Print 30 comment(s) - last by Omega215D.. on Sep 6 at 1:57 AM

iPod touch displaying iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store  (Source: Apple)
Apple launches iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store; Microsoft execs shout "DOH!"

Today is Apple's big day and it has released a new version of iTunes to accommodate the new iPods and the iPhone.

iPhone customers can now purchase ringtones from iTunes. Customers must first pay $0.99 for a song from iTunes, then another $0.99 for the privilege of using that song as a ringtone. Apple is including a utility within iTunes to create ringtones based on any 30-second segment from a song complete with fade-in and fade-out.

Apple says that over 500,000 songs will be available to make the conversion to ringtones and the feature will be enabled in iTunes software sometime next week.

Apple also today announced the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. iPod touch owners will be able to use their WiFi connection to logon to iTunes from any wireless hotspot. From the interface, users can browse "New Releases," "What's Hot," and "Games" from the top tab on the screen. Users can also search the entire iTunes music library, purchase individual songs or buy complete albums.

Songs bought from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store are downloaded directly to the iPod touch. Docking the iPod touch to your desktop PC or Mac will then sync the songs with iTunes library.

Apple announced that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store will also be extended to the iPhone.

Interestingly enough, Apple also announced Starbucks integration with the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Customers who surf on a Starbucks hotspot will be greeted with a Starbucks icon in their iPhone/iPod touch UI. Customers will then be able to buy the songs playing over the Starbucks speaker system through iTunes.

The biggest thing to take away from this announcement is how much Microsoft dropped the ball with the Zune. Microsoft had all of the building blocks in place to offer a wireless music store with the Zune. Microsoft gave customers WiFi with the Zune, but the company chose to seriously cripple the feature and limit its effectiveness.

Apple has now taken WiFi with the iPhone and iPod touch and expanded its overwhelming online music dominance with the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Microsoft is going to need a lot more than a $199 Zune to combat this latest salvo from Apple.

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RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 2:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Can you open an AAC in something like Audacity? If so, you're right on... although most people I know don't really know how to use a program like that. It's smart... $1 for a simple program.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By EarthsDM on 9/5/2007 2:51:22 PM , Rating: 3
The $1 isn't for the program, it's for being able to use a sound file that you own as a ringtone. On one hand, it's dirty and underhanded, especially considering that you own the music. On the other hand, some bands are selling more ringtones than albums, and need the revenue. Also, IIRC, my T-Mobile phone wants $2.99 for a ringtone, so $2 isn't so bad by comparison.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 2:53:27 PM , Rating: 1
Well if I read that right you're paying $1 to have a 30 sec chunk edited out of any song you own and made into a ringtone... So it's like a "conversion" fee. Yeah it's a rip off, but it's smart and they will sell a lot of it.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By grenableu on 9/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 3:06:39 PM , Rating: 1
What I mean is. IF by change you've already purchased a song from iTunes it now appears that you can pay $0.99 to have that turned into a ringtone. It's not strictly $0.99 * 2 because you may have already purchased the song.

Not unreasonable and not much work on Apple's part to make money from an existing infrastructure.

By konekobot on 9/5/2007 4:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
actually that is an evil development and point of view the RIAA / MPAA / and the DMCA have propogated.

With the book comparison... You can't reprint the book for money, but in theory you could make a copy of the media for yourself (you could photocopy all the pages and make a 1,000 copies) as long as it's for personal use and not for profit or dissemination.

By that logic, if you buy a song, then you should be able to play it on anything you want, whenever you want, and you should be able to make back-ups of it and edit it (just like you could edit the words in a book if you feel like it) and play it in any way, shape, or manner as long as you don't sell it, make money off of it, or disseminate it.

I don't see any difference in playing a song you buy with the intent of listening to it and playing a portion of the song you buy in relation to an incoming call. has everyone forgotten the times when answering machines existed people sometimes put portions of songs on their greeting messages? i didn't have to contact the record company and pay them a fee to use the song I paid for in any way I chose.

bad move apple. total ripoff.

By Michael Hoffman on 9/5/2007 4:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Considering how easy it is to use the feature through iTunes, I would much rather pay the money than try and do it myself.

By Omega215D on 9/6/2007 1:57:11 AM , Rating: 2
That's why I love using RingTone Maker and just get a cable for my phone so I can have anything I want as a ringtone.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By soydios on 9/5/2007 3:28:41 PM , Rating: 3
Use QTFairUse to strip the AAC file of the DRM, convert to MP3, and voila.

Some laws need revising, IMO. Either I pay $10 to buy the album from iTunes with DRM, or I pay $10 to buy the physical CD from with no DRM.

RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By h0kiez on 9/5/2007 3:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds like a pretty easy call to me...

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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