the song doubles to 53,760,000kb.
210 x 256,000 = 53,760,000 kilobits (Kb)
53,760,000 ÷ 8 = 6,720,000 kilobytes (KB)
6,720,000 ÷ 1000 = 6.72 megabytes (MB)


Apple Lossless is a different ball of wax. It uses a variable rate, but for most songs it is over 1000kbps.
210 x 1,000,000 = 210,000,000 kilobits (Kb)
210,000,000 ÷ 8 = 26,250,000 kilobytes (KB)
26,250,000 ÷ 1000 = 26.25 megabytes (MB)

Holy shit I had no idea Lossless music was SO big. Since the announcemnt I have started to re-rip my music at 256Kb, may as well start now than later - it was at pesky 128Kb.
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post #159 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Holy shit I had no idea Lossless music was SO big. Since the announcemnt I have started to re-rip my music at 256Kb, may as well start now than later - it was at pesky 128Kb.

Lossless cuts the file by about 50%, as opposed to the 90 or so percent that 128 kbs does.

It's similar to what Stuffit does.
post #160 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Imagine an iTunes that is 3.5 minutes (210 seconds) long...
[FONT="Courier New"]

At 128kbps the song is 26,880,000 bits.

210 x 128,000 = 26,880,000 bits (b)
26,880,000 ÷ 8 = 3,360,000 bytes (B)
3,360,000 ÷ 1000 = 3.36 megabytes (MB)


At 256kbps the song doubles to 53,760,000 bits.
210 x 256,000 = 53,760,000 bits (b)
53,760,000 ÷ 8 = 6,720,000 bytes (B)
6,720,000 ÷ 1000 = 6.72 megabytes (MB)


Apple Lossless is a different ball of wax.
It uses a variable rate, but for most songs it is over 1000kbps (1,000,000 bps or 1Mbps).
210 x 1,000,000 = 210,000,000 bits (b)
210,000,000 ÷ 8 = 26,250,000 bytes (B)
26,250,000 ÷ 1000 = 26.25 megabytes (MB)


Now consider the bandwidth and storage expense needed to maintain a 5 million song library that is now more than 8x larger than before. Can you imagine how much extra Apple would be charging per song?

And what a hassle for most customers whos HDDs and iPods can now hold an eighth of the songs it previously could. My black 8GB iPod Nano with an advertised 2,000 song capacity can now only hold 250. I don't think so!
And for what? a sound quality that isn't even discernible from 256kbps AAC.


For the sake of this discussion I've used BASE-10 instead of BASE-2. It's more easily understand, doesn't change the overall result, and, probably most important, I'm too lazy to do the math.


PS: Lossless isn't "CD quality", it's just a form of compression--like ZIP or RAR--that doesn't remove any of the original data when it compresses the file. In other words, lossless is without loss.

Lossy compression methods essentially use an algorithm to remove data from the low and high end of the audible spectrum. The lower the bitrate, the more data that has to be removed to maintain the correct overall size.

Here is an experiment: Do you have any low bitrate files in your iTunes library? Perhaps from an audiobook? Take that low bitrate file and convert it Lossless, you get a much larger file that states a current bitrate well above what you had in it's lossy format but you're still retaining the same quality as before.

Thanks Solipsism. Your explanation was very useful - you really know your stuff.
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