Apple’s New Mini Store Has Some Consumers Scared 
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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Thursday, 19 January 2006

Despite claims by Apple to the contrary right on the front page of your latest version iTunes (4.7.1 for Mac users), some music enthusiasts are all of a sudden scared to death about an exciting new feature of Apple’s iTunes software. Named Mini Store, iTunes software can read your library of songs and suggest similar songs, albums and genres of music and lead you right to where you can sample it and buy. It is a logical extension of the iTunes service that runs as an “Apple-like” sexy front end for over 47,000,000 iPod users. It takes one element of what Amazon does so well by suggesting music based on your past purchases and searches and applies it directly to your collection of music.

But some iTunes users are scared that big brother is watching or in this case listening and in some ways they are. To date there are still millions of people that have or even continue to download sites from peer-to-peer sites. They know it is or was wrong but are fearful of being sued for something that is stored on your private hard drive. With the posted disclaimer on the iTunes software it is unlikely that a multi-billion dollar Apple Computer wants to get into the suing its customers but the RIAA and its multi-billion dollar record label clients may want to try to put the squeeze on Apple to get access to your music collection and where it came from. And with their track record of “Jon Doe” lawsuits perhaps these music and technology savvy iTunes customers are on to something?

In the end, Apple with iTunes and its cooler-than-all-the-other-MP3-players iPod has created leverage with the major labels that fears of law suits are likely nothing short of paranoia. Because of the fact that the major record labels have been nothing short of lazy in the way they market music – leaning on MTV and terrestrial radio for decades – they now have reverted back to the days of selling singles which has created market dominance for a computer company to dictate how things are going to be with music sold through iTunes. Simply put, Apple is too important to the labels to mess with them.

If you are concerned by the idea of Mini Store, it can be turned off under the Edit field or by hitting shift + APPLE and “M”.

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