Napster President: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has ‘tricked people into buying a hardware trap’

Darren Waters recently spoke with Brad Duea, president of online music service Napster, for BBC News.

“Mr Duea says online music sales can transform the whole spectrum of music production and consumption – from artist to music lover,” Waters reports. “The most high profile of all the services is probably Apple’s iTunes, which has a very different model to Napster’s. There are no subscribers to iTunes, users purchase songs either on a per track basis or in the form of albums. It has sold more than 500 million songs world-wide, but Mr Duea is critical of the approach Apple has taken. He says Apple boss Steve Jobs has ‘tricked people into buying a hardware trap’ as iTunes songs can only be taken away and played on an iPod.”

aters report, “And the ubiquitous iPod itself can play paid-for songs with copy protection that are bought from iTunes and none of the other services, but it can play any MP3s. Apple’s approach means the market remains essentially cut down the middle – between the iTunes service, which works only on the iPod, and services which use a Windows Media format, essentially everyone else. ‘The dream is that Napster would work on any PC, any player in any territory and work seamlessly,’ said Mr Duea.”

Full article here.
iTunes Music Store (iTMS) songs can be burned to a CD and imported into any second- or third-rate software jukebox and, subsequently, into any second- or third-rate portable music player. Everyone else uses Windows Media format? Less than 20% use WMA based stores vs. Apple’s market-dominating iTMS. If that’s “everyone else,” so be it, but it bears menitioning that despite Napster’s “dream” of working on any PC, they’d have a slim chance of us actually believing them if they made a Mac version, so that the 15% or so of the personal computing (PC) population that are using Macs could use Napster if they somehow dramatically lost the ability to reason.

Apple’s iTunes, iPod, and iTunes Music Store comprise the only seamless solution that works on both Mac and PC (covering the vast majority of personal computer users). Keep dreaming, Napster, if you think people can’t see through your hypocrisy and FUD.

Napster is a joke and the only thing that Napter’s missing, besides a clue, is the sock puppet. Die with dignity? Not, Napster, obviously.

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49 Comments

  1. The most high profile of all the services is probably Apple’s iTunes,

    Yeah, the one that started the whole thing.

    The one that’s making money.

    The one that works with the flat out only music player that matters.

    The one that keeps announcing milestones every couple months.

    I guess it’s the high profile.

    Oh yeah.. 80% marketshare.

  2. Right on there, MDN!
    Although there’s no iTMS in Hong Kong yet, its still encouraging to see Apple do so well.
    Thus far, I haven’t seen any actual figures of iPods being sold, but from a visual census by moi, roughly half the people listening to MP3 players are donning the classic ipod whilte bud earphones, and quite alot of them proudly show the iPod shuffles hanging around the neck in front. Always brings a smile to my face to see a like-minded neighbour in the place…. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    Oh, and first post! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  3. It is ironic that competitors of the iTunes Music Store complain about compatibility when DRM WMA files are not playable on Macs. It does not really matter because DRM files are only a fraction of the content in all MP3 players. CD sales continue to be strong and illegal downloads are still out there. This idea that online music will suddenly explode if iPods become compatible with DRM WMA music stores is wishful thinking on Napster’s part. Without Apple doing it first, no-one would be offering per-track downloads anyway.

  4. iTunes is merely an extension of iPod hardware, just like Mac OS X is just an extension of mac computers. iTunes is made by apple, for the iPod. It has some nifty inbuilt features that other companies copied and tried to compete with, but unless the competition can get people to stop buying iPods, iTunes will always have an unfair advantage.

    Apple is not a monopoly because there is viable competition to iTunes and the iPod. Therefore it is up to these companies to make products that are compelling enough for consumers. Here’s a possibility: a music store that sells unprotected MP3 or AAC files.

  5. How to steal Napster subscription music.

    1: Get a PC and a Napster account

    2: Get a copy of WinAmp, you might have to use a slightly older version ans the new one might have disabled this feature…

    3: Search online for the Output Stacker plugin for WinAmp

    4: Play your M$ DRMed Napster subscription music and a copy will be made into a DRM file. WMA or even MP3.

    5: If your lost, just search online for instructions

    Of course all the good songs are purchase only, so it’s a trap doing Napster.

    And then again they don’t have nearly as many songs as iTMs

    For all that work ripping subscription music, one can get entire DVD’s full of music from their friends.

    iTunes provides a honest way to compensate the artists at a fair price, the music is yours to own forever.

    Napster has a failed buisness model, selling music makes no money and they don’t have hardware to back up the business.

    Napster is doomed to fail eventually, nobody likes it once they get iTunes on their machines. iPods are cool and the rest is crapppppola.

  6. “… Mr Duea is critical of the approach Apple has taken. He says Apple boss Steve Jobs has ‘tricked people into buying a hardware trap’ as iTunes songs can only be taken away and played on an iPod.”

    Awww, Boo-frickin’-Hoo.

    Sour Grapes. ‘Nuf said.

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