Price hike hits Apple's iTunes Store

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  • Reply 61 of 202
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think it isn't on two levels. First, there is no lossy or lossless codec involved so the designation doesn't fit. Second, the audio was pulled from a better copy so there is loss involved to putting to a CD. SACD is evident of the limitations of typical CD audio.



    I know I basically contradicted myself between the two posting but it depends on the PoV you start with, hence the inclusion of both.



    The term "lossless" seems to complicate matters. I think that a better approach may be to compare "compressed" vs "uncompressed".



    For example, as I recording engineer, I usually record at 24-bit 44.1k sample rate. This is the format that I find most commonly since it is generally helpful to have a greater dynamic range to work with.

    Since a CD is a 16-bit format, I need to convert my sample-rate in order to put the recording on CD. This is a somewhat different process from "compressing" a file to put it in a smaller format more suitable for sharing (MP3, AAC, etc).



    To make a long story short, a CD is an uncompressed PCM (pulse code modulation) format, even though it may be converted from the original format, either to a lower bitrate or sample rate. Since there is not a compression algorithm introduced, it is not considered a compressed format.



    That being said, we live in a world where the convenience of compressed audio is overwhelming the need for ultra high-fidelity audio.



    Also take this into consideration: The quality loss from the digital-to-analog converters on an iPod is probably much greater than what you may ever be able to decipher between compression formats. Keep in mind that most listening environments are far from "ideal" unless you are a true audiophile willing to invest big bucks into the most accurate equipment.



    It is ironic to me that many of us carry around iPods with $10 earbuds and worry about whether our music is in 192 or 256k compression.
  • Reply 62 of 202
    csdgcsdg Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Truntru View Post


    Why don't more people use the zune pass? For $15/month (up to 3 zunes and 3 computers) you can download as much temporary music as you would like, and also keep in your collection forever 10 songs. You can't find a better deal anywhere.



    How much of that money is getting to the artists? The only group getting the better deal with this in the end is Microsoft. No faster way to discourage new music.
  • Reply 63 of 202
    csdgcsdg Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Gotta love ignorance.



    Apple doesn't care about content as long as their customers have access to it. This was why they created the iTunes store in the first place. It wasn't to take over the music industry. At the time there weren't any legal places to buy popular digital music for Macs. Everything was Windows only. Because no one else was willing to make anything compatible with Macs, Apple stepped in, as they usually do, and created something their customers could use. And remember this was very limited at first, which is why Steve Jobs was able to get them to all agree to their a la cart model; something that no one else had been able to do before.



    No one knew what kind of monster this was going to grow into. After it was too late, the record companies realized that iTunes had grown up and become the 700 pound gorilla they are today. So, fearing of losing complete control yet again (as they did with MTV in the 80's), they decided to let others offer something extra and prevent Apple from being able to match it. The Amazon store was created with DRM-free tracks. The intention of this was not to make music buying consumers happy (a side affect), but rather to provide leverage over negotiations with Apple.



    To the average ignorant consumer, this made Amazon look like the good guy and Apple appear evil, when in fact, the record companies were holding all the strings and playing them against each other. This of course created a media backlash against Apple and an obviously false perception of consumer demand; Amazon gained market share, but at the cost of Plays For Sure and Zune, while iTunes continued to maintain its market share. It got so bad that Steve Jobs had to come out publicly (once again*) against DRM and let all the whiners know that if they had the choice they would remove DRM from iTunes music... and a few months later they demonstrated that by announcing EMI's entire catalog in the iTunes Plus format. (Yes it cost 30 cents more at the time, but the proof was in the fact that Apple was accused of wanting to lock people into the iTunes+iPod ecosystem, which they clearly were not. They have always wanted a seamless experience for their customers. Perhaps if Microsoft weren't so damned greedy by locking Plays For Sure content to Windows, then there wouldn't have been a need for iTunes at all?)



    *Steve Jobs once said in a Rolling Stone interview, that DRM would never really work. Someone would always find a way around it.



    Well eventually Apple had to cave, because passive ignorant people aren't willing to boycott the record industry, for some reason they just have to have their music at any cost. I assume by looking at the top ten lists, most of these people are teens and don't care about politics at that age, so none of this is worth their time. (They'll pay later for it, as we are now.)



    Anyway, here we are again... Amazon once again has another unequal advantage and of course it is all Apple's fault. So go ahead and run to Amazon, I don't blame you, but just remember you're proving the record industry to be correct in their assumption that consumers are like cattle and can easily be corralled and led tot he slaughter house. Personally, except a few older albums here and there, I've stopped buying music altogether. F#$K the record industry! Thank god some bands have the moxie to stand up to the industry and are starting to distribute, sell and give away their own music.



    Hopefully that will be the next distribution model... "Artist Direct" where artists can submit their own content to iTunes and have Apple take a share as they do with the iPhone App Store.



    An unfortunate addition to this is that people who now flock to Amazon for MP3 downloads will be missing a huge chunk of the "sound" that the artists and producers spent so much time to give them. It's like listening to music with one ear clogged up.
  • Reply 64 of 202
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KillerKellerjr View Post


    Wow and I was thinking of starting to legally buy more music from iTunes, not anymore. I will buy from Amazon or another vendor where its still .99 a track or less. Nice job Apple and record execs, drive more piracy! You just don't get it still, how long will it take. I like to download albums from torrents to see if I like any of the songs, then if I really like them I will buy the song, album or the CD, so torrents drive sales not take away all together. This model just drives more piracy not makes more sales or in your case drives sales to other music sites like Amazon where its still .99 or less.



    Umm, Amazon isn't selling you the tracks for .99, it is those same record execs that sell you the same track on iTunes for 1.29.



    "Drive more piracy"



    How about just not buy music? Is this music so important to you that you need to steal it, if you can't afford it? Will you die without it or something?
  • Reply 65 of 202
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jenkman91 View Post


    Amazon is good.



    Limewire is good too if you want to be caught by the FBI who will then seize all of your computers slap you with a huge fine, and then throw your ass in federal prison. it does not matter how many firewalls you have. The government can always fine you. trust me... I have learned the hard way.



    Its people like you that make music retailers such as iTunes raise their prices. (as explained in the story)



    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz......... Oh, I'm sorry. Did you say something important?



    Yes, yes. The record companies being greedy has nothing to do with it at all. Do you care to explain why CD's are still 15 dollars or so after all these years? Grow up.
  • Reply 66 of 202
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by csdg View Post


    An unfortunate addition to this is that people who now flock to Amazon for MP3 downloads will be missing a huge chunk of the "sound" that the artists and producers spent so much time to give them. It's like listening to music with one ear clogged up.



    Why is that? According to all tests I have seen VBR MP3s > 192kbps are almost identical in quality to 256 kbps AACs. And you would need more than decent equipment to even hear the difference.
  • Reply 67 of 202
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Since the record labels were successful in twisting Apple arm, I think Amazon will follow shortly.



    I doubt it as Amazon is not nearly as large a threat nor as arrogant as Steve-o. Sometimes you reap what you sow. Anyone with half a brain knew that this was not going to last forever, and I am sure that Apple is getting a larger slice of the newly price increased pie.
  • Reply 68 of 202
    csdgcsdg Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cassnate6259 View Post


    The term "lossless" seems to complicate matters. I think that a better approach may be to compare "compressed" vs "uncompressed".



    For example, as I recording engineer, I usually record at 24-bit 44.1k sample rate. This is the format that I find most commonly since it is generally helpful to have a greater dynamic range to work with.

    Since a CD is a 16-bit format, I need to convert my sample-rate in order to put the recording on CD. This is a somewhat different process from "compressing" a file to put it in a smaller format more suitable for sharing (MP3, AAC, etc).



    To make a long story short, a CD is an uncompressed PCM (pulse code modulation) format, even though it may be converted from the original format, either to a lower bitrate or sample rate. Since there is not a compression algorithm introduced, it is not considered a compressed format.



    Exactly right. Sample rate conversions are taking tiny snippets out along a timeline without compromising the frequency spectrum of the file. You will be able to cut much more out of the file before losing perceived quality than you would in a "lossy" compression scheme. The majority of the compression algorithms are frequency based, the lows taking up so much room in the spectrum are the first to go, then the higher end that the coders don't think add anything valuable to the music. What they compromise here is the actual feeling that music can give you. Your sonic perception isn't limited to the small bandwidth allowed for in most compression schemes.

    As an example, take the sound of a thunder storm, convert from even a CD to an MP3 and play the two versions of the same file on your sound system (any system will show this effect, but the fuller sound possible the better). You will notice the "life" of the sound getting lost with an MP3 or other "lossy" compression.



    It's a shame that the non-musicians and non-engineers are the ones making the decisions at the major labels. They've spent money for decades on capturing quality sound and now want to charge more for worse simply because they can't adapt to the times. They're behaving the same way the US auto manufacturers and banking system are behaving. Wake up gang! It's your money, don't give it if you aren't going to get what was intended by the artists. What's the point in that? Apple has tried to level the playing field a bit, but can't do it without a strong community, the people paying the labels bills, music lovers.



    Okay, my soap box is creaking.
  • Reply 69 of 202
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    Don't get mad at Apple. Get mad at those using P2P/Torrents to obtain music illegally. They're the reason prices are going up.



  • Reply 70 of 202
    mrjoec123mrjoec123 Posts: 223member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    This is a lose-lose proposition for everyone but the labels.



    iTunes already had a somewhat limited selection, this morning it has dropped by about 15% by removing all the tracks that the studios were not willing to offer DRM free. I listen to a lot of J-pop right now for instance and some of the biggest groups have literally hundreds of albums out but what's available in iTunes? Two or three at most, and half of those disappeared last night because they are "imports" in the eyes of studio execs who are still living in the 60's.



    Curiously though, I'd like to know where the heck all the $.69 tracks are???



    I looked up a dozen or two groups from my distant youth in the 70's and about ten from the 1960's and they are all $.99 not $.69. If 45 year old tracks by people who are mostly dead now recorded at studios that no longer exist and owned by people who weren't alive when they were recorded are not $.69 tracks what are?



    Just for laughs look up "Glenn Miller" (he died almost 75 years ago).

    125 tracks, all of them $.99.



    Because he's so "current" right?





    Amazing. Months ago, people were clamoring for Apple to cave in and let the labels go to a tiered pricing system. What's the big deal? Most albums will be cheaper. Apple is being pig-headed. Etc.



    Now you know why Apple resisted this for so long. There was simply no way that the labels were doing this to LOWER prices. All they have to do is offer 10 or 11 tracks for $.69 to technically get away with calling the pricing "tiered." Most of the tracks you actually want are going to get more expensive. That was the intention all along.



    Just wait until $1.29 becomes $1.49. And then $1.99. It'll happen.
  • Reply 71 of 202
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realmike15 View Post


    i don't mind this at all. maybe this will get people to stop listening to awful music that dominates the top 100... could be a positive change lol.



    Hahaha, indeed.



    I've got different (weird?) taste in music, so personally this isn't a bad change for me. Hey, maybe this will get people exploring music a little more, there's so many other amazing sounds out there, it's sad that so many live in Britneyland...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post


    Amazon to the rescue, not to mention Limewire.



    Yep, this is the reaction the move seems to be generating from the majority. For a while I thought there might be a change coming, but the labels are pure evil, really. Comes down to greed and arrogance in the end, the thought that they can dictate people's needs and wants, and cash in on it. Looks like they're right.



    It'll be interesting to see how well this new model works out for them...



    Jimzip
  • Reply 72 of 202
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    The general pubic that uses iTunes will blame Apple for the price hike.



    You are correct, and AppleInsider is one of them, based on their quote "Instead, Apple appears to have made price increases its first priority."



    How about the record labels making the price increases a priority. I don't mind paying $1.29 for a song.



    CD's at WalMart and Target are being released at $9.99, same price as iTunes.
  • Reply 73 of 202
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    Don't get mad at Apple. Get mad at those using P2P/Torrents to obtain music illegally. They're the reason prices are going up.



    This is actually not true.



    It's not Apple's fault (other than negotiating a bad deal), but it isn't due to P2P/Torrents either. The price is up because of the monopoly position of the labels and the sweetheart deal they get on copyright law.



    All the labels act in unison as a cartel, which is just a monopoly by any other name (an oligarchy technically). Because they are allowed to set the prices artificially and because (with the help of various governments), nothing goes out of copyright anymore, they have carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want.



    Monopolies in business are always bad for the consumer. It's always been that way, and it's why from time to time laws are passed that attempt to eliminate or control them. Monopolies stifle freedom and innovation and are inherently fascist in design.



    Until something is purposely done to free up the market (government intervention), the consumer will be preyed upon. It really is as simple as that.
  • Reply 74 of 202
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    This is actually not true.



    It's not Apple's fault (other than negotiating a bad deal), but it isn't due to P2P/Torrents either. The price is up because of the monopoly position of the labels and the sweetheart deal they get on copyright law.



    All the labels act in unison as a cartel, which is just a monopoly by any other name (an oligarchy technically). Because they are allowed to set the prices artificially and because (with the help of various governments), nothing goes out of copyright anymore, they have carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want.



    Monopolies in business are always bad for the consumer. It's always been that way, and it's why from time to time laws are passed that attempt to eliminate or control them. Monopolies stifle freedom and innovation and are inherently fascist in design.



    Until something is purposely done to free up the market (government intervention), the consumer will be preyed upon. It really is as simple as that.



    If there was an applause emoticon, I'd have used it.



    For now, where's my Guy Fawkes mask?



    Jimzip
  • Reply 75 of 202
    csdgcsdg Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    Why is that? According to all tests I have seen VBR MP3s > 192kbps are almost identical in quality to 256 kbps AACs. And you would need more than decent equipment to even hear the difference.



    256 kbps AAC is a "lossy" compression scheme, only a better one than MP3. If Apple were allowed to do away with DRM ie. iTunes + they could offer the same quality download found on a store bought CD.

    This loss can be heard in most any current consumer sound system.
  • Reply 76 of 202
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SmilinGoat View Post


    this is why i'll be using Amazon.com from here on out.



    Except that now Amazon is starting to have mp3s at $1.29 too (although not as many so far, but we'll see. Look at their top downloads list, it has a few including older stuff like Journey/Don't Stop Believin'.
  • Reply 77 of 202
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    Why is that? According to all tests I have seen VBR MP3s > 192kbps are almost identical in quality to 256 kbps AACs. And you would need more than decent equipment to even hear the difference.



    I don't know the figures or the details, but this is totally wrong.



    AAC is known to be a better sounding, higher quality file than an MP3 file at the same bitrate.



    You are claiming here that a lower bitrate MP3 is better quality than a higher bitrate AAC?

    That's just crazy talk.



    AAC is the format the MP3 consortium slated to replace MP3. Why would it be lower quality than the older format?
  • Reply 78 of 202
    erpxerpx Posts: 24member
    Thirty cents extra will not break me, so I don't have any issues with it. However, I don't generally buy 'hit' tracks anyway. My main music purchases are classical, which I rarely buy from any online music store. I purchase the CD and rip from there. Out of 16,000+ tracks, maybe 500 are non-classical tracks that I've purchased from online music stores such as iTunes (where possible) or Amazon for non-DRM stuff over the last couple of years.
  • Reply 79 of 202
    taurontauron Posts: 911member
    I always get content for free so it doesn't affect me.
  • Reply 80 of 202
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    Just wait until $1.29 becomes $1.49. And then $1.99. It'll happen.



    Yes, inflation does that too.
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