CNN dusts off iTunes subscription service rumor

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    You what?



    What part of that is confusing?
  • Reply 42 of 88
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    What part of that is confusing?



    I don't get what exactly you are saying or how it relates to what I said.
  • Reply 43 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    As FairPlay stands at the moment, iTunes does validate content every so often. That's how Apple can provide the "de-authorise all" button in iTunes Store accounts. The button is there in case people forget to de-authorise machines before selling them, formatting them etc. etc. If you press the button, previously authorised copies of iTunes will continue to play protected content, but will at some point stop playing said content.



    Let me try this again.



    The iTunes servers don't routinely validate content. They never validate content and never have validated content. What they do is validate a certificate between your iTunes program and your iTunes account on Apple's servers. This way, Apple needs to only store your 5 certificates and not info for the DRM of every song.



    Once your certificate has been authenticated, the iTunes program on your computer will then allow you to play the protected-AAC songs that match the account in question.



    I'd love to get a real answer on this, but I really don't see FairPlay as have an implemented time limiter.



    PS: Perhaps I'm tired and reading too much into your post... or not enough.
  • Reply 44 of 88
    I agree with all this stuff

    buy music

    buy or rent movies

    subscribe to your TV shows

    etc.



    but isn't interesting that p2p may be playing a role in this?

    check out bob cringely (cringely.com a few weeks ago). There, he makes the following point:



    servers are expensive and when it comes to something resembling "broadcast" or even the overnight rush of demand for, say, a newly released DVD, the bandwidth costs are insurmountable. he says something like the amount of bits sold in 1st-day sales of the DVD of "Cars" was like more data than, I dunno, the entire library of congress or something ridiculous. Anyway....

    Cringely suggests that the hard drive in the apple TV will basically be a p2p node so that when "Ratatouille" or whatever next Pixar thing comes out, people can get it via the much much more economical p2p distribution. Fast, cheap, viral. Bam.
  • Reply 45 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benny-boy View Post


    check out bob cringely (cringely.com a few weeks ago). There, he makes the following point:



    servers are expensive and when it comes to something resembling "broadcast" or even the overnight rush of demand for, say, a newly released DVD, the bandwidth costs are insurmountable. he says something like the amount of bits sold in 1st-day sales of "Cars" was like more data than, I dunno, the entire library of congress or something ridiculous. Anyway....

    Cringely suggests that the hard drive in the apple TV will basically be a p2p node so that when "Ratatouille" or whatever next Pixar thing comes out, people can get it via the much much more economical p2p distribution. Fast, cheap, viral. Bam.



    Cringely also started the article commenting about we don't know what that mysterious HDD in the AppleTV is for, despite Jobs adequately demonstrating its purpose during the MacWorld keynote. I've been a fan of Cringely's articles for many a year but I think he's losing it. Possibly from using a Dvorakian keyboard made from Dvorak.
  • Reply 46 of 88
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Let me try this again.



    The iTunes servers don't routinely validate content. They never validate content and never have validated content. What they do is validate a certificate between your iTunes program and your iTunes account on Apple's servers. This way, Apple needs to only store your 5 certificates and not info for the DRM of every song.



    Once your certificate has been authenticated, the iTunes program on your computer will then allow you to play the protected-AAC songs that match the account in question.



    I'd love to get a real answer on this, but I really don't see FairPlay as have an implemented time limiter.



    PS: Perhaps I'm tired and reading too much into your post... or not enough.



    Ah yes that is clearer now, thanks. It seems things stemmed from my use of the word "content".



    Just to expand on what you said:



    The tracks on Apple's iTunes servers are stored un-encrypted. When you create an account at the iTunes Music Store, a set of keys is created and stored on Apple's servers. These keys are transferred (using an obfuscated encryption algorithm) to your iTunes client, which stores them in an encrypted key store file. When you purchase a track from iTunes, the client downloads the track and uses a key from the key store to encrypt the file. Every so often the store creates new keys for use with future files (the key for files you've already got never changes, but not all files use the same key and the number of different keys can grow). When you want to play a file on iTunes, iTunes must have the necessary key. If it doesn't have the necessary key, it logs on to the iTunes store. If the iTunes Store sees that the number of authorised iTunes clients is less than 5, it then transfers all the keys associated with that account to the requesting client, so that it can decrypt and play all files files associated with that account.



    What I was saying is that in my experience, iTunes client does from time to time check to see if it is still authorised. If it is not, it will delete the keys in its key store and no longer be able to play protected content.



    You are right that the current structure of FairPlay would not seem suitable for a rental service. But I really don't see why that should matter, it's not like Apple can't possibly come up with "FairPlayRental" or whatever.
  • Reply 47 of 88
    gomezgomez Posts: 2member
    Just look at these industries before iTunes/Napster/Netflix/etc.



    You went to your local record store and bought a CD/Tape/Record; you never rented it.



    For movies, at least for me, I buy the movies that I really like, but there are many movies that I consider "movie's I would only rent". So I usually went to Blockbuster and picked up the recently released movie watched it once and returned for a cheap price. Basically, I don't buy my movies, I rent them. TV shows have moved into this category as well, since you can pick up season 1 of Lost or Seinfeld at Blockbusters as well.



    While there are some software issues to deal with on the iPod, imagine what this would do for one who owns an Apple TV (this could also work for your computer as well).



    You can sit on your couch, go to the movies menu on the Apple TV and select "Search iTunes Store" (as an example). There you can search for a movie on iTunes and when you select one, it can ask " Do you want to "Buy this Movie" or "Rent this Movie"?" You can select "Rent this Movie" and then the Apple TV would take the money ($4.99 maybe?) out of the iTunes Store account that is current synced up and you can begin watching the movie/TV show immediately.



    My idea doesn't really use Subscription, but rather Rentals.
  • Reply 48 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I did say "subscription to digital online music" so an analogy about magazines isn't really congruous.

    I like that idea, but it's not for me. Any info on how successful this eMusic subscription service is?



    It's perfectly congruous. And, if you haven't heard, eMusic is right behind iTunes as the most successful online music service. Their only problem/challenge, is that they don't deal in mainstream but independent music.



    Here, read this article from USA Today:

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/product...0-emusic_x.htm



    I found it by Googling "emusic 2nd place". For your subscription, last time I heard (they recently altered their arrangement, but I don't have the details) you got like 40 song downloads a month for your monthly subscription.



    Re-read my original post. It's very logical if you've been watching this space for a while. --And, yes... yes, I think its "high" to assume Apple is going to radically alter its philosophy and DRM structure to begin "expiring" content. From what I read elsewhere, this is the most logical progression of what they're trying to achieve. I'm pretty sure their are a lot of folks who subscribe to the Daily Show on iTunes. Usually folks like me who don't have cable, and the economics of a subscription (similar to how magazines give a discount if you SUBSCRIBE) are much more palatable than buying each episode individiually.



    I'm surprised you're not familiar with "music clubs". Columbia House doesn't ring a bell? If you search for music on Amazon, you'll see that they have a music club two, and offer different price structures for members who are subscribed, versus those who don't. A LOT of companies offer these type of subscription services for ardent music fans. WIN-WIN-WIN type stuff. e-Myth indeed.



    Just my two cents, aye.
  • Reply 49 of 88
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm not saying you are incorrect, but the issue could lie somewhere besides FairPlay. For instance, what if the iPod's OS will auto-deny any Protected-AAC audio if the iPod has not been synced within 30 days.



    Also, I know for certain this doesn't occur when an iTunes account on a computer hasn't had access to the internet in over 30 days.



    I suppose it could be that way. Why it eventually stop on iPod but not on iTunes is a bit of a mystery.



    At any rate, whether or not the current version of Fairplay doesn't feature a timebomb, I really don't see how one couldn't be added in Fairplay 3 for the purposes of subscribed media.
  • Reply 50 of 88
    Okay, here's some more details on eMusic, and their recent subscription plan changes:

    http://www.laptopmag.com/News/Portab...tion-Plans.htm

    Quote:

    Three new monthly plans are being offered to existing eMusic subscribers: the Basic Connoisseur Plan (100 downloads per month for $24.99), The Plus Connoisseur Plan (200 downloads per month for $49.99), and the Premium Connoisseur Plan (300 downloads per month for $74.99).

    Existing members can sign up for the new plan at eMusic's Web site.



    We're happy to see eMusic expand its download cap from 99 tracks per month to 300 tracks per month, as its DRM-free music, available in the universal MP3 format, beats all the competition when it comes to transferring tunes to a digital audio player.



    NOW, here's why it makes sense for iTunes. Apple has ALREADY implemented "subscription" services, but ONLY in limited ways. Apple lets you get "season passes" to television shows you pick. These subscriptions promise to automatically deliver the latest show the MOMENT its available and your iTunes sees it. You pay for the season, and when the show is released, iit downloads. This is the same way podcasts work, except that this is for PAID content. The reason this is so vital, is because these automatic downloads NEGATE the need for people to repeatedly return to their computers, if they are using something like Apple TV to view their content. It downloads, then syncs to Apple TV. DONE DEAL.



    People who have a television in their bedrooms with Apple TV, only need to click the remote, to see the content that downloaded last evening, or last night, or early that morning. They can then watch their Internet-delivered content without ever needing to take action. This is similar to how the service MovieBEAM works, except that it is much more economic. For instance, Apple currently takes pre-orders on movies, and these pre-orders automatically download. You can set your syncing options to have the movie sync to your iPod as soon as its done, so someone could concievably grab their iPod on the way to work in the morning, and watch/listen to the latest podcasts and catch "The Prestige" while having dinner out after work.



    A "subscription" service that works more universally, might allow Apple to offer enhanced pricing for their active users who wish to buy in bulk. How this might play out is anyone's guess, but it really sounds like a no-brainer offering. The only question being, HOW much of a deal is it, and will studios be interested... and even if it works without the studios, due to Apple being able to subsidize its costs more effectively with those from whom they can expect regular business, and as such, increased traffic through their sales channel.



    More cents from me. (Sorry for the pun.)
  • Reply 51 of 88
    jimmytjjimmytj Posts: 10member
    The reference to the volume of P2P volumes vs. iTunes is a pretty good point. A lot more music is obtained from P2P than iTunes and IF Apple wants to reach these users, iTunes current model of song purchases may not be the answer. Since Apple, however, claims that the point of iTunes is to drive iPod sales, Apple may not really care where people get their content. But, if Apple sees iTunes as being a revenue stream all its own, it would make sense for Apple to look at other options for providing users with music.



    With regards to my own opinions on music rentals and subscriptions, I could see myself using both in addition to song purchases (I now only buy music from iTunes). I could see myself renting one of the iTunes Essentials, such as Paris Dinner Party or Halloween music. I could also see myself subscribing to a service that might let me sample music on my iPod prior to making a purchase - I'm thinking something like $10 for 20 songs that I can then either purchase or swap for another one to sample.



    Lastly, if Apple is really looking into P2P services, would this necessarily mean for the purpose of rentals/subscriptions? Couldn't it just be that Apple is looking for technology that might make it unnecessary for Apple to actually house the content that they make available? Is it really necessary for Apple to house content on their own servers when they might just be able to turn iTunes into a store front that just links us to content stored on the rights holders servers?
  • Reply 52 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post


    It's perfectly congruous.



    In the sense the term was being used, it's not. When you stop your subscription to Playboy your magazines don't become unreadable. Sticky pages may make them unreadable, but not canceling a subscription. As we discussed earlier, digital music rentals are often referred to as a subscription, hence the miscommunication.
  • Reply 53 of 88
    there are two reasons i won't touch movies on itunes no matter how they market them.



    one is video quality. if it isn't as good as me renting a movie on blue ray and watching it on a 1080p HD tv, i'm not interest.



    two, and i know i'm in the minority here, but...special features. i've been known to rent or even buy movies solely for the special features, commentaries inparticular. at least with netflix, i know i'm getting the movie i otherwise would've rented at blockbuster and it has all of the features besides the movie. yes, i'm a videophile, i love special features and if the movies on itunes are just the movies, i'm not interested...period. i'm surprised i haven't heard this concern on the forums i read.



    anyway, video quality and special features. until those meet my standards i'm not even going to bother looking into how the movies are distributed.
  • Reply 54 of 88
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    This paragraph is probably completely wrong.



    Automatic rights revocation already exists in iPods for "Fairplay" media. Use an iPod for a month without docking it to a computer and you'll find that you won't be able to play your protected tracks. My sister went a long time between docks, using a wall charger instead of letting the computer charge the iPod, and this has happened to her several times.



    I call that flat out lying bullshit.



    I haven't synched my 2nd gen for almost 2 years now and it still plays just fine, amazingly enough the battery is still good for a few hours at a shot too.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm under the impression that it de-authorizes your iTunes certificate. Nothing specifically invalidates the FairPlay tracks.



    If there is a timeout period, I'm very interested to know what it is.



    If a machine is de-authorized, the iTMS tracks on it are de-authorized and will not play or sync to an iPod until the machine is re-authorized. Tracks on an iPod will play for years without synching.



    If you sync an iPod to a de-authorized machine, the tracks on the iPod that require authorization (from that particular machine) will no longer work. It's so long since I had that problem I forget if they are deleted from the iPod or just disabled.
  • Reply 55 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    In the sense the term was being used, it's not. When you stop your subscription to Playboy your magazines don't become unreadable. Sticky pages may make them unreadable, but not canceling a subscription. As we discussed earlier, digital music rentals are often referred to as a subscription, hence the miscommunication.



    You're mixing everything up. YOU and OTHERS are alternately calling services like Napster and Yahoo Unlimited "subscriptions" (or at least arguing this point), I have and continue to call them RENTALS. Don't mix it up, re-read all my posts if you need to, but you do me a disservice if you dismiss my arguments because of misunderstandings you yourself are introducing into the conversation. Mr. H agrees with this view I subscribe to as well.



    To Review:



    AGREED: Napster, Yahoo Unlimited, Rhapsody are RENTAL services, NOT subscription services (as I previously said). You can even throw Netflix and Blockbuster's online services in as other types of RENTAL services.

    DISAGREED: You keep confusing this. Watch the train of the conversation:
    • CLEVERBOY: "I don't know why people insist on being WEIRD about this. The subscription service will likely HAPPEN, and it will likely be similar to [eMusic] and not similar to [Napster & Other piddly 'RENTAL' services]." (I thought I laid this out clearly)

    • MR. H: "I wish people would stop referring to the service that Napster and the like offer as 'subscription'. It is not. It is rental, and the two are very different. For a true subscription service, see eMusic." (Here, I'm high-fiving Mr.H and agreeing silently.)

    • SOLIPSISM: "I'm not familiar with eMusic subscriptions or music clubs. THe only music subs I know of are rentals only. I reallly don't see how you can have a subscription to digital online music and at the same time own it." (You see what you said here? First you admit to not knowing of other types of subscriptions other than "rentals", which is fine... but after you're told they exist, you can't keep cupping your ears. That's not fair. I'll give you some more examples of "how it works" below.)

    • MR. H: "Subscription ? rental. If you subsribe to a magazine for 12 months, then end the subscription, do you have to give those magazines back? No - you just don't get any more." (Mr.H repeats his point. Again, I'm looking at the screen in disbelief why we're arguing over basic English, instead of getting on with real discussion.)

    • SOLIPSISM: "I did say "subscription to digital online music" so an analogy about magazines isn't really congruous." (Here, you're willfully disregarding everything being said, and acting as if Mr.H and myself don't know what we're talking about because somehow the phrase "digital online music" isn't, in your opinion, a viable avenue for a subscription ...which I think is odd. You're going back to calling rental services "subscriptions" and that this isn't really subscribing to anything... which EVERYONE already agrees to.) \

    • CLEVERBOY: "It's perfectly congruous. And, if you haven't heard, eMusic is right behind iTunes as the most successful online music service. [--snip--]I found it by Googling "emusic 2nd place". For your subscription, last time I heard (they recently altered their arrangement, but I don't have the details) you got like 40 song downloads a month for your monthly subscription." (Here, I try to explain again, giving details of how the eMusic digital online music subscription plan works.)

    • SOLIPSISM: "In the sense the term was being used, it's not. When you stop your subscription to Playboy your magazines don't become unreadable. Sticky pages may make them unreadable, but not canceling a subscription. As we discussed earlier, digital music rentals are often referred to as a subscription, hence the miscommunication." (In the sense that YOU use it, yes... NOT in the sense that I CORRECTLY use it. See my point? You can't have it both ways, bud. And, you're using my own examples against me. That's messed up.)

    Now, all that said. What is the VERB that you use when you get your PODCAST on a regular basis? It's called... a SUBSCRIPTION. "Subscribe to this podcast." Many podcasters regularly check their numbers to see how many people have subscribed to them, and whether subscribers have dropped off. The problem might be that you're so busy correcting people on the what you mean, you're missing the fact that someone actually not only AGREES that some of these services are RENTALS and not SUBSCRIPTIONS, but that they're thinking to the NEXT step... which is, if you have a REAL subscription... what possibilities there might be for Apple to have a subscription service (that doesn't involve RENTING music, and therefore "expiring" it if the subscription is cancelled)? I understand FairPlay too. RoughlyDrafted has a great article on why "expiring" content, doesn't really match the FairPlay DRM scheme. This is why I think people are HIGH to suggest Apple would do that.



    Roughly Drafted:

    The Invented Demand for Rental Media DRM

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Hom...AC702CF19.html

    Quote:

    "Despite that, there is a general perception among industry analysts that Apple, by showing up late to the subscription rental party, faces the threat of losing their majority ownership of online media sales. We'll have to wait a few weeks to find out if Think Secret invented their rumor, or if it is based on any real information, but the underlying myth of the holy grail of media subscription rentals can be taken apart right now."



    I think this current story is being BENT very similarly to match previous speculation, when its more than likely evidence of something closer to what Apple is already doing in the "subscription" arena.



    Congruous with "magazine" subscriptions, because what you GET, you KEEP. Right? Don't lose me... I'm still talking "digital online music" that DOES NOT EXPIRE and I'm calling it a "subscription" (which you seem to agree with). So, if you "subscribe" to a particular artist or group or what-have-you, you get discounted content on a regular basis for your "subscription" fee. That's why I think its bound to happen... matches the report, and why I think its positively HIGH for people to assume that if Apple offered a "subscription" service, that they are "reconsidering" the notion of "RENTING" music... when it seems plainly obvious that a TRUE subscription service has nothing to do with "renting" anything.



    Does that make sense now?



    The Microsoft iPod-Killer Myth

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Hom...800E6D44D.html

    Quote:

    "Microsoft ignored market research that showed that users were not at all interested in renting music, or that consumers had already grown accustomed to the fair use rights that WMA intended to destroy. WMA was designed from the ground up by Microsoft to please media moguls? ideas about how to take advantage of consumers.



    Two years ago, the company was excited about Janus, yet another take on rented music that Microsoft thought would drive new customers to the WMA platform. After all, Apple's iPod has no capacity to kill music after the user stops paying; even if their account was revoked, iTunes users could strip the encryption off protected AAC tracks without much trouble."




    If you turn that model on its head, and have "subscriptions" that are NOT "rentals", but surrounded the commitment to purchase mechanism that subscriptions have traditionally encompassed... you have a winner. Anything else, is all about SMOKING THE GANGA.
  • Reply 56 of 88
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Since subscriptions are time-limited, this might allow Apple to fix the one big thing Mac/iTunes/iPods can't do right now--checkout audio books from public libraries. Where I live in Seattle, the public library's online audio book checkout only works with Windows and only with players that work with Microsoft's ill-fated DRM. Since some 70% of mp3 players are iPods, that means most people can only listen to audio books on a Windows computer sitting at a desk or the like.



    Unless they go jogging with a running Windows laptop bouncing around in a backpack.http://forums.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/lol.gif



    --Mike Perry
  • Reply 57 of 88
    cato988cato988 Posts: 307member
    i definitely think that this only has to do w/ video content. They wouldnt do this with music... it would suck for your subscription to end and your music library is POOF gone
  • Reply 58 of 88
    As long as fairplay keeps a count of the number of computers that a song can be transferred to, how is a iTunes "purchase" not a rental?



    Also, how is this "ownership?"
  • Reply 59 of 88
    cato988cato988 Posts: 307member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrThunderer View Post


    As long as fairplay keeps a count of the number of computers that a song can be transferred to, how is a iTunes "purchase" not a rental?



    Also, how is this "ownership?"



    it is a purchase because it can be on those 5 computers forever. a subscription would mean that the songs are removed from your computer after your subscription ends. It is like if you buy a computer game with only one serial number. Just because you cant use it on every computer in the world, it is still yours
  • Reply 60 of 88
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cato988 View Post


    it is a purchase because it can be on those 5 computers forever. a subscription would mean that the songs are removed from your computer after your subscription ends. It is like if you buy a computer game with only one serial number. Just because you cant use it on every computer in the world, it is still yours



    OK, So I buy a CD at my local retailer. As long as i don't let it get scratched I own it. I can even make a backup if I wish. I own it.



    I "buy" a recording from iTunes. I live in a household with two adults, and two children. We all have happy fun Macs (two macbooks for the grown-ups, two iMacs for the kiddies.) We all use iTunes. after replacing two machines due to age, the sixth machine cannot play the songs we "bought."



    iTunes (pre EMI changes) does not let you BUY songs. iTunes never did. They are rentals. Stop the semantic debate. The DRM in iTunes is lame. Just like the DRM associated with the zune. Until all the DRM is gone, "buying" iTunes media is a rental.



    In 20 years tell me how those files you grabbed from iTunes are doing. My 20 year old records and CDs are doing just fine, and i ACTUALLY OWN THEM.
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