Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine go in-depth on Apple's Beats acquisition and future plans

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  • Reply 61 of 87
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     

    Have you seen the videos of ReCode with Cue and Iovine?  Cue looks like he had an all-nighter. Very unprofessional in his appearance.  Maybe he was out partying with Dre the night before.


    I've always though Eddy has the worst on-stage presence of any of the execs by a mile.  Craig is the best they have- and I like Schiller too.  Iovine will be really great if he gets stage time, and honestly- Angela Arhandts- will likely be the best of the bunch.

    But Eddy... he just reminds me of a greased up italian gangster from the 80s. All he's missing is 2 less buttons on his shirt and a gold chain.

  • Reply 62 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by elroth View Post

     

    I'm really looking forward to Neil Young's Pono project, set to come out later this year with high-end sound, high-quality portable players, high-resolution music downloads, and its own desktop music software. I hope they can execute all these things.


    Pono I see as a mass merchandised lower end version of the Astell  & Kern players. Most of what Pono gets is 16 Bit because that's the majority.  The AK products are actually better and more expensive than the Ponos.   But Apple is supposed be releasing 24 Bit content for download next week is what I've read at several Audiophile magazines.  Audiostream mentioned this only a week or two ago on their site several times. How long its going to take for streaming, I don't know.  I think Pono is going to die very quickly since they haven't gotten much more than maybe 15,000 takers, which are pathetic numbers.  If Apple releases 24 bit this year, Pono is as good as dead if you ask me.  Pono can't compete.

     

    But if you want a great portable high res player, it's the Astell Kern AK 240 or whatever their top of the line model and it's something like $2000+.  It's really cool looking.

     

    The problem with these high end players is they aren't anything like the iPod Touch and if Apple releases an iPod Touch with 24 Bit, I'm sure that will sell better than these others due to more functionality.

     

    Just my opinion.

  • Reply 63 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    I've always though Eddy has the worst on-stage presence of any of the execs by a mile.  Craig is the best they have- and I like Schiller too.  Iovine will be really great if he gets stage time, and honestly- Angela Arhandts- will likely be the best of the bunch.

    But Eddy... he just reminds me of a greased up italian gangster from the 80s. All he's missing is 2 less buttons on his shirt and a gold chain.


    Yeah, Eddy wasn't that bad last WWDC, but i see your point.   Eddy isn't nearly as good as Craig.  I like Craig, even though he can bring up some cliche presentation skills, I think he at least has a little sense of humor when he does it.  Angela, simply outclasses all of them in terms of professionalism.  She's just got that down pat.  I can see why Iovine is impressed by her. She's got more education and class than that guy will ever have and he's probably a little intimidated by her.  Iovine has made some stupid mistakes when he was interviewed by All Things Digital.  I though he as a little too much on the name dropping side like he was really a big part of Born to Run album,  he neglected to tell everyone that he was only 1 of 8 engineers and the mastering was done by none other than Bob Ludwig, who is the GOD  among the industry for engineering.  Bob has done over 3200 albums, tons of engineering awards, spends time helping design $100K speaker systems and he's NO BULLSHIT.  He's the real deal.  Iovine can't hold a candle to guys like Bob Ludwig when it comes to engineering a record. Iovine is too street for my tastes.  Bob is a classically trained musician, Iovine isn't.  There are a bunch of Bob Ludwig's in the music world that can run circles around Iovine, and they don't do the type of name dropping that Iovine was doing.  So, I give Iovine the award for being able to BS the ignorant, he has that ability.

     

    Yeah,  Eddy looked like he pulled an allnighter at some local disco trying to pick up anything that moved.

  • Reply 64 of 87
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     


    There are a bunch of Bob Ludwig's in the music world that can run circles around Iovine, and they don't do the type of name dropping that Iovine was doing.  So, I give Iovine the award for being able to BS the ignorant, he has that ability.

    I don't know enough about the industry to argue with you here.  But all that matters is who can sell the Apple brand, image, and product better? As a shareholder, that's all that matters.

    Maybe if I were a musician I'd care who can engineer a record better... but I'm not, neither is Apple, and neither is 99.99% of Apple's target audience.  ;)

  • Reply 65 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    I don't know enough about the industry to argue with you here.  But all that matters is who can sell the Apple brand, image, and product better? As a shareholder, that's all that matters.

    Maybe if I were a musician I'd care who can engineer a record better... but I'm not, neither is Apple, and neither is 99.99% of Apple's target audience.  ;)


    Here's the thing.  there are people in the music industry that are seen as the Leaders, the Top experts, etc.   Dr. Dre is a leading expert in the rap/hip hop, but that's not the only type of music.  And it doesn't have a lot of musicianship behind it.  Iovine caters to a slightly larger group but i quite frankly didn't know who he was until American Idol because I watch the show just to gauge what kind of talent or lack of that's coming out amongst the kids of today. 



    Now, if you are going to design a pair of headphones, I would, if I were Apple, get a cross section of the top experts in the mastering, engineering, and REAL artists that actually sing and play musical instruments, because they will know better as to what a good headphone sounds like because they want more accuracy in terms of sound reproduction.  So, if you have people like Peter Gabriel, Sting, Paul Simon, the Bob Ludwigs, George Martin, Herbie Hancock,  Ken Scott, George Massenburg and then a cross section of other really high quality, high end pop, jazz, classical, etc. that are musically educated far more than Iovine and Dre that have a far more educated and cultured audience, the end product will be better and you are catering to highly educated people that are more educated in music and listening to music and then it's going to promote higher quality music, etc.  Apple has worked with plenty of high quality musicians, etc. on various projects, but to bring these jokers into the corporate culture, I see nothing but problems.  These guys aren't at the level of the others mentioned in terms of what they represent and who they are marketed towards.  

     

    I just would rather see better role models from the music industry to help Apple design products and promote their products rather than the lower end of the music industry.



    Who would you rather have part of Apple helping them in this area?  The best of the best or the worst of the best.   I think Apple got suckered into the Worst of the Best.  That's my opinion and that's based on over 40 years of studying, listening to and researching who are considered top end players in the music industry that I would have a little more respect.

  • Reply 66 of 87
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     

    I understand. I haven't heard or compared the Beyer to the other high end models.  But I've run into various high end audio mfg that make super expensive equipment and they do a lot of critical listening to their prototypes on HD800's.


     

    Yeah, Beyer doesn't get a lot of press in the US (they actually don't do a lot of marketing period).  I did compare them with equivalent models from Grado and a few others at the time (around 10 years ago) and liked them the best.  I heard about them through discussions with people on sound engineering forums and mailing lists.  Had to go out of my way to find a pair to try out, but it was worth it.  Nice flat/even response across the frequency range, a wider frequency range than most, great reduction of outside noise, and easy to wear for long periods of time.  I also have a pair of open-ear Grados I use to see how things would sound in open-air (that and a decent pair of monitors, of course).

     

    My concern with a lot of these premium headphones is that they're excessively expensive due to the high-end materials they use for the casing (expensive woods and leathers).  I could care less if they used the rarest materials on earth -- it's all about the sound quality.

  • Reply 67 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    auxio wrote: »
    Yeah, Beyer doesn't get a lot of press in the US (they actually don't do a lot of marketing period).  I did compare them with equivalent models from Grado and a few others at the time (around 10 years ago) and liked them the best.  I heard about them through discussions with people on sound engineering forums and mailing lists.  Had to go out of my way to find a pair to try out, but it was worth it.  Nice flat/even response across the frequency range, a wider frequency range than most, great reduction of outside noise, and easy to wear for long periods of time.  I also have a pair of open-ear Grados I use to see how things would sound in open-air (that and a decent pair of monitors, of course).

    My concern with a lot of these premium headphones is that they're excessively expensive due to the high-end materials they use for the casing (expensive woods and leathers).  I could care less if they used the rarest materials on earth -- it's all about the sound quality.

    I know, some of these companies don't have the best marketing or they just don't market to the masses. The difference I see in open vs closed is if one is listening for enjoyment and/or professional use. Open back are more for enjoyment in a quiet area and closed back more for studio when you really have to focus and be isolated. The reason why I want a pair is to analyze the different audio files and I am going to be playing around with eq, etc., and I just want to really hear the subtle detail. I also get files from different sources and I want to chose the best sounding one, so it's more of critical enjoyment listening.

    It's just the market has so many different choices of headphones and they keep announcing new models and it's hard to continually try them.
  • Reply 68 of 87
    juandljuandl Posts: 230member

    Maybe the new iWhatever needs something smaller than iTunes to provide music for the masses that buy it.

    iTunes itself has gotten way to big for its britches.   Perhaps Apple needed Beats Music to offer as a music service with anybody interested.  Perhaps lower the price $ 5. or so.

  • Reply 69 of 87
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drblank View Post



    The difference I see in open vs closed is if one is listening for enjoyment and/or professional use. Open back are more for enjoyment in a quiet area and closed back more for studio when you really have to focus and be isolated.

     

    It's also useful to have both for mastering audio which is going to be played in all sorts of different environments.  I mean, you can engineer songs to sound really good in an isolated sound environment (like in closed headphones or a sound dampened studio).  But then, it may not sound so good when combined with outside noise/air.  So listening and shaping the sound to work well in both environments is important.

     

    As for mass-market applications, open-ear is better if you want to stay more aware of your surroundings (cars and whatnot).  The downside is that everyone else can hear your music too, so they're not so good on public transportation (unless you're one of those people that thinks everyone wants to hear your music).

     

    Quote:
    The reason why I want a pair is to analyze the different audio files and I am going to be playing around with eq, etc., and I just want to really hear the subtle detail. I also get files from different sources and I want to chose the best sounding one, so it's more of critical enjoyment listening.

     

    Closed ear is best then, because you can really pick out the details.  When I first got those DT770s, I literally had to relisten to all of my music because I could suddenly hear things I had never heard before (without mind-altering substances).

     

    Quote:

    It's just the market has so many different choices of headphones and they keep announcing new models and it's hard to continually try them.


     

    Agreed.  I'm just a really skeptical person and so I try to ensure that I get the whole picture rather than simply being influenced by the companies which have the most marketing resources.  I'm not saying that products with a lot of marketing behind them are necessarily bad, I'm just saying that there are plenty of great products out there which aren't mass-marketed.

  • Reply 70 of 87
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by auxio View Post

     

     

    I've been using Beyerdynamic DT770's for studio reference headphones for years now and really like them.  Well under $1000.  I haven't tried their mobile offerings though (the DT770s are a bit bulky to wear outside of the studio).  That's kinda what this is about: headphones you'd use on the go with your iPhone/iPad.  I know I certainly wouldn't take a pair of $3000 headphones out of my studio.




    In terms of cheap headphones that can be taken anywhere, I like PX 100s. You can sometimes find them on sale for $40 or so, and they don't break. The only annoying thing is that replacement earpads are costly relative to the headphones themselves.

  • Reply 71 of 87
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post

     

     

    It's amusing to me, because he could have just as easily been talking about his own brand of headphones. You can buy better headphones for far less money. The iPod was in my opinion the last thing Apple made that was really poorly made. I liked the selection methods and itunes. The battery failures and and cheap earbuds are the reason I classify them that way. Apple did however stock a range of headphones in their retail stores and online. I suspect this was more for the streaming service, but I really do hate seeing them buy into a brand known for overpriced crap.


    My Sennheiser HD 800's are much much better than any beats headphones, I would compare them to beats best and beats falls woefully short.

  • Reply 72 of 87
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

     

    My Sennheiser HD 800's are much much better than any beats headphones, I would compare them to beats best and beats falls woefully short.




    The HD 800s are much higher end models. I don't know of anything by Beats that goes into the $1000+ range. The person I responded to mentioned that they wouldn't take an extremely expensive pair with them. I pointed to something that costs very little yet still does a decent job, especially if you want to go jogging or something. I think I've had the same set since 2008, and they haven't broken. The foam earpads get ugly and need to be replaced. Other than that they're still fine. I've owned nicer pairs that don't leave my apartment but nothing in the HD 800 realm. I mainly wanted to make a point about value. Some headphone brands deliver better value than Beats. The interesting thing will be to hear whether the content agreements Beats has in place are transferable. I read somewhere that Spotify's agreements were not, which might explain why they weren't an option.

  • Reply 73 of 87
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     

    Getting good headphones for under $1000 is difficult. I'm actually saving up for a pair of HD800's myself, but I know a lot of people are liking the Audezes, Ultrasone Edition 10's, Grado, Stax, Fostex TH900's, and other ultra high end models.


     

    HD600s are $380 on Amazon, and Grado SR125s are $150.  I have owned both, and they are quite good - the HD580 was the top of the line model for a long time for Sennheiser, and there are some on Amazon for $190.

     

    I don't think I would buy the HD800s - I have dropped my HD600s probably 20 times when they snag on the arm of my chair, really expensive headphones are a bad idea I think.

  • Reply 74 of 87
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    drblank wrote: »
    You buy the same earbuds the PROFESSIONALS use.  Check out the plethora of custom molded earbuds. Ultimate Ears has some and they have  something like up to 5 or 6 drivers inside.  They insane, but they and other brand are used by probably 75% of the top professionals.  So you could wear the exact same pair that Justin Bieber or your favorite celebrity uses.   LOL... it's all about whatever floats you boat.  The custom models kick butt, but they aren't cheap.  I think they typically start at bout $1000.

    5 or 6 drivers? My goodness, how things evolve. Well, I'll be sure to try them out, if only to remind myself how crappy any $99 phones are. Tnx
  • Reply 75 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    5 or 6 drivers? My goodness, how things evolve. Well, I'll be sure to try them out, if only to remind myself how crappy any $99 phones are. Tnx

    What do you want me to do about it?  I know it's ridiculous, but the custom made earbuds have reached "insane" levels.  I honestly don't know how much better they can make the damn things.

     

    I was trying to make the point that Beats earbuds is NOT what the Pros use (despite Iovine's BS marketing).

  • Reply 76 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member

    Here's what concerns me about this Beats buyout.

     

    1.  Eddy Cue has not been able to get a subscription service and the numbers are proving the iTunes sales are going down as compared to App Sales.  That's proven.  So that indicates that Eddy might be over his head, which is why they bought Beats is to get into that market quicker.  Great.  I've heard rumblings from others that Eddy is over his head, so there's something to that.  Apple doesn't normally buy INTO a new market as they typically create the market themselves.

     

    2.  The problem with that is that Beats Music wasn't a proven business.  They only had 250,000 paid subscribers, which isn't that great.  It was losing money so, Iovine/Dre haven't proven that Beats Music is successful.  Iovine and Dre are just the money behind it and the celebrity founders, but I don't think either of them really know what they are doing other than the marketing of the product, but in the case of the headphones (with Apple Store's help) were successful, but Beats Music isn't.

     

    iTunes isn't providing as much revenue as the App Store is, and I'm concerned that this Beats buyout might backfire since neither of the players involved have proven they can make a subscription service successful.

  • Reply 77 of 87
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member

    The problem with streaming audio over cellular is the data rates they charge.  It gets expensive if you do a lot of streaming over the cellular network and you don't have an unlimited data plan.   I actually only use iTunes Match because of my own collection, which is great, but could be better if they increased the file size limits because of the larger file sizes associated with high res files, so that's the limitation of iTunes Match because I do have hour long audio files containing the entire album or a full length concert that I have in my iTunes library so iTunes match doesn't work for those files.  I also will use iTunes radio because it's easy to use and it does what I need it to do and since I have iTunes match ($25 a year) i don't get the advertisements.  So, for me the subscription service is not really needed and I think Beats Music actually compares more to a more expensive version of iTunes Radio.

     

    I've only tried Spotify on my desktop and I thought it sucked, so I'm not interested in the Spotify method either.



    WiMP looks interesting, but it's not available in the US yet.

     

    For me, the jury is still out in terms of a subscription service and I just don't have a high confidence level in Cue, Iovine and Dre for Apple.  I think if Cue was over his head, they should have replaced him with someone else and waited to create a real solution rather than buying one that wasn't successful.  I think the headphone part might prove to be successful from a financial perspective, but the product still sucks and I certainly won't buy a pair or promote them just because Apple bought the company.  I simply think there are better headphones on the market for the same price range, but prefer to buy better  and more expensive models for my own personal use, which is different than the mass majority of headphone owners.

  • Reply 78 of 87

    Cue saying that Apple has the most incredible product

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

    "I have been working with Tim since 1997. We started the online store together. Cook is extremely thorough, he has tremendous vision. He cares tremendously about building great products. Looking at the executive team, the reason we are successful is because of our focus. We are not smart enough to do 100 great things. We want to do a few incredible things, and that hasn’t changed. We’re going to keep going down that path… Later this year, we’ve got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen in my 25 years at Apple” - Eddy Cue

     

    Holy shit. Apple executives don't say these kinds of things lightly. 


     

    It's not as big a deal as it sounds. Even if no new products are announced, the improvements on existing products will alone make this the best product pipeline. It's kind of like announcing that the new iMac is "the fastest iMac ever." Well of course. When has any computer company released a new computer slower than the one it replaced?

  • Reply 79 of 87
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member

    Ok, I'll go ahead and say it.

     

    Spending 3 billion dollars on a company that has overpriced, really crappy headphones and speakers and a crappy streaming audio service is flat out stupid. 

     

    Apple made a mistake.

     

    I've said for years now that there are two companies Apple needs to buy:  Adobe and Intuit.  Buying Adobe would let Apple shut Windoze out of the graphic design market, and buying Intuit would let Apple take the accounting market.  Just think, what if QuickBooks didn't run on a PC? 

     

    Sure, they're more than $3b, but with those two purchases, Apple could devastate M$ in the business computing market.

     

    But this?  Tim Cook has lost his mind.  This company has no product worth buying.

  • Reply 80 of 87
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    drblank wrote: »
    philboogie wrote: »
    5 or 6 drivers? My goodness, how things evolve. Well, I'll be sure to try them out, if only to remind myself how crappy any $99 phones are. Tnx
    What do you want me to do about it?  I know it's ridiculous, but the custom made earbuds have reached "insane" levels.  I honestly don't know how much better they can make the damn things.

    I was trying to make the point that Beats earbuds is NOT what the Pros use (despite Iovine's BS marketing).

    No, no, your point I got. I was just amazed at how far companies go to reach perfection in their products. And I like that.
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