- Apple Computer Inc. is readying to launch an online service that will cut straight to the core of digital music distribution, winning the praise of some record executives who see it is as a weapon against online piracy.
Music executives who have seen Apple’s upcoming service said it is simple to use, offers single songs from a deep catalog and — unlike Kazaa and the other pirate services that have picked up where the now-defunct Napster left off — it pays royalties to the troubled record industry.
Apple’s new service will feature songs from all five major record labels, link with its iTunes music software and allow for easy downloading to the iPod, Apples popular digital music player, people familiar with the matter said.
The new music service is expected to be unveiled on or around April 28.
“It’s exactly the system that should have existed five years ago,” said one record industry executive.
….Jobs succeeded not only in licensing content from all five record giants, including Universal, but in converting critics into fans with a service that many see a the best potential weapon to date against online piracy.
….Apple’s service will only be available to Mac users, who represent less than 3 percent of the global PC market, but at least one music executive also expects the service will be available in a Windows version as well in coming months.
….At the same time that it readies its online music service, Apple is also expected to announce redesigned iPods with larger capacity.
“Apple wants to make a natural connection between iPods and the service, a seamless connection between hardware and content,” analyst Rob Enderle of Giga Information Group said.