I Hate Cnet!!!!

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  • Reply 21 of 40
    I'll back up Kick the windows guys in our office rip into WMA. One guy thinks WMP is so cool. I used it for ages before iTunes came out on PC. I can't stand that software. I setup some new users on itunes and they rip into AAC and one of them uses MP3. (They love iTunes incidentally.)
  • Reply 22 of 40
    My brother rips to WMA, because that's how his computer does it. I'm a member of other web forums where there was a lot of interest in iTunes, until the Windows users found out that their WMA files wouldn't play with it. Most of them are using Napster now.



    WMA is a reality, and to ignore it for stupid political reasons, and thus raise a barrier to people switching to your software, would be asinine.



    The geeks and whatnot either rip in MP3 (or steal MP3 over thievery networks), or they may be "free this, free that" junkies who swear by Ogg for political reasons. The first group may be amenable to Apple's offering, but they're most likely used to stealing their music. The second group won't come to iTunes until Ogg Vorbis support is added, which will probably be the Tuesday after never.



    But far larger than either of these groups is the Joe User category, who don't know an MP3 from a WMA from an AAC -- and they shouldn't be expected to. Music files should simply be music files. Whatever they've created in the past should simply be playable in iTunes out of the box. If they've been ripping MP3s with MusicMatch, those should (and will) play in iTunes. If they have been using Windows Media Player, they will have been ripping songs as WMA. Why expect those using the default media player for their OS to go through the tedious hassle of re-ripping? That's damn arrogant, and it's a fairly sizable barrier.



    Particularly when Napster, for instance, offers a service that's pretty much a match to Apple's in terms of price, DRM structure and catalogue. Most people are looking to buy music, not buy an iPod. If iTunes is going to be a successful trojan horse for the iPod it has to get those Joe Users to buy their music from iTunes, not from Napster. However, from just a service perspective, Napster or MusicMatch are better services for ANYONE who has ripped WMA files in the past than iTunes is, because you don't lose your existing music.



    Asking people like my brother or the Windows users at other forums I've gone to to spend hours upon hours re-ripping music for the "privelege" of using iTunes is abominably arrogant on Apple's part.



    Apple should make switching to iTunes utterly seamless for any Windows music lover, regardless of which software they've been using to rip their music files in the past. Adding WMA playback support is an easy way to do that.



    Apple already has icons built into iTunes for WMA music files. It's about time they got around to using them.
  • Reply 23 of 40
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Just a couple of notes...







    'stupid' 'asinine' 'thievery'...



    Want to continue that trend in light of our recent communiques?







    Ogg playback *is* in iTunes - an Ogg plugin exists, I use it.







    I'm sorry you seem to think that any disagreement with your position is a personal attack. FWIW, we disagree, and your 'arguments' are... well... uncompelling. *shrug* No skin off my nose.
  • Reply 24 of 40
    I wasn't calling you stupid or asinine. I was saying it would be stupid of Apple to leave potential users out in the cold for no good reason.



    As I said, I know plenty of people online and a few IRL who would be using iTunes now if it would play their existing library of music. Apple has potentially lost those customers, and for no good reason.



    And as for "thievery" that's just a fact: copying music you have not paid for is stealing, no matter how you try to rationalize it. There are people who rationalize all sorts of crimes, after all. Doesn't make it any less criminal.
  • Reply 25 of 40
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    I wasn't calling you stupid or asinine. I was saying it would be stupid of Apple to leave potential users out in the cold for no good reason.



    (So... about the same as the prior incident where you weren't directly insulted but got upset? Shoe. Foot. Other. Coexistence is harmony, coexistence is bliss, ommmmmm...)



    Quote:

    As I said, I know plenty of people online and a few IRL who would be using iTunes now if it would play their existing library of music. Apple has potentially lost those customers, and for no good reason.



    See above. Traditionally, anyone who gets into bed with MS by allowing their data formats to continue even in coexistence is going to get crushed. That's the nature of a monopoly. It's not silly politics, it's simple business. (Look at the history of word processors, for goodness' sake... every single time a competitor has included easy Word import/export, they've gone by the wayside. You simply can't hope to offer a simple migration path between your product and that of a monopoly and expect that the flow will be in your direction. It has never worked.)



    As I said before, and I'll say again, Apple may just in fact allow for WMA playback at some point in the future. It will mean one of two things: AAC has become entrenched enough that it can peacefully coexist without fear, or that WMA has already won. Right now it's a toss up, and early capitulation on this will almost certainly slide it towards the latter case quickly.



    Right now Apple's only gem to dangle in front of the RIAA and labels is the iPod/iTMS *combo*. Napster, et al, are simply going to be struggling to make any money, period... economies of scale don't help you when you're still losing money on every sale. Apple has the iPod as the money maker, and the iTMS as the carrot for the user.



    You talk of the user re-ripping... you're forgetting about the labels. As soon as iTMS sells and/or the iPod can playback WMA, the labels will simply *only* encode into WMA and call it good. It will, in fact, save them money, since one rip now gets them *all* the online stores. Voila, they've just killed off AAC, and MS has won. Again.



    Consumers will make their own decisions based on what's right for their needs. Apple has offered them a rather tasty morsel in the iPod/iTMS combo, that no one else has right now. They won't get all the consumers, but they'll get many, and they'll sell iPods because of it, and make money.



    Which is more than the other online stores will manage, I believe.



    Quote:

    And as for "thievery" that's just a fact: copying music you have not paid for is stealing, no matter how you try to rationalize it. There are people who rationalize all sorts of crimes, after all. Doesn't make it any less criminal.



    So... anyone who uses MP3s is criminal?



    Just trying to figure out how you leapt from MP3s to 'thievery'... Ahhhh... twas that comment of mine re: file-swapping friends. Yeah, so? Those three are a tiny subset of the users I know that prefer MP3. Blowing it out of proportion into a strawman is just... (oooooh, wait for it) silly. (And inflammatory, and antagonistic, and, and, and...)



    And this is getting way off track.



    Quick question, since I honestly don't know: when you encode in WMA through WMP, is it locked to that computer via DRM? AAC files from iTMS are tied to the purchaser, but AAC files encoded from CDs are not. Would explain the complete lack of WMA files on P2P systems, as far as I've seen... Would be curious as to the answer...
  • Reply 26 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    See above. Traditionally, anyone who gets into bed with MS by allowing their data formats to continue even in coexistence is going to get crushed. That's the nature of a monopoly. It's not silly politics, it's simple business. (Look at the history of word processors, for goodness' sake... every single time a competitor has included easy Word import/export, they've gone by the wayside. You simply can't hope to offer a simple migration path between your product and that of a monopoly and expect that the flow will be in your direction. It has never worked.)







    But that's different. Other programs offered the ability to take their documents and change them into Word documents. I'm not saying anything like that. While iTunes should be able to PLAY WMA files, it should never be able to RIP them. It's a one way street. Once users are in iTunes, its quality will lock them in, and they won't be creating anymore WMA files.



    The point is to get people into iTunes. Asking people like my brother to re-rip hundreds of songs is not a reasonable request.



    Quote:

    Right now Apple's only gem to dangle in front of the RIAA and labels is the iPod/iTMS *combo*. Napster, et al, are simply going to be struggling to make any money, period... economies of scale don't help you when you're still losing money on every sale. Apple has the iPod as the money maker, and the iTMS as the carrot for the user.



    Napster has its tie in with the Samsung player, to say nothing of what will certainly be close ties to the rest of Roxio's product line. Napster is in this for the long haul. MusicMatch, probably not. BuyMusic, I'm surprised it's still around. But Napster offers a download service that's basically equivalent to Apple's, and doesn't have to worry about being the only product offered by its parent company.



    Quote:

    You talk of the user re-ripping... you're forgetting about the labels. As soon as iTMS sells and/or the iPod can playback WMA, the labels will simply *only* encode into WMA and call it good.



    That would certainly be in violation of their contract with Apple, unless Apple wrote themselves a very poor deal. And if they did, they deserve to get screwed. There's no reason, aside from unfounded paranoia, to think that the labels would somehow try to screw over Apple like this. Apple is their customer, and pays them well. So long as this continues, there's no reason that they would refuse to provide Apple with what Apple requests.



    Quote:

    Consumers will make their own decisions based on what's right for their needs. Apple has offered them a rather tasty morsel in the iPod/iTMS combo, that no one else has right now. They won't get all the consumers, but they'll get many, and they'll sell iPods because of it, and make money.



    But the stupidity is that they're leaving money on the table. My brother wants an iPod. But he will not spend hours upon hours re-ripping his literally hundreds of music files in order to get one. He'll probably get Samsung's player instead and use Napster.



    Quote:

    So... anyone who uses MP3s is criminal?



    Anyone who downloads them off of P2P services most likely is. File-swapping is copyright infringement, and a crime.



    Quote:

    Quick question, since I honestly don't know: when you encode in WMA through WMP, is it locked to that computer via DRM?



    No. Of course not.
  • Reply 27 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland



    WMA is a reality, and to ignore it for stupid political reasons, and thus raise a barrier to people switching to your software, would be asinine.




    Um, not. For Apple to support WMA would be asinine.



    1) Apple has no control over the format, nobody does except Microsoft. At least with MPEG-4, things are done by committee.



    2) WMA is not a single format. There's WMA7 Standard. There's WMA9 Pro. There's a couple more in there probably. Currently very few portables support WMA Pro.



    3) There already exist many stores, devices, apps that use WMA. Let the people who want WMA use those. How can you expect AAC to gain respectability if its largest proponent relents and starts using the competing format?



    4) WMA is deficient in sound quality, encoder variation (none), extensibility, etc.



    Microsoft is giving Gateway, Dell, Creative and others monetary incentives to ignore AAC. That's the game they play. If Apple implements WMA, that's a forfeit to the worst of opponents.
  • Reply 28 of 40
    If Apple doesn't support WMA playback, it's telling many, many customers who have music encoded in WMA to f-off. That's bad business, that's stupid. It treats those who have used WMA -- if only because it was the default on their system -- like enemies.



    And as for sound deficiency, that's debatable. WMA is certainly better than MP3. Most anything is better than MP3.
  • Reply 29 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    If Apple doesn't support WMA playback, it's telling many, many customers who have music encoded in WMA to f-off. That's bad business, that's stupid.



    No, it's telling them they chose the wrong format and they have to adapt. That's how most competing businesses work. Would Apple be extending an olive branch or making a conditional surrender? Why would Apple risk the popularity of AAC by supporting WMA when it's not even the dominant format. In the transition from MP3 to something beter, it's Apple's chance to cement AAC and MPEG-4 in consumerland before the window of opportunity passes.
  • Reply 30 of 40
    So the person who has 2,000 WMA files ripped from all their CDs, and $500 for Apple for an iPod should be turned away because when they ripped their music they didn't have the option to rip to MP3?



    Aside from delusional paranoia, no one has shown any real reason as to how letting WMA for playback only, but not ripping, would lead to the Microsoftian Apocalypse that some seem to fear. If anything, it would let people -- including some I know, and whom I know want to use iPod and iTunes but aren't going to spend hours upon hours upon hours re-ripping all their music to do it -- into the Apple ecosystem by lowering barriers.



    AND LOWERING BARRIERS IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING.



    Once they're in iTunes, there's a lock in -- the DRMed AAC files from the store, and for the high rollers, the iPod. The key is getting them to that lock in. As it is, as I said before, Napster is a better service for my brother, and that's just sad. And it's entirely Apple's fault that he won't be buying an iPod.



    No one has shown anyway that adding playback of another minor format would suddenly lure iTunes users away from iTunes and to a Windows service -- unless, of course, the sound quality was just that much better, which from experience I know isn't the case. Until they do, Apple should side with the side of open arms.
  • Reply 31 of 40
    ryaxnbryaxnb Posts: 583member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Not that I've seen. Maybe Kirkland has access to a user base I've never seen, but if my experience is anything close to norm, people rip into MP3 almost exclusively still, with WMA being a distant, distant second. (Heck, I think OGG has the lead over WMA among the people I know, and that's only because of one uber-geek who insists that anything not 100% GPL is a crime against humanity. No. Really. He's said that.)



    Really? Back when my main computer was running Windows XP, I would frequently encode in WMA (non-DRM). Of course, iTunes for Windows wasn't available then with saving a little (96k instead of 128k) space. Of course, iWas a little ignorant. But, my favorite alternative player (keep in mind iTunes wasn't out for PCs then,) Winamp 2 or Winamp3, could play back such files.
  • Reply 32 of 40
    ryaxnbryaxnb Posts: 583member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    (

    You talk of the user re-ripping... you're forgetting about the labels. As soon as iTMS sells and/or the iPod can playback WMA, the labels will simply *only* encode into WMA and call it good. It will, in fact, save them money, since one rip now gets them *all* the online stores. Voila, they've just killed off AAC, and MS has won. Again.




    We just mean NON-DRM WMA
  • Reply 33 of 40
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ryaxnb

    Really? Back when my main computer was running Windows XP, I would frequently encode in WMA (non-DRM). Of course, iTunes for Windows wasn't available then with saving a little (96k instead of 128k) space. Of course, iWas a little ignorant. But, my favorite alternative player (keep in mind iTunes wasn't out for PCs then,) Winamp 2 or Winamp3, could play back such files.



    Then you don't fit the user profile I'm familiar with.



    I went to *great* pains to say that this was *in my experience* with *users I am familiar with*, NOT that it was Absolute Truth(tm).



    Jeez mon. Reading (comprehension) is FUNdamental!
  • Reply 34 of 40
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    So the person who has 2,000 WMA files ripped from all their CDs, and $500 for Apple for an iPod should be turned away because when they ripped their music they didn't have the option to rip to MP3?



    [...]



    LOWERING BARRIERS IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING.




    Exactly. So, if you're Microsoft, you take away the option to rip to MP3, and make it so that anyone who doesn't lower the barrier to their proprietary codec looks bad. The guilty party here is Microsoft, for taking away the option to rip to MP3.



    Now, I agree with the general sentiment that the user shouldn't care one whit what format their music files are in. However, Real and Microsoft absolutely do care, and as long as they do anyone who wants to swim with them has to play politics, too. The user loses, but there's too much money in the status quo for the big boys to care.



    Besides, there is an implied equivalence in your argument between WMA and AAC. AAC is to MPEG-4 as MP3 is to MPEG-2. It's the new MP3, literally. The differences are better audio quality, better metadata support and support for DRM, but it's no harder to legally support AAC than it is to support MP3, and you get the license from the same standards body (MPEG-LA). Or you just link to QuickTime, since Apple's already paid the license fees to support AAC. Supporting FairPlay will also be a simple matter of linking to QT if Apple decides to allow third-party support.



    Quote:

    Once they're in iTunes, there's a lock in -- the DRMed AAC files from the store, and for the high rollers, the iPod. The key is getting them to that lock in. As it is, as I said before, Napster is a better service for my brother, and that's just sad. And it's entirely Apple's fault that he won't be buying an iPod.



    Apple's? Or Microsoft's? Which one denied him the ability to rip into MP3, and so which one locked him into a proprietary format? In terms of the basic file format, AAC is as open as MP3. The odd one out here is WMA. The proprietary codec is WMA. The company trying to lock you into their way of doing things is Microsoft, and the proof is the predicament your brother's in.
  • Reply 35 of 40
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ryaxnb

    We just mean NON-DRM WMA



    But if you want to discuss business viabilities, then ignoring the quickly growing online sales sector is ignorantly short-sighted.



    And I'm still failing to see how it's Apple's fault that someone encoded their music as WMA and can't use the iPod.



    Is it MS's fault that we bought Macs and can't run Wintel games? Of course not. Silly argument.



    If we want PC games, we buy a PC. If someone wants an iPod, they encode in MP3 or AAC. It's not like MP3 tools haven't been available on the PC forfrickinever... if they chose to rip into WMA, that's their decision. *shrug* Poor decision in hindsight for what they want to buy, and they have decisions to make.



    But again, that's neither here nor there.



    Apple adopting WMA playback would, in my opinion, be a good move *ONLY* after they have AAC entrenched firmly enough to withstand the "Oh, well, then we can just encode to WMA and get *everyone*" mentality. Only after AAC has the collectively greater mindshare will that move be a bright one. Until then, forget it, it's too risky for how badly it could go.
  • Reply 36 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    So the person who has 2,000 WMA files ripped from all their CDs, and $500 for Apple for an iPod should be turned away because when they ripped their music they didn't have the option to rip to MP3?



    Yes. 2000 WMA files is what, ~150 CDs? Boohoo. Encode them again. That should only take a couple of days. I used SoundJam to do my 300+ CD collection in college. Then I found LAME and reencoded them all. I'd reencode them all as AAC now, but I know Apple's going to eventually add VBR support eventually.



    Quote:

    Aside from delusional paranoia, no one has shown any real reason as to how letting WMA for playback only, but not ripping, would lead to the Microsoftian Apocalypse that some seem to fear. If anything, it would let people -- including some I know, and whom I know want to use iPod and iTunes but aren't going to spend hours upon hours upon hours re-ripping all their music to do it -- into the Apple ecosystem by lowering barriers.



    AND LOWERING BARRIERS IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING.



    It's not delusional paranoia. It's justified. It's exactly what Microsoft wants. Why do you think no other major brand portables support AAC?



    Quote:

    Once they're in iTunes, there's a lock in -- the DRMed AAC files from the store, and for the high rollers, the iPod. The key is getting them to that lock in. As it is, as I said before, Napster is a better service for my brother, and that's just sad. And it's entirely Apple's fault that he won't be buying an iPod.



    Napster's a better service for you brother because he's too lazy to rerip his CDs?



    Quote:

    No one has shown anyway that adding playback of another minor format would suddenly lure iTunes users away from iTunes and to a Windows service -- unless, of course, the sound quality was just that much better, which from experience I know isn't the case. Until they do, Apple should side with the side of open arms.



    So basically you're saying it's okay for Apple to suck Microsoft's dick just because it can instantly own any market it decides to enter. Great. No thanks. It's not a ringing endorsement of AAC when you go out and support the competition.



    If there really is demand, then a third party plugin will eventually surface.
  • Reply 37 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    Yes. 2000 WMA files is what, ~150 CDs? Boohoo. Encode them again.



    Giant waste of time. The iPod and iTunes are good, but they're not so much strikingly and amazingly better than the competition that they're worth wasting hours upon hours of someone's time.



    Quote:

    That should only take a couple of days. I used SoundJam to do my 300+ CD collection in college. Then I found LAME and reencoded them all. I'd reencode them all as AAC now, but I know Apple's going to eventually add VBR support eventually.



    Wow, some of us have demanding, overworked schedules, and don't have time to waste re-enconding something that we already have a perfectly good copy of. I certainly wouldn't re-encode all my music again. I wouldn't expect my brother to, either. And Apple shouldn't expect anyone to.



    Quote:

    It's not delusional paranoia. It's justified. It's exactly what Microsoft wants. Why do you think no other major brand portables support AAC?



    Because it's a fairly new standard with little to no market penetration outside of iTunes users. That will change, though. MusicMatch is adding support for it. Others will follow suit.



    Quote:

    Napster's a better service for you brother because he's too lazy to rerip his CDs?



    That your time is worthless doesn't mean everyone's is.



    Quote:

    So basically you're saying it's okay for Apple to suck Microsoft's dick just because it can instantly own any market it decides to enter. Great. No thanks. It's not a ringing endorsement of AAC when you go out and support the competition.



    It's not supporting the competition to allow playback of songs ripped elsewhere. It's lowering the barrier to entry -- something you seem to want to set as high as possible.



    I want Apple to steal Microsoft's customers by luring them into using iTunes. Once they start buying iTunes songs, they're pretty much hooked and can't leave the program easily. It's like drugs, the key is to get them to take that first taste. The easiest way to do that is to lower the bar to entry.



    That's my position, and none of your inane, repetitive arguments, which are based on nothing but fanaticism and paranoia, are going to change my mind. I am out of this thread. There's nothing more to say here.
  • Reply 38 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kirkland

    Giant waste of time. The iPod and iTunes are good, but they're not so much strikingly and amazingly better than the competition that they're worth wasting hours upon hours of someone's time.



    Listening to music is a waste of time.



    Quote:

    Wow, some of us have demanding, overworked schedules, and don't have time to waste re-enconding something that we already have a perfectly good copy of. I certainly wouldn't re-encode all my music again. I wouldn't expect my brother to, either. And Apple shouldn't expect anyone to.



    Apple wants you to believe your WMA copies AREN'T perfectly good copies.



    Quote:

    Because it's a fairly new standard with little to no market penetration outside of iTunes users. That will change, though. MusicMatch is adding support for it. Others will follow suit.



    It's not as new as you think. It's not going to be winning any converts if the press starts printing all sorts of articles on how Apple has surrended to peer pressure.



    Quote:

    That your time is worthless doesn't mean everyone's is.



    Nice jab. I'm efficient and you're not. We knew this already.



    Quote:

    It's not supporting the competition to allow playback of songs ripped elsewhere. It's lowering the barrier to entry -- something you seem to want to set as high as possible.



    You seem to want AAC to fail. Please tell me how built-in support for WMA is going to help AAC at all. It just gives content providers even less of a reason to use MPEG-4 or QuickTime.



    Quote:

    I want Apple to steal Microsoft's customers by luring them into using iTunes. Once they start buying iTunes songs, they're pretty much hooked and can't leave the program easily. It's like drugs, the key is to get them to take that first taste. The easiest way to do that is to lower the bar to entry.



    So Apple is going to steal Microsoft customers by making the choice easy for content providers, binding itself to a competitor's product and licensing schemes, and proving to fickle analysts that WMA is dominant?



    Quote:

    That's my position, and none of your inane, repetitive arguments, which are based on nothing but fanaticism and paranoia, are going to change my mind. I am out of this thread. There's nothing more to say here.



    I was just about to tell you to shut up too. What happens when Apple supports WMA for a while, then Microsoft turns around and seizes the moment by implementing a new version with new licensing terms that Apple would choke under? What happens to AAC when NOBODY is providing worthwhile content in the format? Supporting WMA would be playing right into Microsoft's hands.



    WMA7 is old technology. Apple shouldn't be expected to support it. If there's enough demand for it, somebody will write a fackin' plugin.
  • Reply 39 of 40
    The problem obviously is that there are all sorts of files to be found on file-sharing networks. If the iPod and iTunes doesn't support them all, they are worthless to the downloaders. Boo hoo. They can't play all their stolen music on their iPods. How much money does that segment of the population have, anyway?



    But I could see an issue if someone does download a .wma file and they can't figure out why it won't work on their iPod. As others have said, the file format should be transparent to the user. In this case it's either glaringly obvious or a cause for confusion.
  • Reply 40 of 40
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pensieve



    But I could see an issue if someone does download a .wma file and they can't figure out why it won't work on their iPod. As others have said, the file format should be transparent to the user. In this case it's either glaringly obvious or a cause for confusion.




    I think it would become quite apparent once they learn what the WMA acronym means. I just don't see how WMA would fit in any Apple branded product. If we do support WMA, why would we stop there? It'd be even more confusing to the unsuspecting user when he finds out there's no support for WMV, the Microsoft Media Server protocol, and other associated technologies.



    1) WMA is one part of a set of Microsoft formats. We'd have to integrate them all. We'd have to bend over.



    2) Microsoft has complete control over that format. They control everything...most importantly the licensing. Microsoft will us in the ass.



    3) Supporting Windows Media means a greater chance the format will dominate in all forms of content delivery from the web to more traditional forms of broadcasting to consumer electronics...
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