iWant my iTunes

April 30, 2003

With the advance press its gotten, was anyone surprised when Apple unveiled its new iTunes music store? The software is as slick as could be expected. Makes getting music as fast and easy as possible. I could end up dropping a lot of money through this service.

But I can't yet, not until I can get the music that I want. Apple's selection is currently thin and mediocre. Radiohead? OK Computer and no more. I wanted to buy Ben Folds Five's eponymous debut album. Not available. Beatles? Nothing. Not only are some artists not represented, but some albums are incomplete. I however, can't classify this as too great a detriment at this point. Unlike eMusic, Rhapsody or Pressplay, there's no subscription fee, so I don't feel like I'm wasting money waiting for the music I want. I doubt the selection will be so thin in 6 months.

Now that the service is up and running, I hope that Apple with get some deals done with indie labels to get their music on the service. I hope that up and coming artists will be able to distribute some of their music at a lower price to encourage more listening. I expect that the selection will grow not only more complete, but broader fairly quickly.

The software itself is easy to use and lots of fun. Browsing, finding and downloading music is tremendously easy. I'm not a big user of any of the post-Napster P2Ps because I find the return on my time to be too small and the availability and quality of files to be too erratic to waste time on.

128kbps AAC encoding sounds marginally better than the 192kbps MP3 I usually use to rip my CDs and blows away the quality of 128k MP3 while retaining the same file size. I may switch to ripping CDs in AAC format. As for the DRM, it's not great. If you want to share music with a friend, you need to give that friend your Apple ID password (which is linked to your credit card info and, in my case, .mac account.)

My favorite feature of iTunes 4, though, is the playlist sharing feature. iTunes users can share their music libraries over a local network with Rendezvous or over the internet. It's very slick.I could use another OS X computer to run as a personal media server... Of course, I could also use a 30 gig iPod.

Terms of Service: "Apple reserves the right, at any time and from time to time, to update, revise, supplement, and otherwise modify this Agreement and to impose new or additional rules, policies, terms, or conditions on your use of the Service."

Ads. My favorite isBaby got back.

How to link to items in the iTunes Store

And, some other opinions:
Paul Boutin (Slate):The 10-10-220 of File-Sharing

John Borland (News.com): Apple unveils music store

Farhad Manjoo (Salon): I have seen the future of music and its name is iTunes

David Pogue (NY Times): Apple’s New Online Music Service

Walter Mossberg (Wall St. Journal): Apple's New Service Beats Illegal Free Sites

Posted by Andrew Raff at April 30, 2003 10:58 PM
Trackback URL for this entry: http://www.andrewraff.com/mt/mt-trackytrack.cgi/399
iTunes4: A Shot But No Score
Excerpt: I haven't said much about Apple's new iTunes 4 online music service because it has been reviewed endlessly elsewhere. (See, for example, Andrew Raff's link roundup, more discussion on What Do I Know, and suggestions for improving the service at Signal ...
Weblog: ambivalent imbroglio
Tracked: May 6, 2003 11:02 AM