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Angry consumer targets Apple for refusal to support Microsoft's WMA media format

Apple faced historic success in the year 2007, with hot iPhone sales and new iPods leading to record financial quarters and strong Leopard sales.  On the other hand the company also faced its share of lawsuits and gripes, ranging from a Greenpeace suit which called the iPhone "toxic", to the far more business-like pair of class action suits based on Apple's iBricking, whose class action group is estimated by some analysts to contain over 100,000 iPhone users.

Apple started off the new year on a similar note, scoring a minor victory by winning an iTunes content rental deal with Fox, which followed with the sour taste of another class action suit.

This time the suit centers around WMA and Apple's dominance of the MP3 player market.  Craig Briskin and Steven Skalet of Mehri & Skalet PLLC, Alreen Haeggquist of Haeggquist Law Group, and Helen Zeldes filed the suit and represent Plaintiff Stacie Somers.  The suit specifically alleges that Apple's iTunes dominance is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

This base claim may seem ridiculous, but does have some historical precedence, with Apple rival Microsoft found to be behaving in a monopolistic manner in 1999.

The complaint includes estimations of Apple's dominance.  It alleges
that the company controls 75% of the online video market, 83% of the online music market, more than 90% of the hard-drive based music player market, and 70% of the Flash-based music player market.

It also points out that Apple is the only major MP3 player not to support WMA.  Apple previously claimed licensing this format would be too expensive, but the suit states that licensing fees would be negligible and estimates them at
$800,000, or 3 cents per iPod sold in 2005.

The complaint adds that the third party iPod component, the Portal Player System-On-A-Chip, and the iPod Shuffle third party component, the
SigmalTel STMP3550, are both capable of playing WMA files but that Apple intentionally cripples this ability with software.  The complaint states, "Deliberately disabling a desirable feature of a computer product is known as 'crippling' a product, and software that does this is known as 'crippleware.' "

Somers is quick to point out Apple used its position of dominance to set a standard of high price markets for higher capacity players.  A 4 GB NAND module costs only $5.52 more than a 1 GB module, but the iPod Nano, with no other additional component differences, costs $100 more for the 4 GB version.

The suit cites complaints from the European Union about the monopolistic nature of Apple's iPod and iTunes infrastructure as supporting evidence.


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Don't just blame Apple
By FITCamaro on 1/9/2008 11:03:48 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Somers is quick to point out Apple used its position of dominance to set a standard of high price markets for higher capacity players. A 4 GB NAND module costs only $5.52 more than a 1 GB module, but the iPod Nano, with no other additional component differences, costs $100 more for the 4 GB version.


Yes it's Apple's fault for pricing it that high, but it's the consumers fault for being stupid enough to pay it when other players were just as good and cheaper.

Prices are driven by the consumer. If people buy it in droves, the price will stay as high as they can charge.




RE: Don't just blame Apple
By djcameron on 1/9/2008 11:21:06 AM , Rating: 5
Bingo! I've been on a 5 year rant about the predatory pricing practices of the so called premium brands (Apple, Bose, Sony, etc). How many times have we seen the fine print on a coupon, or sale, state that it doesn't apply to the "premium brands"?
Then there's the matter of the $30 iPod skin!! It can't possibly cost more than 5 cents to make a stupid rubber skin to cover an iPod!
Then we have companies, like Apple, that typically forbid their retailers from discounting their products.
It's all because we, the consumers, are all a bunch of idiots for paying these prices.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By djcameron on 1/9/2008 11:23:55 AM , Rating: 4
I forgot to mention that I call it predatory pricing (which used to mean undercutting everyone else) because we the idiot consumers now think that stuff is better because it's more expensive. So, they raise the price to increase sales.... wierd.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By psychobriggsy on 1/9/2008 1:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's how you make money if you're a poorly selling cheap jeans manufacturer you know. Rebrand, hike the price 10x and add a few fancy studs or bleach stains, and bam! Massive sales.

So it's not just technology.

I don't think this lawsuit will get far - there's a bazillion competitors on the market, standard MP3 files work on the iPod (as well as non-DRM AAC), never mind the other formats it supports. Apple aren't pressing the competitors by dumping cheaply. It's their own product, they never advertised it as having WMA support, so why expect it? Even Microsoft dumped on their own PlaysForSure DRM with the Zune.

Apple has to worry if there is an economic turndown. Luxury purchases are the first thing to be put off until next year. Things can turn around very quickly then.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Alexstarfire on 1/9/2008 3:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand any of the lawsuits Apple has had. They are all dumb as hell. Apple isn't buying out competitors, so what's the big deal. People apparently actually like the service they provide. They have the market share because they earned it, not because they are being anti-competitive. You can't complain about price if you're buying the d@mn product either. Yes, it is overpriced, but it's not like they are hiking up the cost of food, water, or some other necessity. You don't have to buy it if you don't think it's worth it.

I can't believe how dumb most consumers are these days. It's obvious the iPod Nano isn't worth it. For less than 2x the price you can get 20x more space.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By clovell on 1/9/2008 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
> I can't believe how dumb most consumers are these days. It's obvious the iPod Nano isn't worth it. For less than 2x the price you can get 20x more space.

Some people want something smaller, lighter, and with a longer battery life than a full-sized iPod. Then there is the idea out there that flash-based players are more durable than hard drive based ones.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Alexstarfire on 1/9/2008 8:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, but I was just pointing out how overpriced they are. I mean, $150 for 4GB? Come on.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By marvdmartian on 1/10/2008 10:16:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah!

Especially when you can buy an 8GB Sansa, with more features and better (longer life & consumer replaceable) battery for the same price!!! ;)


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By cobaltb on 1/14/2008 12:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
Key word in your response is "want". People do not need these devices. As such, should I be angry if Ipods don't do my taxes for me as well? That I do "need" to take care of.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Oregonian2 on 1/9/2008 3:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's their own product, they never advertised it as having WMA support, so why expect it?


Yes it's particularly dumb (IMO) to make monopoly assertions for a company NOT having what everybody else has, it seems backwards. Accusing Apple of being a WMA anti-monopoly. All the more ironic when it's a Microsoft proprietary (even if licensed) format that's demanded.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Iger on 1/10/2008 7:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
There is an interesting point though. I've just had my share of experience trying to copy music from iPod to another freshly bought player (Cowon iAudio 7) and back. It's a NIGHTMARE. iTunes is so anti-folder that it's close to impossible. So, returning to monopoly, my life would be quite a bit easier, if I would have bought 2 iPods... Doesn't it count?

On the other hand, I must notice, that it's not only Apple that is charging rediculous money for 3GB of flash. iAudio 7 8GB vs 4GB costs almost 60-80$ more...


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Ryanman on 1/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Don't just blame Apple
By mmoramarco on 1/9/2008 1:48:44 PM , Rating: 4
My apologies in advance for the long rant, but I have few outlets these days to discuss economic and statistical theory.

I'd like to point out that raising price alone (that is, every other market condition remains the same) will not increase sales but decrease them. This is a fundamental point of economics.

To preemptively counter any examples where a company raised price and sales did in fact increase, I would posit that the product was already on a growth curve and that had prices remained stable, the growth would have been significantly more, thus this law of economics still holds true as the market conditions did change (demand for the product).

I would also argue that at an aggregate level, price does tend to correlate to value, albeit with diminishing returns (that is, the difference in value between a $100 item and a $300 item is significantly greater than between a $2000 item and a $2200). As an example, looking at computers, the differences (perhaps in the specifications of the components) between going from a $400 desktop to an $800 are tremendous, whereas going from a $2000 desktop to a $2400 desktop doesn't really give the consumer as much value.

I believe this correlation works at the aggregate and theoretical level but that there are most definately examples in certain industries/product lines that this is not the case.

However, as a general guideline, I don't think it is wrong (or idiotic) for consumers to use this correlation in their purchase decisions, as on average it tends to be directionally accurate (whether the difference in value justifies the difference in price is up to the way the consumer maximizes their utility). Further, all individual consumers, at some level, seek to maximize their utility from a purchase decision. I would surmise that many consumers who purchase iPods derive significant value from being in the social norm (not to say that those who don't purchase iPods are outside the norm). We, as humans, are social creatures and derive utility from being accepted by our appropriate peer groups. In this way, for some consumers, the specific act of not purchasing an iPod creates value and affirmation in/from their peer group (perhaps Dailytech readers who primarily see the MP3 as a functional device and not an in vogue fashion).

As for the idea that the consuming public at large is idiotic or stupid, I tend to disagree. The demand curve is simply the aggregate of every individual's value assessment of a product. While, individual consumers might be idiotic or stupid, the aggregation of all these individual demand curves smooths out and removes the idiocy (at the macro level). An example of this would be like selecting a random person on the street and asking them how tall some is (perhaps Yao Ming) by showing them a picture. It is extremely likely that the individual person would get the answer wrong and could be off by a large amount. Now, if you asked 1000 people the same question and aggregated the answers (whether through median or mean) that aggregate is likely to be spot on (or at the least, statistically significant). This is the reason why predictive markets are both useful and accurate (Google is using them), as one person's predicition is very likely to be wrong, but when one aggregates many predicitions they can be very close to the truth.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By aalaardb on 1/9/2008 5:51:48 PM , Rating: 3
True, when shown a picture of Yao Ming the populace as an aggregate is able to 'perceive' his actual height accurately. If they weren't shown his picture but asked to guess his height, based on their memory of who he is if they even know, would it still be as accurate? Of course not, half the populace doesn't know who he is and would guess around 6 feet as this is the most common height.

So my problem with saying the populace as an aggregate can accurately perceive the value of some product from Apple is that a lot of these consumers of said products have little information about Apple. Now, I might agree with you that they are pretty accurate in general cases, but not with Apple. The difference here is a combination of disinformation on the part of Apple and lack of knowledge - aka stupidity - on the part of the populace. The average consumer doesn't know that the difference in production costs between a 1 gb and a 4 gb Nano is 5 dollars (I didn't). And the average consumer missed out on the G4 > Intel, Intel > G4 hypocrisy that Apple's PR put out. Etc etc from Apple.

So again, I think this sentence is false in the case of Apple: "While, individual consumers might be idiotic or stupid, the aggregation of all these individual demand curves smooths out and removes the idiocy (at the macro level" We aren't showing them a picture of Yao Ming. Apple is showing them a picture of Yao Ming next to a dwarf at a miniature golf course. Apple has always been one to market style over substance. So unfortunately the populace's perception of their value trends towards the idiotic, in my view. And thereby Apple's prices trend higher than they should be (see any of Apple's computers).

"In this way, for some consumers, the specific act of not purchasing an iPod creates value and affirmation in/from their peer group (perhaps Dailytech readers who primarily see the MP3 as a functional device and not an in vogue fashion"
Yup, that describes me.

Now on to price. I've often heard that raising price lowers sales, and it makes a certain sense, but I don't believe it in all cases. Perhaps it's my definition of sales; whether it's units sold or total profit. Units sold will obviously go down, but profit may go up or down. If it costs Apple $100 to make an iPod, and they sell it to 100 people at $101, they've made $100 profit. And if they raise the price to $102 but only sell it to 90 people, they've made $180 profit. There are mathematical functions that optimize total profit given profit per unit sold and total units sold. On this parabolic graph, total profit increases half the time when price increases!


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By andrep74 on 1/10/2008 3:13:10 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, profit is maximized when you sell a product at the price at which an additional unit sold means a reduction in the price to just under that of your cost.

Each company decides where on the curve they'd like to be remembered: high-end niche markets (Bugatti comes to mind) earn very little, as do low-price, high volume markets (99cent stores, let's say), while profits are maximized by those that sell for a price close to their cost (Wal-mart is probably a good example). This is anti-intuitive but classic economic theory.

All other factors being equal, units sold decreases when price increases. This relationship is commonly referred to as the law of supply and demand.

A shift in this supply/demand curve can occur for many reasons, including a perceived increase in product value when price is raised and value disguised. Over the long run, the value is more easily ascertained and price tends to normalize. However, the OP is absolutely correct that social status has value to the populace: when 4GB SD cards sell for $30, the consumer does notice and wonder why their 4GB iPod costs $100 more; but they're willing to pay the price because it has perceived social value.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Proteusza on 1/11/2008 9:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well, yes, consumers do mistakenly associate cost with quality. Unfortunately, its due to mass stupidity more than anything else.

People are stupid. A person may be smart, but people are stupid. That fact allows companies to tell you what you like. yes, they do. Look at MTV. It exists to allow record companies to tell you what to buy. You watch music videos, which are really advertisements, and enjoy them, and they make you want to buy the music. Not everyone falls prey to that - some people make up their minds independantly about music.

the same goes for fashion, of which iPods form a part. iPods sell not because they are technically brilliant and reliable, but because they are popular fashion accessories. this is all due to the fact that people can be manipulated by marketing. Thats why people will pay $100 for a Nike shoe that cost $3 to manufacture.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Christopher1 on 1/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Moishe on 1/9/2008 12:24:05 PM , Rating: 5
I know you're generalizing.. but "I" am not "WE".
I've refused from day one to buy an ipod because it does only one thing I want (play music) and it does more than a few things I do NOT want (DRM, restrictions, price, etc).

The mass market is certainly stupid. They are that way because it's about being "cool", and not at all about the tech specs.

I want function, and cool is secondary. The masses want cool and function is secondary. I think that I will always be in the minority, which is fine with me.

I use $30 refurb players (with SD slots) that do exactly what I want and that I can just throw away if something goes wrong. So far the first one I bought has last me for more than two years.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By killerb255 on 1/9/2008 1:13:42 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps educating schools would be a good place to start?

That's where the "it has to be cool" mentality tends to start for children and teenagers, which gets carried on as an adult.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Funksultan on 1/9/2008 2:19:38 PM , Rating: 5
It doesn't work like that. Trying to get rid of the "Status Symbol" just won't work with the human psyche. Even tribal villagers take pride in owning something that the others don't (and of course, have never gone to school to learn this behavior).

Price is the limiting factor in the have and have nots of our society. Hate to say it, but I wouldn't waste any time on wanting it to change. It's here to stay, probably forever. If you don't like the game, you don't have to play, but don't expect EVERYONE to stop playing just because you do.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Moishe on 1/9/2008 2:27:31 PM , Rating: 3
The other reply to your post is right. It's a human thing. If there were any place to teach kids the value difference between form and function I think it would be most appropriate in the home.

I'm not against cool. I just hold a much higher value for things that actually perform.

I guess people in general are just shallow.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Imazalil on 1/9/2008 2:34:25 PM , Rating: 3
I certainly agree that the iPod is the 'cool' thing to have and that hasn't hurt sales one bit, but I think that another huge reason for it taking off as it has is the usability.

Some of you will disagree for sure, but arguably the iPod and iTunes combo was the first to make ripping/buying/sorting/and uploading to mp3 player so easy even your grandma could use it, and that is what got it attention from all the stupid trendy kids at school, they knew that downloaded mp3's and napster were 'cool' but a good chunk of these people were too stupid to get those on some of the other players out there. Enter iTunes & iPods which even they could figure out. At the same time parents of said kids could figure it out as well, and you have an explosion in popularity.

So yes, as you said, people are stupid, but them buying iPods has as much to do with it being 'cool' as it does with these stupid people actually being able to use it.

I know it's so overdone and overused, but apple made the whole thing 'just work' for the regular unwashed masses.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Iger on 1/10/2008 7:26:15 AM , Rating: 2
It could be just me, but I really hate the iTunes' way to "organize" files. Just a few examples include

- Sorting the playlist manually
- Building music collection from folder-organized one
- and I would be especially interested to see a granny who could transfer her files from one iPod to her own other iPod...

All of this is possible, but not intuitive at all IMO.

On the other hand, style, menu-navigation, general auido-quality and other factors, imo, generally, justify the price... Although I prefer brands where more money is spent on audio-quality, than on a shiny back...


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Polynikes on 1/9/2008 11:22:51 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, if Apple was selling the ONLY MP3 players, that would be decent supporting evidence, but seeing as there are plenty of good alternatives...


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By MrTeal on 1/9/2008 12:09:31 PM , Rating: 5
Microsoft is not the only provided of operating systems, and yet they are a monopoly. Apple has a dominant market position, and they are using it to tie into their proprietary software, and exclude other formats. MS included their web browser with Windows, but at least they didn't preclude any other browsers being used. This is no more frivolous than trying to force MS to strip IE out of Windows.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By psychobriggsy on 1/9/2008 1:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft had 95%+ of the market and the arguments still went down to the line. At the time there was MacOS with like 3% and Misc with 2%. Now it's like 90%/7%/3% at best. Really successful restrictions there, eh?

Microsoft also abused their position to force out competitors, from DR-DOS early on, to Netscape.

I don't see Apple doing that, and even if they were found a monopoly what would the punishment be? "Make your products slightly less cool, there's a limit on the coolness they can have because you're a monopoly". Yeah.

It's also a young market. You might think "it's 8 years old", but that's young. Wait until it is 15 years old. I assure you even with no regulatory pressure, the iPod, if it exists still, will not have such a high market lead. Unless all the competitors continue to get their products fundamentally wrong...


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By noirsoft on 1/9/2008 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
The market considered for the old MS antitrust in 1999 was artifically (and wrongfully, IMO) reduced to include only those consumer operating systems running on Intel CPUs that ran Windows apps. i.e. only Windows and OS/2 Apple, Linux and other Unixes were specifically ruled to not be in the same market. If that is a viable "market", then Apple has a 100% market share of music players that sync with iTunes, and can easily be found to be a monopoly if anyone bothered to take up the case.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Imazalil on 1/9/2008 3:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. There is a tiny detail that makes a huge difference.

Microsoft had 90-odd percent of the desktop market and then they decided to bundle IE with the desktop OS because they didn't want the get left out this whole internet thing, pushing Netscape out of the market.

Apple has been disallowing drm'ed wmf files from the start, even when their market share was less then one percent. People knew what they were buying from the start, and nothing has changed.

The monopoly abuse would happen if Apple now decided that it won't allow anything other than say aac after it has established it's market leader position. They would be using their now arguable monopoly position in the mp3 market to squeeze out mp3, unprotected wmf, and whatever other formats it currently supports in iTunes. Which they simply are not doing.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By bangmal on 1/9/2008 6:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
If MS can drive anyone out of market because the bundle, firefox wouldn't have existed.
Netscape went out of market because it sucks. The users just use what are better for them.
Stop repeating the evil buldle crap.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By BMFPitt on 1/9/2008 12:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would buy the "position of dominance" argument if their market share actually mattered. There is no issue with compatibility, unlike OSes or HD optical discs. An MP3 will play just as well on a $40 SanDisk as it will on a $400 iPod. They'd have to change the most basic definition of monopoly to get it to apply here.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 12:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! A voice of reason!


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Locutus465 on 1/9/2008 1:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
I got a shuffle as a gift from the office last year, but I plan on going the Zune route once I'm ready to put my dough on the line for an Mp3 player. I much prefer Zune market place to iTunes... *MUCH* prefer... I just hope that Microsoft expands out XBL video store to Zune, allows sharing between Zune & x-box *AND ADDS BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TO AVAILABLE CONTENT* :)


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By TP715 on 1/9/2008 11:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
The jist of this part of the thread seems to be that Apple's MP3 players are overpriced, but people are stupid enough to buy them for the "coolness" (or the conformity). I'm in the market for a 8G player: Apple's Nano is $200; pretty expensive. But all the other manufacturers 8G players with similar screens are also about $200 (looking at Newegg). And all the 4G players are about $50 cheaper than the 8G. So if that NAND chip really is only $6 more, then yeah I'm getting "cheated" but it isn't just Apple, it's everyone. Apple's doesn't seem to be overpriced compared to the market. And it's player seems to be the cleanest design (physical and user interface). Maybe that's why they have such large market penetration: no one else is willing to give better value.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By Quiescent on 1/10/2008 7:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I paid $214+$19 2 year extended warranty from walmart for my Creative Zen Vision:M.

The problem that kids have with this sort of thing is that they are misinformed and believe that iPods are the best. Now I work with sound and say quite the opposite. Quality of sound is what matters to me, and the Vision:M certainly has that quality that the iPod doesn't. Creative is, afterall, known for making soundcards for a very long time.

The also misinformed idiot thinks that an iPod and an MP3 player are much different from each other. While quite true because no other MP3 is proprietary, the rest of it is the same, besides quality.


RE: Don't just blame Apple
By XPguy on 1/17/08, Rating: -1
Ridiculous
By Trisagion on 1/9/2008 11:14:18 AM , Rating: 3
Sheesh, I'm not defending Apple or anything, but can't a vendor these days decide how they want their device to work? People these days think they are owed something. If it doesn't support WMA, then go buy a player that does. Simple.




RE: Ridiculous
By tallcool1 on 1/9/2008 11:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
On a spin note, can someone tell me if you can use iTunes or the Apple iPod music format on a Microsoft Zune?


RE: Ridiculous
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 11:57:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure you cannot. Just like Plays4Sure files aren't supported on the Zune. The only DRM that the Zune supports is it's own proprietary format from the Zune Marketplace. The difference, of course, is that there are only 20 people (myself included) that have a Zune that could complain about this. :)

The various incompatible DRM systems make me much more thankful for Amazon.com's DRM free music store. I was able to buy and download the Juno Soundtrack from Amazon.com a week before the cd was released to the public, and at a cheaper price ($8.99 for 18 tracks) than the cd and load it up on my Zune to listen to the next day.


RE: Ridiculous
By Murst on 1/9/2008 12:07:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
On a spin note, can someone tell me if you can use iTunes or the Apple iPod music format on a Microsoft Zune?

I seem to remember Apple sueing Creative because they made their products work w/ Apple's technology. That's probably the reason why you can't use it on other players.


RE: Ridiculous
By daniyarm on 1/9/2008 1:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
Apple counter-sued Creative, but ended up dropping the suit and paid $150 million to settle. Apple was the one who used Creative technology, that's all they ever do. They why they always get sued, they can't play fair and just pay license fees.


RE: Ridiculous
By Christopher1 on 1/11/2008 10:14:13 AM , Rating: 1
Now, you cannot just blame that on Apple, Microsoft and other companies do that a lot as well. It's usually that they make something, it infringes on a copyright or has been lifted from some other program without their knowledge, and they get blamed for what one of their peons has done unfairly.


RE: Ridiculous
By BMFPitt on 1/9/2008 12:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
The DRMed versions you can only play on iPods. Apple has been threatened over that, as well (because they refuse to allow it, not because others don't support it.) They also sell DRM-free MP3s, now that can be played on anything (but I'd much rather buy from Amazon.)


RE: Ridiculous
By drebo on 1/9/2008 12:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Far as I know, yes.

Zune supports MP4 video (only), so that's not an issue, and I believe the iTunes music format is supported natively as well.


RE: Ridiculous
By psychobriggsy on 1/9/2008 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Even my mobile phone plays the AAC (MP4 / .m4a) files that I've ripped from CD using iTunes.

The only limitation is with iTunes Store DRM AAC (.m4p) files which will only run on Fairplay enabled systems (i.e., iTunes, iPod, iPhone). There's some 2 million non-DRMed music tracks on iTunes currently, but this comes down to the music companies allowing all the songs to be made available in non-DRM format.


RE: Ridiculous
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 11:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Simple as that. This case should have been thrown out seconds after it was filed.


RE: Ridiculous
By ElFenix on 1/9/2008 3:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
judges can't throw out litigation just because they think it's stupid or meritless at the time it is filed. usually the other side has to file various motions and get rulings on them.


RE: Ridiculous
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 6:12:18 PM , Rating: 1
I know. :)


RE: Ridiculous
By fxyefx on 1/9/2008 1:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly... I find it amusing that people aren't willing to do enough research on the products they buy, to make sure they're getting exactly what they think they're getting... but instead throw their money around and then sue when they're not pleased with those products... So much negativity! Although I suppose that for large companies like Apple, this torrent of legal squabbles are just an inevitable and set part of operating costs! What large company DOESN'T have multiple cases pending?


By SiliconAddict on 1/9/2008 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 1
Forget about Fairplay enabled AAC. How about just AAC support. I'd love to drop the iPod, but AAC is my codec of choice. People need to stop complaining about this shit.




By XToneX on 1/9/2008 12:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to sue Sony for not supporting HD-DVD. This is the dumbest thing I've heard of. Proprietary, ever heard of it?


By Murst on 1/9/2008 12:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
Proprietary and Monopoly do not go well together. If the court does in fact rule that Apple has a monopoly in the MP3 player market, it could definetally lead to the opening up of both the iPod and iTunes.

Your comparison to Sony shows you don't understand the subject at all. Unless you believe that Sony has a monopoly in movie players (I doubt Sony even has 5% of that market).


By tdawg on 1/9/2008 12:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
How do you monopolize the mp3 market? Mp3 is just an encoding format playable on numerous devices. There is no special reason that people need to have an iPod in order to listen to mp3s; many fine devices exist that allow a person to buy and listen to mp3s.

Similarly, if a person doesn't want to use iTunes, or the Zune marketplace and get tied into a proprietary DRM format, they just avoid buying an iPod or a Zune. Consumers are not missing out on anything by not purchasing an iPod, and are free to choose whatever device fits their fancy. How is this a monopoly? I'm genuinely curious to learn.


By othercents on 1/9/2008 1:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
Apple owns 83% of the online music market. This is iTunes and since iTunes does not support WMA and only supports AAC then they have unfair advantage over the competition. People who buy an iPod load iTunes and buy music will have to keep buying an iPod and buying music through iTunes. (Now I'm talking normal users not those smart enough to know how to convert AAC to MP3).

To some people (IE lawyers) they believe this is real bad and by suing they can make money.

Other


By BMFPitt on 1/9/2008 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People who buy an iPod load iTunes and buy music will have to keep buying an iPod and buying music through iTunes. (Now I'm talking normal users not those smart enough to know how to convert AAC to MP3).
Why do they have to keep buying from iTunes?


By Murst on 1/9/2008 2:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
Noone *has* to keep buying from iTunes. However, when MS was declared a monopoly, no one had to buy Windows either. There were also other alternatives on the market. The only thing that matters is your market penetration, and what effect it has on the market as a whole.

MS was forced to open up a lot of things when they were declared a monopoly. The same might happen to Apple if they're not careful.


By Oregonian2 on 1/9/2008 3:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
Picking an alternative to Microsoft OS software although possible, wasn't for the most practical. Alternatives to iTunes and Apple are trivial and easy. It's even easy not to use any iTunes sort of buying service get get music and still get music to put on one's MP3 (or WMA, or whatever) player. I'm probably going to buy an Archos 605 unit to replace the 60G iPod 5G that I used to have (but "disappeared").


By psychobriggsy on 1/9/2008 1:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's not like anyone is stopping anyone from using AAC - AAC was developed with the cooperation and contributions of companies including Dolby, Fraunhofer IIS, AT&T, Sony and Nokia. Not Apple. I think a lot of people think it stands for "Apple Audio Codec" or something.

The DRM wrapper that is on *some* of the music on iTunes is Apple's however. Arguably without Apple there'd still be no online music system worth using and that was one of the things needed to get it kicked off. Luckily there seems to be a move towards dropping DRM, and that will spread around the music stores in a fairly short time.


By tdawg on 1/9/2008 6:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't the same thing, really. When people went to buy a new PC, they got Windows, which included IE and WMP. Since a lot of these people didn't want to go out and download alternative programs to these bundled programs, Netscape and Realmedia got shoved out of the public eye and out of the minds of consumers. Plus, people needed Windows to interact with their work PC, or easily work with files that many others might need to work with too, so alternative OS's weren't viable alternatives for the vast majority. There was the impression that people were being forced to use Windows, which is probably a good impression of the market at the time.

iPods have a large market share because the vast majority enjoys using the iPod or thinks it's cool to own one, so they get one. But they can just as easily pick up any other mp3 player and get the same ability to play music on the go. Consumers aren't being forced to buy an iPod in order to get this functionality, so it shouldn't qualify as a monopoly. A consumer locking themselves into a DRM format is their choice, akin to photographers that "lock" themselves into one brand's system since not every lens works on any body.


By damncrackmonkey on 1/9/2008 10:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's ok for Apple to bundle Safari, Quicktime, and 87 i* products with OSX. The typical linux distro that comes with Konqueror, Amarok, and several GB's of apps is seen as convenient.

When Microsoft does it, they get hit with several million dollars in daily fines.


By XToneX on 1/9/2008 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
Forgive me murst, I skipped the monopoly thing. Yes, this article is about it but the bottom line is someone's po'ed because they're getting whooped. Also, itunes does allow wma's to be converted so it's not shutting them out completely. Chances are half the people that cry about WMA's and itunes don't realize that.
"To some people (IE lawyers) they believe this is real bad and by suing they can make money."


By Murst on 1/9/2008 2:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think there's a good chance that, in the next few years, music players will just be a part of mobile phones and no one will buy dedicated MP3 players.

If that happens, issues like this will probably go away, since there is much more competition in the phone market.


monopolies are always bad
By ikkeman on 1/9/2008 12:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
The lawsuit is about a company with an exorbitant share of a market actively excluding a format from it's plethora of supported formats.

The pricing issue is just supporting evidence. How can you charge a premium of $100 for an $6 value increase - if you have an monopoly you can.
Yes, there are other mp3 players and there are other online music vendors. It's the combination of beeing the biggest player producer and online vendor that allows Apple unhealthy control over this market. Personally, I'd like to see the player production and online vendor to be split - use any (drm (unfortunately) compatible) player for your i-tunes music and play any music on your i-pod.

This will allow better competition and will result in more value for the end user (you and me!). A CD for $5, an i-phone for $150... can any of you claim that would be a bad thing?




RE: monopolies are always bad
By BMFPitt on 1/9/2008 12:51:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
How can you charge a premium of $100 for an $6 value increase
By having a large base of hipster fanboys that worship you.
quote:
if you have an monopoly you can.
This is true. If Apple were a monopoly I'm sure they would use that to their advantage.
quote:
It's the combination of beeing the biggest player producer and online vendor that allows Apple unhealthy control over this market.
So what prevents other companies from making 4GB players with equal or greater functionality that are more competitively priced? Oh, wait...


RE: monopolies are always bad
By ikkeman on 1/10/2008 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 3
other companies make (arguably) better players with more capacity at lower price... still they don't get market share.

WHY???


RE: monopolies are always bad
By ElFenix on 1/9/2008 3:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
it's not a $6 value increase if people are willing to pay $100 for it.

since when have CDs been $5? the cost of music is controlled more by the music industry than apple (though the music industry is afraid that apple will change that). how would making ipods cheaper make CDs cheaper?

and how is not paying a license fee 'actively excluding'?


RE: monopolies are always bad
By ikkeman on 1/10/2008 11:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
value is equal to the production costs plus an reasonable profit margin - 5%-10% for high volume products.
I know value has nothing to do with the price of an product. Thats not the point.

CD's have never been $5 - but why not. The value of an spears CD is definately less (higher volume) than that of an lower selling artist - still I see both CD's for the same price in the stores. Also - magically, all CD producers apparently have the same production costs - since all CD's are priced the same...
this makes me suggest there's a cartel or syndicate - a multiplayer monopoly if you will in this market too.

according to the article (you might want to read it again) the licencing fee would equate to just 3cents per I-phone - not counting the i-pods, i-books, i-tunes.
That's not a reason, that's an excuse


RE: monopolies are always bad
By Imazalil on 1/9/2008 4:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
The pricing has nothing to do with it. If I want to charge a $300 dollar premium for spray painting my iPod, or lawn chair, black, then I am free to do so. Whether people buy my 'premium' product is a whole other matter and has nothing to do with a monopoly. If people think it is worth 300 dollars to get a black lawnchair, or an iPod with a few more gigs of memory then they are welcome to buy it. If they don't like it, they don't have to buy it.

I am not forced to buy Vista Ultimate, even though Microsoft has a huge market-share of pc's.

Yes you will be able to buy an iPhone for $150 eventually, just as you are eventually able to buy a bmw or a benz for 10 grand, or a Kia for one grand. The iPhone is still an early adopter product, and is priced accordingly, much like the latest and greatest $700 video card is.


RE: monopolies are always bad
By ikkeman on 1/10/2008 11:14:38 AM , Rating: 2
as long as there people have a realistic choice, You'll see you can capture a small, artistic part of the market. not 70% to 85%. When the company selling that volume of chairs sets the pricepoint at $300 more and lives... thats a monopoly


RE: monopolies are always bad
By rcc on 1/10/2008 2:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's not. As long as that customer can choose to purchase the $50 chair. The fact that they want the $300 dollar chair is merely the success of a good (or perceived good) product.

Now, if the maker of the $300 somehow forces the $50 manufacturer out of business by nefarious means, you might have a case.

Success in business should not *ever* be punished. As long as it's done legally, of course.


It's good to be the king
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/9/2008 11:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
Now Apple is in the same boat Microsoft is in.... get too large and the flood gates of lawsuits fly open. In this case, Apple is at a disadvantage. By opening up iTunes and iPods to the Windows desktop market this was bound to happen. Ironically though if they kept the iPod locked to OSX it would have flopped with Creative likely owning the market.

I predict WMA and WMV support on iPods and iPhones within the next 12 months in one of their regularly scheduled "updates".




RE: It's good to be the king
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 11:13:44 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't iTunes already support WMA in that it will automatically convert any WMA files to MP3? I know the older versions of iTunes did that. Sure, this woman may not want iTunes to do this for your entire music collection, as the file sizes might grow and take up more hard drive space, but she was stupid enough to buy an iPod that everybody knows doesn't play WMA files natively. If she wanted to utilize her library of WMA files, she could have easily picked up a number of other music players.

This lawsuit is as stupid as the lawsuit over the iPhone battery. If you know a product won't work how you want it to, why buy it? Just so you can sue? Courts should throw these suits out at the time of filing.


RE: It's good to be the king
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/9/2008 11:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily. She could argue that she purchased songs through a music store that happen to come encoded in WMA and she can't play them on the iPod.


RE: It's good to be the king
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 11:52:50 AM , Rating: 1
That's still her fault, not Apple's. And if she has an iPod and iTunes, why would she not use iTunes music store? The playsforsure music stores that sell wma files usually state up front that the iPod is not supported.

When she found out that her wma files didn't work with the iPod, she should have just returned it and bought a compatible device. It seems like she bought an iPod just so she can sue Apple.


RE: It's good to be the king
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 12:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think we should get rid of this ratings system cause it always gets my blood up. :)

Either people disagree because I'm not bashing Apple at every opportunity (god forbid!), or because they support frivilous lawsuits. How can people be on her side on this issue?


RE: It's good to be the king
By psychobriggsy on 1/9/2008 1:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
You should have bashed the XBox360 and praised the PS3 as well in your post. Stood on the pedestal of Blu-Ray and wee'd on HD-DVD. Instant -21000 rating here. :D


RE: It's good to be the king
By tdawg on 1/9/2008 2:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
:)


RE: It's good to be the king
By NainoKami on 1/9/2008 7:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well isn't it kind of like complaining that your petrol car can't run on diesel? If I decide to buy some diesel/wma, I can't complain that it won't work in my petrol/AAC/MP3/WAV/AIFF/Apple Lossless car/player... I should buy the right fuel! :)


I can't wait...
By SirLucius on 1/9/2008 10:58:12 AM , Rating: 3
...to see Apple get bombarded with lawsuits now that they're trying to play with the big boys. I swear, if most other companies tried to pull the crap they do they'd be sued out of existence, yet somehow Apple gets away with it.




RE: I can't wait...
By bldckstark on 1/9/2008 11:00:01 AM , Rating: 5
I don't want to see anyone get sued out of existence (except maybe Rambus), because that always takes good peoples jobs with them. I would rather that the people who made the decisions that caused the suit pay for the mistakes.


RE: I can't wait...
By SirLucius on 1/9/2008 12:53:45 PM , Rating: 5
Oh don't get me wrong, nor do I. I actually like using OS X for certain applications. It's just their "holier than thou" attitude that really irks me. Guess I just wanna see them get knocked down a peg or two back into the realm of reality.


RE: I can't wait...
By FITCamaro on 1/9/2008 11:01:14 AM , Rating: 1
Yes perhaps a little "its your turn" is in order.

Just remember, no one sues a company that has no money. Especially not the EU. Now Apply has some so, everyone's going to be going after it.


FLAC
By Azsen on 1/9/2008 3:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Sued over useless WMA? Who cares! They should be sued for not including a decent codec like FLAC which there's no quality loss.




RE: FLAC
By TwistyKat on 1/9/2008 6:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
There are other lossless codecs, but like ogg/vorbis there are no patents to worry about with FLAC and they are issued under the GPL.

All good reasons to use them.

I like to think (or maybe hope) FLAC will become mainstream in the next few years as flash storage capacity in small devices increases and consumers demand more flexibility.


RE: FLAC
By noirsoft on 1/9/2008 7:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
WMA has lossless as well. It is technically just as good a format as AAC, and vastly better than Mp3 in terms of size/quality.

Also, I don't think the suit is necessarily about supporting protected WMA files, just the standard unprotected format you get from ripping your own CDs.


RE: FLAC
By Durrr on 1/9/2008 7:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
Glad someone mentioned it. FLAC 4 life


Other Foot?
By Mitch101 on 1/9/2008 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 5
Oh this is funny. Someone always complains that Microsoft doesn't include our browser (Netscape), our video format (Real Networks), our search engine as default (Google), Our Internet Service (AOL), etc etc etc with every copy of Windows sold.

For the first time someone is being told they didn't include a Microsoft format. This Rocks!

I AM LOVING THIS and would love to hear the reasons why they Don't/Didn't.

I could have named a bunch of other wanna be's included but I figured the major trouble makers should be enough.




RE: Other Foot?
By sdoorex on 1/9/2008 1:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is more like, " You won't allow our format." Instead of being, "You don't include our format" It's the difference between Windows blocking you from using Firefox entirely and The just not including it.


Who cares?
By Denigrate on 1/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Who cares?
By Flunk on 1/9/2008 11:24:04 AM , Rating: 3
Why does it suck? please prove your totally unsubstantiated claim.


RE: Who cares?
By MGSsancho on 1/9/2008 11:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
wma is very similar to mp3. it can support higher qualities than mp3 can however. but i love your last line, as a gift :D


RE: Who cares?
By Murst on 1/9/2008 12:09:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Rip your content in a better format that will play on the iPod

What better format?

I know there's better formats than WMA, but I wasn't aware that any were supported by the iPod.


ipod pricing
By ElFenix on 1/9/2008 11:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
the price of a good is not the sum of the component parts, but rather what people will pay for the whole. i wonder how much the lawyer paid for his suit? after all, it's just wool.




RE: ipod pricing
By drebo on 1/9/2008 12:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but the process of turning wool into a suit is far more complex than the process of including a 4gb NAND module instead of a 1gb NAND module. In that case, it IS just the sum of its parts, as it's a drop-in replacement. Nothing else needs to change in order to support it.

When you buy a new car and you upgrade the stereo as an option, you pay the difference in cost between the stock stereo and the new stereo you want. It's a drop-in replacement. I'd bet you'd be pretty pissed off, too, if they charged you 20x the difference.


RE: ipod pricing
By Darnell021 on 1/9/2008 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I think your entire post is frustrating to read. If everything was sold at the sum of parts how could any company have a product line of mp3 players. There needs to be a difference in price based on what consumers will pay otherwise who would buy the smaller(less memory) players. They would be cannibalized by the market. As for wool suits, I'm sure you can find some outrageously expensive wool suits which are unjustifiably priced based on the process of turning wool into a suit. And if you have bought a new car you would know that often it does cost 20x the difference to have the manufacturer install simple audio upgrades like an aux-in cable or even a deck with mp3 playing functionality.


converting WMA files to MP3
By Dry Crust on 1/9/2008 12:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the comment,
quote:
"Doesn't iTunes already support WMA in that it will automatically convert any WMA files to MP3? I know the older versions of iTunes did that"

Currently the RIAA are suing people who convert ordinary CD's (WAV files) to MP3, so for Apple to be encouraging "conversion" of files from WMA to MP3 by including such facilities within their programs leaves users (or Apple) open to being sued by the RIAA as well. If Apple doesn't want to offer the option of a person listening to WMA files, that is up to them, but it does mean users who legally buy WMA music files won't be able to listen to them.




RE: converting WMA files to MP3
By Murst on 1/9/2008 2:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Currently the RIAA are suing people who convert ordinary CD's (WAV files) to MP3

Can you provide a link that supports this? I'm curious as to the reasoning behind these lawsuits, especially since the law specifically allows users to rip audio CDs.


RE: converting WMA files to MP3
By caqde on 1/10/2008 1:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
here is a link that supports his statement

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/35454/118/

first one I saw on google I think dailytech has one to...


I hate socialism
By pauldovi on 1/9/2008 12:27:39 PM , Rating: 1
Let Apple sell their products as they wish. People should educate themselves on the product before making a purchase and decide if it is the right product as-is. There is plenty of choice in the MP3 player department.

I think that anyone who buys anything other than MP3 is asking for it...




RE: I hate socialism
By BMFPitt on 1/9/2008 1:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hate socialism
I hate astrology, but I don't see how that's relevant here.


RE: I hate socialism
By WilsuN on 1/9/2008 11:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think he is referring to the current situation that the power-mongering-busy-bodies in the government are trying to interfere with the marketplace for their self interests.


just another reason....
By Moishe on 1/9/2008 12:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Just another reason to only buy the NON-DRM/NON-proprietary mp3 format.

Apple is certainly restricting what their player can do, but and is Microsoft. The trick is not to get pulled into any of these foolish dominance games.




RE: just another reason....
By noirsoft on 1/9/2008 7:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
WMA at its base is non-DRM format, and has a higher quality than MP3. Why would you want to waste your hard drive space on an inferior format?


By othercents on 1/9/2008 12:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The complaint includes estimations of Apple's dominance. It alleges that the company controls 75% of the online video market, 83% of the online music market, more than 90% of the hard-drive based music player market, and 70% of the Flash-based music player market.

This suit only came because Apple is the market leader, but did they create the policy to not support or license WMA before or after they became the market leader? This isn't a case where Apple became market leader and then removed WMA to make them more monopolistic. They never supported it and I don't believe that they ever should have too.

Does anyone really care? Most people are zombies in this world taking what is given to them and gladly accepting it. So what if they buy an iPod and it only works with iTunes? Those people who care are the ones that will fix it themselves. The only people who care enough to sue are lawyers.

Other




By othercents on 1/9/2008 1:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Another thing about WMA and iPod. WMA was originally created in 1999, but was rebuilt as WMA2 in 2000. Both versions had a basic DRM package which is nothing like the DRM we see today. WMA DRM v2 wasn't released until 2003. At the point that iPod was being released in October 2000, MP3 was the primary encoding for music not WMA. The reason that iPod created their own encoding was to incorporate DRM into iTunes.

Why would a company change the way they do business because a new encoding is created? They have no incentive to license WMA because their product sells just fine without it. It makes no business sense to license something that will not add value.

Other


No Tears Shed Here
By TwistyKat on 1/9/2008 1:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares? When out of the home I'm more than happy with my Cowon U3 which plays all my ogg/vorbis which files I ripped from my own CDs.

And when at home I'm totally enthralled with Amarok which also plays all my music file and just generally makes me happy. :-)

I hope Apple and MS kill each other AFAIK.




By just4U on 1/9/2008 2:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a Ipod nano 8gig for my girlfriend at Christmas. I was a little surprised at how much it cost for such a small thing and figured well their popular ....

While being a computer enthusiast, I don't know a whole helluva lot about portable Mp3 players and am curious which one you people like/dislike and the reason why.




Licensing Fees
By drinkmorejava on 1/9/2008 3:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just looking at the sample Microsoft WMA contract for embedded devices, Apple would need to pay $0.10 per device for decode capabilities + $400,000 per year, $0.25 per copy of iTunes for encode/decode capabilities + $210,000 per year, and Microsoft can increase fees 25% during each contract renewal. DRM is free though, haha

Not terribly much, but significantly greater than $800,000 per year. I don't even want to know how much iTunes is downloaded.




singling out Apple...
By spudboy23 on 1/9/2008 6:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
first of all, this lawsuit is nonsense, but that's no surprise. Apple never made any claims that iPods would play WMA, but it plays a number of other formats, so it's not like it's limiting his choices much. the idiot chose to buy WMA files, he should choose to buy some crappy WMA-capable player. iTunes is available on Windows as well, which gives him freedom of platform as well as freedom of format. it's not that hard to find (free) software that will convert from WMA to MP3 or AAC or WAV. Apple simply sells electronics and software and if they've earned a huge market share in MP3 players, then that likely indicates that people LIKE THEIR PRODUCTS enough to buy them in large quantities (i.e. the "market" at work). they don't have to make deals with competitors, then gut them and run them out of business like a certain very large software vendor i can think of.

by this guy's reckoning, he should have sued Sony for not allowing WMA on their early players, since ATRAC was the ONLY format their players allowed until the low sales forced them to add MP3 functionality. but of course, this guy probably just has an irrational hatred of Apple, like so many people do, and the money to throw away.

i fail to understand why people insist on targeting Apple and accusing them of all sorts of nefarious deeds that are not at all uncommon in business practice. you people would have us believe that Apple is the only company that builds products for a low cost and turns around and sells them for a 400% markup cost? yeah. right. NO OTHER manufacturers/retailers EVER do that.

i've bought iPods specifically because there was no DRM-stupidity to deal with (unless i buy stuff through the iTunes store, something i CHOOSE not to do), and i will never support Windows Media and it's draconian "you're a criminal" approach to digital media playback. that's my choice, and if i suffer somehow from lack of media availability in a playable format...i've only myself to blame.

i expect he will find himself on the other side of a losing lawsuit, several thousand dollars lighter and possibly a bit wiser as to the ways of business and marketing in the modern era. or maybe he'll just be one of the Apple-hating posters that seem to appear so frequently on tech sites.




Crazy
By jeromekwok on 1/10/2008 12:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like he wants to use gasoline on a diesel car.

He knew iPod is not going to support WMA the day he bought it.




LOL
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/10/2008 12:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
This is MSFT's fault for releasing their own idiotic competitor to mp3. MP3 is a completely open standard, there is absolutely no reason to have WMA at all, and absolutely NO reason for AAPL to support it.




"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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