Wired: Apple’s iTunes Music Store has ‘annoying cult-of-Mac aura’

“Friendly user interfaces, speedy downloads, consistent quality – online music stores are becoming better than the P2P networks that inspired them. They don’t have every song ever made, but hey, the tunes are legal,” Paul Boutin begins his look at some legal online music services.

Boutin’s take on Apple’s iTunes Music Store:

iTunes owns 70 percent of the online music store market for good reasons: It has innovative features, an interface that’s stylish without being gaudy, and rock-solid stability. The downside? Apple’s iPods start at a budget-busting $249. If you want to use iTunes tracks with a Rio, a Nomad, or something cheaper, you’ll need to figure out a way to convert songs from Apple’s protected AAC format to MP3. Wasn’t convenience the whole idea?

WIRED: Slick, smart interface. Tight integration with iPod. Lots of extras – Billboard charts, audiobooks, exclusive tracks.

TIRED: Difficult to use with non-Apple portable players. Annoying cult-of-Mac aura.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Boutin asks, “wasn’t convenience the whole idea?” No, Paul, the whole idea was to sell iPods and it’s working quite well, too. Then Boutin slides in his “annoying cult-of-Mac aura” comment as if it means something (perhaps it only means something to him) and uses it as basically his only con against the iTMS (we’ve already explained that the iTMS exists to serve iPod users, not users of lesser products). What do you think Boutin meant by “annoying cult-of-Mac aura?”


  1. it means he is reluctantly using the iTunes music store from his crappy PC, that’s what it means. and every time he goes there, he is reminded of how sad all the other competitors are, how cool the iPods are, and wondering if he’ll be fired for forgetting to mention the cheaper iPod mini in his complaint. he is essentially apologizing for his choice of platform!

    it’s always easy to tell with these kinds of quotations.

  2. yeah, basically I agree with Michael. At the same time, he’s jealous of others who might actually really like their platform choice. That there could be a “cult” (as he puts it) for a platform annoys him because he could never imagine having a relationship (pleasurable or otherwise) to the tools he chooses to use. He has no anima and to see it in practice (itms) bugs him.

  3. “Annoying cult-of-Mac aura.”

    They are just jealous it works so well, like everything Apple does. That’s the real reason.

    It’s not like we go to church or something and get “cultish” it’s simply a better computer and we can’t help telling everyone how great it is.

    If your not Folding for the Mac OS X team then get busy! Cancer needs to get solved!

  4. Geez, only an ass would add a comment like that into a product review. That would be like reading a Car and Driver review of a bmw, that says, Pros: Still the best money can buy, awesome handling, incredible build quality.
    Cons: People that drive BMWs are assholes.

  5. It’s eating people up that Apple is dominating in the digital music arena, both in terms of hardware and software. All I can say to Boutin is that he had better get used to it…

  6. Tilted Sideways is right. We should all start using the descriptive “beleagured” for the tech magazine, such as:

    With a shameless grab for attention to the beleagured tech magazine Wired, Paul Boutin compares the Apple iTunes Music Store with recent competitors.

  7. The “Cult of Mac aura” just means that it has a friendly interface thats stylish without being gaudy and has rock solid stability and it annoys him because he’s a true M$ fanatic who really hates those non-M$ qualities.

  8. iTMS rocks. The proof is in the pudding and this pudding tastes delicious ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    How can anybody possibly find a fault with iTMS (apart from Thuridiot)? It’s easy to use, easy to buy songs and easy to burn those songs to CD so you can play them in your car or wherever.

    It does exactly what it says on the… website.

  9. Agreed. He needs to explain what he meant by the “cult of Mac aura” crack to readers of the review, and why it’s a con in his opinion, otherwise the review is worthless, which it currently is.

    I for one am baffled that anyone can find anything remotely “cultish” about the iTMS interface, unless his definition of “cultish” is “attractive to music lovers.”

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