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Archive for the ‘iPod’ tag

Apple Easily Wins iPod Antitrust Trial

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Tech Graveyard
Tech Graveyard.

Briefly, since we marveled at this ridiculous lawsuit recently, the iPod DRM Class Action litigation lost in front of a jury:

A jury ruled in favor of Apple Inc. on Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit that accused the technology giant of violating antitrust laws by suppressing competition for its iPod music players.

After deliberating for only a few hours, an eight-person jury in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., found that Apple’s iTunes 7.0 was a genuine product improvement, and therefore not a violation of antitrust laws. The decision was unanimous.

The plaintiffs had said Apple made changes to its iTunes music service so that iPods wouldn’t operate with other companies’ products, driving up the cost of the devices. The plaintiffs, representing an alleged eight million harmed consumers, were seeking $350 million in damages, which could have been tripled under antitrust laws.

(click here to continue reading Apple Wins iPod Antitrust Trial – WSJ.)

Dead 4G iPod
4G iPod

Another amusing part of this trial was that the original plaintiffs were thrown out since they didn’t even own iPods during the time in question. Embarrassing for the plaintiffs’ legal team, and a ridiculous waste of the court’s docket…

The lawyers fighting Apple in a class-action lawsuit involving iPods have managed to do a few remarkable things: They persuaded a judge to bring a decade-old lawsuit to trial here last week, for one. They even managed to drag the famous Steve Jobs into giving a videotaped testimony shortly before he died three years ago.

But they have one big problem: Their case has no plaintiff.

A federal judge on Monday disqualified the only remaining plaintiff in the case, Marianna Rosen of New Jersey, after Apple’s lawyers successfully argued that she did not even buy any iPods for which she is seeking damages.

The judge appeared annoyed about the discrepancies with Ms. Rosen’s iPods and scolded the plaintiff lawyers for failing to do their homework. Another plaintiff in the case dropped out last week.

 …

Last week, Ms. Rosen testified that she had bought two iPods: an iPod Nano in the fall of 2007 and an iPod Touch in December 2008. Apple’s lawyer asked whether Ms. Rosen kept receipts for her purchases. Ms. Rosen said she probably did not have the paper receipts, but later said her iPod Touch was in her bag.

Apple’s lawyers looked up the serial number of Ms. Rosen’s iPod Touch and found records showing it was bought in July 2009. The class action seeks damages for iPods bought from September 2006 to March 2009. So this iPod Touch missed the cutoff.

Apple’s lawyers last Wednesday pointed out the discrepancy about Ms. Rosen’s iPod Touch in a letter to the judge. They also raised similar concerns about the second plaintiff’s iPod purchases. On Friday, the second plaintiff dropped out of the case, leaving Ms. Rosen as the lone plaintiff.

Ms. Rosen’s lawyers then provided Apple a receipt showing two iPod purchases made in September 2008. But Apple pulled up its copy of the receipt for those iPods, which indicated they were bought by the Rosen Law Firm, the firm owned by Ms. Rosen’s husband. Apple’s lawyers argued that these were not iPods bought directly by Ms. Rosen, and therefore she could not claim injury.

(click here to continue reading Setback for iPod Class-Action Lawsuit as Sole Plaintiff Is Disqualified – NYTimes.com.)

iPod Classic Returned From The Dead
iPod Classic  

Just ridiculous from the beginning. Speaking as a consumer who owned an iPod during this time, and could prove it, the litigation is (was?) groundless – I played music from many sources on my iPod without issue. And it would be like suing a CD manufacturer because some moron bought an 8-track tape and stuck it in a CD player, and the 8-track didn’t play. Is it the responsibility of the CD manufacturer to play every kind of music format ever created? No, this case was a joke.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd should lose their license to practice law…

Bonney Sweeney, the antitrust attorney at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd who claims to represent the interests of 8 million aggrieved Apple customers, now represents nobody but a roomful of lawyers.

On Monday, Sweeney lost her last plaintiff, a resident of New Jersey named Marianna Rosen. It turns out the “supracompetitive” price Rosen claims to have paid in 2008 for an iPod (“greater than she would have paid, but for the antitrust violations alleged herein”) was charged to her law firm’s credit card.

(click here to continue reading How dumb is this Apple iPod antitrust suit?.)

Nano gift

iPod Nano 

Especially since this is their second bite of the apple…

After a judge rejected Version 1.0 of the lawsuit, CNET says, lawyers changed their tune to accuse Apple of making software updates that kept rival music stores off the iTunes platform.

This is typical in class-action land. As with any repeated game, class-action lawyers are a well-defined group of players who must establish a reputation for fighting hard in every case and racking up as much expenses on the defense side as they can, in order to induce companies to come to the settlement table. That’s where they make their money, and the convenient fiction that they are suing on behalf of consumers collapses as they get down to the real negotiations, which are over the fee they will be paid without any objections from their supposed opponents across the table.

But for the whole process to work, they still need clients. And those clients must have a case. Defense lawyers have slowly but steadily woken up to the fact that those clients often come with baggage — Bill Lerach, the founder of the predecessor to Robbins Geller, went to jail for paying his clients to appear in securities class actions — and they are digging into their backgrounds to find out if they can even serve as plaintiffs. This must strike some plaintiff lawyers as strange, since everybody knows the “client” is just a vehicle for assembling a case that often is already loaded in their computer, ready to be filed. But it’s the law

(click here to continue reading Whoops! No Plaintiff! Apple Tells Court iPod Owner Isn’t In Class She Represents.)

Mirrored

The current case involving iPods is complex, having evolved significantly since the original January 2005 filing. The suit initially alleged that Apple broke the law by restricting owners of its iPod to songs purchased only through iTunes. A court deemed that legal, however, and the plaintiffs have since altered the suit, alleging instead that Apple made a series of software updates to iTunes specifically designed to shut out competing music stores’ ability to load their songs onto iPods.

The case will aim to determine what effect Apple’s FairPlay technology — a so-called digital rights management tool that acts like a watermark made of code — had on the market for MP3 players when it restricted iPod owners to iTunes and how to interpret Apple’s behavior in protecting FairPlay using software updates. Apple refused to license FairPlay to competing music stores and would not allow other MP3 players to connect to iTunes.

Apple’s Isaacson says the iTunes 7.0 and 7.4 updates were designed to improve security and purposefully keep third parties like RealNetworks, which Apple still considers a hacker, out of its system. “Harmony was outdated when FairPlay was updated. All Apple was doing was updating FairPlay,” he said. “That’s what happens when you reverse engineer the product and there’s an update of that architecture.”

Neither RealNetworks nor any of the retailers named in the suit, including Best Buy and Walmart, have filed suits of their own. RealNetworks executives will not appear as witnesses.

(click here to continue reading Apple misled iPod owners, plaintiffs allege at class action trial – CNET.)

Written by Seth Anderson

December 16th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

iPod Classic Returned From The Dead was uploaded to Flickr

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What a pleasant surprise! Left it plugged in overnight on an underutilized iMac, and after it charged up the iPod Classic, went into recovery mode. Yayy, I have a working iPod Classic again…


previously: http://ift.tt/1wARac2…

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/qoczbu

I took iPod Classic Returned From The Dead on December 15, 2014 at 12:12PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 15, 2014 at 06:13PM

Written by eggplant

December 15th, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Class Action Madness Against Apple’s iPod

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iPod beach joy
iPod Original Model.

To be blunt, this is bullshit.

The latest case to bring Mr. Jobs’s spirit into a courtroom is set to begin on Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It is a class action involving older iPods, which played only songs sold in the iTunes Store, or those downloaded from CDs, not music from competing stores. The plaintiffs are consumers who say Apple violated antitrust law because to keep their music, people had to stay with the iPod, and buy higher-priced ones rather than cheaper, alternative music players. Apple has since discontinued this system.

(click here to continue reading Star Witness in Apple Lawsuit Is Steve Jobs – NYTimes.com.)

Maybe there is more to this litigation than is being reported, but as an owner of many iPods (including several of the early models, including the one that only worked with Macs), I can attest that all iPods were able to play music in the MP3 format from any source. If you got music from converting CDs you own (like I did and still do), or downloaded files from rival services like eMusic, or wherever, as long as the file was in the MP3 format, it played fine on any iPod. Now, perhaps there were music stores that sold tunes that were encoded in other proprietary formats, but why should Apple have to support those formats? Especially since if you downloaded, for instance, a WMA file from Music Match, you could easily convert the track to MP3 on your computer in seconds.

Dead 4G iPod
Dead 4G iPod

I don’t understand why this case hasn’t been tossed out yet. What am I missing?

Written by Seth Anderson

December 1st, 2014 at 9:39 am

Posted in Apple,Music

Tagged with , , ,

RIP, iPod Classic was uploaded to Flickr

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Not only is my iPod Classic dead, but Apple has officially discontinued them. 🙁

Eulogy for the iPod classic

http://ift.tt/YBrIqJ

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/oTJvgs

I took RIP, iPod Classic on September 11, 2014 at 07:47PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on September 12, 2014 at 12:49AM

Written by eggplant

September 11th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Photo Republished at How to Combat Tech Obsolescence | Innovation Insights | Wired

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Tech Graveyard

My photo was used to illustrate this post

In 2012 we witnessed the retirement of the Space Shuttle as well as the near-death spiral of BlackBerry.  Obsolescence has occurred throughout time and will continue to occur.  Specifically in regards to software and technology, obsolescence is a serious issue that subconsciously motivates every product development cycle.  How does a company retain customers for their existing core competencies, while venturing into progressive product development for the years ahead? …Image: swanksalot/Flickr

click here to keep reading :
How to Combat Tech Obsolescence | Innovation Insights | Wired

automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT

Written by eggplant

April 30th, 2013 at 10:11 am

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , , ,

Replacement iPod Nano

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Apple emailed me about a month ago, writing, in part:

Dear iPod nano owner,

Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.

This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.

Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.

Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.

I followed the instructions, packed up the 1st generation nano, gave it to FedEx, and today received a brand new 8 GB Nano, with a much different form factor.

Here is what the old Nano looked like:

Ipodnano
1st Generation iPod Nano

and the new Nano:

Exchanged iPod nano

Quite happy with this deal, in all honesty. The old Nano was barely being used, and was from nearly five years ago, but the new one looks custom made for wearing while exercising, has a better screen, more disk capacity, larger screen, lighter, etc.

Thanks, Apple!

New Nano

Written by Seth Anderson

December 21st, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Apple

Tagged with

Loudness Wars Redux

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NPR covered the sins of modern musical over-compression, a topic we’ve discussed a few times before.

LaSalle Owers

Robert Siegel talked to Bob Ludwig, a record mastering engineer. For more than 40 years, he’s been the final ear in the audio chain for albums running from Jimi Hendrix to Radiohead, from Tony Bennett to Kronos Quartet.

“The ‘Loudness Wars’ have gone back to the days of 45s,” Ludwig says. “When I first got into the business and was doing a lot of vinyl disc cutting, one producer after another just wanted to have his 45 sound louder than the next guy’s so that when the program director at the Top 40 radio station was going through his stack of 45s to decide which two or three he was going to add that week, that the record would kind of jump out to the program director, aurally at least.”

That’s still a motivation for some producers. If their record jumps out of your iPod compared with the song that preceded it, then they’ve accomplished their goal.

Bob Ludwig thinks that’s an unfortunate development.

“People talk about downloads hurting record sales,” Ludwig says. “I and some other people would submit that another thing that is hurting record sales these days is the fact that they are so compressed that the ear just gets tired of it. When you’re through listening to a whole album of this highly compressed music, your ear is fatigued. You may have enjoyed the music but you don’t really feel like going back and listening to it again.”

[Click to continue reading The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse : NPR]

Dead 4G iPod

Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of digital music, but something has been sacrificed, namely nuance. For CDs I rip myself, I use higher settings1 than the default 128 kbps – which to my ears sounds like a shitty little AM transistor radio.

Matt Mayfield created a little YouTube explanation, check it out…

Big-name CD manufacturers are distorting sounds to make them seem louder. Sound quality suffers.

This video was made with image editing software and a screen capture program for the visuals, and a DAW (Digital Performer 4.5) to process the audio

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

Footnotes:
  1. 256 kbps Variable Bit Recording setting if you really want to know []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 4th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Music

Tagged with , , ,

RIAA Hates the iPod

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wired_rip_sampler

Of course, this means the RIAA also hates most of its own best music-purchasing customers.

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings. [snip]

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that “when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Copying a song you bought is “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ ” she said.

[From Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use – washingtonpost.com]

I think the music industry would be in much worse shape if the iPod revolution hadn’t happened.


update, poorly worded WaPo story (surprised?).

The only problem: No such claim was made. What RIAA lawyer Ira Schwartz wrote in a supplemental brief was: “Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs’ recording into the compressed .MP3 format and they are in his shared folder, they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs.”

The critical phrase there is “shared folder” because the rest of the brief makes clear that the RIAA is claiming that Howell not only ripped his CDs but also put them in his shared folder in Kazaa, thus making them available for worldwide distribution. The RIAA has successfully argued that mere presence of copyright files in a shared folder constitutes “distribution” under copyright law.

“This is a garden-variety case with a very typical dispute over what constitutes distribution,” Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University Law School’s High-Tech Law program, said in a telephone interview.

from CIO Today and elsewhere.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 31st, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Apple,Music

Tagged with , ,