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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Alternatives to iTunes: Clearer, Smaller and Free

Re: Alternatives to iTunes: Clearer, Smaller and Free
Posted by: Jed Gottlieb 2007-10-12 04:49:50
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Apple is convinced 3 billion iTunes downloads can't be wrong. Amazon took a long look at the iTunes model and concluded there was plenty of room for improvement. Launched two weeks ago, the Amazon MP3 store aims to beat iTunes by offering lower prices and DRM-free downloads. Amazon's store offers thousands of albums priced at $8.99 or less and a million songs priced at 89 cents, compared to iTunes' standard 99 cents. What's more, Amazon's songs come without digital rights management, the copy protection scheme iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody all use.

Re: Alternatives to iTunes: Clearer, Smaller and Free
Posted by: luisdent 2007-10-22 17:07:36 In reply to: Jed Gottlieb
If $.10 per song is worth lower "audible" quality, then amazon is the way to go. The numbers are deceptive. 256kbps mp3 encoding is not better quality than iTunes 128kbps "aac". The aac format has a more efficient compression scheme. i will be posting comparison images of the sound data on my website soon and will update with a link. The iTunes Plus quality is far superior to the 256kbps mp3. It is the same bit rate with better compression technology. Don't take my word for it, do a double blind test of a song with a friend where you encode the different formats and bit rates. I did, and I chose every listening test correctly. If the audio quality isn't the primary concern, perhaps there is some attractiveness to the drm-free files, but that does not make it legal to burn copies for every friend you know to have. Read the license agreement. And besides, iTunes music store library is growing beyond any other and the drm-free songs will only become more abundant in the near future. It is simply a matter of quality vs. price vs. store preference in my opinion. I choose iTunes (when I don't buy a full CD), because I prefer better audio quality and iTunes ease of browsing, use, and integration with the store. :)

Re: Alternatives to iTunes: Clearer, Smaller and Free
Posted by: g3jedi 2007-10-12 10:49:56 In reply to: Jed Gottlieb
I'll make this short. An AAC song at 128 kbps sounds much better than an mp3 at the same bit rate. That's because AAC is a higher quality method of compression. As a result an mp3 at 256 kbps may not necessarily sound better than an AAC song at 128.
Next, iTunes Plus songs are 256 kbps, not 192 kbps. I know this for a fact because I have purchased quite a few iTunes Plus albums. The pricing for the individual songs is $1.29 but the albums are still normally priced. Also, these songs have no DRM. That means they are playable on any music player with AAC capabilities. There are several besides iPods which can play these. And I have to repeat here that an AAC song at 256 kbps sounds much better than an mp3 at 256 kbps. MUCH BETTER!!! It's not the same.
Many journalists keep writing about how people would rather rent their music than own it. There are several music stores that offer this but none have been successful because once you stop paying, your music stops playing. Most people DON'T like this. I know I don't.
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