Apple iPod vs. ‘iPod killers’ is no contest: ‘get an iPod with iTunes and be happy’

“Apple Computer’s iPods are the most popular digital-music players on the planet, and for good reasons: They’re trim, elegant, easy to use and compatible with Windows PCs as well as Macintosh computers,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports for The Pioneer Press. “When paired with Apple’s iTunes jukebox software and online store (also for PCs as well as Macs), they give users mastery over their music along with access to more than a million songs for purchase.”

“So should anyone in his or her right mind buy a portable player other than an iPod? To find out, I borrowed two of the most credible iPod challengers: Rio Audio’s Carbon and Creative’s Zen Touch,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

Ojeda-Zapata looks at various issues and concludes, “Encrypted AAC files from the iTunes Music Store can’t be used on any player other than iPods (at least not without a bothersome conversion process), nor can encrypted Windows Media files bought in the Microsoft bazaar be used on iPods. This is the Apple vs. Everyone Else conundrum, and it would be a problem if Apple’s music offerings were anything but spectacular. Keep in mind that iTunes takes MP3 files as well as the AAC kind, and it will even import unencrypted Windows Media files. So get an iPod with iTunes, and be happy.”

Full article here.


  1. Ojeda-Zapata can’t be very good. He’s not on Microsoft’s payroll yet. He keeps this up though and they will throw some cash at him soon. Then we’ll see what he’s really made of.

  2. Apple probably should start licensing out Fairplay more at some point to sew up the market but their strategy so far has been mega successful so I don’t know if second guessing them on this is such a good idea ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Honestly I think all this fuss about format is a bit overblown. The purchase of music has, throughout history, had consumers buying music in a variety of formats that are usually incompatible with whatever follows it, and consumers have, for the most part, spent their hard-earned money on that same music in that next format to replace the old. From vinyl LPs to 8-track, to cassette, to CD, and now the various digital formats, it’s not really any different than it used to be. The press didn’t make a huge story out of the fact that when CDs came out, some people bought CDs and some bought cassettes. This isn’t really that different. It’s actually even less of an issue because the limitations of using one digital format over the other is all software based as opposed to physical hardware. If it becomes a problem that will effect sales, the product developers can fairly easily add that functionality. Apple is usually the one pointed at in this argument, but it’s not in their best interest to do so now because they have the best selling player and the best selling store. If that changes on either front, they can adjust accordingly either by making the iPod compatible with WMA or offering music in WMA on iTMS (although I hope neither happens). It’s just an extension of the whole Mac vs PC battle and the press knows it’s good for hits.

  4. consumers bought new media because it was better quality or it was more convenient (random access) or more durable.

    online music is not as good quality, more restrictive and doesn’t physically exist.

    it’s a little different now, as current digital formats are indistinguishable from a CD if one wishes… meaning CDs and online music will co-exist, not replace one another…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.