Wired News: Apple iPods pre-loaded with music are about to become the new CD

“Big changes are afoot for the iPod in the wake of the Beatles settlement — the iPod is about to become the new CD,” Leander Kahney writes for Wired News.

Kahney writes, “On Monday, Apple Inc. and the Beatles’ Apple Corps announced that a 15-year legal spat over the ‘Apple’ trademark had been settled in Steve Jobs’ favor.”

“But the biggest news wasn’t mentioned at all in the joint press release: The new contract clears the way for Jobs to sell iPods loaded with music,” Kahney writes. “Who cares?”

“Well, the iPod could become the new CD, especially if Apple starts offering cheap shuffle iPods pre-loaded with hot new albums or artists’ catalogs. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album, or their whole catalogs,” Kahney writes.

Kahney writes, “Apple was prevented from doing this until now by the 15-year-old contract between Apple Corps, the Beatles’ music company, and Apple Computer. This contract precluded Jobs’ Apple from acting as a music company and from selling CDs or ‘physical media delivering prerecorded content … (such as a compact disc of the Rolling Stones’ music).’

“Apple has been selling music as downloads for years, of course, but thanks to this clause, the company couldn’t sell an iPod with music already loaded onto it,” Kahney writes. “That’s why the U2 special-edition iPod ships with a voucher for downloading the band’s catalog online. The Beatles contract prevents Apple from pre-loading the U2 iPod with U2’s music.”

Kahney writes, “That is undoubtedly going to change. Apple will soon offer a range of iPods pre-loaded with tunes… It’s going to be the biggest change to the iPod since the iTunes online store debuted in 2002.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
NPD’s Crupnick: Beatles-iTunes deal ‘almost certain’ – February 05, 2007
Apple Inc. and The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. enter into new agreement – February 05, 2007
The Beatles to share the love with Apple’s iTunes Store on Valentine’s Day? – January 16, 2007
Apple close to offering Beatles music via iTunes Store – December 05, 2006
Fortune: Apple close to landing exclusive iTunes Store deal with The Beatles – November 27, 2006
The Beatles catalog to be available for download ‘soon’ – November 13, 2006
Apple will do ‘everything we can’ to lure The Beatles to iTunes Music Store – May 10, 2006

52 Comments

  1. Why would people buy iPods just for the music when they could buy the music online with out buying another iPod? Yeah, preloading some music onto iPods would be cool, but not “the iPod is the new CD.” That’s garbage…

  2. Seems like there would be too many to choose from. I don’t think Apple is going to offer different iPods with 200 different artists on each version….

    And didn’t we already know that the CD is dead?

  3. “Would only work if you could upload music from your Shuffle to iTunes.”

    There is a transfer songs function now in iTunes. That should take care of it.
    Thing is, the logistics of this seem far fetched. Too much variation on artists. Whole catalogs? What If I’ve already got half a band’s catalog, do I want to pay again for it?

    Can’t see this happening.

  4. I dunno about iPods coming with music….cant transfer them back to your Mac out of the box unless you had the softtware to do so.

    And when you put your new music in…it usually initializes it….thus giving you a clean slate. Unless they put the “CD” in the section that is used as misc. hard drive space.

    Not sure…any insight anyone?

  5. “”Well, the iPod could become the new CD, especially if Apple starts offering cheap shuffle iPods pre-loaded with hot new albums or artists’ catalogs. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album, or their whole catalogs,” Kahney writes.”

    – iPods would have be very inexpensive for this idea to have any merit, and even then it doesn’t make any practical sense. CDs are already overpriced, so I doubt people are going to pay 2-3 times more than a CD to get another iPod when all they want is the music.

    If Apple wants to sell special edition iPods filled with a band’s full catalog, it makes much more sense for them to just include a gift card or code that directs them to the iTS to download.

    Another obstacle would be that the songs wouldn’t be able to have the normal FairPlay on it that iTunes attaches to iTS purchases based on the user account. So either they wouldn’t have DRM (which is out of the question) or they would be prevented from being copied to a computer or another device, which would also be unacceptable.

    In any case, the idea just wouldn’t make much sense for anyone.

  6. iPods are getting cheaper to build. Flash prices are in free fall. iPods are big sellers from airport vending machines already. This clears the way to preload them with music with the price of the iPod low compared to the music.

    Now what I want to see are indie band sampler iPods. Imagine if the deal includes the Apple Corps putting together such collections and Apple Inc and the Apple Corps sharing the revenue from those preloaded iPod sales.

  7. Actually, this makes perfect sense. For a long time now you have been able to custom engrave an iPod with (almost) anything you want on it at the Apple Online store. And it doesn’t affect the delivery time much even when it comes from China. How hard would it be to custom install a selection of music or movies — a starter set if you will — at the same time you place your order? Sounds brilliant to me!

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