Wall Street Journal blows it: iTunes only imports ‘weird AAC format,’ iPod only plays Apple formats

“Monica Partridge, a Los Angeles-based Web master, loves her iPod music player but hates the iTunes music store and organizer. ‘When it rips music,’ or copies songs to her computer, she says, it ‘rips them in that weird format’ that only iTunes uses. This makes the songs hard to transfer to any other computer unless that hardware has iTunes software. So, Ms. Partridge skips iTunes altogether,” Sarah McBride writes for The Wall Street Journal.

MacDailyNews Take: Wrong, Ms. Partridge, as an ounce of investigation would have revealed. Unfortunately, the facts don’t seem to prevent The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah McBride from repeating incorrect, ignorant statements for all the world to read. Perhaps they’ll all “skip iTunes altogether,” too. iTunes, by default, does use MPEG-4 Audio (AAC), you know, “that weird format” that also happens to be the successor to MP3 and de facto standard for legal digital online music files. Of course, if you actually use the application for a minute, instead of “skipping it altogether,” you know that iTunes can easily be set to rip CDs into AIFF, MP3, WAV, and Apple Lossless formats. iTunes>Preferences>Importing: set “Import Using” to your desired format.

McBride continues, “Digital music and movies have rapidly become the building blocks of the future entertainment industry — in part, because of the potential ease with which they can be delivered, played and moved about. But potential is the key word here: So far, they’ve come with new kinds of restrictions, incompatibilities and frustrations never dreamed of in the analog world.”

The article drones on about “incompatibilities” and makes another stupid, totally incorrect statement regarding iPod: “Apple Computer… are attempting to lock consumers into their products by making devices that play music and movies only in the formats that the company sells,” according to McBride.

MacDailyNews Take: iPod shuffle models play MP3, MP3 VBR, AAC, Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store, M4A, M4B, M4P), Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4) and WAV. iPod mini and iPod models play AAC, Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store), MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF. These are not formats that only Apple sells.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In informal testing, it took 12 seconds for the average idiot to go to Apple.com and find the pages that explain the facts about which formats iTunes supports for import: http://www.apple.com/itunes/import.html and which formats iPods play: http://www.apple.com/ipod/color/specs.html. Obviously, Sarah McBride is not your “average” idiot: . The Wall Street Journal’s editors can be reached here: . Perhaps they can correct these rather obvious mistakes. We hope that, in the future, The Wall Street Journal will commit to doing 12 seconds of “research” before they simply repeat inaccurate statements from “Los Angeles-based Web masters” or anyone else, for that matter. Otherwise, we’d recommend that you skip The Wall Street Journal altogether.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004


  1. You know, MDN does a valuable service with these pieces. If it gets lazy reporters to actually do the basics of their jobs after their In-box gets stung a bit, I’m all for it. The state of reporting today, even in WSJ, is woeful.

    MDN MW: “justice” (seriously.)

  2. She gets paid for this?

    If that article can get into WSJ, than anything can get published in it.


    I wonder how can I get paid for writing for the WSJ? I can’t do any worse.

  3. This article deserves a good old fashioned Apple evangelist attack.
    The sheer stupidity of it is amazing. She sounds like some 14-year old girl calling it a ‘weird’ format.

    What’s amazing to me is when you read crap like this that you KNOW to be false, it kinda makes you wonder what other things they are reporting that have no merit.

  4. she’s a webmaster and she’s this clueless about something so simple?

    she’s a pathetic noob if she can’t figure out itunes, plain and simple. even my techno-unsavvy sister knows about this stuff…and she is only 10 years old!!!!!

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