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EMI Music launches DRM-Free iTunes downloads in higher-quality - Page 3

post #81 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?

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.

Don't think of MP3 as being a universial format. It isn't the best quality. In fact, it's being changed to raise the quality, but then it won't be the same, and possibly, encoders will have to be changed to play it. It also isn't free, though most people seem to think it is, so there is no advantage to it for the manufacturers.
post #82 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files, and you can still only sync iPods with iTunes. This announcement mean dick all to people who want to use a different player or different software.

Quitr a few players have AAC, look it up before making a statement like that.
post #83 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most people don't look for tracks on torrents, they just buy what they want. how this will affect them is hard to tell. If they are happy with the 128 quality, and they don't move songs around, they might not understand the difference, other than to see that it costs more.

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...

Quote:
I've never bought a song from any digital service, and I downloaded a few from torrents and newsgroups to see how the quality was, and it was BAD.

From my own encoding, I find that 256 is playable fairly well on my system, so I might buy some here.

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
post #84 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

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"...

And then you offered some moral guidance, right?
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post #85 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..

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.....
post #86 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hair Brained Theory Alert:
Usually such offerings are offered immediately, unless there are other circumstances that need to be address (eg: FCC approval of iPhone). I think the reason that Jobs gave a release date of May is to allow the other companies on iTunes to weigh the possibility of what EMI is doing and to follow suit with the same offerings. Thereby, allowing ALL iTunes audio to be offered as 128k Protected AAC and 256k AAC at the same time.

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.
post #87 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

And then you offered some moral guidance, right?

No comment.

Kidding. Yes, I did but after Christmas morning. Would have felt too scroogish to give a stern lecture on the immorality of digital piracy when all the kids are opening presents.

As it was, it was more of a wishy-washy comment to the parent over a stern lecture because she's not MY kid. I prefer not to have other parents lecture my kids so I return that favor by not lecturing theirs.

If iTunes gift cards were easily available then I'd have gotten her one anyway. I think I got her a DRM protected DVD for her birthday instead. The horror.

Vinea
post #88 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...

That's not what I was saying. I said that most people don't look for songs on torrents, not that most songs aren't downloaded from torrents.

Apple has 100 million individual customers for iTunes, as Jobs stated publicaly.

Please get what I say straight for once before disagreeing with it.

Quote:
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

It doesn't matter that I'm not in the primary demographic. I didn't say I was. But, I've commented about my interest in this matter, as have you, since the questions first started, years ago. I do know that friends of mine, as well as myself, who can afford to buy whatever they want, won't buy from digital services because of the quality. As we buy a hundred CD's a year, or more, apiece, that demographic is of value. Kids may be the largest buying group, or the largest group using torrents, but we are the group who can buy the most as individuals.

If I switch to buying 50 albums a year to iTunes, which is now possible, even though the quality is still not up to CD quality, that would be much more than most people buy during that period.

My wife now buys about 100 songs a year, and my daughter buys almost 200 from iTunes over the course of a year.

So there is balance.
post #89 of 161
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.....

If this takes off, and remember that Jobs said today that half of the songs they sell by the end of the year will be DRM free AAC, perhaps they will.

It depends on the need they think they see. It's not the auto manufacturers, but the player manufacturers. They figure that if you'll go to the trouble to encode to disk, you may as well go to MP3, as everyone offers that, and so they don't have to pay for the AAC license as well.

But if everyone uses AAC, then that will change.
post #90 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If iTunes gift cards were easily available then I'd have gotten her one anyway.

Are they not easily available in each country that has an iTunes store? Various different places sell them here in the UK.
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post #91 of 161
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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.

I think they are intending that. Otherwise, without any known commitment from the other big 4, why would Jobs have said that half of the tracks they sell by the end of the year would be DRM free?

A large portion of that is likely to be the indies.
post #92 of 161
Any video link / youtube for Steve on CNBC?
post #93 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?

A fair number of players support AAC. It's pretty easy to license from Dolby labs, and a firmware upgrade is all that would be required.

I myself will be pressing a button to upgrade my EMI tracks at .30 per.

I expect this is a huge winner for Apple and EMI.

I am looking forward to the Beatles launch!

The month's lag is undoubtedly for the reencoding.
post #94 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

It sucks though they now offer it for 1.29. Seems Steve Jobs couldn't keep it at 0.99 because that is what he wanted all along! It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them.

It is slightly risky for both Apple and EMI, so they do have to be compensated somewhat more. Without DRM they are selling regular .m4a ACC files instead of the regular .m4p protected ACC files. That means they can play on devices that support ACC such as the Zune.
post #95 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Shut up.

Bit touchy, are we? I was merely stating my dislike for people who always find some excuse to complain no matter what they're offered. So, cool off dude, will ya?
post #96 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel View Post

Bit touchy, are we? I was merely stating my dislike for people who always find some excuse to complain no matter what they're offered. So, cool off dude, will ya?

Why don't you wait until someone actually makes that complaint before you go off on a rant?

Or do you like arguing with imaginary foes?

"I hate when people say XXXX"

"I see, but no one's said that..."

"Well, they will!"

post #97 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by doemel View Post

Bit touchy, are we? I was merely stating my dislike for people who always find some excuse to complain no matter what they're offered. So, cool off dude, will ya?

Yea. PMS is a bitch isn't it
post #98 of 161
I'm glad we're seeing some movement on this so soon. I thought it might take a while for the big companies to open their eyes.

I think the price increase will cement the decision in the minds of the people who prefer DRM systems. If people are willing to pay more for tracks without DRM and the numbers are significantly more, then I think this could certainly pave the way for the end of DRM and good riddance it will be.

I have a movie that was bought legally on itunes and it was bought with a relative's account. It was put on my machine and I tranferred it to my new one. Now it doesn't play, so every computer I get, I have to tell my relative to change their account settings. It's a stupid system because after that experience, I have no desire to buy anything more from itunes whether it's music or video and I actively discourage people from buying itunes media because of the DRM and I know a lot of people who feel the same way.

I don't think this will negatively affect itunes sales because it's already gained a good deal of popularity and few online stores come close to offering the same song selection.

Also, I'm not sure why people keep going on about the Beatles. They weren't all that good IMO.
post #99 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Why don't you wait until someone actually makes that complaint before you go off on a rant?

you what now? doemel made his comment in direct response to one by dacloo. He even quoted dacloo's comment. So I don't really get where you are coming from.

Writing posts that tell people to shut up, and offer nothing else, are not welcome. Please don't do it.
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post #100 of 161
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's not what I was saying. I said that most people don't look for songs on torrents, not that most songs aren't downloaded from torrents.

Apple has 100 million individual customers for iTunes, as Jobs stated publicaly.

Please get what I say straight for once before disagreeing with it.

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?

Quote:
It doesn't matter that I'm not in the primary demographic. I didn't say I was. But, I've commented about my interest in this matter, as have you, since the questions first started, years ago.

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.

Quote:
I do know that friends of mine, as well as myself, who can afford to buy whatever they want, won't buy from digital services because of the quality. As we buy a hundred CD's a year, or more, apiece, that demographic is of value. Kids may be the largest buying group, or the largest group using torrents, but we are the group who can buy the most as individuals.

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.

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
post #101 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

you what now? doemel made his comment in direct response to one by dacloo. He even quoted dacloo's comment. So I don't really get where you are coming from.

Writing posts that tell people to shut up, and offer nothing else, are not welcome. Please don't do it.

Really?

In what universe is the comment "It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them..." considered to be "bit*h bit*h nag nag"?

Mind your own business.
post #102 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The suggestion that audiophiles are a major demographic of interest is well...

I'm not sure if it really is all that laughable. Surely audiophiles buy way more music per-person than other demographics? So, the fact there aren't many is counterbalanced by the amount of music each one buys. One would think that they'll be attracted by this new offering due to the bit rate increase more than anything else.

I suppose it also depends how you define audiophile. I guess I don't really fit, I suppose I'm more of an "audio enthusiast". How many of those are there?
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post #103 of 161
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Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Really?

In what universe is the comment "It would be really great if the DRM free songs didn't complement the "normal" tunes, but *replaced* them..." considered to be "bit*h bit*h nag nag"?

I think referring to it as "bitching and nagging" was going a bit OTT, but dacloo was moaning about the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Mind your own business.

This is "my own business" because you posted in a public forum that I can read. It would be none of my business if you'd sent it as a PM.
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post #104 of 161
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Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Are they not easily available in each country that has an iTunes store? Various different places sell them here in the UK.

Probably. Easily available meaning my local Apple store had not opened yet and I don't believe that I've seen them anywhere else. Of course, I haven't looked that hard. And this was 2004 I think? Can't recall but it wasn't a current gen Nano but the previous plastic one.

Vinea
post #105 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is good news, the only two small anoyances right now are; 1. The tracks cost more, if one still wants to go with .99c a song thing that will still encompass DRM. Contrary to some beliefs in this thread I don't think this is a risky move, it can only mean higher sales and more profit for both companies IMO. 2. The other little niggle now is the gap where only a certain amount of songs on iTunes will be DRM free thus causing confusion. "Is this a DRM free song?" "Will the song I'm searching for be DRM free" Etc. etc.

I think a better idea would have been to drop DRM completey for all EMI content and keep existing bitrate songs DRM free and .99c, and make them also 1.29c at double bitrate. This is the only solution IMO that could please all people properly, both consumers and audiophiles.

Most people don't know or care about DRM. Most people have a very small percentage of purchased music on their iPods. This is just another layer of choice for audiophiles and the huge number of whiners who still won't buy from iTunes at .99c, $1.29, whatever... I'm 100% for EMI's willingness to take the leap.

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post #106 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think referring to it as "bitching and nagging" was going a bit OTT, but dacloo was moaning about the price.

A bit? And according to you, disagreeing is synonymous with "moaning"?
post #107 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

And according to you, disagreeing is synonymous with "moaning"?

No, not necessarily. I don't think dacloo's post is a full-blown moan, but it's on its way there.
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post #108 of 161
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Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I'm not sure if it really is all that laughable. Surely audiophiles buy way more music per-person than other demographics? So, the fact there aren't many is counterbalanced by the amount of music each one buys. One would think that they'll be attracted by this new offering due to the bit rate increase more than anything else.

I suppose it also depends how you define audiophile. I guess I don't really fit, I suppose I'm more of an "audio enthusiast". How many of those are there?

Um...if you provide any industry statistics I'm more than willing to accept the correction. Whatever the definition used in the survey is acceptable as long as it isn't too odd.

I'm also unwilling to assert that 256K lossy AAC is acceptable for audiophiles but not being in that demographic I don't really know. I dunno that I'd still classify myself as "enthusiast" given how little I listen to music as an independent activity anymore (ie not leave something playing the background).

I might use that as a definition: An audiophile is someone that makes listening to music a significant independent activity of thier lives.

But I dunno what that does to audiophiles that are always tweaking their setups over just listening...

Vinea
post #109 of 161
I really like that for albums it isn't a price increase. I buy mostly full albums. Great for me all around
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post #110 of 161
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Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Um...if you provide any industry statistics I'm more than willing to accept the correction.

My post wasn't intended as a correction, more of a musing really; hence the scattering of question marks, supposes, guesses, thinkings etc. I don't know one way or the other. I don't have any surveys or such like to offer, sorry.
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post #111 of 161
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Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I'm also unwilling to assert that 256K lossy AAC is acceptable for audiophiles

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I might use that as a definition: An audiophile is someone that makes listening to music a significant independent activity of thier lives.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

But I dunno what that does to audiophiles that are always tweaking their setups over just listening...

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post #112 of 161
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Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

My post wasn't intended as a correction, more of a musing really; hence the scattering of question marks, supposes, guesses, thinkings etc. I don't know one way or the other. I don't have any surveys or such like to offer, sorry.

I didn't take it as such (correction) but of the entire post that was the only sarcastic part so if I were wrong then correction would be appropriate...

But given the relative failure of audiophile formats and smallness of market for "audiophile" grade components I'd say its a small segment. I guess some folks count Pioneer Elite as audiophile grade *cough*Tweeter*cough* but I think typically most audiophiles would not.

Vinea
post #113 of 161
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.....

Pioneer sells car CD players that can play AAC files from CD's. They tend to be on the higher end of the price scale though. I'm sure there are other brands but that is the one that I can speak of off the top of my head.
post #114 of 161
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Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Pioneer sells car CD players that can play AAC files from CD's. They tend to be on the higher end of the price scale though. I'm sure there are other brands but that is the one that I can speak of off the top of my head.

I looked on Crutchfield. They offer Pioneer, Sony, Alpine, Kenwood,
Panasonic, and Clarion CD/receivers which play MP3,WMA,AAC CDs.
post #115 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

Why don't you wait until someone actually makes that complaint before you go off on a rant?

Or do you like arguing with imaginary foes?

"I hate when people say XXXX"

"I see, but no one's said that..."

"Well, they will!"


Well if a sentence that starts with "It sucks though" is not indicative of a complaint to you I don't know what is
post #116 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Except that I don't agree. Whwt they've done is fair, and is a result of a carefully negotiated compromise.

I agree. Why whine over an extra 30cents? Just pay 99cents for your music and if you want drm free just pull the cushions off the couch and get the rest of it.
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post #117 of 161
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.
post #118 of 161
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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.

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.
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post #119 of 161
yea, Goldfrapp is on their--Im so excited. This is great news from a moral prospective.
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post #120 of 161
This is fantastic news. And this is a product I would buy. I do not shop on the iTunes music store because of DRM.

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Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files, and you can still only sync iPods with iTunes. This announcement mean dick all to people who want to use a different player or different software.

Research your views before throwing out such statements. Other music players do support AAC (not all, but many) as has already been established in this thread. More music players will support AAC as time progresses, AAC is a far superior standard to the archaic mp3, and it is also far more stable as a format. This is a wonderful step in the right direction. Oh, and if a company can get business from the iTunes Music Store, they will be much more interested in embracing this standard.

That said, here are two specific points.

“No, you still need an iPod to play AAC files…”
No you don’t. You can use these tracks with any other program compatible with AAC. Furthermore, some other programs will happily convert the AAC tracks for you, and you can convert these tracks in iTunes yourself! If you want mp3 files, convert them to mp3 in iTunes, and use them anywhere you want. The bit rate is high enough that you can do this without any serious loss in quality. How come nobody has mentioned this?

“This announcement mean[s] disk [to] all [the] people who want to use a different [mp3] player…”
No, it doesn’t. You can get these high quality tracks from iTunes, transfer or port them over to your other players or programs, and be as happy as ever. You get all the other benefits of the iTunes music store too. Easy browsing, downloading, well-populated information, album artwork. You just have to work a little more to do it, but you should already be used to that as you’re not using an iPod.
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