Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

France and the iTunes Music Store

When we had the whole "Freedom Fries" bullshit, I remained neutral. I'd been to France, after all, and I speak French. I wouldn't say I like French people, but I really had nothing against them. Plus, Sophie Marceau is French…

But the whole iTunes thing is summed up nicely by John Gruber in his linked list (commenting on this article):

The bullshit aspect of this is that the iPod does play music from other stores — namely, any store that sells CDs. They just don't license Windows Media DRM from Microsoft, so they can't and won't play music from Windows Media-based online stores.


3 Responses to "France and the iTunes Music Store"

  1. I would love to be able to play videos I bought in the iTunes Music Store on my PSP, though. I've bought several TV shows from Showtime and the only place I can watch them is on my Mac.

  2. Calling a Belgian invention "French Fries" is pretty funny to begin... renaming it to "Freedom Fries" after the French dared to have a different political opinion is even funnier. Along the same lines, I would like to suggest calling the German Shepherd the Freedom Dog 😛

    And more on-topic: now that the content providers have won and forced the governments to implement DMCA-like laws, I think it's absolutely legitimate to become more aware of the problems associated with DRM technology.

    I own two iPods and I like the iTMS and have purchased quite some music there. It's convenient, the DRM does not get in the way and in general, everything's ok. I do, however, have one problem with content I purchase online (and that is certainly true for all the current online music stores):

    If I choose to buy electronic content, it should be available in an interoperable format, at least in a more interoperable format than those offered now because they either limit the number of mobile devices I can play them on or, even worse, they don't allow me to choose my operating system like WMA DRM. This _is_ a valid argument and while John Gruber is in general a pretty insightful person, that statement is a bit too short-sighted. And please don't give me that old argument that I can burn the content to Audio-CD and re-rip it later. If that is my option, Apple should offer a better encoding quality thatn 128 kbit. If we are forced to swallow DMCA-like laws that only serve to limit the rights of consumers, some problems with DRM will have to be solved. This problem does not come from Apple and it won't have to be solved by Apple, it's rather a problem for the content industry that they will have to treat their customers in a better manner. Also, the downloaded content I have once paid for shouldn't be subject to a license that might change at a later time, such as the number of computers I can play it on or the number of times I can burn the same playlist. The terms of the license that I accepted at the time of the purchase should not change at all after the purchase. This is even against the law in some countries.

    Apple has nothing to fear from opening up the formats a bit more and providing a more solid environment. The iTMS is still the best online store around and still the best player software. It's also still the best integrated solution for the iPod. On the other hand, the iPod is still the best player on the market. So they shouldn't have a problem to comply with the new French laws.

    So for pluralism's sake, let's draw the following conclusions:If any nation in the world chooses to implement laws that differ from American legislation or have a different opinion, they are not necessarily always wrong. So it's ok for you to keep the (wrong) attribution of "French Fries" to the French, like you did beforeApple is not always right either (this one is especially for John Gruber, from one fanboy to the other fanboy. The problem is not limited to Apple and the iTMS / the iPodBuying CDs is no longer a valid alternative because in many cases, modern CDs (especially over here in Europe) break the Audio CD standard deliberately in order to implement some obscure copy protection that renders them unripable and even unplayable on some CD playersThe problem needs to be solved by the major labels who have to get rid of their paranoiaFrench and Italian food and wine in general taste a lot better than anything I have ever seen in the USThe friendliness of the service in American stores and restaurants is better than anything I have seen elsewhere. If you want to spend money and feel good about it, the US is the country to do it. German cars rule (mostly) while the Germans themselves are often nitpickers and in general, they spend too much time complaining about thingsThere are good and bad aspects about everything.Generalizations are bullshit. Always.

  3. if bbum is right, forget my comment from above, then this is crap all the way and apparently nobody's really understood it fully - not me, not you, not John Gruber.