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Apple’s Self-Defeating Behavior: The iPhone Music Player -- An “iPod Killer”  
Apple iPod
Apple iPod
As of this writing, the iPod business was a one million units operation, and a very profitable proposition for Apple. So why would Apple create a killer application for the iPod? The answer lay in the economy of scale. There were one billion mobile phones sold last year around the world. So there is no compromise for Apple -- if they didn’t invent a phone that knocks the iPod from its throne, then somebody else would have done it first.

The Music Player is one of the major selling points for the iPhone. You can think of the iPhone music player as a built-in iPod, because the player has the same functionalities as the iPod -- such as scroll capability through songs, artists, musical albums, and play lists. The iPhone’s larger screen allows for better viewing of album details.

The iPhone Music player is a hard-drive based player (or Digital Jukebox, as it is also called). The main difference from other types of players is that it works from the internal built-in hard drive versus flash memory. This allows the internal memory to have a larger capacity. Hard drives on most music players are usually from 1 GB to 200 GB. The iPhone was released with built-in hardware, and a Digital Jukebox with a hard drive capacity of 40 GB or 80 GB. As a result, one’s entire music collection can be stored on one very portable, very talented device.

There are several audio file formats that the iPhone supports. Another name for file format is codec. There are several known codices that you can play on the iPhone

  • AAC - Advanced Audio Coding with .m4a file format. Range from 16 to 320 Kbps
  • Protected AAC (from iTunes store) - Advanced Audio Coding with DRM and .m4p file format.
  • MP3 - MPEG Audio Layer 3 with .mp3 file format. Range from16 to 320 Kbps.
  • MP3 VBR - MPEG Audio Layer 3 using Variable Bit Rates with .mp3 file format.
  • Audible 2, 3 and 4 – used for audio books with .aa file format.
  • Apple Lossless - Advanced Audio Coding on steroids with .m4a file format.
  • WAV – CD style Wave format with .wav file extension.
  • AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format with .aiff file format.
All of the above formats can be played on the iPhone, but in many cases music files have to Ripped from CDs or other media and converted for playing. The official iTunes store sells files in the Advanced Audio Coding in the .m4a file format.
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