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Google Music Store Inches Closer? 282

Posted by Zonk
from the launch-it-already dept.
smallguy78 writes "Forbes is once again reporting on Google plans to launch its own competitor to iTunes, a Google music store. From the article: 'The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.'" We have touched on this subject previously. This most recent report would seem to indicate the launch will happen sooner rather than later.
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Google Music Store Inches Closer?

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:29AM (#15057741) Journal

    From the Fine Article:

    "The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services," wrote the analyst in a recent report.

    One of two things has to give here: either the music industry's unhappiness is sustained because Google has enough principle to do on-line music equitably (which, by definition will be unhappiness for the music industry); or Google capitulates and in the process violates their "Do No Evil" credo.

    This could be a misstep for Google if they appear to be in the pockets of an increasingly strident and miserable music industry. Please let them do the right thing.

    Of course, for the gazillionth time, the only right way to do this is unencumbered media. Hey, I can hope.

    • Or Google can simply use the pricing model that they think will make the most money, even if that means doing what the industry wants. Google does what they want, Apple does what they want. Then we find out who is right and who is dead.
    • by Pieroxy (222434) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:38AM (#15057828) Homepage
      I see this as a great opportunity. But Google will only ever have the same leverage that Apple has over the Majors. What we really need, is Google (or another well-publicized company) to become a music label. They have the guts to do their own promotion, they can distribute non-DRM stuff and they can easily attract existing well-known artists with attractive deals.

      This IMO is the only short-term hope against the majors.

      Basically, we need a Good Guy (TM) with deep pockets to raise a middle finger to the majors.

      However, I fear this is not going to happen anytime soon.

      --
      XviD review [palmdrive.net]
      • You mean like http://www.savethemusicfan.com/ [savethemusicfan.com], founded by the Nettwerk Music Group CEO Terry McBride?

        With artists like Sarah McLachlan, Delerium, BT, Avril Lavigne, Bare Naked Ladies, and MC Lars, they're not exactly a small label. (But no, they're not Sony-BMG either)

        And they are doing their absolute best to give the RIAA the middle finger--not only by founding this not-for-profit (and picking up families' RIAA legal costs and any possible fines), but by selling decent quality NON-DRM'ed music at their own
      • Google is in the business of organizing and making accessible existing content.

        Offering original content is not part of their business model.

      • But Google will only ever have the same leverage that Apple has over the Majors.

        No, they will both have less. This is what the RIAA wants, at least two significant players that they can play off of each other. Apple won't agree to higher prices? Then the RIAA can take their ball and go home, because they no longer need Apple, they can sell everything through Google. Google won't raise prices higher than Apple? I guess Apple will get all of the business. This is the same thing they've done with copyr

        • by amliebsch (724858) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:32PM (#15058961) Journal
          That's Apple.

          Sorry, no. If Apple were the "good guy," they might use DRM, but they would make it available to other device manufacturers. The only reason for the iPod lock-in is to benefit Apple.

          Not that I think there's anything inherently wrong with this - that's business, after all. But don't put Apple out there as some altruistic "good guy."

          • by n8_f (85799) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:03PM (#15059306) Homepage
            Did you read the rest of the post? Please do.

            I don't believe Apple is altruistic, just as I don't believe Google is altruistic, and I never said so. What I did say is that Apple is the best consumer representative we're going to get for digital music under the current system, because Apple makes their money primarily from hardware sales, with the lion's share of song profits going to the RIAA. Apple could conceivably stop selling songs online. They'd take a hit, but people could go back to buying CDs and pirating music just as the did before iTMS. The hit to the RIAA would be greater.

            As I said, the lock-in does benefit Apple. But what is the upside to Apple opening up FairPlay, even to device manufacturers? Now they have to support a bunch of different MP3 players and they have to make up in song sales what they lose in hardware sales. And then they are dependent on the RIAA and they lose their bargaining power. Their sole advantage is that the RIAA needs them a lot more than they need the RIAA. Take that away and Apple is beholden to the RIAA, just like every other music company, and we lose the only advocate we have.

    • I don't think so (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Drog (114101)
      I think most consumers will simply see this as another place where you can download music. The prices and file formats will be different, but that's about it.
    • by BewireNomali (618969) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:49AM (#15057930)
      what is it with the childlike obsession wih the "do no evil" credo? It's kind of absurd.

      if you have a gmail account, they're probably doing evil with your consumer preferences right now.

      re: a music store. Oooooooooooh, a shiny new music store. How innovative, Google. They're like eight years too late with that.

      It's a misstep for google to be opening a music store.

      As of yet, they don't have a million subscribers for gmail. if they do, they've passed that threshold so recently that there is little info on it. they haven't passed a million subscribers to gtalk either. they haven't shown any uptake for any of their products other than google, which means the general audience is either unaware of their consumer efforts and/or uninterested.

      I've used Microsoft Live ... and it's a pretty good integrated suite, a bit better than google offers... already, and Live is in true beta - like less than a year beta as opposed to fifth year senior beta.

      looking at the world through google glasses is to obscure the reality. YouTube is eating Google Video's lunch. they only hold the search engine market - and deeper pocket will continue to assial them from all sides.

      In your parlance, they'll need to do boatloads of evil just to SURVIVE.

      Google = fairy tales for adults. They're just some guys who turned a graduate project into some cash folks. Relax.
      • by metlin (258108) * on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:02AM (#15058062) Journal
        I'm far from a Google fanboy, but you're full of bullshit.

        re: a music store. Oooooooooooh, a shiny new music store. How innovative, Google. They're like eight years too late with that.

        It's a misstep for google to be opening a music store.


        Ooooh, a search engine! How innovative, Google. I mean, given Yahoo!, Altavista and what not, a *search* engine?

        Gmail? Another email?! How innovative, Google! They're like, what, 30 years late? Or 40 years late? But from what I see, most people who've used Gmail hardly ever tend to use anything else.

        Ever strike you that the million users that *mail has might be - just *might be* - because they don't have spammers signing up for thousands fake addresses?

        Sheesh.

        Remember that first mover advantage is very limited and very short lived. First movers may sometimes make it big, but the ones that come later also have the ability to not do your mistakes and improve upon what you've already built upon.

        And they know that there exists a market that they can tap into, which is more than what the first mover had.

        If you take anything that Google's done (Search, Maps, News, Email, IM), they've taken what others have done it and tried perfecting it. A much better idea than finding new niche markets.
        • re: Ooooh, a search engine! How innovative, Google. I mean, given Yahoo!, Altavista and what not, a *search* engine?

          In its onset, Google was groundbreaking because evaluating the "importance" of sites based almost entirely on hyperlinks WAS innovative when AltaVista, then search-engine king, was flooded with META tag and content spammers - unfortunately doorway pages and link farms was breaking Google severely for a while (they still are to some extent) until they started placing a bit more weight on relave
      • The obsession stems from this site's tendency to attract a certain sort of people with naively optimistic viewpoints of the world. Google spouts some tripe about not doing evil, and people need to hold up something in the world as Very Good (because we all know who is Very Evil around here) to create [a poor excuse for] a belief system.

        Really, there's no other way to explain such a dogmatic (read: faith-based) defense that people put up on behalf of a faceless corporation.
        • Agreed!!!! It's the same dogmatism that strikes down ID swiftly and flames anyone who espouse religious affiliation to oblivion.

          Yet, there is search engine worship.
          • No, it's "naivette" that prompts worship for a corporation. It's "science" and "reality" that strikes down ID as any kind of scientific theory. Thanks for playing.
            • science and reality - they've never struck down worship for a corporation though, right?

              like a corporation in a lot of markets in which it makes little money? An overvalued corporation that makes the critical mass of its money off advertising?!?!?!?! (lol) in a market where others will steadily squeeze them out by virtue of huge cash stores and a lack of reliance on the search engine revenue stream? Because their answer to Live is GooglePack???? Because google talk can't attract the audience advertisers wou
          • "It's the same dogmatism that strikes down ID swiftly and flames anyone who espouse religious affiliation to oblivion"

            It's sad that the Creationists still can't conceive that evolutionary Christians are the majority of believers worldwide, and even in the United States. They lack the critical thinking skills to delineate "God did it and I don't question him!" from "God did it, and this is *how*!"
    • I don't see how a pricing model can be described as "evil". The on-line music market is fairly mature. There are lots of competitors all bidding for the consumer's currency. To introduce a new service, with an "alternative" pricing model to competitors, is just that - introducing an alternative. The market will decide whether the new way of pricing is suitable or not. It could only be "evil" in terms of taking money away from artists and giving it to Big Music - but with Google's huge storage capabilities
    • I think it's less of the "first misstep", than the latest in a series of missteps by Google.

      Google has good intentions, but I think it's mistaken in believing it can keep launching service after service after service and be the leader in each. I'm really wishing Google would pull back and focus on a few key business plans, instead of half completing 1000 of them. Google's lack of focus is going to cost them pretty soon when smaller companies start focusing on the business plans that Google is getting l
    • If Google decides to go along with music industry pricing, how does that benefit the music industry any more than Napster or other online stores that have bent to their will? As long as iTMS is still around and still pricing their music the same way, the public will still decide which pricing model they prefer.

  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) * on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:31AM (#15057761)
    If Google launched their own player along with the store, I could envision a pricing model that based the price of the songs on the number of plays it was receiving from its purchasers.

    Over time, the cost of this track would become less and less and all of the "filler" tracks would slide fairly rapidly.

    Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise for the rest of us.
    • They could make dynamic pricing work, but it would work better if Google hosted the music library and playlists (another thing they've demonstrated mastery of). But the bugger with pay-per-play is that people expect their media to be portable to devices and places where counting plays doesn't work.

      I think people generally expect to "own" music and video, which seems to eliminate most of Googles strengths.
    • I could envision a pricing model that based the price of the songs on the number of plays it was receiving from its purchasers.

      I don't want to see this happening, but it seems consistent along the line of what the music industry has been moving towards.
      • Get dragged on-line due to piracy
      • Switch the majority on-line to legal downloading with minimal DRM and the ability to buy cheap singles (iTMS)
      • Target the evil pirates to squash the appeal of downloading and flood with fake files to eliminate the ease of
  • by Bromskloss (750445) < ... <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:31AM (#15057764)
    Probably, filtering out stories who's headline ends with a question mark would augment the overall quality of the Slashdot content and, especially, the headlines.
  • Now, Britney Spears will have to resort to Google bombing to increase her sales...
  • This headline reminds me of the "Far Side" strip where two cavemen are standing outside of their cave with a glacier wall just inches away, and one of the cavemen is saying, "Say, Thag, wall of ice closer today?"

    I can see a version of this strip where the cavemen are Steve Jobs/Apple and the glacier is Google...

    • Nah. the cavemen are the chief executives of the major record labels, and the glacier is electronic distribution. Apple and probably Google will be supplanted by companies selling unencumbered digital downloads in standard formats for competitive prices, even if the music library from the major labels is unavailable. It'll take 10-15 years, but it's bound to happen, and major labels will be left wondering where they went wrong...
      • Apple and probably Google will be supplanted by companies selling unencumbered digital downloads in standard formats for competitive prices,

        What makes you think that Apple and Google wouldn't go right ahead and sell non-DRM material if the producers let them?

        Really, if it was up to ANYONE besides the record companies, there wouldn't be any DRM in the first place.

        -jcr
  • what format? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:33AM (#15057785)
    Of course there's no mention of file format. Since the audio players out there generally play some combination of MP3, AAC, and WMA, it's only reasonable to assume that the store will sell in one of those formats. Since we know it will need DRM to make the labels happy, that pretty much narrows it down to PlaysForSure WMA. If that's the case, there're already plenty of competitors out there. What will make this store different from Rhapsody, Yahoo, Napsters, etc?
    • Re:what format? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      That's the killer right there. AAC is pretty much only supported on iPods, but if you have an iPod, and you're going to buy online music, you might as well go through iTunes. WMA is more standard, but I don't think iPod plays it, so it's dead in the water. MP3 works on just about everything, but has no DRM. Maybe they will go DRM Free. CDs are DRM Free, and people are allowed to sell those, what's really stopping a company from selling DRM Free downloads. A company as popular as google might have the
      • How is one closed/propriatary DRM scheme "more standard" than any other?
        • Standard as in "De facto" standard. Like MS Windows or MS Word. It's not really a standard per se, but supported by a large number of vendors and available to most users.
        • Re:what format? (Score:2, Insightful)

          "How is one closed/propriatary DRM scheme "more standard" than any other?"

          For the simple reason that you can buy a bunch of different players that'll play the format. Next question?
        • Re:what format? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amliebsch (724858)
          One is liberally licensed to third parties who wish to use it. The other is not.
      • Re:what format? (Score:2, Informative)

        by dsgitl (922908)
        Emusic [emusic.com] sells un-DRMed mp3 files. They have a broad collection of minor label bands, defunct record labels (like sun), and current indie hits.

        They don't have much, if any, of current major pop music. However, they're still a worthwhile option for music downloads.
    • Maybe if they came up with a better tool?

      I mean, in all honesty, iTunes sucks. It's absolutely unusable and has a nasty habit of messing things up ever so often (sometimes I wonder what the hue and cry about Apple software is, but I digress).

      If Google could come up with a better software (and I'm sure that if anyone can, it would be them), something that's not just for downloading music, but also to sync up with MP3 players, it would be a good selling point for Google.

      Remember - iTunes started off with iPod
      • ...It's absolutely unusable

        You're having difficulty with the iTunes interface? Granted, if you're trying to copy music from shared computers or convert everything to WMA or something you're going to have trouble, but it's rare that I find people who can't figure out how to load music on their Ipod, purchase music from the store, or find and play any song in their collection with iTunes.

        That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I'd love to be able to syncronize the libraries of various versio

        • If I was doing simple tasks (i.e. buy a song online, load it to my iPod and play music), it's easy.

          However, I was talking about ripping CDs and attempting to categorize music. The thing is, I want my music player to be my music library, and iTunes is a lousy library.

          I've the habit of putting music from various artists in folders, and iTunes does not even have the option of sorting it by the path. And of course, sorting by file names does not work very well, either. Heck, I cannot even move files around in t
          • iTunes lets you create these things called PLAYLISTS and you can actually drag and drop... (for you that means click on your mouse and hold it while dragging the icon). It's amazing. You should try it when your mommy lets you use the computer after grade school this afternoon.

            • Yeah, but does it strike you that a good, usable system would not ask the *user* to go to pains to do something?

              So now, let's see -- for the hundreds of CDs that I have, I would have to make a playlist for all the artists. That's time spent making over a hundred playlists from data that I *already* have organized in a folder format.

              Now, try dragging and dropping a few hundred tracks called Track XYZ and watch iTunes sort it. Oh yeah, brilliant. The damn thing does not even fetch data from a CDDB to get name
          • I've the habit of putting music from various artists in folders, and iTunes does not even have the option of sorting it by the path. And of course, sorting by file names does not work very well, either.

            I'm not sure that I follow you - when you say "putting music from various artists in folders" are you talking about the file system (e.g. /Myfolder/Music/Beatnuts/watch_out_now.mp3)? iTunes does that, provided the files are properly tagged, and you can select the location of the library. Or are you talking

            • Well, at last some valid comments other than j00 l0S3R! :)

              I'm not sure that I follow you - when you say "putting music from various artists in folders" are you talking about the file system (e.g. /Myfolder/Music/Beatnuts/watch_out_now.mp3)? iTunes does that, provided the files are properly tagged, and you can select the location of the library. Or are you talking about making folders (or playlists) in iTunes? There is no good way to do that, but you can sort by artist (or any one of many items) and/or creat
        • And oh, if I took my iPod to another machine, it automatically wipes out all the content - WTF?!

          So, this means that I ought to have the exact music that I have on my desktop at my work machine, else iTunes simply has trouble grokking the fact that people might have music in more than one place.

          I can't just add music from my desktop at home, take it to work, and add some more songs.

          Of course, I could keep going on about why iTunes sucks, but this is just for starters.
    • "Since we know it will need DRM to make the labels happy, that pretty much narrows it down to PlaysForSure WMA."

      Do we really know that the record labels are still hung up on DRM? The most potent DRM schemes don't seem to be going over well with consumers, and the DRM-lite found in iTunes isn't doing much, if anything, to stop piracy. When Steve Jobs first went to the music industry about the iTunes store they had been sold on Microsoft's DRM snake oil and he managed to talk them down to a saner solution, sp
      • When Steve Jobs first went to the music industry about the iTunes store they had been sold on Microsoft's DRM snake oil and he managed to talk them down to a saner solution, sp maybe two years later Larry and Sergei can talk them into going DRM-free.

        DRM free, outside chance. Watermarked [slashdot.org], almost certainly. The only way to know if the DRM has been cracked is by watermarking iTunes or gTunes files and seeing if they're appearing online or if the online versions are still just the normal CD rips.
  • On what device? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Afaik, Apple won't allow non fairplay DRM on their ipod .. so I ask on what device will this music play on?

    How many people are going to want to have two devices, one to play their hundreds of dollars in itunes music (that only plays on ipod) and another to play songs purchased from Google.

    Anyway if they end up using an Open DRM format .. I know I'd be happy with 'em.
  • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:35AM (#15057796)
    >"The music industry is broadly unhappy..."

    hence why customers are broadly happy with iTunes - it's FAIR!
    • iTunes takes away less rights than typical DRM and it's already considered "fair"... the record companies should be thanking god on their knees for that!
    • hence why customers are broadly happy with iTunes - it's FAIR!

      I don't think it is that fair, it is incredible that the record companies get as big a share of the cake as they do, now that they are not handling the distribution any more.

      With the great savings that come from electronic distribution I was hoping for substantial reductions in price for consumers, increased royalties for the artists, and diminished significance/compensation for the record companies. So far this hasn't happened.

      Tor
      • It will never happen. The only way to beat them is to not play their game. Independent or self-publishing and independent+electronic distribution are the keys.
        • by bri2000 (931484)
          Actually I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

          I've just finished reading Simon Reynolds' very interesting history of the British post-punk scene "Rip It Up And Start Again". There are sections in there discussing the indie labels like Rough Trade, Mute, Stiff and others which were set up and funded by enthusiasts. This was a world where music could only be distributed physically on casette or vinyl which presented huge barriers to entry. Yet these people not only overcame them they ushered in arguably

    • by pNutz (45478)
      Eh? Where the hell does iTunes get their music? It's making the record companies suffer? Using iTunes, Google Music, Rhapsody, Yahoo Music, Amazon, et al, supports the miserable music industry. It lets them think you want 'Fair' content that can only have 5 copies of. That's still being treated like a criminal, just with a bigger cell.

      Buy DRM-less independent music if you want to be treated fairly.

      eMusic [emusic.com] Subcription-based, very cheap, a lot of great artists and indie labels (New Pornos, Spoon, Blackalicious
  • Prediction (Score:3, Funny)

    by LividBlivet (898817) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:36AM (#15057806)
    $60 / month for up to 12 DRM laden, non transferrable 128kbps windows audio files. If the labels are dictating the terms you know the deal will suck ass.
  • Server Centric? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ikejam (821818)
    Going by google's general productline, gTunes[:-s] could be a server centric music player - only problem is that'l fall flat on its face.

    Still if it does come out, I expect Google to fit it in with its 'organise the world's information' line.

    Perhaps just using their search algorithm to find the music you want to buy is enough.. perhaps...
  • by TEMMiNK (699173) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:38AM (#15057821) Homepage
    Perhaps the eternally elusive missing link has been found...

    Step 1. Anything

    Step 2. Google

    Step 3. Profit!
  • by webword (82711) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:40AM (#15057851) Homepage
    How does the music store interact with players, especially the iPod?

    Can users easily manage their music libraries?

    What kind of file formats will be available?

    Overall, the article makes it sound like Google is very focused on the music industry. I understand this to a point, but Google's users won't be too happy if the music industry seems like it is in too much control. Users are willing to pay, but they expect a certain level of freedom and choice. The user experience is at least as crucial as buy in from the music industry. Or, in other words, Google needs to consider both supply and demand.
  • OMFG (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:43AM (#15057874)
    This is news for nerds and the headline is using the imperial system? Metric, please, metric.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:43AM (#15057877)
    Is there anything that pleases the music industry? I am simply tired of reading about these whining gazillionaires.
    • The labels are coming to the realization that content is only as strong as your means of distributing it. They spent so much time and energy trying to corner the physical delivery of media that digital distribution has mostly passed them by. If Apple and some of the other digital distributors can draw a line in the sand and stick to their guns, the labels will have to play ball...or they can sit on the sidelines and watch as their physical media distribution model withers on the vine and try to starve out
    • You will be happy to hear that I have it on good auhority there is something that quite pleases the music industry! What is this wonderful thing? Why, it is nothing more than screwing! Be it screwing artists, screwing customers, screwing the public domain, or screwing your congress-person in exchange for legislation to feed their habit, those wacky music industrials just can't get enough!
  • Name? (Score:3, Funny)

    by scarlac (768893) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:45AM (#15057905) Homepage
    Introducing "Goosic" or what about... "Moosic"... or something as wonderful as "Mugoosicgle"?

    Or how about something that just as describing as "Ekiga", which is real easy to remember.

    Sarcasm intended.
    • Zoidberg: They're tastier than an unguarded penguin nest. What do you call them?
      Leela: We haven't thought of a name yet.
      Bender: They're tasty, right? Let's call 'em "Tasticles".
      Hermes: *gasp*
      Amy: Ew!
      Farnsworth: No!
      Leela: We can't call them that.
      Bender: Why not?
      Leela: It sounds too much like those frozen Rocky Mountain oysters on a stick. You know, "Testsicles"?

    • I think they should call it "Byoogle"
  • by dougman (908) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:46AM (#15057910)
    When I read the comment pulled from the article:

    "The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services."

    I thought to myself, "If the music industry is broadly unhappy, then Apple is probably doing something right."

    What we should be hearing is how Google is stepping up to offer alternative services that address a gap that consumers are experiencing. Instead that quote would indicate that Google is stepping up to offer alternatives to the music industry. Frankly, I don't hear too many people (myself included) in the mainstream complaining about the options. I'm all for capitalism and competition and welcome Google to the game. However, I'm going to remain skeptical about this until I fully understand where Google is going with this.

    --
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Churchill
    • "The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options..."

      and

      I don't hear too many people (myself included) in the mainstream complaining about the options

      See, this is the problem. There is a skew in the Annoyance Factor. In a truly capitalistic society, we must strike a balance. The annoyance must be equal on both sides for everyone to be happy (or... unhappy). This "sweet spot," if you willl, is called The Grumpy Point. Once the grumpy levels out, equilibrium c
  • Unending greed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheNoxx (412624) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:48AM (#15057924) Homepage Journal
    From TFA: "The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services."

    What part are they unhappy about? Making tons of money not enough, they want more? The only thing that could lead the music industry to be "unhappy" with iTunes is that they want to charge more per download, whether it be through higher price-fixing or subscriptions that seem like a good deal, but aren't. That's all they care about. Unfortunately, the MPAA doesn't get to dictate how the market works, too bad for them. Unless Google starts off with an online music store a good bit cheaper than iTunes and somehow manages to completely kill off the iTunes store before jacking up the prices, the music industry isn't going anywhere, and neither will any new efforts from Google or anyone else.
  • by Froggy (92010) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:55AM (#15057983) Homepage
    'The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.'

    Oh, really?

    Well, I'm broadly unhappy with the music industry's desire to charge like wounded bulls for mediocre content and infest their media with single-platform proprietary DRM. I just *wonder* what sort of 'subscription models' the music industry is hanging out for. Guess what? I'm usually pretty supportive of google's enterprises, but if if I can't listen to the music on my iPod *and* my daughter's el cheapo MP3 player *and* my PowerBook *and* my work linux box *and* burn it to a CD so I can show it to my non-MP3-player-owning friends and relatives -- I'm not interested.

    Oh, and I like Celtic folk, Afro-Celtic world music, blues, prog, electronica, choral and a bunch of other minority genres. I spent about A$70 on music last month, almost all from little indy labels. The Big Names of the music industry can take their overproduced teen manufactured product and stick it where the sun don't shine.

    • "Oh, and I like Celtic folk, Afro-Celtic world music, blues, prog, electronica, choral and a bunch of other minority genres."

      Holy crap, I think you've either made a complete copy of my iTunes library, or you're me from a parallel universe. And I thought my tastes were weird...

      --

      (By the way, editors, Slashdot is really messed up right now. I had to hit "cancel" halfway through loading the reply page, because all Slashdot links seem to redirect to a Xerox advertisement after a second.)
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:56AM (#15057984) Journal
    I hope that Google does this, and does so with the same standards and aplomb that they have used for all of the other Google services. I like Google, not because of the do no evil clause, but because their services work, they work well, and the costs are... well, affordable.

    If MS or the RIAA could find a company that works as well as ITMS or that works better than ITMS, they would have done so. Clearly, they are in need of a partner company that has both the technology know-how and the backbone to make it work. Google definitely fits in that category. I hope that if such a bargain is struck, that the *AA finds themselves holding on for dear life to the tail of a very BIG tiger....
  • by gadwale (46632) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @10:58AM (#15058014) Homepage
    I guess this will open up a lot more opportunities for advertising on gtunes.. Relevant-genre/artist music-snippet ads maybe?
  • Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dr_LHA (30754) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:00AM (#15058028) Homepage
    Hi hope it's as great as the Google Video store!!!
  • DRM is Unnecessary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tabdelgawad (590061) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:03AM (#15058069) Homepage
    What would happen if the **AA allowed Google to launch a music/movie service *without* DRM? The vast majority of material on legitimate services like iTunes is available DRM-free on the p2p networks and usenet. But people still use iTunes because it's more convenient and not legally risky.

    Would iTunes or any other legitimate music/movie service be *less* successful without DRM? I don't think so. Which begs the question: what's the **AA's business case for DRM?
    • Would iTunes or any other legitimate music/movie service be *less* successful without DRM? I don't think so. Which begs the question: what's the **AA's business case for DRM?

      You don't think that DRM makes music/move download services successful and that somehow "begs" a business case for DRM? Wierd. The business case for DRM is so freaking obvious... if you control how the music is distributed not just at the point of purchase but beyond you ensure that after market copying is severly limited and in turn
      • After-market copying and distribution among friends have always been available with CDs and VCRs, but it was never important enough to make the **AA implement DRM. The DRM panic only ensued with Napster and the p2p model of distribution, where 'peer' does not mean 'friend' [1].

        My question therefore remains: how does DRM solve the problem it was intended to address when non-DRM versions of almost everything exist (and will continue to exist) in p2p and usenet?

        [1] The MPAA did in fact panic with the introduc
        • You're missing the point... DRM is intended to stop the wholesale distribution of digital copies of music over the Internet, beyond just tape trading, BUT it's also meant to expand how media companies can sell their products. With strong DRM you can sell subscriptions, offer demos w/ a set # of plays before the song is disabled, and clamp down on all file trading. It gives media owners a huge set of options for how they want to sell their products, and helps to ensure that the revenue they recieve from th
        • Sorry, I didn't respond in full.

          You're right that non-DRM copies of content exist today. But if I'm a media exec I see that as an anomaly that I want to resolve, not capitulate to. Non-DRM copies exist for two reasons. They are copied from unprotected sources (CDs), or the DRM is circumvented because it is not strong enough. If I'm a media exec, I want to eliminate all distribution channels that aren't DRM thereby eliminating source #1 for unprotected content. I also want to tackle point #2 through ext
      • You don't think that DRM makes music/move download services successful and that somehow "begs" a business case for DRM? Wierd. The business case for DRM is so freaking obvious... if you control how the music is distributed not just at the point of purchase but beyond you ensure that after market copying is severly limited and in turn help drive purchases back to your store instead of trading with their friends. DRM makes perfect sense from content owner's perspective.

        That's all well and good in theory, but
        • Most people don't care about DRM at all. They care about getting their content cheap and easy. They don't mind paying $2 for an episode of Lost even if they can only watch it on 5 computers. Big deal... they got the episode of Lost they missed. I think this is the mainstream. Obviously, it's not everyone... some people hate DRM... some people know where to get copies of this stuff for free and don't mind dealing with the legal consequences. I think as legal, affordable, alternatives to free illegal co
    • by typical (886006) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:48AM (#15058509) Journal
      You are familiar with MagnaTune [magnatune.com]? No DRM there, and they have a "Why we are not evil" link on their page.
    • Because the **AA isn't a big fan of the barter system, and probably is not so happy that you can find a lot of stuff (music, videos, etc.) in your local library either. And then there is the fear of the unknown...
  • by antibryce (124264) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:08AM (#15058121)
    The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing

    All Apple has to do to keep the industry happy is rearrange that to "price fixing".

  • Let's take away for a second all format and technical questions for a moment, ans let's suppose that their format play nicely on/with other players; i.e. A from iTunes is equivalent to A from Google. Let's look at the problem from an economic perspective.

    Say you have two songs available A and B. A is in high demand and B is an oldie which sells low volume.

    on Itunes, A and B are sold for the same price: 99c
    On Gogles Music Store (GMS), A is priced at $1.19 and B at $.79.

    If I am a consumer, I will always buy f
  • is for someone with billions of dollars to just buy the rights to all content and develop a massive content delivery system to give it away for free. And ponies... ponies for everyone.
  • The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.

    Good luck with that. How many millions of people have iPods? If I could get the yahoo music service onto my iPod, I'd pay for that subscription, just as a way of exploring and heading >30 seconds of songs. I frankly don't buy much music from itunes or anywhere, because I can't hear it first. I'm not going into a store, and I don'
  • DRM Free Music? (Score:2, Informative)

    by rdfield (687768)
    All the artists on http://www.mvine.com/ [mvine.com] receive 50% of the after tax revenue for downloads, and all the music sold, in Ogg Vorbis and MP3 formats, is free of DRM. There are also many free music videos to download too.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:50AM (#15058523) Journal
    Will music from Google work on my iPod?

    If not, it's a non-starter.

    -jcr

  • Yes But (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Queer Boy (451309) * <dragon.76@mac.cCOLAom minus caffeine> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:12PM (#15058756)
    Will it play on iPod?

    This is sort of a delicious irony because I remember in the 90's the big question about any computer system was "Will it run MS Office?"

  • 'The Public is broadly unhappy with the price fixing and lack of subscription options at the non-existent Music Industry Digital Music Store and likely to support iTunes.'
  • As a rabid fanboy of both companies, it would tear me apart to have to choose!!!
  • by Ectospheno (724239) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @01:07PM (#15059356)

    The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.

    Call me crazy, but I actually like iTunes. I like that all the songs are $1. I like their selection, the interface, how easy it is to get what I want on my iPod, etc. I don't want to pay more for music. I stopped buying CD's a long time ago and it is the $1 price point that got me to purchase music again. If it goes up I'll do what I did with CD's years ago and stop buying music again. The last thing I want is a subscription service. Honestly, who here wants a subscription service for music? Raise your hands.

    Now ask me how much of my time I waste worrying about the music industry only making a crap-load of money rather than a whole shit-load. Their whining about "mean old apple and fixed pricing" is enough to make a person sick.

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