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iPhone is here
September 7, 2005 10:58 AM   Subscribe

iPhone is here (nearly!)...Apple reveals the iPhone! And the iPod nano?
posted by tommyc (151 comments total)

 
My Sony Ericsson K750i kicks ROKR's punk ass.
posted by riffola at 11:02 AM on September 7, 2005


At least include a link to the fucking thing.
posted by cillit bang at 11:02 AM on September 7, 2005


I can't imagine these becoming a big hit. But then again, maybe ipod fanboys will jump on it for the chance to switch carriers.

I wonder what kind of deal Cigular worked out for this. I'm sure there are exclusive rights involved.
posted by tomplus2 at 11:06 AM on September 7, 2005


Windows users can now automatically synchronize contact and calendar information using iTunes 5 and Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express software.

What?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:07 AM on September 7, 2005


iPod nano page is up.
posted by cillit bang at 11:09 AM on September 7, 2005


So the great revolution is... an overpriced phone with a crappy built in camera? Or is it a rehash of the iPod, destroying all the goodness of the iPod mini with smaller storage sizes, and putting those damn chrome backs on them so they get completely scratched up.

The whole reason I own a mini is because it is scratch resistant, unlike my other 2 iPods which were scratch magnets.

Seems like Apple is just running out of ideas, here. Where is the revolution?
posted by benjh at 11:10 AM on September 7, 2005


Oh my! Another important product announcement from Apple Computer, Inc™!
posted by cmonkey at 11:10 AM on September 7, 2005


Most interesting is that this is the first cell phone with only a single button. I think this cell phone thing is just a passing fad.
posted by spock at 11:14 AM on September 7, 2005


A link to the fucking thing <--- lookie, an authentic Apple™ link!
posted by tommyc at 11:18 AM on September 7, 2005


FOR FUCKS SAKE
posted by mr.marx at 11:18 AM on September 7, 2005


In horrifying times like these, I actually find comfort in a good old Apple/PC flame war. Please, carry on!
posted by fungible at 11:19 AM on September 7, 2005


I hear you can get a special edition with Britney Spears' entire collection preloaded.
posted by grateful at 11:20 AM on September 7, 2005


Stop macsterbating, it leads to premature iJaculation.
posted by jonmc at 11:21 AM on September 7, 2005


Does the Apple nano do photo stuff like the normal size color iPods? I can't tell from the nano page.
posted by mathowie at 11:23 AM on September 7, 2005


People! People! What's with all the fucking language in here? That Nano is a sexy-looking thing, tho.
posted by baggers at 11:23 AM on September 7, 2005


Steve Jobs could take a shit in a smooth case, and people here would still pay 25% above market value for it.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:23 AM on September 7, 2005


just so long as the case is smooooveee.....
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:24 AM on September 7, 2005


Steve Jobs could take a shit in a smooth case, and people here would still pay 25% above market value for it.

coming soon: the iPoop.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on September 7, 2005


Less space than a Nomad. No wireless. Lame.

Seriously, where is my fucking 80 gig iPod? Some of us have REAL music collections, Steve!
posted by keswick at 11:26 AM on September 7, 2005


jonmc writes "coming soon: the iPoop."

It'll revolutionize the market -- it's an iTunes-enabled colostomy bag.
posted by clevershark at 11:26 AM on September 7, 2005


It seems that it comes in black.

Uh, yes please?

(If nothing else, this should drop the Shuffle price a bit.)
posted by selfnoise at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2005


The nano looks like a bigger deal to me. Near ipod mini storage in an even smaller package thanks to the use of flash memory. Cool.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2005


meh... the nano's biggest attraction is its physical size.

what they need to do is expand the other way in terms of storage, but keep it small.

Where's my 80GB nano?

the iTunes phone, however, will be huge. it's about flippin' time...
posted by blastrid at 11:30 AM on September 7, 2005


That phone is absolutely terrible.
No new styling, no new interface, just a second rate phone on a third rate carrier.

Very disappointing.

The nano is nice, but the headphone jack is on the bottom..

I like the black though.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:30 AM on September 7, 2005


I've mentioned this before, but there's an FCC regulation mandating that cellphones can be in no way pleasant or enjoyable objects. Nothing Apple can do, really.
posted by selfnoise at 11:32 AM on September 7, 2005


I would've considered it if it was a simple white case with phone buttons and a clickwheel on it - but, Gad, body design of the poor thing looks like it was designed by Dell.
posted by Peter H at 11:33 AM on September 7, 2005


Does the Apple nano do photo stuff like the normal size color iPods? I can't tell from the nano page.
posted by mathowie at 2:23 PM EST on September 7 [!]


Looks like it, at least from the gallery snaps.
posted by Rothko at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2005


So four years after I bought my original iPod, the latest model with the same storage capacity (4GB) is 60% smaller, has a color screen, and the battery lasts twice as long. For almost half the price. Not bad. But then again, four years later my original iPod is still chugging along, so no real need to upgrade yet.
posted by gwint at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2005


That thing's about as sexy as a Bill Gates lapdance.
posted by Peter H at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2005


Seriously, where is my fucking 80 gig iPod?

Some of youse guys amaze me with your extensive collections... I'm still trying to fill up my mini 4gb from last xmas! I'd better get crackin'.
posted by Emperor Yamamoto's Eggs at 11:36 AM on September 7, 2005


So the mini is discontinued?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:39 AM on September 7, 2005


Roboto - it certainly looks that way.
posted by selfnoise at 11:40 AM on September 7, 2005


... there's an FCC regulation mandating that cellphones can be in no way pleasant or enjoyable objects.

Why is this? What is wrong with most cell phone manufacturers? The whole cell phone experience is one of the last holdouts of bad user interface design. posted by splatta at 11:41 AM on September 7, 2005


iWhy iDoes iApple iPut iI iIn iFront iOf iAll iTheir iShit?
posted by wfrgms at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2005


iDontKnow
posted by Emperor Yamamoto's Eggs at 11:44 AM on September 7, 2005


iWhy iDoes iApple iPut iI iIn iFront iOf iAll iTheir iShit?

iNsanity.
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on September 7, 2005


the camera mashed into a phone is a stupid idea, and besides, most of the cameras smashed into these turduckens suck.

Mmmmm. Turduckens. /Homer/
posted by grateful at 11:46 AM on September 7, 2005


iDon'tFuckingCare
posted by eyeballkid at 11:54 AM on September 7, 2005


Why is this? What is wrong with most cell phone manufacturers? The whole cell phone experience is one of the last holdouts of bad user interface design.

It doesn't have to be that way. However, as long as manufacturers want to cram "smartphone" functionality into a traditional form factor, that's what you're going to get. Look to the PDA-phone hybrids for different approaches. I'm using a Samsung SCH-i730, and I'm quite happy with it.

voicemail is such a cruddy interface (3 or 7 means delete!)

This is driven by the fact that voicemail isn't generally device-dependent. In fact, you can typically access your voicemail from any phone at all, as long as you know the correct number.

the stupid five-way rocker and grid of icons is so tired, lets figure out a better way

Again, this is a result of using the traditional phone form factor. Touch screens and other approaches replace this in more complex smartphones/PDA-phones.

the camera mashed into a phone is a stupid idea, and besides, most of the cameras smashed into these turduckens suck.

I used to feel the same way. However, I've completely come around on this. Sure, the cameras suck. However, they're much better than the 5 MP camera you left at home. That's my biggest complaint with my current phone - no camera! Very soon, phone cameras will be in the 3-5 MP range which is all you need for casual snapshots. Plus, being able to send pictures over the phone, or assign pictures to contacts, is nice.

battery life is almost universaly terrible

I don't see what that has to do with the interface, other than that color screens consume power faster.

addressbooks/calendar sync could be so much better

It is much better, if you have the right phone. My phone integrates directly with Outlook/Exchange, and I have absolutely no complaints about how this works.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:57 AM on September 7, 2005


Oh boy, another chance for folks to trot out their tired old "Apple sucks" witticisms.

And I forgot my popcorn. Dam it all, said the Mad Beaver.
posted by fenriq at 11:58 AM on September 7, 2005


For me, the real news here is iTunes 5 -- Finally NESTED playlists and folders!
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:02 PM on September 7, 2005


They also announced a Harry Potter edition iPod, sort of -- you buy the complete series in audiobook format, and they brand the back of your new 'Pod with the Hogwarts crest.

Yeegads.
posted by me3dia at 12:02 PM on September 7, 2005


I bet the whole redesign of the Mini's -- strikingly different from the iPod line, was some attempt to garner new marketshare Y. They apparently did not get the market share they were after, so buh'bye.

Nano. Sexy. Yummy. Meanwhile, I keep dropping my 4G 40G so I am keeping a death watch on it...
posted by cavalier at 12:02 PM on September 7, 2005


Metafilter: about as sexy as a Bill Gates lapdance.
posted by menace303 at 12:03 PM on September 7, 2005


cavalier - are you kidding? The mini was the most popular iPod Apple has ever released.
posted by bshort at 12:03 PM on September 7, 2005


Shit, the iTunes 5 download doesn't seem to work in Firefox. It says "Thank you. Your iTunes download will start automatically." But nothing happens. .... ??

Does iTunes 5 fix the issue where volume adjustment settings aren't transfered over to the iPod? A quiet song forces you to turn up the volume, and followed by a loud song, this can blow your eardrums! The only thing I truly HATE about my iTunes/iPod.
posted by afx114 at 12:03 PM on September 7, 2005


SON OF A BITCH! I just plugged the 4G in and I'm getting the death icon. Haha. Fuck.
posted by cavalier at 12:03 PM on September 7, 2005


My collection is up to 150GBs of music.

/puts away measuring tape
/zips up pants
posted by Mach3avelli at 12:04 PM on September 7, 2005


bshort, agreed that it sold well, but look -- it's gone. So somehow it didn't pass a metric they were looking for.
posted by cavalier at 12:04 PM on September 7, 2005


OMG Nesting! (Jumps up at down) Great, now the next 2 hours is going to go REALLY slow.

I think the mini/nano level is really what they're going to target for the time being, along with other DAP makers. The HD based players are just too much gun (and too large) for the mainstream consumer.
posted by selfnoise at 12:06 PM on September 7, 2005


Cavalier - I think it's absence is proof that it DID do well... they like the direction they went in, so now they're going even farther down that road.
posted by selfnoise at 12:06 PM on September 7, 2005


As much as I don't care for the product-announcement-filter, there is an interesting aspect to the iPod nano: It's flash based.
In other words, the cost of flash memory has become competitive with the cost of hard-drive memory, at least at these small sizes. It seems like its only a matter of time before we start seeing flash-based computers. Imagine never having to press save again!
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:09 PM on September 7, 2005


it's gone. So somehow it didn't pass a metric they were looking for

After nearly two years of strong sales, they replace it with something almost identical. I really don't see how you can read anything into that, other than that prices of flash memory have dropped a lot.
posted by cillit bang at 12:12 PM on September 7, 2005


oh great, now the jackass sitting in front of me at the theater has 1,000 annoying crunk-hop ringtones.
posted by NationalKato at 12:13 PM on September 7, 2005


I wouldn't call the ROKR phone 'the iPhone' at all, and neither is Apple, nor Motorola. It's just a motorola phone that can sync to iTunes and holds 100 songs, and is only available from Cingular. Triple Feh.

That nano, however, looks amazing, although I think Apple is ditching the cuter iPod mini form factor a bit early.
posted by ulotrichous at 12:14 PM on September 7, 2005


I do not own an ipod, and have never understood the cult that has arisen around that device. I have a small flash based player that plays music, which is all I'm after.

With that said, the nano is an incredibly attractive device. I may very well join the fold.

I assume the headphone jack is on the bottom because they want you to wear it around your neck like a necklace?
posted by Ynoxas at 12:25 PM on September 7, 2005


Ynoxas - yeah, they seem to be selling a set of earphones whose cord actually doubles as a lanyard.

Wearing the thing doesn't appeal to me, but the slim size and weight should make it a good match for my Muvo Slim in-pocket.
posted by selfnoise at 12:30 PM on September 7, 2005


The nano looks like a winner, combining the best features from the shuffle and mini. If you listen carefully you might hear executives from rival firms sobbing softly in the distance.

The phone is, well, crap. iTunes added to something with mediocre hardware and, unless they've done a complete rewrite, Motorola's usual awful software. The results would've been far better if they could've partnered with Nokia or Sony/Ericsson.
posted by malevolent at 12:34 PM on September 7, 2005


Isn't anybody worried that their iPod Nano or Shuffle is going to break in half in their pocket? You know, because it's pencil thin? It looks nice but honestly I'm afraid it would break during a regular day's use - I know sturdier constructed iPods have.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:43 PM on September 7, 2005


iPutASpellOnYou
posted by Rothko at 12:45 PM on September 7, 2005


There's no i on my Powerbook or my G5.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2005


For anyone too lazy to follow the link, this is what a black iPod (nano) looks like.
posted by Sinner at 12:50 PM on September 7, 2005


There's no i on my Powerbook or my G5.

Must be hard to type then.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:56 PM on September 7, 2005


Damn, those are nice. If the next hurricane passes over my area, I'm paddling straight toward the Apple store.
posted by horsewithnoname at 12:59 PM on September 7, 2005


ba dum bum!
posted by splatta at 12:59 PM on September 7, 2005


oops, thought it would follow this:
There's no i on my Powerbook or my G5.

Must be hard to type then.

posted by splatta at 1:00 PM on September 7, 2005


I'm still reeling over the use of iPod and colostomy bag in the same sentence. That's a first for me.
posted by Jazznoisehere at 1:09 PM on September 7, 2005


The iPod nano looks beautiful, and I like the fact it has flash memory.
posted by Elpoca at 1:09 PM on September 7, 2005


Isn't anybody worried that their iPod Nano or Shuffle is going to break in half in their pocket?

Do you keep it in your back pocket? While you do crunches?
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:11 PM on September 7, 2005


iPutaSpellonYou
posted by keswick at 1:30 PM on September 7, 2005


Imagine never having to press save again!

Unless you're thinking that they'll replace RAM with the (much, much slower) non-volatile flash memory, you'll still have to press save to write your file from RAM to the flash-based harddrive.
posted by odinsdream at 1:38 PM on September 7, 2005


odinsdream: Unless you're thinking that they'll replace RAM with the (much, much slower) non-volatile flash memory...

Aha. I knew there was a catch. Still, I bet the mtbf for flash memory is longer than for hard drives, and it wouldn't be vulnerable to demagnetizing. *dreams*.
posted by Popular Ethics at 1:42 PM on September 7, 2005


Waitaminute. Apple's new flash player is $200 and can't record or read/swap memory cards? Wow. I seem to remember the Apple CEO dissing "overpriced" flash players a couple of years ago.

where is my fucking 80 gig iPod

A friend-of-a-friend has a 120GB Archos and *still* complains about not enough space. I think the answer is a subscription service and auto/random refilling/shuffling ala Apple's randomizer idea coupled with the ability to tag some material as fixed.

Finally NESTED playlists and folders!

Unless your only OS is X, I recommend Media Center.

One thing that struck me - where is the video? Is Apple lacking some software DRM to enable this, or a profitable business model? It seems almost perversely anachronistic to have a colour screen yet cripple it to only do flash cards.

Finally, if the "average" iPod owner has bought 60 tracks, that's $60 revenue. In four years. That's what Napster/Real get with 6 months of a subscription, or Yahoo in just under a year. Or XM/Sirius in much less. And I think they get much more of a revenue share per gross than Apple. It's a good business to be in - I'm surprised that Apple hasn't jumped into it - again I suspect a lack of suitable software (ala MS's Janus) than any business model reluctance.
posted by meehawl at 1:46 PM on September 7, 2005


Yeah, unfortunately its made by Motorola. The phone just happens to have iTunes on it also. Motorola interfaces and menu systems are horribly counter-intuitive and I have never been impressed with the engineering of their phones. iTunes good, Motorola bad. Get a free nokia/samsung and then buy yourself an iPod (the phone costs $249).
posted by sophist at 1:47 PM on September 7, 2005


At this point it's not even a question of whether the Apple product announcement will hit MeFi. It's just a question of who will be the retard to post it. I say we continue letting retards self-identify.
posted by scarabic at 1:53 PM on September 7, 2005


A friend-of-a-friend has a 120GB Archos and *still* complains about not enough space. I think the answer is a subscription service and auto/random refilling/shuffling ala Apple's randomizer idea coupled with the ability to tag some material as fixed.

I don't rent music.
posted by keswick at 1:57 PM on September 7, 2005


Anyone figured out what Rendezvous/Bonjour sercive type iTunes 5 is using? The proxy I'm running to access my home iTunes library at work isn't showing up in the iTunes 5 source list...
posted by kindall at 2:03 PM on September 7, 2005


Finally, if the "average" iPod owner has bought 60 tracks, that's $60 revenue.

Yeah, but iTunes has ten million users. Napster has 410,000.

In four years

The store only launched for Macs two and a bit years ago, and has been going less than two years on Windows.
posted by cillit bang at 2:05 PM on September 7, 2005


Steve Jobs could take a shit in a smooth case, and people here would still pay 25% above market value for it.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:23 PM EST on September 7 [!]


What have you heard?
posted by jikel_morten at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2005


Not sure the size of the player is really that important. I have a thousand gigs or so of mp3s, but I don't feel the need to carry it all with me. You know how hard it is to find something in a collection that size with a simple interface like the iPod? It's not meant to do it.

Just throw a few dozen tracks on it at a time for when you're planning on going out. A few hundred when you plan on being out for a long time. How much time are you going to spend away from your desk where you don't want any interaction with people at all and need all that music?

Not that I own or want a portable. Their neat, but I generally only listen to music when I'm working.
posted by inthe80s at 2:13 PM on September 7, 2005


The phone has video but the announcement fails to mention if you can export it to your Mac/PC. Anyone?
posted by ironisokratic at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2005


Jazznoisehere writes "I'm still reeling over the use of iPod and colostomy bag in the same sentence. That's a first for me."

It's an MP3 version of the George Carlin-invented merge between the Walkman and the colostomy bag (the Shitman(tm)).
posted by clevershark at 2:22 PM on September 7, 2005


Still, I bet the mtbf for flash memory is longer than for hard drives, and it wouldn't be vulnerable to demagnetizing. *dreams*.

Flash's MTBF depends on how it's being used. Flash memory is pretty stable for long-term storage and virtually immune to mechanical shock, temperature swings, etc. But it's actually got a built-in limit on how many times it can be written to, and in that way at least, it's still inferior to magnetic storage.

The write limit is high - generally specified as 100K or 1M writes - but it's low enough that flash memory controllers have to employ "wear leveling" algorithms to ensure that a few busy locations don't die long before the rest of the chip is worn out.

You can actually get flash-based hard-disk replacement units in sizes suitable for desktop PCs (100GB+) now, if you're the sort who thinks a super-fast hard drive is cooler than a shiny new Mercedes.

As far as iPod type devices go, flash is long-lived enough, shockproof, and probably doubles the potential battery life (or halves the size of the required battery). Nifty.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:23 PM on September 7, 2005


The nanoPod is USB-only. That leaves out a lot of owners of older Macs who don't want to transfer 4 Gb over USB 1.
posted by forrest at 2:30 PM on September 7, 2005


actually it might not work with USB1 either -- the power output between 1 and 2 is very different. the system requirements read usb2 only.
posted by n9 at 2:34 PM on September 7, 2005


How is this not a double?
posted by blendor at 2:39 PM on September 7, 2005


That leaves out a lot of owners of older Macs

So users would have to buy a WHOLE NEW Mac? What kind of game is Apple playing at here!??
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2005


I don't rent music.

You buy an Apple track you don't own it either. You rent it, for an indeterminate period of time, and on licence terms that Apple can, and has, changed at will. It's basically a higher-cost single-fee licence, compared to a subscription-based lower-cost-per-track licencing fee.

The catch with Apple is that you pay, in effect, a hardware rental fee (in the form of iPods or whatever) to continue to enjoy the portable use of your licenced service.
posted by meehawl at 2:48 PM on September 7, 2005


actually it might not work with USB1 either -- the power output between 1 and 2 is very different. the system requirements read usb2 only.

When I got an ipod shuffle for my better half, it updated songs through the USB 1 ports, but wouldn't charge - it still took a few weeks to run down to zero charge though.
posted by concreteforest at 2:50 PM on September 7, 2005


The ROKR sounds stupid. I was expecting a phone with a hard drive. Now, the nanopod sounds a lot more interesting. If somebody considered putting its memory into a smartphone, we would be cooking with gas...
posted by Skeptic at 3:06 PM on September 7, 2005


You buy an Apple track you don't own it either. You rent it, for an indeterminate period of time, and on licence terms that Apple can, and has, changed at will. It's basically a higher-cost single-fee licence, compared to a subscription-based lower-cost-per-track licencing fee.

I don't buy music from iTunes either.
posted by keswick at 3:31 PM on September 7, 2005


I'm still pretty happy with my 2 year old 3rd gen 15 gig iPod. Apple's fixation on manufacturing smaller and smaller devices holding 4 gigs seems like an inversion of H2-style castration complex marketing. The iPod nano may promise to "take [my] music places [I] never dreamed of," but the only places I can think of off the top of my head inaccessible to my current model are body cavities.
posted by alphanerd at 3:51 PM on September 7, 2005


but the only places I can think of off the top of my head inaccessible to my current model are body cavities.

Well, since I already have my head up my ass, may as well have music in there, too.
posted by ColdChef at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2005


You buy an Apple track you don't own it either. You rent it, for an indeterminate period of time, and on licence terms that Apple can, and has, changed at will. It's basically a higher-cost single-fee licence, compared to a subscription-based lower-cost-per-track licencing fee.

Perhaps. But then again, I wouldn't buy from iTunes without using JHymn to convert to mp3. Anyone know if iTunes 5 attempts to defeat JHymn? Also, why would you pay near CD prices for 128kb/s? Surely 192 is the minimum acceptable?
posted by salmacis at 3:59 PM on September 7, 2005


Won't it take eons to write 4GB of music to a flash drive? My 1GB shuffle takes like 15 minutes to fill, whereas I can fill my 10GB firewire iPod in (I'm guessing) about the same time.
posted by krunk at 4:24 PM on September 7, 2005


128 AAC sounds as good as 192 MP3.
posted by Tlogmer at 4:38 PM on September 7, 2005


What in the fuck is up with the proprietary headphones/jack?

Just give me an iPod with expandable CompactFlash memory, a TosLink connector, that is natively supported by Mass Storage drivers and doesn't require proprietary shit, including proprietary craptacular software required to transfer music to the damnable thing.

Basically, a hard drive with toslink and a CF card slot. That's all I want. Upgradeable codecs would be neato, too (support for FLAC, in particular).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:40 PM on September 7, 2005


iTunes now has AAC VBR.

C_D: It ain't a proprietary jack. Calm down. Also, you really have no understanding of Apple if you hope that they'll include all that crap. Hell, they rolled their own lossless codec.
posted by bitpart at 4:50 PM on September 7, 2005


What in the fuck is up with the proprietary headphones/jack?

[sigh /] I guess I should assume you're being sarcastic, but somehow I feel compelled to explain that Apple really differ from Microsoft in only one important regard: They have a better understanding of how to make people like getting screwed.

To iPod users, those proprietary dongles and dingles are a badge of honor; those separate them from the crowd. Nevermind that they paid more than everybody else (for everything, too), that they don't really even understand what makes something easier for them to use, and that they're defining their "different"-ness by following a herd. Forget that stuff. What matters is that wonderful new iProduct....
posted by lodurr at 5:06 PM on September 7, 2005


More importantly, what's up with the non-support for OGG, when the codec is royalty-free?

Apple ideally would like you to use AAC exclusively. MP3 support is only there because they wouldn't have sold any units if they didn't have it. It's all about control.
posted by clevershark at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2005


Civil, I've got most of what you want, CF slot, native support, radio, hell, it even records straight to MP3 and cheap too, all from frontier labs. Problem is the firmware sucks, sucks so bad that I actually wouldn't recommend it to anyone. What apple have done is taken a tiny little computer and made it attractive, reliable and usable by anyone, it's an immense achievement and it's the firmware that's an important part of the key.
posted by grahamwell at 5:20 PM on September 7, 2005


So this is the nano technology everyone is talking about...
posted by mazola at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2005


They should have named this iPod "The Micro" and saved "Nano" for the one they'll implant at the base of your skull. In about 2011.
posted by ColdChef at 5:38 PM on September 7, 2005


I am so glad I got a mini - 6GB is barely enough for me, but the battery life and size beats the 20GB.

Now they sell the Nano with less memory and less battery life - for the same amount? Not good. And it doesn't have the nice round shape of the mini.

As for the phone - if it ain't got a click wheel, it ain't an iPhone.

By the way, if you don't have a mini, and want one, you should be able to buy from other stores - in fact, they are already on sale at Amazon.
posted by jb at 5:46 PM on September 7, 2005


It ain't a proprietary jack. Calm down.

Ok. I'm calm, now.

Also, you really have no understanding of Apple if you hope that they'll include all that crap.

What crap? The open codecs? Sure, that's a reach. A CF drive is just for my own pleasure. But every single motherfucking goddamned piece of shit assclown shoebox MP3 player out there could add a toslink input for peanuts, if they wanted to. Argh!

Deep breaths.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:13 PM on September 7, 2005


Civil, I've got most of what you want

Don't leave me hangin'!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:15 PM on September 7, 2005


What's really interesting is the way the iPod nano will drive down flash prices the same way the iPod mini rapidly drove down the prices of microdrives.

Remember when the iPod mini came out @ 4GB for $250 and a 4GB Microdrive by itself cost $400?

Right now a 4GB Microdrive costs $130 or so. A 4GB CompactFlash card now costs $300. Expect that to change, fast.
posted by blasdelf at 6:27 PM on September 7, 2005


I feel so old-fashioned with my iPod that I bought 6 months ago. It doesn't have a colour screen, it's enormous, and I can't even make phone calls with it.
Mom, all the other kids are laughing at me!
posted by easternblot at 7:45 PM on September 7, 2005


every single motherfucking goddamned piece of shit assclown shoebox MP3 player out there could add a toslink input

My wife's 3-year old V1 Recorder has an electrical digital input/out (RCA). I know the older iRivers (now with Rockbox, yummy) had an optical - I think they dropped it on the newer ones.

I, too, am concerned with this unseemly rush to "nano", skipping past micro. Like, is the next one pico? Will we end up, finally, with yotta too soon?
posted by meehawl at 7:49 PM on September 7, 2005


I think you mean 'yocto'.
posted by mazola at 7:52 PM on September 7, 2005


By the way, if you don't have a mini, and want one, you should be able to buy from other stores - in fact, they are already on sale at Amazon.

Once you add it to your cart, you find that you can save a whopping $10. Woo.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:43 PM on September 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


That's $10 off the $30 already off the price. They were $249 about 5 months ago.

The 20GB fourth generation iPod is already less than I paid for my mini.
posted by jb at 11:12 PM on September 7, 2005


Color screen and even smaller?
How long will the battery last in real world tests, I wonder.

They should have kept the screen monochrome. How many people stare at their iWhatever? You listen to it, no?

And I've mistakenly believed my mini has had a flash drive inside of it all this time, ha! good thing I didn't open it up to extract it and make it my OS drive on my PC. that'd've been really embarressing. Go Apple! make a lot of these, so flash hard drives drop in price!

Personally, smaller than the mini for my sausage fingers would be counter-productive.
posted by Busithoth at 12:12 AM on September 8, 2005


iTunes now has AAC VBR.

I don't care. Neither my car stereo or my iRiver support AAC, therefore I have no interest in the format.
posted by salmacis at 12:24 AM on September 8, 2005


Ordered one for my parents. They leered at our ipods, looked longingly at Linda's mini, and considered a shuttle. I suspect I will be their new favorite child when they go to Spain this winter.

I can't imagine being without my iPod.
posted by dglynn at 3:44 AM on September 8, 2005


I know the older iRivers (now with Rockbox, yummy) had an optical

Ahh yes, the much-beloved H120/320. Yes, and they sell for full retail, even the used ones on eBay. Clearly there's a market, but the only "new" player/recorder I've seen that compares is the iAudio 3ML (review). Beats the pants off iPod.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:55 AM on September 8, 2005


the iAudio 3ML

Battery life 35 hours. Okay, I am impressed.
posted by meehawl at 5:51 AM on September 8, 2005


Great. I had been holding out for a 30gb iPod after I bought a mini for my wife and was annoyed at how frustrating it was to sync the damn thing with iTunes - it wanted to try and copy everything automatically, which of course wouldn't work as it wouldn't all fit. I tried drag and drop in iTunes to move songs onto the mini (how can you get more intuitive than that?) and heck that didn't work either, because Apple doesn't want me to treat it as a portable hard drive even though that's what it is. Finally figured out I needed to set a playlist with "her" songs on it to get things onto the mini.

All of this pissed me off enough that I just wanted a player that would hold my (relatively modest) library without needing to fart around with picking and choosing individual songs to make things fit. The whole reason I wanted an iPod 30 gb was so I could take my music with me, and not have to worry about all that crap - if I want to hear song X or album Y, I would know I had it with me. Now the 30gb is discontinued, the 60 is more than I wanted to spend, the 20 doesn't seem worth buying (not significantly less than the 60 - for 1/3rd the storage space it should be 1/3rd the price!). And now I find out that the 6 gb mini has been dropped for a 4 gb nano that costs as much as the mini did in the first place.

Fucking Apple. This willingness to completely abandon hardware (that is less than a year or two old even!) or drop a popular or useful feature just because they feel like it is what keeps me from considering ever buying a PC that runs off of Apple-branded hardware. At this point I'm waiting for a competitor to get their shit together and blow the nano out of the water, feature-wise. Like, say, dump the clickwheel for a touchscreen and increase storage...
posted by caution live frogs at 5:53 AM on September 8, 2005


Nice original name that Nano. Seems like Creative beat them to it.

Also, I can't believe Motorola passed on the chance to bring back rotary dial phones.
posted by horseblind at 7:34 AM on September 8, 2005


grahamwell hit the nail on the head above..
posted by ascullion at 8:23 AM on September 8, 2005


The catch with Apple is that you pay, in effect, a hardware rental fee (in the form of iPods or whatever) to continue to enjoy the portable use of your licenced service.
posted by meehawl at 5:48 PM EST on September 7 [!]


Unless you burn the iTunes Store product to a CD, or translate it to MP3, both of which are not owned by Apple. In which case, you really do own your product and the above comment is somewhat misleading.
posted by Rothko at 8:44 AM on September 8, 2005


you really do own your product

Can you sell it?

Can you bequeath it?

If you can't, then it it not your property. It is not chattel. It is service. iTunes is a subscription service in shiny hardware drag.

burn the iTunes Store product to a CD, or translate it to MP3

The former is a licensed backup with no a priori existence decoupled from the licensed track, and the latter is an unauthorised, derivative work. In the case of the latter, you may as well have "bought" it from something like allofmp3.com - you'll get much better quality and arguably clearer legal ownership.

Apple clearly understands a powerful impulse of human beings operating within a commodity culture - the desire to "own" products and to construct and display a relatively coherent personality through acquisition. By eliding over the service nature of its iTMS products, by mis-representing them as property, Apple cleverly markets its service as more "desirable" than less obtuse subscription services.

Ever get the feeling you've been had?
posted by meehawl at 9:01 AM on September 8, 2005


caution live frogs -

All you need to do to stop iTunes from trying to load the whole collection is to change the settings. I, too, have more music than would fit on my iPod (6GB) - I keep playlists of what I have, and switch them around.

It's in the iPod settings - which are visible when you plug in the iPod. Mine was always defaulted not to automatically update, so I'm a bit confused as to why yours is doing it, but you should be able to turn it off.
posted by jb at 9:33 AM on September 8, 2005


iPutASpellOnYou — the best version out there

If you can't, then it it not your property.

I hardly think Wikipedia is the best place to define property. In any case, historically speaking, reproducable media was never considered property in the sense of a car or house. Your complaints about Apple are more about Apple than about any particular definition of property, and here's why:

The former is a licensed backup with no a priori existence decoupled from the licensed track, and the latter is an unauthorised, derivative work.

From the Terms of Service:

You shall be entitled to export, burn or copy Products solely for personal, noncommercial use...

Any burning or exporting capabilities are solely an accommodation to you and shall not constitute a grant or waiver (or other limitation or implication) of any rights of the copyright owners in any content, sound recording, underlying musical composition, or artwork embodied in any Product.


So: You can encode the file as an MP3 and do with it what you wish—so long as you don't violate the copyright owner's rights.

And for that matter, you weren't allowed to violate those same copyright owner's rights when you bought CDs or DVDs, but you haven't complained about that.

But I guess because it's Apple, that changes the terms of the copyright argument in some way, as it is run by bad people who sell bad things, or something? Or you're "forced" to run iTunes and you don't like the interface. Something about Apple is upsetting you, clearly.

Please feel free to clarify or change your position.
posted by Rothko at 9:35 AM on September 8, 2005


I hardly think Wikipedia is the best place to define property.

I hardly think impugning the source without impugning the definition contributes much to discourse.

And for that matter, you weren't allowed to violate those same copyright owner's rights when you bought CDs or DVDs, but you haven't complained about that.

I can't speak for C_D, but I've complained about that for years.

But I guess because it's Apple, that changes the terms of the copyright argument in some way, as it is run by bad people who sell bad things, or something? Or you're "forced" to run iTunes and you don't like the interface. Something about Apple is upsetting you, clearly.

Again, I can't speak for C_D, but yes, there is "something about Apple" that bothers me. Of course, I'm personally not willing to accept your framing of the position that it's a 'bad company that sells bad things'; I think they are, though, a profoundly dishonest company that sells things which are presented as being other than they are.

[Disclosure: Typed on a Powerbook. My other main computer is a Mini.]
posted by lodurr at 11:43 AM on September 8, 2005


reproducable media was never considered property

Really? So all those 2nd-hand bookshops, used CD stores, and old DVD resellers are pirates?

Please feel free to clarify how your definition of "property", being so contingent upon the graces of others, is worth a damn.
posted by meehawl at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2005


reproducable media was never considered property

Almost forgot, biggest pirate of all...
posted by meehawl at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2005


I hardly think impugning the source without impugning the definition contributes much to discourse.

Wikipedia = blog of conflicting or correct/incorrect definitions by strangers for the most part (erm, by definition). I can refer to the ongoing revision of the term "refugee" on Wikipedia by those with various agendas as one prescient example. /shrug

I can't speak for C_D, but I've complained about that for years.

But people buy CDs anyway, and no one with any brains suggests that one doesn't own a CD one purchases. Again, it comes down to the language and the terms you decide to use, depending on the company or product you're slagging.

If you don't like the iPod and love iRiver, or you love Microsoft and hate Apple, whatever, that's fine, but stick to the facts. Don't invent new terminology to prop up your arguments.

I agree a discussion of copyright is a good thing, maybe or maybe not here, but I think the misleading and misinformed comments in this thread regarding Apple's published terms of service do this kind of conversation no good whatsoever.
posted by Rothko at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2005


Please feel free to clarify how your definition of "property", being so contingent upon the graces of others, is worth a damn.
posted by meehawl at 3:12 PM EST on September 8 [!]


I'll be happy to when you learn how to cite properly.
posted by Rothko at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2005


learn how to cite properly

APA, Bluebook, Chicago, Columbias, MHRA or MLA? Seriously, instead of discussion or debate you offer worthless wannabe insults.

You still haven't convinced me that Wikipedia's definition of personal property is any less correct or applicable than your contingent non-definition of personal property.

Or is the definition of property and ownership now not a product of several millenia of common law but instead received wisdom from the Church of Steve?
posted by meehawl at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2005


Do you own your CD? Yes or no.
posted by Rothko at 4:01 PM on September 8, 2005


Do you own your CD?

Yes. I own the mechanical reproduction of the music called a CD. I can resell that plastic disc to whomsoever I wish, at a price and time of my choosing. I can bequeth that plastic disc to a person or entity of my schoosing, subject to applicable laws and tithes regarding the gifting of property.

I have not, however, licensed the right to create mechanical reproductions of the music on that disc, except insofar as most courts recognise the right of an owner of the disc to make "noncommercial" derivatives of that disc that cannot be redistributed or disposed of independently of the original disc that contains attached to its physical presence a mechanical copyright licence.

I get the feeling you're in the US, where the notion of first sale and fair-use is more circumscribed than in other Western nations, but the principle remains the same. In the United States, Universal City Studios, Inc. et al. v. Sony Corporation of America Inc. et al (1979) affirms this. Quality King Distributors Inc., v. L'anza Research International Inc (1998) avoided the issue of US companies attacking the importation and resale of mechanical reproductions licensed within other jurisdictions and resold under first-sale.

The exhaustion of rights attached to mechanical reproductions of IP embodied in physical objects may also be constrained within certain countries (but not, AFAIK, the US) based on the principle of the moral rights of the author. Specifically, the moral rights of the author may not be sold or transferred, and the author can retain the right to monetary recompense upon the resale of a mechanical reproduction of their work embodied in a physical object. This is the infamous droits d'auteur. Authors can also sue to block derivative works that would otherwise be statutorily licensed through national copyright bodies.

The software that Apple sells through the iTMS is not property. It is a service. That is why Apple describes it as the iTunes Music Store Service. That is why it has a "Terms of Service".

CDs do not ship with "Terms of Service" because they are not a service, they are property.
posted by meehawl at 4:34 PM on September 8, 2005


The rights you have as the owner of the CD and the rights you have as the owner of the iTunes track pretty much differ only in transference of the original product from one person to another, and in restrictions on how many devices can play the track simultaneously.

In all other respects, in either case, you own that physical duplication — whether it is a wax cylinder from a factory or a string of bytes on a storage device transferred to your device over the Internet — and you are allowed to do what you wish with it — including trancoding the copy to another format for backup or other noncommercial purposes — but you are also bound to respect the rights of the copyright owner, in either case.

CDs have a term of service that you agree to implicitly from purchasing the physical product: You can only listen to the CD on one device, which is more restrictive than the terms of service provided for the iTunes product.

You are not allowed legally to duplicate the disc to play the track on more than one player. Yet this detail does not garner any complaint from you, that CDs are suddenly not property any longer, because of this restriction. Why?

iTunes tracks are not all that much different from tracks on a CD, except that a technically-motivated trade is made with respect to owner transference for device playback rights. This trade is performed because of the ease of maintaining digital copies on multiple devices, each possessed by different people, but only purchased once.

People decided long ago that they were happy with the physical device playback limitation when vinyl and wax cylinders were sold. Until the ephemeral MP3 supplanted the more physical CD, that physical device limitation was not seen as restrictive in the eyes of the marketplace. People bought CDs.

In this same free market, people have now decided that they are happy with this new trade-off and are moving to digital media with a different set of playback restrictions.

You, personally, may not be happy with those new restrictions, but it's still property in either case.
posted by Rothko at 5:12 PM on September 8, 2005


Or, to use the metaphor of the used book or CD trade, once you sell a book or CD to another person, it is no longer possible for you to read that book or play that disc (unless you violated your "terms of service" with the copyright owner).
posted by Rothko at 5:16 PM on September 8, 2005


In all other respects, in either case, you own that physical duplication

No, you're incorrect. You cannot legally sell a hard disk to another person and transfer the playback rights to any Apple-licenced music contained therein.


CDs have a term of service that you agree to implicitly from purchasing the physical product


No, CDs are a physical product that is property. They can be disposed of as chattel. The mechanical and broadcast copyright for the IP contained on the discs is addressed by copyright law, not "terms of service".

Copyright law requires legislation to alter or amend it. It is not contingent on the graces of others. Your rights to dispose of the chattel are not liable to arbitrary censure or repeal.

Apple's terms of service, however, can be changed, at will, by Apple. They have been in that past. They will be in the future. You are dependent on the graces on the others. You can not dispose of your chattel. You are not the owner. There is no chattel to be owned. You are a subscriber to an Apple service.
posted by meehawl at 5:57 PM on September 8, 2005


No, you're incorrect. You cannot legally sell a hard disk to another person and transfer the playback rights to any Apple-licenced music contained therein.

Sure you can! It's not convenient, but you can sell/bequeath/transfer the Apple account to the other party simply by handing over the username and password. It's deliberately made painful, but that pain alone isn't enough not to make it property. Transfering the account transfers ownership of the music data encoded therein.

Apple's terms of service, however, can be changed, at will, by Apple. They have been in that past. They will be in the future. You are dependent on the graces on the others. You can not dispose of your chattel. You are not the owner. There is no chattel to be owned. You are a subscriber to an Apple service.

Philips and Sony were free at any time during the CD phase to change the format by way of new playback devices — and they did (SACD, MiniDisc, etc.). No one was forced to buy that format (and few did, in the end, despite the technical superiority of successors to the CD format).

Likewise, computers are not magically updated. You can keep the software on your computer as it is if you wish to continue using your existing music purchases without terms changing. You're only bound to those terms when you update your playback device — tacitly agreeing to a new usage contract. You're under no obligation at all to run Software Update on your Mac, or downloading a new copy of iTunes/QT if you're on Windows.

None of these issues you bring up change the fact you own the bytes on the hard drive. It's property, albeit with usage changes that simply reflect the response media companies have made to the copyright challenges of new technology. It was no different when those same issues were dealt with by selling you one copy of a physical object, which you could not easily duplicate on your own.
posted by Rothko at 7:05 PM on September 8, 2005


Or, I'll give you another metaphor that might help you figure it out: I'm not selling you a house-as-physical-object, I'm selling you a key to the doors of the house, and the right to enter the house and live in the house-as-physical-object, etc.
posted by Rothko at 7:10 PM on September 8, 2005


Further, there are usage restrictions on the house I've just sold you. You can't run a business in your home without a commercial zoning license. You can't paint the exterior of your house a certain color or destroy certain architectural features without being granted permission to do so from the local zoning commission. The City of Philadelphia and your neighbors reserve the right to change these rights at any time. Drop in on council meetings if you'd like to complain.
posted by Rothko at 7:15 PM on September 8, 2005


I'm selling you a key to the doors of the house, and the right to enter the house and live in the house-as-physical-object

You're not selling me your house, your property. You're renting use of the house to me.

You have just proved my point regarding Apple's licenced service. Thanks.

Your final point indicates that you willfully fail to see the difference between property laws, administered through legislation, and service contract terms, administered by private entities.
posted by meehawl at 7:29 PM on September 8, 2005


Sure you can! It's not convenient, but you can sell/bequeath/transfer the Apple account to the other party simply by handing over the username and password.

Go ahead, give it a try.

Basically, you've retreated from your position. Now you admit that you cannot sell individual licences, but that you can submit incorrect service registration information to Apple. Which, according to the TOS, results in immediate and unilateral suspension.

What you are doing is retreating from a thousand years of hard-won rights concerning the disposal of chattel and accepting Apple's circumscribed definition of "property" as gospel. I find your lack of faith disturbing.
posted by meehawl at 7:41 PM on September 8, 2005


Your final point indicates that you willfully fail to see the difference between property laws, administered through legislation, and service contract terms, administered by private entities.
posted by meehawl at 10:29 PM EST on September 8 [!]


...administered by private entities, and enforced by rule of public law.

You're right: I willfully see no difference between zoning laws and license agreements, both in full force only under the law of the land. In either case, it doesn't effect the definition of ownership per se, only the types of behavior you're restricted to, generally speaking.

If you don't like houses, how about a car key? Where's your driver's license? Do you have registration and insurance? These items are your "terms of service" or contract that allows you to use shared roadways, albeit structured by a public entity.

If a government were to privatize much of its infrastructure, which is the case in some countries (Iceland, perhaps? I'd need to check) then I'd simply be dealing with that company's rules, but still enforced by the state government, under threat of incarceration or other loss.

Now you admit that you cannot sell individual licences, but that you can submit incorrect service registration information to Apple. Which, according to the TOS, results in immediate and unilateral suspension.

Nothing stops you from changing the registration information in your Apple account. If I transfered my account to you, I would expect you to change that information, anyway. If you put incorrect information into the account, you will be in violation of the TOS, but probably not for the reason you expect.

The purpose of that particular entry in the TOS is to protect Apple's liability from people outside the country of purchase buying music licensed within that certain country, or vice versa.

To give you one serious example, Finland has very specific recompensation guidelines for the licensing of music made and sold within Finland. If Apple sets up a Finnish music store, they are bound to Finland's publication licensing laws and compensation structures. Were you to willfully misrepresent your address to get around this, you would be enabling Apple to break Finnish law. Therefore, Apple's TOS gives them the right to kick you out of the store for breaking the law.
posted by Rothko at 8:10 PM on September 8, 2005


What you are doing is retreating from a thousand years of hard-won rights concerning the disposal of chattel and accepting Apple's circumscribed definition of "property" as gospel. I find your lack of faith disturbing.
posted by meehawl at 10:41 PM EST on September 8 [!]


Pure property rights such as you describe exist only in an Ayn Rand phonebook. The government regularly determines and changes the length and breadth of your property rights.

Just recently in the US, eminent domain was extended to allow confiscation of private property for the benefit of commercial entities. The people who made these decisions were put in power by way of the collective voice of American voters.

Until we live in an objectivist/anarchist paradise, the reality is that agreements that restrict the use of our own property are evidently parts of a society and the general social contract. These agreements might diminish the pure meaning of property but it doesn't eliminate it outright.
posted by Rothko at 8:22 PM on September 8, 2005


Until we live in an objectivist/anarchist paradise, the reality is that agreements that restrict the use of our own property are evidently parts of a society and the general social contract.

... kind of like the meaning of terms like "copyright", right?
posted by lodurr at 6:41 AM on September 9, 2005


what a load of crap. go buy cds then and argue with the government about the legality of copying them. you argument is tantamount to saying that one ought not buy OSX or Windows in the first place because there is an EULA. Media is data now. There are a range of models for how to sell data. Deal with it.
posted by n9 at 7:59 AM on September 9, 2005


... kind of like the meaning of terms like "copyright", right?
posted by lodurr at 9:41 AM EST on September 9 [!]


Copyright is a different subject. Apparently some here think stealing copies of creative work is okay, just to clear up why lodurr brought that up.
posted by Rothko at 8:29 AM on September 9, 2005


Er, no. I shouldn't have been so oblique. I was actually talking about the fact that you don't like wikipedia as a source, and to illustrate your reasons, you point to contentious editing behavior in the entry for "refugee."

To expand, though, "copyright" -- even in a context of law and precedent -- is clearly defined in the context of "agreements that restrict the use of our own property [and] are evidently parts of a society and the general social contract."

I think you're arguing against yourself, here, ultimately; "social contracts" aren't real things. Ask me what it is and I'll give a different account than you will. They're "defined" -- to the extent that they ever are defined -- dynamically, in practice. The RIAA or MPAA doesn't get to decide that Fair Use doesn't exist in the US, but they can make a serious effort to change the "social contract" -- the ethos -- around Fair Use by refusing to acknowledge its existence until they're forced to under legal duress.

iTunes, and things like it, are clearly part of a movement to constrain "intellectual property" (I hate that term, but we haven't got anything much better). It's a dangerous and very slippery slope. We need to fight to keep our place on it. One thing we can do to fight it is to get the physical media in hand, so we can treat it like data (to n9's point).
posted by lodurr at 10:25 AM on September 9, 2005


property rights such as you describe exist only in an Ayn Rand phonebook

Usually I get smeared with accusations of Marxism, or Makhnoism, Proudhomism, etc etc, so it's with some measure of amusement that I now stand accused of Objectivism.

Property rights are "sticky" - they require some social process to change them. That is why the possession of objects endowed with the aura of "property" is, in my humble opinion, preferable to the possession of objects devoid of the aura of "property", where their very existence, remit, and gamut is subject to the graces of others and the capriciousness of private entities.

When the output of the means of production are physical, the relations of production take longer to change, and change less randomly, and present less of a risk of abnegation within the lifespan of the individual or family holding clear title to those outputs of production.

To quote Benjamin:
Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence. This includes the changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership. The traces of the first can be revealed only by chemical or physical analyses which it is impossible to perform on a reproduction; changes of ownership are subject to a tradition which must be traced from the situation of the original. The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.

posted by meehawl at 10:43 AM on September 9, 2005


some here think stealing copies of creative work is okay


I believe you advocated the creation of derivative, unlicenced copies of Apple media, and the illegal sale and transfer of those copies to others.

Consider this. I subscribe to a satellite streaming service. I store some of those tracks on a local hard drive, as I believe some gadgets now allow. I decide to sell the gadget to another person, including the stored tracks for some monetary consideration. The buyer enjoys use of the stored tracks.

How is this different from selling a "loaded" iPod to a third-party?

You can extend the same argument for selling a computer with registered Napster/Rhapsody service, where a device has captures the streams and saved them onto a local hard drive. If I resell this machine, how is this different from selling a loaded iPod?

So we return to the original argument. The iPod tracks are not individually transferrable. They are a mere component of the iTunes Music Store Service. As such, they represent not property, but an epiphenomena of a subscription service. Unlike more obvious subscription services with more traditional monthly fees, their cost structure is not amortized over the lifetime of the service, but front-loaded as a $1 access fee along with a back-end service hardware purchase fee, subject to repeated payment down the line (ie, new iPods).

As I mentioned earlier, I think it's to Apple's credit that its marketing has managed to leverage people's fetishistic desire to "own" their consumer baubles in order to differentiate itself from other subscription services. However, I continue to believe that as the number and dollar revenue from more traditional subscription services grows, Apple will want to jump on this bandwagon as well. After all, most of the other subs services offer both per-item and fixed monthly options. I believe that Apple's reluctance is based more on a lack of market-ready software than a lack of marketing ability.

I think the entrance of Apple into the mobile phone business might compel this transition. The phone companies thrive on monthly, fixed revenue streams. The per-item sales of ringtones and game downloads, while representing significant revenue, also carry an element of unpredictability and seasonality that is less appealling.

The model for selling an "all-you-can-eat" monthly fee (say, $10?) for streaming downloads to your iPod, your mobile, and your PC is compelling, and partnering with a telco would solve a lot of billing difficulties. Most of the progress in this speace, however, is likely to come from Euro or Asian initiatives, where the mobile billing ecosystem is most advanced.

Ever get the feeling you've been had?
posted by meehawl at 11:00 AM on September 9, 2005


Usually I get smeared with accusations of Marxism, or Makhnoism, Proudhomism, etc etc, so it's with some measure of amusement that I now stand accused of Objectivism.

You're not being accused of anything. I'm simply pointing out that your expectations cannot be met in the Real World. We've traded pure ownership for negotiated ownership, in accordance with the laws of the land. Deal.

How is this different from selling a "loaded" iPod to a third-party?

The difference is that you did not remove the tracks from your hard drive, breaking the terms of service. This is no different from copying a CD on your computer and selling the CD at a used CD store. But you won't complain about that being wrong!

I believe you advocated the creation of derivative, unlicenced copies of Apple media, and the illegal sale and transfer of those copies to others.

When? *genuinely puzzled*

Unlike more obvious subscription services with more traditional monthly fees, their cost structure is not amortized over the lifetime of the service, but front-loaded as a $1 access fee along with a back-end service hardware purchase fee, subject to repeated payment down the line (ie, new iPods).

Wow, you're really stretching. I'm still using my old iPod. When Apple's jackbooted fascist thugs break down my door and force me to buy a new iPod, we'll chat.

Ever get the feeling you've been had?
posted by meehawl at 2:00 PM EST on September 9 [!]


Yeah, from this conversation.
posted by Rothko at 2:19 PM on September 9, 2005


I think you're arguing against yourself, here, ultimately; "social contracts" aren't real things. Ask me what it is and I'll give a different account than you will. They're "defined" -- to the extent that they ever are defined -- dynamically, in practice. The RIAA or MPAA doesn't get to decide that Fair Use doesn't exist in the US, but they can make a serious effort to change the "social contract" -- the ethos -- around Fair Use by refusing to acknowledge its existence until they're forced to under legal duress.
posted by lodurr at 1:25 PM EST on September 9 [!]


Replace "social contracts" with "laws", then. Means the same thing for the purpose of this discussion. Apple posting terms of service on its website and Sony Music printing a copyright text on a CD's liner notes are no different in that they are both legal texts enforced by the threat of force from the government.
posted by Rothko at 2:22 PM on September 9, 2005


We've traded pure ownership

No, you have.

Apple posting terms of service on its website and Sony Music printing a copyright text on a CD's liner notes are no different

If you really believe that there's no difference between a private entity's click-wrap service contract terms and copyright law as codified by the WTO TRIPS and the WIPO Copyright Treaty then you are in a poor, poor place.
posted by meehawl at 9:20 PM on September 9, 2005


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