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Cingular's Free Music

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the beer-with-a-subscription-fee dept.

86

PreacherTom writes "Music on one's mobile phone is nothing surprising: in fact, it is the entire principle of the upcoming iPhone. Downloading it for free is a different matter; both Verizon and Sprint's service directs to a proprietary store and charges up to $2.50 per song. Cingular plans on taking another route, having announced that they are gearing up to offer free music downloads to compatible phones. They hope to make up the difference through fees from the music subscription services for each new reference. The catch: a $15 per month fee."

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Yippity fucking doo. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703285)

It's free as long as you pay $180 per year. Sorry if I'm overly excited.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703413)

If I read TFA correctly, you pay for your music from Yahoo or Rhapsody, and Cingular doesn't charge you for your download. The $15/month, then, is a flat rate for the transmission service, not for the content.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703549)

So would that then mean that you not only have to pay the $15/mo for the "transmission" of it... but then also purchase the actual song from one of said stores? So isn't that TWICE as not-free as it's stated?

And no, I didn't RTFA... just going by these replies.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

technos (73414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704077)

Think about it this way.

For $15 a month you can transfer all the music you like to your phone.

Or:

For $50 a month you can transfer all the data, including music, to your phone.

It's a hell of a good deal if all you're doing is snagging music with your data plan.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

cibyr (898667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16710373)

Or: (in a less fucked-up system) you can pay nothing and use bluetooth or a USB cable from your computer!

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704957)

From the article:

Cingular will allow people to download music to compatible phones for free, although consumers will pay a monthly charge in the range of $15 for the ability to download songs from those services to a portable music player.

My reading of this is that they'll let you download the music to your phone for free, but to download to any other kind of device you'll have to pay $15/month.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16709269)

Good job sifting the chocolate from the dog shit. You might be right.

So will it be free to download as many songs as you like? If so, it may become worthwhile to buy the phone and service just to use as an audio player.

Re:Yippity fucking doo. (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705629)

Also annouced is a program where Cincular offers free housing for all of it's subscribers. After signing up, all I have to do is pay my rent each month and Cingular allows me to live there free of charge.

"free" (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703293)

"Free" for the low low cost of $15 a month......doesn't sound very free to me

Re:"free" (2, Funny)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703331)

My thoughts exactly...

It's NOT free... as in beer

Perhaps they meant open source (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703533)

You know, free as in beer [bbc.co.uk] ?


(No, I don't really believe that's what they meant.)

Re:Perhaps they meant open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16722625)

no, free as in haha, it's amazing how much money you can squeeze out of people when you put them on a regular billing schedule and yoink the money off their credit card or checking account without them having to sign off on anything every month.

Re:"free" (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703641)

It's free as in.... not ripping off the customer for the moment. They're charging customers once instead of twice. That's as close are you're going to get to free in the cell phone business. You can't extract money from a market that doesn't exist. Instead you lower the price to get people hooked and then drive up costs. It was exactly the same thing with downloadable ringtones and SMS messaging.

FTA: "Right now, we're focused on getting people to view mobile music as something that's interesting and exciting. You've got to build a base. Once you do that, there are all sorts of ways to drive revenue from it," says Jim Ryan, vice-president of consumer data services at Cingular.

Re:"free" (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704755)

Still not FREE. Maybe AFFORDABLE or even a REALLY GOOD DEAL. However, it is certainly not FREE, so they should not use that word, IMNSHO. I LIKE CAPS, OMGWTFBBQ.

Re:"free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16705783)

I would be perfectly happy to pay a $15 a month fee for unlimited beer. Wouldn't you?

Re:"free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16706837)

Most certainly, 'tis a *great* price. However, still not FREE.

-- revlayle (splitting hairs since 1971)

hmmm, (1, Redundant)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703311)

Call me a purist but a $15/month isn't "free" - no matter how you try and spin it, free is $0 a month, forever...

Re:hmmm, (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703963)

For those who rtfa (yeah yeah, i'm new here), you would note that downloading music to your phone is indeed free. Getting it from your phone to a portable music player is not. The summary is misleading.

"Cingular will allow people to download music to compatible phones for free, although consumers will pay a monthly charge in the range of $15 for the ability to download songs from those services to a portable music player. "Right now, we're focused on getting people to view mobile music as something that's interesting and exciting. You've got to build a base. Once you do that, there are all sorts of ways to drive revenue from it," says Jim Ryan, vice-president of consumer data services at Cingular."

In other words, they will support their phones for free, but if you want to download to, say, your nomad or ipod, you will have to pay a fee.

so it's not free then? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703355)

so actually it's not free, it's fifteen bucks a month.

last time i checked, "free" meant "no bucks a month".

Re:so it's not free then? (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705571)

the news is that they won't charge you access the services you are paying for. Before it was $15/month plus they charge an access fee , now FREE ACCESS. They also announced a program that will allow me to stay in my apartment for free, how a phone company can pull this off is beyond me but the savings are hard to argue with. All I have to do is pay my rent each month and Cingular will allow me stay in my apartment for FREE!

Re:so it's not free then? (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 7 years ago | (#16738931)

Actually, since I am not a Cingular customer, it is not free nor $15 a month. It is $15 + the cost of service + taxes a month.

So in my case, to get this "free" service, I must pay around $50 a month.

Kind of like these advertisements going around saying stay with radio because it is free. It is not free. I paid for the radio, and as a consumer I indirectly paid for the advertising that funds the radio programming by purchasing goods advertised.

I am much happier paying $20/mo for two XM subscriptions and listening to the stations that are commercial free. I refuse to listen to nothing but commercials on my 30 minute commute to work.

Meh. (1)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703369)

Last I heard it works in conjunction with Napster (so if you have Napster it works while mobile). So, it took the "mobile music library" idea Zone would ahve had and went with it. Golf clap where it's due. But phones have, at most, 2 Gigs of storage space (on external cards). So this really isn't effective for the mass music lovers with gigs of music. A nice little feature for anyone that uses Cingular and Napster. That being said, I wished they focused more on what counts: phone service. I CAN PLAY DRM'D MP3'S BUT YOU WON'T GIVE ME MY 3G NETWORK!?

Re:Meh. (1)

bsgk (792550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703513)

That being said, I wished they focused more on what counts: phone service. I CAN PLAY DRM'D MP3'S BUT YOU WON'T GIVE ME MY 3G NETWORK!?

Wah, wah. They do focus on what counts - shareholder value. Their management apparently believes they can make a higher margin / total profit on charging for media services than providing a great 3G network

Fact is, you need to be willing to pay a lot more for 3G than you are. If you (as in all customers) were willing to pay more and increase the margin they project for that service, you could shift their focus to 3Q services instead of music services, because it's all about the bottom line.

"Free" (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703375)

Write to me now for FREE information on how you can make money by sitting on your ass! Send me $10 and I'll tell you how...

they didn't say what they meant by free (3, Insightful)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703409)

Not Free as in Freedom
Not Free as in Beer
Free as in '$15 a month'

Re:they didn't say what they meant by free (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703995)

Free as in Lunch?

Re:they didn't say what they meant by free (2, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704099)

You keep using that word. But I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:they didn't say what they meant by free (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16709729)

No kidding, talk about an extremely misleading Slashdot story title. Should be "Cingular's $15/mo Music". The only difference between Cingular's overpriced monthly music service and that of other providers monthly music service is the pricing structure.

Out of curiosity, can anybody please explain why for the love of god cell phone data transfers and media services are so damn expensive? It seems a bit strange to me that I can get a ridiculous amount of transferring my voice over the air for free, yet it costs a fortune to send a text message.

Re:they didn't say what they meant by free (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16710303)

If you look at their pricing for some of their extra services, I think you'll find that they currently charge $20/month for unlimited information service. Normally you're paying $.01 per Kb. So downloading a song would effectively screw your wallet. From what I understand they're going to lower the price for unlimited info service to 15/mo and allow free music downloads to your phone. Most likely you won't be able to pull the song off the phone, but, hey, that's a start.

Better than 20/mo + $2/song or something like that, I guess.

This is for the technologically inept (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703447)

Or, in my case, cheap. My phone has bluetooth. As such, I can just transfer mp3s from my computer to my phone via bluetooth. Although the question arises: why would I do such a thing when the audio output just plane sucks on a phone (my phone at least)?

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703997)

Although the question arises: why would I do such a thing when the audio output just plane sucks on a phone (my phone at least)?

Two words: Headphones. And plain.

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704221)

One word: plane

Unless, of course, you are referring to something like the Great Plains. :D

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704495)

Maybe Boeing would say that Airbus's A380 just plane sucks.

Or "plane sucks" is an in-flight vacuum cleaner.

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16708447)

Plain [reference.com]

Plane [reference.com]

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704479)



Although the question arises: why would I do such a thing when the audio output just plane sucks on a phone (my phone at least)?


Two words: Headphones. And plain.


Actually, phones aren't portable music players by default, so their audio DACs are probably quite inferior compared to a portable player. A phone can't afford nice DACs and nice amps to complement them because they take space on the board, cost too much, and take too much power. Especially considering all the audio switching that goes on in a phone. (A phone's power budget is quite low - milliamp range - in order for it last a decent amount of time)

A portable player designed for listening would have higher priority on audio quality than a phone (plus there's more money to invest in better parts), especially since most aren't heavily subsidized and have extra cost pressures of adding a cell module and all that stuff.

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

Kankraka (936176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704371)

I don't think you've found a loophole there, I'm sure Cingular has thought of this. I know my service provider (Rogers Wireless) locks all MIDI and MP3's downloaded to remain on the phone. However, I'm willing to bet a card reader would do the trick.

Re:This is for the technologically inept (1)

the_lesser_gatsby (449262) | more than 7 years ago | (#16706911)

It wouldn't help. Your downloads probably use OMA1 Forward Lock DRM, where the the file is tied to the handset (by asking the handset nicely). This is achieved mainly by encrypting the file with a 'hidden' key tied to the handset or by restricting copies from the internal storage.

Please. Do it properly (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703461)

This is obviously some new definition of the word free with which I have been previously unfamiliar.

Re:Please. Do it properly - You too. (1)

Surye (580125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703611)

Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'free' that I wasn't previously aware of.

Re:Please. Do it properly - You too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703675)

Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'free' that I wasn't previously aware of.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Please. Do it properly (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705497)

This just in, talking on the phone is free if you have the $60/month voice plan. And wireless internet is free if you sign up for the 40/month data plan. All said and done you can have access to music and internet and voice services for free if you pay the $150/month.

Summary is horrible RTFA (1)

egorss78 (520386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703565)

Cingular will allow people to download music to compatible phones for free, although consumers will pay a monthly charge in the range of $15 for the ability to download songs from those services to a portable music player.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16703961)

I didn't read the article but it sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

How original (1)

carambola5 (456983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703605)

Wow. Never have I seen that pricing scheme before. Especially not at Napster.

Speaking of Napster... how are they getting along?

Re:How original (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704731)

Speaking of Napster... how are they getting along?

I thought I read rumors of them shutting down yet another time, but they were probably unfounded. They are still alive, but I wonder if they are viable. I would have tried their service but I had technological issues, wrong OS (XP only) and they had trouble with my ISP.

Where is the line... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703617)

...that defines "too much damn hassle and expense to listen to a couple songs while out and about?"

Honestly, this stand on one leg, confirm your DRM identity, rub stomach, pat head, open wallet wider and face Mecca in order to listen to a fricken' song is getting stoopid.

Note: "stoopid" is an order of magnitude worse that "stupid."

$15 a month? And people complain about Tivo fees.

Re:Where is the line... (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16707859)

Note: "stoopid" is an order of magnitude worse that "stupid."
Note: "that" is an order of magnitude worse than "than". T isn't anywhere near N, at least on my keyboard.

Re:Where is the line... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16710533)

Typo Nazis are stoooooooooopid. :-P Count the orders of magnitude there, Sparky.

Re:Where is the line... (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16712023)

BIOYA. I'm not bothered by most typos, but I'm tired of seeing that particular one.

Meh. (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703621)

The real method to get free music on most mid-priced phones, is hold the phone up toward a cheap speaker and hit "record" on the voice memo feature. On the phone's crappy mono speaker, the end result will be indistinguishable from if you somehow imported lossless uncompressed PCM data from the studio masters.

Re:Meh. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703839)

You can't be serious. I really don't think anybody expects people to hold the phone up to their head and use the built-in speaker in order to listen to music.

Re:Meh. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704089)

You can't be serious.
Ten out of ten for observation.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16704391)

You obviously live in the US. I've seen teenagers in the UK and Japan doing that.

Re:Meh. (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705175)

You obviously live in the US. I've seen teenagers in the UK and Japan doing that.
People in the US do it too, just not the smart ones. There's one guy on my bus home who seems to really love playing the same 5-second-long 50 Cent ringtone over and over again. If our bus ever stalls somewhere while trapping us inside somehow, he'll be the first one killed and eaten by savage commuters.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16706313)

yep bin there done that "got the t-shirt"

Re:Meh. (1)

Yendys (729283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16708543)

The other acceptable method is just to buy yourself a bluetooth dongle and export your mp3s over. Can get the exact clips you want that way. Also this has the added benefit of being able to back up your contact list.

Free? (0, Redundant)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703685)

So now we have:

Free as in beer
Free as in liberty
and
Free as in "Only $15 per month"!

Don't Forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16707513)

Free as in Buttsecks?

I remain skeptical (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703711)

The US mobile phone market is crap. There is far too much vendor lock-in. The European markets are much more sophisticated than that in the US, because of the competition that was prevalent there. Hell, everyone I knew when I lived in the UK and Germany had had phones for years, and I left in 2001. Since arriving in North America I have yet to get a phone, becuae the plans are ridiculously restrictive and the services available are only now equivalent to what I had in Europe.

There is focus in the North American markets now on adding music. I am skeptical that it will have much impact. The plan outlined in this article is not really free music anyway. Its just another sort of sucscription model. Such that, if the consumer switches companies, he loses his music. Companies seem to think that people are openly willing to lock in. I think people do it grudgingly. Adding another aspect to be lost in the case of switching, in my opinion, makes the deal worse. If you want or need to switch now, you need to buy out the contract (unless you wait for it to run its course), buy a new phone, and re-buy your music.
I am unsure of the status of music on phones in Europe, it was not wide-spread when I was there, anyone have any insight?

As for the Apple iPhone, it may be a success, not because of the benefits or music on your phone, but merely because of Apple brand power. People like Apple, and like how they look when using Apple products. ((This is not to say that Apple make bad products, I think quite the opposite))

Re:I remain skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16704633)

I am unsure of the status of music on phones in Europe, it was not wide-spread when I was there, anyone have any insight?

My unlocked Nokia 3230 GSM phone has a 1GB RS-MMC card in it and has an MP3 player, FM radio, camera and java games. With stereo earbuds the quality is reasonable. Volume is limited but loud enough for me. It is very convenient to have phone+player+radio+camera+games in the one package and I'm using it a lot more than I expected.

I can bluetooth/infrared stuff across if I want but usually I just put the card into a card reader because it's faster for bulk transfers ripped from CD's. I haven't tried to download because it's too expensive, even if it were just bandwidth charges to access a free site.

The MP3 software is RealPlayer - crap but useable for play all. Anybody aware of a decent open source Java MIDP 2.0 alternative?

Re:I remain skeptical (1)

plusser (685253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704789)

Not surprised that mobile phones are bad in the US, especially as the pay phones are absolutely abysmal and are run by the same people (from personal experience on a recent trip to the US).

Re:I remain skeptical (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705705)

buy your plan from opexwireless.com (Cincular network) and your phone from ebay.com
Problem is people in the US are retarded and buy their service where ever Catherine Zeta Jones tells them.

Re:I remain skeptical (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705937)

She is pretty hot, even after Michael Douglas dirtied her up.

Amazon (1)

jrmiller84 (927224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703795)

You really can't beat buying used cd's on Amazon and ripping them to your phone. I don't typically find a new artist every month that would justify paying 15$ a month for this service. I'd rather buy one cd I like for a possible 5$ a month used than pay this fee every month when I may not find a cd. Fact of the matter is that there's not too much good music out anymore and if there is, a lot of time it won't be on these music services initially. That's another viable point, what type of selection will they have and will it expand quickly? Maybe they'll be smart and not offer the new K-Fed cd ;)

Wha? (1)

Chief Typist (110285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703867)

For $15 per month, I can get FREE music?

I guess that means I'm getting FREE cable, water, gas, electricity, car, house, etc.

I feel so FREE!

-ch

Weird Idea Newspeak (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703875)

That is certainly a weird idea of "free". Is anybody really going to buy this newspeak?

This whole article sux for saying "Free Music" when it's anything but. The editors should have put the $15/month fee in the first sentence, not the last one.

Yet another instance of (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16703957)

Nothing in life is gratis...

$15 a month... not for your phone. (1)

Lanu2000 (972889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704129)

From the article:
"Cingular will allow people to download music to compatible phones for free, although consumers will pay a monthly charge in the range of $15 for the ability to download songs from those services to a portable music player."
So downloads to your phone are free, but if you want those songs on your MP3 player as well, you'll need to shell out $15 a month.

Hmmm (1)

exdnc (543119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704255)

FTFA:
Cingular will allow people to download music to compatible phones for free, although consumers will pay a monthly charge in the range of $15 for the ability to download songs from those services to a portable music player. "
Then you go to their press release [mediaroom.com] and realize that they're not just talking about one monthly fee, but a whole bunch of monthly subscriptions. Napster for $14.95/mo, yahoo! for $11.99/mo, emusic [emusic.com] gives you 50 songs free (what kind of songs?), and XM satellite for $8.99 a mo. A full load costs almost as much as your plan...

The one redeeming quality seems to be that it doesn't add cingular DRM on top of Napster and Yahoo DRM - they're willing to share your blood\h\h\h\h\hmoney instead of adding their own tap. As with all DRM services, the scary part seems to be this quote:

"Right now, we're focused on getting people to view mobile music as something that's interesting and exciting. You've got to build a base. Once you do that, there are all sorts of ways to drive revenue from it," says Jim Ryan, vice-president of consumer data services at Cingular.

If you've done data on Cingular.... (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704317)

If you have tried data on Cingular without an unlimited plan, you know how un-free this could be. Personally, this is what I've stacked up to solve this problem.

Cingular 2125 [amazon.com] Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone.
$20/month for unlimited data.
Orb [orb.com] at home on my media machine.
Shure i2c-t [shurestore.com] headset for listening to audio and taking calls.

Then you just stream the data to yourself. Sure, it's harder to actually buy a track, but I only have 256MB of memory on my phone. I'm not going to fill that up with downloaded music.

When dealing with any business, and most people... (2, Informative)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16704469)

The simple rule is TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org]

Is too! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16711335)

Which everybody thinks Heinlein invented because they first read about it in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. That's one of my favorite books, but that particular thing in it has always irritated me. Several reasons.

First, it's typical geekish language abuse. You take a elegant, memorable, easy-to-understand saying, "There is no free lunch," which Alistair Cooke once suggested should be America's motto, and you convert it into a klunky, unpronouncable, hard-to-remember acronym. But of course an acronym is more cool than a phrase!

Second, although the sentiment is one I agree with, the saying kind of distorts history. The saying comes from the fact that a lot of bars used to (maybe still do in some parts of the country) have signs that say "Free Lunch." Nowadays, this "lunch" usually consists of a jar of pickled eggs, hence the equation of the free lunch with something phony. But originally, the free lunch was a serious meal: in the 1870s, you could go into a bar, buy a whisky or a beer, and have a plate of roast beef and potatoes (or something of similar tastiness) thrown in as a sort of marketing gimmick. This was possible because food was extremely cheap in relation to other kinds of goods. Which might sound terribly cool, until you remember that in those days, most Americans were farmers, and the low prices they got for the food they grew or raised left them in permanent poverty — literally "dirt poor".

Finally, TANSTAAFL gets trotted out over and over by all those libertarian schoolyard revolutionaries who think that the Free Market is the solution to all their problems. That's as brainless as the philosophy of the socialist schoolyard revolutionaries of the 60s, who thought that the Free Market was the cause of all their problems.

More DRM Garbage!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16705021)

I wouldn't even take it for free if it has DRM. All DRM is garbage, even when free. Paying for DRM is outright stupidity.

Use Orb (1)

Nahor (41537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705087)

All I can say is: use Orb [orb.com] .

The only disadvantage is that you need a XP machine at home. But then, you can stream all your music that you already have, no need to buy it again. And it's not just music, you can also stream video, tv, photo, .... And on any device, not just your Cingular phone. And it's really free, no monthly fees or things like that.

No way I'm going to pay Cingular for something so limited!

Free is quite vague in US (1)

ax_1225 (955097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705431)

Everything is advertised as free here and it never is. There is always a fine print and as times go it becomes smaller and smaller and harder to find, read and understand. Such thing should be considered as false advertisement and there should be laws against it.

This service looks exactly like many other music subscription services out there just that it's on the phone. For many people it makes sense to have a subscription than to purchase songs but not necessary for everyone.

There are many people that fail to understand the concept of music subscription. The best analogy I could find is a Comcast TV subscription with OnDemand. Many people are paying for TV subscriptions and many are already paying now for subscription music (and the number is growing). Others prefer to buy DVDs and others like to buy their music (CDs and digital downloads). I believe both ways of getting online digital music will survive and will thrive.

It's all about access. (1)

amohat (88362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16705697)

A $15/month fee on a cell phone bill is pretty steep. Most people have a $30-60 monthly bill and this would be a big increase to them. So I'm thinking this price will fall or the service will fail.

But what can you do once you (purchase) and download the song? Can you move it to another phone, when you upgrade or get a replacement? What is the storage capability of the phones that can justify the number of downloads that would justify the monthly cost? Offload to iPod or mp3 player, etc?

I'll buy into these services when they give me choices of format/quality and lifetime license to redownload the same media that I paid for.

Otherwise, why not buy the cd so I can "own" it forever? And/or then "steal" it off the net to save me the trouble of ripping it myself?

These fools still don't get it...and I'm not necessarily talking about the companies.

seems wrong, but it's right (1)

benicillin (990784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16706175)

yes, it seems incorrect - but they have worded it correctly to make the whole statement true. It is, in fact, free to download the songs - however, it costs $15/month for the right to do so. So you aren't paying to download a song, you are paying for the right to download a song. Subtle difference - makes the statement correct.

Having said that, I won't be opting in for this feature at any point in the near or distant future.

In addition, I do think this is a step up from the "2.50 / download" fee that the other companies provide. This is a better deal if you download > 6 songs a month - which I bet most people do.

Data bill (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16706319)

Are there data costs on top of the $15?

In other news... (1)

nilbog (732352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16708235)

Microsoft, Apple, HP, Dell, and Gateway all announced their products are going to be free from now on. No charges at all! They hope to make up for this by "each new reference" (whatever the hell that means).

Oh, and the catch is that it's not actually free, but still costs the same amount of money or maybe even more, but it's set up as a subscription.

How did this make it up on slashdot? For anyone who believes this nonsense - I have some "free" products I would like to "give" to you for $99.95/mo.

Microsoft Out - Cingular In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16710065)

It is ironic that Microsoft has stopped selling downloads from its site and Cingular has a music service allow people to purchase from them or other then to transfer the music to their cell phones. --- Vote for your favorite cellular phone: --- Men Vote Here - The Best Cellular Phone [brinkster.com] --- Women Vote Here - The Best Cellular Phone [brinkster.com]

Cingular has had free music for years (1)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16710159)

Cingular has offered free music for years under the codename "customer service". You get a couple of hours for free* before someone interrupts.

* Normal airtime rates apply.

Will it sound good? (1)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16710949)

Will it sound good? Napster's quality was so bad that it gave me a headache!

whats the point?? (1)

Treates2 (1004837) | more than 7 years ago | (#16712891)

i thought cellphones were ment for communication?? cellphones = mp3 players.. ipod = god, myspace = childrens babysitter what the fuck is going on?
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