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Get iTunes for Windows

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As expected, Steve Jobs announced that iTunes is now available for Windows. I’ll have a detailed account Friday, but for now even if you don’t intend to buy any songs, it is worth downloading the free version of the program for Windows XP or 2000. Jobs called it the best program ever written for Windows.

They announced that there would 400,000 songs available by the end of month. 200 indie labels will be part of the music store. They’ve also added 5000 audiobooks and other spoken word programs from audible. Celebrity playlists from Dave Brubeck, Michael Stipe, Wynton Marsalis and other musicians are now available.

For any of the more recent iPod models which dock, there are new accessories including a $49 mic for voice recording (over 600 hours – four weeks – on a 40GB model) and a $99 media reader which allows you to plug in a memory card from a digital camera and dump the photos to the hard drive. If you have a mac, it will open them in iPhoto when you connect your iPod. There is also a software update for the iPod which includes these and other new features.

Apple’s goal is to have sold a total of 100 million songs by April 28th. To achieve that, they are partnering with AOL and giving away 100 million songs with Pepsi over a 2 month period kicking off with the SuperBowl. One in three Pepsi bottles will have a code for a free song.

Come back later for more details plus iChat cameos from Bono, Dr. Dre, Mick Jagger and a live performance by Sarah Mclaughlin

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About Steve Rhodes

  • Been there, downloaded and have checked the Windows iTunes out and my initial opinion — which is subject to change after further usage — is I don’t see what makes this so much better than Rhapsody?

    In fact, the music selection — at least what I like to listen to — seems in fact better on Rhapsody than iTunes at least from my limited searching and comparison so far. On Rhapsody you can listen to and make playlists from entire albums, songs and artist, not just 30 second previews of music you haven’t actually paid to download.

    As for internet radio station support? Radio @ AOL has superior radio stations over the selection in iTunes that I skimmed through. Major buffering on the iTunes stations. It seemed a lot like they were using Shoutcast feeds (?) where the quality and reliability can vary wildly, so I don’t know if this is there problem really.

    As a download music app, at 99 cents per track, it seems pretty slick, but I think Rhapsody overall has a better interface (Rhapsody even has blogging support for blogger and the MT plugin built-in). Since this is my first look at iTunes, I would imagine Rhapsody borrowed heavily from the two pane design of iTunes.

  • Remember also that iTunes started as an MP3 management app. The streaming and store came later.

    I’m a little surprised that you can’t add your own streaming stations, though, because yes, they’re using existing MP3 streams.

  • If it uses the same interface as iTunes Mac, then the Advanced Menu Item “Open Stream” (Cmd-U) will let you open any stream.

  • CTRL + U allows adding of streams, yes. Thanks for pointing that out. It’s under the ADVANCED menu also for anybody else looking for it.

  • “Best software ever written for Windows” written by Apple? That figures.

    “Worst software every written for Windows” no doubt written by Microsoft (take your pick).

  • “Worst software every written for Windows” no doubt written by Microsoft


  • Hunh. I didn’t know I could add my own radio stations. I guess that demonstrates how rarely I listen.

    Anyway, TDavid, I think I’ve been through all of this before here on Blogcritics, but here is a comparison with Rhapsody:
    With Rhapsody, you pay $9.95/month whether you burn any tracks to CD or not. That’s a pretty significant barrier to entry, and it signals that Rhapsody considers their main business one of service. If you don’t pay the $9.95, you get the same 30-second clips as with iTMS, and you can’t even pay a buck to get a track. So the total cost to buy a single track from Rhapsody is $10.74 ($9.95+$.79), while the price from Apple is $.99.

    In Rhapsody, not all tracks are even burnable. I haven’t been a member for a while, so I don’t know what the percentage is nowadays, but it was no very good when I last took a look. In iTMS, every track is for sale. There’s no pause to even think about it – click and it’s yours. Again, Rhapsody isn’t about selling music, it’s about providing a service.

    Let’s say you want to download tracks, not just burn them to CD. You can’t do that. They’re not selling music, they’re selling a service.

    So aside from some very limited CD-burning capabilities, this isn’t really a competitor to iTMS or iTunes at all, but to XM Radio. If anything, it competes with what I suspect is the most rarely-used part of iTunes, the Radio stations. No thanks.

    Incidentally, my OSX blogging tool of choice, Kung-Log, will automatically grab information from iTunes as desired, and I suspect a plugin will soon be available for iTunes/Win and Zempt/Win as well.

  • I’m just bummed it only runs on Win 2000 and XP. Some of us still use Win Me and don’t want to deal with the hassel of upgrading.

  • Phillip – it’s obvious you love iTunes, but maybe be more objective for a moment about the iTunes service and realize that it isn’t going to appeal to everybody. Maybe, I’d suggest, not even most the online music consumers.

    One thing about Apple-ites (not meant to disrespect anybody, but simply to signify those who own and love their Macs) that intrigues me somewhat is the sanctimonious attitude that many of them seem to have (I’m not saying you do, Phillip, I’m just speaking generally).

    I will concede that Apple has some really cool and usually really expensive gear, but unfortunately they are a small fraction of the computing world. Schools use Macs, a lot of major print magazines and publishers use Macs and a diehard small segment of the internet community uses Macs. And then there is the rest — the majority — of us who don’t. Realistically, until Apple grabs more computing real estate they will continue being a single species of fish in the ocean and not able to individually have that much impact on the overall market.

    With that said, I was looking forward to something spectacular in iTunes. It’s a product that Mac users have been raving about for many months. I think it is going to turn out like many movie sequels do: unable to measure up to the expectations. Windows users are going to download and say: “Hmmm, ok, I’ve seen this before.” If Apple had done the wise thing and simultaneously launched this service for Windows users when they launched it for Mac users they would rule this market. Now they have an uphill battle on the Windows side. My guess, and it is only that, is that the record labels used Apple as an experiment to see what it did to their properties, not vice versa.

    I think iTunes currently is a very capable forerunner in legal online music services (they all are services, BTW, because they provide a conduit to accessing music from the labels), but IMO Rhapsody is better for me — for you or maybe others it might be different. I started to write a very long response comparing iTunes to Rhapsody, and instead just added to my existing Rhapsody review that I’ll post on my blog in a bit. I’ll probably post it here on blogcritics as well. I’ll trackback it here either way.

    The problem with Apple that I see is that they come up with great ideas and then get ripped off, for lack of a better word, by somebody on the Windows side who makes a better product. Usually that’s Microsoft, but since Real owns Rhapsody, I’ll give this nod to Real (much as I dislike the intrusive Real player, but that’s for another discussion). For whatever reason, Apple seems to treat software distribution like it is some niche or club offering instead of appealing to the masses.

    If Apple wants to have more household penetration as a software vendor then they should develop all their software for multiple platforms (or at least Windows, the most used platform) at launch instead of being exclusive to their platform like they did with iTunes and then a year later when other (and in my opinion better) options exist launch and then come out saying that they are the best. Why? Because they were first with something?

    It’s cool if Apple wants to stay in their market share pushing forward the notion that Apple is superior, but if one looks at the facts they haven’t been able to significantly change the reality that most people do not own or buy Macs — and I think a great part of this answer is price.

    Ask people if they’d like to own a Mac and most will respond that they would. But why don’t most buy them? Price.

    Nothing wrong with producing a product at a higher price, but gouging customers for OS upgrades (see Dan Gilmor’s recent column) isn’t going to lead to higher overall household penetration. They are the Mercedes of computing. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Mercedes are tanks, but they are expensive.

    I think Apple is going to have a hard time making their download purchase goal simply because of the number of competitors out there on the Windows side. There are going to be people like me that, given a choice and ability, will choose other legal music download services over Apple.

    It isn’t anything against Apple, it’s just a matter of which application I’m using more. And that application at least after a couple days, clearly isn’t iTunes. I’ll be using iTunes if I can’t find the songs I’m looking for on Rhapsody. It’s the second choice for me. For iTunes sake, Apple is hoping that people like me are the exception, not the rule. We’ll see.

    Others mileage may vary.

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks very much for all of your input – it’s very helpful to me because I don’t know dick about any of it.

  • Still wish that the trackbacks would rebuild the page at blogcritics dynamically. I wonder how many good trackbacks are missing because nobody commented after the fact?

    Not saying my trackbacks are all that profound, but there are probably some great trackbacks that aren’t spammy that go completely unseen on this site because nobody commented on the article to bump the trackback into view.

    BTW, I have now posted a detailed response to comment #7 here

  • TDavid, rebuilding after trackbacks is on my list, but I assure you that there aren’t many, since we did a full site rebuild last week. 😉

    I’ll follow up at your new post.

  • Good news on the trackback thing, thanks Phillip! 🙂