RIP iTunes

images.jpgApple has unofficially announced that it is decommissioning their iTunes program. Word on the street is that this should have happened years ago: the iTunes concept of purchasing songs or albums is no longer relevant.

I remember when all this started. Napster was willing to give songs away for free and Apple’s concept of charging a reasonably small amount for each tune made sense. Other services attempted to grab the market, not by selling songs but by selling instances of listening to a song. I was probably unduly biased in favor of Apple but I thought this competing business plan was stupid.

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Having Drank the Apple Juice

AppleIn 1977 I bought my first Apple computer: a venerable Apple ][ with 48K of memory and eventually my first floppy disk drive (at work we had eight inchers but this was 5.25).That Apple ][ lasted me several years and was eventually replaced by an IBM clone and later sold to a friend for his daughter. During its life I added a memory card (another 16K!!!), a modem card (300 Baud, no doubt), and learned Pascal when Apple made it available. It’s hard to believe now but I had a custom suitcase that allowed me to carry my Apple ][ with three disk drives and a bunch of other stuff which I used when I took my computer to work (there were no personal-type computers where I worked even though I was in the Computer Department). I loved my Apple ][ and the IBM clone only lasted a few months before I was severely strapped for cash and had to sell the whole thing to an accountant who needed to run Lotus 1-2-3.

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Apple and the Conservative Noise Machine

AppleAs those who have followed this weblog from the beginning know, I have been highly critical of Apple on several occasions. Going all the way back to 1977 I have experienced great triumphs with Apple and also several highly disappointing failures. Did you buy a Lisa? An Apple serial card for your Apple ][? What about that Cube thing? So despite my allegiance to Apple products and my complete avoidance of anything from WINDOZ, I am aware that Apple is not sacrosanct and I will readily admit it.

However, Apple is the most successful company on earth and the second most successful company in the history of the earth (the original Dutch East India Company has top honors when adjusted for the present value of money). I smile nowadays when I think back to the dark ages when all the rumors were that AT&T was going to buy out Apple—that Apple was in a death spiral—and now they are poised to become the first one trillion dollar company in the modern era. Where is IBM? Where is AT&T? Where is GE?

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Stop Praying To Our iPhones

iPhoneDisclaimer: I do not own an iPhone. In fact, I waste a great deal of money on the digital phone I do have (phone, camera, that’s it) because my current calling plan is the minimum discounted plan (I worked for the company) giving me 450 minutes each month … I use 2. But my daughter says she is tired of not being able to text me or share photos instantly and all the other social activities a smart phone allows so I have agreed to be added to her family plan and get an iPhone (which my neighbor laughingly says is not a phone but a pocket computer). This plan will make my daughter happier and actually make my monthly bill go away: it’s a good deal. Now I can only suggest that I will use the iPhone for periodic communication but otherwise, at least it replaces my old, old iPod Touch (and my loyal Flip Phone).

But the topic is not my own limited use of a future device but rather the suggestion made by W. Andrew Ewell in Salon that:

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