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The hip computer maker battles with another headache

Shortly following news of Apple’s stock options backdating scandal, the Associated Press is reporting that the company is now facing several lawsuits, including one alleging that Apple is monopolizing the digital music market.

The lawsuit is over Apple’s proprietary iPod and iTunes software, which is generally incompatible with non-Apple products. Media purchased on iTunes is supposed to be playable only on iPod hardware, and songs purchased on other DRM systems are not easily playable on iPods.

Apple motioned for the courts to dismiss the case, originally filed July 21, but the courts denied the motion on Dec. 20. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensation.

Apple is also facing a lawsuit, filed on Nov. 7, over the supposed high failure rate of the logic board in the iBook G4. Another lawsuit filed by PhatRat Technology accuses Apple of patent infringement for its iPod-Nike product.

While the iPod reigns supreme in the music player market, Apple’s success has not come without a price. Last year, Creative Labs sued Apple over patent infringement of the iPod interface, which eventually lead to a countersuit. The companies eventually settled on having Apple pay Creative $100 million for use of the patented technology.

The popularity of the iPod has drawn attention from hackers discontent with the proprietary nature of the device. Jon Lech Johansen, who cracked DVD encryption, has undone Apple’s protection scheme and plans to license his work to companies interested in opening up interoperability between iPod/iTunes and non-Apple devices.



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RE: Monopoly?
By archcommus on 1/2/2007 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Loss of quality issues? You're saying music purchased through iTunes is higher quality than ripping your own CD? I'm pretty sure if you rip a CD you can choose any quality you want, and music from iTunes is only 128 or 192 Kbps at most.


RE: Monopoly?
By rtrski on 1/2/2007 12:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
He means, you can take your iTunes download (which is not a lossless format, thus slightly less quality than a store-bought CD), burn it, and then rip the burn to get the music into another format/player outside of iTunes.

But even if the rip itself is to a lossless format, your source data wasn't. If your rip is lossy, then you have 2 lossy conversions which likely means still more fidelity loss to get away from iTunes.

And all this ignores playback sampling rates on PCs which is another huge bugaboo (vs. bit-perfect playback, but that's not an iTunes / non-iTunes issue.

It's all hooey in this overly noisy age, anyway. As if you can hear the difference through those tiny earbuds, in your car with all the wind and road noise, etc etc... At home, on a high end system, maybe.


RE: Monopoly?
By Spivonious on 1/2/2007 1:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
At home on a decent system, yes.

On the road with a decent pair of headphones, yes.

Anything classical even on the crappy earbuds, yes.

Don't base everything off of how your specific music sounds to your ears.


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