iTunes Movies – An Inconvenient Truth

It was less then 30 minutes after the official word that iTunes was selling films in the UK store, before I was watching Batman Begins. But is the convenience coming at too high a cost?

In the UK we have become used getting ripped off around every corner, it stinks but we are British so we put up with it. My problem is that some of the films now available particularly Al Gores documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” £10.99 At this point the noveltywore off, I can have this shipped to me from amazon £6.22 in less than two days.

I aren’t apposed to paying £6.99 for a film, but £10.99 for a film that you can buy in the shops for less than £7 I think its pushing it. Us Brits whilst being hard done by after getting the long of the stick for so many years we have all become cynics, and easily see where profiteering is taking place. We saw it with the iPhone, which didn’t do anywhere near as well as planned (see here) We also see it with practically every computer or gadget, when you get nearly 2$US to £1GBP and the prices of things are the same in dollars as pounds you know there is something wrong.

Unless iTunes get more content up in the store and stop stupid pricing, they may just take off. Who am I kidding it will take off whatever apple do, its what their good at. I would like to think that Apple at least get some semblance of order in pricing and price match with the High Street.

Confessions of a Serial Soundtrack Collector

It seems no matter how good a film is, the music that goes with the film is always under appreciated, while there are exceptions to the rule we really should pay more attention to the music, it will make or break a film.

I don’t really know hoe I ended up collecting soundtracks, but two moments that really standout are; tracking down a piece of music used the in 2004 BAFTAs and another piece of music featured in the South Bank Show.

The music from the BAFTAs was probably the easiest to track down, I just emailed them. It took a couple of weeks but they emailed me back answer: Whisper of a Thrill – From Meet Joe Black – Thomas Newman. Within seconds the CD was bought and on its way. Its OK if you can email the people responsible and get them to tell you the music used but in the case of my second hunt, the emailing method wasn’t so fruitful.

After watching the South Bank Show, I had the I must have that music moment and started on my merry way trying to track it down by google to no avail, I had some idea of who the composer could be Craig Armstrong or Thomas Newman, so I loaded the ITV website and sent them an email. I have found since then both ITV and the BBC hate these inquiries and just brush them off, Channel 5 usually give a better response. I got the typical response, “Due to the nature of the way we create our programming there is no record of the music for each program.” I spent another few months searching, and had all but given up hope on finding the elusive piece of music, when i chanced upon a newly upload Craig Armstrong Album on iTunes. I had found it. Finding Beauty – Craig Armstrong within a couple of seconds it was downloaded.

I am sure that there isn’t just me who has these little quests, I am also sure that many people unlike me will give up on finding the song they were looking for. I wish the BBC and ITV would setup websites that listed all the music from each program. I think music companies should be actively encouraging the publishing of music in film and TV, it would earn them some points and make some money.

Since my first encounter with the wonderful world of soundtracks my library has grown from a mere 5 hours to over 22 days (thats528 hours) So much so I now have so much music that the chances are that I hear a piece of music in a film or TV program, I will already have a copy in there somewhere.

The problem is finding it.

Apple isn’t all that bad after all…

Apple LogoHaving had some issues with iTunes over the last week, nothing downloading from the store to be specific. I just got an email from a nice person at iTunes Store support, saying the problem was fixed and I got 5 Free credits to boot. My lucks in, maybe I should do a lottery this week.

The move to VMware fusion just hasn’t happened, since the new Parallels update dropped earlier this wee, I have been impressed with the increased speed and the integration with exposé a feature which windows desperately needs and not just an alt+TAB varient like that of Vista.

In other news, should get a medal for being impossible to understand if your an international applicant (like I am) there’s a lot they could learn from the new UCAS website, also good help documents would make it easier for people such as my self who haven’t got a clue.

iTunes Plus err = 9006?

iTunes LogoMy first experience of iTunes plus is somwhat lacking in the usual finish that we have come to expect from apple. I put an album for download at 12:00 its now 16:10 and only 4 out of the 41 tracks have successfully made it to my computer. It would seem the pipes are all clogged. Maybe its time for Apple to get bigger pipes.

Update: Apple got some new tubes and now all is well.

The Most Helpful Applescript Ever.

iTunes LogoI have a ever growing iTunes library, but sometimes when importing stuff, the ID3 tags go all wrong, or in the in Japanese/Non-English Characters. So like many geeks I hate having to mess with each ID3 tag individualy even if iTunes makes it easy. Solution CDDB and a little script from You simply go to the playlist, run the first script which searches CDDB to find the album your playing, then you run the second script that then copies the page details and puts them in your ID3 tags. Voila! your library is nice and perfectly formed.

Less DRM is Good…

Sign an Open Letter To Steve Jobs
Whether you believe that it was an elaborate publicity stunt or actually Steve Jobs own hand that wrote the “Thoughts on Music” there is one important feature that we all need to take action upon.

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Lets see if the people of the internets will prevail and get rid of DRM, or at the very least start the removal process. Sign the Defective Design Letter Here

Sorting the piracy mess

I though I would take a break and post something else that really gets me.

We all know that piracy has ended up as a monumental PR mess for the record industry, and it is a undisputed fact that the industry in general were far too late and couldn’t adopt the same model they do in the shops so invented DRM (lets not go any further into this)

I love music as much as the next man, but when a consumer thinks their being ripped of they will always find a new way, the internet provides such a way. So when Napster and Kazaa came along the consumers went there instead of going to the local music store, by the time the industry realised just how big this was they had only one option left to sue everything and everybody related to this P2P software. As a resulting pissing off there next generation customers and the ones they already had, and along the way giving themselves and P2P developers bad press.

Continue reading “Sorting the piracy mess”

Day Against DRM

I am going to post something but not an extended bit of writing because I do run the risk of ranting.

Today is the day against DRM, yes that little thing iTunes that limits the music you bought, not because iTunes wants to control the market, but because the labels want to control the market.

Yes, thats right. The Labels. Why? may you ask well its simple, they were too late to the game napster and kazaa had been and gone by the time the labels saw the internet as a revenue stream and now the labels control and sue the next generation of consumers, tell me how this helps them make more money?

iTunes 7 has landed

iTunes LogoApple dropped the latest version of iTunes today, and guess what it is better than what it says on the tin. Video support is now flawless and the overall UI is much more refined and very much like the look of a Pro App. All you information is stored in a much more structured and easy to use manner and iPod integration is just cool and gives all the information you need in one window.

There are also improvement to downloads, an extra tab will pop-up showing what is downloading and what size it is, it little things like this that make the whole app run a lot smoother and noticeably faster than iTunes 6. At some point it would be nice to get some Bit Torrent support in the mix.