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 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.

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