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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:05 am 
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Apple has long time been playing its own illegal antitrust case defying rules of locking consumers of the ipods in with their proprietary itunes software. This has created for Apple a situation of monopolistic control over hardware and the use of ÔÇ£legalÔÇØ music sales on digital music playing devices. Because of the illegal itunes/ipod/iphone lock-down, Apple has a 72% market share in mp3 players and has been able to sell millions of iphones.

Palm is the first company in the consumer electronics industry to stand up to this despicable business practice and so Palm has engineered their new Palm Pre smartphone to be recognized by the itunes software as a regular ipod. And thus allow for synchronization of all contents from itunes that are not using AppleÔÇÖs proprietary copy-protection. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/techn ... ss&emc=rss

I find that to be a courageous and significant first step from a competitor of Apple in the mp3 players market to stand up for their rights of fair competition in the free market economy. Apple cannot lock itunes consumers into having to buy Apple products forever just because they purchased or synchronized a few songs through AppleÔÇÖs multimedia content synchronization software.

As the webmaster of ArchosFans.com I am strongly suggesting that Archos should do everything to add the same functionality as Palm has done on all future Archos devices, to make them all look like ipods when detected by the itunes software. If not for else, it would be a strong message from Archos that they too are now sick of AppleÔÇÖs monopolistic practices. That it is simply not fair and illegal under EU antitrust regulation, for a company to lock consumers in for life under a proprietary software/hardware ecosystem. That interoperability is not only good for consumers, it is the basic principle that all software and hardware platforms should abide by.

If I was able to advise ArchosÔÇÖs press releases team, I would recommend them to immediately issue an official statement from Archos saying that they support PalmÔÇÖs case to the USB consortium and that Archos will stand by Palm in any eventual antitrust lawsuit if they wish to pursue such against Apple. Archos should not be afraid to use strong language to describe the actual situation that Apple has put Archos and the rest of the Mp3 player competition in.

I posted this at http://archosfans.com/2009/08/05/archos ... m-does-it/


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:15 am 
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Apple should, in the strongest terms, insist that Archos unlock hard drives on Archos equipment. It should be illegal to lock drives forcing consumers to toss out their irreparable devices that Archos refuses to repair. Apple courageously allows their drives to be replaced by the consumer at will. In a fair market system Archos should compete like Apple and not lock consumers to drives that no longer work. I would recommend that Apple, Cowon, and iRiver immediately pursue Archos and free the consumers who are sick of Archos' hard drive practices.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:52 am 
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Making a hard drive replacement system that stays within the warranty of the product is basically impossible. Archos probably doesn't want third party sites to sell cheaper Archos 5 (500GB) without their permission. And hacking the hard drive may be one way to hack the Archos OS I dunno. Archos may perfectly well make their device unhackable in my opinion, as long as they always provide the most cost effective largest hard drive capacities at fair prices. For example Archos 5 Android (500GB) with unlocked HSDPA, Bluetooth, Augmented Reality detectors (compass, GPS, tilt), all plugins pre-installed at less than $399 MSRP sounds fair, and whichever largest capacity cost effective 1.8" hard drive for less than $299 sounds fair as well.

Perhaps well yeah, perhaps Archos should sell spare parts for do it yourself kind of people, like sell replacement hard drives, batteries, LCDs and well, just make their device have a very secure warranty detection system so any unofficial opening of the device cancels the warranty in a way that is infallible for Archos to eventually detect later. Like a totally reliable electronic seal or something. Then well, people can just do what they want, and perhaps Archos can perhaps get competitors to their own repair and RMA department.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:32 pm 
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Yes, this at least would give the consumer a reasonable chance to repair a Archos unit that is out of warranty and Archos chooses to no longer repair it. Other companies allow for this, Archos should be no different. If the customer decides to invalidate their warranty, that's the customer's business and they assume all the risk.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:25 am 
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Even though I don't use itunes and I'm not anywhere near being an Archos "expert" I still wholeheartedly agree with all of the statements made on this topic so far. Yes it WOULD be nice if Archos took a stand and showed support for Palm. Unfortunately I don't see it happening since people like myself are feeling more and more abandoned by any kind of helpful or useful support from Archos. But let's keep hoping :)
By the way, I've been using my Archos more and more lately and I guess I'm one of the few fortunate ones who hasn't had any major problems with my Archos 5 yet. The worst I've experienced is the device locking up and just having to restart it. Other than that, only one video file I've tried hasn't played but it was because of some audio codec or something it used, which I'm sure I can just convert the video to a different format that will work. Fingers crossed!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:55 am 
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Two sides to this, no I don't think devices should be allowed to 'hack' anyone elses software or hardware.

That said I agree given Apple's dominate market position and monopoly over online distributed music they should be compelled to allow other devices to legally connect to iTunes for the purposes of downloading music and movies. Apple is not losing anything in this arrangement as customers of other device manufacturers will in effect be buying music from them. So this really comes down to anti-competitive practices in the hardware market to stifle Apple's competition which is going to need to be regulated.

I'm generally against DRM and hardware locking in general and Apple is FAR from the only company doing this. Archos is actually as bad if not worse on the hardware locking. I think any company that Apple is forced to allow to connect to iTunes should be compelled to agree to open up their software up as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:36 pm 
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If Apple "was not losing anything with this arrangement" they would have done this since the beginning. The fact is Apple's business model turns all around it's illegal anticompetitive practices.

1. Main reason Apple can sell so many ipods is because of the itunes lock-in on "legal" music consumers that have to sign with their blood to use apple products forever in the future.

2. Main reason Apple can sell so many iphones is because they have exclusive distribution agreements with the biggest carriers, they lock more than 90% of iphone consumers into buying Apple's iphone forever in the future with their blood as well. (no Google Voice number portability tolerated)

3. Main reason Apple can sell so many high end notebooks, is because Apple has the sole monopoly on selling hardware that can run their proprietary OS and a bunch of professional grade applications are available mostly only on their platform.

Fact is Apple doesn't want to loose their monopolies on these product segments and it should be Archos and Palm's priority to totally disrupt and destroy Apple's market domination through monopolistic behavior. Disrupting Apple's monopoly can be done by putting public attention and public pressure on the matter. Archos has to demand the unlocking of the ipod/itunes/iphone monopoly, force Apple to authorise VOIP applications on the app store, and force Apple to authorize reasonably priced Hackintosh licencing to third party hardware providers.

Archos just has to state the obvious and protect its own interests and opportunities on the market, and consumers will back them up. The global hatred against Apple is intensifying, now is the moment for Archos to give Apple the final knock-out blow, disrupt their monopolies.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Charbax wrote:
If Apple "was not losing anything with this arrangement" they would have done this since the beginning. The fact is Apple's business model turns all around it's illegal anticompetitive practices.


I'm stating Apple is not incurring any direct loss of revenue from allowing other devices to connect to iTunes. You can make a case for an indirect loss of revenue from the hardware but that would not be a sufficent arguement for locking out other hardware at an anti-competitive practices investigation.

Charbax wrote:
1. Main reason Apple can sell so many ipods is because of the itunes lock-in on "legal" music consumers that have to sign with their blood to use apple products forever in the future.


This would be addressed if Apple allowed any device to connect to iTunes legally.

Charbax wrote:
2. Main reason Apple can sell so many iphones is because they have exclusive distribution agreements with the biggest carriers, they lock more than 90% of iphone consumers into buying Apple's iphone forever in the future with their blood as well. (no Google Voice number portability tolerated)


As far as I'm aware theres no unusual lock-in for the iPhone in Canada beyond the origional contract. All cell phone hardware is carrier locked to start with in Canada and multiyear contracts are pretty much the norm.

Charbax wrote:
3. Main reason Apple can sell so many high end notebooks, is because Apple has the sole monopoly on selling hardware that can run their proprietary OS and a bunch of professional grade applications are available mostly only on their platform.


This is perfectly legal. Probably stupid and why Microsoft over took Apple in the OS market, but completely legal.

Charbax wrote:
Fact is Apple doesn't want to loose their monopolies on these product segments and it should be Archos and Palm's priority to totally disrupt and destroy Apple's market domination through monopolistic behavior. Disrupting Apple's monopoly can be done by putting public attention and public pressure on the matter. Archos has to demand the unlocking of the ipod/itunes/iphone monopoly, force Apple to authorise VOIP applications on the app store, and force Apple to authorize reasonably priced Hackintosh licencing to third party hardware providers.


I generally define a monopoly as having more then 80% of the total market share of a segment. Right now the only market segment Apple has that kind of lead in would be digital music distribution (iTunes). They definately do no have the monopoly in the OS or laptop market. Their market share in the smartphone market is definately not hit monopoly status either. MP3 players probably are close to a monopoly but I don't think its gone quite that far yet, theres still a lot of competition in that segment.

Charbax wrote:
Archos just has to state the obvious and protect its own interests and opportunities on the market, and consumers will back them up. The global hatred against Apple is intensifying, now is the moment for Archos to give Apple the final knock-out blow, disrupt their monopolies.


Microsoft or Sony maybe, but how exactly is Archos going to do this? Archos is tiny compared to Apple, hell Archos is tiny compared to most of the big industry players. They wouldn't have the resources to even develop products across half the line Apple covers. While theres definately an anti-apple movement out there I don't get the impression its rallying behind Archos. My own personal experience with Archos has been unpleasent to say the least.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:31 pm 
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One can install Rockbox on most generations of earlier iPods (5.5G and earlier) and get away from iTunes.

The Rockbox team is making some progress on cracking the Apple encryption on the current iPod Classic so Rockbox on that platform *may* become a reality also.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Actually, Apple isn't blocking access of any device or application to the iTunes Library or Music bought on iTunes Store (at least those bought after January 6th, when Apple removed DRM for all songs in the Store - but already bought songs needs to be "upgaded")

First, because it's all in the disk. Drag&Drop can be used with a lot of devices, including Palm Pre.
Secondly, there is a Apple-supported XML File on iTunes just to provide library access to 3rd party apps. That's what RIM and Nokia use to sync their phones with iTunes. You don't need to pretend that your device is an iPod and don't need to leave iTunes.

So, iTunes users aren't locked in if they bought DRM-free music or ripped their CDs using iTunes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:23 pm 
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I don't have anything to do with that iTunes store crap. All my music is ripped from CDs. No DRM. If the entire iTunes/Apple/compressed music model goes down the toilet I can still load my CDs on a Sony CD player and listen on.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:14 am 
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I really dislike apple-s behaviour right now, but Itunes is not my problem. If you have an Iphone/Ipod you have to use itunes, but you can import YOUR to it. You don't have to buy your music from their store. Of course in the past lot of people bought drm-ed music, but when they bought it they should have known what they are doing. All your music in itunes can be accessed from your file browser and used wherever, except drm-ed files. So this whole fight is just marketing to get into the news. People that are sane and are not blurred by the shyniness of the iphone realize that there are other sources to get legal music from the net, there are other solutions to organize your music. I am really glad that finally in the tech world some big names stand up against apple and what they are doing with the iphone, because it is not funny anymore.
Rather than rioting against apple Archos and Palm and other manufacturers should partner up with open music players, eg, songbird and music stores, eg. amazon. And start a cross platform music experience.
The music you like on the device you like.

Seriously, forget itunes, everyone! It'll make your life so much easier.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Archos just has to state the obvious and protect its own interests and opportunities on the market, and consumers will back them up.


This is the funny statement I ever heard!!! Archos' customers won't bakc them up, all they have done is $hit on us. Why would we help them.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:49 am 
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iTunes blows, give me drag and drop ANYDAY!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Ha ha, why would anyone want to use itunes if they don't have to? Probably the only reason that I maintain some hope for Archos' next product is that they've retained the drag and drop capability. With my luck, they'll finally release something I like, but it'll require special "syncing" software. They already got rid of the video out through the headphone jack, which was huge, IMO.

Also, "like Palm does it"... :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Of course drag and drop mode stays. "Windows Device" mode should just as well hack itunes to synch with that if users wants to use itunes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:16 pm 
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I wish that the new Archos device played friendly with MediaMonkey. M.M. is a great piece of software; zillions times better than iTunes in my opinion. I just remember the 5 being able to sync with M.M. but the process would only start about 8 or so minutes after you plugged your Archos to your computer. The program has no such issues with any of the Apple products (ie. iPhone, iTouch, iPod Classic, etc.)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:21 am 
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That's why I went with Sync Toy 2.0. I got sick of staring at the Media Monkey screen for eight minutes waiting for something to happen.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:30 pm 
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The only reason I tolerated MediaMonkey is because it also transferred playlists'. With over 10,000 songs having most of my them in different play lists' it helped me organize.

No denying Sync Toy's superb-ness. I just used it last night to back up my external drive; awesome piece of software.


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