The Macalope read the headline Thursday that Universal would be offering DRM-free music but didn't realize until reading Daring Fireball's post on it this morning that it would only be offering its music DRM-free on stores other than iTunes. On iTunes, it will continue to offer only DRM-ed music.
John Gruber asks:
Um, Universal won't sell DRM-free music through iTunes because they don't like Apple's DRM? WTF? Am I even supposed to pretend this makes sense?
In typical, twisted recording industry logic it does make sense. What do customers want? They want the most convenient … Read more
I usually get up in the mornings and go to my office and turn on my desktop CPU to check the day's news, my email, etc. But before I even turn on my desktop on a given morning, the iPhone, which sits atop my office desk, will now tell me if I have new email that has come in overnight. (Note: I have to leave my iPhone outside of my room because the GSM signal interferes with my iPod/JBL music dock's speakers, making that noise--you know that noise). Being aware that I got email overnight is nice, … Read more
Among last week's digital music news was the item that seminal hard rock band AC/DC has taken a tentative step on the information highway (as opposed to that other highway). AC/DC's deal with Verizon was notable because the band chose to bypass industry leader iTunes, and because the band is selling only complete albums (for $12 apiece--higher than the current price of their CDs on Amazon!) rather than individual singles. Another oddity: most of AC/DC's catalog will be not be downloadable over-the-air to Verizon phones; instead, users will have to download the albums to … Read more
Ready for download via iTunes. It's a security bug fix release (properly crediting security researchers as usual).
[This entry has been revised: I didn't read the MediaNet release carefully enough...they are offering DRM-less MP3s, not WMA files. Apologies to anybody whom I misled. My bad.]
Back in May, EMI--one of the big four record labels--agreed to sell its songs through Apple's iTunes without digital rights management (DRM) protection.
Before this move, iTunes and the iPod were technically linked: if you bought a song from iTunes, you could only play it on an iPod (unless you burned it to CD then re-ripped it into an unprotected format). Offering DRM-less downloads severed this link, allowing … Read more
After some discussion on last week's MacBreak Weekly, the Macalope decided to see if he had any new iTunes Plus tracks to download yesterday. Sure enough, there were three new songs, one of which was Dream Team by Spearhead.
Now, this is probably just an isolated mistake, but listening to his legally acquired DRM-free black power music, the pointy one's furry jaw hit the floor. As, while both the previous version and the "upgraded" version were marked "Explicit", the latter was decidedly not.Well after doin' that we be headin' for the … Read more
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and New York Times, Universal is pressing for new terms as it renews its contract with Apple. Until the contract negotiations are worked out, Universal will offer songs "at will" through the service, meaning it can yank them at any time if they don't come to an agreement.
Universal is the largest record label in the world, accounting for about 26% of all recorded music sales (according to the company). It has also been, along with Sony BMG, one of the most aggressive about protecting its business … Read more
New York magazine's John Heilemann's magnum opus on Steve Jobs is the kind of turgid, operatic flight of fancy technology and business coverage could really do without.
He saunters out onstage...
Which is to say he walked out onstage.
Well into his forties, Jobs appeared to have pulled off some kind of unholy Dorian Gray maneuver.
Huh? Here's a picture of Jobs in 1998 when he was 43.
Now, the Macalope doesn't know about you, but if Jobs traded his soul for eternal youth, he must have gotten it back for breach of contract.
The senescence … Read more
The conventional wisdom: Microsoft's effort to compete against the iPod juggernaut has failed. Early reviews of the Zune were scathing. Sales have been slow, coming in at less than 10% of hard-drive-based players, and less than 3% of the overall portable music player market. The executive who oversaw the launch of the product has left the company. What's to argue about?
The conventional wisdom is wrong.
To understand why, look at the Xbox business. From any normal company's perspective, the Xbox has been a resounding failure, costing Microsoft somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion.
But consider … Read more