iTunes killer?

iTunes killer: Okay, we all know where I stand on the chances of iPod/iTunes juggernaut being stopped. However, Nick Wingfield in tomorrow’s WSJ previews the launch of Napster To Go.


In the new Napster service, subscribers will be able to download music onto their PCs, then transfer it to their portable music devices, as they do with iTunes. Users will be able to fill their music players up with as many songs as the players will hold — but it is necessary to plug the devices into their PCs at least once every 30 days, so Napster can verify over the Internet that users are still paid-up members. Stop paying the monthly fee, and the songs become unplayable.

Okay. I’m convinced. Not.

Update: I’ve decided to agree with Laura (see comments). If someone prefers the subscription model, why shouldn’t they have that choice? iTunes should offer both.

4 thoughts on “iTunes killer?

  1. A bit like buying from the company store. Not that buying from Amazon or iTunes Store through the Rexblog is a bad thing.

  2. I dunno, it seems like an OK model to me. [I can feel the incoming strike from the rexblog, so I’m dodging as I type….]

    Why shouldn’t iTunes do something similar? Either pay $1 per song, or pay $40 a month and get all the songs you want that expire at the end of the month….it’s sort of like the new Amazon “free” shipping. You’d have to make it work out somehow w/ the ASCAPs and BMIs of the world. Seems like that paying once a month to re-up is the key.

  3. Laura. I know this will shock you. I agree. Why not? If people want to “lease” music, now that I’ve thought about it, it’s rather like subscribing to satellite radio. If, as you suggest, people are giving the choice to either buy or lease, I think that’d be great. Seems like it shouldn’t be that hard to offer such an option…if the rights issues can be worked out. Shocking, huh? We agree.

  4. Or even like checking books out of the library (or audiobooks, for that matter), and returning them, eventually. Before quit renting titles, I racked up a very respectably long list of rentals, and since I rarely go back and read the same book twice, I am happy not to have them to deal with at home – nor the printed analog.

    I do have a bit of an issue, though, with’s rather stingy limits on how many titles per month you can download, so Laura I like your idea.

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