Analysts: Apple iPod ‘an open platform – it supports MP3s – Apple is fine’

“Apple’s announcement Wednesday that its latest version of iTunes for Windows will support WMA-to-AAC conversion may be a step in the right direction, given that the default version of Windows Media Player rips only to the WMA format,” Robyn Weisman reports for E-Commerce Times.

“‘Apple has provided a straightforward means of getting [WMA files] into a format supported by iTunes,’ Jupiter analyst Joe Wilcox told the E-Commerce Times. ‘Because Windows Media Player doesn’t come with a high-quality MP3 decoder, some consumers may have unwittingly created vast WMA collections that won’t play in iTunes,'” Weisman reports. “Jupiter’s Gartenberg said he does not see the WMA/AAC issue as similar to the Mac-vs.-Windows battle that took place more than a decade ago, partly because other players like Sony are entering the market with their own proprietary technologies. ‘There is no center of gravity right now except for the MP3. Customers expect support on that,’ Gartenberg said. ‘The iPod is an open platform. It supports MP3s. Apple is fine.'”

“GartnerG2’s McGuire noted that if Apple continues to dominate the online music market, the company might license its Fairplay digital rights management (DRM) technology to make it compatible with RealNetworks and other services and players. However, he said, making a business case to license Fairplay right now would be difficult. The cold, hard business reality is that Apple’s primary loyalties lie with its customers, employees and shareholders, all of whom likely want the company to extract as much profit and value from the iPod/iTMS nexus as possible,” Weisman reports. “Meanwhile, Gartenberg noted that Apple’s core digital media business is selling iPods, not songs. ‘There are a number of players with very different business models,’ he said, ‘and there seems to be a lack of recognition that they’re pursuing different business models than Apple might be doing right now.'”

Full article here.


  1. Gee, Bryan from TMO got “interviewed”. No wonder it makes sense. I guess Reality Check will be here for a bit gloating.

    Thanks Bates, you just put the US foreign policy into a nice perspective.

  2. 1). Many reporters ‘shape’ the facts to fit how they expect to story to go, or the way they WANT the story to go.. After years of working at newspapers, and having had many scribbler friends, I learned this.

    2). Just because it’s in the newspapers doesn’t mean that it is true.

    3). A lot of reporters want to do more than just REPORT change or current events, they want to AFFECT change. It’s an intoxicating thought to KNOW that you can make an important person look dumb, make people dislike him, and change the vector of history. I’ll never forget, the first time, how shocked I was that what I had SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES was reported completely differently by the New York Times. In order to discredit a political candidate. I have been very cynical since then, about anything I read.. or even SEE on television.. Why should I doubt what I see with my own eyes? Because I am (sometimes) a video editor, and you can edit events to depict a much different version of ‘reality’.

    Also the presence of journalists , TV crews, and motion cameras inspires people to act in ways they would NEVER act, if it was not to be seen by the entire world. The journalists end up reporting about an event that was caused by, and would not have happened without the presence of the reporter and still or motion cameras..

    In have become very jaded indeed about ‘ the news’, and certainly the Macintosh crowd has seen the presence and AFFECT of the lies, distortions, sloppiness, and toadying that affects this and EVERY OTHER area of journalism and the press.

    That’s why an article above is so refreshing. Accuracy without the dreaded BALANCE. A proper structure of the players by someone who seems to have a deep understanding of the biz. And predictions based on a good amount of thought. And you finish the story KNOWING MORE, or seeing the world more clearly. NOT gnashing your teeth at the shallow ignorance of another ‘Tech’ reporter.

    Good Job!!


  3. “Yeah, because this guy’s a journalist, not an ANALyst.” – Ed

    1. The guy, Gartenberg, is an analyst (vice president) from Jupiter Research
    2. There are many tech journalists who have no clue.

  4. It’s not that we are in agreement with this guy, it’s that this guy is telling the truth.

    The Apple iPod really is an open device. It plays several, if not most, non-proprietary audio formats. The only formats it won’t play are WMA. And that’s proprietary! How does making it not play WMA make it ‘closed’

    Thanks for the truthful reporting.

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