Apple taking business for granted?

I recently completed an 8 part series on how I buy music and audiobooks on iTunes Store (~95%) and amazonmp3 (~5%).  Using a common sense, fair use approach, I access and grow that collection on both my work WinXP and my home Kubuntu machines, using a Windows-formatted iPod as the sneakernet between the two.

The iPod I use to accomplish this is a 60GB iPod Photo, which (according to a wikipedia timeline) I must’ve purchased in late ’04 or early ’05.  I chanced upon this article yesterday which makes me question whether my approach will continue to work if I choose to buy a newer iPod.  If this is an intentional move by Apple, it certainly is a curious one.

What’s Apple “defending” against?  Is it choosing a different music store than iTunes Store?  They’ve got my business solidly locked in now, because I find their overall usability to be so good.  Is it choosing a different music player than iPod when I choose to upgrade?  This possibility seems ridiculous to me, because I spend far more money on music and audiobooks at iTunes Store than I’ll ever spend on music players.

(fun with analogy)  Me, circa 1982:  I beg my parents to take me to the BEST in C’ville.  No, not a cool looking BEST like these – ours looked more like this former BEST store:

ours was a more ho-hum BEST Products

ours was a more ho-hum BEST Products

I walk in the door, go left. No, not back left – this time, I’m not buying another Add A Bead for Mom.  Left, to the electronics section.  I talk to the guy behind the counter, and tell him I want to spend my lawn mowing money on a new Technics M222 dual cassette deck.  I fill out the form, magic happens, and my new M222 rolls out on the cool BEST conveyor belt behind the registers.

I take it home along with a box of blank Memorex (what with all that Casey Kasem that needs recording).  She’s a beauty, eh?

Technics dual deck

Technics dual deck

So now, allow me to change the story up a little bit.  What if I discovered that buying cassettes from Camelot was allowed…

weren't malls great?

ahhh... malls

…but that cassettes from the Columbia House club were right out (okay, maybe that would’ve been a good thing, but you get my point):

okay, I'm not *quite* that old, but close

I am not quite that old, but close

Thanks for indulging me on that little trip down memory lane.  My point is that Apple can try to force me to do something I’m already doing, in a way that makes no fair use common sense at all.  But in doing so, they’ll be risking all my business.

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