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Apple will be forced to allow iTunes downloads to be compatible with other MP3 players

Apple has been given two weeks to fix iTunes after the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman ruled that the MP3 download service breaks consumer protection law.  In fact, at least three Nordic nations, want iTunes downloaded songs to be playable on all digital music players -- not just iPods.  If Apple does not make its songs playable on all music devices by June 21, the company will first face heavy fines which would then be followed by court action.

The formal complaint is online as a PDF file and claims the following:
The Consumer Council of Norway hereby wishes to lodge a complaint against iTunes Music Store with the Consumer Ombudsman. The complaint is based on iTunes’ standard terms and conditions as specified at (Terms of Service) and  Terms of Sale). It is the view of the Consumer Council that several aspects of these terms are in breach of the Marketing Control Act (Markedsføringsloven) and other legislation.

In addition, iTunes uses DRM (Digital Rights Management), a type of technical standard terms and conditions, which determine how the service can be used. The Consumer Council of Norway also believes that certain aspects of the technical terms and conditions are in breach of the Marketing Control Act.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) recently stated that iTunes music downloads should be allowed on non-Apple MP3 players.  European regulators have given Apple enough time to eradicate the problem, with reportedly little interest from Apple.

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RE: A positive step
By michael2k on 6/10/2006 3:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, Intel is hardly crap. It may note be best of breed, but it's certainly not crap. If you think Apple:Intel as ???:AMD, the problem is who will take the role of Apple as the superior product? Creative didn't have a superior usability, size, or function, and Sansa is #2 and is copying Apple's physical design.

RE: A positive step
By Zelvek on 6/10/2006 5:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ah last I checked the creative zen micro was smaller than the Ipod of the same generation (hell the nano is onle slightly smaller and its the next gereration). Creative suports as many mainstream formats as Ipod and the usability of the Ipod is due to an interface that Creative owns. So is apple superior to creative when the only thing exclusive to them is a propriatary music store which with a simple hack programe can be used with creative? obviously not. No I don't hate Ipod I think their fine players I have even owned one but I do feel that they are not the best as many people claim they are.

RE: A positive step
By michael2k on 6/10/2006 6:32:26 PM , Rating: 3
1) Zen Micro is 3.3"x2.0"x0.7" while the mini was 3.5"x2.0"x0.5", so approximately the same size; shorter, but thicker.
2) The Zen Micro was released 9 months after the iPod mini, and three years after the first iPod; it took Creative 3 years to release something smaller than an iPod.
3) Creative still doesn't support MP4 (also known as AAC), and it lists only 3 codecs supported: MP3, WMA, and WAV, while the iPod lists MP3, AAC, WAV, AIF, Audible, and ALE, a losslessly compressed codec
4) The Zen interface wasn't actually implemented until AFTER the iPod. Apple inherited the interface from NeXTStep, who had the interface since 1986.
5) Apple is superior because it consistently creates better players. Here's the list of "revolutionary/evolutionary" capabilities that Creative LATER copied.

A) 1.8" HDD in 2001, Creative later adopts this size and format in 2004
B) 1" HDD in 2004, Creative later adopts this size and format 9 months later in 2004
C) Firewire support in 2001 allowing for 16mb/s synchronization, Creative later adopts USB2 in 2002
D) Mass Storage support to allow for driver-less synchronization on any computer, using as a HDD, and a boot device in 2001. Creative later adopts USB mass storage with the Zen Neeon 2005, but until the relies on PDE and later MTP, requiring drivers to use their devices.
E) Simple, usable, easy UI; the iPod introduced the now famous 5 button+scrollwheel interface in 2001. Creative doesn't follow suit until 2004 with the Zen Touch and Zen Micro.

Now it is 2006 and Creative has been able to copy ALL of Apple's at the time innovations. Maybe now you can buy a Zen without fear, but they have consistently been ahead of the pack in terms of features, UI, design, and size. Even now the Zen Vision:M is thicker than an iPod with Video.

So for the first three years of it's life the iPod was the king of MP3 players (2001-2004) and it's been augmenting that success with the addition of the ultra portable and compact Shuffle, the ultra slim and stylish Nano, and the addition of new content from the iTMS. If Creative wants to take that crown away, it'll take more than a 3 year late copycat!

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