iTunes Under Threat from a Frog?

by Giles Turnbull

SpiralFrog has gained a great deal of media coverage today, even getting a mention on the 60-second news round-ups on BBC Radio 2 here in the UK. If nothing else, that tells you that today was something of a slow news day.

Among the many angles the non-tech media were taking was that this new launch was going to be a threat to the future of Apple's iTunes. After looking at what's promised to be on offer to far, I doubt it.


2006-08-29 15:12:36
CDs? You and me both. 700 (originals!) and counting...
2006-08-29 15:56:34
The name SpiralFrog is sooo Web 1.0. They should've named it something like Ahoolacow or Meeslambo.
2006-08-29 20:03:42
I've been buying from iTunes for three or four years now (longer then I've had an iPod). I am a huge sucker for convinience (and price, CD's are too expensive these days). Although I admit I am eager to raid the occasional bargain CD bin still.
2006-08-30 03:29:13
I'm with you Giles. CDs are definately better. I agreed with the Dylan comments (the one's before he did his amazing 180° turn). 128k AAC/MP3 is atrocious to listen to on decent equipement and no I'm not even talking about £10K stuff, just your average Arcam kit for example.

I think a lot of people will invest in trying to crack the Spiralfrog DRM too, download it free, crack it and bingo.

2006-08-30 04:32:44
Giles - I'm with you all the way. Let's also remember that there are only so many advertising dollars to play with, and look what happened to television as the number of channels increased. It seems that every single Web 2.0 venture is focusing on 'free to users, paid for by advertising' as the business model, and something tells me that can only end in tears - or at least a few major success stories.

I think some consumers will be perfectly happy with that model - teenagers with small and changing music libraries (the ringtone crowd) but historically the market has shown that people prefer to own over rent (even free rentals like public libraries have declined in the face of big book chains and Amazon) - VHS and DVD sales have always been a surprise - people will buy stuff that has already been on TV that they could have recorded. (Which should be a lesson to the music business).

However - I have recently found that the prices on emusic are compelling enough to actually put me off buying CDs (or rather, saving my CD money for artists not on emusic). I really hope that emusic's business continues to prosper as it demonstrates there is a viable market in selling unprotected MP3s by making it as trivial to use as iTunes + adding value in terms of expert critics and what seems to me a far better playlist / recommendation system (although that may be just the nature of current users)

Mike A
2006-08-30 05:45:32
Definitely. There's no way I'll even begin to consider moving away from CDs until I can download MP3s or AACs legally without DRM.
2006-08-30 17:09:23
How about writing software to automate the procedure of logging in and validating?

Think of it as another developer opportunity to create a value-added software product.