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The Love Bug

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Dear Apple... [Dec. 28th, 2008|11:33 pm]
The Love Bug
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[Current Mood |goodgood]

Dear Apple,

Please be aware that your colleagues over at Amazon have just dealt you a vicious blow in the online music market.

You provide your iTunes software for Windows and Mac only, and only allow your iTunes Music Store to be accessed via the iTunes software. This completely alienates Linux users from your potential userbase, and now we don’t need you. What gets me, is that I’m sure that it wouldn’t be too difficult to port QuickTime and iTunes from your BSD-based operating system to Linux... but you clearly chose not to. Amazon, on the other hand, made Linux versions of their download manager available from launch, and allows Linux users to retain the existing music management software that they already have, rather than forcing them to use their own proprietary players.

The iTMS has been around for years. Now, we own an iPod Nano 2nd Generation, but have never bought anything from the iTMS. Amazon MP3 has been in the UK for less than 4 weeks, and I’ve already spent nearly £40 there. Realising that I can save a fortune by not buying CDs, I envisage Amazon getting a fair amount of my hard-earned in the future.

Amazon’s tracks are provided in very good quality MP3 files - supported by virtually all media players across the world - rather than AAC and AAC+ which are supported by iPods, iPhones and the not-quite-so-successful Motorola phones that came out a couple of years ago. Whilst I’m quite a strong advocate for Open Standards and would prefer to see support for something like Ogg Vorbis from Amazon (and you, actually), I recognise that MP3 is the dominant encoding format for audio in the current marketplace, and I’m happy to make certain sacrifices.

Now that the BBC - the worlds largest broadcasting corporation - has started to take Linux seriously with the launch of the new iPlayer Desktop, I’m hoping that you and your colleagues over at Microsoft (who are making the same mistake as you with the Zune, and other products) will realise that Linux is going places very quickly and start working with it rather than against it. And to be honest, I don’t really care if you decide not to Open Source your software... there are three major operating system cores out in the world at the moment - Microsoft, Apple and all of the Unix derivatives - the way things go at the moment, you’d think there were three different worlds out there, speaking totally different languages, but with a translation service working between Planet Microsoft and Planet Apple.

We are Linux, BSD and other Unix derivatives/variants - and we’re here to stay.

Wake up and shower in Arabica’s finest!

Yours, possibly in the future if you decide that you want people like me to figure in your plans,

I realise that the scope of this rant goes well beyond Apple and their online music service, but there is a point to be made and I’ve been meaning to try and make it for some time now.

[User Picture]From: rayefrenzy
2008-12-29 02:24 am (UTC)
who pays for music anymore? :V
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[User Picture]From: rayefrenzy
2008-12-29 06:13 pm (UTC)
In most cases, they don't get paid for hard work. The record companies do.
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[User Picture]From: moosical
2008-12-29 09:31 pm (UTC)
I do.. I don't agree with taking if it is not paid for ;o)
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[User Picture]From: thelovebug
2008-12-29 10:01 am (UTC)
Thank you - a very well-considered response.

All of your points are valid and well taken, except I must comment on one specific thing:

"[Linux] is still far in the minority and is used by people who have the time and inclination to learn it and support it rather than it just working. I still don't think that Linux is an option for most users apart from in a locked down environment such as a netbook."

Any operating system that doesn't have 90% of the desktop OS market share is going to require time and inclination to learn it - including OSX, which is also a minority OS with only 5% (approx) of the share. I took the time to learn Linux and yes, ok there may have been some "quirks" to it, they were more learning curves to a system that I didn't know.

Most people use Windows through a lack of choice and knowledge of other systems. I'm proud to say that I have seen friends of mine convert to Linux, or at least be attracted to Linux to the point of wanting to convert to it full-time.

People don't know much beyond Windows, and that's why they have the dominance. I'm sure that if people were given the choice, and were given valid knowledge about alternative desktop operating systems, Windows would not retain its lead.
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[User Picture]From: bnb
2008-12-29 07:49 pm (UTC)
Bizarrely you can actually thank Apple for the new DRM free services. They would never have been able to launch the iTunes store if they hadn't put DRM on it, the RIAA would never have let them. However since they have done such a good job at cornering the download market, the only way the music majors can now increase their leverage over Apple is to allow DRM free downloads elsewhere since Apple won't let others use their DRM technology.

I hate to say it, the DRM free stuff is so that Amazon etc can get their tracks onto the Apple iPod. Unix, open source and all that jazz hasn't got anything to do with it, its a handy side effect, but its nothing more than a side effect.
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[User Picture]From: some1being
2008-12-31 05:43 pm (UTC)
My thoughts exactly...I use Linux Mint and Ubuntu, and I can't stand the fact that Apple completely ignores the linux community. For example, why can't they make syncing the Ipod touch with linux alittle easier? Next time I buy an mp3 player, it definitely won't be an ipod.
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[User Picture]From: thelovebug
2008-12-31 07:45 pm (UTC)
It's something "clever" they did with the iPhone and iPod Touch... the database structure of these new devices isn't supported by many Linux libraries yet. All of the other iPods are supported though.
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