Originally Posted by wynand32
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.