Is the iTunes Music Store In Trouble?


Is the iTunes music store in trouble? Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster, sure thinks so. Napster runs on a subscription based format that allows you access to 700,000+ songs for your listening pleasure, all for only $9.95 per month. The catch is that if you want to put the songs on a portable device, it’ll cost you an additional $1 per song…until now.

Microsoft has developed a new technology that will allow users of subscription based listening services, such as Napster, to transfer those songs to a portable device for only $5 more per month. What does this mean? Well, taking technology to a new level, assuming your music player could hold 700,000 songs (the size of Napsters song collection), you could put all 700,000 songs on your player for a measly $180 per year. You can have those songs on your player as long as you have a subscription. Thats WAY less than a penny per song.

I know what you’re thinking, “there has got to be a catch.” Well…yes…sort of. Microsoft’s technology won’t work with most current media players, including the iPod. It will probably be another 2 years before a significant number of players adopt this new technology.

This new technology could very well be some real competition to the iTunes music store. I guess we shall wait and see how Apple plans on combating this.



It’s worse than that, your music player has to be hooked up once or so a month to a computer that is connected to the Net so it can call home and confirm you’ve paid your subscription fee. If you don’t connect it, then you lose access to all your subscribed songs.


What they don’t tell you about their subscription model is that you have to keep paying them forever or “all” your music ceases to work. If everyone wanted to “rent” music, Napster & others would be dominating the market.

They are not!

I want to buy music and then burn it to a CD, so that it’s “mine”. I think most people feel this way, so I think Apple has nothing to worry about. Human beings like to collect things, not “rent” things. That’s why we buy so many DVD’s, we want to “own”!

Josh Pigford

You can’t do with it as you like. It must either remain on your computer or on a portable player that supports Microsofts technology.

nick santilli

So is it MS’s music tech DRM’d to the max or do the subscribers get access to it to do as they like? (Can they burn cd’s, convert to different formats, etc, etc?)

I think I’d rather own my music, and with the addition of downloadable album pamphlets in pdf format, I think I’m happy with that.

Interesting ideas though.

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