BBC revises article, clarifies where music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played

Yesterday, we reported on a report from Jonathan Fildes for BBC News that incorrectly stated:

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

This morning, the BBC News Interactive’s Technology editor, Darren Waters, informed us that the article has now been revised to read:

Apple uses its own DRM system known as FairPlay, which means music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played on computers running iTunes that have been authorised by the consumer and only one portable device, iPods. Users can copy downloaded songs to a CD and then copy the disc back on to the computer so that the songs can then be moved to other portable devices – but the quality of the music is affected.

Full, revised article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now, that’s much closer to the facts* and BBC readers, who might not be nearly as familiar as MacDailyNews readers with how Apple’s iTunes Store works, now have a much better information. Thanks for the rapid fix, Beeb!

*iTunes Store songs also play on iTunes-enabled Motorola phones, but we won’t quibble about that bit.

Related article:
BBC reporter blows it, says ‘music downloaded from the iTunes store can be played only on iPods’ – February 07, 2007

40 Comments

  1. @ Gagravaar: Missed your post.

    “The UK’s sewn up, and is pratically a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bill Gates Foundation.

    Couldn’t agree more. Schools are effectively forced to buy Windows machines if they want Government grants. The NHS is basically a MS fiefdom.

    The real reason is that Bill is a FoT -friend of Tony who, like most people in Parliament knows bugger all about technology. He thinks Gates is a wonderful person whose only desire is to make the world a better place. Cretin.

  2. “In this particular circumstance, Darren Waters has done the right thing and has edited the article to reflect a greater degree of accuracy.”

    The article still is wrong, as you’d know if you read the posts above this one.

    I’ve worked for and with news organizations for nearly 40 years. When they make sweetheart deals, especially those worth multi-millions of dollars, pounds or euros — the more the deals are worth, the more “discounts” (read kickbacks) they are “awarded” — the more any competing companies are slammed. In this case, the BBC cannot be trusted in stories regarding Apple because of the BBC’s deals with MS.

    MS is using the BBC as a shill because of its tremendous reach. The last thing the BBC would do is bend the truth out of ignorance. It isn’t that stupid. Do you really think a tech writer believes that iTunes songs play only on iPods?

  3. “Users can copy downloaded songs to a CD and then copy the disc back on to the computer so that the songs can then be moved to other portable devices – but the quality of the music is affected.”

    This is only true if you import the songs back in at a low bit rate. If you import them as aiff or lossless, the quality will be the same as the original purchsed track. However, if you recompress a track, you will lose more data and the quality will suffer.

  4. I never said the BBC wasn’t a shill for Microsoft. All I did is thank Watters for cleaning up that other dude’s posting a bit.

    Now then .. Do I really think a tech writer believes that iTunes songs play only on iPods, you ask? Well, good point. But that wasn’t MY point. My only point was to give Watters a nod for trying a bit. You would prefer to diminish that nod of mine, apparently.

    k. Suit yourself, pal. Whatever blows your skirt up, eh?

  5. I’m glad they made the correction, but they seem to have implied that the CD could only be used to re-import into iTunes. I think it is important to note that the CD is a standard audio CD, not simply a data disc, and can be used in almost any CD player (including, incidentally, portable ones). I think this omission and the phrasing used in the correction create a negative connotation which reveal the writer’s anti-iTunes bias.

    While the audio quality will be affected by any re-encoding, the vast majority of listeners would be unable to tell the difference. I know one gentleman who is quite the Hi-Fi aficionado with some rather expensive equipment, but is not terribly knowledgable about encodings and bit rates and the like. He needed a small collection of odd classical works as reference for a choral performance, and was unconcerned about the quality, so I directed him to the iTunes Store. He found what he needed, and I burned a CD for him. He actually felt the quality of the iTunes tracks was better than some commercial CD’s he’d purchased.

    The effect on the quality of the music shouldn’t be much of a concern for most people interested in downloading music off’n the interwebs.

  6. Can only be played on “only one portable device, iPods.” Well, that’s not totally true. Can play on an infinite number of iPods, and iPods are the most common kind of player in existance. So they can play a LOT of places, unlike the slat that they are still trying to portray.

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