In talking about the new iTunes Music Store, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the
TIME Online Edition
that downloading through music subscription service Rhapsody “sucks.” He also said that Apple offers the “first real complete ecosystem of the digital music age.”
“Downloading sucks on their service,” Jobs exclaimed, when asked about iListen.com’s Rhapsody — seen as a competitor to the iTunes Music Store. Jobs knocked Rhapsody service because of limitations to what subscribers can do with downloaded tracks and the extra fees associated with downloading.
On the other hand, Jobs didn’t offer any predictions on how many people Apple will be able to lure away from unauthorized, file-swapping sites — perceived to be the biggest roadblock to the mainstream success of commercial music download services like Apple’s new venture.
Some early users of the iTunes Music Store have been disappointed that the 200,000 songs published so far have been major commercial releases. That’s about to change, however: Jobs said that independent music labels want to come aboard the iTunes Music Store and have “already been calling [Apple] like crazy.”
“We’ve had to put most of them off until after launch just because the big five have most of the music, and we only had so many hours in the day,” Jobs told TIME. “But now we’re really going to have time to focus on a lot of the independents and that will be really great.”
The Apple CEO doesn’t expect to see many other services similar to the iTunes Music Service springing up as the time and money investing in the infrastructure has been considerable. But the effort has been worth it, he feels, since the music industry sees “Apple as the most creative of the technical companies, a very artist-friendly company, very credible.”
“Clearly, we’ve been leading the revolution,” Jobs told TIME. “The personal computer is changing into this digital hub for a digital lifestyle, so we’ve been leading that change. Digital moviemaking, DVD burning, digital photography, and of course, digital music — we are in the forefront.”