I kind of feel underwhelmed with 256kbps AAC premium. I was really hoping for lossless downloads. While Apple is saying that this gives consumers more options (which it does) I’d rather have the choice to encode to any format I’d like from a lossless file.
At 256kbps, albums are already approaching 100 megs – why not go just a little further? A movie download costs the same and is 4 times the size a lossless album download would be. And sure, storage is getting bigger and cheaper, but that doesn’t change the amount of free space on my iPod. If they offered lossless downloads I’d probably burn that to CD and rip it to 128kbps AAC. I don’t want to transcode from 256kbps.
I’m not upset with them charging $1.29 a track as long as albums stay at $9.99 – which they will. Bleep does it this way too.
“Upgrading” tracks is awesome as long as it keeps all the library data like it does when re-ripping from a CD.
Anyone else notice that on the audio webcast that when asked why keep DRM on the 128kbps tracks, the answer had nothing to do with DRM and had everything to do with “choice”? While the $1.29 price could be seen as a way to promote album sales, I get the feeling that the extra 30¢ has more to do with a cassette tax approach then simply covering bandwidth, and the DRM on the 99¢ tracks has more to do with promoting the higher-quality tracks than the bitrate does.
Baby steps. Baby steps.