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Is iTunes a monopoly? One out of one bloggers agree!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes makes a rather lame attempt. Again.

Boy, this whole thing with Adrian Kingsley-Hughes lobbing balls in the air only to have Apple bloggers mercilessly smashing them back down in his side of the court really doesn't make for very good tennis, does it?

Lord knows what satisfaction he sees in it, other than the increased hit counts from people linking to him and saying "Can you believe this guy?!"

Kingsley-Hughes has sadly trodden off the path of virtue he set for himself on his PC Doctor blog where his Q&A says:

Why do you rarely talk about anything Mac/Linux/etc ...
I only talk about things that I know. 'Nuff said!

Dude, what happened to that? You used to stand for something!

You've changed, man. You've changed.

Taking a look at the last 10 posts on his ZDNet blog, the Macalope sees that one is about Ubuntu (aka, the operating system that's fun to say), another is about software updates from a variety of vendors including Apple and the remaining eight are specifically about Apple.

If you ask the horny one, he's so far off the path of virtue he can't even see it anymore. He's over the river of temptation, through the forest of overconfidence and head first down the rabbit hole of jackassery.

MacUser's Dan Moren has already ably taken down Kingsley-Hughes' latest but, sadly, the silly pundit beat was the beat the Macalope was born to. There's really no use complaining about it now. One might as well complain about how hard it is to wear hats with giant antlers poking out of one's head.

It's pointless.

If you'll pardon the pun.

Anyhoo, after asking his readers' opinions on whether or not iTunes is monopolistic -- come now, students, there is no wrong answer! Ha-ha! -- and having most of his readers say "no, not so much", Kingsley-Hughes stomps his foot and says "It is so monopolistic!"

"What are you people? On dope?"

So, Professor Kingsley-Hughes, just how is iTunes monopolistic?

iTunes is also very picky about which formats it'll play.

You say, "Huh?"

Waiiiiiiit foooooooor iiiiiiiiiit!

If you're [sic] existing music library is in WMA format then you have many pleasant evenings ahead managing the mind-numbingly slow import process.

That's right. It's Apple's fault that your music is locked in Microsoft's proprietary format. Oh, you can convert it, but it's "sloooow".

Well, Adrian, the Macalope would suggest that maybe the reason it's so slow is to give you time to think about the wrong you inflicted on your poor music by putting it into WMA in the first place.

If you still want to keep your WMA library (maybe because you have another media player)...

Or maybe you're just filled with self-loathing.

...then it's time to invest in another hard drive, because from that point on you're going to be doubling up on everything.

Dude, if you've never heard of MP3 then you really have no business writing about digital music players. Or technology.

How did you even get on the web in the first place?

And why are we supposed to assume that this is in any way Apple's fault again? You're choosing to keep files in two different formats, you knucklehead. Don't go bitching about Apple's proprietary iPod and iTunes when your music's in someone else's proprietary format.

Remember too that one iTunes library supports more than one iPod, but that's another catch. Each device has to be an iPod.

That's a half-truth. On Windows it has to be an iPod. But iTunes on the Mac supports a number of other music players.

The Macalope has said this time and time again, but Apple's primary concern is making things work and the company has well learned the lesson of the Newton: connectivity matters. A mobile device is useless if it's difficult to connect to your computer (and vice versa).

Why doesn't Apple spend their time making the Windows version of iTunes work with other players? Because the manufacturers of those devices already make Windows applications to load music onto them.

By making the Mac version of iTunes work with other players, Apple makes the Mac just work. By making versions of iTunes for Windows and the Mac, Apple makes the iPod (and the iPhone) just work.

You're complaining that Apple doesn't make other manufacturers' hardware work better.

That's just weird.

And what happens if you've got a load of music in iTunes and your iPod dies? Why, buy another one of course!

Unless, of course, they're these mystical emm-pee-three files that Kingsley-Hughes has never heard of.

OK, maybe he's talking about FairPlay files. But the problem is he never mentions FairPlay. Or DRM. Or anything that makes any sense.

Then there's the iPod side of the equation. Apple tried to lock the latest generation iPods to iTunes even if this meant upsetting iPod-owning Linux users.

It would be nice if Apple made a Linux version of iTunes.

They don't.

The end.

Formats that the iPod can play are also locked down tight. Want it to play WMAs? Forget about it.

Oh, fer crying out loud! Yes, it doesn't play WMAs! We went over that already! Did you duck out for a cheeseburger or something?

You know, one could make at least a logical case for the supposedly unholy iPod/iTunes/FairPlay trinity being a monopoly, but Kingsley-Hughes doesn't come close. It's not that the Macalope thinks in any way that it is a monopoly, it's just that someone could make a much better argument than this.

Which, admittedly, is not saying much.

Again, the Macalope's not sure what prompted Kingsley-Hughes' misguided interest in writing about Apple, but the Macalope kind of hopes he keeps it up.

It's job security.