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Ex-RIAA chief to Jobs: Open the iPod

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  • User profile image
    sbc

    Ex-RIAA chief to Jobs: Open the iPod

    Hilary Rosen, former head of the RIAA, wants to be able to play songs not purchased at iTunes site on her iPod.

    "Keeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do," Rosen writes. "Is this the same Jobs that railed for years about the Microsoft monopoly? Is taking a page out of their playbook the only way to have a successful business? If he isn’t careful Bill Gates might just Betamax him while the crowds cheer him on. Come on Steve – open it up."

    Isn't Microsoft's DRM proprietary too? You only have this issue because of DRM. If a song was in MP3 format (which is also proprietary, but has no DRM features), then you could play it on any portable player. You cannot have a DRM protected song and play it on any music player.

    Microsoft actually has an advantage now. Even though iPod has the majority of users, Microsoft licenses their technology. Thus it is on a much wider range of devices, and songs can be purchased from more sites.

    Would existing users be able to play Microsoft DRM songs if Apple added support for WMA on the iPod (via a firmware patch), or would they require you to pay for a new one?

    What if Apple licensed its technology? It could be even worse, as you would get players that supported the Apple DRM only, Apple and Microsoft, or Microsoft only.

    The best thing for the consumer would be to allow purchases of songs in MP3 format. Not likely to happen though, as the music industry wants to restrict what users can do (even if it violates fair use).

  • User profile image
    sbc
  • User profile image
    lars

    sbc wrote:
    "Keeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do," Rosen writes.


    The RIAA does not like proprietary DRM? That is funny for so many reasons! Big Smile

  • User profile image
    Badgerguy

    sbc wrote:
    Ex-RIAA chief to Jobs: Open the iPod

    The best thing for the consumer would be to allow purchases of songs in MP3 format. Not likely to happen though, as the music industry wants to restrict what users can do (even if it violates fair use).


    The MP3 format is poor in comparison to the newer formats of WMA and AAC.

    Allot of disapproval is directed against companies that provide DRM systems - but in the long run there is nothing stopping them selling this technology, and nothing stopping content providers using it.
    We need to concentrate our efforts on our governments to convince them to update copyright law for the 21st century, to better protect our fair use rights.

    As it is however, most of the lobbying groups (like EFF), don't seem to quite 'get it', and don't put accross a goal that could be described as 'well balanced'.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I wonder how OGG compares to WMA and AAC? I'm sure it is already better than MP3.

    I never understood why MP3 got such wide adaptation - there are license fees to pay, and it is not the best format (may have been before, but not now). GIF is the same (perhaps that was because it was a while before Unisys asked for royalties, and by that time it was widely adopted). We can thank Compuserve for help in spreading GIF (I remember when it was a decent ISP, perhaps even bigger than AOL). PNG is better, but lacks animation (MNG does that) and alpha transparency support in IE (until IE7) - perhaps that is why GIF is still here?

  • User profile image
    androidi

    sbc wrote:
    I wonder how OGG compares to WMA and AAC? I'm sure it is already better than MP3.

    I never understood why MP3 got such wide adaptation - there are license fees to pay, and it is not the best format (may have been before, but not now).


    Like you said, back in '97 when people started using it in numbers it was, if not best, quite satisfactory for most. And one of the common usages being sharing/downloading copyrighted material, I would not be surprised if people didn't care enough to research what would be the risks of encoding in mp3. I can only remember that it did take a long time until there was big news all over about the licenses etc.

  • User profile image
    Briden

    MP3 is still king because it caught on during the days of napster.  then all this DRM crap came in with wma and aac and liquidaudio and everything, and consumers are scared (rightly so)

    I purchase music online, and i will NEVER pay for a DRM protected track, be it aac, wma, or some other wrapper around an mp3.  I don't care if it sounds better per kb, with 192-320 vb mp3s, you can barely tell the difference even over a club soundsystem.  So it takes a little longer to download, so what.

    I will take that time, knowing that i can do whatever i want with that mp3 now, and not have to worry about the next version of WMP coming out that locks out previous versions, and to install the next version, i have to agree to cavity searches or whatever else is coming down the pipe from the DRM team so to speak.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    MP3 is an open standard, AFAIK... hence why LAME and all the others are out there. It's only if you impose on the IIS/Fraunhofer-Gesselshaft patent for the processing/encoding of MP3s that you're liable.


    ....AFAIK/IIRC

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    Hilary is such a hypocrite. What she's upset about is that Apple isn't bending over far enough for the RIAA.

    Hilary does NOT have customers' best interests in mind. She's just trying to undermine Apple in hopes of replacing FairPlay -- whose major feature is that it's only one set of rules for all tracks, as opposed to the windows media hodgepodge of restrictions -- with something that gives the RIAA more control.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Don't software developers have to pay a fee to decode (i.e. play) MP3 files? I know you get freeware tools that decode, which is probably why the patent holders don't go after them (as they have no money to give them).

    Edit:
    You do have to pay royalties
    http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html

  • User profile image
    Bogusrabin

    sbc wrote:
    Don't software developers have to pay a fee to decode (i.e. play) MP3 files? I know you get freeware tools that decode, which is probably why the patent holders don't go after them (as they have no money to give them).

    Edit:
    You do have to pay royalties
    http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html


    That's why we have OGG Vorbis and FLAC.

    If I buy player it _must_ support those formats. iAudio or Cowon Systems M3-20BR-CR would be good choises.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Bogusrabin wrote:
    sbc wrote:Don't software developers have to pay a fee to decode (i.e. play) MP3 files? I know you get freeware tools that decode, which is probably why the patent holders don't go after them (as they have no money to give them).

    Edit:
    You do have to pay royalties
    http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html


    That's why we have OGG Vorbis and FLAC.

    If I buy player it _must_ support those formats. iAudio or Cowon Systems M3-20BR-CR would be good choises.

    These are good formats, but unfortunately not as well supported as MP3. Sony and Apple try to push their own formats, locking you in.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Beer28 wrote:
    I'm not against DRM as long as it freely lets you back up the media to a non-DRM protected file.


    Doesn't that defeat the purpose of DRM though?

  • User profile image
    lars

    Briden wrote:
    I purchase music online, and i will NEVER pay for a DRM protected track, be it aac, wma, or some other wrapper around an mp3.  I don't care if it sounds better per kb, with 192-320 vb mp3s, you can barely tell the difference even over a club soundsystem.  So it takes a little longer to download, so what.


    I would never buy a DRM protected file either. For me, MP3 is good enough.  I refuse to buy CDs that contain copy protection of any kind, no matter how easy it is to crack. I used to buy a lot of CDs, but I won't buy non-standard crap that may break on some player I get in the future. No thanks.

  • User profile image
    Bogusrabin

    lars wrote:

    I refuse to buy CDs that contain copy protection of any kind, no matter how easy it is to crack. I used to buy a lot of CDs, but I won't buy non-standard crap that may break on some player I get in the future. No thanks.


    I afraid that there will be no future in non-protected CD's Expressionless

  • User profile image
    Bogusrabin

    sbc wrote:
    Bogusrabin wrote:
    That's why we have OGG Vorbis and FLAC.

    If I buy player it _must_ support those formats. iAudio or Cowon Systems M3-20BR-CR would be good choises.

    These are good formats, but unfortunately not as well supported as MP3. Sony and Apple try to push their own formats, locking you in.


    Yeah, unfortunately that's true. But no can do :-/

    But it's nice to see that even some companies has OGG and FLAC support. And M3-20BR-CR seems to be an excellent player overall.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    I'm sorry, you poor man.  You apparently thought that after selling your soul, you had the right to make requests of other, similar soul-sellers. 

    We apologize that we did not make it clear that you are no longer allowed to comment upon the affairs of the living. 

    Further, we request that you turn in your 30-pieces of silver and get fitted for your horns.  We understand that this may not have been obvious in your contract, but a signature is...well...a signature.

    We expect to have direct access to your first born as well.  We understand that you and the wife have been trying, but apparently you were unaware that your secretary was pregnant.  It isn't a problem for us, though, "first born is first born" as we always say.

    We'll give you a few hours to get acquainted, but after that, we do expect that you'll have to serve out your time.  Please don't forget the nametag.  The Starbucks theme really requires a nametag.

    Thanks again.

    Tool.

  • User profile image
    NeoTOM

    sbc wrote:

    "Keeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do," Rosen writes. "


    OH! OH! HOW- DOES- IT- FEEL?

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