iTunes 5, iPod Nano & audio-book pricing

Apple hosted a media event yesterday, here’s my usual opinionated commentary.

iTunes 5

iTunes 5 is now out – ditching the scrappy brushed-metal look in favour of the Apple Mail inspired ‘platinum’ look even on Windows. With luck we can expect the next major release of Mac OS X to take this theme across the board and finally kill off the aqua stripes and brushed metal. Let’s just hope they keep the older sane toolbars and not the Safari/Mail abominations.

Daring Fireball has an amusing commentary on the issue…

iPod nano

The rumors of Apple replacing it’s hard-disk based mini line with flash based models were indeed true. The new Nanos are MUCH slimmer with better battery life and color screens. You can have any color you like, as long as it’s black… or white.

Check out the Nanos insides

Audio-book pricing

iTunes now offer the Harry Potter audio-books. As you might expect they are still overpriced… here’s a quick summary of the pricing of each one, compared to the audio CD, book and DVD’s (at

  1. Philosopher’s Stone iTunes £17.95, CD £18.19, Book £4.79, DVD £9.97
  2. Chamber of Secrets iTunes £18.95, CD £18.19, Book £4.79, DVD £8.97
  3. Prisoner of Azkaban iTunes £21.95, CD £31.99, Book £4.79, DVD £8.97
  4. Goblet of Fire iTunes £40.95, CD £59.99, Book £5.59
  5. Order of the Phoenix iTunes £50.95, CD £52.50, Book £6.39
  6. Half-Blood Prince iTunes £44.95, CD £39.00, Book £8.99

Once again audio-book pricing is off the scale with the CD’s weighing in at £219.86. iTunes shaves 10% off this to get it just under £200 in exchange for all resale value, having a physical disk and the ability to rip/convert to any format you like. Doesn’t really seem worth the 10% saving to me.

By comparison the books will cost you just under £50, so audio-books cost 400% more! The cost of producing the CD’s seems to consist of a narrator, a recording studio and some editing – all one-off production costs. Selling more CD’s at a lower margin would seem to be the more sensible option.


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