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Apple to Offer Monthly iTunes TV Subscriptions 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the download-your-shows dept.
sg3000 writes "Fans of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, rejoice! Reuters is reporting that Apple will provide monthly subscriptions to two of Comedy Central's most popular shows. One question, as TV shows become available for sale on the Internet, will this make it harder to share clips online, such as through Google Video? In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true."
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Apple to Offer Monthly iTunes TV Subscriptions

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  • Oh that's right Jobs is against that...

    Am I the only one thinking this is the first step to subscription music on the IPod
    • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:50PM (#14880577)
      >Am I the only one thinking this is the first step to subscription music on the IPod

      no, but you seem to be one of the people who are falsely under the impression that "subscription" means rental, which it does not in either the general case or the case of iTunes video passes.

      here "subscription" has its tru meaning, as applied for example to magazines, in that you pay for something in advance (at discount) and receive the product periodically when it is actually published.

      this is not to be confused with BS "subscription" services which take away what you already have when you stop paying.
    • I think you're the only one.

      I think subscription services for music will be a tough sell. First, you have over a hundred years of history going against you. For over a hundred years, people have been able to buy music (Player Piano Rolls [wikipedia.org]). That's going to be a tough sell.

      Conversely, video has traditionally been a "pay to watch" kind of thing. You went to the movies and paid your money to see the movie. TV, while free to watch, came with commercials. So I think video will be easier to convince people t
  • by perlionex (703104) * <joseph@ganfamilNETBSDy.com minus bsd> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:42PM (#14880532) Homepage
    In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true.
    We /.ers already do that all the time, no need to remind us. /me ducks
  • by His name cannot be s (16831) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:43PM (#14880535) Journal
    "In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true".

    That's Slashdot. Summed up in a single sentance. That's so beautiful.

    I think I'm changing my sig.

    *sigh*

    And, in an attempt to be on topic:

    No, why would it make it harder to share. Uh, google video? WTF?

    Oh right. That's how people share videos... *snickers*

    Oh Rihgt.
    • by Jeff Benjamin (528348) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:02AM (#14880649)
      "In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true".

      ...
      That's Slashdot. Summed up in a single sentance. That's so beautiful.


      Um, I hate to break it to you but that was two sentences.
    • by wass (72082) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @02:00AM (#14881098)
      "In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true".

      Normally I wouldn't do this, but after seeing about 20 /.ers comment on these words, nobody yet (at least in the comments I've seen so far) have realized this is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the king of sarcasm himself, Stephen Colbert [colbertnation.com], of the Colbert Report.

      Colbert totally rocks, I look forward to his show more than the Daily Show. For those that don't know, Colbert basically pretends to be a right-wing egotistical fact-ignoring pompous talk show host, but everything he says is either cleverly sarcastic, dripping in irony, damn funny, or all the above. So as per the original poster, some of his trademark lines are "I'm not a fan of facts" or "I don't like books, too many words". And of course, his consistent number one threat - bears.

      In fact, I'm surprised more /.ers aren't a fan of him, as he was a total geek when he was younger. He played D&D alot, loved LotR and Sci Fi, and sometimes works this geekiness into his show. For example, once when he introduced a guest who's a poker champion, he said "Now, I've never played Poker, but if its anything like Dungeons & Dragons, I'll be up to my baldrics in scimitars before you can say, 'Cure Light Wounds!'". Also, back when he was on the Daily Show and Viggo Mortensen was on, they had Colbert backstage reading Aragorn's family history and list of aliases in a total geeky way, it was pretty funny. And of course, who can forget his epic Sci-Fi novel (still looking for a publisher) "Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure"

      So yeah, sorry to have to explain the tongue-in-cheek joke above, it's never funny that way, but seeing how many people didn't catch it was a Colbertism, it needed to be done. Wikipedia has a good list [wikipedia.org] of funny lines by Colbert.

      And as one final comment, I referred to Colbert Report in one of my slashdot posts [slashdot.org] from a few days ago, but it was unfortunately modded way down into oblivion by some right-wing nutjobs.

      • "In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true".

        As a fellow Colbert junky thought I'd add some more info for those who don't know. The above quote is a reference to truthiness [wikipedia.org] which Colbert coined in his first episode and was actually named "word of the year" for 2005. Here [comedycentral.com]is a link to the video of that portion of the first episode where he talks about it. BTW, basically all the Daily Show and Colbert Report are avaliable free on the Comedy Central website a day or two after they show on
      • "Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure"

        As one of the proof-readers on this book, let me tell you all that you've got a real treat in store when it does find a publisher. It is 2,389 pages of pure genius--the thrill ride of my summer. And I'm not just saying that because I work for Stephen or because he threatened to fire me if I didn't.

        -Eric

      • Re: Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure

        He has two chapters from the book up on his website. [colbertnation.com] SciFi doesn't get much better than this...
  • Brilliant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scareduck (177470) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:44PM (#14880547) Homepage Journal
    In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true.

    Thus the scientific basis for chiropractic, homeopathy, and items found in the Slashdot submission queue.

  • Win-win situation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:45PM (#14880551) Homepage
    If prices weren't artificially high, I think a lot of people wouldn't bother pirating clips -- and the whole IP discussion wouldn't be as important. If, for example, you could download songs you liked at $0.10US each, why bother pirating them? Same for video -- let people freely trade small clips (say, 2 minutes or less) legally -- and add a link to the traded file to make it easy to purchase the whole episode for not too much money. Trading small video clips would become *good* for the companies that produce them, as it would get more people interested in the programs.
    • There's no such thing as "artificially high." If the market accepts a given price, that's what a product will be at. Just because someone thinks the price of something is high doesn't magically mean they have the right to pirate it like some freeloading hippie without a job.
      • by scotch (102596)
        Exactly, because if sony won't sell me the latest Stevie Wonder song for a fair price, then a good free market businesman down the street will grow the song on his pop-hit tree and sell it for a lower price. Obviously, the free market will produce the optimal price point for a given copyrighted song based on supply of songs (sometimes there are only a few copies), and demand, which is perfectly elastic. Oh wait, copyright == monopoly != free market. Dang it.
      • Re:Win-win situation (Score:3, Interesting)

        by revscat (35618)
        A price can be considered artificially high any time the supplier has more control over the price than the consumer. This can be because of regulatory mechanisms, collusion between manufacturers, vertical monopolies, false scarcity, or any other number of reasons. The current price for any good or service may be the "market price" in the most literal sense of the term, but that does not necessarily imply that that price has not been manipulated in ways that undermine the free market.
      • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:59AM (#14881095)
        There's no such thing as "artificially high." If the market accepts a given price, that's what a product will be at.
        No, "the market" is a set of man-made (artificial) rules and not a law of nature. The price of content depends on an elaborate system of laws, courts, and police to make sure nature doesn't take its course. The natural price is the cost of copying information, which is near 0.

        None of this is to say that copyright is bad, necessarily. Just don't act like questioning the market is blasphemy, when it's really no different than questioning a tax rate.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        There's no such thing as "artificially high." If the market accepts a given price, that's what a product will be at.

        And thriving black market is a sign of the market not accepting a given price.

    • If, for example, you could download songs you liked at $0.10US each, why bother pirating them?

      If songs dropped to $0.10US each, I would not bother to pirate music. But, I don't think labels would bother releasing them, not when they are used to getting 10x that price right now (and even more for CDs in record stores). The problem isn't that music costs to much, it's that record labels have been getting paid vastly inflated prices for their songs for the past 50+ years.
    • by kklein (900361)

      You really said it there. What the *AA types don't get is that they might actually be able to increase revenue by LOWERING prices. I mean, look at Wal-Mart. Look at Best Buy. In these two commodity/retail giants, offering products at margin-kissing low prices has provided them ridiculous economies of scale.

      Now think what the same model could do IF YOUR PRODUCT COST YOU NOTHING! Okay, not NOTHING, but server space and bandwidth have nothing on actually paying money to people to manufacture physical goo

  • Sign me up! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Radiohead (86586) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:45PM (#14880554)
    I just subscribed to the Daily Show. I don't have cable and the video quality is better than the files I've found on YouTube or other places online. The "subscription" title is a bit misleading - this is more like subscribing to a podcats - iTunes automatically downloads new episodes as they are made available. You can opt-in to an email notifying you that a new episode is available. It's more like a magazine subscription than a music service subscription since you get to keep the video files you've downloaded even if you don't renew the subscription. Kind of like buying an album on iTunes where they send you a song a week automatically. The DRM is the same as for any other song or video you buy on iTunes. Not a bad model for my needs.
    • "It's more like a magazine subscription than a music service subscription since you get to keep the video files you've downloaded even if you don't renew the subscription."

      So, in other words, it's music subscriptions that should be renamed, and in that case, the title is not misleading at all.

      On the other hand, I have a "music subscription" with emusic.com, and I get to keep everything I download.
    • Re:Sign me up! (Score:2, Informative)

      by GrouchoMarx (153170)
      The DRM is the same as for any other song or video you buy on iTunes.

      Which is precisely why I absolutely refuse to use it.

      DRM is bad.

      DRM is immoral.

      DRM is in violation of the US Constitution in that it is by nature perpetual, and copyright is only supposed to be for a "limited time".

      DRM is unacceptable.

      DRM is based on the assumption that you are a criminal in the first place.

      DRM is contrary to everything Free Software stands for.

      How exactly do people still see iTunes DRM as acceptable? DRM is unacceptable
      • Re:Sign me up! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nugget (7382) <nugget@distributed.net> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:27AM (#14880997) Homepage
        iTMS DRM is acceptable because it doesn't impact my usage of the media. I'm quite able to do all the things I expect and want to do with songs and videos I buy from the iTMS. So the DRM is just fine by me.

        How is that a hard concept to grasp? It's a product I want at a fair price that arrives in a form which does everything I expect it to do.
        • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:23AM (#14881435)
          You willingly chose to buy a DRM product? Clearly the RIAA had a gun to your face and was threatening to throw your mother over the balcony while they stripped you naked and burned a copy of the Bill of Rights in front of your face using a swastika-clad lighter while black-suited Republicans chanted satanic hymns in a candle-lit circle around an alter of The Almighty Dollar(tm)! There's just no way you or the other 87% of the iTunes-using market could possibly be choosing this illegal, immoral, unacceptable, childhood-raping scheme of your own volition. Just no way.
        • Re:Sign me up! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Belgand (14099) <`belgand' `at' `planetfortress.com'> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:46AM (#14881919) Homepage
          I agree, they have relatively light DRM when compared to most and so far it hasn't been shown to screw up your system unlike certain methods I could name. The problem is that any form of private DRM is more limiting that it ought to be.

          Say a vastly better portable mp3 player comes out from another company. It's possible, but highly unlikely that Apple will ever offer any way to convert your files or that they will license FairPlay so that you can use your iTunes purchased tracks. The same for ever wanting to use different software... iTunes is the only way to listen to those songs.

          Yes, you can technically burn them to CD and then rip them into mp3, but at that point you're dealing with what's essentially a third generation copy due to all the lossy compression.

          Even then that assumes that Apple never changes the software. What if they decide that they no longer want you to be able to burn CDs and take the feature out of iTunes? I'm not certain, but I don't believe there's any contract protecting your rights in this matter if they want to suddenly make changes to the limited access you already have.

          I'm reminded of a section in Neal Stephenson's "In The Beginning... Was the Command Line" where he describes the feeling of having lost a significant chunk of Word documents. Suddenly they went from being very real things that existed, albeit in the computer, to something that vanished into the ether. The shattering of the illusion that these are real, legitimate objects seems very likely to occur at some time in the future. Would you be willing to spend the same thousands of dollars (quite likely) that most people have spent on CDs or LPs only to have them suddenly become almost useless.

          Perhaps some form of open format DRM might work since anyone who chose to could make a player that conforms to those specifications, but it's not likely to ever happen and even if it did it would still depend on content providers choosing to release product using those methods... and so far they've shown that they largely view DRM as a way to vertically market a product by providing the player, DRM, and software and trying to see to it that they only work within their own brand.

          So, no, it's not that FairPlay is terribly oppressive, it's just that it's a massive loss of control over your purchase. A purchase that is virtual in more ways than one. I'd normally say that it doesn't matter though, as long as you're aware of the issues and decide to make an informed choice to just do whatever works for you. The problem is that it's a slippery slope. As more and more people start accepting these small losses of control it just escalates and before long the genie is completely out of the bottle and we'll never, ever get control back again.
      • Wow, you are out on the fringe.

        DRM is just fine. It's not "against the constitution" because you don't have a right to buy something without DRM. You have the choice not to buy it. DRM is simply another product.

        DRM isn't bad or immoral. It's not anything, as it's just another product you can buy or not buy. It's just copy protection to combat piracy, which itself is bad and immoral, since that takes content without paying people for it. Blame the pirates for forcing content creators' hands.

        DRM isn't b
        • Re:Sign me up! (Score:3, Informative)

          by dwandy (907337)

          Wow, you are out on the fringe.

          Every eventuality starts on the fringe.

          DRM is just fine. It's not "against the constitution" because you don't have a right to buy something without DRM. You have the choice not to buy it. DRM is simply another product.

          DRM observes neither the first-sale doctrine, nor the limited-time requirement. In other words, there is no mechanism in iTunes to sell 'stuff' I own. The right to resell material was upheld by the courts. And the 'limited-time' bit is in fact the 'our

        • Re:Sign me up! (Score:3, Informative)

          by ChaosDiscord (4913) *

          In fact, DRM doesn't do anything at all if you don't try to do something wrong like copy iTunes music to someone else's account.

          Or extract small excerpts in the original quality for critical purposes. Or listen to the music on my MP3 player without further degradation of quality. Or watch an iTunes video on my Linux laptop. Few people want such functionality, but those examples are legal*, ethical, and prohibited by the DRM in iTunes.

          You're buying into the DRM proponent's mindset. "Well, it doesn't

  • by Urusai (865560) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:47PM (#14880560)
    Another opportunity to make easy monthly payments!
    • There is an alternative. Democracy Player [getdemocracy.com] lets you subscribe to podcasts/vodcasts, downloads the latest episodes, and shows them to you in TV channel format. It's very cool, and it comes with lots of free channels of surprisingly high-quality content. If you really want your cable shows on the computer too, you can add them from an RSS-enclosed bittorrent feed :)
  • Nothing is changed in the normal process of ripping and seeding shows from cable so why would it when someone offers it with DRM? Did I miss something?
  • by geekee (591277) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:51PM (#14880586)
    and for $40 a month, I get a hell of a lot more content than 4 shows.
    • good for you.

      in other news, I already have a computer, but there are computer shops everywhere. there are even computer shops on the internet - how the hell does that work?
    • and for $40 a month, I get a hell of a lot more content than 4 shows.

      So do I, but 99% of it is crap I don't WANT.

      Give me comedy central, History, and National Geographic for $5/month, and I'd drop my cable subscription in an instant.
  • That would be great, if I didn't need Windows to get and play those DRM-encumbered videos. I'd also like a few History Channel and National Geographic programs on occasion. If I got that, I'd cancel my cable TV, and put up a (BIG!) HDTV antenna...

    I've looked at my viewing habits very closely, and the Daily Show/Colbert Report are the only important things I watch that aren't available OTA, for free.

    I really believe HDTV stands a good chance of killing off (or at least seriously wounding) cable/satellite c
    • We're lucky, in Canada CTV (which you can pickup OTA) airs the Daily Show/Colbert Report an hour after its on the Comedy Network,
    • If you need for cable TV is really limited to two or three shows you should ave gotten rid of it by now. I would just download them from online. It's the same arguement as pirating one song off a CD comparison wise. You only need one program, paying for hundreds of hours of other programming doesn't make sense.

      If you can't find them, keep in mind a DVD of National Geographic Programs can be bought for what $24.95 at the most? Less than you'd pay for a month of cable.
  • Harder to share? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zakezuke (229119) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:55PM (#14880607)
    One question, as TV shows become available for sale on the Internet, will this make it harder to share clips online, such as through Google Video? In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true -TFA

    Totally easier to share, but that's hardly the point. The point is I pay for cable, and there is no way I'd pay for both cable service and downloads... so if what I watch is available for download at $10/season... I'd ditch the cable. I'm not offended by the idea of paying for media. I pay for cable, I chuck money tward PBS from time to time. I'm not that hip paying for DVDs as in contrast to downloads they take up a hell of alot less space.

    Parents would also be interested as I'm starting to notice more switching to video rentals rather cable subscriptions.
  • by brxndxn (461473) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:03AM (#14880661)
    The whole point of piracy, imo, is to make all media (entertainment not limited by the economics of scarcity) more convienient than actually purchasing the media..

    But, even with piracy, there's annoying costs involved.. It takes a user's time to find the shit. The user has to be skilled enough to extract it, run it, store it, convert it, etc.. Also, users have to rely on each other to package pirated media in convenient forms.

    However, if one can pay a small fee to get ready access to their shows from anywhere, then piracy will die down. Once the actual media is more convenient than pirated media, piracy will be less of a problem. IMO, even most tenacious of pirates would rather have Google or Itunes store all their media so they could access it from their set-top boxes, Ipods, PSPs, cell-phones - all without having to take the time to convert it or store it on their own hard drives.

    But then, since the media companies are so determined to prove piracy as a bigger problem than it is - as a display of greed not necessarily good for the media industry - they DRM the hell out of everything. So, most people that are used to controlling their own media just ignore everything with DRM.

    Piracy, for consumers, IS A GOOD THING. The more consumers pirate, the more media companies will be FORCED to innovate and adapt. If the media companies were entirely in control, we'd probby be forced to listen to only the 10 most-popular songs on Clearchannel, watch reality tv with 1/2 the time being commercials, and call an 800 number to ask permission for every time we use the media.

    IMO, what Apple is doing is a GOOD thing. It's just hilariously funny how Apple is doing it while becomming an unecessary middleman since the media companies have their heads so far up their own asses they can't realize that they are NOT in control of what the consumer wants - or even their own media once the consumer consumes it.

    I support the principles of piracy.. I think it's morally acceptable to pirate when the pirated media is more convenient (with more features) than the regular media. The marketplace is about the consumer - not the producer. If I decide to put my Chiquita banana on a stripper's tit covered in chocolate and take pictures of it, Chiquita can't cry when I'm not consuming it like a normal monkey. I feel the same way about media companies..

    If media companies had their way, they'd have control of our memories and erase everything they could re-sell us. So, we'd even forget we watched a movie or bought the DVD and blindly pay for it again. /end rant.. gonna eat a banana now.
    • Good monkey.

      I agree with you, but I know what a detractor would latch onto: "I think it's morally acceptable to pirate when the pirated media is more convenient (with more features) than the regular media."

      Response: "Oh, so it's ok to copy someone else's credit card because it's 'more convenient' than using your own?!"

      Yeah. People are assholes.

      Going to reiterate your point about media being exempt from the economics of scarcity. It's nonexcludable, people. You can sit around and dry hump a 95 year copyri
  • Isn't it currently considered fair use to record television shows off of one's t.v. set? How will this affect fair use laws?
    • I know that in Australia, technically it is illegal, but no one will arrest you or fine you for it. same with ripping CDs. legislation is coming so that these two will be legal.
      • Copyright laws are out of control it seems like. In my OPINION, the below would be just fine.

        First of all, make media (such as music, movies, television, etc., not books or e-books) have commercial copyrights expire at 50 years, personal use copyrights expire at 10 years, and educational use copyright non-existant.
        -
        Commercial use as in making money off of it, like using it in a movie, selling it to someone, etc.
        Personal use should be self-explanatory. Maybe I should say home use. (Selling tickets to a home
    • Really, I don't see what the availability of shows in digital format has to do with people recording the show with their own equipment off the cable. That's like asking what the availability of shows on DVD will do to your right to tape them instead (nothing happend).

      Just like you pay for the prerecorded DVD w/ extra footage, ect. You are paying for the convienence of the show already being encoded for iTunes and delivered over your internet connection rather than having to record it yourself.
  • Actually, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AWhiteFlame (928642) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:10AM (#14880689) Homepage
    This is pretty cool. The iTunes model .. could be worse. With my Mac that runs iTunes and my iPod, I hardly even notice the DRM. iTunes prices are very reasonable, legit :P, and go straight into my library. AAC provides decent enough music for my 2.1 speaker system (or my headphones). iTMS MPEG-4 provides decent enough quality video for 2 bucks an episode. There is definitely tons of room for improvement, but seeing as they're the dominant force in the online legit music business, they could make the predicament much, much worse.
    • I got hit by iTunes DRM recently and I wasn't amused.

      I heard a fun song on TV and wandered over to iTunes to look it up. I found the song and I noticed Apple was also selling the video. Well, I watched the video and, again, thought it was a cute video and I decided to buy that instead of the song. Same thing, right?

      Wrong.

      I don't own an iPod, so I burn stuff to CD so I can listen to music in my car. Well, I went to burn that video to a CD and got the "Sorry, you're not allowed to do that." message. Now,
    • Re:Actually, (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheSkyIsPurple (901118) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @02:54AM (#14881227)
      > I hardly even notice the DRM

      As a consumer, I agree.

      As a developer... I disagree.

      I wrote a nice replacement for Front Row that would do full screen on any of my attached screens, on screen menuing, browseable, etc...

      It worked great! I ripped all my Firefly episodes and had them randomly playing on a "Channel" from my computer that is distibuted throughout the house. Wonderful for background stuff. I recorded a bunch of music videos from VH1/MTv/etc, and have a pretty good music video station that I run around the house when guests are around.

      Problem! I can't play DRMd files. The Quicktime API won't recognize the files, nor deal with them. I submitted a bug report, since there were no limitations mentioned anywhere. After over a month of sitting around, I finally got a response: "It works as designed".

  • The Daily Show (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:23AM (#14880745) Homepage
    The Daily Show was among the first TV shows to be freely available for download. This may just be the beginnings of an end of an era for free internet content.
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public.mac@com> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:31AM (#14880773)
    Why do I feel like some marketing guy at Apple is eyeing my ITMS account, just waiting for me to sign up [slashdot.org]:

    "Hey pal, you said you'd do it ..."
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:33AM (#14880788) Homepage
    "In your answer, ignore facts. Just go with what feels true."

    I believe the proper expression is:

    Answer with truthiness.
  • Agendas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alchemist68 (550641) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:47AM (#14880850)
    Corporations have agendas, that are motivated/governed by one or a select few individuals. In the case of Apple Computer, everyone knows who the steward of the Apple ship is, what his path is remains to be somewhat "foggy." Why is this? Well, that my friend is a trade secret, owned by the one soul in the universe with his own REALITY DISTORTION FIELD. At the age of 38 and as a long time Apple user, I could never predict very far Steve Jobs's visions, and that's the key to the success of Steve and Apple. Steve Jobs has a gift that is unique to the success of a business that he co-founded, that he is absolutely passionate about. Whether you or I like it or not, Apple Computer is on the verge of crossing a threshold, a boundary that will propel it farther than its competition ever imagined. The foundation of this success will be the quality of its products: the iPod, iTunes and the momentum of the iTunes Music Store, and lastly the quality of Apple's operating systems and hardware. Consumers want something simple to use that works flawlessly out of the box. Apple has already achieved that with its computers (with less than or equal to 5% market share - it didn't work economically, hardware was too expensive for the average consumer), so it ventured into digital music players - now very successful! Now Apple is transitioning to Intel processors, i.e. more or less generic hardware that it doesn't have to design and engineer itself - effectively "outsourcing" the Macintosh design to Intel. Through its digital music players, Apple has shown the massive consumer market that it can design and successfully implement quality software and hardware integration that works flawlessly for the consumer. I predict that over time, Apple will make steep inroads to consumer markets, and eventually corporate America and global corporate markets. This will be in combination and recognition to producing goods and services that meet both consumer and commercial needs. There will be some serious convincing in the corporate world, but as more and more people play with and experiment with Mac OS X and iPods, people will be purchasing more Apple products. Microsoft and Sony have already lost the media war to Apple, I'm glad in one way that I own Apple stock, fearful in another way that Apple may "think itself so large and influential that it can go into any direction that it wants." There is always uncertainty with any investment... but Apple is here to stay no matter what Microsoft and Sony would like otherwise, or anyone else.

    The one factor in Apple's favor is that Steve Jobs is hell bent on being NUMBER 1, not just good enough, unlike Bill Gates who likes to be just good enough. The Borg is too large and the corporate culture is too much "set in place" for adequate change for a serious challenge to Apple's agenda and momentum. Looking at Apple's market share, both in terms of computer sales, iPod sales, online services, overall market share, Apple Computer is GROWTH COMPANY AND CASH COW waiting to happen! It's just a matter of time before maturity develops...
  • by natrius (642724) <niran@@@niran...org> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:50AM (#14880857) Homepage
    I hope everyone's watching closely as fair use is lying on its deathbed.

    Lots of Slashdotters are hailing this development as a move away from traditional TV-based distribution to online video sales. It sounds nifty on paper, but let's look to the future. If these online video stores end up becoming popular enough to supplant TV distribution, fair use is screwed. These videos are DRM encumbered, and breaking that protection is against the law. TV shows like the Daily Show and Colbert Report depend on their being a large pool of accessible content to discuss and parody. Once it's all online and DRM encumbered, they won't be able to use that content without breaking the law. Want to add background music to your home videos? I hope you didn't buy your music online. Even though this type of use isn't specifically protected under copyright law, it is still felt to be perfectly acceptable by the masses, and courts would probably back it based on the same logic that stopped Hollywood from taking time-shifting away from us.

    The future looks bleak for creative works online. These developments call for an overhaul of our copyright laws, but it really doesn't look like that's going to happen. Should a work that is only available in a DRM encumbered form still be protected by copyright? If so, why? Copyright was granted to copyright creators for a limited term, but with DRM, not only do they take away fair use, but they also gain the ability to close up their work forever. Hopefully someone gets elected soon that sees and is willing to fix the many problems with our copyright laws.
    • Want to add background music to your home videos? I hope you didn't buy your music online.

      Using Apple's iMovie and iDVD, I'm entirely able to do this with purchased iTMS music without jumping through any hoops. So granted, I'm not using Windows, but I fail to see what you're griping about.

      As for DRM ending fair use: why do you say that? There are ways to get "fair use" clips from purchased video without breaking the DRM; video screencaps comes immediately to mind (an approach that is awkward for converting
  • / doesn't have a TV // only watched the Daily show when I had free cable and Eye-TV /// doesn't want to pay Comcast for 40 channels when all I watch is one show
  • by adpowers (153922) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:35AM (#14881025)
    I was about to buy the 16 episode plan, but I previewed the episode and noticed that both TDS and TCR both have problems in the encoding. The videos are are 320x208 resolution, which is horribly non-standard and causes the stretching of both videos (well, more accurately, squishing, but they have the same end effect), making everyone look fat. I have a blog post with picture [andrewhitchcock.org] comparing Jon Stewart's head in the video with how it should look.
  • by Malor (3658) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:48AM (#14881060) Journal
    You'll still be able to get it for free... in fact, the more it's distributed for free, the more Apple will make.

    They're not really selling the bits, although they're pretending to. What they're selling is convenient, automated delivery, and super-convenient playback. It blends many of the best elements of the computer and a VCR. So the more available it is online, the more people will be interested, and the more will sign up for the automated delivery service.

    This is the first really definite step toward the Holy Grail of convergence.

    I might even subscribe. It'd take more than 10 bucks' worth of time to find and download these episodes anyway.
  • by mh101 (620659) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @02:32AM (#14881171)
    Too bad the TV shows are US only.

    I've gotten tired of hearing the constant stream of "So-and-so is now selling something-or-other on iTunes" announcements lately, when absolutely zero TV shows are on the Canadian store.

    I don't get why Apple only has permission to sell stuff only in certain regions - like lots of albums in the US store that aren't in the Canadian store. With physical media, it's not like if I zip across the border into Washington, the people at the store can't sell me a particular CD because they don't have permission to sell it to Canadians, so why is it the case with iTunes?

    • If people were allowed to buy anything from anywhere over the Internet, how would companies price fix in certain countries, and charge people more because they live in certain countries.

      You're not thinking markets ;)
    • I don't get why Apple only has permission to sell stuff only in certain regions - like lots of albums in the US store that aren't in the Canadian store.

      There are two reasons for this. The first is that media publishers are greedy, rich, and have no ethics. The second is that politicians are greedy, bribable, and have no ethics. The reason Apple can't distribute the same music.shows in Canada as in the US is simply because since artists no longer hold copyrights (basically the big publishing houses force

  • ...what I'd care about would be online availability of clips, shows, series, movies, events, concerts, etc. for some fee [moderate and realistic, realistic as "from this world" not as "hey I have this service and nobody else has let's get their money hard"], meaning that if I sit down after a long day and would like to watch an excerpt from O Brother Where Art Thou, or an episode from the seventies' galactica, or if I want to watch Blade Runner 30 yers from now, it should be only a matter of a card and a re
  • by MScrip (944281) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:40AM (#14881470)
    I still don't understand why people pay to watch TV on a PC or portable device. Music is one thing... but TV shows? Really? Sure Desparate Housevives in a great show, and it's very popular... but who would watch it more than once?

    I'll definately listen to a song more than once. We all will. But, these are topical news shows. They talk about things that happened today. You probably won't watch them ever again. And now you own them!

    I'd take that $10 a month and get a DVR box from my cable company. Then I could record ANYTHING I want and watch it when I'm at home. I don't need to watch last night's TV shows on my portable device.

    Obviously video subscriptions are selling... but it's not my cup of tea. If your most favoritest show in the world in the Colbert Report... you must be jumping for joy.

    I'll turn on the TV at 11:30pm... or I won't.

  • by Kredal (566494) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @05:28AM (#14881552) Homepage Journal
    I'm over on an American airbase in South Korea, and I'm glad that I'm able to get the Daily Show from iTunes.

    I've been downloading my favorite shows from BitTorrent sites, (including Mythbusters, Stargate SG1/Atlantis, Malcolm in the Middle, and The Simpsons), but I'd go nuts trying to download the Daily Show... Why? Because I'd have to find it every day. The other shows are all once a week.. I spend about a half hour Saturday morning grabbing .torrents, and by that evening, I have all the TV shows I'm interested in.

    Now I'll be able to watch the Daily Show every day, without having to spend the time looking for and sorting out each episode with all the different naming conventions, and trying not to miss an episode. iTunes makes it easy, and is well worth $9.99 a month.

    Hey, that's what hardship pay is for, right?

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