News Roundup: Boot Camp Supports Vista, New iTunes Store Features, and More

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News Roundup: Boot Camp Supports Vista, New iTunes Store Features, and More

Boot Camp now supports Windows Vista: A new version of the Boot Camp beta is out, and it adds 32-bit support for Microsoft's Vista OS, among other improvements. (Consequently, Microsoft also released a Vista patch to fix problems users were having disconnecting their iPods. How nice when everyone gets along!) Does this mean that DigiTimes' Leopard-delay rumor that we reported on last Friday isn't true? Could be, could not be, who knows... A blogger wonders, what if the top secret about Leopard is that there are no top-secret features? (Then Jobs save us all.)


In other Apple news: The iTunes Store now has a My Alerts page (and optional email alerts) to notify you of new releases from the bands you like, as well as a Complete My Album "feature" that lets you buy an album at a reduced price if you already bought one or more songs from that album within the past six months. We're somewhat underwhelmed as these albums are still in 128Kbps protected AAC format only. How about offering CD-quality tunes, Apple?


iPhooey? John Dvorak says that Apple should kill the iPhone (yes, before it's even released) because he feels the company can't compete in the cell-phone market (which is nowhere near as fractured as the MP3 player market was when the iPod hit the stage) and the margins in said market are tighter than Apple can handle. Speaking of killing things, CNET wonders: If the smartphone killed the PDA, will the iPhone kill the iPod? We doubt it, since the iPod has simplicity, capacity, no monthly bill, a huge installed base, and on and on. Time will answer both of these quandries, of course.


Quick hits: Is Apple hacking hacked Apple TVs? Is Greenpeace being fair with Apple? Dell will roll out computers will Linux preinstalled in a matter of weeks. Musicians who depend on the Net to find new listeners have created a coalition called Rock the Net to support net neutrality. Here's how to use a Bluetooth headset with iChat or Skype on your Mac. And Case-Mate is donating $1 for every iPod case sold in the month of April through Target, Dr. Bott, and Blue Bay Electronics to Prevent Child Abuse America.




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If you honestly believe that Apple can or will make lossless music on their store - you need to do even just a small amount of market research, especially if you believe you should get the "option to choose a bitrate." If Apple made the bitrate any higher than it is I would stop buying music from their store right then and there.


I have a 2 GB iPod Nano. At Apple's current bitrate, it can hold about 500-600 songs. If Apple increased their bitrate to your proposed 256k, that would shrink the size of my iPod in half.

Then there's not just space on an iPod, but then the computer's hard drive (mine's only 80 GB and my Music folder takes up 2.3 GB as it is right now, but my movies folder with all my iMovie projects takes up 14.3 GB...).

Another horrible thing about this would be that 90% of the consumer's whose HDD space is being slaughtered in front of their own eyes can't even tell the difference between 128k and 256k, much less lossless...

It would be Apple's worst choice ever from a consumer standpoint, to satisfy a small amount of people.

If that's not bad enough for the average consumer, let's watch Apple while we're at it and make them have to double the current enormous size of their servers to hold the millions of songs they have...

Sounds like a great idea! Let's do it!



From Apple's Quicktime technologies specifications page:

In numerous comparison tests, AAC comes out on top. Check out these impressive results:

AAC compressed audio at 128 Kbps (stereo) has been judged by expert listeners to be “indistinguishable” from the original uncompressed audio source.*
AAC compressed audio at 96 Kbps generally exceeded the quality of MP3 compressed audio at 128 Kbps. AAC at 128 Kbps provides significantly superior performance than does MP3 at 128 Kbps.*
AAC was the only Internet audio codec evaluated in the range “Excellent” at 64 Kbps for all of the audio items tested in EBU listening tests.*
* Information provided by Dolby Labs.



Yes, give us the lossless tunes! Or at least a higher bit rate. My fear is that when cd quality downloads become available they'll be at a premium price, which would be simply ridiculous. I would like to see at least 256 kbps AAC be the standard all across the board. This has been the biggest obstacle to my embracing legal downloads. Some of us do care about these things.

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