Apple is preparing a complete revamp of Beats Music that will directly integrate the streaming service into all of its products. The timing could not be more perfect, because streaming subscriptions like Spotify have finally overtaken CD sales.
I got married earlier this month, but my new wife has already threatened to divorce me due to my newfound obsession with GTA V. I’ve only had it since Saturday, but I literally can’t put it down. I’m not the only one, of course; the game has been a massive success so far, with $800 million made on launch day alone.
If you’ve been playing it, you may have noticed their are a number of references to Apple and its devices within the game, one of which is iFruit, and iPhone clone used by Michael De Santa, one of the game’s main characters. And now you, too, can have your own iFruit with this awesome iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s conversion kit for just $13.
Do you ever stop to think about how many albums your iPhone will hold? Probably not, as you most likely filled your iPhone or iPod up with music from the iTunes Store, or you stream from Spotify or Rdio. And even if you filled up your iTunes with music by ripping actual physical disks, you almost certainly didn’t do it from vinyl records.
I did fill my first 15GB iPod with music from ripped CDs, so I know just how big the stack was that I had to work thorough. But if you head over to ConcertHotels.com and click the little arrow, you’ll be treated to a stack of vinyl big enough to fill a 160GB iPod. That’s 40,000 songs in total.
It was a cool service Amazon launched earlier in the year which did something pretty cool: if you bought an AutoRip-compatible CD at any point since 1998, it’ll automatically show up in your Amazon Cloud Player, which can be accessed either online or through the free iTunes app
Pretty neat, and now, AutoRip is even neater: it now works with vinyl records you’ve purchased too. For example, I bought a copy of the excellent album Stranger by Balmorhea on vinyl a couple months ago, and it’s now in my Cloud Player.
This is pretty neat. Vinyl is already one of the more savvy ways to buy music, not just because of the improved sound quality and presentation over digital or CD, but because when you buy a vinyl album, you often get the digital version for free as a download anyway. With AutoRip now working with vinyl, buying a record is an even more compelling way to consume music.
After nearly a decade, my iTunes library weighs in at almost ninety-four gigabytes. A lot of serious music nerds would sneeze derisively at that, but it still represents over 13,000 songs that would take me, from start to finish, a full 48 days to listen to back to back.
I’d be lying if I said most of these had been acquired legally. Most of these albums were acquired on Bittorrent in my twenties. Many more were ripped from CDs lent to me by friends and family, or slurped up from Usenet to satisfy my obscure yet surface-thin musical fixations. Some were purchased through iTunes or other sources online, but truthfully, if you stripped everything out of my iTunes library that I’d acquired legally, I’d probably have a digital music library that could fit on a first generation iPod.
Over the course of the last two years, though, something interesting has happened. I’ve grown a conscience. These days, all of the music I listen to is listened to legally. But iTunes not only has no part in it. In fact, for the past two years, my iTunes library has just been collecting dust: a graveyard to the music piracy of my youth.
I’m ashamed of it. I want to try to explain things. Both why I started pirating music, why I stopped, and how, in fits and starts, being a music pirate helped transform me into someone who cared enough about music to buy it.