Yesterday’s post about the MIT project got me thinking about everything that’s wrong with digital music again. So what about iTunes? C.A. Childers observes

You see, Apple provided the missing ingredient that the RIAA and its similars had been awaiting: sex appeal. Apple made it appealing to buy digital files. They made it sexy to carry them on a pocket hard drive. They packaged DRM for the masses in easy to swallow pills of X, and they’ll be in deeper than we can imagine before people recognize what it is that they’ve been sold.

I’m curious to learn just how tightly Apple controls the music they sell. Once you’ve purchased a song, can you only listen to it on hardware running Apple or Windows software? What happens if Apple is sold to another company that wants to change the terms of the sale? Does the software enable that? What happens if Apple goes out of business?

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  1. At this point, music purchased from the Apple store can be played on either iPod (Win or Mac) and either version of iTunes (Win or Mac) and that’s it. But, it can also be burned to CD and played on any CD player.

    If Apple (or any of the providers; I would think all but iTunes, Napster and maybe MusicMatch are candidates for such), then there could be problems. But users will likely have time to burn everything to CD.

    If someone like BuyMusic goes out of business (highly likely, imo), I would expect that it’s list of users and purchases would be sold to one of the other services who would let the customers re-download their colletions.

    What I’m wondering is that in 3 years when we have terabyte iPods, will Apple let us re-download in better quality format?

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