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.