iTunes To Raise Prices

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by HardOCP News, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. SamuraiInBlack

    SamuraiInBlack [H]ardness Supreme

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    i'd recommend it. if you pay attention to the site, the hotdeals forum, or even slickdeals you'll find entire albums for download for pocket change. the selection seems to be pretty good to me. the quality isn't the likes of FLAC and what not, but its pretty good still. I have no complaints.
     
  2. silent hero

    silent hero Gawd

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    So you're saying that music should be priced only taking into account how much it costs to distribute it? You're forgetting that the people that make music put their time and possibly money into making it.
     
  3. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why didn't Amazon have to make those concessions? Apple arguably has more clout with record companies and Hollywood...
     
  4. PynkFloydd

    PynkFloydd Gawd

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    Amazon is great but, not perfect. The average bit rate is 256kps, some stuff is 192 and some is 320. They have a great selection but, sometimes it's hard to find what you're looking for and sometimes you can only get a song if you buy the whole album. The interface isn't that great and you can't fast-forward songs during a preview but, the downloads are really fast. If you know what you're looking for then this is probably your best bet.

    The Zune Marketplace is great too. The selection is great and the interface is amazing. The bit rate tends to be the same as Amazon's but it's so much easier to find what you're looking for. You can fast-foward and rewind the previews plus, downloads are pretty quick. ...maybe not as quick as Amazon's but, quick. It'll link and recommend endless artists and music for you to listen to also. The biggest drawback is that everything is purchased with Microsoft points, which I personally hate. If you like looking through new stuff or just browsing then this is a great alternative to iTunes.
     
  5. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Is Zune Marketplace DRM-free? I've never checked it out... MS already burned people once abandoning PlayForSure, etc.
     
  6. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Hmm, Wikipedia says as of late '08 they had committed to offering 90% of their catalog in MP3/DRM-free form thanks to new licensing agreements, interesting. Again, if Amazon and even MS can strike deals like that, Apple really has no excuses, they sell more and have more clout.
     
  7. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Hmm, it seems the Zune Marketplace works in Puerto Rico... Or at 'least their trial does, trying to find more specific info, that'll be a treat if it does (right now I've been relegated to using Amazon when I'm in the US and such), thanks for bringing it to my attention. Gotta find out out if the bulk of their collection is really offered in MP3 format & DRM-free as well.
     
  8. PynkFloydd

    PynkFloydd Gawd

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    I'm pretty sure that the Zune Marketplace works in the whole US but, I'm not 100% sure and I don't know about Canada. I'm not sure what their future plans are but, it seems we're kind of the beta testers in the US until they find a business model that they want to use across the globe. I assume the points system makes it easier for them to launch a global marketplace though.

    So far, I've found that most of the stuff is DRM free MP3 format. I haven't really found anything that's locked down yet but, some obscure songs sometimes aren't available for purchase even though they show up. ...I can't really say that I've downloaded that much off of there though. There's a Zune site (run by Microsoft) that I check once in a while and I swear that there was a post about the Marketplace going 100% DRM free any day now. They've got special deals also and tons of free giveaways (sometimes from major artists). The interface really is great and I happen to like the screensaver that runs with the artist picture and song info in the Zune player.

    Hope it works for you! It's definitely one of the better experiences with an online media store if you can deal with the points system.
     
  9. Ockie

    Ockie *** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***

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    Thats the end of itunes for me. Everyone is moving up their dollar to 1.30, it's like the "cool" thing to do. They blame the economy, really all it is is corporate greed.
     
  10. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Hm. Ouch. I haven't bought a song from iTunes for years, but I think I won't be starting up again any time soon. A dollar for a song is a nice little sweet spot. Its easy to say "hey, this song I just hear sounds good. Its a buck, I'll grab it". I think I'd rather stick to "other" methods for getting music. Only music I really buy these days are old records when I run across one I like at antique stores or garage sales.
     
  11. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You can uninstall Microsoft Office from one machine and install it on another assuming it is the retail version, you just can't do that with the OEM version, just like you can't move your OEM copy of windows from one machine to another. That is just one of the limits of OEM, it is cheaper, but it is tied to just that one piece of hardware. Buy retail copies of the stuff if you want to move it from one machine to another.
     
  12. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've had my OEM copy of XP on multiple different computers in the years I've had it. It still activates just fine. Unless the student license gives it different rights, it should still fall under the normal OEM policies.
     
  13. c00LaS1cE

    c00LaS1cE Limp Gawd

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    people still pay for music?
     
  14. fss69

    fss69 Gawd

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    Hey, somebody has to you know.

    On a side note, I still don't know why lossless files aren't offered. I mean to download an album you pay only slightly less in price for no physical media to go back to in case your HD or mp3 craps out. Plus, you're getting inferior sound quality. What gives? I know not everybody's an audio-whore, but it should at least be an option.
     
  15. djgizmo

    djgizmo [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would agree with you, but the world banks dont see it that way. World banks will ALWAYS end up on top due to the current monetary system in place.

    Inflation is BUILT into the system and has been around for nearly 100 years due to federal reserve. The price of items go up because the value of the legal tender ($) goes down. Hence it takes more money to equal enough to buy the same thing.
     
  16. djgizmo

    djgizmo [H]ard|Gawd

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    IF you're one of those that steals music, then where do you live, I wanna go steal your car and want you to think thats OK too.
     
  17. Mackowitz

    Mackowitz [H]ard|Gawd

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    I always buy the physical CD from Amazon, can usually grab them from $10-12 on special the first week they come out, so it's less than $1 a song and I have the physical media as a backup. Have to take the extra stuff to rip it onto the computer, but I'm old school and like having the CD. I also like getting the whole CD rather than the one hit song - sometimes every other song sucks, usually there are some good ones that I never would have heard if I didn't buy the CD.

    iTunes going to $1.29 per song just makes it a lot easier to keep buying CDs for less money.
     
  18. Dephcon

    Dephcon [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm surprised enough people actually buy music to care this much.
     
  19. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Most people are fairly honest and want to do the right thing...but the pricks are the ones who get all the attention and ruin it for everyone else. Be it either just pirating it or jacking up the rates....it is the same thing.
     
  20. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks for turning me unto the Zune Marketplace... I spent like $20 trying it out the other day and I was pleasantly surprised by it, at the very 'least it works down here in Puerto Rico, unlike Amazon's MP3 store (grrr!). I kinda felt it was easier to find specific stuff on Amazon though, maybe it was just the fact that I was trying the Zune software on another machine that was overloaded w/FF windows/tabs at the time and chugging a bit but... Searching was sluggish and confusing at times.

    Sometimes there'd be multiple identical listings for the same artist under the artist tab, and even multiple entries for the same album... One would be the correct DRM-free MP3 entry and sometimes the other was either a DRM-protected WMA version of the album (same price/info regardless) or just an outdated non-working entry, kinda weird.

    The sluggish part came from the fact that sometimes the Zune software would get stuck in the middle of a refresh and it'd list half a search's worth of results or half an album and I couldn't figure out a way to force it to refresh (other than navigating somewhere else then coming back to that album/search, manually, not hitting the back button), kind of annoying... Hoping it won't act like that on my own system.

    When it did work the interface was fun and enjoyable though, I liked their program despite the faults I mentioned... Though I like the option to not even have to install anything even better (Amazon's tracks you can just buy and download on the spot). The Zune points thing is pretty dumb as well, I agree there.

    I'm liking it though, and the fact that it works in PR means it's probably my best option right now... Even with iTunes going DRM free, their tracks are still in AAC format, which my phone and iPod touch can play, but my older Creative MuVo players can't (I have one for excercising and one I use a lot for traveling)... Between that and their new pricing scheme, I think I'll keep avoiding iTunes for the time being.

    That being said, I did find half a dozen songs I couldn't buy individually on the Zune Marketplace, I could only get 'em as part of a full album, I searched for two or three of those on iTunes and they were available for individual purchase. Two were recent pop songs (Leona Lewis and I forget what else), two were old stuff from the Top Gun soundtrack, and the other two were techno stuff I think (the worst part is the album sale Zune pushed there was basically just the one track and like three remixes of it, ugh).

    I don't think I found any song that was only available with DRM tho, but forcing you to buy the full album is almost as bad. Actually I did run into one oddity, there was this one spanish rock album that was listed as an MP3/DRM-free album, but when I went to checkout my shopping cart it'd say the song was saddled w/DRM, I tried adding it a few different ways and the result was the same, so I skipped that. Wish they'd specify that stuff more clearly in general.

    The downloads were pretty darn speedy too. So here I am, using Apple and Creative players to listen to tracks bought on Microsoft's store and sync'ing it all up with third party software (MediaMonkey), go figure. :p
     
  21. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh yeah, all of Cake's albums were only available as full album purchases too I think, dunno why. In many cases you could get around situations like that by finding the track in a greatest hits album or a "Grammy Nominated" album and stuff like that, seemed kinda weird that you could get away with that. Does iTunes force full-album purchases for any of their stuff? I don't think I've seen that on Amazon, but I haven't searched extensively there since I know I can't purchase stuff there right now (blast you Amazon).
     
  22. MrFace

    MrFace 2[H]4U

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    For a $1 or even $1.30 a track I'd rather just go buy the album from the store.
     
  23. MrFace

    MrFace 2[H]4U

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    That's not even close to the same concept.
     
  24. Bohica69

    Bohica69 Gawd

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    Yea, that's the one thing that's WEIRD about the Zune marketplace. The multiple listings thing is odd. It's almost like the setup of the "products" in the marketplace are setup by music executives who have not concept of what the hell they are really doing. It's also weird that some songs aren't available on album A, but are available on Album B by the same artist.

    If you have a zune device, I highly recommend the Zune Pass - 15 a month get's you 10 songs to keep FOREVER and all you can eat downloads. Very nice.
     
  25. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Granted I didn't read the whole thread, but is this just not another reason to drop iPod and iTunes?

    This.

    For that price, I can guy a DRM-free MP3 with a good quality (320kbps) rather than the infested crap Apple uses.
    Amazon MP3 Store FTW.
     
  26. PynkFloydd

    PynkFloydd Gawd

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    No problem! I've actually used Amazon more for downloads but, I like finding and previewing the stuff on the Zune Marketplace better. ...and I got a Zune 80gb so I use the software at least some of the time anyway. It definitely takes a little time to get used to the difference between iTunes and the Zune software.

    I've found some albums on Amazon that make you buy the whole album to get specific songs. There aren't many that make you buy the whole album but, they're out there.

    Unfortunately, since iTunes has been out the longest (and probably has the most users), it still has the most music to choose from.

    For some reason, the Zune Marketplace doesn't remove outdated links...it just grays them out. Watch out for the clean versions of albums too, it doesn't say "edited" until you click on the album. The picks, channels and mixview are all pretty nice too. I think it's more of a bonus than a need though. Also, sometimes they'll advertise sales on zuneinsider.com. ...they'll have great deals but, sometimes they only send them through email and/or post them on Zuneinsider.

    The Marketplace definitely has a little bit to go but, it's a pretty nice alternative to iTunes. Amazon is probably the most straight-forward of all though. If the Zune software is running a little sluggish, you might want to check under options. There's TONS of optional visualizations that eat resources and for some reason the updates take forever to install. At the very least, you've got another option to buy music from...sounds like you've got a huge variety already though.
     
  27. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Apple has actually dropped DRM as well recently, dropped it entirely on all songs apparently (like 90% of them by the start of April and the rest soon after), unlike Zune which still has a mix in some places... However their downloads are still encoded as AAC files instead of MP3s, it may not be an issue at all for some (many many recent non-Apple players will play AAC files) but for anyone with older players/phones it's a speedbum.

    I've got two Creative MuVo players I'm very attached to (one for excercising, the other for traveling) and neither plays AAC files... So that's the one reason I'm still resisting shopping on iTunes despite the fact that they went DRM-free (their new pricing scheme being the other reason). Every store has it's downsides, Zune works off those stupid Microsoft points and their listings & links can be confused sometimes (I think it has something to do with how they update 'em etc., like Pynk said).

    I don't see what any of that has to do with the iPod itself tho, don't get me wrong, there's reasons to avoid iPods as well (though I'm very fond of my iPod touch and I haven't seen anything quite as small that's as nice a video player and WiFi browser), but you can sync your iTunes with 3rd party software like Media Monkey perfectly fine and ignore iTunes and Apple's store entirely.
     
  28. AthlonXP

    AthlonXP Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    dammit I really dont like this, hopefully they understand this helps fuel the torrent and pirate industry.
     
  29. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oi, teh typos... They should let you edit news section posts within 1-2 min of making them. :p
     
  30. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Heh, one side to this story which I hadn't thought about is that it's not necessarily Apple who felt they needed to go to the three-price scheme after going DRM-free... But the studios forcing Apple into said scheme after they re-negotiated their deals when going DRM-free. An article on ArsTechnica brought this to mind. The music studios really don't want Apple to be the sole game in town, because then Apple gains too much control...

    This has been obvious for a while, it just didn't enter my reasoning when looking at this bit of news regarding Apple's prices. Because they're the biggest player, Apple may in fact have less leverage than Amazon or the Zune Marketplace, they've got the most to lose.
     
  31. TamaNeko

    TamaNeko Bad Trader

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    Well it could be argued that the extra 30 cents make up for the supposedly superior quality 256Kbps AAC DRM free itunes song...
     
  32. liam.k.l

    liam.k.l n00bie

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    :D:D

    The day Apple offers FLAC (or even ALAC) tunes for the same price as their shitty 128kbps tracks is the day I'll consider throwing them any money.
     
  33. HOCP4ME

    HOCP4ME [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah, why don't they offer lossless tracks already? They obviously have the bandwidth; even those tracks generally have lower bitrates than high quality streaming video.
     
  34. djgizmo

    djgizmo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why isn't it? You can go out and build/buy a new car? Theft is theft. Unless an artist specifically GIVES their music away purposely, stealing music will always be stealing music. MP3 is just another medium with a cost reduction.
     
  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    Amazon and Wal-mart have both followed Apple and have raised their prices to $1.29 in the tiered cost system...

    Looks like it's back to just buying CD's I want and ripping myself because there is no longer a cost savings by buying from Amazon.
     
  36. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well if you only want a handful of songs off a CD it's still a good alternative, for a full CD from a band you love though, probably not.