iTunes

Written on January 13, 2009 by
blog, informative, technology

I like iTunes as a service. For a long time I didn’t bother to use it because I had already been using Windows Media player for as long as I could remember. It played the music that I did load onto my computer and kept it organized in a way that made sense.

What stopped me from using WMP was that it was changing versions frequently, and when it changed things were no longer intuitive to me. So I eventually got tired of it and decided to give iTunes a try since it’s format seemed to have been the same for a long time. When it comes to software, I live and breathe for stability (stop making jokes about Windows).

I had trouble with it at first, and there are still things I don’t like about iTunes as a program to manage my music (nothing outside of Apple’s normal “Form over Function” mentality) but I love that it consolidates my music, videos, podcasts and a music store that I don’t mind using to just find something real fast. But over the past few months I’ve discovered an alternative.

I’m not talking about Napster or Rhapsody where you’re paying a subscription to access all of their songs. I’m also not talking about a service like Walmart’s where if they ever shutdown their activation servers you can kiss all the music you purchased goodbye.

I’m talking about Amazon.

Yes, the online bookstore. As it turns out they also have a DRM free MP3 store that has all I’ll ever need on it.

Now if you’re an Apple fanboy you’re excited about the fact that iTunes+ is now the standard and you’re music is now DRM free as well (and you should be!). But here’s the deal, you’re not DRM free. That’s right, all of your account information is embedded into every track you purchase. And if you want to upgrade all of your old, copy-protected music, then it’s going to cost you dearly

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for paying for my music. And I’m not against Apple’s new brand of DRM. In fact, it’s some of the most transparent form of copy-protection I could imagine and it provides just enough information in it to keep people from just opening up their library to a P2P network. But developing and putting that system into place costs money. Which is exactly why Amazon MP3 costs less. And for now, that’s exactly where I’ll be purchasing my music… and immeadiately dumping it into iTunes.

Now if either of these digital music giants really wants to get my attention. Start providing a legal way to watch live TV streaming over the internet. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before I purchase a laptop with an AT&T 3G cellular internet capability and stop talking to people altogether.

–ringl

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