I finally decided to try out a subscription music service after reading about them in PC Mag. The one they recommended was good ol Napster.com. They have a nice 7-day trial, but it only took me a few hours to pony up the paltry $15/mo for the service that also allows you to put songs on your MP3 player ($5 xtra).
The knock on the subscription model vs the buy-model (ala iTunes) is that you pay all this money, but own nothing. I look at it as owning EVERYTHING for only $15/mo. They have got pretty much everything and only a few are “buy only.” You can download UNLIMITED songs to 3 PCs and 3 MP3 players! Note that iPods are NOT SUPPORTED due to Apple’s strict rules, but there are many good players out there that work from Creative, iRiver, Samsung, Rio, and even Palm! No Zune support. Palm requires the Deluxe version of Pocket Tunes to work, but I already had it.
I have been maintaining a whole lot of MP3s on my server and this is like having someone else do it for $15/mo. PLUS I have a humongous library! I think I’ll probably no renew my XM radio subscription when it comes up for renewal. Between this and podcasts, I have no time!
CHECK IT OUT PPL. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
I still love it. One of the small gotchas is that a few songs/albums are not “rentable” yet and must be purchased, albeit for only 99cents. That’s ok. Still an amazing library of songs. I looked up some really old 70s and 80s bands and they have their full catalog! Crazy cool. It will be hard to change my music habits though. As I’m browsing thru songs, my initial instinct when I heard something good is to search half.com or amazon to see if I can get it cheap. I have to fight the that urge and be ok with this “renting music” deal. Once that goes away, I think I’ll like it even more.
I’m going to set up my wife on the service (Napster supports 3 PCs and 3 mp3 players!). Of course, she’ll need to swap her iPod Nano for another player. I got her a 4GB Creative Zen V for $129 on Amazon. Awesome deal. Arguably better than the Nano and cheaper.