Tag Archives: Calabash Music

Speculating on iTunes Subscription

Yet another Apple rumour, this time about iTunes allowing some type of subscription model:

Media Biz Apple changes its iTune? «

In this case, the comments to the blog entry are, dare I say, more insightful than the entry itself. Movie subscriptions would make more sense than music subscriptions because people are used to rent movies.

OTOH, a WiFi-enabled device which could play any music in  the iTunes catalogue could be interesting in a context of DRM-free music tracks.

Yes, there is a logic to this. If you can buy DRM-free tracks, renting DRMed music can make sense as an advanced music discovery service (complete “excerpts”). Especially if you’re provided with a way to share the DRMed music with people who subscribe to the same service. And use a WiFi connection to get music directly on the device.

In fact, an iTunes version of the Ruckus model could work really well. “If you want to keep this track, as a higher quality, DRM-free file, you can buy it directly.”  And Apple can bring together ideas from Last.fm, Pandora.com, eMusic, Calabash Music, Microsoft’s Zune, Ruckus, the new Napster, the new Bittorrent, and even MySpace.

It probably won’t happen. But if it does, it could be cool.

The “buffet,” “à la carte,” and “table d’hôte” systems can coexist.

Now, I’m getting hungry.


Free Content on iTunes and Elsewhere

The iTunes Store always has some free tracks and TV shows. Fairly recently (maybe I didn’t notice it before) they added a page where users can see all the free content. That’s convenient.

Direct Link (U.S. store).

Actually, with two free tracks a week on the U.S. store and one free track a week on the Canada store, I’ve been able to find a few interesting songs.

Of course, those tracks and TV shows are still protected with the FairPlay DRM, which has negative consequences. But it’s still cool to have a few things to play with.

Other sites, including CalabashMusic, also have free music, usually without any DRM copy-protection. The advantages of iTunes have mostly to do with the integration between the store, the software, and iPods, but these other stores are well worth checking out.