Steve Jobs’ greatest trick
Over at the Fishbowl there’s a screed on the Apple CEO Grandmaster’s ability to persuade companies, an industry, and consumers to use his product as if it was the only product, at his prices when there are other possibilities that just haven’t been considered on a large scale, by many producers.
In many ways, the recording industry is the biggest dupe in the DRM wars. They have repeatedly been sold, and have repeatedly bought heavily into copy-prevention schemes that don’t work, can’t work, and only give more power to the DRM vendor. Why does the record industry always cave in to Steve Jobs’ iTunes pricing model? Because the industry accepts it as a point of faith that they can’t sell music online without DRM, and Steve controls the only DRM recognised by 80% of portable digital music players.
It’s the fancy Baudelaire quote only in this case
The greatest trick Apple pulled was to build a market where lock-in is mandated, but convince the world that this was something they did reluctantly, at the behest of the villainous recording industry.
Of course as far I am concerned the greatest trick Apple pulled was getting people to purchase multiple albums worth of music for approximately the value of hundreds of dollars, music that will deactivate itself about the fifth or seventh time a system is reformatted and rebooted; but perhaps I don’t have the whole story.
I do know that iPods will play music from a variety of legal and illegal sources so you don’t need iTunes to buy the music. I encourage you to break the written-in tags so you can play itTunes-purchased music files on multiple media.