It has been an interesting week for Apple, first up we had Bon Iver describing ‘Apple Music’ as a “Literally horrid platform” and then going on to suggest that “they let the commercialization of Apple Music get in the way of making a product easy, simple, and beautiful to use”. Since then Spotify have further tarnished Apple’s supposedly clean white image accusing them of unfairly blocking an upgrade to their Spotify app. Apple are suggesting the upgrade doesn’t meet their stipulated ‘business model rules’ where as Spotify are suggesting its simply a shallow attempt to block a leading music streaming competitor. Presently it is believed that Spotify have 30 million subscribers to Apple’s 15 million [Source Bloomberg Technology]

Naturally Spotify and other music subscription services are calling for some sort of legislative directive that prevents this type of scenario, and its not as though precedent has not been set in this type of dispute. Take for example the lawsuit bought against Microsoft in the late 90’s and the alleged unlawful monopoly concerning the distribution of its Web browser ‘Internet Explorer’, which at the time was bundled in with its Windows package. By bundling ‘Internet Explorer’ with their then globally dominating operating system Microsoft had a hugely unfair advantage over its main competitors, one of which was of course Apple.¬†Ultimately the verdict went against Microsoft and the net result is their monopoly was broken and we now have Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, all of which demonstrate why technology companies are so keen, like Apple with Spotify’s new app, to dictate the rules of engagement as apposed to allowing a free market. However considering the case we sited above its unlikely Apple will ultimately be able to maintain such a position indefinitely…

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On the positive side of things Apple have recently secured the patent for a infrared based technology that could prevent people filming gigs or feature films with their smart phones. Such a development is likely to be equally welcomed by fans and artists alike. As the Guardian piece reports, the increasing use of smart phones to record gigs has resulted in bands having difficulty airing new songs without them subsequently appearing on YouTube, whilst fans have voiced their displeasure at the sea of iPhone screens between themselves and the band. Furthermore this technology advancement could be a welcome development considering the ongoing dispute between musicians and labels over YouTubes handling of unauthorised content uploads.

It will be interesting to see over the coming months/years how these two scenarios shake out…