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


  1. “Shawn’s right.

    The reporter was referring to digital music players.”

    We all know he’s right, but the fact remains that it’s lazy and partial truth reporting at best. They could have just as easily finished the sentence by saying only iPod music players but also CD players etc etc… but that would have taken the boogey man out of the story, and the media has shown consistent patterns of needing to have a boogey man to scare people and exaggerate a story (see Boston ‘bomb’ hoax story).

    The scary part for me is listening to the media talk about technology, and how wrong they get it, make me wonder what the hell else they are screwing up.

  2. I doubt if the man is a prat/twit nor lazy/stupid/ignorant or whatever.

    For crying out loud get a grip. I hope nobody sends the guy an email, he’ll think Americans are nuts.

    No wonder they think Mac heads are fanatics. Sweat the big stuff, not this.

  3. It says a lot for the insecurity of some of the American posters on this site that, when something negative appears in the foreign media – no matter how inconsequential, that the insults based on race or nationality start flying around.

    To prove that point, when Jonathan Ive CBE creates an industrial design masterpiece for Apple, I never see any posts saying British genius; presumably, because he lives in San Francisco, he’s be ‘adopted’ as an American because that saves anyone having to recognise a) where he studied his craft and b) where he earned his spurs.

    As this appears to be a recurring problem on this site, I’m now going to start referring to all the ill-informed American commentators as “under-educated American lardass with no fashion sense” (useful for Dvorak) or “delusional Yank fuckwit with an overflated ego” (Enderle). I reserve the right to develop other variations for other commentators as I see fit.

  4. Sent a nice email pointing out that iTunes music can be played on 5 computers(Macs or PC’s), unlimited number of iPods or burned to a CD and played in any CD player.

    Left out any venom or bile, as would any reasonably intelligent human being who realizes it’s only a computer, OS or digital device-not a religion.

  5. “he’s be ‘adopted’ as an American because that saves anyone having to recognise a) where he studied his craft and b) where he earned his spurs.”

    I thought Limeys wore spurs only in bed.

  6. I am British and ITunes music only plays on the iPod, which is what the reporter was talking about if you actually read his comments in context. The whole issue that is being discussed is the lack of interoperability between different online music stores and MP3 players. Music purchased from ITMS is only playable on the iPod MP3 player. Anyone with any intelligence understands this. Only MDN and its hacks who are constantly frothing at the mouth, spouting hate all day would read it any other way.

  7. Portable music player.

    Every laptop made will run Windows XP or Mac OS X.

    Every laptop is portable.

    Every laptop will play iTunes on Windows XP or Mac OS X.

    That’s a lot of portable music players the old BBC missed.

    See Shawn? Anyone can split hairs.

  8. Grrrr… and to think I actually pay a licence fee (aka tax) to these BBC twats who STILL insist on getting it wrong.

    And STILL manage to have a ‘play again’ feature for radio that doesn’t work – at all.

    Sh*t a f**kin brick!*!

    And has anybody asked the Norwegian PEOPLE what their problem is? I mean I understand their bureaucrats getting it so wrong, but Norwegians I have known are without doubt a charming lot. Maybe there’s a reality distortion field out there that puts out an anti-SJ zone…

  9. OK, enough of the arrogant friendly fire from some posters.

    If you hadn’t noticed, the head of BBC Business just slated Vista and wished he had bought a Mac. There is a huge Uk Open Source in education movement and Apple are second only to RM in UK schools.

    The main issue in the UK is IT ignorance – Open Source, Macs, anything.

    The government pushes the ECDL and MS Office in all schools and has done for the last 10 years. Result – anyone from 16 to 30 thinks you design website by clicking file|save as a web page in any MS Office app.

    Can the bigoted iiots please leave stage-left and go back to kindergarden.

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