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Apple fans apathetic about apathy

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Letters Our story last week on lazy Apple users being responsible for screwing themselves out of the college music downloading scene did little to inspire or anger the Mac faithful. In fact, we hardly received any flames - something unheard of in an era full of Jobsian self-hating angst. That said, the best of the worst are printed here.

As a Mac user, I understand exactly where you are coming from.

At first, I wrote you this:

-- start here-- However, as a recent graduate I can say that I probably wouldn't care very much either. I suppose the $20 sucks in principle, but if the parents are footing the bill then I doubt the students care. After all, that's only about 2 hours of work study. -- end here --

but now that I think about it, it does suck. not because of the service, which I wouldn't want anyway, but the fact that the university would probably have to recommend buying a PC solely because it's hooked up with Napster. And that I do have a serious problem with. Thanks for the good read.

Jon Haddad



This is the first I've heard of the inequities in these deals. Usually the articles are PR pieces about how great the service is for the students. Once awareness is generated I'm sure you'll hear more. the only whining I've heard from these University experiments is the Duke students that didn't get iPods. That was pretty widely reported.

Martin Cinzar



kinda weak, I support your argument, but still a weak piece.

John Andow



Ashlee, I think you're confusing college students with "Apple faithful". Perhaps the iPod-using college students don't really represent the core of Apple's faithful user base.

I'm also not really sure why the supposed apathy of Mac zealots in this case is somehow not shocking, particularly given your statement that Apple users "whine" about so many other things. It's also weird that you place the blame on the students rather than on the clueless administration officials who went with Napster rather than with iTunes, or on Apple for not clinching the deal with Cornell.

Overall, this piece left me scratching my head.

Erik Schmidt



Just saw your Ruckus article. Despite Mr. Galper's contention, when he performed a focus group at my school there was pretty much unanimous consensus that the ability to dowload music to portable players was a requirement of us implementing such a service. With regard to questions about working with the Mac platform, Ruckus (and most of the other services) offers content as DRMed Windows Media files. It's a lot harder to do things with Windows Media on the Mac, and Microsoft isn't doing much to remedy the gap.

Not that there was much interest in the service anyway, judging by the focus group I participated in. Students want to be able to use the music service they choose, pay a fair market price, and own what they buy. The RIAA is making that nearly impossible, and it is much too early for schools to start making blanket agreements for one brand over another on behalf of their students. The market simply isn't there yet. And my school will not be implementing Ruckus or any other service anytime soon -- we have more important things to do at college then worry about the concerns of an industry that refuses to deliver products to consumers in a reasonable way and at a fair price.

Danny Silverman



I understand that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I have to beg to differ with yours. For starters, once the deals were announced, what can Apple's "faithful" really do to reverse the outcome? Nothing. The schools have been silently coerced into these agreements and contracts with the likes of Napster.

Coming from a University environment, I am sure that these ivy league schools were ill-advised, not made aware of alternative solutions, or just plain hoodwinked into these deals. Also, there were other universities who outright turned down what Napster was proposing because they saw to the heart of the matter - that Napster was trying to capitalize on the technological ignorance of the decision makers by trying to offer a "solution" to the problem of peer to peer file sharing on campuses. Lastly, how has the "faithful's" so-called silence become an issue now? Those deals are old news.

Currently, Florida State University has struck a deal with Apple to make FSU an iTunes school. The particulars of the deal have yet to come out, but it does seem promising. Travel a bit to the north of FSU to Duke University and see that all incoming freshman are getting iPods. So, to me, it seems that Cornell was tricked into a deal with Napster that will be a joke when Napster fails. No need to go into great detail as to why I think that will happen but I will leave it at this. How can a company survive when it spends more than it brings in. You do the math.

Respectfully, Jarvis A. Addison A computing profession using both Macintosh and PC compatible computers.



Blah blah blah...

Is it that slow a week on the Apple front that this is the best attack you guys can come up with? Why not instead trash the new iMac's good looks or moan about its high price? Isn't Apple is going out of business again?

You and the Register can do better, so try, try again.

-Alex Reynolds



Frankly, I am more concerned about yet another foray by universities into the business world. I mean are our educational institutions really suppose to be getting into bed with music distributors?

I am more upset about the idea that people are getting to billed for music at all when they go to college. The whole is idea is absurd and if you understood what was really happening on these campuses you would that the administrators of higher education are seriously corrupt.

Here is one very small example: the governing board and president of Eastern Michigan University were just busted building themselves a $10 million party house with student tuition money.

http://www.wxyz.com/wxyz/ys_investigations/article/0,2132,WXYZ_15949_3031785,00.html http://www.ypsilanticourier.com/2003/homepage/03121801.htm

My questions is who got bribed by Napster giving at Cornell. It sound like the some students may be getting "real-world" education.

Macintosh people having been dealing living in a Window world for a long time. Things like what your are describing are largely expected.

Again, I think the real debate is over what our universities are getting into and specifically, serous white collar crime in the administrations as people exploit their positions to make money.

John Anderson



Currently my daughter attends Brandeis, a Mac friendly school. Had she selected such a school, I'd be screaming. Such a school means any school selecting any music service at all. The lack of reaction by most college students is not surprising at all. For the most part college students don't give a damn about anything except partying.

Those that do care are usually in their final years aiming towards getting out or facing the awful burden of paying off their loans. I don't know what makes you think $20 is such a big deal when that just about pays for a school bumper sticker these days. Despite these realities, I think you miss the point. If anyone should be screaming about freedom of choice, it should be Apple. I wonder if a class action lawsuit could be filed as a large group is being excluded from a service they will be required to pay for without having to pay a tax of some sort: at Duke University it is the Apple tax, at Napster schools it is the Wintel tax.

Jerry Appel



Not all Mac fans are apathetic. I have been a huge fan of Apple since the late 80's. Except that I hate iPods, the iTunes Music Store, and the disgusting acceptance of corporate regulation of personal freedoms. If my current provider of "higher education" ever adopted this bastard RIAA demon-spawned craptwist of a once revolutionary idea (Napster), I would NOT use the service even if it was available to mac users, and REFUSE to pay the fee even if it meant transferring to another school.

I wish Apple would just focus on making cool computers and software and give up this music business crap although I know its not going to happen because the iPod is profitable for them. OK end of rant I think your articles here at The Register are pretty good even this one because its mostly true.

Deakson



So Apple are using their dominent market position to try and put its competitors out of business - Isn't that role reserved for Microsoft?

Anti-competative, Cross subsidising, Market stifling - Looks like Apple has grown up!

Steve Whitley

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