“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.