Mac news for Mac people

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Copy Protection Still A Work In Progress

The fact that so-called digital rights management might always be a doomed experiment became painfully clear with the fiasco that erupted after Sony BMG Music Entertainment added a technology known as XCP to more than 50 popular CDs.

iPod Battery Class-Action Settlement Being Appealed

The settlement to a class-action lawsuit brought by customers over the iPod's rechargeable battery is being appealed, holding up resolution of the case.

Claude Gagnon: "Kamataki" Takes The Prize

"Of course we've always been on Macs... The Apple computer works and thinks like an artist, as opposed to the other system, which has an accountant mind. I don't have an accountant mind."

Phil Bates: Fueling The Action With Pyrotechnics

"Macs have always had the edge in reliability and ease of use, and they're more friendly to graphics than PCs."

Apple iTunes Security Flaw Discovered

A critical vulnerability, found in some versions of Apple's iTunes, could enable attackers to remotely take over a user's computer, according to a warning issued Thursday by a security research firm.

100 New Symphony Loops On .Mac

Subscribers to Apple's .Mac service last night received 100 free loops for GarageBand.


Who's Your Daddy, Steve? Who's Your Daddy? SAY IT!!!

Ultimately the labels set the wholesale price of digital music and if they move to tiered pricing when their contracts with Apple expire in 2006, Apple may have no recourse but to follow suit.

Apple: Reaching The Tipping Point

iChat? I Do Not

Either you're a chatterer or you're not.

Price As Signal

The reason the music recording industry wants different prices has nothing to do with making a premium on the best songs. What they really want is a system they can manipulate to send signals about what songs are worth, and thus what songs you should buy.


Gear For Gamers: Macworld Gear Guide

Benchmarks: Quad G5 On Top


When Models Collide

Apple and the Labels have different business models when it comes to selling music.

Apple want to sell iPods.

Labels want to sell CDs.

Apple knows that it will not make the big money by selling music. The big money is in selling little black and white music players. Thus, it is in their interest to push music at a price as low as possible, so that the music can a) drive newbies to buy an iPod, b) lock in existing customers so that they will continue to buy iPods.

The majority of purchases at iTunes Music Store is probably individual tracks. Raising the price of individual tracks means feweer purchases, which means the incentive for iPod purchases is lower. Remember: it's not the amount of profit that Apple gains from iTunes Music Store that is important to Apple; rather it is the number of purchases.

Labels know that not all music are sellable, even by the same artist. The record format works well for the Labels because they can command a high price (because, hey, there are more music) without spending expensive production and marketing expenses on each and every track on the record.

Appe's iTunes model — $0.99 per track — kills the album.

To the labels, it makes sense to rasie the price for each individual track. This is so as to push their customers towards buying the entire album instead. (Note all these recent talks about raising prices is mostly about the $0.99 price point, and not the album's price point.) And failing that, at least the Labels can recoup the cost they spent on the tracks that the customers didn't buy.

We do indeed live in interesting times, as we all sit and watch and see which business model wins out — or whether Google or Microsoft or somebody can come in with a win-win-lose solution and kills Apple. :-)

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