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Did Apple use its online music monopoly to prevent much smaller competitor Amazon from landing music deals? The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating.  (Source: Dave's Whiteboard)
Apple's anti-Amazon moves may cost it some big fines

When it comes to the digital music sales market, services like Amazon or Zune Pass have made a minor splash, but Apple has long dominated the market.  Over the last two decades, antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe have imposed fines and restrictions on Microsoft and Intel to try to prevent them from abusing their dominant position in several markets.  However, they have cast a largely blind eye on Apple's iTunes -- until now.

Antitrust investigators with the U.S. Department of Justice are conducting an extensive inquiry into Apple's online music business, interviewing Apple employees, internet music company employees, and music label employees according to the
New York Times.  At the core of the investigation is the allegation that Apple applied pressure to force music labels not to grant Amazon.com access to exclusive tracks to help grow the online retailer's fledgling music market.

A previous investigation was conducted several years back in the European Union, examining Apple's iTunes pricing practices.  The investigation's conclusions were highly critical of Apple, but did not levy any fines -- unlike recent EU investigations into Microsoft and Intel.

In March, it was reported in 
Billboard magazine that Amazon.com would be getting certain songs a day before they were widely released.  It would put these songs in a special promotional section dubbed "MP3 Daily Deal."  According to the article, Apple hated the idea and threatened music labels that participated.  Specifically, it vowed not to sell the songs featured in the promotion on iTunes -- a much bigger marketplace.

ITunes reportedly owns 69 percent of the online music market, according to the NPD group. The next closest competitor in the online market is Amazon, which holds an 8 percent share. The remaining 23 percent are split up among smaller players.

In 2007 Apple had a mere 12 percent of the total music market (both online and offline), but it recently became the largest single seller of music in the world, with 26.7 percent of the overall market.

Daniel L. Brown, an antitrust lawyer at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton states, "Certainly if the Justice Department is getting involved, it raises the possibility of potential serious problems down the road for Apple.  Without knowing what acts or practices they are targeting, it’s difficult to say exactly how big a problem this is, but it’s probably something Apple is already concerned about."

Apple now has dominant positions in several markets -- tablet computing (iPad), portable music players (iPod), smart phone applications (iTunes App Store), and online music (iTunes Music Store).  Thus it has leverage to use its position to damage competitors, if it should so choose.

The new investigation is at least the fourth antitrust inquiry into Apple.  The U.S. government is also investigating Apple, Palm and others to see whether the companies illegally agreed not poach each others' employees (Apple's CEO Steven P. Jobs secretly suggested such a truce, which appears to be illegal).  The government is also investigating Apple's ban on Flash for the iPhone or iPad and its decision to block out ports of Flash titles to native iPhone code.  And there's also a pending investigation about whether board members serving on both Apple's and Google's boards violated antitrust laws.

ITunes first launched in 2001 and has long been on the forefront of the push for legal online music downloads.  Apple has sold over 10 billion tracks on iTunes to date, and has become one of the biggest revenue sources for the struggling music industry.  Apple also has supported a number of smaller independent artists by promoting them and giving them tools to expose their work to a broader audience.  Apple also has recently made some steps to increase competition, such as allowing streaming music services such as Pandora and Rhapsody onto Apple devices.

Spokespeople for Apple and Amazon would not comment on the inquiry.  Gina Talamona, a deputy director at the Justice Department, also had no comment.



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wow
By Etern205 on 5/26/2010 9:57:19 AM , Rating: 5
looks like Apple's reign has finally started to crumble...




RE: wow
By Smilin on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: wow
By Pirks on 5/26/2010 10:23:23 AM , Rating: 5
Now where's my dam' "iTunes or alternatives" installation ballot huh???


RE: wow
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/26/2010 10:29:12 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Just like Microsoft did a decade ago. Oh wait...that's right they never did crumble.

Ok how about this: Looks like people are finally *saying* Apple will crumble (just like Microsoft).

That's better.


Jokes aside, I'm not sure either of you really understand the government's actions here.

The goal with Microsoft, Intel, and now Apple was never to kill them or "make them crumble". Rather it's to prevent them from abusing their position. Most industrialized nations have no laws preventing a monopoly. Rather they have laws preventing a company from abusing its monopolistic position.

While fines levied against Intel and Microsoft by the U.S. DOJ and EU's EC seem massive, they're just a drop in the bucket compared to these companies quarterly revenue (maybe something like 1/30 of the year's revenue). However, they're large enough to make the companies think twice about trying to kill the competition.

The merits of such laws are certainly open to debate, but they seem to have been at least mildly successful with regards to Intel and Microsoft in the U.S. and EU. Microsoft now is much more open in letting software competitors design products that can FULLY exploit its systems' capabilities (e.g. Open Office 3, Google Docs, Firefox, etc.). And Intel has reportedly stopped trying to pressure retailers to ban AMD products in return for discounts. In both cases the companies maintained their dominant position, for the most part, but consumers gained access to new products, should they want them.

Hopefully the same kinds of benefits will result from the Apple antitrust inquiries.

I know anti-Apple fervor is high right now and many would love to see Apple "crumble" but that is absolutely NOT the government's role. That should be up to the free market to decide. Fortunately, the government has no intentions to take on such a role.


RE: wow
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: wow
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/26/2010 1:30:22 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
We've already seen the outright government takeover of GM. So how you can sit there and say they have no intentions of getting involved in businesses and deciding their fate is foolishness.


The takeover of GM has very little to do with government antitrust regulation (other than perhaps some vast liberal conspiracy in your mind). Besides if your point was that the government was destroying companies, you accidentally provided evidence to the contrary -- the government artificially SAVED GM from complete liquidation of all assets due to lack of a bank that could underwrite the bankruptcy process.

quote:
Well actually they are probably going to pass sweeping "financial reform" which, with ZERO oversight, the government can take over any business it sees fit for any reason.


I meant the government as a whole. Sure there are radical left voices (Patty Murray, Jack Reed) that might advocate mild socialism. However, there's equally radical right voices (the soon to be elected Rand Paul, for example) to balance that out by advocating ZERO regulation and letting abusive monopolies do whatever they want.

The radicals on both ends make a lot of noise, but thus far the result has generally been yes, there is government regulation of monopolies to prevent abuse, but no the government isn't destroying companies.


RE: wow
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 2:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
My mistake. I was making a broader point than JUST anti-trust. I see how off key my post must have looked now.


RE: wow
By sbtech on 5/27/2010 5:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
Jason rounded up the points very well. I just want to stress on one aspect in perticular, as every time there is a debate on this issue, people keep posting "but they are not monopoly", and so on. The regulation is:

The Monopolies And Restrictive Trade Practices Act.

Further reading:

http://vakilno1.com/bareacts/mrtpact/mrtpact.htm


RE: wow
By akugami on 5/26/2010 10:20:16 AM , Rating: 2
Just like every other music publisher or retailer that has been slapped on the hands by the government right? I mean, we can criticize Apple in other industries for their practices but when dealing with the music industry, this is almost par for the course. The music industry has been hit with price fixing charges over the years. In fact, there's a lawsuit going on right now alleging collusion and price fixing on digital music sales.


RE: wow
By Gyres01 on 5/26/2010 10:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed...I stopped using I tunes 2 years ago...Thanks Rhapsody to go.


RE: wow
By rs1 on 5/26/2010 1:19:48 PM , Rating: 5
It's about time. I've always wondered how Apple was able to get away with essentially forcing people to use iTunes when Microsoft was fined billions of dollars just for making IE the default browser in Windows. Apple's actions seem more detrimental than Microsoft's, both to the consumer (iTunes is an all-around crappy piece of software) and to its competitors (IE was trivial to replace, compared to iTunes). Microsoft was at least nice enough to build hooks into its OS that made it easy to use with a different web browser, while Apple has done no such thing with the iPod and iTunes.

I hope someone finally throws the book at them.


RE: wow
By Tony Swash on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: wow
By rs1 on 5/26/2010 3:41:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Apple doesn't have a monopoly in the music business


That depends upon how you define "music business". Your definition would seem to be so broad that nobody can possibly have a monopoly in it. It's kind of like saying "but Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly in the electronics business" a decade ago. However, Apple absolutely does have a monopoly in the portable music player business, and also in the online music sales business. And forcing consumers into using iTunes is how they use that first monopoly to reinforce the second.

But that's besides the point. If something is considered wrong/anti-competitive when you have a monopoly, then it is no less wrong (from a moral perspective) when you don't have a monopoly. Lack of monopoly status may be an effective legal argument, but it doesn't provide a valid ethical excuse for using anti-competitive and/or consumer-unfriendly tactics. At least, not in my eyes it doesn't.

quote:
anybody can put any content they want on their iPods as long as it is in an open format


This is false. The only "supported" way to sync content with an iPod is to use iTunes. The fact that any unprotected content can be added through iTunes is moot. Users should not be forced to go through iTunes just to get music onto their iPod.

Granted, some third-party utilities exist that make it easier to bypass iTunes, but technically Apple disallows their use. And besides, there shouldn't be a need for any sort of transfer utility in the first place. The iPod connects over USB, it stores its music files in a standard format file system, and every modern Operating System in existence supports USB file transfer natively. There's no reason for Apple to not allow simple drag and drop file management on the iPod, except that they want to force people to use their software, which is tied directly to their online music store.


RE: wow
By sprockkets on 5/26/2010 5:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Users should not be forced to go through iTunes just to get music onto their iPod. Granted, some third-party utilities exist that make it easier to bypass iTunes, but technically Apple disallows their use. And besides, there shouldn't be a need for any sort of transfer utility in the first place. The iPod connects over USB, it stores its music files in a standard format file system, and every modern Operating System in existence supports USB file transfer natively. There's no reason for Apple to not allow simple drag and drop file management on the iPod, except that they want to force people to use their software, which is tied directly to their online music store.


You do know that most if not all ipod users have no clue on how to do what you just mentioned, and that making folders and copying files over is very, very clumsy.

iTunes makes it easy to extract, buy and organize music, tag them with album art, then puts it on the device with all the info needed to work. Either itunes makes the database or, as with Cowon's D2 for example, it does It is a.nice device with lots of features I need, but is horrible at managing the database without corrupting itself. In tag mode, it needs mp3 files to be tagged with no leading zeros to work correctly, and ogg files to have leading zeros. It only took many hours of trial and error to figure it out.


RE: wow
By afkrotch on 5/26/2010 9:09:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You do know that most if not all ipod users have no clue on how to do what you just mentioned, and that making folders and copying files over is very, very clumsy.


My mp3 player is drag and drop and it doesn't require any kind of folder making. It sorts music through the tag information. Which has the crap imbedded into it, when you purchase it online. If you rip it off your CD, those programs automatically connect to the CDDB to pull all that information to tag your music.

Also, if users have no clue what they're doing, why are external hdds becoming so popular? You think every hdd comes with an iTunes like software? USB keys?
Sorry, but ppl don't need iTunes to throw music on their mp3 players.


RE: wow
By sprockkets on 5/26/2010 10:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It sorts music through the tag information. Which has the crap imbedded into it, when you purchase it online.


Yes, but the ipod requires itunes on the desktop to interpret and build the database so it can sort them in its own way. Cowon's D2 doesn't need this. It also took them 10 firmware updates to get it to not ruin the database.

quote:
If you rip it off your CD, those programs automatically connect to the CDDB to pull all that information to tag your music.


So does itunes. And instead of one program to rip, one to move over, it does both. Keeping it simple for simpletons.

quote:
Also, if users have no clue what they're doing, why are external hdds becoming so popular? You think every hdd comes with an iTunes like software? USB keys? Sorry, but ppl don't need iTunes to throw music on their mp3 players.


Maybe you don't need itunes, but they do. These are people who don't even understand the concepts of files and folders.

I know it is hard for you to understand, but there are people out there who don't get computers, and for them, playing music meant putting a needle on a record or putting a cassette in the player and nothing else.

For those people, time and time again, they will find it within their power to use itunes vs. drag and drop. We are talking here about people who, after me explaining to them 10 times where their podcasts are, still don't get it. They also finds the thumbwheel much easier to use than say, Cowon's D2's touchscreen interface.

Choice and freedom mean nothing to these people if they can't figure out how to use their music players.


RE: wow
By rs1 on 5/26/2010 11:52:05 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Choice and freedom mean nothing to these people if they can't figure out how to use their music players.


But it's not an either-or situation. Apple could continue to support syncing content to the iPod through iTunes, while AT THE SAME TIME supporting basic drag-and-drop file management for users who would rather not use iTunes.

It is possible for Apple to offer users more freedom, without simultaneously abandoning their proprietary solution. Similar to how Microsoft still supports Internet Explorer. They have made it easier for users to choose a different browser, while at the same time continuing to provide their own offering.

That's all I'm saying Apple should do. Users who like iTunes and want to continue using it are welcome to do so, but users who don't like iTunes deserve a viable alternative that doesn't require jumping through hoops to make work.


RE: wow
By sprockkets on 5/27/2010 12:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But it's not an either-or situation. Apple could continue to support syncing content to the iPod through iTunes, while AT THE SAME TIME supporting basic drag-and-drop file management for users who would rather not use iTunes.


I agree to that, but that's what happens when you struck deals with the RIAA labels, and while the DRM is gone, they don't make it easy to xfer music off the ipod or sync to multiple profiles (not that syncing to multiple computers ever worked correctly for PDAs anyhow).

I'll take an Android phone over an iphone anyday, and my current phone still does things that Android JUST got as features, like BT file xfers. For those simpletons, choice isn't a feature; it confuses them.


RE: wow
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 1:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, but the ipod requires itunes on the desktop to interpret and build the database so it can sort them in its own way. Cowon's D2 doesn't need this. It also took them 10 firmware updates to get it to not ruin the database.


I wasn't talking about an iPod. I was talking about my Zen X-Fi2. Doesn't require anything to move music over to my mp3 player. Now, if you wanted to, you can use the Creative Centrale to move music and sort it out, if you felt like it.

quote:
So does itunes. And instead of one program to rip, one to move over, it does both. Keeping it simple for simpletons.


I only use CDex to rip. From there, drag and drop.

quote:
Maybe you don't need itunes, but they do. These are people who don't even understand the concepts of files and folders.

I know it is hard for you to understand, but there are people out there who don't get computers, and for them, playing music meant putting a needle on a record or putting a cassette in the player and nothing else.

For those people, time and time again, they will find it within their power to use itunes vs. drag and drop. We are talking here about people who, after me explaining to them 10 times where their podcasts are, still don't get it. They also finds the thumbwheel much easier to use than say, Cowon's D2's touchscreen interface.

Choice and freedom mean nothing to these people if they can't figure out how to use their music players.


There will always be stupid ppl out there, but majority rule, when it comes to electronics. So far, seems everyone knows how to use an external hdd. Which is pretty much what your mp3 player is. The only difference. That external hdd happens to have a screen and play music.


RE: wow
By Tony Swash on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: wow
By leuNam on 5/27/2010 9:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
yep hearing your reply....sheesh, delusional really...

business model - monopoly...

Big, as a business model (let alone as an expression of the national mood), seems bound for obsolescence.


RE: wow
By MrPoletski on 5/27/2010 9:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Apple crumble......

Drools...


Digital Music
By dukeofoil on 5/26/2010 11:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
I refuse to buy from Apple's Itunes or any digital music source. I buy the full CD or DVD or Blueray Disc and fully intend to take advantage of the higher resolution in my listening experience. If I am using a portable device I will Rip to that format, but for the most part I listen on a full-blown system.

Setting that aside, advancing technology is making the need for a compressed format for digital music unnecessary. As storage capacities increase, their associated costs decrease, and battery capacities go up, there should be no need to segregate media purchasing into compressed, reduced quality music, versus that in native recording formats. No one should have to buy a disc, or other media based native recording, and a compressed digital format simply to be able to satisfy the portability requirement. Unless the RIAA and others of that ilk prevail in controlling the markets through wrong-headed law, one should be able to buy a single natively recorded content media form and use/listen to that content (in that recording format) on a multiplicity of devices under Fair Use. The idea that an MP3 or MPEG4 recording is in some way different than the original and worthy of a separate purchase is a fiction. It is a bit like selling an original oil painting (or more appropriately, a high quality print) to someone and insisting that they also pay for a photograph of that painting/print to carry around in their wallet!

Compression based portables will one day have the same cachet as an 8 Track, and compressed format content will have turned to digital dust. Apple can then turn to marketing the content in its original format just like other retailers.




RE: Digital Music
By Azure Sky on 5/26/2010 1:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
not really, flac/ape/ofr/tac all are lossless and compressed, with PROPER decoders you literally cant tell the difference, with a bad decoder you can, but you can also have same problem with a crappy cd player(i know i had 2 crappy cd players years back...sounded bad....)

I also dont feel lossy formats are all bad, MP3 sucks, AAC isnt "bad" but IMHO it isnt great either.

I use Ogg Vorbis for my portable use, using a proper encoder like the latist aoTuV 5.x encoder you can drop bitrate VERY low and 99% of tracks will still be transparent even to the "golden ears club" and their $500 or higher earphones/headphones, the tracks that have issues you can up the bitrate for, Out of close to 3000 tracks on my fuze I have maby 6-8 tracks that where problematic, and recoding them from flac to higher rate vorbis was a matter of a 3 clicks and 10 seconds(or less)

Wav is a dead format IMHO, same with BMP images and the like, Flac and PNG(among many others) are replacing uncompressed formats with lossless compressed formats, yes storage media is getting cheaper and cheaper per GB, but Thats still on reason to use uncompressed formats when you can have lossless compression, not only do compressed files take up less space, they also are quicker to move, and in portable devices compressed formats(lower bitrate) use less power.

quick example would be my buddies iRiver h340(upgraded with a 160gb drive) that gets days of use on ogg, flac eats batt life pretty quick, you have to charge it once a day when using flac, with WAV you see yet another drop in batt life due to bitrate, I only know this because he was going to use wav or flac for all his massive music collection but changed his mind after testing it, the tests lead him to decide to use max rate vorbis since that would allow him to put most if not all his music on his player without any quality issues.

NOTE: I do agree that formats like iTards...I mean iTunes lossy SUCK DONKEY Schelong but using them as a reason to say compressed formats are like 8track is way off base, NOT ALL COMPRESSED FORMATS ARE EQUAL!!!!


RE: Digital Music
By gralex on 5/26/2010 2:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, now I look retarded! I left my reply to go make a cup of coffee and you beat me to it:)

FLAC is only lossless by self proclamation. It's CD quality (at best) and that's not something to write home about.


RE: Digital Music
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 1:42:39 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer mp3. It works on everything. I don't care if the only person who can tell the difference between an mp3 and flac is a dog.


RE: Digital Music
By gralex on 5/26/2010 1:50:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm with you, but...

Sorry if this seems like nitpicking but which original format? CD audio is 16-bit, 44.1kHz. Studio quality is 24-bit, 192kHz. And video? I won't even go there:)

DVD was an improvement over VHS. But CDs over vinyl? They sound about as crap as the iPod's bundled headphones. Long ago the record companies spent a decade trying to convince us that the human ear can't really destinguish the difference. So (as if to say, "Fine! If you're gonna be like that") people invented the Mp3 & Napster.


RE: Digital Music
By dukeofoil on 5/26/2010 3:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry if I wasn't clear by being non-specific about "native" formats". I was deliberately not citing one format over another (audiophiles for the last 60 years have been falling all over themselves arguing nit-picky nuances), just that highly oversampled digital audio can be faithfully excellent in the extreme. Faithful reproduction (way beyond vinyl) is possible with proper sample rates and recording techniques... and there will be (note I did not say TODAY) no reason for any form of audio compression, lossy, lossless or otherwise, when inexpensive storage capacities can hold more "native format" audio than you can listen to in a liftime. All of these storage techniques arose from the need to maximize available storage. When that is no longer necessary, then whatever new "native format" emerges can be shared among portable and non-portable devices without the need for separate mercantile streams to the end-user. This makes the Apple ITunes business model seem somwhat questionable in the long term.

I find it humorous how much time and energy is expended discussing sampling methods with audio when the weak link is the audio transducer. I remember in the 1950's when the HiFI magazines were touting how wonderful it will be when electostatic and plasma speaker systems replace the magnetic voice coil. Oh, well....


RE: Digital Music
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 1:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
For me, I prefer to keep my music at a smaller size, as I put more than just music on my mp3 player. The music on my mp3 player takes up a little over 4 gigs. That's 320k mp3s. The rest of the 32 gigs is storing pictures and videos. It also has a mini-SD slot on it, which has another 16 gig card with videos.

Course, I use my player to listen to music, watch movies, and temporary portable storage.


RE: Digital Music
By gralex on 5/27/2010 5:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
Like I said, I'm with you. As for your reply, even more so:)

We really DO need far better audio to share between our portables and non-portables. Make a track 20 or even 50MB (and 200MB in the near future), I honestly don't care (you already mentioned all the reasons why this makes sense). Online music stores should be flexible enough to provide such service, though. I might be wrong but I think what you are really trying to get at is that we should be able to "upgrade" our old media with some sort of discount, when a new format comes along. I'm with you on that one too.

My only objection is a trivial one. You can listen to an analogue source all day long (no problem), whereas digital gives you something of a mild headache after a few hours. No matter what the sampling rate, it's somehow exhausting in the long run.

But since speakers are your pet peeve and (I'm happy to say) you enjoy being a black sheep among audiophiles, have you heard of Genelec? Give 'em an audition, I promise it won't be a waste of time.


RE: Digital Music
By sprockkets on 5/26/2010 10:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Studio quality is 24-bit, 192kHz. And video? I won't even go there:)


FYI, they still use analog tape, because it is simply the best.

Video? 35mm?


RE: Digital Music
By gralex on 5/27/2010 5:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
FYI, they still use analog tape


Are Tascam & Nagra aware of this!? But seriously, tape really is far sexier sounding just not the de facto standard anymore:(

You are right about the video remark though, I meant to say image. 70mm, 35mm, 16mm vs a ton of digital formats was exactly the reason I didn't go into it.


RE: Digital Music
By Lazarus Dark on 5/26/2010 9:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
"Apple now has dominant positions in several markets -- tablet computing (iPad), portable music players (iPod), smart phone applications (iTunes App Store), and online music (iTunes Music Store). Thus it has leverage to use its position to damage competitors, if it should so choose."

lol. And yet... I have never had the slightest interest in any of those services/devices. There have always been alternatives. Most of them better quality.


RE: Digital Music
By MrPoletski on 5/27/2010 9:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
When they start offering 96Khz/24bit - or even better 192Khz/32bit - uncompressed/lossless music downloads then I'll be interested, until then I'll stick to my old ways.


Remember palm?
By jabberwolf on 5/26/2010 11:27:26 AM , Rating: 3
One word, one company- PALM

Remember when itunes kept changing things to make itunes incompatible with other devices aside from their own hardware?! It was purposely done, repeatedly done and only to restrict and sabotage its programing for others to use.

That CLEARLY defines an antitrust violation.

I cant even believe the other ruling with psystar where the judges ruling actually defined the EXACT definition of the copyright misuse doctrine that Apple was violating.

Maybe this time they can get a judge that isnt technology-retarded!




RE: Remember palm?
By Daeros on 5/26/2010 3:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh, what?

Apple was simply revising the device firmware detection routines in iTunes so it could accurately identify if there was an iPod attached. Palm was whining because this made hacking the usb device ID system less effective/ not feasible. I for one am not sad that it didn"t work. Devices should say what they are to the computer, and any software interactions should handle the rest.


RE: Remember palm?
By Bateluer on 5/27/2010 6:01:07 AM , Rating: 3
Problem was, when the device said 'I am an iRiver.' or 'I am a Palm.', iTunes said 'Not Allowed'.


RE: Remember palm?
By Tony Swash on 5/26/2010 6:43:29 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
One word, one company- PALM


There are iTunes APIs - Palm chose not to use them and instead used some cack-handed hack to make their new phone dependent on their competitor (duh!). Given the fact that Palm seems to have decided to use the Homer Simpson school of competitive product development its not really surprising they folded.

As for Pystar they lost in open court - perhaps it didn't help their case that they sold more installed versions of MacOSX than they actually bought. They were pirates and they got shafted - good!

Basically all this endless spluttering and frothing about Apple's imaginary monopoly misdeeds boils down to resentment that products that techtards don't like can actually succeed in the market place. In fact it goes deeper - the techtard's rage against Apple is very deep because they simply don't undertsand why Apple's products succeed, the advantages that millions of ordinary consumers see in Apple's products are invisible to techtards so Apple's success is mysterious, and thus can only be explained by nefarious monopoly practices, voodoo marketing or consumer stupidity.

Guys - get a grip - you are embarrassing. This is a site for techies - demonstrate some ability to think logically, embrace new ideas and accept unpalatable truths such as the fact that Apple is a huge success because they make stuff that people want to buy.


RE: Remember palm?
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 2:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think a single person doesn't know why ppl buy Apple products. It's the "cool" factor and not much else. The "cool" factor has been what has kept Louis Vitton, Ferrari, etc in business.

It just simply amazes us that we are unable to inform consumers that much better products are available on the market for a much lower price.

Course, eventually the truth starts to sink into the majority. Why PCs are the biggest sellers. Why Android is taking off like crazy. iTunes. That's pretty much been a lost cause now. Especially with the monopolistic practices in place.


RE: Remember palm?
By Tony Swash on 5/27/2010 6:26:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think a single person doesn't know why ppl buy Apple products. It's the "cool" factor and not much else.


Thank you for perfectly illustrating the way Techtards are incapable of understanding why Apple products succeed.

The absurd idea that the main (only) reason Apple products succeed is because they are cool has the added bonus, from your point of view, of turning your own inability to understand the dynamics of the real world into the virtue of not falling for Apple's voodoo marketing and thus props up your weird world view. Pathetic.


RE: Remember palm?
By gralex on 5/27/2010 8:35:41 AM , Rating: 2
Prepare to celebrate Tony 'cause Apple just passed MS as largest tech company!

Hum that tune while you can... Jobs is doing a "live fast, die young" on Apple. Once he's gone, Apple is in for a crash landing.


RE: Remember palm?
By Tony Swash on 5/27/2010 9:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Prepare to celebrate Tony 'cause Apple just passed MS as largest tech company!

Hum that tune while you can... Jobs is doing a "live fast, die young" on Apple. Once he's gone, Apple is in for a crash landing.


"The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead."

John Maynard Keynes


RE: Remember palm?
By gralex on 5/27/2010 10:53:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well at least you ain't a Thatcher fan!;)


There's an elephant in the room
By gralex on 5/26/2010 1:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
I was all geared up for some good ol' Apple bashing, but got the wind knocked out of me by the end of the second paragraph!

"At the core of the investigation is the allegation that Apple applied pressure to force music labels not to grant Amazon.com access to exclusive tracks to help grow the online retailer's fledgling music market."

And yes, I get that it's only for one day. But still...

I'd file this one under common sense. And I hope it goes away, 'cause I'm in no mood to have to start defending Apple.




Funny
By Setsunayaki on 5/27/2010 12:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
Pardon my long post.

I know for a fact due to how heavy I am directly in computer sciences and my knowledge of the music industry as Im a musician myself...

...that all of these Online Music Stores, Anti-Piracy groups...and where do bands make money from? Actual Live Performance while most of these corporations make money from exploiting musicians.

In the very end, the musicians themselves do not see any real money from the record companies or most online stores to the point that in order to fight against iTUNES and record companies, online sites like tunecore exist.

The majority of musicians know what the role of iTunes and other online MP3 sellers are..and its shameful. They download music, write official looking documentation and SELL music. Just like Porn sites take everyone elses work, compile it on some site and CHARGE YOU MONEY for something that is not theirs.

I know this well as I've been to the rallies...I've seen the lawsuits. RIAA anyone? Sorry, but they are the prime enemy of the movement.

If you truly want to support music and you truly want to support an artist...A lot of artists approve with downloading and distributing their music as a measure to spread their work. I would love to put an album online and watch several million people download it for free...it means I can expect people to show up for live shows, which is where the real money is.

If people download music for free and then attend the live show, and that band is not signed to a label, it means...the people get all the band's music for free and all the money of live performance goes to the band, stagecrew and rental fee for the place.

Trust me when I say this....when the investigation reaches signed musicians and they are asked if they see money...Anti-trust will come back positive and it will lead to a much larger investigation. ^_^

Record Companies spent millions in anti-advertisement to try to supress the existence of unsigned groups and make them look bad, but lately they have been failing miserably as more and more people on the streets where I live know of underground and self-licensed bands.




Apple Competes
By gprovida on 5/31/2010 1:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
1. Apple offered iPod, iTunes Store, and iTunes app 2001-2003 that created the digital music industry and offered a competitive alternative to pirating. It was constrained by music industry to offer DRM, but got consumers tremendous rights (unparalleled at rhe time and not available since on other media).
2. A marching Army of competitors emerged and failed. Some are still around, but they failed in the market not by unfair competition. The music industry has tried to raise prices, restrict choices, and given competitors special pricing and access.
3. Apple has contained the price increases (and in the end avoided industry greed killing digital music, has struggled to allow streaming from cloud of bought music against industry pressure for new charges, was a major player in getting rid of music DRM, and guess what has NOT elected to promote (but will sell) music industry has chosen to promote in advance with Apple competitor (e,g., those small companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Microsoft),Duh!!!
4. Apple is struggling to open up video to new models, but video will need to get to a crisis like music did (and it will - look at plunging DVD sales) then a new model will emerge. Like music in 2001 video is controlled by cable and TV distributors as well as brick and mortar like Walmart. Eventually these old models will fail and whether Apple has a viable alt will be seen. But Apple offers a different model that industry is afraid will diminish their control.
5. If a I offered a 200000 app store for PCs and said it would be nearly 100% virus free, safe for your family, not have any conflicts ( think of the permutations of apps and 100,000,000 devices) that is be stable, let small and large developers compete at a fraction of the cost, much less pirating of software, stable consistent and easily upgradable platform and developer kit, bu you as a user and developer would need to abide by rules regarding privacy, authentication, content narrowing (no porn or compete with Apple core products) use authorized AND SUPPORTED APIs, and have to develop the code natively; then 2 years ago you would have said sure but no one can make it work. Oh by the way, there are a gazzilion copy kats and competing models business and products to choose from, then gee this sure sounds like a monopolist.
6. If I said no more 5 inch floppies, no more 3 inch floppies, no more ADB or PC connector, or ... a whole slew of technologies that were or should be sunset to bring you better products, then you might say loss of freedom, except you had a million alternatives that kept that old technology. Flash is proprietry (when Adobe wants to do something, then it gets done not when Apple releases iPad#2) so Apple is hostage (history has shown Adobe business reasons rarely align with Apple). Adobe has had 3 years to demonstrate a technology capability that really works on low power, touch based, and mobile devices (Flash light is a joke) and it's recent beta is buggy, CPU hog, and fails to be fully compatible with it's current desktop stuff. Gee, these sure are reasons to support Flash!

So good luck to Justice Dept, where they failed to manage illegal monopolies MS and INTEL (read the court decision on MS and learn what illegal means) taking on Apple who has been successful in existing very competitive markets (music, cellphone, and tablet) without violating the letter or spirit of the law. In addition, spends the least funds lobbeying congress for special treatment.




WOW
By Pitbull0669 on 5/26/2010 9:59:50 AM , Rating: 1
man O man. Steve Jobs time has fianly come to pay the Pipper. Or Goverment, lol man I d rather pay the pipper! lol.




Out of Buisness soon!
By icanhascpu on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By Tony Swash on 5/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By troysavary on 5/26/2010 5:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
While Apple is not likely to go out of business any time soon, it's market cap is currently way over valued based on speculators driving up the price. They are taking advantage of the near constant free publicity Aplle gets from the media lately.

Microsoft is significantly ahead of Apple in revenues, profits, and revenue-per-share, so there is no way for Apple to maintain its unrealistically high stock prices. This is especially true as Apple is likley to have it's cash cow, the iPhone, lose market share to Android, and likly to WebOS as well, now that it has HP behid it. For that matter, Win Mobile 7 has potential too. Android and WinMo have the advantage of not being tied to one handset maker.


RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By Tony Swash on 5/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By troysavary on 5/27/2010 12:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
You did not address the fact that MS made more money than Aplle did during every quarter of those 10 years. By any reasonable analysis, based on that, MS shares are delivering more value to their shareholders. But the perceived "failure" of Vista, even though it is still way ahead of MacOS, just because of the constant bashing of Vista by Mac-friendly media outlets, has led to non-savy investors dumping MS stock.

Also, Office, a huge cash cow, is not as "sexy" as a new iPhone, and doesn't catch the consumer's eye as much. Share prices are often affected by people buying and selling for emotional reasons like that. But with the huge public emracing of Windows 7, coupled with the higher than expected MS earnings, I expect MS shares to climb. Meanwhile, now that the faithful have purchased their iPads, I am betting the sales to slow as the general public fails to see the point of the device. I strongly suspect the climb is over for Apple share prices soon and we will see a downward correction.


RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 1:55:39 AM , Rating: 2
Please tell me all about these string of stunningly successful products.

iPod - nothing was established
iTunes - nothing was established
iPhone - mostly Blackberry
iPad - nothing is established even to this day. Not even the iPad
Mac - has been established by PCs and is still established by PCs

So far, the only product from Apple to go into an established market and come out successful has been the iPhone. Everything else, nothing was established or they got nowhere in an established market.


RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By sebmel on 5/26/2010 8:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Apple grew over 3000% in the last decade
Microsoft fell 50% in the same time

In that time Apple developed profitable businesses out of the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad and the app stores.

In that time Microsoft lost over 10 billion dollars on the xBox... which has only recently started turning a profit and will perhaps take another decade to make it's first cent.

In the last 25 years Apple have bought just 25 companies... instead growing from within.
In the last 4 years Microsoft has bought 45.


RE: Out of Buisness soon!
By afkrotch on 5/27/2010 2:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
Xbox 360 went to black a single year after release. MS's EDD has been profiting for quite a long time now. I don't know who you're looking at for your information.


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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