Why wma?

lilbandit

I hate Meath
Just read this morning that HMV (high street chain that controls 25% of UK cd sales) is going to launch their own digital store. They have chosen wma despite the fact that this will lock 75% of their market out.
Perhaps others can help but I'm stumped as to why online music stores go with windows media. Surely in the interest of making money they should support iPod? Does Apple allow others to license their system for use in an online download store?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I guess many people still misunderstand this. Not 100% of people who buy music are going to put the music on MP3 players. Many are going to burn CDs or listen to the music on their PCs, too. So actually: Nothing like 75% are locked out, because most PCs are compatible with WMA.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
But almost everybody I know has an mp3 player, the vast majority being one of the iPod models. When these people go to buy music (Some will) they will be told "Sorry, iPod not supported." How does this make sense? Nevermind MS vs. Apple, I'm just talking about a company who invested £10 million pounds to produce an online store that doesn't support a device that even pensioners now associate with portable music!
To top this off, music fans who don't buy music online would probably regard a known brand like HMV as one of the best places to start. Imagine their reaction when they they are told that iPod isn't supported! Does Apple allow licensing of its DRM system?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
No, it doesn't, and that's probably the simple truth. Someone who wants to create an online music store can either license Microsoft's DRM or go an unprotected way or develop their own solution (probably much too expensive).
 

Quicksilver

Find a golden apple.
When a user has an iPod they simply purchase songs via iTMS. How does/will HMV effect the iPod's halo effect now? with its user base? If anything i believe that HMV will be the losers in the end. 1) online sales are completley different to instore sales. 2) most people now, especially the younger generation have learned that in a general rule when using a computer is to consider compatability. And most people will choose the most popular used format/platform. 3) The iPod and iTunes are way too good.

Unless HMV decides to release the wma songs "unprotected" which will give the iPod/iTunes users the ability to transfer songs to iTunes (ACC) as desired? and that way if HMV's wma method fails they could always be simply transferd to (ACC) format?
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
AAC, not ACC. But I don't see them using unprotected WMA. The labels wouldn't let them do that now.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
I never mentioned halo effects, my point was simply the lunacy of spending all that money on an online shop that doesn't support the most popular music player. I was just wondering if Apple licenses its DRM technology to allow others to sell music that can play on iPod.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
maybe it's their little dig at trying to stop an impending monopoly.

apple's ipod may be getting too big for itself.

research: windows' rise to power.
 

Myke

Registered
Never underestimate the stupidity of large corporations. Often senior managers fail to listen to sound advice or simply think they know better. It is entirely possible that some big cheese at HMV imagines that because PC's dominate the computer market that is the way to go. Probably he/she didn't even know that iTunes runs on Windows too!

Arrogance.
 

dracolich

Registered
I doubt Apple will ever licence its Fairplay DRM system... and that's a pity, because I'm starting to feel a "Anti-iPod" and "Anti-iTMS" sentiment around...
Apple should start to worry.
 

lilbandit

I hate Meath
Myke, maybe it wasn't arrogance as much as a lack of choice? If they can't use Fairplay maybe the only road left open for them to develop an online presence was wma?
 

Myke

Registered
lilbandit said:
Myke, maybe it wasn't arrogance as much as a lack of choice? If they can't use Fairplay maybe the only road left open for them to develop an online presence was wma?

Good point ...but are there no DRM options using other iTunes friendly formats, such as mp3? Rather than WMA which is exclusively Microsoft?
 

dduck

Registered
Well, the record companies are in a bind. Their choices are:

1) Go with iTunes, and effectively "unbrand" themselves. In iTunes the only brands are Apple/iTunes and the artists. Also accept lower prices pr. unit than usual. Never mind that expenses are lowered too - when running a business you do not fix price by what the production costs are, but rather by what you can convince people to pay.

2) Make their own shop with another system, most likely WMA. Here they can brand themselves, and set prices any way they desire.

To most record companies and distributors 1) seems to equate suicide, and I would really not disagree with that assessment. It may be long-term suicide, but it is still suicide. OTOH since wma is such a small part of the market, some might consider 2) suicide too, as they effectively lock themselves out from - say - 70-90% of the on-line music market by doing their own thing.

My best guess is that when the dust settels, the artist are a lot happier than they used to be, as they have gotten rid of a lot of fat and greed at the middle man level. Seems to me that iTunes is giving the artists what they really want, e.g., a (relatively) non-biased, cheep and efficient sales channel, and that they like that :D
 

TommyWillB

Registered
lilbandit said:
...Does Apple allow licensing of its DRM system?
fryke said:
No, it doesn't, and that's probably the simple truth...
Okay, so if Apple is partnering with Nokia and/or other cell phone makers to be able to play ITMS files, then wouldn't that mean that Apple actually IS starting to license ther DRM?

IMHO, of all of the big announcements Apple could make, making their DRM more widely avaiable would be huge! Making it completely open would be even better!
 

TommyWillB

Registered
fryke said:
AAC, not ACC. But I don't see them using unprotected WMA. The labels wouldn't let them do that now.
AAC, ACC, AC/DC...

lol..

I'm constantly getting this all turned around.

Okay class. Everyone repeat after me:

Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
Apple Audio Codec
 

TommyWillB

Registered
Well... Okay, but they left the window open for "codec" to be acceptable too:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/aac/ said:
...Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is at the core of the MPEG-4, 3GPP and 3GPP2 specifications and is the audio codec of choice for Internet...
;)
 

gwynarion

I stole the Sun
TommyWillB said:
Okay, so if Apple is partnering with Nokia and/or other cell phone makers to be able to play ITMS files, then wouldn't that mean that Apple actually IS starting to license ther DRM?
Can the new Moto phone play protected songs purchased from the iTMS? I assume it can since it is basically running the same iTunes software as the iPod. What I think is happening here, though, is that Apple is working with Moto to supply a way for a device to play the protected music, not for another company to sell the music. The latter is what would be required for another store to sell like the iTMS.

Since it is fairly well known that Apple doesn't make a lot (or any) money selling music, but it does selling iPods, and the iTMS helps sell iPods, it would seem like it would be a good business decision for Apple to let other companies use their DRM in selling music. Those companies could then open their online storefronts and sell songs for $.50 or $1.50 -- but they would be selling songs that were protected in an industry approved fashion and could be played on the iPod.
 
Top