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Microsoft launches assault on Apple's "iPod tax"

post #1 of 116
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Microsoft is no longer content with turning up the heat against just Apple's Mac lines and has begun a new marketing campaign that attacks the perceived additional costs of filling an iPod with music versus a Zune, but one which omits key flaws in the process.

A new Zune Pass page and matching commercial from the Redmond, Washington-based Zune maker claim that loading a 120GB iPod classic with music solely from the iTunes Store would cost $29,700 where a Zune Pass unlimited subscription service would cost the same $15 per month; the difference is such that it would take 165 years of using the Zune service to match what it would take to load the iPod to the brim.

The campaign also argues that the permanent ownership of tracks is a negative, rebuffing Apple chief Steve Jobs' long-held assertion that people want to own their music instead of renting it. As iTunes shoppers have to commit to any songs they download, they can't backtrack if they decide they don't want the music they just bought. And, since subscriptions by definition encourage exploration of music that would otherwise be too prohibitive, Zune Pass members can download "whole discographies" at will rather than cherry picking individual albums or tracks, Microsoft claims.

Reinforcing the monetary focus, the company has opted out of using the 'real' people found in its Laptop Hunter ads and has instead recruited Capital Investment Advisors expert and frequent media show guest Wes Moss to push its case. He argues that it makes more sense for iTunes customers to consider a subscription service like the Zune Pass depending on the amount of music they consume.

But, similar to the thorough dissection that followed the anti-Mac ads, criticism has already emerged that accuses Microsoft of deliberately padding the actual costs of owning an iPod and using it with the iTunes Store. Variable pricing is one of the most immediate concerns. Microsoft assumes an average cost of 99 cents per song; as many albums cost $10 or less but have more than 10 tracks, the actual cost of buying songs can dip well under that amount. Changes in pricing per song also render it more difficult to calculate a final price in either direction.

As observed by many, the campaign similarly assumes that customers are bent on filling their devices to capacity and are only using sheer quantity rather than quality. It's commonly accepted that most users only buy to provide enough headroom for their own listening demands. Also, those who buy the iPod classic, 120GB Zune or other large-capacity players are more likely to have music encoded at high or even lossless quality, swelling the size of the files themselves and greatly reducing the number of songs that can fit in the available space.

The marketing push likewise sidesteps the limitations of the Zune Pass itself. Although it's now possible to keep 10 download tracks per month, most of the downloaded songs will disappear the moment the subscription ends -- leaving owners with just a fraction of what they had listened to before. Any additional songs past the first 10 also cost the same as on most other music stores and can potentially be expensive for those who plan to build large permanent music libraries.

And while all the permanent downloads come as unprotected MP3s, files downloaded as part of the subscription are locked in a Zune-specific format, forcing users to run only the Zune desktop client and use Zune players away from their PCs. The absence of a subscription option in iTunes limits iPod owners' options but also simplifies the process of leaving iTunes.



No matter the merits, Microsoft is known to be prepping more than just promotional spots to put the Zune in a new light. The company has stated it plans to introduce new players this year and may center the spotlight on the rumored Zune HD, its first touchscreen player and a response that may come two years after the iPod touch.
post #2 of 116
Microsoft also fails to acknowledge that if you're buying a 120gb ipod, you more than likely already own a bunch of music that you'll be loading on it.
post #3 of 116
And slacker radio is free on the iPhone and no zune version
post #4 of 116
I don't want a Zune but if Apple offered a similar pass scheme, I'd be all over it in a second.

I own a large CD collection but there's no such thing as too much music - especially when I can keep 10 tracks a month.
post #5 of 116
F@#k Microsoft.
post #6 of 116
This ad is silly!!! So full of misinformation. Image, just because you have 60 gigs, you are going to only fill it with purchased songs? Let's see-I have a PC with a 120 gig drive. I'll have to spend $40 million dollars on cheap, dumb software to use it! I better buy a Mac 128K. No big drive, no big spend! Zune, Alice, Zune. Right in the kisser!
Ballmer has nothing better to do and nothing better to sell-that Bill didn't out right steal.
post #7 of 116
if M$ gives me Khaki Brown Zune for free. :-)
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post #8 of 116
Who the heck plans to fill up an ipod with only music?!!

Oh yeah, Microsoft does not consider pictures, personal files, videos, podcasts, audiobooks, audio recordings, and games as things that might be used on an ipod...

besides, when buying a storage device we expect at least 2 to 5 gigs of free space as a safety net.
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post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

F@#k Microsoft.

Poetic
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post #10 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Who the heck plans to fill up an ipod with only music?!!

Oh yeah, Microsoft does not consider pictures, personal files, videos, podcasts, audiobooks, audio recordings, and games as things that might be used on an ipod...

besides, when buying a storage device we expect at least 2 to 5 gigs of free space as a safety net.

Microsoft is so out of touch. I don't even consider iPods Digital Music Players ..they're Digital Media Players now. I'm always showing pictures on mine or using the address book sync.
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post #11 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

F@#k Microsoft.

That's what Microsoft does to every customer!
post #12 of 116
Napster did the exact same ad maybe 5 years ago. Didn't work then, so MS thinks it will work now? No.
post #13 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrillja View Post

Napster did the exact same ad maybe 5 years ago. Didn't work then, so MS thinks it will work now? No.

LOL...Napster. Who was that idiot that worked for Napster that was high on something. He was always talking like Napster was actually relevant and competition. I'm surprised they can still keep the lights on.

Microsoft really needs to stop thinking they can compete in anything beyond Servers and Office Suites.

They have literally gotten their arses kicked in just about every frontal assualt they've tried. They haven't slayed a company since Netscape imploded in a fit of foolishness.
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post #14 of 116
Microsoft - why have we bought CDs when there existed radio? Radio is free. You can't choose music, but you may change station and often enough for enough many people that is good enough. So why pay 15 bucks to own only 10 tracks (which is what remains if you o not like Zune Pass any more).

And Microsoft has forgotten Pirate Bay! iPod works great with Pirate Bay! All for free (however legal not too sure...)
post #15 of 116
though i loathe the ad itself, i think the approach that microsoft is taking is fairly clever. i don't think the ads will have any particular affect on the ipod/phone buyers and/or sales of zune. i don't think a large amount of people will be willing to shell out $10/month. pandora is free and does a pretty good job of letting me listen to the songs that i like, and if i don't like ads, then it's $36/year, a much better deal than $120/year.
post #16 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahaj View Post

though i loathe the ad itself, i think the approach that microsoft is taking is fairly clever. i don't think the ads will have any particular affect on the ipod/phone buyers and/or sales of zune. i don't think a large amount of people will be willing to shell out $10/month. pandora is free and does a pretty good job of letting me listen to the songs that i like, and if i don't like ads, then it's $36/year, a much better deal than $120/year.

The problem is that Microsoft is speaking a half truth here.

1. Yes it "could" cost 30 grand to fill up an iPod but when you're done you own 30 grand of music.

2. You could fill up your Zune with music for $10 or so a month but the minute your payment lapses your bounty of music is gone.

Yes Pandora is an excellent choice. Mucho music and no monthly fees. I'm sick of monthly monthly fees.
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post #17 of 116
I have one and its filled up half with music and half with Movies/TV Shows. TV shows on iTunes cost only $2 and take up atleast 300 mb. Many of the movies I have are ripped from DVDs I already owned. How does that factor in to the calculations? A music pass? I hate having monthly payments. What a joke.
post #18 of 116
These ads won't work, 1st, the average Kid can't afford to flush $14.99 a month just for music, 2nd Kids don't hold credit cards to subscribe, 3rd, Pretty much everyone already knows what happens to the music you download when you skip a monthly payment. Who the heck wants to subscribe to a $14.99 monthly service just for music in this freggin economy when you can use Pandora or bit torrent for free.
post #19 of 116
Heeelarious. About 80% of the music on my 20GB iPod is ripped from CD's I already own. I wish Apple would just make a statement (or a nice clever ad) about MS's ads and tell them to just give up, it aint workin Redmond.
post #20 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

F@#k Microsoft.

i'm going to have to second this one.
post #21 of 116
You gotta admire the fact that they just keep slugging, no matter how lopsided the score. I don't think they honestly believe that they can overtake the iPod juggernaut to become the most popular player, but with decent devices they could stake out a modest minority position. Maybe that's enough for them to make it worthwhile. Kind of like the role Apple played for many years with it's computers. Except Apple's computers are actually better. New name for Ballmer: "Tenacious B"
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post #22 of 116
Anybody here who doesn't see the logic in Microsoft's arguments is just being hardheaded. There are times when we have to supress the harsh words and admit defeat. If Apple came out with a similar subscription service all of the posts in this thread would be totally different, you would all be praising the great Steve Jobs for his wonderful new idea.

If you spend over $15/Month in the iTunes store, then this is a more economical option. It's the same music either way. I agree that it is annoying to have to always be paying a subscription fee every month, but I'll gladly give a couple minutes if it means saving money.

This is also entirely dependant on the theory that people still buy music anymore.
post #23 of 116
In Captialist America Microsoft F@#ks YOU!

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post #24 of 116
You folks crack me up. If Apple had come out with a subscription service, you'd all be calling it the next best thing since sliced bread.

Let's look at the math here... For $14.95 a month, I get 10 songs to keep. So, I'm effectively paying roughly $5/month for unlimited access to the entire Zune Marketplace. That's $60 a year. The only way that math doesn't make sense is if I wouldn't be inclined to purchase at least 10 songs in any event. And even then, $14.95 for unlimited access would be a relative bargain.

What does this mean for me? Well, here's an example. The other day, a friend of mine mentioned a few artists that he's been listening to. I've never heard of them before, but I trust his opinion. And so, I opened the Zune software, searched for the bands, and clicked on the "Download" button for each and every one of their albums. In short order, I'd downloaded all of their songs, a total of about 350. I put them all into a playlist called "Tom's Recs."

Then, while I was walking my dog for the next few days, I selected that playlist and turn on shuffle. For those few hours, I enjoyed a nice selection of songs from three bands I'd never heard before. And the cost? $5.

Since I do that pretty much on a weekly basis, I typically download and enjoy access to over a thousand tunes a month. In a year, that's, well, about 12,000 tunes. Again, for $60. To enjoy the same experience with iTunes would cost me well over $10,000. Would I spend that much money on iTunes? Of course not. I'd simply enjoy access to a much more limited selection of music.

And sure, if I cancel the subscription, those songs disappear, but so what? I've enjoyed the use of them, and for a pittance. Complaining about losing them is like complaining about losing the use of a car when the lease runs out. And, I've had a very good opportunity to try out various kinds of music by various artists, and therefore can make much better informed purchasing decisions.

And, of course, nothing stopped me from ripping my own CDs to my Zune. They're all there, right next to their subscription buddies. And they'll still be there should I decide to cancel my subscription. All of that, on a player with a great UI, nice sound, and for a very reasonable price. It's great for video, podcasts, and audiobooks as well, with a handy auto-bookmarking feature and easy categorized access.

I can see someone finding fault with Microsoft's numbers. They're probably a bit inflated, but then again, that's marketing--something Apple's quite familiar with. But, the comments here are ridiculous in the extreme. If you want to pirate your music, fine, but that does nothing to position Apple in a better place than Microsoft. And the anti-Microsoft posts that do nothing to answer the reality of the ad are just sad.

Again, if Apple had originated a subscription service, you'd all be attacking everyone else for being so stupid as to "buy" their music. "Gosh," you'd say, "you idiots pay $.99 for EVERY song? Look at me, I download thousands of songs for only $49.99 a month." Because, of course, Apple wouldn't charge only $14.95 a month, and they wouldn't give you 10 songs to keep in the bargain.
post #25 of 116
Zune Pass - $15 per month to keep 10 songs and listen to unlimited songs.

iTunes (assuming iPhone or iPod Touch) - $10 - $13 per month to keep 10 songs and listen to unlimited songs via AOL Radio, Last.fm, Pandora etc.

Also pretty sure MS's DRM locked files won't work on an iPod, so what exactly is MS"s point? It's really expensive if you're stupid to fill your iPod so use Zune Pass instead, oh but since Zune Pass doesn't work on iPod (or Mac) buy a POS Zune and throw away your iPod?
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

You folks crack me up. If Apple had come out with a subscription service, you'd all be calling it the next best thing since sliced bread.

Let's look at the math here... For $14.95 a month, I get 10 songs to keep. So, I'm effectively paying roughly $5/month for unlimited access to the entire Zune Marketplace. That's $60 a year. The only way that math doesn't make sense is if I wouldn't be inclined to purchase at least 10 songs in any event. And even then, $14.95 for unlimited access would be a relative bargain.

What does this mean for me? Well, here's an example. The other day, a friend of mine mentioned a few artists that he's been listening to. I've never heard of them before, but I trust his opinion. And so, I opened the Zune software, searched for the bands, and clicked on the "Download" button for each and every one of their albums. In short order, I'd downloaded all of their songs, a total of about 350. I put them all into a playlist called "Tom's Recs."

Then, while I was walking my dog for the next few days, I selected that playlist and turn on shuffle. For those few hours, I enjoyed a nice selection of songs from three bands I'd never heard before. And the cost? $5.

Since I do that pretty much on a weekly basis, I typically download and enjoy access to over a thousand tunes a month. In a year, that's, well, about 12,000 tunes. Again, for $60. To enjoy the same experience with iTunes would cost me well over $10,000. Would I spend that much money on iTunes? Of course not. I'd simply enjoy access to a much more limited selection of music.

And sure, if I cancel the subscription, those songs disappear, but so what? I've enjoyed the use of them, and for a pittance. Complaining about losing them is like complaining about losing the use of a car when the lease runs out. And, I've had a very good opportunity to try out various kinds of music by various artists, and therefore can make much better informed purchasing decisions.

And, of course, nothing stopped me from ripping my own CDs to my Zune. They're all there, right next to their subscription buddies. And they'll still be there should I decide to cancel my subscription. All of that, on a player with a great UI, nice sound, and for a very reasonable price. It's great for video, podcasts, and audiobooks as well, with a handy auto-bookmarking feature and easy categorized access.

I can see someone finding fault with Microsoft's numbers. They're probably a bit inflated, but then again, that's marketing--something Apple's quite familiar with. But, the comments here are ridiculous in the extreme. If you want to pirate your music, fine, but that does nothing to position Apple in a better place than Microsoft. And the anti-Microsoft posts that do nothing to answer the reality of the ad are just sad.

Again, if Apple had originated a subscription service, you'd all be attacking everyone else for being so stupid as to "buy" their music. "Gosh," you'd say, "you idiots pay $.99 for EVERY song? Look at me, I download thousands of songs for only $49.99 a month." Because, of course, Apple wouldn't charge only $14.95 a month, and they wouldn't give you 10 songs to keep in the bargain.

Which is great for you, but I can't justify $15/mo to keep 10 songs. If I were to lose my job subscriptions would be the first thing I would cut. So instead of the $.99/song I'd spent on Amazon and iTunes, I wound up spending $1.50/song I get to keep on Zune Marketplace.

Granted, I still buy CDs, and LPs, as well as the occasional single off iTunes. So spending $15 on things I'd never really utilize is more of a waste than $.99/song.
post #27 of 116
Anyone who buys music one song at a time or subscribes to a music service has no taste in music. And with that comes no say. You're just a source of income to sombody. Where you spend $15 a month or 99¢ a song, I spend a minimum of $100 a month on music. And there's millions and millions of people like me who do the same.

My buying power is bigger then your buying power. So I have the say in how music is most profitably distributed.

This whole Microsoft/Apple argument is irrelevant. What is relevant is the $32.99 I spent on one record and the $29.000 I spent on filling my ipod.
post #28 of 116
Well, smart guy, if the rental service is so great, and so cheap - then what's the reason that every rental model that has popped up in the last 6+ years has failed?
post #29 of 116
Laughable.

Here's MDN's take:

Again, if you stop paying your $14.99 per month (or whatever they decide it will be down the road) your music stops dead. Except that you do get to keep 10 whole songs per month thanks to the oh-so-generous Microsoft and the music cartel. So, let's do the math: In order to stop paying monthly fees and match the 30,000 songs that you've supposedly loaded into your iPod (which actually came mainly from your CDs and perhaps "other" sources) with this "zunepass" thing, you only have to live for 250 years. That's just a quarter of a millennium, so shaddup and have a little patience! Oh, yeah, 250 years at $14.99 /month equals $44,970. What a deal!
post #30 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beg View Post

Zune Pass - $15 per month to keep 10 songs and listen to unlimited songs.

iTunes (assuming iPhone or iPod Touch) - $10 - $13 per month to keep 10 songs and listen to unlimited songs via AOL Radio, Last.fm, Pandora etc.

Also pretty sure MS's DRM locked files won't work on an iPod, so what exactly is MS"s point? It's really expensive if you're stupid to fill your iPod so use Zune Pass instead, oh but since Zune Pass doesn't work on iPod (or Mac) buy a POS Zune and throw away your iPod?

Serious question: have you ever used a Zune? I mean, well enough to call it a POS? Because I've used iPods, which are nice, but I find my Zune to be a very well designed device that's quite enjoyable to use.

And of course, Microsoft's making the point that one should buy a Zune. What other point would you expect them to make?
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

You folks crack me up. If Apple had come out with a subscription service, you'd all be calling it the next best thing since sliced bread.

For a certain segment of users subscription services make sense, if Apple sees that it makes sense for them to offer it then those users will be happy.

For the vast majority of people we have no interest in renting music or paying yet another monthly service.

The fact of the matter is that NONE of the subscription services have proven that their model works well enough to deserve to survive, which is why most of them have already gone out of business.

Apple has proven that most users prefer Ã* la Carte due to it's massive success.

Also as I said in my last post if someone is interested in listening to unlimited music there are plenty of free alternatives.


iTunes users also have the advantage when it comes to the actual files we get to keep. We get DRM free AAC files. Rather than DRM laden WMA (garbage, Windows only) files.
post #32 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by skottichan View Post

Which is great for you, but I can't justify $15/mo to keep 10 songs. If I were to lose my job subscriptions would be the first thing I would cut. So instead of the $.99/song I'd spent on Amazon and iTunes, I wound up spending $1.50/song I get to keep on Zune Marketplace.

Granted, I still buy CDs, and LPs, as well as the occasional single off iTunes. So spending $15 on things I'd never really utilize is more of a waste than $.99/song.

Well, you describe a scenario where perhaps the Zune Pass doesn't make sense. But, the difference in cost per song is, what $.51 per song? So you're paying, as I said, an extra $5 for the subscription service. If you were to lose your job and cancel the subscription, then you could still purchase songs for the same $.99/song. You'd lose access to those songs that you'd downloaded under the subscription, sure, but what did that cost you for, say, a year's use? $60?

And for that $60, people are saying things like "In Captialist America Microsoft F@#ks YOU!"? And this from fans of a company in Apple that makes far more in profit of off them than even Microsoft makes.

Fascinating fanbase Apple has.
post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahaj View Post

though i loathe the ad itself, i think the approach that microsoft is taking is fairly clever. i don't think the ads will have any particular affect on the ipod/phone buyers and/or sales of zune. i don't think a large amount of people will be willing to shell out $10/month. pandora is free and does a pretty good job of letting me listen to the songs that i like, and if i don't like ads, then it's $36/year, a much better deal than $120/year.


Of course, will microsoft put in their ad, that if you use their music rental system, you lose all the files you put on your Zune when they close the system. they have already kaboshed a few online stores already.... anyone remember Plays for Sure(but now doesnt)
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

In Captialist America Microsoft F@#ks YOU!

Microsoft seems to think buyers are uninformed boobs who will just be persuaded by advertising crap. The new "pod" buyer is overwhelmingly educated by his peers and has used various playback devices and an advertisement is not likely to make a whit worth of difference at this point in history.

Ballmer is clueless as are his minions. It is obvious, so why doesn't the media just say it.

If I wanted to make a ZPod, I would look to beat Apple at its own game, not copy the game that was 2 generations back and then wait a year before updating it.

MS is becoming a laughing stock.
post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

Serious question: have you ever used a Zune? I mean, well enough to call it a POS? Because I've used iPods, which are nice, but I find my Zune to be a very well designed device that's quite enjoyable to use.

And of course, Microsoft's making the point that one should buy a Zune. What other point would you expect them to make?

I have, and you're running into a problem, you're on an Apple rumor site, talking about a DMP that doesn't work, at all in OSX.

Personally, I found the Zune no better than the iPod. Even though as the "techgirl" of my family and friends, I've had to unfuck 3 out of the 4 Zunes that my family/friends own. Generally the problem lies in the horrible installer and legacy coding in the music management software, than the actual Zune itself. Not really surprising since the first gen Zune was just a rebranded Toshiba Gigabeat, so you'd think Toshiba got the bugs out.
post #36 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

Serious question: have you ever used a Zune? I mean, well enough to call it a POS? Because I've used iPods, which are nice, but I find my Zune to be a very well designed device that's quite enjoyable to use.

And of course, Microsoft's making the point that one should buy a Zune. What other point would you expect them to make?

Yes I have, and yes in my opinion they are trash. Have a problem with that? Zune doesn't come close to competing with an iPod Touch even in Ballmer's wildest dreams.
post #37 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

Well, you describe a scenario where perhaps the Zune Pass doesn't make sense. But, the difference in cost per song is, what $.51 per song? So you're paying, as I said, an extra $5 for the subscription service. If you were to lose your job and cancel the subscription, then you could still purchase songs for the same $.99/song. You'd lose access to those songs that you'd downloaded under the subscription, sure, but what did that cost you for, say, a year's use? $60?

And for that $60, people are saying things like "In Captialist America Microsoft F@#ks YOU!"? And this from fans of a company in Apple that makes far more in profit of off them than even Microsoft makes.

Fascinating fanbase Apple has.

*sighs* Apparently you can't read. I'm saying, if you for any reason stop the subscription, either because you can't afford it, or MS pulls the plug (Like Plays-For-Sure), you will have spent on average $1.50 pr track you've gotten to keep.
post #38 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beg View Post

iTunes users also have the advantage when it comes to the actual files we get to keep. We get DRM free AAC files. Rather than DRM laden WMA (garbage, Windows only) files.

Songs purchased from the Zune Marketplace (and using the 10 free credits) are standard MP3 files.
post #39 of 116
Quote:
It's commonly accepted that most users only buy [a 120 GB iPod] to provide enough headroom for their own listening demands. Also, those who buy the iPod classic, 120 GB Zune or other large-capacity players are more likely to have music encoded at high or even lossless quality, swelling the size of the files themselves and greatly reducing the number of songs that can fit in the available space.


The only music I collect is encoded in a lossless format. I prefer "true CD quality" CD images, as opposed to the "near CD quality" offered on iTunes. Steve Jobs claims that he doesn't hear the difference, but I do.

I can't see the value of lossy, low quality iTunes tracks encoded @ 128 kbps or 256 kbps, given that most MP3s are now encoded in 320 kbps. And I'm not sure that anyone will enjoy their iTunes lossy music collection in 10 years from now because of its low quality.

To me, iTunes is all smoke and mirrors.

It would be quite a change if iTunes offered a choice of formats, from low quality iTunes tracks to lossless CD image files. Then, and only then, should one buy any meaningful collection.


post #40 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post

You folks crack me up. If Apple had come out with a subscription service, you'd all be calling it the next best thing since sliced bread.

You misunderstand. It's not that this wouldn't appeal to a select number of users, but that it doesn't appeal to enough users to viable AND the commercial's poor rational is laughable. The 10 free tracks are only being done now because the model is failing miserably. It will fail like all the other subscription models and you'll be left paying $15 for 10 songs a month. Not exactly a good deal to me.

If you want 10 DRMed WMA @192Kbps for $15/month along with the unlimited exploding media, then go for it. I want to own my music, I don't want it DRMed and I don't want to invest in a subscription model that will fail like the rest. I buy music when I want to buy it, not because I'm told I get x-many tracks to choose within a set timeframe. I'm not a bargain shopper. If Apple did it, it would be welcomed IF AND ONLY IF they still maintained their current store, but most wouldn't consider it even though it would be more popular than the Zune Pass since iPods are common and iTunes Store business model isn't in jeopardy of failing.
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