Kindle and iTunes

Kindle and iTunes

I was browsing for an MP3 player last Sunday, but I couldn’t choose between the low quality offerings in the store, and the DRM enabled higher priced offerings of Sony and Apple. Of course, the bigger question with these ‘tied devices’ is the availability of songs to international markets.

Here in Taiwan, iPods are very popular, but is there an iTunes store? No. Can you buy on any other iTunes store? No. When is iTunes going to open? Who knows: Apple has made no announcement. In other words, we can’t legally buy music downloads here from any number of retailers for the same reasons… While this is a bearable situation, as long as there are CDs available… one day CDs sales will vanish… what then?

With iTunes not being available in a significant number of countries, and Kindle just starting out… the availability of books on Kindle will obviously be restricted. Throw in DRM, regional restrictions… and there you have Regionalization of the book market devices, meaning that if for any reason you don’t fit the profile, you won’t be able to buy a device, and even if you do, you can’t use the Kindle shop. With Kindle, it’s going to be much the same. Books will become region-coded. That is going to be really scary.

Let’s hope that Amazon don’t take such a ‘restricted’ world view of the Kindle, otherwise… the DRM and copyright notices will make books regional, too. I’m not hopeful given the use of Sprint’s Whisper network for distributing material.

While I don’t pirate music or books, I am a frustrated user who finds it difficult to get music or reading matter that I like legally. But will the American-centric publishers ever wake up to the market they are NOT serving?