Just to show I don't quite equate Jobs with Moses (see recent post)...

From Steve Jobs' "Thoughts on Music":

It’s hard to believe that just 3% of the music on the average iPod is enough to lock users into buying only iPods in the future. And since 97% of the music on the average iPod was not purchased from the iTunes store, iPod users are clearly not locked into the iTunes store to acquire their music.

Please. My mother thought, once leaving AOL and getting DSL, that her new provider was Google (that was her default home page, somehow), and that she had to go to the Google front page and type in her URL to surf anywhere. Why? Because Google's search page, used this way, looked and acted a lot like AOL's interface to the net.

To many people, I'll even say for most of its users, iTunes *is* the only way they know how to get to their mp3 collection. There's a reason iTunes copies imported mp3s (and not just those that it's ripping from CD, but those from any source) to a folder -- so that once the original mp3s disappear and the user no longer knows where they are, iTunes still has a backup. Of course, for iTunes, the backup is important enough that, for iTunes's purposes, it's the original.

I'm sure Media Player 10 finds mp3 files anywhere on someone's box by default, and that's a big help if you want to move, but let's face it, buy-in is buy-in. iTunes has enough momentum that for many, 100% of their music is, in praxis, closed by iTunes the application, ultimately a much more effective gateway than FairPlay the DRM. FairPlay just leverages replacing those extra 3% of songs into another barrier for leaving iTunes and iPod for someone else.

I'd tell Jobs to spin it straight, but, as we all know, he is (and he and Gates and Sony and friends are) just trying to make a buck, bless his (their) heart(s).

Labels: , ,