Rumored Apple Subscription Music Service: Yea or Nay?

ipodfamily.jpgI’ll be up front about this right from the start: Besides the intrinsic nature of the Internet and cell phone services, I hate—no, loathe—paying for any form of technology that I cannot own. This is why I refuse to pay for cable; I’ll take Hulu over it any day. It’s why I don’t use Netflix. I buy DVDs (if the movie happens to blow, I pass them on to friends or eBay them). This is why I don’t do subscription music services; the idea of giving up $14.99 per month (and a little bit of my dignity) to rent music from a service like Rhapsody To Go is something that would only happen if the proverbial gun was placed to my head. That’s $179 per year completely wasted should I decide to cancel, as the music files would be rendered unplayable. Sorry, folks, I just can’t do it. So when The New York Times reported that Apple may be entering a partnership with Universal Music that would allow a person to buy a premium-priced iPod to receive all-you-can-eat access to iTunes, all I could do is stare up at the heavens and pray to the technological gods for this abomination to the musical landscape to be struck down before it’s made manifest. As much as I’ve despised the iTunes Store’s DRM-laced tracks (yes, I know iTunes Plus offers non-DRM music at higher prices and bitrates, but I’m convinced it’s just the company tossing us dogs a bone in hopes of looking progressive), at least when you shell out your dollars, you own the music. I can respect that. A little. But if the Times article turns out to be factual, I suppose this is just the natural evolution of the iPod/iTunes juggernaut. Currently, Apple dominates all things digital audio, and I’m sure that the company is seeking fresh methods to generate new income. As a consumer myself, I can’t fathom paying, say, an extra $50 to $100 to effectively be given the “privilege” to borrow music from iTunes, especially if my subscription would be bonded to my iPod. How long would the subscription last, considering that I’m not paying a monthly fee? What would happen if I broke or lost the iPod? There are far too many zany variables for me—a person who loves the low-cost, DRM-free simplicity of Amazon MP3. I buy it, I own it. So I turn this question over to you, dear reader. Would you pay a premium on an iPod purchase for unlimited access to iTunes? Or are you content with the current model?

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