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.

2 thoughts on “EMusic v. Apple Music Store

  1. Actually, my understanding is that the Beatles are AWOL from -any- service, not just Apple’s.

    Second, Jobs reportedly stated in a Time, Inc interview that indies were next on their list; no idea if this will be managed by a small-pieces-loosely-joined or megalith model (though I suspect the latter).

    Third, I believe someone already sussed out which web pages were being hit by iTunes, but damned if I can find it now. Time to install AgentFrank, I guess. A little poking with the Apache Runtime stuff may allow me to proxy that – tomorrowone way or t’other.

  2. From what I read on the pho list, you can download, burn to CD, and then re-import, and thus effectively make an end-route around the DRM.

    I was pleased. I tried to find some REM tracks that I’ve wanted for a long time without buying the whole stinking album. I can do this now, which is cool. Haven’t done it yet.

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