Translation of PR Talk at Apple and EMI's Joint Media Event

Monday, 2007-04-02; 10:20:00

Regarding some of the comments made by Steve Jobs and EMI CEO Eric Nicoli at the media circus today... (MP3 download available here)

"Steve Jobs has been rightly hailed as a pioneer and a visionary whose courage and imagination have brought the digital music dream to reality. His obsession is to develop products and services that consumers really want to buy. His product ranges certainly live up to three principal tests of value for money, choice, and simplicity, and they have the added advantage of being absolutely beautiful. This is a man who takes aesthetics very seriously indeed, and he once said about a new product, 'We made the buttons on the screen look so good, you'll want to lick them.'" Eric Nicoli, 17'12".

Translation: "We're licking some other part of Steve Jobs right now because he's single-handedly saving our asses from the rage of consumers worldwide."

"Today, we offer more than five million songs on iTunes for 99 cents, uh, 99 euro-cents, or 79 pence." Steve Jobs, 18'50".

Translation: "Oh, crap, that's right, I'm not in the U.S., I'm in Europe, home to those asshats who were going to try to legislate us out of their countries. Better do a quick currency conversion in my head."

"They all have DRM, right? Digital rights management. And they're all encoded in 128 kbps AAC. Uh, iTunes has sold over 2.5 million [sic] songs to date, earning the music companies over a billion and a half dollars in revenues, which is highly profitable since there are no manufacturing costs, no product returns, no marketing fees, no other costs like those associated with distributing physical CDs." Steve Jobs, 18'59".

Translation: "That's a billion and a half dollars all thanks to us. Well, more precisely, me. Oh, wait; let's not forget the dollar or two those asshats at BuyMusic chipped in. And how about that Zune Marketplace hoozywatzit? How're they doing? Have they contributed a dollar yet? What's the company that runs that place again?"

"To take things to the next level, we need to address two issues. The first is interoperability. Although most users have never bumped up against the DRM, the music they have bought from iTunes will not play on portable music players other than iPods unless they burn it onto a CD and read that CD back into the computer, so it is interoperable, but it's a little bit of a hassle." Steve Jobs, 19'34".

Translation: "Hey, all you frigtards in Norway complaining about DRM: it takes two seconds to circumvent it. What the hell is your deal? Give me a friggin' break!"

"The second issue for some users is audio quality. While the current 128 kbps AAC encoding is the best audio quality is the best offered by any mainstream digital music store, audiophiles can still tell the difference between it and the original source material. As portable music players have increased their storage while at the same time coming down in price, it is time to reconsider delivering even higher audio quality than is currently available. We are going to address both of these issues by addressing new versions of our songs and albums that will be sold alongside our existing versions. The new versions will be DRM-free, so that they are completely interoperable, and they will be encoded in 256 kbps AAC, for audio quality that is virtually indistinguishable from the original source material." Steve Jobs, 20'04".

Translation: "Frigtard audiophiles. Are they still friggin' complaining that they can hear the difference? Well, fine, let's do an experiment. We'll sell you the exact same tracks that are 'encoded' at '256 kbps', and you'll say that they sound so much better. Except they won't, because we'll be selling you the exact same shit, because you guys are friggin' lying that you can tell the difference. Oh, and I hope no one goes back into our PR archive to see where we said that the 'industry-standard AAC audio format at 128 kilobits per second' ... '[rivals] CD-quality sound'."

"Some doubted Apple's sincerity when we proposed this solution to the interoperability problem earlier this year, saying that as the number one digital music store and the number one maker of digital music players, we had too much to lose by breaking the proprietary bond between the iTunes Music Store and iPod music players. Hopefully, by our actions here today and in the coming months, they will conclude that we are continuing to do exactly what has earned us these number one positions: doing the right thing for the customer." Steve Jobs, 23'24".

Translation: "Cory Dr. Cow, we fart in your general direction."

"Well, you know, our point of view has been that, um, we're not offering anything that customers here today, that they can't get on every CD that's shipped." Steve Jobs, 29'12".

Translation: "Let me reiterate. The record companies have been hiding behind a curtain of DRM and propaganda saying that pirating has caused them a loss in sales and revenues. They tried to put DRM on CDs, and consumers handed their asses back to them on a silver platter. We're here, I'm here to save their asses. Again."

"Well, we've always argued that the best way to combat illegal traffic is to make legal content available, um, at decent value and conveniently. And we take the view that we have to trust consumers. The fact that some consumers will continue to disappoint us and choose to steal the music is inevitable. So, this doesn't in any way diminish our commitment to fighting piracy in all its forms, and we will continue to do that. At the same time, we think that the key is to give consumers a compelling experience, the best possible digital music experience, to trust them, to educate them, because many are not quite sure what's legal and what's not legal, and uh, we think that we'll grow sales rather than diminish them." Eric Nicoli, 30'17".

Translation: "Bahaha, now I'm just lying out of my ass here. We never thought any of this crap. Oh, and by the way, we're still going to sue your ass based on pretty shaky evidence that you actually pirated music."

"Number two, again, I have to say that what we're providing, what we're announcing here today is providing the consumer, uh, nothing more than they get off every CD they buy. Because no CDs ship with DRM. Right? Somebody tried that, didn't work out so well." Steve Jobs, 32'27".

Translation: "I'm with stupid. No, really, I am. See this guy sitting next to me? Eric Zamboni? Nicoli, sorry. Yeah, he's the guy that tried it out. So... yeah. Can you say, 'awwwkward'?"

"You know, I'd rather not go into any of that, uh, but there's always leaders and there's always followers, and different people choose where they want to be." Steve Jobs, 33'26".

Translation: "Oh, whoops, I meant to say 'leader'. Singular. No, not that stupid cellular brand that we're hooking up with to sell the iPhone. Singular. As in opposite of plural. As in there is only one leader. As in Apple. We had to friggin' drag Eric Zamboni to this media event kicking and screaming."

"You know, video, I knew I'd get that question today. Video's pretty different than music right now, because the music industry does not distribute ninety percent of their content DRM-free. Never has. So I think they're in a pretty different situation and I wouldn't hold the two in parallel at all." Steve Jobs, 34'13".

Translation: "Fucking Cory Dr. Cow. Why the hell are you always up our ass about being the biggest promoter of DRM when the whole friggin' video industry DRMs their content. Fuck! Seriously! Why don't you go do something worthwhile and get up their asses for a change, so that when we finally go and shake up their industry by removing DRM from our video downloads, you can claim that you helped in getting us there and maybe you won't actually be full of shit."

"We've always known Steve's views on the subject, long before his open letter. It was driven by the fact that we have the consumer at the center of our strategy. We're interested in providing consumers with the best possible experience. It's clear from our research and from all the feedback that we're getting as digital music has been growing that many consumers find it frustrating that they don't have interoperability. It's also clear that some care about sound quality. And so by combining these two in the premium downloads, we think it's a very positive step." Eric Nicoli, 35'01".

Translation: "We didn't really want to go DRM free. But if it gets an extra 30 cents of your money per track, we're so there!"

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