The New Zealand Herald serves up a steaming pile of iPod FUD

“The iPod may have become the device of choice for those who like their music digital and portable. But the music industry has a big beef with the iPod’s creator, Apple,” Peter Griffin writes for The New Zealand Herald. “Two music industry executives who breezed through New Zealand in the past couple of months expressed exasperation at Apple’s refusal to make the iPod compatible with Microsoft’s digital rights management technology.”

“A large range of music publishers, hardware makers and online music sellers have got behind Microsoft’s anti-piracy technology, but Apple stands alone in ignoring it. The result is that the iPod is now incompatible with most of the music download services and media player software now available,” Griffin writes. “That wouldn’t matter, were it not for the fact that the iPod and Apple’s own music service ( account for about 70 per cent of music player sales and downloads.”

“For Kiwi iPod owners, it means they can’t transfer to their devices music files downloaded at the new Coketunes services,” Griffin writes. “So the device you bought because everyone was raving about how good it was isn’t even compatible with the first comprehensive music download site to set up shop here. If I was an iPod owner I’d be a little miffed about that. Apple’s divergence with the music industry will only going to cause it bigger headaches and annoy the legions of music lovers who are also iPod owners. As a user of Windows Media Player and an avid CD buyer, I won’t be investing in the little white device until Apple sees sense.”

Full article here.
First a quick definition of FUD: “an abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, a sales or marketing strategy of disseminating negative but vague or inaccurate information on a competitor’s product. The term originated to describe misinformation tactics in the computer software industry and has since been used more broadly.” (

Now, the “two music executives” that Griffin equates with “the music industry” happen to be “Ted Cohen, the good-humoured senior vice-president of digital development and distribution at EMI Music,” — the “good-humoured” crap is thrown in there to help Griffin’s more-gullible readers think Cohen is “a good guy” unlike anyone from nasty old Apple — and “Thomas Hesse, Cohen’s opposite at Sony BMG,” who is presumably also a “good-humoured” music executive.

You might remember our article “Sony BMG and EMI try to force Apple to ‘open’ iPod with iPod-incompatible CDs” from Monday, June 20, 2005 in which we quoted Variety’s Ben Fritz who explained the ploy to force Apple to “open its proprietary iPod and let others sell antipiracy-protected songs that work on the device. iPod owners who buy one of the growing numbers of copy-protected discs are likely to chafe at the incompatibility. The question is, who will they blame? If it’s the labels, Sony BMG and EMI may have to back down. But labels are clearly hoping it’s the other way around.”

Griffin explains it his own way, “Sony BMG wants to put anti-piracy software on every CD release by the end of the year. The measures mean you can make three copies of the music, storing the songs on your computer if you’re using Windows Media Player 10, which has digital rights management software recognised by the discs. That seems reasonable enough.”

Windows Media 10 isn’t even available for Mac users. iTunes is available for both Windows and Mac users, which seems much more reasonable to us. Griffin would have a mighty fine career working in a stable with the amount he can shovel in one short piece.

Griffin uses his shovel to cover music kiosks, those “in-store computers that users will be able to download music from. If you’re an iPod owner, however, that appears to be out of the question for now, unless you go to an Apple terminal and use itunes [sic].” iTunes, however, runs on both Windows PCs and Macs, so Griffin is wrong about having to use an “Apple terminal.” Perhaps music stores, if they really cared to serve their customers who mostly own iPods, should install iTunes on those Windows PCs instead of schlock “services” shackled to Microsoft’s proprietary WMA-based slop that very few portable digital music player owners can use?

Griffin finally digs deep and shovels his final bit of manure, “As a user of Windows Media Player and an avid CD buyer, I won’t be investing in the little white device until Apple sees sense.” For some reason, he fails to mention that as an avid CD buyer, the iPod stands ready and waiting to import from real, genuine CDs, not the coasters that “good-humoured” Sony BMG and EMI executives are trying to force down consumers’ throats in an attempt to crack Apple’s hard-earned market dominance.

What of Kiwi iPod owners who can’t use Coketunes? Do like everyone else does worldwide with these WMA-based services: don’t buy from them and watch them whither away. iTunes will come sooner or later to New Zealand. The real story as to why it’s not there yet just might have to do with certain “good-humoured” elements of “the music industry” who don’t want Apple to take over there, too. Even though they probably already know that they’ve lost and that no amount of sleazy tactics and media FUD will change that fact. Sony and many others see it all slipping away and, even though it’s probably much too late, they seem to have no limits on how far they’ll stoop to try to grab it back.

Mr. Griffin, if you want that Perry Como track so badly, why does it matter to you if you bought it from iTunes or CokeMusic (or whatever its name is); does it sound any different to you? Or do you just lust after Microsoft’s WMA+DRM over Apple’s AAC+DRM? The music is the same and it’s available via iTunes to BOTH Mac and Windows users, making it the most accessible, open, and inclusive legal online music service of all. Plus, Apple’s iTunes Music Store offers the largest library of all. Why doesn’t CokeSongs or any other WMA-based outfit offer a Mac-compatible version? Why are CokeTracks and all of the rest of the also-rans limiting consumer choice, Mr. Griffin?

So, multiple choice, Griffin is:
• just gullible and being played
• “in on it”
• more than just a bit obtuse
• some of the above
• all of the above
• something else entirely

What do you think?

For some reason, it wasn’t available on this particular article, but we found this attached to another article from the New Zealand Herald: Email Peter Griffin:

The New Zealand Herald contact information:
Information Technology News IT Editor: Peter Nowak
Online Edition Editor: Neil Sanderson

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

Musicians stage mutiny against Sony, defiantly offer music via Apple’s iTunes Music Store – August 10, 2005
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store debut more bad news for Sony – August 04, 2005
Sony grabs Japan flash-based music player lead from Apple ahead of Japanese iTunes Music Store – July 14, 2005
Sony BMG and EMI try to force Apple to ‘open’ iPod with iPod-incompatible CDs – June 20, 2005
New Sony BMG copy-protected CDs lock out Apple iPod owners – June 01, 2005


  1. What do I think? I think you got too many Google News search RSS feeds, prolly. They duplicate already read headlines like crazy, don’t they?

    That said .. just wait ’til iTMS New Zealand opens. bwahahaha

  2. Seems to me like he’s blaming the iPod for something that is completely beyond Apple’s control. Truth be told, the last time I put a so-called copy protected disc in my mac, the files were visible in the finder and I was able to drag them off the disc anyway. So I had to manually name them instead of the cddb hooking me up. No big loss, and good thing cause I was just about to return it if I couldn’t rip it. Hope that doesn’t change.

  3. Oh, so actually it’s Apple’s fault the music industry chooses to launch copy protected “CDs”(which shouldn’t be called CD’s since they’re not according to the red-book standards)?

    Funny that.

  4. So i emailed that azz clown and wrote:

    How much were you payed by M$ to write that crap story?

    I’d expect this kinda bull from americans, but from NZ?

    how very sad.

    go back to school boy and learn what a real journalist is.


    the lil beeatch wrote this:

    Why would people stop buying the iPod if you could put wma files on it?
    I don’t give a shit about the politics of it or which operating system
    you have a sentimental attachment to. The fact is the system that most
    of the world uses and a lot of the new download services aren’t
    compatible with the world’s most popular music player. I think that’s
    a problem. I don’t care whose fault it is or which conspiracy you
    think is going on. I just want them to fix it, end of story.


  5. Why doesn’t Coke fridge make their files available in a format that works on the most popular music player: the iPod!! I have an iPod, but I won’t be using Coke’s service, cos I want files that will work on my iPod. Dumasses.
    Anyway, I also can’t wait for the iTMS to open in Australasia (NZ and Ozzy).
    Herald, pull your finger and do some real reporting!

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