iTunes is an a la carte model: you see the track you like and pay your 79p. A big drawback with iTunes is that it has inbuilt digital rights management (DRM), which prevents you playing ‘your’ music on anything other than an iPod [my emphasis], although iTunes has begun to introduce some DRM-free tracks. On Napster, you can listen to your chosen music for as long as your subscription is valid, including music stored on your MP3, but it too is not ‘your’ music (you can’t burn it off your computer onto CDs).”
It’s always disappointing to see how the press continue to misrepresent the iTunes Music Store: you can in fact play iTMS downloads on anything because you may burn each track to CD as often as you wish and any given playlist five times. The dealbreaker with Napster must surely be that when the customer (and it’s nice of him to write) stops paying his £14.95 a month, or when the service closes, the music files become useless.
It would surely be sensible to view iTMS as a shop that makes life ever so slightly awkward for customers who want to listen to files on their Creative Zens, iRiver or other mp3 player (as well as cassette player, minidisc, 8-track cartridge…) while Napster is a subscription radio station that allows its customers to choose the tracks which they would like to hear each month.
On a completely unrelated note: I was nearly mown down at a zebra crossing yesterday. The rider of the scooter in question made no attempt to brake until I stopped, irrationally, in his path (demonstrating the pedestrian equivalent of target fixation). He left two or more metres of rubber on the ground and stopped within a couple of inches of me. I tried to say something like,
Have you ever thought of taking lessons to use that thing? but think I may actually have said,
Have you ever hungmpht dabrkl…
As the rider repeated that I should go forth and multiply out of his way (or something on those lines) and then tried riding his bike through me, I rang the police while realising that the chap was now surrounded by witnesses who were noting down his registration number and giving me their details. The police are coming tonight to take a statement. At the very least, they should be able to prosecute the chap for riding on a street which is open only to buses, taxis and bicycles and for not giving way to a pedestrian on the crossing.