Category: iTunes

How Apple Took The Fun Out of Owning an iPhone

Three years ago, I was really excited. Though the magic of serendipity, I had purchased an original iPhone while driving from L.A. to Seattle, and I was just beginning to discover the seemingly limitless possibilities of having a web-connected personal computer in my pocket.

Sure, there were problems here and there, but, at first, the iPhone was new, it was transformative, and most of all, it was a helluva lot of fun to own. Apple had done amazing stuff in the past, but this felt like the pinnacle of their work. The iPhone combined everything great about Apple into a single beautiful device.

Fast-forward three years, and all that joy is gone. Kaput. My iPhone 3G is used as an iPod at work, to check traffic while driving, and (occasionally) make phone calls. It’s gone from being a fun device to something that is kind of a drag to own. And I blame Apple.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

On Twitter, there is a hashtag for complaints like this: #21stcenturyproblems, which adds a level of irony to the tweet by acknowledging that a few years ago, noone could have complained about this, and — by the way — most people probably don’t give a shit in the first place. Fair enough, and yet because the iPhone permanently established the smart phone as a must-have device, it’s weird that we’ve gotten to this point in such a short period of time.

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19 Musical Moments To Die For

Mick & Keith SingingThis month, in honor of St. Hallmark’s Valentine’s day, it’s a special theme version of Musical Moments To Die For.

Love songs! Nothing but love songs!

Well, that’s not exactly right: not so much love songs, but songs about love, which is a totally different head. Totally.

However, just because I’ve applied a theme to this month’s post, it isn’t meant to be a definitive list of greatest songs about love or anything like that. It just happens that all of the songs this month are about it, that’s all. Which means, not uncoincidentally, a lot of these songs were huge hit singles or are incredibly familiar or obvious. Which, of course, doesn’t make them any less to die for.

This is the seventh in a series: The first one had 25, the second one had 24, the third one had 23, the fourth one had 22, the fifth one had 21, and the sixth had 20.

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Apple Gets Smart With The DRM and the Pricing

Well, all I can say is that it’s about godsdammed time. Today’s big news out of Macworld — that the iTunes Music Store is going DRM-free AND adding a tiered pricing structure — is good news for everyone involved.

It’s good news for consumers because — from the consumer standpoint — DRM sucks fully, totally and utterly. No matter how it was spun as one of those “for your protection” things, or as “protection for the artist,” it’s been proven time and time again to be a big pain in the ass for consumers. Anytime you purchase an artifact — including a digital file — with eithervsome kind of purely arbitrary use restriction and/or dependency on the large corporation that sold you the artifact to keep it working, that’s potential trouble. Period.

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Medialoper’s 2008 Ducking The Shoe Awards

George Bush ducking the shoe.“Ducking the Shoe” is a phrase coined by Daniel Fienberg a couple of days ago on Twitter to mean “escaping even the most minor of punishments for extended errors or misdeeds.”

Well, yeah.

So in the spirit of George W. Bush’s ninja-like ability to duck a shoe thrown at him from point blank range, the following people and things spent 2008 getting away with shit that they really should have been busted on.

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How The Music Industry Garnered Record Profits in 2008

With Chinese Democracy topping 1.5 million in CD sales and downloads in its second week — for a two-week total of 5 million, the best ever — it is now official: the American Music Industry has never been healthier. Even in what is easily the most crippling recession most of us have seen in our lifetimes, people are buying music at a record pace.

How have they done it? According to Frederick Stamphammer, the RIAA’s Vice-President of Digitization — and the man seen by most insiders as the key figure behind the transformation of the music industry into a virtual profit machine — it was by seizing the opportunity afforded by the internet nearly 10 years ago.

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