Why EMusic gets it: side-by-side of the older, subscription-based online music service and Apple’s just-out approach. [via Mark at Boing Boing. Cory also notes today that Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is kicking up some dust in the ring at bookfilter]
I’ve been silent this week on the matter as I’ve become a late adopter on my machines (Apple’s updates have a track record of unfortunate side effects and each system update makes my aging hardware slower). Despite that, because Apple’s chosen to work with the majors (at first, at any rate) I’m profoundly not interested, as the music I like and care about is generally not available via the majors.
I want to browse a listing of Apple’s available material before I update my software. Additionally, I’m profoundly suspicious of any service that attaches a siphon directly to my wallet. Wouldn’t be prudent, as some have said.
(Yeah, yeah, I know: it’s not subscription-based. In my book, application-embedded purchasing opportunities count as siphons, siphons spawned by Satan!)
I’m still not a consumer of tracks based on the EMusic model, though. I am a big user of digital music but my use and consumption pattern appears to be different from that which the industry is gearing up to serve. Nothing new there for me, and I suppose if my needs were met it would make me uneasy and I’d change them to avoid being served.
So, I have three unanswered questions concerning Apple Music:
1. Where can I browse a list of titles offerred outside iTunes, preferably in my browser?
2. To what extent are indie and obscure releases available? Is there any rumbling that Apple may make an API available such that third-party material can be added so that iTunes becomes an open distribution system? Please note, I am not holding my breath on this.
3. Given what we know about the chosen compression media and DRM (downloaded 3-machine-use AAC’s that can be burned to disc), does the DRM end-run that immediately springs to mind (download, burn to CD, rip to MP3, dump the AAC) actually work? It’s such an obvious end-run I have a hard time imagining that Apple would design it to work that way.
Finally, as I was talking about this with Eric, I conceded that the service might be a useful tool for certain specific kinds of music, primarily releases that are dirt-common but for whatever reason I don’t have, such as any Beatles record.
To which Eric pointed out that the Fab Four are AWOL from Apple, which, honestly, may tell us all that we need to know about this service.