Questions about music players and downloading

I’m wondering out of curiousity (and for potential consumer research) about how the relationship between the mp3 players (like the ipod) and music downloading services. I’m totally ignorant here, so please don’t laugh too much.

Do the services (like itunes and Napster) use proprietary formats for the files that will allow them only to play using certain players or certain software? Can the players only play music downloaded from a service, or will it be able to play the mp3s that I’ve already had for years? If I got a certain player, would I have to select a particular service?

Anyway, please don’t laugh - I’m so behind the times. :smiley:

Maybe I’m wrong here, but I think an ipod can use any kind of mp3, whether they’re from itunes or downloaded elsewhere. I think anybody else can probably answer this better, but it’s a guess anyways :smiley:

MP3 players don’t care where you get your songs from. Those that only taken authorized MP3s are usually discontinued very quickly.

I’ve heard that iTunes doesn’t like non-iPod mp3 players, though.

That’s because iTunes uses proprietary software to allow you to burn stuff.
Other online music stores, like, just download WMA files for you.

Many models of iPods only allow “authorized MP3s,” meaning those downloaded from commercial websites. They’ll play most of the ones you find on WinMX or whatever file sharing system you use, but not all. Working at a retail electronics store, I can’t tell you how many iPods we’ve gotten back because they won’t play a bunch of Kazaa’d mp3s… -_-

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It’s ruled legal in Norway. XD

Okay, another ignorant question - how do these things know?