Archive for October 17, 2003

Friday, October 17, 2003 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Spin

Dave Fester at Microsoft (via Matt Deatherage):

iTunes captured some early media interest with their store on the Mac, but I think the Windows platform will be a significant challenge for them. Unless Apple decides to make radical changes to their service model, a Windows-based version of iTunes will still remain a closed system, where iPod owners cannot access content from other services. Additionally, users of iTunes are limited to music from Apple’s Music Store. As I mentioned earlier, this is a drawback for Windows users, who expect choice in music services, choice in devices, and choice in music from a wide-variety of music services to burn to a CD or put on a portable device. Lastly, if you use Apple’s music store along with iTunes, you don’t have the ability of using the over 40 different Windows Media-compatible portable music devices. When I’m paying for music, I want to know that I have choices today and in the future.

Windows Media DRM offers customers choice?

iTMS 2

Bill Bumgarner notes that you can now drag tracks out of the store to get URLs to them. I’d still like the store to support higher bitrate downloads, more selection, and user reviews and lists. There are so many partial albums, and albums that just plain aren’t there. Case in point: Bill says that Tori Amos is “well represented in the store,” though it stocks complete versions of less than half of her albums (albeit including the better ones). Scarlet’s Walk is $13.99 at both iTMS and Amazon, but with Amazon I would get higher quality, an actual CD, and liner notes. (Buying Scarlet’s Walk and Little Earthquakes costs $23.98 at iTMS and $24.98 at Amazon, but I already have Little Earthquakes.) I really want to like iTMS, but I don’t think it’s there yet.

Read-Only iPods

Andy Ihnatko:

It’s the only PDA that’s never let me down, but it’s also the only PDA I’ve owned where I fish it out of your [sic] pocket, do some clicking and scrolling, tell my dentist that I am indeed free that day and time…and then write the particulars down on a Post-It stuck to the back of the device.

And, for the record, I think the Belkin Media Reader sounds great.

iSeek 1.0

No, it’s not the new version of QuickTime; Ambrosia’s iSeek lets you search a variety of sites right from the menu bar. This makes it more convenient than typing the query into a browser, or a separate application like Huevos. However, I don’t think I will end up using iSeek, because of the way it handles the shortcuts for choosing sites. Each site can be assigned a keyboard shortcut, but these are apparently global, and many of the ones I assigned simply didn’t work. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. In any case, I found the shortcuts in Huevos to work more reliably, and the ones in OmniWeb to work more smoothly. (In OmniWeb, you can type things like “g ambrosia” to search Google for “ambrosia.”) I think what I really want is the OmniWeb functionality in Safari.