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Jobs Says People Don't Want to 'Rent' Music

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the money-can-be-exchanged-for-good-and-services dept.

Music 203

eldavojohn writes "PhysOrg is running a piece on a recent speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs about DRM free music. While we know that Jobs is a self proclaimed proponent of DRM free music who's not all talk, he's now said that 'by the end of this year, over half of the songs we offer on iTunes we believe will be in DRM-free versions. I think we're going to achieve that.' Jobs pointed out what's obvious to us, the consumers, but isn't obvious to the music industry — 'People want to own their music.' He also dismissed subscription based music as a failure, and claimed a lot of other music labels are intrigued by the EMI deal."

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Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (1, Insightful)

Gnight (163400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906527)

People want to own their music.

Even when you "purchase" a song, you don't own it. "Renting" or not, you never really own anything other than a license.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (4, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906549)

Yes, now we are haggling over the terms of the license. Will anyone deny that DRM-free music is more consumer friendly ?

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906571)

That still gives you rights you know.

When you *buy* software, you own a copy of it. Same with music.

You're a fucking idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906737)

You're always going to find something to complain about, aren't you? Anything that will let you hold on to your ridiculous rationalisations for not paying for music, or not paying for software, or anything else you don't want to do. And your tone of voice, like you're fighting for something noble or standing up against The Man.

Let me guess, you're a pathetic, cowardly geek who's never stood up to anyone in their entire life? The idea of actually proactively fighting for anything in real life fills you with fear, or, at best, apathy? So you post on Slashdot about how evil the RIAA et al are, use it as a rationalisation for pirating music and software, and dress it up as your fight for freedom. Yes, I think thats pretty much how you work.

Re:You're a fucking idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907041)

You're bang on the money!

And if you think Apple computers are about making just multi-media players then think again!!!!

For many people, parting with their hard-earned coinage in exchange for a ornamental computer from Mr Jobs is the closest thing to self expression that they will ever experience in their lives.

Buying a pc from apple is almost a spiritual experience for most consumers, and for many its a deeply political act as well.

Now show me another "purchase" that is so multi-faceted as this and i'll stop calling you cockmaster.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (4, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906809)

What??? So lets see. The new EMI songs will be DRM-free AAC. I'll be able to copy them to all of my PCs and play them, with no problem. I'll be able to burn them to CD, in CD format and as a backup and as long as I have a player for the AAC file, I can play _my_ song.

Unlike protected tunes, there is no way Apple can take away any of my "rights" for this music after I've bought it from them.

From my perspective, that sure as hell makes it look like I will own the DRM-free music I will purchase from iTunes.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (4, Insightful)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907431)

Unlike protected tunes, there is no way Apple can take away any of my "rights" for this music after I've bought it from them

Just because the license would be difficult to enforce doesn't mean you have a right to do what you want.

As an extreme example, If they wanted to, Apple and the record companies could introduce a subscription model without DRM, and as a subscriber you agree that if you stop paying that you will delete all the songs. Obviously it would be difficult for them to force you to do it. But that alone wouldn't give you the right to keep them.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (3, Insightful)

tkelechogi (813782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907439)

Yes, but you do not own the right to resell the music. Thus, the legal definition is not that of ownership; you are, indeed, licensing it.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (4, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907573)

Yes, but you do not own the right to resell the music. Thus, the legal definition is not that of ownership; you are, indeed, licensing it.

The First-sale doctrine [wikipedia.org] , which is both case and codified law, says otherwise.

The first-sale doctrine has not been tested at the supreme court level in relation to downloaded music, but this is one case in which a conservative court is more likely to side against the record industry. The law says what it says; you'd have to be one of those so-called "activist" judges to read something into it other than what's on paper and side with the RIAA.

DRM-free purchased songs are "owned" under the law. Heck, so are DRM'd songs; you just can't legally break the DRM for resale purposes, making the first-sale doctrine moot.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (4, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908293)

You should be able to on-sell the song (or more accurately, the license). Just like software, you sell the media, keys, etc, and remove it from your systems. What's the difference between this, and a person buying a song on someone else's behalf because that someone doesn't own a credit card?

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (1)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907609)

How is this modded insightful? Did everyone miss the joke?

And really, you never fully own a lot of things. Your computer, for instance. You own it, but do you own the idea that created it? The right to manufacture more?

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907711)

Jobs means "rent music" like we "rent beer" - we enjoy it for a little, then it's gone down the toilet and we have to buy more.

I'd rather have unfettered continuous access to any music I'd like to hear and not get permission from some higher authority on the Internet each time... especially one that wishes to charge me money over and over. What would you do - given the choices of (1) having a coin operated music player that does pay for play or (2) a music player that lets you buy a blanket license and play it any time you want as often as you want? I'll take #2.

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (2, Insightful)

maharvey (785540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907839)

Even when you "purchase" a song, you don't own it. "Renting" or not, you never really own anything other than a license.

Yes you do own it. You own an exact copy, and you can do anything with that copy you please... except copy it. The RIAA cannot come and confiscate your CD.

That's where copyRIGHT comes in. It is the right to make a copy, not the ability. It has nothing to do with ownership. You own it, but your rights are restricted. There are other restricted rights as well, such as the right to public performance or whatever. (For comparison, you may own a car, but you do not have the right to drive it on a public highway unless you are granted that right through a license. Regardless of whether you are granted that right, you still OWN the car.)

A license may grant you the right to copy the song you own, or the right to publicly perform the song you own.

So yes you DO actually own something.

(Software is weird and different and I'm not sure how this concept translates to shrinkwrap licenses and stuff.)

Re:Mr. Jobs, stop misleading us (1)

sparkstar (1094449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908373)

Look out, here comes the Apple record label.

(oh wait we've had an apple record label already haven't we? Hmmm, there might be some IP issues there...)

Muso: Hey this Jobs guy is selling loads of our tunes coz everyone can play it when they buy it (that's cool).

Lets just stay with Stevie and cut out the piddle man. Hey Stevie, wanna have sole rights to our next album?

IP issues? Not anymore! (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908427)

Don't worry, Macintosh fanboys. Apple vs. Apple has been settled, and Apple Inc. (aka Apple Computer) owns all the trademarks. It's just letting Apple Corp. lease a few back.
To put it another way, the Beatles lost. They got paid for losing, but they lost.
So, if Apple Inc. wants Apple Inc. Records bad enough, there can be an Apple Inc. Records!

Memo (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906537)

Jobs also sent out a memo yesterday to all content providers letting them know that any and *all* of them could sign up to provide DRM-free and higher qaulity downloads from May onwards. Hopefully Nettwerk and similar labels will sign up for this, and the remaining major labels either follow suit or get forced out of the music business. Its good to see iTS (and the Amazon store) making steps towards a sensible sales model.

Re:Memo (0, Offtopic)

ka-klick (160833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906901)

Well, I don't know about Netwerk, et al, but I emailed CD Baby about it as soon as the EMI announcement came down the pike and they said they were already working on it w/ Apple, so at least hopefully soon you'll be able to get DRM-free versions of the songs I have up on iTunes so far. Or you could just buy the CDs now and rip the files :-)

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/ viewAlbum?playListId=218127260 [apple.com]
and
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/ viewAlbum?playListId=218215721 [apple.com]

So far they just have the regular setup.

(the cds are here)

http://cdbaby.com/cd/bryanbaker1 [cdbaby.com]

http://cdbaby.com/cd/bryanbaker2 [cdbaby.com]

He's Right (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906539)

It's the same with software, do you want to have to pay $29.95/month to use windows? (I'm sure MS would love that, but I can't think of a single person who would)

Re:He's Right (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906879)

Hell, I wouldn't pay $29.95 for a lifetime license or subscription to Windows.

Re:He's Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907627)

It's the same with software, do you want to have to pay $29.95/month to use windows? (I'm sure MS would love that, but I can't think of a single person who would)

Actually, I pay roughly $300/yr to license Microsoft products, including Vista and Office. Unlike music, MS products keep getting updated, and as much as I hate them, I'm forced to use them because my clients require it. I run my own business, but have 3 machines I need to use, and this license allows me to run just about anything on all 3 of them (including some pretty pricey stuff, although I only use WinOS and Office). I can run Win2K, XP, and Vista, re-install, remove, whatever, without worrying about needing a new license etc. Yeah, it's a rare case that a single individual would actually prefer this scheme over actually purchasing a license, but it does exist, quite unlike music where I honestly can't think of a single situation where "paying to rent" would make any sense if an alternative was available.

(For the curious, all 3 of my machines are Intel Macs, thus the need to purchase Windows and a Windows version of Office separately. The retail price for 3 machines would have me shitting my pants, and since I need to upgrade at the same cycle as my clients do, that would mean shitting my pants quite often. Not something I'm interested in!)

Re:He's Right (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908667)

In other words, you're breaking the terms of your MSDN subscription license to use that software in production. Kinda makes talking about licensing costs moot when you're not using them within the terms of said license.

I'm glad someone gets it. (2, Insightful)

Marrshu (994708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906545)

People feel happy when they own their music. Hence why there are so many who won't buy DRMed music. You not only feel like a criminal, but you feel you don't own what you just spent your hard-earned money on.

From the Captain Obvious Dept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906547)

It's fun how self-evident stuff qualifies as news these days. Has anyone except the mafiaa ever thought otherwise? I have records I've listened to hundreds of times, and I doubt I'm unique in this.

Re:From the Captain Obvious Dept? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908461)

It's fun how self-evident stuff qualifies as news these days

Sadly, the news is that someone is actually doing something about the self evident problem. Better yet they are someone in a position to actually fix the problem. Imagine if all of the obvious problems in the world had similarly empowered champions to tackle them.

Renting in general (4, Insightful)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906583)

Given the choice, how many people would rent a home instead of buying it? Would you rather rent a TV from RaC or own it?

In many cases, people must resort to renting because they can't afford to buy. This is hardly the case when it comes to music.

Like Jobs says, consumers want to own shit and do what they want with it. 'Renting' and 'subscription' are associated with control, red tape, limitations, etc. Buying a DRM-free song or album is a single transaction with no strings attached.

Re:Renting in general (5, Insightful)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906855)

Consumers want what gives them the best deal.

In most cases, buying a house is a better deal than renting a house. Hell, my mortgage payment is $300 less than renting the equivelent home (and that's before accounting for taxes). Buying is a no-brainer.

Music isn't as clear cut ... if you download less than 120 songs per year (or less than 12 albums), buying your music is a better deal than renting. If you download more than 100 songs per year or download more than 10 albums, renting is generally a better deal IF you believe that (as a general rule) you will want to continue download at that level or higher for the foreseable future.

Re:Renting in general (2, Insightful)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907293)

So what your saying is that people will always want to buy new music? If only that were so with music. What happens when you go from listening to less than $120 a year equivalent in new music to less than $10? Do you cancel your subscription, and lose everything? No, your forced to keep paying whatever they want for the honor of keeping access plus inflation.

Re:Renting in general (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907745)

As I originally said, "renting is generally a better deal IF you believe that (as a general rule) you will want to continue download at that level or higher for the foreseable future." Note the IF.

In general, I have found that my craving for "new" music has not subsided over time, and it probably won't as long as new music is being created. In the case where it reduces over time (maybe I want to listen to ~$60 equivelent in new music) I'm still "ahead" until the net cost of the subscription is higher than the net cost of the tracks. Considering I currently download between 10-20 albums PER MONTH, it'll be awhile before the deal turns sour... (subscriptions are very liberating in that sense, as there is no "but it'll cost money" decision involved in downloading a new album...you just take what you want when you want it).

Re:Renting in general (2, Interesting)

JeffT59 (1094421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908481)

I agree, I am always finding new music with my Rhapsody membership. If I am in the mood for certain music I listen to it, if I had to pay for the music by the track I would not. I enjoy the Rhapsody stations, if I find an artist I like, I just add them to my library. I guess I am renting my cable tv stations, once I stop paying they all go away. Same goes for XM or Sirus. If you listen to the same 10 albums you listened to in high school subscription services are not the way to go. If you like discovering new music they are.

Re:Renting in general (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908325)

Your mortage is less than it would cost to rent? I think I need to buy some investment property there, where do you live?

Re:Renting in general (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908611)

the problem with subscriptions is you tend to end up locked in.

What if you end up a bit poorer? if you were buying music you'd just stop buying more and coast along with what you've got, if you were renting you'd lose your music collection completely until you subscribed again.

what if your provider cranks up prices and you see a better deal elsewhere but you really can't face the thought of re-finding and re-downloading your entire collection or you simply don't have the bandwidth to re-download it in a reasonbale time?

what if you are looking get a new portable player. don't you want the full choice of the market rather than being tied to a smaller selection of player makers (granted this applies to online buying too right now but that looks set to change whereas renting looks like it will always be drm). What if you want to switch OS, possiblly to one which doesn't support drm?

Some things you can only get by renting them because you are effectively paying for services that go with them (communications links, public utility connections) or because you don't have the capital upfront (housing) but for the most part renting is something to be avoided imo.

That makes no sense (4, Insightful)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907019)

You cannot compare renting a home to subscribing to a music service. It just makes no sense whatsoever.

The reasons for subscription music services revolve largely around variety and choice. For $20 a month I can access MILLIONS, MILLIONS of songs. On top of that, your music "collection" is always up to date, new music being added all the time.

This is like saying "Nobody would want to SUBSCRIBE to cable television. You don't want to RENT your shows, you want to OWN them, JUST LIKE A HOUSE" ...what? that makes no sense? well, either does your post.

Let's not forget that Jobs has a vested interest here. He's not just speaking as a concerned observer. It just so happens that a subscription model is not terribly compatible with the iPod in its current incarnation.

For $20 a month, I can buy, what, 240 songs a year? Why is is a better deal to pay $240 for 240 songs when I can pay $240 for millions of songs, available to me via any internet connection, and easily sharable with trusted friends or family? If I cancel my subscription I don't have any songs. Who cares? For $20 more I can have access for another month to millions of songs again.

This isn't exactly a new model. If people were so concerned about "owning" content they wouldn't be going to libraries, they wouldn't be subscribing to Satellite Radio, and they wouldn't be subscribing to Cable TV.

Re:That makes no sense (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907791)

" If I cancel my subscription I don't have any songs. Who cares?"

I do. I have music that is 30+ years old. I don't want to be paying 20 dollars a month to listen to a few songs.

Besides that fact that you can't listen to a million songs, so having access to a million songs is really an illogical point.
How many unique songs will you listen to a year? That's the number you need to be using.

If you rent 1 song, you have to pay 20 a month just to hear the 1 song.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908115)

Clearly the $20 rental model wouldn't be attractive to people who only listen to one song a month. But for someone who listens to hundreds of different songs a month, it holds some allure. Besides, some rental places have variable pricing options a la Netflix. Which seems to be doing OK, by the way.

The point is, people should be allowed as much choice as possible. Jobs has done a lot of cool things, but he's always given me the impression that he doesn't care too much for choice. The original Macintosh was a closed box because Jobs thought expansion options were too complex for his buyers, and because he wanted to impose uniformity. The labels can't use variable pricing on iTunes, because he thinks they're too complicated for the average consumer. And now he seems to think that people can't decide on their own whether renting is an appealing option to them. He's deemed it lame, thus it must be.

Re:That makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908247)

Bingo! Even if you listen to music 24 hours a day, you'll only listen to:
(24hr/day * 60mnt/hr * 30 day/month)/3mnt/song = 14,400 songs/month
If you sleep like normal people, you'd probably listen to 2/3*14,000 = 9,600 songs/month at the most.

Can you find 9,600 distinct songs that's worth listening every month? AFAIAC, RIAA couldn't even put out 100 good songs a month. Chances are, 9,600 song plays are repeat plays. Furthermore, out of whatever number of distinct songs, you probably already own a good chunk of them. The comparison with cable tv subscription is wrong because we don't watch the same exact show over and over, but we do like to hear songs we like repeatedly. Also, some people are changing their habits to buy individual shows off iTunes Store and cut off their cable to cut down the bills, a further evidence that people do like a la carte than subscription if it's possible.

Re:That makes no sense (2, Interesting)

zrobotics (760688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908419)

Another problem with subscription systems is the choice of music. If I'm paying for a monthly subcription, I want that subscription to cover ALL my music costs. The reason I would pay for a subscription would be so I wouldn't have to buy any CDs. The problem is, am I going to be able to find Tiger Army, Sick of it All, and Thelonious Monk songs that haven't been re-released on CD? Would I be able to listen to them in my car without some fussy adapter?

The reason I would buy non-DRM songs would be so I could burn them to CDs, listen to them in my car, lend them to friends occasionally, etc. If I use a subscription service, I listen to music under conditions demanded by the service. The company I rent my music from demands that I listen to the music using my PC, or a mp3 player (which needs to be reconnected every month to verify the subscription status). That is simply too much of a sacrifice to be worth it to me.

So yes, it would be more convenient to get my music from a subcription. I wouldn't have to leave the house, and I could listen to new music without spending any additional money. However, this model is incompatible with the way I, personally, listen to music. It takes more time, and I listen to less "new" music, but I appreciate the music I do listen to more thoroughly. If I buy one or two new albums a month, I will listen to them very often. If I download the equivalent of twenty albums a month, I only give the music a cursory listen. I find that I have simply acquired too much music to listen to. I don't have enough time to absorb all the content, to listen to it enough to actually enjoy it. That's why I spend more money, and more time, buying music at record stores than downloading/pirating/subscribing to it online.

Re:That makes no sense (1)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908369)

You cannot compare renting a home to subscribing to a music service. It just makes no sense whatsoever.
Sure you can. It's totally fine. It's like comparing you to a bannana, which ill do now:

You're a little smarter than a bannana, but the bannana tastes better, and it can be used in a sundae, whereas you're quite useless...

Re:That makes no sense (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908415)

Weak. If you're going to compare someone to a banana, at least do it with some style. [youtube.com]

Re:That makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908395)

If I cancel my subscription I don't have any songs. Who cares?
If I cancel a magazine subscription, existing magazines don't suddenly self-destruct, nor does the magazine company send people to come steal the old issues from my house.

You were saying?

Re:Renting in general (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907477)

I would take renting the house over the buy anytime. And I might do it for a car too, if it weren't too expensive and here you see the choice between rent and buy: People would love to rent music if the price were reasonable low enough to make it worth the while. If you spend a few cents more to OWN it, I would also choose to OWN it.

The house is different. A house here costs avg. $100,000. Include into that homeowners insurance, taxes, interest, maintenance, water purification and other costs and over the course of the next say 30 years, your house will have cost roughly $250,000. I rent the same house for $700/mo. If something happens, I call my landlord and they'll fix it. I had 2 times groundwater in my finished basement, 1 broken fridge and snow shoveling service throughout this winter (been here since Dec.). I work, so I can't fix it, and I probably couldn't afford paying a contractor to do it for me. Next to that I can move out whenever I want if my job changes or something like that. If I would have bought it, I would have to sell it again and probably lose out on a lot of money because of the mortgage. Sure, within 250 months or so (which is a little over 10 years) I would have been better off buying the house but it's not worth it to me.

And there you see that different people weigh buying against renting on different criteria. Is it worth it? What about my freedom? What if I stop renting? What if I like the place so much I would stay forever? What is the risk of having a major disaster the next x-number of years and having to fix it? How much money will it cost to rent and how much to buy? You see, with media a lot of answers are clear and it's usually not worth renting the stuff unless you're a DJ or a radio station that only wants to play the latest tunes and need special licensing. Then I could understand renting, because what do you do with obsolete music? Keeping it and never playing it is useless. Individuals like certain music and most likely are going to repeatedly play it over the next x-number of months, even years depending on memory's they've attached to it.

Re:Renting in general (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908639)

10 years at $700 per month == $84,000 (same as taxes and mortgage)
10 years at $1000 per month == $120,000 (taxes and mortgage about $90,000)
10 years at $1400 per month == $168,000 (taxes and mortgage about $100,000)

Likely rental cost after 30 years == $372,000:Equity = $0. (equity / value of home is probably about $300,000)

$700 seems really low- property taxes on a $100,000 house is about $3000 in texas.
Most people are playing $1,100 for $100,000 houses.

Houses are a good choice if you are staying in place and your local population is going up and the town isnt' dying (say because it lost a major business).

Rent is good if you are not sure about your future (or the local economy's future).

I pay $600 for repair insurance and my repairs cost me $35 each.

10 Points for Stating the Obvious (5, Funny)

Philomathie (937829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906603)

Huh, imagine that, people actually wanting to own what they buy? :)

Well, duh (4, Insightful)

saikou (211301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906623)

People don't want to pay for music either :) Unless they really-really have to, or love the artist

Re:Well, duh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906769)

Not true. People love to pay for things. It makes them feel special. Why do people buy "premium" Frosted Mini Wheats, when everyone knows that Frosted Mini Spooners are better? It's because people who pay for the more expensive cereal think that they are cooler.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906917)

I've never seen Frosted Mini Spooners. I've tried other, store-brand alternatives to Frosted Mini-Wheats, but usually they're substantially more dense. Kellogg's has gotten the crunchiness just right with FMW.

Re:Well, duh (1, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906937)

People don't want to pay for music either :) Unless they really-really have to, or love the artist
??!?
iTunes sold one BILLION songs; Stop repeating that RIAA FUD.

Re:Well, duh (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906949)

Thats not true.

Pretty much everything on iTunes can be got for free without much effort.

No, people don't mind paying for something they want, but that doesn't mean they will pay MORE then they feel they should.

Re:Well, duh (1)

genedasher (1094429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907215)

People don't mind paying for something that they want. I don't mind paying for the music, because I can pick what I want. With very few exceptions, there are only 4 or 5 songs on an album that I want. $4 or $5 for the music I want off an album...that's VERY reasonable. What I DO mind is limitations on how I can use it after that. If I buy a song on CD I can play it on my stereo, in my portable, in my pc, etc... As long as I can do the same with downloadable music...I'm happy. Go Steve Jobs!

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907731)

People don't want to pay for music either :) Unless they really-really have to, or love the artist

True, in the same sense that I prefer not to pay for my Porsche, or gas. But that's not really an option now is it? The difference is that Porsche doesn't limit where I can drive when I buy their car, and I don't need to find a gas station that sells "Porsche fuel." Talking about "owning" music seems to get people into the nitty-gritty details arguing about how you don't really "own" the music, but for all practical purposes, that's what it is without DRM. I own my Porsche, but just because I own one doesn't mean I can create a knock-off using their patented technologies (patents for these make sense, unlike software...)

So in the end, this isn't really so much about "owning" anything. It's more about being free to do whatever the hell you please to do, with something you paid for. It just gets all more ambiguous because with downloaded music you no longer have a physical object to own. (The concept of music ownership was no different with LPs and CDs, but at least you had a physical object in hand.)

One can only hope (5, Insightful)

dahdahdah (999584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906625)

... that Apple's clout is sufficient to a) hold the price line on the renegotiaed contracts with the other 3 and b)that those 3 will jump on the non-DRM bandwagon. BUT - i fear they may pull their contracts to greedily make more money elsewhere, and to try to spur lagging CD sales.. Although, even if they did that, seems to me Job's prediction of 50% non-DRM music on iTunes is all but guaranteed.

You may call me P: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907629)

Persistent People WILL Progressively Penetrate the Perplexingly Pea-brained Pompous Pigs and "Persuade" them!

we WILL Prevail!

you may call me P.
Procedure Properly Planned live forever.

Re:You may call me P: (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907663)

Nice. correction:

Procedure[s] Properly Planned live forever!

renting is a better deal for music lovers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18906647)

Renting vs owning is a stupid idea. The bottom line is that if on average you spend more than $15/month on music, it makes more sense to rent. Just keep paying the money every month and stop worrying about quitting one day. It's more flexible because as new formats come out, you can redownload the song at a better quality for no extra charge. You don't worrry about DRM because you don't own the files anyway. If you don't like your provider, go somewhere else and just redownload your playlist. Renting is a much better deal for people who are actually interested in listening to a lot of music.

It *is* obvious to the music industry (5, Interesting)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906657)

The music industry aren't complete idiots. They know people don't want DRM'ed music, just like they knew people didn't want to pay inflated prices for records for 30+ years. That's not the point though. It's not about what we want, it's about what they want, and what they're willing to do to get it. Whether they violate racketeering laws, buy legislature, or lie straight to the faces of their customers every second of every day, it's not because they're stupid. It's because they're greedy crooks.

Re:It *is* obvious to the music industry (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907417)

Not so, at least not at the two of the "big four" labels where I was privileged (ha!) to work directly with top-level executives for the most horrible few years, for me, of the '90s. The men and women who run these companies aren't total idiots—you don't get to run companies if you're truly egregiously stupid, especially not in media—but many of them are pretty fucking risk-averse, even to the point of preferring the status quo to bold moves with unpredictable consequences, whether or not they could thereby benefit themselves. Add to this the sincere conviction that technical means would be able to stem piracy—they're not totally stupid, remember, after all technical measures (if not DRM) worked pretty well for them for almost a century.

In the end, as with so many aspects of life, you can't use logic to fight conviction and fear of change.

Re:It *is* obvious to the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908165)

How is Apple giving more choices i.e. buy or rent music translate into the music industry forcing consumers to do what they want? Poster is an Apple shill and moderators on /. are idiots.

Re:It *is* obvious to the music industry (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908563)

You did hear that EMI surrendered?
That's right. EMI is going to release as much of its back catalog as possible to the music services, inc. iTunes, without DRM.
I know, you'll believe it when you see it. But they've already released a few trax without DRM here and there.

Depends on Their Purpose (4, Interesting)

servoled (174239) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906671)

I spend more than I probably should on music, but I still pay for one of those subscription services. Why? To audition new music. Lots of times I'll hear of something new, and listen to the album (lots of times a 30 second sample just doesn't cut it) on the subscription service to decide whether its worthwhile to buy the album. Other than that, its fun to go through stuff I already own and randomly follow the recommendation links they provide to see if I stumble on something good.

Now, I certainly wouldn't want to use the subscription service as my only source of music... primarily due to the limited selection, mediocre encoding quality and limitations of where I can listen. However, I'd say its worth its worth the $10 to be able to audition full albums of most stuff without trying to track them down on some p2p system.

Re:Depends on Their Purpose (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907407)

I spend more than I probably should on music, but I still pay for one of those subscription services. Why? To audition new music.

You can use free and legal services like Pandora for this.

Jobs' Perspective in Context (4, Interesting)

jonathanbearak (451601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906695)

I think Jobs' perspective should be put into context.

First of all, iTunes DRM is not designed for a subscription model. Re-engineering would be required, including firmware updates for older iPods, to enforce the subscriptions.

Moreover, not all songs are typically available via the subscription model. Jobs continues to make an issue about variable pricing for songs, with the DRM-free option being the one exception. Yet, consider how they are planning to implement this: by a preference in which the user selects which kind of music s/he prefers to buy.

Some have said a subscription model would require a whole new iTunes Store -- a separate store, with rentable tracks. This is not really true -- users could be presented with a "Buy Song" or "Rent Song" button where applicable.

A subscription service is "not out of the question," he says, but it doesn't look like it's in Apple's interests -- they would bear the price of increasing download costs, unlike the record companies.

DRM-free music, on the other hand, allows for seamlessness. Users can download music, copy it between iPods, computers, and friends' computers without a hassle. Rentable tracks would lend themselves to the opposite kind of experience.

Just a note: Jobs' RDF (1)

bssteph (967858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906699)

"Never say never, but customers don't seem to be interested in it," Jobs told Reuters in an interview after Apple reported blow-out quarterly results. "The subscription model has failed so far."
eMusic is considered to be the #2 player in the online music business, and they're subscription based. You can argue how much of eMusic's #2-ness is because of DRM backlash, or favoring independent labels, or whatever, but eMusic is proof that subscriptions are not a deal-breaker, and certainly not failures. And before anyone confuses the subject, subscription != rental. Once a credit goes towards a track on eMusic (citing them as that's what I'm familiar with), you get to download that from wherever you want, as many times as you want, and you can do whatever you want with the file.

Re:Just a note: Jobs' RDF (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906921)

yeah... how much revenue did they make last year?
How close are they to 2.5 BN downloads.

Re:Just a note: Jobs' RDF (3, Insightful)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906953)

Absolutely. I've been a very happy subscriber of Real's Rhapsody for over 3 years now. It's subscription based, but I can also load my MP3 player full of unlimited music (as long as I connect it to the PC once a month to re-license the content). Rhapsody gets albums the same date that stores do, and it's instantly free. If I wanted to burn the track to a CD instead of use it on my MP3 player, I can then pay the small album/track fee and do with it whatever I like. Having access to that vast amount of music on a PC is invaluable, as I'm in front of this idiot box 8+ hours a day for work and I also love music.

Rhapsody made it possible for me to enjoy unlimited music legally, for the price of one CD per month via a subscription model. Maybe the companies that offer subscription models aren't seeing the gold mine that they imagined, but it would be pretty ignorant for Jobs to say that the model, in general, doesn't work.

Re:Just a note: Jobs' RDF (3, Informative)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907569)



eMusic is considered to be the #2 player in the online music business, and they're subscription based. You can argue how much of eMusic's #2-ness is because of DRM backlash, or favoring independent labels, or whatever, but eMusic is proof that subscriptions are not a deal-breaker, and certainly not failures. And before anyone confuses the subject, subscription != rental. Once a credit goes towards a track on eMusic (citing them as that's what I'm familiar with), you get to download that from wherever you want, as many times as you want, and you can do whatever you want with the file.

While eMusic is technically a subscription based service it is unlike every other "subscription" based provider. You keep your emusic mp3s as long as you want. You don't lose your library because you stopped paying a monthly fee. You simply can't download new music once you've cancelled your subscription.

eMusic does NOT equal Rhapsody (1)

litac (617509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908217)

You really do need to do more than read the headlines. eMusic is subscription ONLY in the sense that you pay a regular monthly fee. It is nothing like Rhapsody or Napster - there is a set limit on the number of tracks that can be downloaded for the selected subscription rate, and the music you download has no DRM (it's strictly MP3). If you cancel your account, you keep your tracks.

Ownership (2, Interesting)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906705)

The trend lately to lease, license, rent, etc., rather than own, annoys me to no end. If I'm going to buy something and not own it, there better be a really major advantage somehow(i.e. I rent an apartment/house and someone else is responsible for its maintenance.) But with music, software, etc., I just don't see how leasing is beneficial to anyone but the seller. Also, I'd like to apologize for using up this page's allotment of commas.

Re:Ownership (1)

the_lesser_gatsby (449262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907269)

With a subscription service you're not just renting individual songs, but the entire catalog. That's the advantage of it.

The comparison with renting an apartment would be if you had access to a million different apartments for the rental cost and could choose to stay in a different one every night.

I don't mind renting some music (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906717)

I was heavily into iTunes until I tried out the Urge service that's bundled with WMP11. $10 a month is dirt cheap and I can "try before I buy" tonnes of entire albums. If I want to buy an album, I can do it online. The tracks would already be on my hard drive (if I chose to download instead of stream) and a bit is flipped to state that I've purchased the songs and can now burn them (and re-rip to MP3). Most likely, if I like an entire album, I'll buy the CD used at the local music store.

The radio stations are pretty good; they basically showcase the songs on the service and if I hear a song I like, I can click on the station's "now playing" list and get more info on the song/artist and then download it.

So, I'm getting all the benefits of iTunes Music Store, plus exposure to a whole lot of music I'd otherwise never have incentive to hear.

Re:I don't mind renting some music (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908619)

And that, my fellow slashdotters, is why we must never underestimate Microsoft.
Keep an eye on the terms of service, BTW. Apple's iTunes did allow songs to be directly converted from Fairplay AAC to stripped mp3 once. It no longer permits it so directly.

It's much more complicated that than. (2, Interesting)

demonic-halo (652519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906749)

Ok.. so you got the major record labels together.. how do you agree to split the revenue fairly?

You'll have to work out a system probably based on who ever gets the most plays, which song is most popular, etc... And of course not all artists are worth the same, correct? You got songs many years old, competing against songs that are just released. Then how do you factor in the appreciation premiums? I'm sure a Antoni Bachelli is worth much more in the eyes of the people than a Britney Spears.

Then you'll get a system where the independent artists will get totally screwed. Their play percentage is much lower than the big record labels and of course they don't have the big wigs and high price lawyers on their side. At least with song purchase models it's easy to map where that 99 cents should go to.

Re:It's much more complicated that than. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906891)

OTOH, I have heard of Britney Spears.

Re:It's much more complicated that than. (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906927)

Err, how about by tracking how often a track is downloaded? Just because someone is renting the music doesn't mean you can't track how often it is downloaded...

Re:It's much more complicated that than. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907191)

As I understand how it works at Napster/Real, etc., it's essentially a form of Micropayment.


The portable music player keeps track of what songs you listen to. It reports this back to the Store. Once every month, the Store counts up all the songs listened to and how much the song was and sends off checks to the appropriate rights holders.

So if I listen to a Song/BMG song 100 times and listening to it costs 0.1 cents, I owe Sony/BMG 10 cents for that month.

Of course, that's tough to sell. So instead, the guys who run the Store came up with a flat fee of $14.95 per month. They pay the labels for your usage and keep the rest. If you listen to music 24/7, they don't make much off of you.

Typical arrogance from Steve Jobs (1, Troll)

dustin_c1 (153078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18906779)

He has a habit of making wrong-headed and inflammatory statements like this.

Recently he dismissed cell phone carriers as "commodities."

Now he's dismissing subscription based music as something people don't want.

Well, I want subscription music! It's great that people who want to pay $.99 a song get it DRM-free. But subscription based services will require DRM. I pay $15/mo and listen to anything I want with Napster. That's $180/yr or a meager 180 iTunes songs. I currently listen to Napster about 2 hours a day at work and I listen to it at home, in the gym and in the car. I discover new music on a near daily basis. I love that for the price of a CD, I get to listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. I would have paid probably $5,000 to iTunes to listen to the music I've listened to on Napster. Screw that!

Subscription music services are rarely used for the same reason that nobody has a Mac. Everyone owns and iPod and subscription based software like Napster and Yahoo and Rhapsody won't work with the iPod. Why get Napster if it won't work with your music player? Similarly, everyone owns a PC and popular software won't work on a Mac. Why get a Mac if your favorite games won't work on it?

As bad as a monopoly as Microsoft in the OS market has been, Apple controlling digital music will be 10 times worse. It's always been Jobs' way or the highway. It's one thing when it was just the cultists that had to deal with it. When it's the whole world, it won't be pretty.

Re:Typical arrogance from Steve Jobs (2, Interesting)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907173)

I think was modded down unfairly. I've been a Rhapsody subscriber since the launch of the service, and I'm extremely happy with it for all the reasons listed. In fact, I'm strongly considering switching from iPod to Zen Vision to get the To Go service.

Re:Typical arrogance from Steve Jobs (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907435)

In fact, I'm strongly considering switching from iPod to Zen Vision to get the To Go service.

I'm on the other side of the fence. I've stayed with easy to use formats such as MP3 and only use services that cater to the consumer instead of trying to herd people into a walled garden someplace. When I get a file, I expect to play it on my Linux PC, Living room DVD player (Plays MP3 CD's), Car Stereo (same as DVD player), as well as my off brand MP3 flash player (Non-DRM MP3 & WMA). Selling a limited function file for a high price at lower than the bitrates I use in the wrong format is a deal breaker.

The only reason I tolorate DVD's is because CSS is essentualy broken. I can rip DVD's, add them to my media server and preserve the originals. To top it off, I can buy recent DVD's between 2-4 of them for $20 unlike CD's. I can buy realy old stuff for under $1 unlike CD's. The recent Kalidascope case and the announcement recently by the MPAA showes a shift of content to portable devices such as the Zen Video and media servers on a home LAN is OK. The MPAA seem to be getting a clue. SONY is slowly being drug onboard with their latest batch of DRM'ed DVD's. I got one and I called them. Even though I explained I was having trouble ripping it to my Media Center fileserver, they are sending me a replacement DVD of Open Season. I hope this trend continues. They did not try to educate me that ripping the DVD is bad. The MPAA is learning from the RIAA, that overprotection of content hurts sales. SONY has gone a long way in damage control. They did not even ask for a reciept for shipping a replacement DVD. Nice Touch.

Re:Typical arrogance from Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907857)

Really?... That's pretty interesting. I'd have thought Sony would have a DMCA lawsuit in the mail to you the instant you mentioned ripping one of their DVDs.

Pssst (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907909)

he wasn't talking about you. He meant people in general, and he is right.

lets see,
It is a buck per track that you can listen to anytime.
so, How many unique tracks to you listen to that aren't available for free elsewhere?

where can you play the music?
what happens if the service is shut down?
how do you get napster in your car?

drm free music will be good for the consumer, no matter who offeres it.
of course, I don't buy 180 new tracks a year.

5000 dollars would mean about 350 hours a year in songs that you never heard before.

"Everyone owns and iPod and subscription based software like Napster and Yahoo and Rhapsody won't work with the iPod. "

only because they own what you can do with it, and thats not iPods fault.

Re:Pssst (1)

dustin_c1 (153078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908031)

For Jobs to be right, he'd have to explain away the popularity of Netflix, on demand cable and Blockbuster.

Sure, lots of people buy DVDs, but renting movies is clearly something that consumers want.

It will be the same with music.

The danger in the burgeoning online music world is that it is possible that the subscription model could be crushed. Just like the MPAA prefers people to buy DVDs instead of subscribe to Netflix, the RIAA prefers people to buy digital downloads rather than rent them.

For such a powerful person in the online music world to simply dismiss subscription music should piss the hell out of ./ers. Instead, they squelch that idea by modding it down out of a kneejerk reaction to someone who does two things wrong - 1. says something negative about Apple/Jobs and 2. says something positive about DRM.

Re:Pssst (1)

dustin_c1 (153078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908205)

"where can you play the music?"

On any device that plays DRM 10 Windows Media files.

"what happens if the service is shut down?"

I go to Rhapsody or Yahoo or some other subscription service. That's like asking what if Netflix goes out of business. The answer is that you go to Blockbuster's online service. It's not like if Apple goes out of business and I'm left with $5,000 worth of DRM wrapped files that won't play anywhere.

"how do you get napster in your car?"

Napster works with any DRM 10 compatible media player. That includes all of Creative's iPod alternatives and a bunch of media cell phones, all of which can be played in a car.

"5000 dollars would mean about 350 hours a year in songs that you never heard before."

Since I have been a Napster subscriber...yeah. That estimate may be off, but not by much.

Re:Typical arrogance from Steve Jobs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908155)

He has a habit of making wrong-headed and inflammatory statements like this.

You must work in the music industry - and you don't play an instrument

Recently he dismissed cell phone carriers as "commodities."

They are commodities. Verizon is trying hard to fix that by nickel and diming everything on new phones. Not nearly as many ringtones so they can sell them, pay extra to [artificially] enable built-in features work. Gotta get those prices up and fleece the customer.

Well, I want subscription music!

I want BOTH. I'll listen to subscription music (I do that now with XM, sort of) and capture it permanently if I choose and use it forever without re-registering, or lose the whole library because technology changed or something (Plays For Sure, anyone?). So I should sign up for Rhapsody AND iTunes.

..nobody has a Mac

They sell millions of them a year and the uptake is climbing. In fact, only about 20% of the people I know with new machines bought PCs. The rest bought Macs and more are on the way. Your data source, or ability to parse data, is severely damaged.

..everyone owns a PC and popular software won't work on a Mac

Like what? Viruses? Spyware? Adware? I can run Windows on a Mac if I want and everything under it. Popular enough? The Mac software that comes bundled on a Mac runs rings around anything you can buy for the PC... and that's the free stuff. I can run multiple simultaneous operating systems on a Mac. Tell me again what doesn't run on a Mac?

It's always been Jobs' way or the highway

Jobs is holding the prices of music down for everyone. If it was up to Ballmer, we'd be paying US$2.50 per track. I vote for Jobs version of the highway.

It's one thing when it was just the cultists that had to deal with it.

Cultists? You sound like one yourself... your opinion is the only one that matters but have no concrete basis to back it up. Drink some more Kool Aid.

Why get a Mac if your favorite games won't work on it?

Buy a fucking Xbox then.

Fairplay currently can't do subscription DRM (1)

sonicbox (166944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907039)

Even if Apple wanted to do it, there is huge issue for the millions of iPods out there: Fairplay DRM, as currently implemented, has no concept of expiration or time limit. So, an "all you eat" subscription solution would be painful for Apple. I can see them updating FairPlay in newer iPods, but updating firmware for every iPod model ever made isn't going to happen.

I could possibly see Apple making "subscription services" a new iPod feature... forcing people to upgrade to newer iPods if they want support. But that would mean millions of users would be left out. Would Apple really do this?

I'm guessing Apple will never do it, and continue saying it isn't something the users want. That's better spin than saying "it's too hard to do." :-)

No DRM? Don't care. (1)

Chouonsoku (1009817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907263)

A lot of people wouldn't buy songs from iTunes even if the songs were DRM free. The fact that you are purchasing something in a lossy format means that you're not getting all you could if you were to buy the actual CD. I'd rather pay $12.99 for something that is tangible and not lacking in quality than something that's digital and can only be downloaded once.

Re:No DRM? Don't care. (2, Informative)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907589)

Perhaps you don't realize that CDs are downsampled—lossily—to cram the original audio signal into a 44.1kHz, 16-bit stereo stream?

When the iTunes music store opened, it was announced that they'd be going back to the original masters to encode the AACs, instead of ripping from CDs. As I understand it, this means it's entirely possible for an AAC at 256kbps to be more faithful to the original signal than would be the equivalent Red Book-compliant CD.

It does seem that the AACs from the iTS are sampled at 44.1kHz, which lends your concern some relevance. But don't attempt to draw such a sharp distinction between "lossy" and "lossless" when the "lossless" to which you refer is, in fact, also lossy, and a cruder type of lossy at that.

Re:No DRM? Don't care. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907719)

well, your post means there are 2 of us that know this on /.

Re:No DRM? Don't care. (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907887)

I just thought of a better way of explaining it, too. CD audio is 1,411.2 kbps [google.com] . Imagine what you could do with an AAC of that bitrate, if you had the source material to do it justice. You certainly wouldn't pass up an AAC at that bitrate just because AAC's lossiness is perceptual where PCM's is a dumb cutoff.

Re:No DRM? Don't care. (1)

Chouonsoku (1009817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908269)

I realized that the audio on a disc obviously is compressed audio, or else there would be no point in DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, or masters for that matter. But, when comparing a CD to an AAC version created from a CD, the CD could be considered relatively lossless, though not literally.

Even so, I wasn't aware that music from the iTunes Store was encoded from masters. Now that I think about it, it makes sense and is completely possible, probably even more efficient. That being said, I'd have to agree that a master --> AAC could be higher quality than a master --> CD --> AAC.

I apologize for my ignorance.

It's like the radio (0)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907485)

that everybody says they want in the iPod. Well, how have the other players with a radio in them sold? Not well. So people, in general, don't want a crappy radio.

I'm sure they can offer a sub service as well as the others. Right now they're in heavy negotiation with the labels, and they've got to at least pretend they don't want it.

Yes, some people will want a sub service. I think they'll eventually get it, as part of... prices tiered by actual value to the consumer, not the whim of marketing departments.

Correction, Mr. Jobs (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907689)

People don't want to "pay for" music.

No single "right answer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907859)

I'm all for Steve-o ripping the RIAA a new one and using some muscle flexing to get non-DRM music. I currently own a lot (680+) of Apple DRM music, but that doesn't mean I'm happy with it. That said, too many people seem to be arguing how a subscription is better than ownership, or vice versa. This will always depend on the price and the individual considering the purchase, and their motives for doing so.

Not everyone has the same finances, not everyone listens to the same amount of music, and not everyone thinks $.99/song is expensive, or cheap. That means there is a wide variety of sales models that SHOULD be available from many different retailers. Choice is good.

I can imagine a lot of people that are very serious about listening to a variety of music would be interested in paying for a subscription. If you want to "try" 20, 30, 40, or even more albums per month, buying them will leave all but the very rich people out to hang dry. Some people don't think 30 second samplers are good enough. On the other hand, I only buy the equivalent of about 5 to 8 albums per month, and am willing to waste $.99 on a song that had 30 seconds of awesome riff and 2'30" more of utter crap. Then there are people that don't want to buy single songs, but the entire album. Sometimes a physical CD is cheaper than buying a full album on iTS.

So really, there's a wide variety of viable sales/rental/subscription methods out there. Some will make more money than others, and someone will fill the void. So what the article SHOULD have read (or what Steve-o SHOULD have said) was that a subscription method would be an utter failure FOR APPLE.

That said, full DRM songs for SALE just doesn't make sense for the consumer, no matter what your niche is...

Yo0 insensitive clond?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18907917)

tto, can be a a child knows and Mich4el Smith

Too expensive (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18907951)

At 1.29 (last I heard) for the DRM free version, it's even more worth it to just buy the CD if you want DRM free music. Personally, a file transfered over the internet isn't worth that much to me. I don't know why people pay so much for music from iTunes when the CDs are only marginally more expensive. For my downloaded music I use eMusic. They don't have everything, so I still buy some CDs. However, eMusic's price of about $0.30 for a song is much more to my liking. I've always said it should be a quarter a song, even when iTunes first came out. Because when you cut out the entire distribution chain, as well as the physical media, the cost of the songs should be really low. And since from what I hear the artists don't make any more from iTunes (sometimes less) than they do from CD sales, I can only assume that it's lining the pockets of the production companies, who frankly, don't really deserve any more money.

The ultimate hypocrite? (5, Insightful)

SysPig (63656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908193)

Perhaps Mr. Jobs would like to expand his "you bought it, use it as you wish" philosophy to the OS he sells.

 

Re:The ultimate hypocrite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908401)

Exactly. He's DRMed his OS so you can only run it on a box sold by Apple.

emusic baby. (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908257)

$20 bucks for 75 tracks/mo. Strait mp3s with no strings attached and the ability to download anything you've lost without penalty. Now if we can just get all the labels on it :).

Jobs wants to make more money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908301)

Apple is making $0.10 profit for every song sold on iTMS. A subscription service will likely make less money since it would appeal mostly to people who would otherwise buy 20 or more songs a month on iTMS.

What we reallly want... (1)

djfake (977121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908313)

What Apple really wants is their AAC to be the standard for compressed music. What people really want is uncompressed music.

Re:What we reallly want... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908457)

There's nothing about non-DRMed AAC that is Apple-proprietary. In terms of standards status and patent licensability, it's no more "closed" than MP3.


Uncompressed music would be nice, but not because AAC is "Apple's" AAC.

Re:What we reallly want... (4, Informative)

koreth (409849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908489)

AAC as used by Apple is part of the MPEG-4 standard. [mp3-tech.org] Apple didn't invent it and doesn't own it.

All digital music, with the exception of purely synthesized stuff, has to pass through an analog-to-digital conversion process that throws away information (quantizing). So "uncompressed music" is still actually compressed -- and lossy-compressed at that -- if it's in digital form. The question has never been compressed vs. uncompressed, but rather what type and level of information loss you find acceptable.

I'm happy with a compression format that is not encumbered with lots of onerous license terms (i.e., that I could write and distribute an open-source player for if I felt like it) and that produces quality slightly better than the point at which I can hear the difference on a good stereo system. The "slightly better" simply so that if I get an even better stereo system later on, I still won't hear the difference. As long as that baseline is met, I want the format to take as few bytes per song as possible.

Does that make me not "people?"

Re:What we reallly want... (4, Insightful)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908501)

You know, I call bullshit on this argument. I bet that you and all the other people that make this argument (and there seems to be a lot) really just don't want to pay anything for music at all. You all just want to download the songs for free, and wouldn't pay a cent for a song even if it came in uncompressed 96 KHz PCM Audio straight from the master tape.

Now, if that's what you want (free, as in beer, music) come out and say it, and lets have a real debate over the underlying issue. But don't hide behind this BS "uncompressed music" argument. No commercially available completely uncompressed. Even most CD's are dynamically range compressed [wikipedia.org] .
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