Monday, May 01, 2006

Maybe the French Lege will open up teh fTunes Music Store?

In iTunes War, France Has Met the Enemy. Perhaps It Is France. - New York Times
Further, iTunes keeps getting better. Apple has added video capability, celebrity play lists, exclusive music, the ability to convert home movies into iPod format, and many other features %u2014 all free.
What is amazing is that iTunes is successful and all that without changing very much—are “celebrity play lists” an innovation? I opened up iTunes on the work computer today because I left the iPod in the car. The iTunes Music Store is clunky, combining the worst of the two worlds of web browser and custom interface widgets. It is just useable enough but amazingly non-powerful with lots of useless eye-candy and extra slowness. Are Podcasts a genre of music? Are they a category of ITMS offerings? Fortunately, it isn’t as clunky as the NYT article, which makes it sound like you have to drag music to the iPod every time you want to update it.

On the plus side, Stongbad email via video Podcast is very much handier than returning and navigating through the Home Star Runner website.

In terms of the substance of the article, I think the French iPod legislation firmly places France in banana republic status. Sure it is probably technically feasible for FairPlay digital rights management to be supported by players made by other manufacturers. However, the action essentially establishes a proprietary system as a de-facto standard. This could do two things: 1. Make Apple Computer a quasi-public utility that governs the standard, makes money on every sale of music or player and has the Microsoft-like unenviable task of making it work with every funky Chinese iPod knock-off. 2. Takes the system from Apple and France gets a goose that won’t lay any more golden eggs. I have a feeling it is one of those “Freedom Fries” moments where you feel embarrassed for your elected officials’ idiocy.

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