WSJ: Apple's iPod May Meet its Match in New Microsoft System

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Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2004, 07:48
Category: Archive

A WSJ.com article “Apple’s iPod May Meet Its Match In New Microsoft System” (paid subscription req’d) discusses Microsoft’s new DRM software Windows Media Digital Rights Management (code-named Janus) which will be embedded in a new version of its Windows Media Player that will compete with iTunes and the iTunes Music Store this fall. The new version of the Windows Media Digital Rights Management software will “let subscribers to music-rental services, for the first time, transfer their song collections from their PCs directly to portable audio players. That capability has been a key missing feature of such services.”
Microsoft’s main argument for a music rental service is that “filling up the largest iPod with songs purchased through iTunes would cost on the order of $10,000” but with Microsoft’s new service “users will be able to fill up their portable players with as much music as their devices can hold — several thousand songs — for $10 to $20 a month.”
Apple executives have said consumers don’t want to rent music and they have no intention of offering such a service. “Music isn’t like a video,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last year by way of criticizing subscription services.
Their argument for the new service being cheaper than the ITMS assumes that you don’t plan on ripping any of the CDs that you already own and that you won’t mind re-authorizing your music every month or so. What do you think of the buy versus rent debate?


A WSJ.com article “Apple’s iPod May Meet Its Match In New Microsoft System” (paid subscription req’d) discusses Microsoft’s new DRM software Windows Media Digital Rights Management (code-named Janus) which will be embedded in a new version of its Windows Media Player that will compete with iTunes and the iTunes Music Store this fall. The new version of the Windows Media Digital Rights Management software will “let subscribers to music-rental services, for the first time, transfer their song collections from their PCs directly to portable audio players. That capability has been a key missing feature of such services.”
Microsoft’s main argument for a music rental service is that “filling up the largest iPod with songs purchased through iTunes would cost on the order of $10,000” but with Microsoft’s new service “users will be able to fill up their portable players with as much music as their devices can hold — several thousand songs — for $10 to $20 a month.”
Apple executives have said consumers don’t want to rent music and they have no intention of offering such a service. “Music isn’t like a video,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last year by way of criticizing subscription services.
Their argument for the new service being cheaper than the ITMS assumes that you don’t plan on ripping any of the CDs that you already own and that you won’t mind re-authorizing your music every month or so. What do you think of the buy versus rent debate?

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