Joe Wilcox, in a Special to BetaNews, takes a farily extensive look at Apple’s new iTunes Music Store:
“Apple’s April 28, 2003, launch of the iTunes Music Store has raised more buzz than a ruptured hornet’s nest. The company that Steve Jobs built arguably has created the easiest way to get digital music – and it’s legal, too, if you don’t mind paying a buck a song (Please, let’s call the 99-cent price tag what it is. A buck). Apple also has raised the stakes in the fierce competition over which company controls the digital media market. If Apple’s strategy is successful, none will.”
“No other company on the planet has executed a better digital media strategy than Apple. Doing digital media on a Mac is much easier and more satisfying than on a Windows XP PC. Apple’s iLife digital media suite is the best thing going for working with digital photos, music, movies or DVD burning. Too bad you need a Mac to get it. Oh, let’s repeat that for the iTunes Music Store: Too bad you need a Mac to get it.”
“PC users, the iTunes Music Store is the bomb. This service is so cool there aren’t any appropriate words to describe it. The selection is phenomenal, with lots of “you can’t find that anywhere else” acoustic tracks and other hard-to-find goodies. And buying tunes is so easy. You give up your credit card number, associate that with an ID and you’re in business. Songs come with 30-second previews. You click “Buy,” and that tune starts downloading to your hard drive. Ka-ching! And a buck quietly disappears from your line of credit.”
“Have you ever been to Atlantic City or Las Vegas and watched people plug pennies (OK, quarters and half dollars) into slot machines, hoping to hit the jackpot? Before they know it, the bag of coins is empty and some security guard is booting them out the casino door for loitering. Buying music from Apple may not be so different.”
Wilcox wraps up with a bit of a slam on Mac audio quality. Perhaps he forgot to turn off “Sound Enhancer” in iTunes’ Preferences or apply or not apply the proper EQ?
“When I listened to my first AAC-encoded song purchased from the iTunes Music Store, my heart sank. I simply didn’t like the audio quality at all. It was like something was missing. Yeah, how about Windows. In listening to music purchased from Apple’s store on a PC and a Mac with the same setup — M-Audio’s Sonica connected to Logitech’s Z-680 speakers — the sound satisfied on the Windows XP notebook and disappointed on a Power Mac G4 and 1GHz PowerBook G4. I’ve long been a critic of the Mac’s inferior audio quality to a Windows XP PC. So for now, I’ll be buying my music on a Mac and listening — after burning to a CD or converting to MP3 — on a Windows XP PC.”
Full article here.