iPod, iTunes, and iTunes Music Store competitors lack Apple’s ‘seamless integration and ease’

Apple iPod competitors are trying to compete by building in features, available to iPod users via third-party add-ons, such as FM tuners, replaceable batteries, voice recording, etc. according to an article by Daniel Greenberg in The Washington Post. The built-in microphones in these iPod also-ran players are “hardly hi-fi” and built-in FM “may not have crystal-clear reception,” but “these options have become nearly standard among Apple’s competitors,” Greenberg explains.

Greenberg also writes, “Music players also plug into music-management programs on a computer, an area where Apple retains a sizable advantage with its iTunes software. All other competing players require using some other application, often Microsoft’s Windows Media Player software. That has been greatly improved and offers more features than iTunes but still lacks the seamless integration and ease of Apple’s program.”

“That problem alone leaves competing players stuck in second place — at least, among the great majority of buyers who don’t covet extra features for their own sake. The other manufacturers, for all their occasional creativity, have yet to integrate all the components of a successful audio-on-the-go experience as thoroughly as Apple has,” Greenberg writes.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Music lovers make Apple’s iTunes Music Store AAC format the de facto standard for online music – August 28, 2005
Apple’s understanding of what really counts makes iPod+iTunes impossible to beat – June 22, 2005
BofA: Apple’s iTunes Music Store and iPods have symbiotic ‘stickiness, protective effect’ – May 12, 2005
Enjoying Apple’s iTunes and iTunes Music Store without owning an iPod – May 11, 2005
Microsoft faces tough issues vs. Apple’s potent iPod+iTunes combo – September 01, 2004


  1. from Artisticulated:
    “What? More features in an app. doesn’t automagically make it better? Or even better liked? Color me shocked.”

    Besides a scary, insecure, infested system, isn’t M$ also famous for the creation of ‘FEATURE B L O A T’?! LOL

    What would you expect, a system that is full of poorly thought out extra features that keep the user from doing what they want to do and make the system even more insecure and undependable?

    MW-‘rather’: as in I’d roather use a Mac and an iPod, thanks!

  2. Thanks macnut222 ..

    The requirements are (amongst others) that the credit card (and not just the billing address) be locally issued from the country of iTMS purchase. My Visa card was issued in from the States but I live in Canada and my billing address is in Canada. Apple will take the card for .Mac but not for the iTMS.

    Yeah I know .. get a Canadian card. Well, I’ll pass. I love Apple, I swear to god, but not bad enough to get a whole new ‘special’ credit card just for them. The card works 100% everywhere else and 100% for everything else, in fact .. except for the iTunes Music Store.

  3. gwm:

    I just noticed that London Drugs is selling prepaid ITMS cards ($20 or $50) for ITMS Canada.

    I’m not sure if this will work … maybe try picking up one of the $20 cards and try to redeem it and see if it will let you create an account using the prepaid card.

  4. ahh Derrick .. lol

    Yeah, there is a workaround or two. I was just getting uppity about the ‘seamless integration’ stuff, eh? ‘Cause for me .. it isn’t. Believe me, when Apple wants it’s dot mac money .. they just go right to my Visa account and take it (with prior notification to me, of course). I’ma hold out and keep giving ’em heck in here and see if maybe they won’t do right by me in the long run.

  5. gwm:

    You definitely have a point … Apple might be doing you a favor ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> … once you have ITMS access, you will be spending much more $$$ on music … trust me.

  6. heh. I’m sure, Derrick.

    I’ll tell you what I WOULD get a special credit card for: If I could buy from any iTMS in any country .. I’d get that special credit card in a hurry .. but that purchasing ability is not likely to happen, at least not until Apple takes over the entire music industry, which I guess they might. I wish it would happen quicker, that’s all. ahaha

  7. A global ITMS would be awesome … since the record companies are regional … it would take some convincing … however, I don’t see why this couldn’t happen in the future. Just keep separate stores to simplify billing … however, have access to one catalog.

  8. Right now, the whole “different store for different countries” thing is not about billing but about licensing. Artists (especially indies) often sign with different record companies for different countries. For example: a British band may be with EMI in Europe, but with Sony in USA. But their new record has been released in the UK first! So from the USA you log on to iTMS/UK and buy (from EMI), with a US credit card. You (and Apple) have just violated Sony’s contractual right to be the only label to sell that artist to US customers.

    Until Apple and the labels can work a way around this, the different stores will continue.

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