RUMOR: Apple to hold special event in late September to debut iTunes Music subscriptions, more

An anonymous tipster has told MacDailyNews that Apple will hold a special media event in late September that will discuss and/or announce the following. The information that the source provided, verbatim:

• MobileMe, iPhone, iPod Touch
– Enable disk use
– When enabled for disk use, iDisk folder accessible
– iDisk app
– Viewable formats can be opened, other formats grayed out
– Button to sync with MobileMe
– Photo syncing support via MobileMe
– October launch

• iTunes Unlimited
– 256 Kbps music; highest quality digital music subscription service ever
– 50% of U.S. store available for iTunes Unlimited at launch, U.S.-only launch
– Available through iTunes or retail box a la MobileMe, funds applied through iTunes gift cards cannot be used towards subscription purchase
– $129.99 stand-alone or $179.99 with MobileMe, current MobileMe subscribers can add iTunes Unlimited for $99.99
– One-year subscription period
– Current a la carte options unchanged
– When signed in to subscription account, “Buy” is “Get”
– “Download and Play throughout iTunes Unlimited Subscription” or “Buy and Keep”
– “Buy and Keep” option available for downloaded subscription songs, purchased version replaces subscription version
– Late October launch with iTunes 7.8

MacDailyNews Note: This is a rumor. Please treat it as such. We’ll bring you more information if and when it materializes. If this event does happen in September, we also would also expect Apple to debut new/updated iPod hardware for the Christmas shopping season.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve often said, Apple should offer an iTunes music subscription option if and when it makes business sense.


  1. Subscriptions, oh the first sign of change. SIGN ME UP for that free subscription service…..

    I can wish!

    Watch out Dell and the FORMER Apple guy, that BERG is a coming…… is the crows nest asleep? Or without those bi-noculars in the HMS DELL’s captians desk?

    Watch out for popping rivets….

  2. Sounds like complete crap to me. Apple have said time and time again they don’t think the subscription option works, and the success (failure) of other subscription services show that.

    Also, the iDisk / MobileMe / iPhone just doesn’t add up at all, from a technical level, or a usability level. Enabling “disk use” on an iPod is nothing to do with iDisk.

  3. The first sounds interesting (disk-mode and OTA idisk) but I’m not interested in subscription music. Even if it is Apple doing it (whoop-tee-doo), I’m still not interested. Subscription is of the RIAA.

  4. subscription = complete and total crap. give me the 256 bit rate songs and no DRM, sure, but pay per year for songs over and over? no tnx k bai.

    if that is all Apple can do to improve the iTMS, i will disappointed.

    now if i can access my iDisk from my phone. ok, that will be useful!

  5. Yes, Steve Jobs said many, many times that people prefer to rent their movies and own their music, which doesn’t prevent him from offering movies for sale and music for rent. MDN’s take doesn’t dispute the fact that “business models that fly in the face of reason are doomed to failure”. This is why iTunes business model is founded on music for SALE.

    That Real (Rhapsody) and Napster are still in business, after all these years offering subscriptions, says that a small fraction of the population might actually be interested in renting music. There is no reason why Apple should cede that market to inferior people. Let’s not forget; every single person who currently wants to subscribe to unlimited music CANNOT use an iPod. Therefore, Apple is not only losing several hundred thousand annual subscribers to the iTunes subscription service, it is also losing on several hundred thousand unsold iPods.

    As for music subscription concept itself, a (somewhat reasonable) argument might be made for teenagers. When you’re a teen, you listen to your current teen music idols. Once you grow up, you become embarrased by your teen musical taste. As we know, teen is a pretty important demographic group for music labels. Allowing them to pay subscription while they’re teens for the music they’ll only listen for a few years would make some sense.

    Ironically, Apple will rapidly take away market share from all those other subscription services and come to dominate that field as well.

  6. And MDN’s take is still consistent: Apple should offer it IF, and only IF, it makes business sense. And today, it does. Anyone here who doesn’t like it can safely ignore it (just like I’ll be ignoring MobileMe for the time being). Those who’ve been waiting, looks like your wait may be coming to an end. Get ready to buy that iPod now.

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