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iPod touch displaying iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store  (Source: Apple)
Apple launches iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store; Microsoft execs shout "DOH!"

Today is Apple's big day and it has released a new version of iTunes to accommodate the new iPods and the iPhone.

iPhone customers can now purchase ringtones from iTunes. Customers must first pay $0.99 for a song from iTunes, then another $0.99 for the privilege of using that song as a ringtone. Apple is including a utility within iTunes to create ringtones based on any 30-second segment from a song complete with fade-in and fade-out.

Apple says that over 500,000 songs will be available to make the conversion to ringtones and the feature will be enabled in iTunes software sometime next week.

Apple also today announced the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. iPod touch owners will be able to use their WiFi connection to logon to iTunes from any wireless hotspot. From the interface, users can browse "New Releases," "What's Hot," and "Games" from the top tab on the screen. Users can also search the entire iTunes music library, purchase individual songs or buy complete albums.

Songs bought from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store are downloaded directly to the iPod touch. Docking the iPod touch to your desktop PC or Mac will then sync the songs with iTunes library.

Apple announced that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store will also be extended to the iPhone.

Interestingly enough, Apple also announced Starbucks integration with the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Customers who surf on a Starbucks hotspot will be greeted with a Starbucks icon in their iPhone/iPod touch UI. Customers will then be able to buy the songs playing over the Starbucks speaker system through iTunes.

The biggest thing to take away from this announcement is how much Microsoft dropped the ball with the Zune. Microsoft had all of the building blocks in place to offer a wireless music store with the Zune. Microsoft gave customers WiFi with the Zune, but the company chose to seriously cripple the feature and limit its effectiveness.

Apple has now taken WiFi with the iPhone and iPod touch and expanded its overwhelming online music dominance with the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Microsoft is going to need a lot more than a $199 Zune to combat this latest salvo from Apple.

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99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/5/2007 2:42:14 PM , Rating: 3
I could have the editing done in a free wave editing software myself in 3 minutes.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 2:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Can you open an AAC in something like Audacity? If so, you're right on... although most people I know don't really know how to use a program like that. It's smart... $1 for a simple program.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By EarthsDM on 9/5/2007 2:51:22 PM , Rating: 3
The $1 isn't for the program, it's for being able to use a sound file that you own as a ringtone. On one hand, it's dirty and underhanded, especially considering that you own the music. On the other hand, some bands are selling more ringtones than albums, and need the revenue. Also, IIRC, my T-Mobile phone wants $2.99 for a ringtone, so $2 isn't so bad by comparison.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 2:53:27 PM , Rating: 1
Well if I read that right you're paying $1 to have a 30 sec chunk edited out of any song you own and made into a ringtone... So it's like a "conversion" fee. Yeah it's a rip off, but it's smart and they will sell a lot of it.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By grenableu on 9/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 3:06:39 PM , Rating: 1
What I mean is. IF by change you've already purchased a song from iTunes it now appears that you can pay $0.99 to have that turned into a ringtone. It's not strictly $0.99 * 2 because you may have already purchased the song.

Not unreasonable and not much work on Apple's part to make money from an existing infrastructure.

By konekobot on 9/5/2007 4:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
actually that is an evil development and point of view the RIAA / MPAA / and the DMCA have propogated.

With the book comparison... You can't reprint the book for money, but in theory you could make a copy of the media for yourself (you could photocopy all the pages and make a 1,000 copies) as long as it's for personal use and not for profit or dissemination.

By that logic, if you buy a song, then you should be able to play it on anything you want, whenever you want, and you should be able to make back-ups of it and edit it (just like you could edit the words in a book if you feel like it) and play it in any way, shape, or manner as long as you don't sell it, make money off of it, or disseminate it.

I don't see any difference in playing a song you buy with the intent of listening to it and playing a portion of the song you buy in relation to an incoming call. has everyone forgotten the times when answering machines existed people sometimes put portions of songs on their greeting messages? i didn't have to contact the record company and pay them a fee to use the song I paid for in any way I chose.

bad move apple. total ripoff.

By Michael Hoffman on 9/5/2007 4:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Considering how easy it is to use the feature through iTunes, I would much rather pay the money than try and do it myself.

By Omega215D on 9/6/2007 1:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's why I love using RingTone Maker and just get a cable for my phone so I can have anything I want as a ringtone.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By soydios on 9/5/2007 3:28:41 PM , Rating: 3
Use QTFairUse to strip the AAC file of the DRM, convert to MP3, and voila.

Some laws need revising, IMO. Either I pay $10 to buy the album from iTunes with DRM, or I pay $10 to buy the physical CD from with no DRM.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By h0kiez on 9/5/2007 3:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds like a pretty easy call to me...

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By walk2k on 9/5/2007 4:56:02 PM , Rating: 4
Of course this is just yet another way for apple to rip off their customers.

People that use pop songs for "ring tones" should be shot in the face anyway. First of all, put it on vibrate in public you f'ing moron, nobody wants to hear your goddamn phone ringing. Second, it's bad enough I have to hear the same goddam "rap" song on every radio station and commerical 57 times a day, I don't need it blasting out of your shtty phone speaker too.

By gramboh on 9/5/2007 7:34:50 PM , Rating: 3
These pathetic retards think people are impressed by their taste in music. Unfortunately, anyone who uses music for a ring tone chooses awful pop-rap crap songs. I don't get paying for ringtones, I've used the default ringer on my phone, or vibrate, always.

These are also the same people who don't care about DRM, crappy bit-rates, AAC etc.

nice move....
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 2:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right that MS dropped the ball. Microsoft has always been too DRM friendly and I think it's cost them a lot.

Having Wifi in Zune was genius... crippling it was very stupid. It's basically all but useless. The iPhone becomes the step to the next gen of iPods which will probably all have wifi.

And the Starbucks integration... lol genius. The starbucks crowd and the iPod crowd generally go hand in hand and they have the money to plunk down for a song at a moment's notice.

RE: nice move....
By tdawg on 9/5/2007 2:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
The starbucks crowd and the iPod crowd generally go hand in hand and they have the money to plunk down for a song at a moment's notice.

As opposed to others who have to save up for a month to get the 99 cents it costs to purchase a song? If you've just bought a new iPhone or iPod touch, I hope you wouldn't have overextended yourself to the point that 99 cents will break the bank.

RE: nice move....
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 3:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... no... I mean of all the places I would expect to find iPod owners just hanging around, it would be Starbucks. I had one lady start a big iPod sales sales pitch while I was in line at Starbucks... Ipodders seem to be pretty zealous about the hardware.

I bet Apple is giving Starbucks a cut of each song delivered thru their wifi.

RE: nice move....
By therealnickdanger on 9/5/2007 4:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Their cut would most likely be more customers buying coffee.

I can see it now, I'll be sitting in Starbucks sipping my frozen caramel double-shot sugar drink and a new Teddybears song will come on. Suddenly eight out of ten patrons will whip out their iPods and purchase the song in a frezy of technogasmic lunacy.

Brint 'em on
By Phynaz on 9/5/2007 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
Queue the Apple haters.

RE: Brint 'em on
By Sea Shadow on 9/5/2007 3:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Apple has been taking such great leaps and bounds with each new generation that there are less and less of those who dislike them. I use to absolutely hate Apple products for many reasons, but as of late I often find myself contemplating purchasing one of their newer products (though it will take some more work before I even look at an iPhone). It use to be that Apple's only advantages were the intuitive interfaces and the "style" (to some people it mattered). However, now days they have more to offer than many of their competitors in just about every regard.

RE: Brint 'em on
By darkpaw on 9/5/2007 3:38:31 PM , Rating: 1
I'm also a classic Apple hater, although I do respect their engeineering and software in many aspects. What I hate is how they run the company, especially Jobs' my way or get bent attitude.

Everyone that ever bitches about how MS treats customers has never taken a serious look at how Apple acts to its customers and partners.

RE: Brint 'em on
By Michael Hoffman on 9/5/2007 4:13:28 PM , Rating: 2

I only own one Apple product, but will be purchasing either an iPod touch or iPod nano in the near future.

The price cuts should also help Apple sell a bunch more of the iPhones...

Really? This is the biggest thing?!
By tdawg on 9/5/2007 3:02:27 PM , Rating: 1
The biggest thing to take away from this announcement is how much Microsoft dropped the ball with the Zune.

Are you serious that in the announcement of the new iPods and iTunes features, the biggest news is that the Zune doesn't offer a wireless music store?!

By tdawg on 9/5/2007 4:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
I just want to also point out that in order to utilize the wi-fi iTunes store from an iPod device, the starting price point is $299. The Zune is $249, which has a pretty useless wi-fi implementation--basically no implementation. The iPod classic also starts at $249, but you can't use the nice new wi-fi iTunes store with the classic since there's no wi-fi in the classic. Yes, for a higher point of entry, you'd expect better features; however, for $50 less, you get either device with effectively the same wi-fi capabilities (useless to none).

I just can't believe that the lack of effective Wi-Fi on MS's first generation product is the biggest news item in all of this today.

By Brandon Hill on 9/5/2007 4:09:31 PM , Rating: 3
I never said that it was the biggest news item out of everything released today. I said that it was the biggest thing that stood out in relation to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store which my article covered.

To put it bluntly, there's nothing all that innovative about the wireless store. Yes, it's a nice addition, but I don't think it surprised anyone.

However, to those of us who stay in tune with all things tech, we knew that the Zune had WiFi capabilities from day one, but Microsoft for some reason decided to hold back.

So in effect, Apple has swooped in and accomplished in one day what Microsoft could have been touting since November 2006. Instead, the gimped WiFi on the Zune has failed to make it a star whereas WiFi on the iPod and iPhone will no doubt broaden their appeal.

What could have been Microsoft's "gotcha" is now Apple's "pwned ya"

Apple thieves
By jstchilln on 9/5/2007 3:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft had WIFI first and then Apple comes along and improves on a good idea. Apple steals another good idea.

Gee, that sounds like an old school Apple argument.

Who did Apple steal the idea for a GUI from?

RE: Apple thieves
By plinden on 9/5/2007 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they paid for the Xerox ideas with Apple stock. According to Steve Wozniak anyway. Maybe he's lying, but he would be called on this by any Xerox or ex-Xerox employee if he was - from

Woz, Did you feel wrong stealing outright from Xerox ...?

Steve Jobs made the case to Xerox PARC execs directly that they had great technology but that Apple knew how to make it affordable enough to change the world. This was very open. In the end, Xerox got a large block of Apple stock for sharing the technology. That's not stealing outright.

RE: Apple thieves
By porkpie on 9/5/2007 4:02:05 PM , Rating: 1
And Xerox "stole" the idea from Dan Engelbart's work, who stole the idea from researchers before him. That's how research works. People build upon the works that come before them.

The rest of the info
By LCC2286 on 9/5/2007 2:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
RE: The rest of the info
By JasonMick on 9/5/2007 4:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
Or go in house, here at dailytech to my article:

For more info on the conference, bad jokes by Steve Jobs, battery life figures, and more info on the Starbucks features.

By Locutus465 on 9/5/2007 4:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well .99 extra to convert a song you already own to a ringtone sucks big. Right now I use an Mp3 out of my library as the ringtone on my Samsung i720 :P

MS really did drop the ball on WiFi... They seem to not have a very good mind for these kinds of things, I hope they clue in with integrating video marketplace with media center, or lose out to on the video download market too.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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