Articles Tagged: iTunes

Medialoper Bebop Episode 23: Zen Arcane

This week, Tim, & Jim and a very yelly Kirk tackle the following subjects:

First, in a brand-new segment entitled “Explain it to Kirk,” Tim & Jim explain the Twilight phenomenon to Kirk. (3:35 – 8:50)

Then, it’s reported death of the Compact Disc, which — according to some reports — is going to be abandoned by the major labels as soon as the end of this year. (08:53 – 18:00)

Here’s the chart we’re talking about in the podcast:

Also, iTunes Match has been launched, and we debate whether or not it’s worth shelling out $25.00 a year for. The answer may surprise you, though probably not if you’ve ever listened to our podcast. (18:13 – 26:10)

Once again, Medialoper Bebop Commissioner Gordon Loper harasses us with a phone message. And to spite him, you should probably follow us on Facebook. (26:11 – 28:07)

Finally, it’s a very deep look at a very deep album, Hüsker Dü’s landmark Zen Arcade, as it is inducted into the Medialoper Bebop Great Albums Hall of Fame. (27:22 – 47:58)

Subscribe to us in the iTunes, yo!

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The Day Apple Didn’t Change the World

Paper Steve Jobs Apple’s latest gadget is everything we hoped for, and so much less. Granted, the iPad is very cool, but it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. It is essentially an extra-large iPod Touch with optional 3G wireless.

In my last post I identified five things I’d be watching for during the iPad event.

Here’s what I saw: (more…)

When the Smell of Books Becomes the Stench of DRM

By now it should be clear that ebooks are more than just a passing fad. That digital reading revolution we’ve been hearing about for over a decade is finally starting to take shape. Amazon has sold over a half million Kindles, Sony has moved several hundred thousand digital Readers, and Stanza, the free reading app for the iPhone, has been downloaded over 1.3 million times.

As consumer adoption of digital reading devices accelerates, publishers are grappling with the impact that digital distribution will have on existing business models. It’s hard not to feel a certain sense of déjà vu as we witness yet another form of mass media completely remade in the digital era. And it’s hard not to feel just a little bit sad that publishers are making many of the same mistakes we’ve seen made in other industries — most notably by the recording industry.

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Imagining an iTunes eBook Store

Update: This post was published on 1/27/09 – exactly one year to the day before Apple announced the iBookstore. For an update on what was announced, see The Day Apple Didn’t Change the World.

Confession time. I was wrong about reading ebooks on the iPhone.

When I evaluated various ereading devices a few months back, I came to the conclusion that the iPhone was not suitable for long form reading. Months later, I’ve now read several books on the iPhone and I have to admit that the experience is growing on me. In fact, I frequently find myself looking at my bookshelf and thinking, “I wish I had that book on my iPhone”.

In most cases those wishes are an impossibility because there’s no (legal) way to get the book in question onto my iPhone — or any other reading device, for that matter. In some cases, where digital editions are available, they aren’t available in a format that would work with any of the current iPhone reader applications.

There’s hope that all of this may be changing soon, as publisher interest in the iPhone/iPod Touch seems to be growing by the day. Publishers are rushing to experiment with all manner of ebook releases targeted at the iPhone.

In part, publishers are turning to the Apple platform as a way to neutralize the momentum building behind Amazon’s proprietary Kindle platform. Ironically, not long ago record labels were headed in the opposite direction, offering up their catalogs to Amazon in hopes that Amazon’s MP3 Store might neutralize some of iTunes’s momentum.

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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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