O’Reilly 2003: Technology vs. Legislation - iTunes & the RIAA


Four years later, Apple (fresh off the success of releasing the most popular MP3 player in history) releases the iTunes Store. The first, truly comprehensive, yet simple execution of Digital Rights Management and online music sales. With over one million iPods and millions of songs sold, did the Rio MP3 player or the iPod destroy the market for digitally downloaded music, or did they in fact create it?


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The success of the Apple Store is proof that if consumers are presented with a simple and affordable solution for purchasing music online, they will. And if the RIAA had worked effectively with the tech sector six years ago, we might have made more progress towards curbing piracy through solutions, not lawsuits against 12 year old girls.


O’Reilly 2003: Legislation vs. Innovation - iTunes & the RIAA


Media companies are running scared these days. Their failure to embrace technology has put them in a delicate position. For the first time in history, the bread and butter of the media enterprises like music, film, and television are faced with the fact that they may no longer be in control of their business.


O’Reilly 2004: Microsoft vs. iTunes vs. Everyone Else


While no one yet knows how the online music market will shake out, I can tell you that the public isn’t going to be able to support an industry driven by choice. Most online music stores (many driven by the same back-end solutions) offer you similar prices, similar content, similar previews, and similar experiences. So like Mr. Fester points out, you’re free to have 20 different accounts with 20 different online music stores, using 20 different shopping carts, and perhaps 400 different music players out there. If you ask me, so far “choice” sounds like a real pain in the a$$.


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Not so in the future. Whose got time to visit all these different sites? Sure, people want choice, but they also want ease of use, simplicity, speed, and value. All this comes down to one common denominator - time. With the iTunes music store I have variety, I have simplicity, I have speed, and I have a player that ties it all together. I don’t care about the other 40 or 100 or 500 music players out there. I’m looking for a complete seamless solution with zero hassle.


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If Microsoft really wants to offer us a strong competitive choice to Apple’s offerings in the music space, they will focus on the technology and stay out of selling music.


O’Reilly 2006: Office 2.0


The challenge with Office 2.0 in my mind really comes down to several things.


Whether cell phones, wi-fi devices, or computers, easy access to the same data is a major milestone we need to fix. My cell phone cannot view the same data as my Pocket PC, and my Pocket PC cannot view the same data as my laptop. How we get to our data is every bit as important as the data itself.


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Why can’t I get a seamless link between my business/personal contacts and my cell phone/Computer/web service? Synching should never be a decision. Changes should occur across all my devices and services as they happen, and not require human interaction. Why do we have Caller ID, but our phones don’t utilize it to create automatic Address Books? I want my gear to program itself. All I want to do is approve what goes in and what gets deleted.


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Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I think there are a lot of companies recreating applications that simply work better as a local application than as a web app. Look to the past to see when a “good idea” is not necessarily a good idea.



ZDNet 2007: Apple to Kill Tivo?


Yeah, I'm calling it. I think Apple (and others) are about to send Cable TV and Tivo a clear message…your time is almost up. The Web 2.0 world is about to kick the door in and escort the old methodology to pasture. And I think it is going to happen pretty quickly.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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Now I've heard a lot of complaints about the Apple TV, and plenty of skeptics who think the device doesn't hit the right technical marks, but I disagree. I think it hits a number of sweet spots that make it one of the most compelling devices we've seen in some time. Other companies are trying to get into the living room, but I think this one may finally have the legs it needs to make a big impact in our lives. Bigger…yes I'm saying it…bigger than Tivo!

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So let's recap…

The Apple TV is a time-shifting media viewer that allows me to buy only the media content I want to watch, when I want to watch it, with pause/rewind/fast forward, at a reasonable price, with no monthly subscription fee, small hardware footprint, works with Macs and PCs, automatically downloads my season passes when available, doesn't require any BS to move it to my iPod or another computer, could very well stream "live" television like news and sports (as it does movie previews), supports HD, I only pay for content not service, doesn't force me to watch commercials, and gives me back 18 minutes of my life for every hour I spend watching broadcast shows.

And why would I want Cable/Tivo?


ZDNet 2007: Safari, iPhone, & Windows


iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. We know that Apple is releasing a Safari/webdev kit so developers can develop web apps for their new phone. Why limit this to Mac developers? The phone is obviously designed to appeal to Mac and Windows users, so to ensure development for the phone on the Windows side, they need a platform to build on. Safari will no doubt be the major component that ties the phone and iTunes together, and we’ll likely see an explosion of web app development this fall after the phone is released. Windows support is crucial to their long-term phone strategy and that is especially important when it comes to browsing.

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I have no doubt in my mind we’ll see lean and mean Safari sites for the iPhone.


ZDNet 2007: The Comcast Cancer


This seems like an anti-competitive tactic and is something we need to start looking closely at now. iTunes may be a juggernaut at the moment, but they can't compete with Comcast and other cable/telecom companies, if they start choking off the connection. And that's not just bad for Apple, Google, or Yahoo!, it hurts every other company out there, especially the smaller ones.

Once companies like Comcast start to see a decline in cable tv subscribers, will they want to see a higher charge for delivering other types of online content? You bet they will. And what good is freedom of choice if there are only a few choices…and each of those companies are playing the same game with their "tubes." Will telecom companies start charging you more money if you use Skype on their network, but charge you less if you accept their VOIP solution? There is no doubt in my mind this is where things are headed.

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