Comments on


Original entry posted: Wed Nov 8 12:48:57 2006

pseudonymous @ Thu Nov 2 13:54:20 2006 EST

...why does he keep buying them from Apple in the first place? Why doesn't he just buy the books on CDs and rip them himself, no doubt a faster process anyway?

First, because it's cheaper. That's obvious. With iTunes, I buy only the songs I want at a lower price. I might have the PowerBooks crank away at the MP3s myself if it saved me a few bucks at the music store.

Second, why spew venom at Apple? It's not Apple's fault; it's the record companies'. This is the deal you make. You want to sell music? Show the recording industry how you'll protect it. Hence, Doctorow's willing to deal with Apple, because it's cheaper, and it's not necessarily their fault they have this DRM.

Third, complaining might be a better route. Apple prides itself on being the hip alternative to stodgy PCs. It thrives on this credibility. By giving them money, you demonstrate your willingness to buy music, yes, but that gives Apple a little leverage over the record companies: "Look, people will buy music." But then you also complain, which allows Apple to say, "Look, people will buy music but not for much longer. We're seeing serious dissatisfaction. If you want us to keep carrying this music, and you do want that, you're going to have to let us ditch the DRM."

Buy AND bitch. It could work.

Thomas @ Thu Nov 2 14:24:00 2006 EST

He's not buying individual chapters of audiobooks, for one thing, and that's what he's really talking about here. I doubt there's much of a price differential--and even if there is, why aren't his principles worth a couple of bucks, especially when the sound quality is better?

Second, Apple has no--repeat, no--credibility when it comes to open systems and consumer empowerment. They've never been on the side of the angels when it comes to hackability, custom solutions, or consumer freedom. They are complete control freaks, for both their hardware and their software, and always have been. Hip or not, there are other music providers out there, many of whom have smaller artists that need support and no DRM.

Third, Apple has not been able to use its market power to loosen the record company restrictions. If anything, they've actively assisted that chokehold, because they have repeatedly tightened the terms of their license agreement (check out how many computers you could use play an iTunes file when it first came out, compared to now).

They're seeing serious dissatisfaction? How? People keep buying from them. Until Doctorow and the rest of the EFF crowd actually start standing up for their principles, the threat that 'you're going to have to let us ditch the DRM' will remain toothless, assuming Apple would even take that stance--and I doubt very much that Jobs is really all that concerned about how his consumers feel in the first place.

pseudonymous @ Thu Nov 2 15:12:48 2006 EST

Well, we can see where trying to interpret Doctorow's complaints charitably gets me.


Thomas @ Thu Nov 2 15:13:44 2006 EST


I like the guy as an author, but he gets me a little wound up in other contexts.

pseudonymous @ Thu Nov 2 15:15:01 2006 EST

So, yeah, Thomas is right - back to your regularly scheduled Apple and Old Navy boycotts already in progress.

DWJ @ Wed Nov 8 01:36:37 2006 EST

I don't know if this is accurate, relevant, or even a better solution anymore, but I know at one point anything bought from the iTunes store could be burned to CD then ripped right back onto the computer without the protection.

And I concur on the vote w/ dollars issue. That's why I've given up the now-Nike-owned Chuck Taylors that we both love so much for shoes from these guys: And all Chucks I've bought since Nike took over fall apart in less than a year anyway. I'm hoping these last longer.

Thomas @ Wed Nov 8 07:48:57 2006 EST

I'll check out the NoSweat. Probably a good move.

You can burn and re-rip iTunes files, but you're losing quality from a lossy format in the first place, and it requires an investment in lots of blank CDs. Not really a value.

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