“I’ve just yanked myself out of the infamous Steve Jobs reality distortion field so I can try to give a rational evaluation of Apple Computer’s new iTunes Music Store service for downloading songs: It offers modest improvements over competitors in some features, while falling short in others,” reports Mike Langberg for Knight Ridder.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store is “great news for Mac users, who’ve been shut out of existing online music services such as MusicNet, Pressplay and Rhapsody, which use copy-protection software created by Microsoft that’s only available for Microsoft’s Windows operating system,” Langberg writes.
Langberg continues, “Jobs said only the Music Store is customer-friendly. Many Mac users undoubtedly will believe him, because they’ve never been able to try the other services and therefore won’t realize how little is actually new in Music Store.”
Mac users trapped in the Jobs Reality Distortion Field rejoice in your ignorant bliss!
Before complaining that modem connections result in slow download times, Langberg explains, “What’s different about the Music Store is that customers don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee. The other online music services charge $5 to $18 a month for a bundle of features that might include ‘tethered downloads’ — tracks stored on your computer that can be played repeatedly, but only as long as you maintain your subscription. Also, purchased tracks can be burned only once. The Music Store is out front with unlimited burning and per-track purchasing without a monthly fee. On the other hand, I missed the streaming and tethered downloads. These are great ways to learn about new music, much superior to the free 30-second preview clips the Music Store provides.”
“Where Apple is stuck in a dead heat with competitors is the library of available music. Apple, like its major rivals, has licenses from all five major recording companies. Whatever the rivals offer will, with a few small exceptions, be what Apple’s Music Store offers,” Langberg predicts.
Langberg fails to mention that Apple, in a single week, has become the “become the largest online music company in the world,” according to Steve Jobs, selling over a million songs in under seven days. Would it be a stretch to imagine Apple securing exclusives that the other bit players cannot? Or are we just stuck in the RDF?
In one of the most misleadingly headlined articles we’ve ever seen, read Langberg’s attempt to downplay the iTMS’s advantages and equate streaming and tethered downloads with the iTunes Music Store’s unprecedented concept of letting users own and use the music they buy online here.
(update: corrected author’s first name, 5/13, 8:10pm)