[dvlug] iTunes music silos

Michael Paric mparic at compbizsolutions.com
Mon Sep 6 22:38:22 PDT 2010

> On Friday some of us briefly discussed iTunes and how we use our
> music.  With Apple's new iPod and Apple TV lineup I thought I would
> share my experience with iTunes. Choices for alternatives now include
> the Ubuntu One music store if you run Ubuntu and some other online mp3
> vendors.
> I don't like DRM encumbered .aac files.  A good friend of mine was
> using iTunes and she enjoyed the convenience of purchasing the music
> and having it "just work" on her iPod nano.  Whenever she did I used
> an open source program called Audacity.  I played each song in iTunes
> and told Audacity to record what was played on the computer.  I then
> saved the audio as .mp3 using the downloaded encoder I installed.
> This allowed her to play the music on her own non-Apple music players,
> clearly a fair use.
> A number of years ago I took all my CDs and converted them to .ogg
> files.  I now wish I had used .mp3 because many players don't support
> the ogg vorbis format.  So my choice in future hardware is somewhat
> limited at the moment. When last I checked, I could buy an iPod but I
> would need to install an open source firmware to make it play .ogg I
> think. This works well on the old iPod v.2 that I use at home though
> the interface of www.rockbox.org is far inferior to Apple's native
> software. My cheap little Centon Craze mp3 player I picked up at Fry's
> Electronics awhile ago works great but seems to have been
> discontinued. Oh, amazon has a few left but the centon.com website
> doesn't mention mp3 players.
> I am curious about this as I am getting ready to release a small
> software app for the Android platform and will be working on some iOS
> (iPod compatible) version.  Drilling down into
> http://www.amazon.com/MP3-Players-Audio-Video/ shows you can get quite
> a bit for your money in music hardware these days, both in Apple
> brands and other brands.
> In what formats are your music collections in?
> Regards,
> Grant

Most of mine are mp3, many non-DRM aac (bought as iTunes+) and way too many DRM aac bought a few years ago through iTunes. Many of the DRM songs I can "upgrade" to DRM-free aac files but just haven't paid for the new versions  yet. I haven't tried much music on Linux beyond a few mp3 files as it's not just music that ties people to iTunes - syncing, firmware upgrades all happen through iTunes. While you might get away with having an iPod without iTunes, it's absolutely necessary if you have an iPhone. 


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