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The world just changed

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Pecker, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Sorry, I've hardly been able to pop in for a week, but something VERY BIG has happened in the UK world of DAPs, and I can't find any discussion of it - sorry if I missed it.

    HMV have just started their new site this weekend. They are pushing it heavilly in stores, as well as pushing the sale of DAPs, alongside it.

    I think this may well have a massive impact on the DAP market in the UK.

    Despite growing considerably, the current market is probably tiny in comparrison with what it could/will be. What goes now may well not apply in the future.

    Two points to consider, based on reading the literature they're giving out & in-store displays & advice:

    They use WMA and are keen to point out that this is not i-pod compatible.

    They appear to be pushing the new Zen Sleek as the current preferred weapon of choice. It's the only real 'big' player in the leaflet, and is positioned as the first player in the 3 stores I've been in.

    I think it's more than likely that people who would not usually feel comfortable buying a player from Dixons, etc, but who know that DAPs exist, and might think they're a good idea, will buy their first player from HMV, or at least get the idea that now is the time to buy one from seeing their raised profile there.

    Anyone thinking of buying a player and getting into (legal) downloading for the first time because of the campaign in HMV will be put off i-pods by the non-compatibility factor.

    Is this development going to kill the i-pod? No. But it well even up the market, with people no longer being as likely to blindly buy an i-pod as the only brand they know.

    If this is the case, it would be a major development in the market.

    Steve W
     
  2. Radiohead

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    Sadly the DRM of the "Unlimited" model means the tracks are only good for as long as you pay HMV £15 per month. Stop paying and you've got nothing. And with iTunes today reporting 80% of the UK market they've got their work cut out.

    Flawed business model from a money-hungry industry? Surely not.
     
  3. HD3

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    Am i right in beliving the WMA format has a good copy protection system? Seems they don't want to limit what can be copyied etc...

    Also on the topic of WMA, alot of new players have this "works with windows media" label on it. Looks like microsoft are pushing the DAP world with WMA.
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Radiohead, I think you've missed the point.

    You can buy tracks from HMV just the same as i-tunes, etc.

    The monthly payment thing is an option ON TOP of this. No one needs to be restricted by it if they don't want. If yiou want to keep your music, just 79p per track EXACTLY the same as i-tunes.

    I'm not sure about this, but I believe the HMV site already has, or soon will have a far greater library of tracks from which to choose.

    80% of the market means 80% of the current market. The potential market could make that 80% look like peanuts very quickly, if large quantities of HMV shoppers buy the Sleek, and signing up to HMV's WMA only site means i-pods aren't even in the picture.

    Steve W
     
  5. Cloysterpeteuk

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    No chance of HMV making a big impact, i-tunes market share will only keep on rising it's just so much more user friendly than anything else out there. Them i-tunes compatible phones will also provide a bunch more sales.
     
  6. Pecker

    Pecker
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    So you've signed up & used HMV already?

    People here really should wake up to the fact that, whilst many of us might talk about the usability of interfaces, the untapped market out there is not going to give a tinker's cuss.

    Do you really expect that people who have a pc, but just potter around, are going to sign up to both i-tunes AND HMV and weigh up the usability of the two? That's cloud-cuckoo land thinking!

    90% of people who are computer proficient/heavy users and music lovers have a DAP already. That's not the market we're talking about.

    16-25 year olds who use nothing on their PC except Word & Windows IE, but who like Girls Aloud & The Killers are not going to care less. If they're told that the HMV site does WMA which doesn't play on the i-pod, and they see the Sleek, they're not going to buy an i-pod.

    And trying to argue about how user-friendly i-tunes is, and thinking that matters to this market, is not going to make any difference at all.

    Steve W
     
  7. Radiohead

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    All of which neatly ignores the fact that the iPod is still the de facto player of choice for the man in the street. Show said man a site that doesn't cater for the world's most popular player and they go to iTunes.
     
  8. johann1979

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    Sorry, I don't mean to stir - but where is the 90% of computer proficient/heavy users and music lovers owning a DAP statistic from?
     
  9. shadowritten

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    Sad, but true. Every single 'man (and woman) in the street' I meet who sees my HD5 asks, 'Is that like an iPod? What's the difference?' ... prompting a lengthy, pre-prepared piece of anti-Apple propaganda from me in order to explain that the iPod isn't the only DAP out there.

    The counter-argument? Microsoft Windows runs on 95% of computers. WMP (and therefore WMA) is bundled on all new PCs and features on a great many older ones. Most people's first ripping experience is with WMP. So, if HMV - the idiot's CD mall, IMO, given the horrendous amounts they charge for back-catalogue stuff - starts telling folk that WMA is the future and that players which sync with WMP are 'in', quite a few of the untapped market Pecker refers to will indeed start taking notice. Eventually ...
     
  10. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Of course not!, they will just automatically go to the market leading itunes!, especially seeing as it's seamlessly integrated into the software for their player (which is bound to be an ipod) so they will likely have looked around the store before, why would they even consider looking at anything but itms?.

    Why are you making such a big noise about a little fish like HMV?, what about Virgin, napster, wippit, coke, even woolworth's has music downloads. HMV will just end up with a titchy little slice of the market and fall into relative obscurity like all the other non ipod compatible one's. If they want to really shift music they need to sell tracks compatible with the market leader player, that's common sense - it's not Apple that needs to support DRM WMA as their current business model is doing superbly.
     
  11. shadowritten

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    No offence, but are you an Apple employee? ;)

    In all seriousness, what you say has some measure of truth. However, more and more online music services are siding with WMA. iTunes might lead the market for now, but how long can Apple ignore the advance of their arch-rival's ever more prolific format?
     
  12. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Not likely, i've never bought a single track from itunes myself. 128kbps AAC files are not my cup of tea, nor is paying 79p for them.
     
  13. Cloysterpeteuk

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    I think Apple would take whatever measure it deemed necessary if it saw it's lack of WMA files ever becoming a problem, I mean it really wouldn't be hard for them to convert their store for this file format. Make a big shout about the expanded compatibility and the online music market would be much better off, currently it's doing Apple better to stick with their current strategy. However, if ipod sales slump in the future than there would be a crossover point, one where the number of wma accepting players in the UK market was just to high for the itms to ignore. Apple has handled there music business very smartly until now and I expect them to continue to do so.

    ==EDIT==

    By the way here's a stat which proves that itms customers are finding the itms a reliable, easy to use service, for every account on itunes 60 songs have been purchased, proving customers are sticking around rather than buying one or two tracks then fleeing.
     
  14. shadowritten

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    I agree with your forecast, Cloysterpeteuk. All Apple needs to do, should the time come, is expand ITMS to included WMA tracks, and on they go. Bitter pill for Jobs to swallow though, eh?
     
  15. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Hey wouldn't like it much at all, I would hope for Apple's sake that he's not a stubborn git because if companies refuse to adapt to changing markets it can easily kill them.

    Such a change of format would be a good indicator that the ipod was eventually being put under stress by other players and formats though.
     
  16. sirlukas

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    So, let's just wait and You'll see that it will live to times that (what a poor grammar, hope U will get it ;) ) every Smith will be saying: Do you have iPod instead of, do You have mp3 player?

    That reminds me of the situation and language titbit, that in my country people use to say on normal trainers Adidas (even they are not). It's so common that I fear it may happen to iPod as well :rolleyes:
     
  17. Cloysterpeteuk

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    I find it funny how everyone calls vacuum cleaners hoover's, despite the market leader by far being Dyson.

    I've already come across the uneducated view that the ipod is the only mp3 that exist, a lot of folks simply don't realise there are alternatives. Please don't look down on them for such a view, it's the Apple competitors not doing a good enough job at gaining brand awareness for their products.
     
  18. shadowritten

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    As an ad man myself, I agree with the brand awareness comment ...
     
  19. asherpat

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    does Apple (and others) make any serious money from 99cents per song? or is it a way to tie iClones to big mama?
     
  20. Donnacha

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    I downloaded the HMV interface and its bloody slow to start-up compared to Napster. Its not very user-friendly so far - and slow. Maybe its my PC, but Napster runs pretty quick, i.e searches. In fact I'm thinking of uninstalling the HMV portal.

    Oh, yeah Napster is cheaper - on some of the albums I looked at!
     
  21. shadowritten

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    Found this in Gramophone magazine (for classical buffs) ...

    Like iTunes, the HMV Player allows you to rip, store and burn CDs as well as download - the player may be a little brasher to look at than Apple's cool, less-is-more design, but in functionality both work well.
    Unlike iTunes (but like Napster and others), HMV also offers a subscription model which gives you unlimited access to the entire music catalogue as long as that subscription is operational. Let it lapse and the music vanishes in a puff of smoke but start paying the £14.99 per month again and the music is miraculously restored: in other words, you are renting the music with the option to buy any tracks you want. For the classical music fan it has considerable merit, encouraging experimentation and allowing you the opportunity to sample different versions of the same work. HMV's search engine, however, does leave a lot to be desired - it's not really geared up to classical music (how many are?) but with persistence you can turn up some treasures.
     
  22. Steven

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    I can't join download 'cos:

    a) I like physical CDs - esp for backup
    b) DRM - there's looking after own, then there's overzealous

    Apple UK exec was right when he said Music bosses wanting higher iTunes singles prices was pure greed; as they already made a bigger % profit from download singles than conventional

    Then when Apple wouldn't budge, they're now trying for a slice of iPod profits

    Music bosses are idiots. To entice more downloaders, you need cheaper prices. They think a higher price will be accepted! 99p is just about the limit

    I also want free transfer to any device. WMA whatever is a no-no for players Microsoft don't want support for; Apple + Sony
    Then there's Atrac Sony only thing

    One last thing - if I use a CD to encode onto PC, I do not expect to have transfer limit placed on it. Fair enough for downlaods, but CD copied?
    HELLO?! I paid for it

    Thats why I now use EAC+Lame, apart for SQ. No DRM
     
  23. dups45

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    1) Apple only give at 7 cents to the music logo for every song that they sell, so they must make quite a bit.
    2) HMV are marketing against the iPod, so they are only covering the 25% market share
     

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