Friday, September 30, 2005

PC Pro: News: Warner chief threatens to scalp iTunes

Via Slashdot: PC Pro: News: Warner chief threatens to scalp iTunes: "A Warner Music executive has threatened to cut off Apple if Steve Jobs continues to refuse to give ground on iTunes Music Store pricing."

Personally I couldn't care less if the record labels pull out as I've never bought anything from the iTunes music store, and I don't plan on ever doing so as long as they ship their music DRM encumbered. But this really is crazy. Apple is the only online music store that has been successful at getting people to adopt DRMed music.

Nash's comments echoes those made last week by Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman, who called for Apple to adopt variable pricing and share out revenues from iPod sales. (emphasis mine)

Do the labels honestly think they own all the music in the world. Did they make the same demand of Sony when the walkman became popuplar... because after all, without tapes to put in those walkmen they would've been useless.

I didn't realize just how strong the sense of entitlement is at the record labels until now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Software ( + Hardware) can do anything

Kevin Schofield's Weblog: "People here really believe that software can do anything -- it's fundamentally built into the culture, all the way up to Bill."

Some support for my "Microsoft expects somebody else to build their iPod for them" theory. Gotta come up with a better name for that. Maybe it's the "Hardware doesn't matter" way of thinking.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Open Letter to Google: Please Fix the RSS Reader in Google Desktop

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Open Letter to Google: Please Fix the RSS Reader in Google Desktop: "However it is clear that not only is Google Desktop fetching my RSS feed every 5 minutes it is also not using HTTP Conditional GET requests. WTF?"

That is horrible horrible behavior for an aggregator. Who made that decision on the google team? Hopefully it's just a few misconfigured users out there and not the default behavior of google desktop. Even if it is a misconfiguration (the 5 minute thing) why aren't they doing conditional gets? I can't come up with a plausible reason you would ever to do this?

Why can't Microsoft make it's own iPod Nano

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: "Byron thinks that Microsoft should buy all of its employees an iPod Nano and then have them report back a week later on why they can't make a product like that. "

Why can't Microsoft make a product like that? I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day about how Apple is able to provide such a slick user experience and how Microsoft keeps struggling to provide the same experience.

I think it comes down to a limitation built into Microsoft's vision. Microsoft sees itself as a software company. Sure they dabble in hardware (mice and keyboards... boring) but they fundamentally see themself as a software company and that software is what makes computers useful. (paraphrasing from Bill Gates' channel 9 interview)

Apple doesn't see itself as only a software provider. Apple used to see itself as the provider for the digital hub, but they've gone beyond. Not only did they create a digital hub, they went ahead and developed the components that connect to the hub.

Microsoft should wake up and realize that nobody is making anything worth connecting to their hub (Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center Edition). If they want their hub to be the hub of choice for most users then they need to embrace the reality that nobody out there is going to make an iPod for them.

It could be this artificial focus on software software software that prevents Microsoft from realizing it's vision of becoming a digital hub....

or maybe they could just start supporting the iPod in Windows Media Player...

CoolTechZone::Column: Apple’s Strategy Behind ROKR

CoolTechZone::Column: Apple’s Strategy Behind ROKR: "He doesn’t want a cell phone that doubles as an MP3 player to become too popular as that would cut straight into Apple’s bread and butter product, the iPod."

hmm, if this is true, then Apple's demise may be much quicker in coming than I originally thought. (Just so everyone knows, I don't actually want Apple to die. I would actually prefer that they turn into an even better company).

If Apple is unwilling to cut it's legs out from under itself to branch into a market it knows will be successful (a marriage between the phone and the ipod) then it will lose it's ability to remain an innovative, visionary company.

Here is something Steve doesn't get.

"You're not the first, nor the last person to come up with <insert idea here>."

Steve's talk about how lucky we are as an industry because he dropped out of college and took a caligraphy class illustrates this gap in Steve's vision. Of course somebody else would've come up with the idea to put publishing quality fonts and graphics on the PC. Others would've seen the potential and acted on it. Apple was simply the first out of the gate.

Apple has a significant leg up in this whole portable music player war, but they need to face the fact that it is a war. The other side has been lobbing softballs at them, but some up and coming company could come out with a killer implementation of a Phone/Music player combo that simply kills any other combo.

Now this is all based on some random website's conjecture about Apple's motives. Maybe their A-team was working on the ipod nano and the B-team was working on the ROKR... or maybe they left the specification of the product up to motorola and did nothing more than license their look and feel and access to ITMS.

Friday, September 09, 2005

iTunes feature request

You know what would be handy? To be able to separate the contents of the iTunes library from their reviews. Here the use case.

My wife and I share a library of music. We both want all the music available to use on our home computer, but our preferences are different so we need to be able to set our own ratings for songs.

Both OSX and XP support a type of user switching so there no reason it isn't theoretically doable right?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Apple unveils the iPhone, iPod nano

Apple unveils the iPhone, iPod nano: "...Windows users can synchronize calendars and contacts from their iPods to Outlook or Outlook Express."

That sounds like an awesome addition to me. I don't have a USB sync cable for my ipod yet (the last generation didn't ship with them) but now I'm very inclined to go pick one up and complete my itunes migration from my powerbook to my dell. I've been craving a better portable calendar solution than an ipaq. A smartphone would probably be my first choice, but an iPod could be another good option.