Microsoft unhappy with HP, Apple music pact; says deal will ‘limit choice’

“HP’s move to release an own-branded digital-music player based on Apple’s iPod

33 Comments

  1. This is the crock of the century. I don’t mind being limited to a “choice” of the best complete hardware and software solution.
    If your hobby is building PC’s from various 3rd party hardware vendors, then build one. But I want a longterm solution that is secure and reliable.

  2. Again, I do see Microsoft’s argument: I can buy my PC from Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. I can buy my player from iRiver, Creative, Dell, etc. I can buy my music from Napster, MusicMatch, BuyMusic, etc. Lots of choices.

    But I’m not sure that “consumers” care that much. Consumers want everything to work seamlessly and will buy from one vendor to help insure this. In fact, HP is working on their consumer products to make sure this happens (ie, your HP camera will work easily with your HP computer).

    Hopefully, we will see Apple license Fair Play(tm) to other music stores that want to use it. It’s my understanding–but it’s tough to see through the FUD–that AAC players will play music from iTMS (Atomic Bomb, on these forums, claims it works fine).

  3. You see people want options. They want to mix and match. They want everything to operate with almost reasonable performance (with Microsoft only products), stagnant products lacking any real imagination released in small bug-laden dribbling increments as to maximize MS profits. The Apple/HP pact threatens this beautiful utopia where mindless consumers run wild (and with perfect obedience;)
    That’s the problem bed-buddies Dell and MS have. Should be interesting!

  4. My main concern is over FairPlay. Why hasn’t it been licensed by anyone? The other AAC devices don’t seem to be FairPlay aware. I have no doubt that AAC is here to stay, but for legal downloads WMA seems to be heavily adopted. The music sellers that use AAC, and that have made deals with the labels, seem to be creating their own security measures rather than adopting FairPlay. Why is that?

    I’m starting to see Microsoft’s point of view, but it’s not the sound format that matters–it’s the DRM. If a consumer wants to spend a lot of money building a digital music collection, they want to feel sure that it will be playable on all the newest hardware for many years to come. Not just iPods and the like, but the bigger sound systems that will inevitably appear. Next-gen supersound Tivos will probably support WMA, MP3, and AAC. Will they decrypt FairPlay files?

  5. Is an AAC/Fairplay file downloaded from the iTunes Music Store playable on any other portable digital music player other than the iPod?

    If i drink alot of Pepsi and get a lot of free downloads from the iTunes Music Store, do i have to get an iPod to play them on the go, or will any other players work?

  6. I agree with Kennylucius on this one. I think Apple might be being very cagey about this and maybe fairplay is not being offered to other electronics manufacturers. However, if Atomic Bomb is using one and it works fine then maybe the DRM does not cover portable devices????? The unlimited iPod downloads feature suggests this may be possible. Any other people out there playing ITMS tunes on other players?

  7. Shit, how many times does this need spelling out? You don’t NEED an iPod to buy and download songs from iTMS…. it does download to your iTunes in ‘Protected AAC’ format [or mp4 if you prefer].

    All you then do is rip the tracks to mp3 – if you must – and bingo it’ll play on anything. Although, I’d ask why the hell would you WANT to play it on anything else?

    The iPod is the best thing out there by a long, long margin. But if you want an iRiver…. be my guest, exercise your choice.

  8. Yes Charlie, you can burn and rip to MP3 but that is a major pain to do and some quality is lost.

    By the way, I own an 30 gig iPod and wouldn’t buy anything else but I am just wondering what the real situation is here. No one seems to know for sure.

  9. I have a 15GB iPod and do not have a single iTunes Music Store-purchased song on it. Every song on it, currently 2200+, are from my vast collection of CDs that I have been collecting over the years. When I want to add some songs, I rip them in as ACC from my CDs and sync up to the iPod. I am not going to pay $.99 for the songs I already have. Anything new that I buy I get from BMG CD club for an average cost of around $7.50 a disc delivered to my door (I’ve been a member for 12 years and never pay there “suggested price”).

    I don’t need to “build” a collection- I already have one. Furthermore, I like to have control over what sample rate I rip them in with. The iPod is the best music player out there- bar none. People seem to forget, however, that the iTMS came AFTER the iPod and iTunes. The iPod doesn’t NEED the Music Store to work. iTunes is all it needs. Don’t get me wrong- iTMS is an awesome service and is the standard, but there are other ways to fill your iPod!

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