“Apple doesn’t have a cackling monopoly on the market for digital music, but it’s making jolly progress,” Andy Ihnatko reports for The Chicago Sun-Times. “Now that Microsoft has released the basic tools necessary to sell protected Windows Media-encoded tracks online, it’s time to start looking for thermal exhaust ports in iTunes’ Death Star. If Apple wants to maintain its stranglehold on the hearts and minds of the proletariat, it’s going to have to do two things.”
– Priority One is to make a dirt-cheap RAM-based iPod (not a penny more than $99). Being stuck with just one kind of portable player isn’t a big deal when your only choice is the best available, but Apple needs to have a unit that everybody can afford.
– That’s just a Band-Aid for Priority Two. Apple’s going to have to start licensing FairPlay, its proprietary digital rights management system. It’s easy to succeed when you’re better than all of your competitors as individuals, but when they all start selling music files that can be played on any jukebox app or portable device, you can’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
Full article here.
Related MacDailyNews article:
Time for a decision: how Apple can win the online music war – September 30, 2003