Print 26 comment(s) - last by sxr7171.. on Mar 7 at 10:36 PM

New plan might allow downloads to all Apple devices to be linked to one iTunes account  (Source:
A new service plan could allow iTunes customers to permanently backup music they purchased, and link downloads to multiple devices like the iPod, iPad and iPhone on one iTunes account

Apple's recent discussions with record companies may soon allow iTunes customers to use the music they've purchased more flexibly across several devices. 

Apple first started selling music through iTunes in 2003. Its popularity skyrocketed, claiming the title of top U.S. music retailer in 2008 and possessed 69 percent of all digital downloads in the U.S. that September. Music companies, on the other hand, have had problems with declining compact disc sales in recent years. In 2010 alone, total album sales dropped 12.7 percent while digital track sales rose 1 percent.

Now, Apple is having private meetings with record companies like Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp.Vivendi SA (VIV)'s Universal Music Group and EMI Group Ltd. in order to change the way iTunes users access their music.  

The new plan would allow iTunes customers to permanently backup music they purchased in the event that the original versions are lost or damaged. In addition, downloads to multiple devices like the iPod, iPad and iPhone could all be linked to one iTunes account, which provides universal access to centrally stored content on the internet. 

Apple and the record companies decided to come together in an effort to "maintain demand for digital downloading" and to compete with internet services like Pandora Media Inc., which allows users to stream songs from the internet on multiple devices instead of selling individual tracks. 

Tom Neumayr, spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, and other spokespeople like Amanda Collins at Warner Music in New York and Liz Young from Sony Music have declined to comment on the negotiations between Apple and the record companies. An announcement is expected by midyear. 

In other news, Apple is also looking to revamp its MobileMe service, which is a subscription-based collection of software and online services. One of the new plans would offer the normally $99 MobileMe service for free, allowing users to store various types of content like e-mail, contacts and photos on Apple's servers. 

Changes to both the MobileMe and iTunes services will be accommodated by a new $1 billion data center in North Carolina, which will be a "hub" specifically for these Apple services. 

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RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By SkullOne on 3/4/2011 1:00:23 PM , Rating: 5
The experience? iTunes is a piece of total crap. Bogs down computers, needs way too many services to do anything. Not to mention it's slow, unstable, and cluttered.

The Zune software was so much faster, cleaner, and more stable. Oh it also didn't need a single service to run either. No Bonjour crap. No iTunes Helper. No iCrap whatever service.

You can argue about device versus another all you want but at least gets your facts straight before you try.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By Uncle on 3/4/2011 1:20:02 PM , Rating: 3
Right. As it is now I pick a song on the net,d/l and then drag and drop to any device I have. Whats the big deal with Itunes. Nothing new here, been doing it for years, way longer then Itunes was even a thought, being rubbed between two brain cells.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By Silver2k7 on 3/4/2011 2:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Im guessing the problem with Itunes is that they add copy protection to their files ??

If they could just sell regular .flac files with no protection that you can backup and move around as you feel like, then I would give some serious thinking about joining their service.

But for now as long as these services come with various copy protection schemes, I will just buy the CD instead and rip it.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By Azethoth on 3/4/2011 4:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of the Apple downloads are now DRM free. Still not CD quality though but they are apparently negotiating high rez quality with the music companies right now. Judging by that means anything up to 176kHz/24bit, but obviously at a higher cost. The DRM free tracks are $1.29 iirc.

Also, do not expect FLAC. You are 99% likely to get ALAC inside an mp4 (m4a) container, same as with lossless CD rips.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By sxr7171 on 3/7/2011 10:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
ALAC to FLAC conversion is very easy. The key here is that sadly it takes Apple to get the music industry to change. How nice would it have been if Amazon or the labels themselves decided to offer CD quality and/or high-rez downloads. But they seem to need Apple to hold their hands on everything these days.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By kmmatney on 3/5/2011 1:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
I pretty much do the same, but I drag and drop my music into iTunes, as its a great music organizer. It just got to be a PITA to organize my own music folder when the collection got over 20 GB, especially when it came to editing the metadata.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By xpax on 3/4/2011 2:06:15 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. iTunes is a classic example of Apple's incompetent software engineering.

The Zune software is EXACTLY what iTunes should've been. Graphically advanced, easy to use, and doesn't infest your machine with six tons of unneeded and frankly useless trash (QuickTime, Bonjour, Update Service, Safari, etc).

Couple that with flexible options like Zune Pass that Apple simply and arbitrarily refuses to implement and you come to the realization that the only reason people buy iPods is because they're too stupid to look at the competition.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By kmmatney on 3/5/2011 1:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people don't want to pay $15/mo for Zune pass, and its annoying being bombarded by the service in the Zune software. They are both bloated (120MB download for Zune software), but its easy to uninstall the useless programs which are part of iTunes (Bonjour, updates) etc, and make it a leaner program. Unless you are really into Zune pass, there is no reason to use the Zune software over iTunes. If you want something lighter, you can use Songbird.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By xpax on 3/5/2011 2:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
Many people don't want to pay for music at all. Others don't want to pay the Apple tax.

Except that the Zune software doesn't have 8 services that are running at all times. There aren't annoying popups on reboot demanding that you update the Zune software. There aren't updates ever other day.

You can also use the Zune software to pull all the media off of the Zune should you have a hard drive failure.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By cmdrdredd on 3/6/2011 10:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
You do not need to install anything other than quicktime to use itunes. You're uninformed and the classic example of a person who bashes something because it's the cool thing to do.

I have a Zune and quite frankly their software sucks horribly compared to itunes. Also for someone who dabbles with DJ software iTunes integrates directly with it off my ipod, iphone, or ipad. This cannot work with Zune.

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By Noliving on 3/6/2011 4:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
What about Zune sucks compared to iTunes? How about this question instead: What features of Zune are worse than iTunes and why?

RE: Like Zune and Rhapsody
By Da W on 3/7/2011 10:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
Itunes is a pathetic worthless piece of crappy software, but zune crashes my computer when i crank the graphical goodies to max with hardware acceleration and my AMD5770. Only software i have that does this. PLUS, it does read my Windows Media Player playlist, which i also use in Windows Media Center as i stream my music all over the house (you get he point), BUT zune generated playlist don't translate in media player. WTF??? The whole point is to classify my good and bad music on my phone while i'm in the bus and then play it at home on my various devices!
Also why the hell is there no zune pass in Canada yet eh? Stupid Yankees think the world ends at the US-Canada border eh? Hey Microsoft, i'm ready to pay!!! Come get my money or it's gonna go Google's way! Canadian dollars are worth more than US dollars now ya know?

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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