ScatterTunes is a Texas start-up focused on making the experience of digital music more visual and interactive. In September, the company introduced its V-Album format, which includes audio tracks in unprotected MP3 format, plus material such as lyrics, photos, videos, and links to merchandise and (where applicable) concert tickets. Although the audio portion of the download works with any software, and can be exported to any MP3 player, the video part requires downloading and installing the free ScatterTunes Player. So far, ScatterTunes has only released a couple of V-Albums, and none by artists I'm interested in, so I didn'… Read more
Apple introduced iTunes on January 9, 2001, but it wasn't that big a deal; world domination took years to fully develop. I admired the effort, and Apple figured out a way to get people to pay for downloaded music. That's a good thing.
My biggest problem with iTunes is that it doesn't sound as good as a CD or LP, and Apple hasn't even bothered to offer high-resolution FLAC downloads for those who care about sound quality. No, Apple instead spearheaded the race to the bottom for sound quality. Worse yet, you can sometimes buy the CD for less than the price of the iTunes album; I paid $7.99 for the new Spoon CD, "Transference," on Amazon.
Why would anyone pay more for lower-quality sound? Or why does iTunes regularly charge the same price; downloads should always be a lot cheaper than physical product, shouldn't they? I guess not; buyers happily pay a premium for instant gratification. I don't get it.
So I'm left wondering, would CD sales have tanked if iTunes never appeared? Maybe Tower Records and a lot of great local record stores would still be around. I don't know about you, but I discovered tons of great music in small, neighborhood record stores. In NYC it was easy to score great deals on used CDs, at lower prices than on iTunes.
Maybe that's what I find so unpalatable about iTunes, the way it crushed the retail side of the record biz. In the pre-iTunes era you probably bought your tunes in your town, didn't you? … Read more
On today's show, Apple wants to wipe all HTC phones from the face of the earth, apparently because Steve Jobs is just grouchy about this whole business. Donald and Molly engage in a nice long talk about the validity of software patents, and then we wonder whether anyone would actually line up to buy a new 3D HDTV. Meanwhile, the well-meaning House of Lords is probably going to destroy the Internet.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 1178
Apple: HTC phones caused ‘irreparable injury’; asks for ban on … Read more
Digital downloads, despite seeing healthy growth through 2008, leveled off in 2009, coming in at $291 million instead of the $360 million projected by Screen Digest. While Hollywood searches for scapegoats, it need look no further than itself and the burdensome controls it puts on digital.As Arash Amel, research director with Screen Digest, puts it:
Digital downloading is characterized by its restrictions--it's all about what viewers can't do, rather than what they can do.
When will Hollywood learn?
The movie studios are overlooking their real value, just as the record labels did before them. Hollywood is desperate … Read more
It's not every day you get a personal call from Steve Jobs, so it stands to reason that when you pick up the phone and Jobs is on the other end, you'd think you're being pranked.
Apparently, when Sulcer heard Jobs say, "This is Steve Jobs from Apple," he replied, "Yeah right! Come on now, who is this?" But when he saw the caller ID, which was simply "Apple," Sulcer he realized he was actually the winner of a $10,000 iTunes gift card. He later told Rolling Stone he had a son who loves playing tricks and thought he was the one making the Jobs call.… Read more
Yes, things really do happen that way. Only this time, somebody is going to like it very much.
Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Ga., just won Apple's iTunes Countdown to 10 Billion Songs contest with the purchase of Johnny Cash's "Guess Things Happen That Way." This also means the song is the 10 billionth song downloaded from Apple's Store using iTunes.
With his purchase, Salcer got the best deal ever for an online music purchase, a gift certificate for music worth $10,000.
Confession time: In the nearly five years since iTunes began selling TV shows, I've purchased exactly zero. Why? Because I think Apple's $1.99-per-episode price tag is too high.
Apple seems to think so, too, which is why the company is reportedly looking to drop show prices to 99 cents. Unfortunately, the networks aren't too keen on the idea, as indicated in last Sunday's New York Times story: "Networks Wary of Apple's Push to Cut Show Prices."
I'm not sure why Hollywood's number-crunchers fail to grasp basic economics, but I think … Read more
Netflix is cruising. The cable guys are catching on. Wal-Mart just rumbled in.
The Web's video-on-demand sector is filling up fast with some serious heavyweights. If Apple wants to make a mark in digital video that even vaguely resembles the one it made in music, perhaps the company should start treating Apple TV as more than just a "hobby." That's Apple's attitude toward the streaming-media device, said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who spoke at a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
This doesn't seem to be a good time to toy with online … Read more