BBC reporter blows it, says ‘music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played only on iPods’

“In an open letter on the Apple website, Mr Jobs argues that the copy protection software used to protect digital music downloads from piracy has not worked,” Jonathan Fildes reports for BBC News.

Fildes reports, “In the letter he outlines a world where the record industry abandons so called Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems… ‘This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat,’ he wrote.”

Fildes reports, “Apple uses its own DRM system known as FairPlay, which means music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played only on iPods.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, it most certainly does not. Music downloaded from Apple’s iTunes store can be played on iPods, Macs and Windows PCs, certain Motorola phones and burned to a normal audio CD to be played in any CD player and/or ripped again into another format for any player in existence. iTunes Store customers do not even require an iPod at all. Of course, you can use an iPod without ever downloading a single bit from the iTunes Store, either. The Beeb and their awful, amateurish “reporters” strike again. Is Fildes Norwegian? How many years (eons) will it take for the Beeb (and others) to get basic facts about iPods and iTunes right?

Fildes continues, “Mr Jobs says FairPlay was imposed on it by the big four record companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI.”

“Apple makes most of its money from selling hardware like the iPod. It makes very little selling music through iTunes,” Fildes reports.

“But with Apple now such a big player in the digital music market, will Steve Jobs’ call for arms steamroller the industry’s plans and pave the way for a DRM-free future? Paul Jackson, principal analyst at Forrester Research, doesn’t think the main players are ready just yet. ‘The fact that we are starting to see crack appearing in this universal DRM motto means that we will start to see labels opting out,’ he said. ‘But I think it will be a long while before a big company like Sony Columbia comes round to thinking about DRM free content,'” Fildes reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Karwa” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: Contact the BBC to complain (as we already have) here. Maybe this time they’ll correct their misinformation and use actual facts instead of fiction in future articles on this subject.

Related articles:
Enjoying Apple’s iTunes and iTunes Music Store without owning an iPod – May 11, 2005

Piper Jaffray: ‘less than a 25% chance’ music labels will heed Apple CEO Jobs’ call to drop DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple’s Jobs jolts music industry; Zune exec calls Jobs’ call for DRM-free music ‘irresponsible’ – February 07, 2007
Dvorak: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is dead right about DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ posts rare open letter: ‘Thoughts on Music’ – calls for DRM-free music – February 06, 2007

58 Comments

  1. Music downloaded from Apple’s iTunes store can be played on iPods, Macs, Windows PCs, certain Motorola phones and burned to a normal audio CD to be played in any CD player and/or ripped again into another format for any player in existence. And soon it will be able to be played on AppleTVs and iPhones.

  2. I think you’re digging a little here. It is true that music downloaded from iTunes can ONLY be played on a digital player called the iPOD. You can’t play it on the zune, creative zen, or anything else unless you take extra monotonous steps to make it happen. I think they were focusing on the music player, not the CDs or the two worthless phones that Motorola made and that no one is using.

    Can you please look at something kind of objectively even though you’re a mac focused site? Stop sucking Jobs’ dick and attacking everyone else who says something that, in this case, is true.

  3. I think that you’re missing the point. It’s simple to convert music files from iTunes into a DRM-free format that can play on any digital player, it only requires a few steps that take several minutes. If this is too complex for you to do, much less understand, you have my sympathy. Of course, you could also rip music from CD in the same fashion. If this is also too difficult for you, maybe you shoud consider getting some remedial educational.

  4. This statement is false:

    “Apple uses its own DRM system known as FairPlay, which means music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played only on iPods.”

    To criticize MDN for correcting it with the facts is complete idiocy.

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