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The iTunes Revolution
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:16 am    Post subject: The iTunes Revolution Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

All composers/artists - please read the article to be found at http://www.gnutellanews.com/article/6830

It is extremely interesting. Howard, I suggest you make Electro-Music.com a label..( which I guess it is already Smile ) and get a deal with Apple.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the post. Very interesting. This may be the final reason to push us to become a label, since Apple doesn't want to deal with individual artists. I wish I had a Mac to try it out. Has anyone tried this?

What Apple seems to be offering independent labels is what electro-music.com and CDBaby are offering independent artists. They will sell the music downloads for a fixed fee, very much like electro-music.com does when we sell CDs on the online store. They will take care of the back end infastructure (take the money via credit card and deliver the product). The lable would pay the artists. We could sell the CDs and also link to the iTunes site for people who want to buy downloads. This is good for everyone.

Another good thing is apparently they have some way to encode this stuff so that it can't be put up on the internet and pirated.

I'd like to know:
a) How good is the copy protection?
b) How good is the encoding?
c) If you buy a song or album, can you burn your own CDR?

_________________
--Howard
my music and other stuff
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egw



Joined: Feb 01, 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This looks very promising.
I like the fact that
- big labels get no preferential treatment
- you can't purchase placement

What kind of encoding is used? Is it similar to mp3?

Note that CDbaby is going to be a "partner" and offer to forward their members music to apple. Maybe electro-music can do the same thing, without necessarily having to be a label.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Has anyone tried this?

I live in Norway.. so I have no way to do purchases, but I often surf the iTunes Musicshop. The GUI is excellent. It is simple, intuitive and smart. It is easy to get the info you want. The MP3 playback and organizer app itunes is used for the surfing. It is fast ( depends on your internet connection) and so far bugree when surfing. All songs has a 30 sec preview..( preview? prelisten? whatever..) The previews are at the same bitrate and encoding as the very files so you get an excellent fidelity.


Quote:
Another good thing is apparently they have some way to encode this stuff so that it can't be put up on the internet and pirated.

The copy protection can be .. well.. tweaked.. but...

Quote:
I'd like to know:
a) How good is the copy protection?
b) How good is the encoding?
c) If you buy a song or album, can you burn your own CDR?


The files can be authorized in the native format for 3 computers. The native format is mpeg 4 audio layer.. .m4a and of course.. using the AAC encording. The encoded files sounds slighlty better than the same settings used for private encoding. Why? Dunno. I am researching this. I am very pleased with aac and it is far superior to mp3 at 128k bitrate.. the typical MP3.com standard. And I mean FAR better.
You can at any time choose to move the authorization between any 3 macs. No prob. the iPod MP3 player is included in the license and you can fill up a lot of iPods.. no prob. You are allowed to burn unlimited copies of CDRs/DVD-Rs for personal use. they have a good faq somewhere but I haven´t got the URL at the moment.

When it comes to HOW to use Apple iTunes Musicshop .. you might want to construct a strategy. A label such as Electro-Music.com is typically branded by the music and the artists. You might use iTunes Musicshop for compilations etc.. but .. strategy etc. can be discussed later... I have some views on this.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Taken into consideration how the music business works.. both for big and indie labels.. Apple might want to stick with "proper" labels. -Which is a reasonable decision.

MP3 and AAC is kind of related.. but then again.. not. but AAC is a VBR technology.. and it works very well.

I have always had serious problems ripping my unmastered raw session recordings to MP3. AAC is far better. Still not 24 bit 44.1khz raw uncompressed audio.. but.. amazingly good. There are a few players out there for PC.. and more will come.

I am not completely convinced that Electro-music.com should let all members automatically dump their stuff into iTunes Musicshop. There should be some filter which regulates this so the same does not happen with the Apple shop that has happened with MP3.com and AMPmusic.
I suggest a strategy that pursues both an online presence when it comes to sales/distribution.. and also standard CD releases. The label should try to brand itself as a high quality label.. but not neccesarily go for huge sales. various genres which might all be called electronic are already catered for very well by a huge lot of labels. I suggest strong branding based on careful selection of music, very good presentation and documentation of the products.. and a longterm focus on using the success ( hopefully ) to allow more fringy stuff to get a spot in the sun using the label brand value. And I also suggest getting a music publisher for the label artists. I have a spaced out suggestion there.. but I think I will email Howard that name and info.
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Might be OT.. but

due to the way the Apple OS does toolboxing.. apps like iTunes have free access to all codecs and tools in the "engine room". Which means that Apple decided to let the iTunes application, which is the one used for browsing, and buying music from the Apple Music Store, also show music videos. Great idea.

Apple product blurb:

"If you have a broadband connection, enjoy exclusive full-length music videos that you can watch right in the iTunes Music Store."


Nice!
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Elektro80 said in a email message:

"And anybody who tries to upload iTunes Music Store songs onto KaZaA will be shocked. Each song is encrypted with a digital key so that it can be played only on three authorized computers, and that prevents songs from being transferred online. Even if you burn the AAC songs onto a CD that a conventional CD player can read and then re-rip them back into standard MP3 files, the sound quality is awful."

so.... seems we have copy protection - nice

_________________
--Howard
my music and other stuff
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Happy

OK... I have some info about AAC to CDA.

I have tried to encode some various material into AAC encoded files , both at 128k bitrate and at 192k, and then burn the files using iTunes to ordinary CD Audio.

The sound quality is very good. The material I transferred was
some high quality vinyl stuff.., and some classical music FM radio concerts and a CD ( Carl Orff: Carmina Burana ).

Excellent quality. The mpeg4 (m4a) format as it is implemented by Apple is very promising. Of course... I have not tested this with encryption and encrypted files yet. I am currently researching the specs for m4a.

The use of encryption and authorization could be interesting to use with webforums for files put up for reviews etc.
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