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Apple Mulls Flat-Rate "Unlimited Music" Option

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the sounds-delicious dept.

Music 355

Mike writes "Apple is in discussions with the big music companies about an 'all you can eat' model for buying music that would give customers free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying a premium for its iPod and iPhone devices. Finally, it looks like the industry (or at least Apple) is 'getting it'. The real question is not whether the big music companies will go for it, but rather, who will be the first one to get smart and agree to offer it?"

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As long as (4, Insightful)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799418)

my purchase does not "expire". I want to own my music. And if it doesn't expire and I can get unlimited songs, just how expensive would this premium be? I expect it would be significant.

Re:As long as (5, Informative)

wbav (223901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799500)

If you RTFA, the fee Apple is pushing is $20 and you keep the music as long as you keep the device. No word on CDs but I would expect that music would continue to play through iTunes, even if you sold the device.

Re:As long as (-1, Flamebait)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799874)

Surely this is exploiting your monopoly in one area (portable digital music players) to support your other operations.

They better let me buy into the same deal with my creative/sony/whatever player, or I'm going to tell the EU on them....

Re:As long as (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800416)

You forgot the anticompetitive part. You know, like how Microsoft threatened to terminate Windows licenses on Compaq for supporting Netscape and AOL?

Apple would need to be doing something anticompetitive with their monopoly... such as refusing to sell iPods to WalMart because they also sold Sony.

Re:As long as (4, Informative)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800018)

The article is poorly worded but they aren't talking about charging the consumer $20. The $20 is what Apple wants to pay the record companies per device. It's not clear what they have in mind for the consumer. In any event, they aren't getting any bites because Nokia already pays $80 for the same priviledge.

Mind you, you can already get this feature from Rhapsody To Go for $14.99/mo for unlimited access to ~4.5 million songs. They've had this feature for quite a while now.

Re:As long as (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799530)

Not only that, but will indy artists get any cut of that? or just the **AA guys? Apparently they don't share well with artists. I don't see any of this benefiting the people most proclaimed as suffering from music copyright infringement.... the artists.

Re:As long as (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799852)

I think Apple is mastering the Boiling Frog theory of sales.

Right now, the conceptual actions of the **AA are hurting artists by reputation even more than the pure $ effect with their fear campign.

Once Apple gets a lock on the Flat Fee model, they can work on weird ways to funnel the money to the artists. "Donate your dollar to the artist, save a dollar on an ipod" or something.

Re:As long as (5, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799544)

I want to own my music.
Then stick to CDs or unencumbered MP3s. The idea of a subscription service is that you keep paying for it to hear all the music you want. You would end up canceling your subscription the moment you downloaded as much music as your hard drive could hold and that would be the end of it.

Re:As long as (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799984)

Only if no new music comes out that you want. And if that's the case, the problem is with the music industry.

Re:As long as (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799550)

I think a lot of people wouldn't mind "renting" unlimited music for the right price. Say for $10/month I'd bet most people would be OK paying forever.

Of course, that would require pretty strict DRM. Apple would have to scrap the whole "rip audio CD" thing, which would be a dealbreaker for me at least.

Re:As long as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799884)

I think a lot of people wouldn't mind "renting" unlimited music for the right price. Say for $10/month I'd bet most people would be OK paying forever.
Hi, my name is Napster. I'm from the year 2004--have we met?

This subscription schema fails every time. Apple's subsidizing through device pricing is fully new. DRM or not, the vast majority of listeners will listen to this music on an iPod, CD, or through iTunes on a computer...they've got so many people by the balls now that it doesn't matter. Their foothold is strong enough that unless the pricing or features is horrendous, people will buy it regardless of what the minute percentage of slashdotters and audiophiles want, and they'll still be a top 5 music sales company.

I wish they'd drop DRM myself, but let's look at what hasn't worked and what anybody with a clue would assume Apple would do here. Lock people in and throw away the key (for me, that's not a bad thing, I like it, haha).

Re:As long as (3, Interesting)

jordyhoyt (1013713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800130)

I want to own my music.
What happens when the music you buy turns out to be music you don't actually like all that much? Or maybe after a few years your tastes mature and you don't really like that album you bought so much anymore, what then?
I own a Zune and gladly pay the bad music insurance [penny-arcade.com] because I know my tastes fluctuate wildly. The freedom to download 20 albums at a time (guilt-free mind you), then scrap the 18 I decide I don't like is, to me, paramount to actually "owning" music I might regret buying.

As an Ipod owner (3, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799426)

..who has never paid for any music from iTunes, this is one hook that I would consider biting (besides the hardware I'm already stuck with)

Re:As an Ipod owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799472)

Agreed. I don't like iTunes much at all but I would definatly go for this, if I owned the music and the premium wasn't too much (and I didn't have to buy a new iPod to get it).

Re:As an Ipod owner (0)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800366)

(and I didn't have to buy a new iPod to get it)

Are you serious? Of course you'd have to buy a new ipod to get it. Getting people to buy shit they don't need is half of Apple's market strategy, and the other half is vendor/DRM lock-in. This idea conveniently satisfies both missions.

This would be, in a word, terrible... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799860)

As a consumer, I'd love to have a limitless supply of music any time I want it. But this model seems to guarantee the destruction of what little power remains in the hands of artists. Today, a music label makes money from finding talent, marketing them, getting their music published, etc. Yes, they rip off said talent, and yes, they often find one hit wonder pop crap. But, having said that, it at least provides a model where artists get paid in proportion to the how much music they sell and, theoretically, how popular they are.

The trouble I see with a model like this is that the incentive for music labels would suddenly become a volume business. Basically just fill up the jukebox with as much crap as possible. In fact, realistically, would they have to do much of anything in terms of artist development and promotion? Apple sells a pod, then the music label gets a cut, and some smidgen of that cut ends up in the pockets of some artists. Wouldn't the label benefit from having a lot of small artists they pay nothing to?

Seems like, at the end of the day it empowers the large labels, damages the independent labels, and reduces, yet again, the money that goes into a musician's pocket.

Re: Paid in proportion to ______ (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799986)


There's a serious opportunity for alternative payments for upsell-value.
Special editions, signed copies (ebay-food), etc make far more money than the "starter-CD".

There are other chances for innovation here.

Free? (5, Funny)

flynt (248848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799434)

"free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799490)

Goatse. [twofo.co.uk]

You nerd faggots love it.

And in other news, Zeus still sucks cock.

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799542)

I'm pretty sure in this case it means "Unrestricted".

Re:Free? (1, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799650)

It's the 'libre' type of free, not the 'gratis' type of free. Or, for the home school kids out there, it's free 'as in freedom', not 'as in beer'

Re:Free? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799778)

Actually, it is neither.

You are neither getting a product free of charge (gratis), or having unlimited access with the ability to use the music freely forever, like you would expect when purchasing a DRM-free mp3 or CD (libre).

Re:Free? (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800184)

it's free 'as in freedom', not 'as in beer'

Are you on crack? DRMd music is not free as in freedom.

This scheme is nothing more than a pay-up-front subscription service - one copied from Nokia at that.

Re:Free? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22800274)

Meaningless commie-talk.

Re:Free? (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799728)

I realize you did this for the free karma, but for those that didn't read the summary, let alone the article, your comment is misleading.

The article doesn't answer the key question for the average consumer:

Will older models of the aforementioned devices will be allowed this access?
Would I be required to pay the premium as I have an older model in order to gain access?
DRM?
etc.

Couldn't be bothered to click through to the Financial Times article that the above story links to just in case there was additional information.

Re:Free? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800376)

Couldn't be bothered to click through to the Financial Times article that the above story links to just in case there was additional information.
Couldn't be bothered to read your whole comment, so I'll just post here without knowing what you're talking about.

Isn't that about the same as what you posted? For all you know, those articles answered your question...

Re:Free? (1)

EPL0c0 (1259136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800300)

Inconceivable!

Great for the consumer. (2, Interesting)

Higaran (835598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799466)

But I don't know if it will fly, but then again, with a proper payment model to the record labels I think they may take it. I could see them say yes to having a song or album put into the unlimited use catagory once it is 6 months or a year old or something like that. I don't see them agreeing to this with new releases since that kind of is their bread & butter, find the next big thing, sell the krap out of it and move on. Apple is a big player in the music industry but I don't think they have enough power to force the record companies into anything.

Big companies are the supplier... (3, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799474)

The real question is not whether the big music companies will go for it, but rather, who will be the first to one get smart and agree to offer it?

I disagree. Big companies still supply the music. The ITunes store would go out of business overnight of all of the labels pulled their songs from it. There are still some indie bands out there, but in terms of sheer scale, the big companies still hold many of the cards. Granted, it would be foolish of them to cut up a revenue stream, but the big companies still have the product to sell, and their input should not be dismissed.

I don't think so... (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800272)

I don't know about that. While the big music companies are entrenched and, well ... big, they are still losing their viability as a business. Look at how hard RIAA picks fights with p2p clients. The role of having some physical medium for your music is diminishing as electronic copies are far more convenient and cheaper to distribute/share. If all of the big companies left music, Apple could always adapt by consolidating all of the Indie musicians available through the internet and offer a convenient method customers with their favorite (substitute) genre; see Pandora Radio [pandora.com] and music genome project. Having the latest album of B. Spears or 50 cent on a dinky piece of silicon for 20$ from the RIAA isn't as appealing as it sounds. If anything, the big companies NEED Apple's vision right now before they become extinct.

Never going to happen with me, friend (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799488)

I will NEVER give any one company the power to switch off my entire music or movie collection with the push of a button, or because of a computer error, or because their company went bankrupt or got sold.

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799702)

Yah, cuz without my music I'd be nothing! You can have my music when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799822)

Try less Pompous Nerd Indignation and more RTFA...

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (4, Informative)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799936)

If you had read the article, then you would know that what Apple is proposing, is unlimited physical downloads that never expire. That means they cannot switch off your access, and if your hard drive crashed and killed everything on it, you could simply re-download your whole collection. If the company went bankrupt or sold, then as long as you still have the software or the device that can play the file format, then you are fine. This is not the same as other subscription services like Napster.

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799966)

As long as you still have to ask Apple permission to play your DRM'd files, they can switch off your access.

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800070)

Of course, I mean you would be paying a $20 price premium on your ipod to have all the music you could ever want.. Why would those greedy bastards want to pull the plug if I get a new player, and make me pay a whopping $20 again!?!?!

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800172)

I will NEVER give any one company the power to switch off my entire music or movie collection with the push of a button, or because of a computer error, or because their company went bankrupt or got sold.

I dunno. I like the way Netflix works and I could see the same for music because there is a lot of movies I know I might like but I haven't seen them so I don't know if its worth the purchase.

So if I watch a DVD that I got from netflix that I really liked, I could go out and buy it if I wanted to add to my collection. If I just bought it in the first place, there is always the chance I might not like it and it goes on the shelf for all eternity taking up space.

The same could be said for music and as long as the fee is cheaper than actually buying the music then I wouldn't mind it if it were as a trial basis. Then if I really liked it I could go and buy the CD.

Currently the only way to "try out" music is to download it off pirate sites and thats not a good way to support musicians.

Re:Never going to happen with me, friend (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800262)

With a subscription model, look at it like you're renting music every month. In that case, I could care less about DRM, as long as it worked.

Do you get pissed off when you have to return a DVD to netflix or Blockbuster?

You should only expect DRM free if you actually BUY the music. But if you in fact get DRM free with a subscription, that's great too!

"Getting it"? (3, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799492)

You can use that term when they have DRM free content.

Re:"Getting it"? (1)

FusionJunky (205375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799566)

Re:"Getting it"? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799918)

Applies to maybe a quarter of the tracks on iTunes (as compared to 100% on CDs and services like Amazon's MP3 thing).

In any case, it's irrelevant. DRM-free is naturally incompatible with an all-you-can-eat subscription service. Stop paying, stop getting. Until it could be streamed live from anywhere at any time, it'll work as downloading an encrypted version.

This is just Subscription model 2.0 (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799512)

We've all seen this before, and it doesn't work. Nobody wants to pay for all you can eat when it isn't. If you are paying monthly for permanent access to their entire library going forward, lets talk. I'd pay 100 bucks for that.
But to pay 100 bucks to use it "unlimited" as long as you are DRM'd? No thanks.

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799608)

From the article: "It would allow downloading of any song at any time so long as the purchaser still owns the device, and the songs would be yours to keep."

If they are really yours to keep then I'm not sure it's such a bad deal. At the very least it's just another choice people have.

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799924)

It is not your music when it's encrypted with their DRM.

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (3, Insightful)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799784)

Yeah, Napster [napster.co.uk] offers this service already. For £10/month you get unlimited access to their song library - so long as you don't mind the Windows Media DRM and total lack of support for non-Windows platforms. So Apple shouldn't have too much difficulty in their negotiations, since Napster has already paved the way. It'll be the same service, plus support for Macs and iPods. This is hardly a revolutionary new idea.

With this kind of service, DRM is a big turnoff. But I am not sure how this service could possibly be offered without DRM. The need for a special client program is also a turnoff: why not just provide the catalogue on a website and rely on the media player for DRM authentication?

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799786)

I could part with a hundred bobs for unlimted access to the iTunes store, that's chump change.

Who cares if it's DRMed? It's not like Apple is going under, and for a one-time fee of 100 dollars, I wouldn't have to buy any other music (aside from the stuff I would want to truly own, without DRM, which isn't that much).

This is all ridiculously academic, though.

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (1)

JazzyMusicMan (1012801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799806)

They still aren't offering me a better deal or incentives than my current "Pay Nothing For All I Want" bargain

Re:This is just Subscription model 2.0 (2, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800030)

"We've all seen this before, and it doesn't work. Nobody wants to pay for all you can eat when it isn't. "

a.) There are two million 'nobodies' subscribed to Rhapsody right now.

b.) Cable/Satellite TV already uses that model, only it's not on-demand. Not only is that successful, but they're throwing ads on top of it! Heh.

The big problem with it isn't the business model, it's getting people to wrap their heads around the idea that it's not the same as iTunes. Music subscription isn't a music store, it's an on-demand music service. Those are two very different concepts, but not entirely unlike comparing television shows on DVD to being a cable subscriber. Amusingly, just like in the cable/DVD example, the two models aren't mutually exclusive, either.

If you're curious, I can tell you more about what why in some cases subscription would be preferable to purchase. In the mean time, however, I hope you'll accept my suggestion that subscription is merely a 'less' version of purchase. There's a whole different set of pros and cons.

What?! (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799514)

"Finally, it looks like the industry (or at least Apple) is 'getting it'"

Apple has the most successful internet music distribution system available. From the millions of iPods sold to the billions of songs sold on iTunes. And needless to say, everyone else who has tried the "all you can eat" music pricing model has failed.

So please inform me exactly what Apple is finally getting! Thanks. I won't be holding my breath.

Re:What?! (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799740)

Maybe they're going to try an "all you can eat" model with a music selection that doesn't completely suck?

Re:What?! (1)

richmaine (128733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800000)

Amen. I personally *FAR* prefer Apple's current model. Objective data (sales) suggests that I'm not the only one.

With the current model, I buy just what I want and then I have it forever. Yes, even if Apple goes out of business or otherwise changes their mind.

Even Apple's current DRM'ed stuff has a far less painful DRM than any other I've seen. I haven't actually ever wanted to do anything with it that I wasn't allowed to do. Plus Apple allows you to burn to a completely un-DRM'ed cd. No DRM at all would be nicer, but every other version I've seen strikes me as worse than Apple's.

It is also true that I don't buy huge amounts of new music. I'm sure that any premium would end up with me paying many times more than what I'm paying now, for the same music.

I'd say that anyone who thinks that such a change would constitute "getting it", doesn't "get it" themselves. At least, they don't "get" me.

Re:What?! (1)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800226)

I'm not holding my breath either. The current iTunes model works just fine as far as I'm concerned, though a few upgrades such as better quality files, no DRM, fairer deals for artists and more reasonable pricing would certainly be welcome.

Subscription services, on the other hand, demand that I either pay even if I don't download any music that month, or else go through the process of canceling, and in many cases I can't even browse their selection so I can tell if I they have any music I am even interested in before paying. Apparently most don't.

I don't mind paying for the music I download, but I do mind products I want being bundled with products I don't want, and I do mind paying and not knowing what I get or if I get anything at all for my money.

And I really hate it when somebody assumes that because I own a certain product such as an iPod, then I obviously also engage in certain behaviours, such as illegally downloading music, or buying music from the iTunes store.
If Apple thinks that I will want to pay an extra $20 for my iPod and then download 20 songs from iTunes, they are most certainly not "getting it". They are losing it!

The first line in the article contains a key word (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799518)

that got dropped out of the summary, "may". Its still rumor at this point, maybe you shouldn't be trying to pass it off as fact.

Re:The first line in the article contains a key wo (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799794)

While the article summaries here often leave a lot to be desired, let's give credit when it's due.

The article:

A report by the Financial Times (registration required) cites unnamed executives who say that Apple is in talks with record labels to offer access to the entire iTunes music library for a lump sum price.
The summary:

Apple is in discussions with the big music companies about an 'all you can eat' model for buying music that would give customers free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying a premium for its iPod and iPhone devices.
The post title:

Apple Mulls Flat-Rate "Unlimited Music" Option
Sounds good to me. Maybe this will help you:

mull /ml/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[muhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation -verb (used without object) 1. to study or ruminate; ponder. -verb (used with object) 2. to think about carefully; consider (often fol. by over): to mull over an idea. 3. to make a mess or failure of. [Origin: 1815-25; perh. identical with dial. mull to crumble, pulverize; see mull4] --Synonyms 1. consider, weigh.

Why should I care? (0, Offtopic)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799526)

I buy my music CDs directly from the band and rip them into MP3s already.

Re:Why should I care? (5, Funny)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799708)

Spoiler: There will be stories that appear on Slashdot that you do not care about. Not everything will apply to you, you egomaniac!

DRM'd? Check Techdirt (3, Interesting)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799532)

Although this seems to go against what is mentioned in the article, techdirt broke this story about six hours ago. From their site http://techdirt.com/articles/20080319/015959582.shtml [techdirt.com] :

While this would get a lot of attention, you only get access to the music for the lifetime of the device or subscription (if you didn't pay a lump sum). While there's a small concession that you'd get to keep 40 to 50 songs after the device died or the subscription ended, you'd lose the rest of the songs. In other words, despite Steve Jobs' supposed dislike for DRM, this music would be quite DRM'd. Limited subscription plans have been around for ages and they've never gone very far because of those limitations. People know better by now, and so should Steve Jobs.

Re:DRM'd? Check Techdirt (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799578)

Yeh, I can't imagine this happening without DRM... this would basically be a subscription model. Not only that, but they'd have to add additional restrictions to iTunes to prevent people from burning (or possibly even playing) the music. I really don't think this would be a good thing, over all, it would mean a serious reversion of Apple's DRM policy.

Re:DRM'd? Check Techdirt (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799682)

The two articles seem to agree, or at least not disagree: the iPhone-only service would be subscription-based, while the iPod/iPhone would be ownership with DRM'd files.

(I will commend you for having read two articles, which is two more than any other posters seem to have looked at!)

Re:DRM'd? Check Techdirt (1)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799834)

The difference is that this article suggests that you keep ALL the music when the subscription ends, where techdirt is stating you only keep 40 or 50 tracks. Now if I were let loose in a music buffet, I'd have myself more than just 40 or 50 tracks. And since I don't use Itunes or Ipods I can't state for certian, but I thought there was some form of copy restriction on fairplay drm'd music that causes the file to autodelete if the copy limit is exceeded. So the question is how much music will they let you keep?

Re:DRM'd? Check Techdirt (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800380)

I think the 40 or 50 refers to the iPhone deal, whereas the one linked here is about the ownership one. The whole thing seems like speculation, though.

Re:DRM'd? Check Techdirt (1)

writertype (541679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799704)

Techdirt didn't "break" this story. Neither did ArsTechnica. The FT did. Both articles cite the FT, so why can't Slashdot?

This is the real reason newspapers are dying: fucking blogs take a story, add a few sentences of pithy commentary, and other fucking blogs cite the blog instead of the original source.

Oh, and in case you're wondering whether the "40 to 50 songs" detail was original reporting -- no, it wasn't.

Pay for music? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799552)

WTF are they talking about?

Re:Pay for music? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799800)

About not being a cheap-ass, scum sucking mofo who'd steal a grade schoolers lunch if given the opportunity.

Two Questions (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799580)

How much? When? These are the burning questions we all want to know.

How much money... (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799600)

...would this add to the price of the iPod?

Re:How much money... (1)

Tink2000 (524407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800044)

RTFA and see!

Silly Apple... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799606)

I only pay a monthly fee for broadband, which allows me unfettered access to ANY song I could ever hope to have... I have yet to see any DRM on it either!

Re:Silly Apple... (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799714)

I only pay a monthly fee for broadband, which allows me unfettered access to ANY song I could ever hope to have... I have yet to see any DRM on it either!

Can you take your broadband with you on the bus, in your car, taking a walk, on a plane, to a friend's house, or to the office?

Re:Silly Apple... (1)

egyptiankarim (765774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799908)

Silly Devil's advocate:

Uhh, yeah. I hold my tape recorder up to my computer speakers and then put the cassette in my WalkMan ;)

Re:Silly Apple... (1)

ZJVavrek (952066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800122)

"Analog hole? Yeah, that's what I stick the microphone in, right?"

Re:Silly Apple... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800150)

No, but I can put the byproduct on lower priced, large capacity media players than anything Apple pushes.

Re:Silly Apple... (3, Funny)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799830)

I only pay a monthly fee for broadband, which allows me unfettered access to ANY song I could ever hope to have... I have yet to see any DRM on it either!

So, you don't have Comcast?

free music for life? (2, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799624)

Then the owner can make unlimited music downloads from the iTunes Store for the life of the device. Once downloaded, the tracks are yours to keep, even if you get rid of the original iPod or iPhone.
Crap. There is NO WAY record labels are going to let me download and keep forever every song I want. Wouldn't this bankrupt the music industry??? I buy an ipod for $200 and for the next 5-10 years I get free music? This must be only for playing on portable devices, ONLY. If they let you burn this to CD, it will never work.

I think someone's a bit naive here... (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799634)

Since the average iPod owner buys about 20 tracks from the iTunes, Apple wants to make the premium about $20, arguing that it should cover the average consumer's downloads.

I think this is a bit naive (and I don't think it's Steve Jobs): people tend to eat more at a smorgasbord than if they have to pay for each entree, and this effect would be even greater when they have room for thousands of entrees in their digital stomachs. :)

Re:I think someone's a bit naive here... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799790)

this effect would be even greater when they have room for thousands of entrees in their digital stomachs. :)

Not at all!!! Most of my friends only download 10 or so songs from iTunes.

They usually buy cd's at Musicland or FMV and rip them to iTunes.

They would still pay the $20 a month fee just in case Brittany Spears, Nickleback, and Metallica release new albums all in the same month.

They never use myTunes, and love DRM because it's the only fair thing for consumers.

Re:I think someone's a bit naive here... (2, Insightful)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799812)

Except think of it from their point of view: unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet which the more you eat the more it costs the restaurant, digital downloads of songs already paid to record and produce cost (near) nothing (sure there are bandwidth costs but that is fractions of pennies per song). So as long as Apple/the music companies make the surcharge more than the average amount of songs downloaded per ipod, they are making money. So everyone downloads 50 gigs of music for their ipod... so what? Then apple and the record companies have still made more than they would have if everyone only downloaded an average of 20 songs per ipod. It is really similar to the idea of radio (internet and traditional); the station pays a flat fee and can play any music they want.

Apple's ultimate plan (1)

icyisamu (941436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799694)

1. Get music available for purchase online.
2. Get music available for sale without DRM. Slowly getting done.
3. ??? (Get all the music available for a month by paying a premium)
4. Profit!

Isn't this the first time you get to see what the "???" really is?

Never bought ANYTHING from iTunes (1)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799696)

And I'm not about to start now, even under an unlimited option. About a year ago I realized I have pretty much all the old(er) music I ever wanted, starting with classical and ending with happy hardcore, and all of it in mp3 or flac. At this point I actually started replacing the lower quality mp3s with flac, just for the hell of it. :) Given the slashdot audience, I'm sure there are many in my position.

And there are much better sources for new, independent music than iTunes, where the money goes straight to the artists, or at least a much higher percentage of it.

So why should I even care about the iTunes news? It's still DRM music, it still ties you to an iPod and most likely it will still be overpriced. It's actually guaranteed to be overpriced compared to torrents or other sources.

Re:Never bought ANYTHING from iTunes (1)

Tink2000 (524407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800082)

It's still DRM music

Yep, sure shows you don't use ITMS. Nice jeorb there.

Your completely anectdotal post? Not so much.

Are you kidding me?!?! (1)

Godsized (1259112) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799744)

Its insane to think this is the right way to do things. Seriously if it was Microsoft would of owned music all ready. It has been what they have been pushing all along, for nearly a decade guys. And you havent bought it, in all those years. Yahoo music offered it, Real offered it... the list is endless. The majority of the public have paid for very lil music. I know 4 billion is a big number, but if you compare to 120 million ipods sold, that is 34 songs a device. This is simple math and doesnt really mean much but that means in the whole time we own that device we have purchased 34 songs for it. the average ipod has way more songs on it :) We have massive media collections as it is, that is what is on our ipod. This is a good option for some ppl, but not for many.

Re:Are you kidding me?!?! (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799974)

Does Yahoo even offer it anymore? I know they offer a subscription service where you can listen to the music on a Windows PC, but they seem to have removed all mentions of transferring to portable devices using Janus. They did offer the service for $5 a month including transfer to portables, which doesn't seem too bad.
Apple would definitely have the market share advantage. If they can get it working with all iPods rather than just the current gen, they'd have a definite simplicity advantage over Microsoft whose "Play For Sure" is anything but.

Sweetness (4, Interesting)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799824)

I never saw the big deal about not "owning" your music. As long as I get to listen to the music I want to when I want to, I don't care who owns or doesn't own it, so I'm perfectly happy with my unlimited subscription to Napster. That's the one thing that's always kept me from buying an iPod- I like to be legal about things, but I don't want to pay $.99 a song to do it. If they were to offer a subscription or even a one-time pay $100-$200 thing for unlimited music forever, I know I'd be all over that, and I'd be purchasing my very first Apple product.

Still no Zappa. (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799838)

Re:Still no Zappa. (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800320)

Heh. I have Zappa in MY iTunes.

The trick to that is to own the CD. Used CDs work just as well as new ones, and mean that the RIAA get exactly jack and shit from your pocket. Then rip, mix, download to your iPod...bliss.

I also have The Beatles in MY iTunes as well. Same deal.

The only thing I get from the iTunes store is podcasts. For free. Bwahahaha. If there is a song I am itching to get, and I can't find the CD at Second Spin or Amoeba Records in Hollywood, then maybe I'll break down and buy it from the iTunes store. So far there's been no song compelling enough to do that with.

Good for Buisness bad for Music (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799890)

Sure, Apple and the Big record labels stand to make a killing from plans like these but how exactly do the Musicians get payed? You know, the people who make the music. Musicians already make next to nothing on the $0.99 you pay to download a track off of iTunes. Downloading isn't killing music. Greedy record labels are killing music.

I don't own an ipod (0, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799922)

so what do I get out of this? Why can't I have "total" access to the library?

RS

Music Industry feels "Entitled"... (4, Insightful)

kuwan (443684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799942)

The other side to this that News.com is reporting [news.com] is that the music industry feels entitled to a cut of iPod sales. The key piece from that article is as follows:

At this stage in the game, the music industry feels it is entitled to something.

Entitled to something!? Are you kidding me? Entitled to a middle finger up their ass maybe. Certainly not entitled to stealing the profits of another company's successful product.

I'm not sure it's Apple that's thinking about this but rather the Music companies trying to push this on Apple. What they'd really want is a monthly fee from you every month of every year for the rest of your life. Oh and if you decide to stop paying, well then you're shit out of luck. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick with paying for the music I want once and keeping it forever.

Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22799950)

All of these models are just too little, too late. The recording industry had years to come to it's senses, and instead opted to purchase legislation and prosecute.

I, for one, already have an unlimited free music library; it's called the internet.

I look forward to the demise of this industry.

I buy CDs. Why should I pay this premium? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799952)

I buy my music on CD and rip to 256Kbps AAC. I don't buy music from iTunes, and I see no reason why I should pay even more for an iPod than I normally would in order to cover a RIAA tax.

Re:I buy CDs. Why should I pay this premium? (2, Interesting)

Higaran (835598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800162)

I hate to say this because I know it sounds kind of bad, but it's because then you'd be a sucker, and your only buying in ipod just for the sake of having an ipod. If your doing it that way, then buy a diffrent mp3 play and don't pay as much riaa tax.

Zune & others have had this for some time now (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22799970)

Quite honestly, its why I have a Zune, I want the freedom to not care about what I'm downloading. I go to get a song there may be 4 versions of it plus a half dozen live ones, what the hell, grab them all and decide later which ones I want to delete from it. I'd agonize endlessly over each purchase if I did it in any other way. I've already calculated, despite paying the $14.95 monthly fee for about a year and a half now i'm way way way ahead paying for it this way given the amount I've grabbed without worrying about it.

All you can eat AppleTV? (1)

alop (67204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800004)

If only they would give me an option to do AppleTV like that... Think about it, you pre-pay for NetFlix, it takes about a day to get a movie, you send it back and get more. AppleTV could do the same thing, maybe make the expiration dynamic, tied to when you get a new movie. I'd pay for that.

This Wouldn't Work (2, Interesting)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800014)

What would stop me from getting an unlimited account for one month, downloading the entire iTunes catalog, and then canceling the service?

Even if they DRM the music I can still stream rip it. I mean after all, the data still has to be transmitted to me and stored on an iPod somehow.

Re:This Wouldn't Work (1)

el_chupanegre (1052384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800166)

Because like all of these 'services' nowadays there will be a deliberately vague 'fair use' statement. Nothing to stop you downloading 1000 tracks per month though (unless that's covered by the fair use) and canceling it when you have all you want.

Re:This Wouldn't Work (1)

myz24 (256948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800316)

Well that would just be unethical...

Ok, to be completely serious you'd probably recompress the music again, only to reduce quality further. What you speak is possible and is with any music "service."

No, they aren't (1)

iniquitous (122242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800020)

Finally, it looks like the industry (or at least Apple) is 'getting it'.
No, they aren't. Not for me, anyway. I still buy CDs because I want lossless music* in a format that I can do whatever I want with. If I want a copy in my car, on my portable music player (i.e. any music player, not just on an iPod), in my home stereo, on my laptop, on my phone... at the same time... I can because I have the music in a format that places zero restrictions on its use.

I don't want a subscription to a service. I want to pay for my music and be able to use the purchased music wherever I want whenever I want for the rest of my life sans the company I bought the music from.

I'll start buying music online when companies like Apple offer me lossless, DRM-free files that come in (or at least can be converted to) an open format. Oh, and for less than $0.99 a song (I pay about that much for CDs, but I also get album art and the music already on a "back-up disc").

* I know that CDs aren't truly "lossless," if you consider that any digital format is ultimately an approximation of the real thing. I also know that there are higher quality formats available that go far beyond 16-bit, 44100 Hz. But, at the very least, CDs are always going to contain more information than lossy encodings when the encodings themselves are sourced from CDs.

Finally (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800032)

I think it's about time that apple has though about doing this.
And where do i sign up ?

Pay For a Month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22800132)

Download non-stop and cancel your account after a month. I would pay the premium once a year.

Patent Trolls (1)

vistic (556838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22800200)

I can't wait to find out who will claim this violates their "unlimited music distribution model" patent.

It's just a matter of time.

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