He's got some good comments. And to the vast majority of people out there the stock buds are the most hi-fi phones they'll have. Minor codec differences won't matter.
I suppose it's up to Apple to get it's DRM sorted out and widely licensed... as well as promote the use of AAC in a greater number of consumer gear. On that point I'm reasonably sure that they'll shoot themselves in the foot once again. They've been doing everything right for such a long time that it's unlike Apple.
We'll see. AAC is being used by AOL, Real, and several others now. iPod sales are dominate. Pepsi is giving away 100 million AAC tunes. We'll see if it grows. The article is pretty funny. It mentions Reals deal then says no service offers any better than 128 (Real offers 192), says no AAC encoder has VBR (Nero does and in fact has presets like LAME), etc. The list can keep going. Ogg is just dismissed almost all together. And he isn't even accurate about WMA 8/9 and it uses in online services.
For all the talk of history, he's insanely trusting of Microsoft. Seems to say you'll be out of luck with AAC (or any other variation) in a couple years, but WMA will play forever???
And WMA equals Microsoft. AAC doesn't equal Apple... maybe Dolby, but even that's not completely accurate.
Finally most weird, he thinks crippling (aka "protection") is "cool". That's a first.
He may not have a well informed expert's point of view, but it is probably more of an accurate representation of the Great Herd Of Sheep. Ultimately that's where things will be pulled. Doesn't mean we can't fight it of course, but it may be a pointless effort.
The protection bit is also a bit weird. I do wonder if he's been nobbled a bit by Microsoft... altogether too much MS info in there. They do that sometimes.
Only vaguely related but quite interesting IMO, is that Nokia is starting to make AAC-playback handsets now. I am hoping to upgrade to the 6230 this June - it comes in pearly white and takes MMC cards, it will be my right-pocket iPod!
That guy did have one very valid point. iTunes implementation of DRM is going to cause major headaches down the road for anyone who switches to a different brand of player and isn't willing to hack through iTunes DRM. Let's face the facts, the iPod may be on top for now, but who knows what the market will look like in 6 months? It is naive to just assume Apple will always be on top in the portable player market. They ruled the home PC market once too, if you recall, and blew it.
If you do switch players there are ways to get your iTunes files out of lockdown, but they're all hacks. In my opinion, if you have paid $1 a track then those tracks are yours to use no matter what kind of player you own. You shouldn't need to hack into what is rightfully yours. Ironically, it is in Apple's own best interest to make sure iTunes plays nice with non-Apple players. Otherwise, when a clear-cut iPod killer does finally come out, it'll kill iTunes right along with the iPod.
iForOne will be iHappy to be iRid of all these iFookin' iWords.
P.S. I refuse to pay for music compressed with lossy codec's. There are a couple label specific sites which sell losslessly compressed files online, but there just aren't enough of them. The first major online music store that does this is going to get my buisness.
I agree--I think it's pointless to PAY for lossy songs. If you want to pay, then buy used CD's (what I do) either on ebay or, even better, a good used CD store if you can find one (they're becoming harder and harder to track down). If you want lossy songs, then download them illegally. This to me makes more sense than paying for lossy ****. I buy CD's and rip it MY way.