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> Yes, and how many of your family and friends had mp3 players before iPods?

I don't know. But mp3 players were definitely something people knew about before iPod's (at least the kids, can't speak for the adults at the time). Some even got those mp3 players with 128 MB, enough to cram two albums into. I didn't feel it was worth it before 512 MB, at the least.

Back when I was in the market for a good (gigabits of storage) mp3 player, I don't recall that iPod was the definite go-to choice in the electronics store.

> And you dismiss a feature of the iPods by just saying 'a great user interface'.

Not dismiss in general as much as dismiss when it comes to revolutionizing music listening and the industry. I think that people would still have adapted mp3 players (what were the alternatives? Discmans and those cassette-like players which you could record 320 minutes of music max on each disc?) even if Apple wouldn't have come out with a really nice UI.

> Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, iTunes really was power pushing the iPod and Apple along. First, by truly binding hardware and software together to work together as seamlessly as possible.

All mp3 players I've used (except for iPod's) are very easy to manage: plug it to the computer, open the folder of the mp3 player, and copy-paste songs. I am hardly a 'techie' when it comes to general computer usage, and I was not back then, either. But maybe this was beyond the capabilities of most people for all I know.

> Second, by being able to purchase songs from iTunes store, and have it automatically appear in iTunes.

I could torrent music and have them automatically appear in my Downloads folder. You could say that the iTunes way is more user-friendly, but most people used Windows back then and were used to shuffling around files and folders themselves, because you had to do that at some if you wanted to do more than read your mail.

> And thirdly, and this is perhaps the most important bit, by forcing (and by forcing, I mean sometimes using the mob style of forcing) the record industry to play along. No longer did you have to know which artist belonged to which record company in order to buy music. No longer having to browse 4 or 5 different sites to find music.

I guess I never was big on buying music online. I downloaded illicitlyt, bought some things in the store and the few things I didn't find I bought through iTunes. I know the last part validates your point, but having four more albums in my collection didn't exactly revolutionize my music listening.

> No longer did you have to convert songs, if you could even, to another to get around DRM to get all your music to play on one device.

When I changed computers I couldn't get my songs to play on the new machine.

> So, yes, they did revolutionize the music industry.

What revolutionized music listening for me was: 1. being able to easily download (mostly pirate) music 2. streaming services (only used Spotify myself).




> I don't know. But mp3 players were definitely something people knew about before iPod's (at least the kids, can't speak for the adults at the time). Some even got those mp3 players with 128 MB, enough to cram two albums into. I didn't feel it was worth it before 512 MB, at the least.

I can tell you right now, that unless they were very technical, most adults didn't have mp3 players and weren't interested in them. Because they didn't even have mp3 files. Don't forget, very often back then, you had to specifically install programs, like winamp, instead of Windows Media Player or Real Player to rip CDs to the mp3 format.

> Not dismiss in general as much as dismiss when it comes to revolutionizing music listening and the industry. I think that people would still have adapted mp3 players (what were the alternatives? Discmans and those cassette-like players which you could record 320 minutes of music max on each disc?) even if Apple wouldn't have come out with a really nice UI.

Well, making a ripped CD was very well known and popularly done. People use to just carry around books of CDs, and it sounded better, too. Those old mp3 sounded like ass, the big rate was so low, like 32-64 bit. Now, if it's not 160 bit or higher, I'd say most people would refuse to purchase.

> All mp3 players I've used (except for iPod's) are very easy to manage: plug it to the computer, open the folder of the mp3 player, and copy-paste songs. I am hardly a 'techie' when it comes to general computer usage, and I was not back then, either. But maybe this was beyond the capabilities of most people for all I know.

You know why Windows 98 and above has AutoPlay? Because it wasn't simple enough for most of the public to just insert a media type device (CD/DVD/Flash type device) and just have the user manually start it.

> I could torrent music and have them automatically appear in my Downloads folder. You could say that the iTunes way is more user-friendly, but most people used Windows back then and were used to shuffling around files and folders themselves, because you had to do that at some if you wanted to do more than read your mail.

Well, maybe you were dealing with more technically inclined people than I was, but to this day I still have people who save EVERYTHING to their desktop, because they don't want to lose files. I still know people who can only find files by opening up which applications they used to create or modify them. They never make backups because they don't know where any of their files are. AND, even if they could, the older mp3 players only played files located in certain folders. If you mistakenly put them in the wrong folder, the mp3 player couldn't play them. Not user friendly at all.

> When I changed computers I couldn't get my songs to play on the new machine.

That's because in iTunes, your media is associated with your iTunes account. If you don't sign with that, then none of your songs would play. Unless you did that already, and it still didn't play. That's an error, which Apple should be obligated to fix on your behalf.

> What revolutionized music listening for me was: 1. being able to easily download (mostly pirate) music 2. streaming services (only used Spotify myself).

Technically, streaming services has existed since 1995, when Real was selling their Helix servers, and started streaming media themselves sometime in 1997-1998ish. That's even before Napster came out. Spotify only works because the music industry couldn't do it themselves, and wanted other streams of revenue online other than Apple and Pandora.

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> I can tell you right now, that unless they were very technical, most adults didn't have mp3 players and weren't interested in them. Because they didn't even have mp3 files. Don't forget, very often back then, you had to specifically install programs, like winamp, instead of Windows Media Player or Real Player to rip CDs to the mp3 format.

That's interesting. I guess I only dealt with kids who downloaded music for their mp3 players, and whatever CD's they had stayed in their CD players.

> You know why Windows 98 and above has AutoPlay? Because it wasn't simple enough for most of the public to just insert a media type device (CD/DVD/Flash type device) and just have the user manually start it.

Windows will also ask if you want to open an inserted mp3 device as a folder when you plug it in.

> Technically, streaming services has existed since 1995, when Real was selling their Helix servers, and started streaming media themselves sometime in 1997-1998ish.

Do you really want to emphasize who was first out with streaming? Hasn't your point all along been that Apple, while not inventing mp3 players, made it mainstream? ;P

> Spotify only works because the music industry couldn't do it themselves, and wanted other streams of revenue online other than Apple and Pandora

Spotify was a thing in my part of the world before Pandora. In fact it's only on the Internet that I've heard of people using Pandora.

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> Windows will also ask if you want to open an inserted mp3 device as a folder when you plug it in.

When Windows does that, it's running a service called Autoplay. What I'm saying, is that before Windows 98SE, users had to manually open up inserted media, and enough of them had problems with it, that Microsoft included Autoplay ever since with Windows.

> Do you really want to emphasize who was first out with streaming? Hasn't your point all along been that Apple, while not inventing mp3 players, made it mainstream? ;P

Streaming has nothing to do with mp3 players. Even today, Apple doesn't do streaming. It's only going to be on the new IOS 7 where that even starts to be an option. Mp3 players is basically a dead market. The point I was trying to make was that Spotify/Streaming is only becoming a viable solution because Internet speeds and 4g networks are fast enough to stream at high rates. Unless I'm missing something, nothing Spotify is doing is truly unique, other than perhaps working in far more places globally than any other type of service before.

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> Streaming has nothing to do with mp3 players.

No, but I was saying that mp3 players and Apple are analogous to streaming and Spotify; Apple didn't invent but helped make mp3 players popular, and Spotify didn't invent music streaming but helped make it popular.

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