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

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Comments

  • Reply 141 of 160
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    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?
  • Reply 142 of 160
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    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/
  • Reply 143 of 160
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    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?
  • Reply 144 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    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, that?s 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.



    Quote:

    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
  • Reply 145 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    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
  • Reply 146 of 160
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    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.
  • Reply 147 of 160
    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).
  • Reply 148 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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!
  • Reply 149 of 160
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    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
  • Reply 150 of 160
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    Quote:



    Thanks for the link.
  • Reply 151 of 160
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Well, this is great news. Finally a good reason to shop at the iTunes Store.
  • Reply 152 of 160
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    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
  • Reply 153 of 160
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    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?
  • Reply 154 of 160
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    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.
  • Reply 155 of 160
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,695member
    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
  • Reply 156 of 160
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 157 of 160
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    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.
  • Reply 158 of 160
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    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.
  • Reply 159 of 160
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    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.
  • Reply 160 of 160
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


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



    Thanks for the reply. I'm glad I could help.
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