“Microsoft is expected to unveil copy-protection software this summer that will for the first time give portable digital music players access to tunes rented via all-you-can-eat subscription services–a development that some industry executives believe will shake up the online music business,” John Borland reports for CNET News. “This summer may see the beginnings of a shake-up in the online-music industry–sources say new Microsoft copy-protection technology will finally arrive, bringing the all-you-can-eat subscription model to portable players.”
Borland reports, “Bottom line: If fans of iPod-like devices can be convinced to drop the idea of owning song files, they could shift to paying a subscription fee for ongoing access to hundreds of thousands of tunes–something that would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars under the current dollar-per-download paradigm.”
Borland reports, “Sources say the technology–code-named Janus and originally expected more than a year ago–was recently released in a test version to developers and that a final release is now expected as soon as July. Janus would add a hacker-resistant clock to portable music players for files encoded in Microsoft’s proprietary Windows Media Audio format. That in turn would help let subscription services such as Napster put rented tracks on portable devices–something that’s not currently allowed. Fans of portable players could then pay as little as $10 a month for ongoing access to hundreds of thousands of songs, instead of buying song downloads one at a time for about a dollar apiece.” Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Awww, forget it – read the rest yourself if you want. Using “Microsoft” and “hacker-resistant” in the same sentence killed all credibility for us. But, thanks for the laughs, John. Some people just don’t get it. We like to own, not rent. Music, that is. But, have fun wasting millions trying to go against human nature. The government is also very good at this, but we digress. MS should’ve named it “Failure” instead of “Janus” because that’s what it’ll be in the end. (And, please, CNET, the ‘iPod Killer’ phrase is old and tired already, you can give it up and stop recycling it into every headline to do with digitial music.)