Apple cuts iTunes pricing, DRM

Apple is cutting the price of some songs in its market-leading iTunes online music store to 69 cents and plans to begin selling all tracks without copy protection.

via Apple cuts iTunes pricing, eases copy protection – Tech and gadgets- msnbc.com.

I checked out my songs today, only about 70 or so of them are available with DRM right now. I’m excited to see what music becomes cheap and what music goes for $1.29, hopefully it won’t be stuff that I would want to buy.

As far as the DRM stuff goes, I would love to have DRM-free music but I also have totally bought into the iTunes service, complete with a car stereo that directly connects to my iPod (one of 3) and so on. But in the end I do believe that DRM is bad for music and should be stripped. I’ve been burned by the authorization issues with iTunes before and would be happy to see them disappear.

AppleInsider | Rumor: Apple’s iTunes going DRM-free

AppleInsider | Rumor: Apple’s iTunes going DRM-free starting Tuesday [u]

Apple is believed to be on the verge of an end-of-year push that would start by finally offering unprotected iTunes Store music from all major labels…

Yeah, I could be pretty excited about this except for the fact that it may not be retroactive and I’ve bought over 1,000 songs over the last 4 years. Is that a lot????

CNET says:

No, none of the deals is final as of Monday afternoon and one source told me it’s unlikely Apple will have anything to announce regarding DRM-free music from the top labels before the end of the year.

So alas I will wait until I know something more but if this is true, it’s pretty exciting. DRM is bad and seems to usually hurt people who aren’t doing anything wrong just not within the narrow rights they are given.

Steve Note 9-9-08

Steve Jobs is scheduled to begin his talk today around 1PM eastern. I’m posting highlights and commentary live.

iTunes:

  • 65,000,000 accounts with credit cards in iTunes.  Holy Cow! That’s a ton of customers. Data fraud scares me but the revenue possibility is awesome.
  • iTunes 8 New views, blah.
  • Genius. As a devoted Smart Playlist guy, I’m excited to see how it works! If it’s truly anonymous, I’m in. I have a huge list of smart playlists that are intermingled to each other based on last played, artists, ratings, etc. Genius could help me get out of the “ruts”.

iPods:

  • Classic 120GB $249 Cool. Same old same old. I have an old one. It’s utilitarian, not flashy.
  • Nano 4G 8GB-$149 16GB-$199.Fatty Nano on a huge diet! Voice recording sounds cool thus far. Handy perhaps. New interface, want to try before I buy, but so far so good. Shake to shuffle. I’m in, thanks Apple for keeping it fun! Video battery life seems weak (4 hours), but 24 hours is fine for music and I can’t imagine watching 4 hours of video on such a small screen! Colors – Silver, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink.
  • New headphones for $29 in October! C’mon now, have that stuff bundled and ready to ship with the launch!
  • New in-ear headphones for $79 sound like Shures with Apple influence… perhaps.
  • Touch 8GB – $229. 16GB model – $299. 32GB model – $399. Seems same as 3G iPhone. Nike+ integrated, no dongle needed. I like that, I just don’t do Nike+. Speaker will be minuscule and low quality I’m sure. Shinnier bezel.

Apps:

  • Eh, I think the Apps are OK, NFS is cool, but me paying for apps that I use rarely and only when I’m bored and have nothing else to do doesn’t excite me. I don’t think of the iPod as a gaming platform, more of a utility or productivity booster if anything. Maybe a toy too.

Software for Touch and iPhone:

  • 2.1 Software is free on the Touch if you’ve already paid to upgrade to 2.0. If not, $9.95. Ok whatever, gotta pay somewhere.
  • 2.1 for iPhone on Friday. Faster backups! Less call drops! Better battery life! Woo hoo!

I think that’s going to be it. If iTunes 8 is cool I’ll let you know. Working on the Nano thing for now.

Looking back

I was reading this the other day. As I read here, many people are taking a look back and reevaluating. I guess it’s just that time of year or time in our lives anyways.
I no longer obsess about pens, I just like to have one in my pocket most of the time. I do however always carry my Moleskine in my back pocket, in case the mood strikes me to write something down, hence the pen in the pocket. I just don’t care so much about which pen now anymore.
Shoes are just driving me nuts lately, I don’t care, I wear one pair of boots to work, another pair of tenny’s to everything else. Comfort is key and I can’t find anything more comfortable than what I have. Perhaps I’ve reached shoe nirvana at such a young age that I can escape the Rockport phase of my later years.
Socks? Are you kidding, I still want to change them all the time.
Traditions are always changing, yet somehow they remain traditions. I can’t get past some things that I’ve always done, sir, ma’am, t-shirts, meals, all the same basically. I’ve added rituals like cleaning, meeting for coffee and other things but all in all I still feel a little more traditional than some others around me.
The phone thing has changed a bit, my rule: If you call and don’t leave a voice mail, it wasn’t important enough to at least say “Call me back,” I’m not calling you back and I’ll assume you just misdialed. Assume the same for me, no message, no callback.
I’m early for everything most of the time, I think.
Organization has changed a bit since I moved out on my own. I have things where I want them, I just don’t think I have enough room for everything now. Time to get rid of stuff soon I think.
I’m still a geek. iPhone, 2 laptops, a desktop, 3 iPods, a GPS in my car, I’m a gadget freak and I’m ok with that.
All in all I look back and where I’ve been and where I’m going and I have to say that I feel pretty optimistic about things. Sure I’ve missed a few opportunities, I’ve missed chances to do wonderful and great things. But in the end, I like where I am, where I’ve been and what the future ahead looks like.
New habits that I’ve noticed are:
Coffee pot must be set before bed.
Clothes must be laid out in bathroom before bed.
Two different pillows on my bed, one hard, one soft. Most nights I sleep on the soft one, I use the hard one for support and for hot nights when I want to be on top of the pillow not thoroughly wrapped in it.
I’m sure there are tons more and I’m going to try to post more of them as they come along. I’ve posted too much this time as it is.
Are you looking back and reminiscing or just blasting forward without regard for what you’ve done before? I urge you to take a look back now and then. Adjust your course from time to time. But in the end, be happy where you are going.

Apple mulls unlimited music bundle – FT.com

Apple mulls unlimited music bundleBy Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in London

Apple is in discussions with the big music companies about a radical new business model that would give customers free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying a premium for its iPod and iPhone devices.

This is pretty exciting for me. I would love to have a premium price put on the device or perhaps and addon cost that would allow X songs per month for download or even an unlimited plan. I’m ok with the DRM on iTunes, I have several iPods and nothing else so it really doesn’t even come to be an issue.

What I’d really like to see with this is an iPod priced at say $200-$250 and then an additional cost of $100 per year for 20 downloads per month (240 songs for $0.42/ea.). This would not only make it much cheaper per song, but if all unused songs are forfeited at the end of each month (you can’t carry them over each month) then potentially the profitability of the songs would rise both for Apple and the record companies.

I’m looking forward to seeing this program come to light, I’d imagine it’ll be announced later in the summer, probably at or around WWDC when the Beatles will also be released on iTunes. Two predictions in the same sentence! Yeah!

We’ll see when Jobs wants us to see, I guess.

Big news not just for geeks

Today was the announcement of the new Apple iPod lineup for the 2007-8 holiday season.  The Shuffle was refreshed with new, pastel-ish colors. The Nano has been entirely changed, now it’s the “Fatty“, short, squat and now with video, this one intrigues me, I probably won’t get one, but I think it’s cool. The iPod that we all know and love is now called the iPod Classic, nothing too crazy honestly, a huge hard drive of 160GB is now available, but honestly, 160Gb of media is a little much for nearly anyone to consume.

The real treats of the day were the new iPod Touch and the updates to the iTunes Music Store adding WiFi and the Starbucks partnerships. The iPod Touch is basically the iPhone without the phone and 3G connection. All the normal iPod functionality with WiFi and Safari browser added.

So you say, “cool I can surf while I listen in my bedroom, don’t I have a laptop for that already?” Sure you do, and you can also surf anywhere there is WiFi, like Panera, school, a friend’s house or even while cruising the neighborhood and stumbling on an open hot spot.

I think we are living in a time where everyone wants to be connected all the time to all of their information. Not long ago I carried a RAZR phone, an iPod video, and a paper calendar/Moleskine. 3 things have now been combined into 1, the iPhone. I’ve had the iPhone since day 1 and it has changed the way I think about things. I can make a call, surf the web, and listen to podcasts without giving a second thought to how to do it, it just works.  I’m grateful for something like that, simplicity is key to success in this case I think. We are all connected with Facebook, MySpace, IM, SMS, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, Pownce and Lord knows what else. We’re connected and demand to be connected all the time to everyone we know. We don’t write letters, we email; we don’t make a quick call for info, we text message. We’re connected and technology makes it possible to be even more so.

With the announcement of the Starbucks partnership and WiFi iTunes Music Store not only can I hear a song at the stor and then instantly purchase it, a true stroke of business genius if you ask me, the impulse buy possibilities are amazing. I can also be connected anytime I’m out.

Surely if you look in most of America today you can find a Starbucks close by.  It’s where we hang out, it’s the meeting place for executives and house wives, for students and senior citizens. It’s a nice place to have a cup of whatever-your-flavor-is-this-week and to chat with friends new and old.

Normally I would have to pay to connect to the WiFi at Starbucks, T-Mobile as far as I know, but now, I own and iPhone (or the new iPod Touch) and I can be connected for free. That’s amazing. The penetration of these things is huge, nearly a million iPhones have been sold and I’m sure the Touch won’t be far behind after the holiday season. Being connected at the neighborhood meeting spot is just another way that we can stay in touch with those around us who aren’t around us physically. I can Twitter while I talk to my best friend face to face and tell 100 people instead of 1.

I want to be connected. I want to have it all, but simply. I don’t want to carry 3 devices, subscribe to half a dozen WiFi carriers and worry about compatibility, an iPhone, an iced tea, and good friend, that’s all I need. I think today was about making connections, simple connections that make this complex world bearable.

Lots going on

Its been a while while since my last post, this seems to be a recurring thing lately doesn’t it? There have been some huge things lately in my life so I feel I should update you:

  • I’m moving! Not this site, me personally. I finally got my act together and found an apartment, it’s smallish but suitable for me. I found a place about half the distance to work as I drive now (25 minutes vs. 60+ minutes) its in a small town which was a big thing for me. I just don’t think I’m ready for living in Indy yet. The rent is reasonable, and more importantly the neighbors are quiet. I know that I don’t want to live somewhere where there is a huge party every night during the weekend. I’ve spent the last two weeks finding all the stuff I will need to move, dishes, pans, furniture, etc. Tonight I got the down to single digits, not counting a huge Walmart trip for groceries and cleaning junk. By the first of August, I’ll be on my own. I’m ready.
  • The other cool thing that has happened recently is that I got an iPhone! This thing is amazing! I’m actually typing this on my phone right now. The keyboard is growing on me actually the lack of tactility on it isn’t so bad and the glass doesn’t get any dirtier than my other phones have, just a quick wipe now and then. Battery life is good, just charge it at night. The functionality is perfect for what I need, EDGE isn’t so slow really compared to my SLVR and RAZR from before. Wi-Fi is amazing of course. Syncing works well enough, I’m not an Outlook centric person though. The iPod functionality is cool, using the enclosed headset is awesome with the little thingy on the cord for mic/iPod control. All in all this is the best phone I’ve ever owned. I was just stopped by the waitress to demo it for her, she was floored along with the rest of the gathered crowd. That’s honestly my only concern with this thing, noticability and theft. This phone is a bit large and the huge screen doesn’t help make it any less noticable. Coolness trumps danger though in this case.

I’m sure there have been more things going on lately, mostly just work and hanging out though. My life just hasn’t been that eventful lately at least not incredibly anyway. I’ll try to do better but no promises
as the move nears, stay tuned.