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Buying music on Napster and other stores.

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
I'm considering purchasing an alternative MP3 player instead upgrading to a fifth generation iPod.
This is because Apple refuses to allow music purchased from other music stores to play on iPods, so I am forced to use iTunes and iTunes support regardless of how bad it gets. It is extremely bad business practice and unfair on both consumers and rival music shops.
Can anyone help as I would like to pay for a second time the music I lost - music that Apple will not let me redownload - from another music store and play them on my iPod. As far as I know the only solution is to burn to CD and then rip the CD.
I'm hardly going to buy a Mac, which I'm considering, if this is how customers are systematically treated.

The Best Answer

I can see why you are interested in Macs. I personally find that it is not hard to find software for OS X. There is actually a lot more than I thought when I first got my computer.
Windows versions of software will not run in OS X. (Example- If you have Office for Windows, you can't just put your cd in your mac and expect it to run, You will have to buy Office for Mac). Unfortuately. But:
You can buy windows emulators such as- (Basically win will show up as window on top of Mac)
Microsoft VirtualPC (which they have discontinued)
Parrallels Desktop for Mac
There are others too.
I don't use an emulator but Parallels is supposed to be the best (It uses virtualization, not emulation, which is not compatible with older mac such as G3s and maybe G4s), and its $79, of course you have to have a win install cd.
Then there is boot camp (which I use). It is a free apple program that partitions your hard drive and installs win from your cd. When you boot win just hold the option key at startup to choose os.
It is completely native so there is no OS X in the background when you boot win. It is just on its own. It requires a reboot to switch os.
It depends on what you are doing. I only use win for gaming (not many OS X games but there are some). I use boot camp because it is natively booting win. Games probably won't run in an emulator.
If you are using win programs though it is better to have an emulator as you can quickly open win in a window.
I would definetely recommend mac to you as it is nicer. As a website designer you can get Macromedia (owned by adobe) Dreamweaver for mac. Or even use iWeb apple's easy way to create a site.