Money Magazine: locked into Apple for digital music with no regrets so far

“Steve Jobs just made me buy another iPod. And that ticks me off. The moment that Apple’s CEO announced the Mini, the slimmed-down, cheaper version of the company’s popular digital music player, I knew I’d be among the first in line to buy one when they shipped in February. In fact, I placed an order as soon as I had a chance to play with a demo,” Patrick Regnier writes for Money Magazine.

“Like the original iPod, the Mini packs a lot of power into a simple, clean package. Smaller than my wallet, the Mini has a 4GB hard drive that can store and play roughly 1,000 tunes. It has a more rugged design than its big brother and comes in five colors that aren’t white,” Regnier writes. “But aesthetic appeal isn’t the real reason I plunked down $250. I bought because I’m locked into Apple.”

“No one advertises this, but when you choose a digital music player, you’re also choosing sides in a format war that reminds me of eight-track vs. cassette or Betamax vs. VHS. Any player can play MP3 files, the format most often used to convert CDs to digital form. It’s when you start buying music online that things get tricky. Apple’s Music Store sells songs in a format called AAC, wrapped in a copy-protection code called FairPlay. The only portable device that can play these files is the iPod,” Regnier writes.

Regnier writes, “Memo to Mr. Jobs: Keep your techies working late to stay ahead of the curve. I’ve spent nearly a grand on your digital music revolution. If you make me regret it, you’ve lost a customer for life.”

Full article here.

22 Comments

  1. sounds more like a typical (satisfied) whiner consumer putting out a “vent”, “threat” & “blog-like” to a big company… merely for hits as it’s nothing new or really insightful

    espcially the last line

    “If you make me regret it, you’ve lost a customer for life.”

    wooooo, I’m sure Apple’s scared ;o)

  2. You want the choice to use other (not as good) players? Just encode your CD’s using mp3 instead of AAC. ALL the portable players recognize mp3’s!
    If you buy music on line, just burn an audio CD then rip to mp3. You need to do the same thing no mater what legal music service you download from.
    BTW – It may be a pain, but you should back-up any music you buy online even if you have no intention of using the CD. What if your hard drive crashes?
    NO MUSIC SERVICE LETS YOU DOWNLOAD UNPROTECTED MP3’S (not the legal ones at least) SO WHY ARE YOU PISSED OFF?!?! I don’t get it.

  3. You want the choice to use other (not as good) players? Just encode your CD’s using mp3 instead of AAC. ALL the portable players recognize mp3’s!
    If you buy music on line, just burn an audio CD then rip to mp3. You need to do the same thing no mater what legal music service you download from.
    BTW – It may be a pain, but you should back-up any music you buy online even if you have no intention of using the CD. What if your hard drive crashes?
    NO MUSIC SERVICE LETS YOU DOWNLOAD UNPROTECTED MP3’S (not the legal ones at least) SO WHY ARE YOU PISSED OFF?!?! I don’t get it.

  4. This guy doesn’t get it and I’m tired of it already!

    Let’s review:
    (1) Microsoft makes software.
    (2) Their partners make hardware.
    (3) Microsoft is a monopoly.
    (4) Just because there are a thousand vendors making hardware that plays with MS (and WMA) doesn’t mean you have more choice!

    There is nothing out there that competes with the iPod from a hardware perspective. It’s the software… and there are only a couple of choices! Go with the lowest common denominator or go with the innovator, but stop whining about it!

    Memo to Mr. Regnier: You are not the demograhic Apple is marketing iPods to! They are looking for switchers, not early adopters.

    And for the record, true early adopters are almost always Mac users, for obvious reasons…

    [End rant]

  5. Hey! Give him a break! I mean, there are teeming masses of Windows users out there who only know how to whine and biatch about their technology given their past experiences. He’ll come around … it may take some time, but he’ll come around ;^)

  6. “You want the choice to use other (not as good) players? Just encode your CD’s using mp3 instead of AAC. ALL the portable players recognize mp3’s!
    If you buy music on line, just burn an audio CD then rip to mp3. You need to do the same thing no mater what legal music service you download from.
    BTW – It may be a pain, but you should back-up any music you buy online even if you have no intention of using the CD. What if your hard drive crashes?
    NO MUSIC SERVICE LETS YOU DOWNLOAD UNPROTECTED MP3’S (not the legal ones at least) SO WHY ARE YOU PISSED OFF?!?! I don’t get it.”

    http://www.emusic.com/

  7. Sometimes I can’t tell sarcasm from reality. The fact that Pat had dropped a grand on Apple means nothing to me, he could have done the same with any other company. Fact is, Regnier, should have carefully reviewed the current aural offerings before he spent his money, and, perhaps, should have waited another 3 more years to gather more objective data before he spent a dime. Don�t worry, Pat, because you cannot exercise patience and the basic principles of hypothesis testing does not mean I will not sleep well tonight. If Regnier feels that Apple has not provided him with the products he really wants then the same �criticism� can be extended to all the other iPod an iTMS imitators, too. Welcome to the world, pal.

  8. the article is good [i read only the excerpt]

    i don’t know why some of you the guy is pissed off or a whiner.
    ..
    he is accurate i think

    i see no problem in this kind of lock-in so far .. i rip CDs ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  9. I’m kinda glad iTMS isn’t available in Europe yet. The US gets to try it out and we get plenty of time outside to give it some thought.

    The only lock-in is with iTMS, not the iPod and not even AAC.

    I’ve ripped to AAC, but I can re-rip at any time if I need to from commercially CDs. People know what the risks are, so if they choose iTMS and it turns out to be a bad choice, well, it was just a bad choice.

    My choice is still with real store-bought CDs.

    [url=http://www.wippit.com]http://www.wippit.com[/url] also has DRM free downloads and is legal. There are no OS-X or LINUX clients yet, but you can register an interest/log to a petition by emailing enoughbillgatesalready@wippit.com .

  10. the problem is this guy is whining like they forced him buy a mini! no one forced him. he just knows no one else has such a perfect device. as for the ones that go under water? comon give me a break. who gos to the pool to listen to underwater music? this guy think that aac is sooo bad but what he doesnt realize is that wma is just as proprietary and the quality sucks big sweaty balls.

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