OK, I love the look, technology and appeal of the iPhone and other Mac products quite a little bit! Especially since I now have a Mac Mini to play with.
I also think that Steve Jobs is a great showman and walking advertisement for all things Apple. He even had me wanting an iPhone even though I knew darn well I didn’t want Cingular nor will I ever deal with DRM!
Even on my Mac Mini, my library is from CDs and eMusic in MP3 format and not held within the iTunes Library itself but ‘linked’ to the iTunes Player from another location on the Mac Mini. And I do not intend to buy songs from iTunes. So why would I even want an iPhone!?!
Well, it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread when it comes to innovation on a cellphone.
Even so, Randall Stross at the New York Times makes a compelling argument about the iHandcuffs.
I buy my digital downloads from eMusic in unemcumbered MP3 format. As the article points out, eMusic is the Number 2 online music retailer at 1 Million downloads, pretty impressive even though iTunes Music store just celebrated it’s 2 Billionth download recently which is extremely impressive for locked up DRM’d music that won’t play on ANY player but the iPod in its DRM’d state. If you want to use it anywhere else, you have to burn it to a CD then rip and re-encode it in MP3 format (at a loss in quality btw, albeit small by some standards).
The article also notes that artists represented by the Nettwerk Music Group such as Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan and Avril Lavigne, sell their music at eMusic unemcumbered by DRM, but iTunes Music Store still encumbers them with their DRM (copy protection) and see no need to change the way they do things. And why not, it keeps folks buying from them for their music needs – for both hardware and software. Duh?!
And as both Randall Stross and Jack Schofield at the Guardian Unlimited (UK) so aptly point out, it comes chock full of DRM! From Jack Schofield’s article:
The Boing Boing blog also has a plug, which says: “Randall Stross has a great op-ed in today’s New York Times about how Apple’s iPhone comes chock-full of DRM that will restrict your freedom and your consumer choice.”
It’s ironic that a company whose name is synonymous with “Switch” has built its entire product strategy around lock-in. The iTunes/iPhone/iPod combo is a roach-motel: customers check in, but they can’t check out.
It’s not clear why this is ironic since it has been a standard part of Apple’s Orwellian strategy since at least the 1984 Superbowl advert. But Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow has only recently seen the light….
Now I already have Ubuntu and I love it! But I also have a Mac Mini that I love as well. But just like in Windows, I don’t really make use of any DRM’d music to hamper my enjoyment of, or limit use of my music either. I can play my music on any device or computer I own.
Well, I almost got sucked in … thank you Randall Stross, Jack Schofield and as always Cory Doctorow! Much appreciated. I am over it now. 😉