Originally Posted by Wally
Wow. Talk about conspiracy theory. First, the App store is only for the iPhone not for all Mac software. Apple has not declared any plans to turn the App store into one repository for all Mac software. Second, the reason they do that for the iPhone is so that they can monetize software distribution (which works equally as well for the developer as it does for Apple) and so they can offer a level of security that is lacking in the Windows mobile world. Apple is not planning that for the Mac and even if they did - buying Adobe CSX would cost the same as buying it directly from Apple because the developer decides the price - not Apple and that goes for the App store too.
You really need to remember your own comments. I stated that I don't want to be locked into buying my software and hardware from one vendor. To which you replied that I must not own a Mac. I wasn't jumping into an Apple conspiracy, just trying to point out that I can buy software for my Mac from multiple sources. The only truly practical place to buy video for the AppleTV is from iTunes.
I agree with you about the Apple TV as I stated in my previous post. Right now it sucks. As to your complaint about limited formats - that can be said about a lot of other devices - the Roku, Zune, PSP, but with most of those devices (and yes even the Apple TV), there are programmers that create ways to add that functionality on.
Even the PSP supports more video formats than just one. And hacking a device shouldn't be the ONLY way to unlock additional format support.
As to your concern that the Apple TV becoming your "only option" - that is absurd. There is no way for the Apple TV in it's current state to become the iPod of the video world - not yet at least. The iPod would not have become as popular as it is today if it was released with the quality of the Apple TV. If Apple wants the Apple TV to become it's "4th leg", then they will need to devote some attention to it.
That's what my I'm talking about, a theoretical situation where AppleTV or at least iTunes videos have reached the same level of the iPod's marketshare. Why anyone would want that is beyond me. It's okay with the iPod because iTunes is only one of many sources of content, but as I already stated the only really good place to get video content for the AppleTV is the iTunes Store.
Conspiracies aside, look at the history of the iTunes Store and you'll see why the movie industry doesn't want Apple to "control" distribution. The music labels tried several times to hike download prices up - Apple rejected that. Then they wanted a piracy tax from Apple for each iPod - Apple rejected that. Apple turned all that down because they are selling directly to the end-user who will assuredly blame Apple for the price hike and Apple doesn't want their investment tarnished by fluctuating pricing schemes and confusing rights-management.
And look at the flip side. When was the last time the iTunes Store actually had a sale worth mentioning? Has there ever been one? When was the last time an album dropped in price on the iTunes Store? Has an album ever gotten cheaper? This is one area where physical media definitely has an advantage. Retailers need to clear shelf space so will actually be forced to lower prices. Digital distribution has no real such concerns. Likewise, one vendor having control will also provide no reason for them to lower prices. Apple even more so has no reasons to lower prices since the more videos you buy, the more you lock yourself into their hardware.
Maybe you find iTunes prices reasonable. I don't. I regularly buy music at cheaper prices than iTunes provides.
Your Walmart CD/Walmart CD-Player analogy doesn't really apply here since you can purchase un-DRM'd tracks from iTunes.
I've mostly been referring to video, which you can't buy without DRM from any legitimate source, physical or digital. Which is where the analogy fits perfectly. If I buy an iTunes video, where can I play it? Only on Apple's hardware or via Apple's Software. If I buy a Sony DVD, where can I play it? In any DVD player, not just Sony's DVD players.
As to your analogy, do you expect Apple to add PCI slots to the iMac and Mac mini so they can keep the PCI industry happy?
No, what I'm saying is that Apple has made it unprofitable for hardware manufacturers to support the Mac, be it mp3 players or any computer hardware that can't use Firewire or USB. Would the percentage of Mac owners using a non-iPod mp3 player even be visible on a pie chart? Doubtful.
There is where you're wrong. The whole point of this ecosystem is to take control away from Apple so do you think that they will let Apple be a part of this? This isn't conspiracy either - look at the MP3 music available from the big three music labels - you can buy un-DRM'd tracks from Amazon, Napster and the Zune marketplace - but not iTunes even though Apple has publicly backed (and even instigated) such an initiative. The music labels want to wrangle distribution control from Apple so they can control pricing.
Considering that the diagram they showed had iTunes as a part of the vendor cloud, you're back into conspiracy mode until they actually roll it out and exclude iTunes. As for pricing, the studios already control pricing. It is their product after all.
I personally have no problems with Apple's current iTunes structure - not because I'm a "fanboy" who blindly likes anything Apple does - but because it works for me. I have not been inconvenienced by Apple's Fairplay system. It has not interfered with how I use my music, if it did I wouldn't use it. That's not to say that other people might not like it - but they have other choices as well now, so they are not "locked" into buying music only from Apple.
And Apple's system has inconvenienced me. That's why I purchase nothing from me, but either buy it on CD (my preferred method) or I'll go look for it for it on Amazon's mp3 store. I stop by the Amazon store every morning to see what album is on sale that day. I've picked up lots of great music for around $1.99 an album. And don't have to worry about it playing on any media device I own.
A "universal download scheme" is a subtle way for the big studios to control pricing. They don't care if there are 10,000 vendors out there selling their movies - they want that. But remember - this is about monetization. Who cares if you have 10,000 vendors to buy movies from if they all come from a few big studios. All the studios need to do when they decide they want a raise is hike prices up. If they decide that a download should now cost $20 guess what - the vendors will be forced to raise prices too. That is the control they want to wrangle from Apple.
Back to conspiracy theory mode. Apple's iPod/iTunes system is just a way for Apple to have control. If the studios wanted they could price every DVD at $50 and if the retailers wanted to charge less than that, they would have to take the loss. The same goes in the digital world. Providing a universal system changes none of that except opening up the field to more vendors, who may in fact actually be willing to charge less than Apple to gain customers.
Sorry, but Apple is no more your friend, is in no way looking out for you any more than any of the movie studios. But so many people, yourself included, seem to believe otherwise. If the studios were to raise prices, Jobs will just come out and shake his and pass the blame onto the studios saying they were forced to do it, all the while trying to hide a smirk because he knows none of the bad press will stick with Apple.
These studios all talk about "choice" but in the end, we will have no choice but to pay whatever they decide we pay.
They already have that power, whether or not you want to realize it. But they also know what the market will support. The conspiracy theory that if they can defeat Apple then prices will skyrocket is just that, a conspiracy theory.