An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveiTunes!
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Friday, 17 October 2003 1:26 AM MDT
Apple did it! They came out with a windows version of iTunes, Apple's user friendly music application for ripping, burning, managing play lists, and downloading music legally on the Internet earlier today (Thursday, 16 Oct. 2003). As soon as I heard about it, I downloaded a copy on my laptop, running Windows XP. Nice! The application is as easy to use as I'd heard it was on the Apple Macintosh. I'd never had a chance to use it before.
It wasn't long before I had to try out the iTunes store. And once I'd signed up for an account, it was only a matter of a few short seconds before I was downloading my first 99-cent song. Holy cow, that was easy, and convenient! Compared to my earlier nightmare experience with an online music store, this was heaven.
Now I'm not totally converted. Apple's iTunes store sells music a Digital Rights Managed format, the actual audio encoded as AAC instead of the more common MP3, or Window's WMA format. It still has the drawbacks of any closed, non-open format with DRM. But after using iTunes all evening, racking up an album's worth of legal, paid-for downloads in a very short time, I can say that Apple has managed to make a good compromise, minimizing and paving over the annoyances of DRM with a slick interface. I'll only use iTunes to buy tracks where I don't want more than one or a few off a CD and I'm willing to put up with the lossful compression of AAC, as well as a minor DRM annoyance.
Apple has a big hit here. Yes, it has been a big hit for Macintosh users, but the Windows user base is so much larger. I hope iTunes grows like wildfire. I want them to be very successful. The annoyances of Windows DRM-managed WMA were far worse than with iTunes' AAC. Go Apple! I'm voting with my money.
I did run into a few annoyances and even managed to crash iTunes, but compared to the trouble I had with the online service I used to download a WMA file and play it, iTunes was still a winner.
Well good night! I guess my pro-iTunes rant ends here. If you don't believe me, download it yourself and try it out. If you're like me, you'll have to watch your wallet (or credit card in this case) carefully so you don't blow your music budget in one session. *grin*