Nokia’s fatally flawed ‘Comes With Music’ service no Apple ‘iTunes Store killer’

“Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ service, and while the proposition may appear attractive, it’s already being slammed as ‘fatally flawed’ by some detractors,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK.

“How it works: Nokia Comes With Music offers a year of unlimited access to music all within the Pay As You Go handset cost of £129.95. It launches 16 October,” Evans reports.

“The service allows tracks to be downloaded directly to your computer, from where they can then be transferred to the handset. Downloaded tracks can be kept on the handset or PC – but that’s where the problems begin,” Evans reports.

“Customers must register their PC and their Comes With Music device to their account before any content can be downloaded and content can then only be downloaded/synchronised between the two devices registered to the account at any one time,” Evans reports.

“Once the year’s subscription is complete, customers can keep all of their music – but two years after that one year period, users will be able to keep the content on their current device/PC but will no longer be able to transfer it to other computers,” Evans reports. “And, because the music is shrouded in DRM, they won’t be able to burn it to CD or keep it in some other way – in other words, the music won’t belong to them forever.”

Full article here.

Heavily-DRM’ed music stuck in an old device with a very limited lifespan doesn’t sound at all ‘unlimited’ to us.

23 Comments

  1. Renting music is a stupid idea, no-one likes it and yet STILL they keep trying.

    It takes time, effort, taste and intelligence to build a collection of music that works for you – it will come in various formats: CD, tape, digital, ‘stolen’, legit.
    You get it from friends, iTunes, music shops, parents old records, P2P, etc.

    Nokia and all the other dolts in 50’s business suits and bad haircuts treat music as if its just like rice or gasoline. Its not.

    Its not a commodity – its art, or something vaguely like art.

    How these ugly people would like it if we simply transferred $50 a month to them and recieved our legal dose of music, movies and tv shows.

    Nokia and their ilk are tasteless stupid wankers.

  2. That’s about the most convoluted DRM scheme anyone could think up. DRM is best (or at least tolerable) when most people do not run into its restrictions during normal use. That’s Apple”s Fairplay.

  3. “Renting music is a stupid idea, no-one likes it and yet STILL they keep trying.”

    So’s downloading low quality DRMed files in a proprietary format. Which explains why an average of only 10 songs in every iPod worldwide are purchased through iTunes.

    Arguably all online music services except P2P music sharing have been a massive failure.

    “Transferred $50 a month”

    Who’s asking for $50/month? Nokia’s asking for 129 pounds for a cellphone, with 2 years of music (and strong restrictions on transfer after that). That comes down to about 5 pounds per month (not assigning any value to the cellphone or the usage after 2yrs). And if you like stealing music to keep it forever it should take you about 5 minutes to figure out how to subvert the DRM.

    If Apple offered a $5/month $60/year subscription to “all you can eat” iTunes, I think you’d see a lot of people shift in favor of rent vs buy.

  4. “If Apple offered a $5/month $60/year subscription to “all you can eat” iTunes, I think you’d see a lot of people shift in favor of rent vs buy.”

    It’s possible, and it’s possible it would fail just like the rest of the also-rans. Renting music depends on DRM, and iTunes DRM has already been hacked several times.

    All it takes is 1 time for 600 million customers to suddenly have easy access to an all-you-can download buffet of free music they can keep after canceling their subscription.

    That aside, it is telling that this “feature” is one that labels consistently want and push for and consumers repeatedly reject. That tells the story right there.

  5. NOKIA – LOOK OUT…!

    I am telling you now, today, Oct 4 2008, that this scheme is going to backfire on you big time. BIG TIME.

    – WHEN your customers appreciate that they have been ripped off and misled by your marketing slogans…

    – WHEN your customers have been confused to hell and gone by what they can and can’t do with this “unlimited” music…

    – WHEN they complain and get told to read the small print…

    Nokia’s name will be mud. And it’ll be hard to recover the brand’s trust ever again.

    This is the worst thing Nokia has ever done. No doubt.

    If I were on their Board I’d resign over this one.

  6. “that this “feature” is one that labels consistently want and push for and consumers repeatedly reject. That tells the story right there.”

    But consumers consistently reject the pay for download model too. On average less than one in hundred songs in every iPod is brought through iTunes. They may be the most successful service, but they’re hardly successful.

  7. “But consumers consistently reject the pay for download model too. On average less than one in hundred songs in every iPod is brought through iTunes. They may be the most successful service, but they’re hardly successful.”

    Based on what? Apple is currently the largest retailer of music in the US. Did you bother to consider how many songs people who buy iPods already own? Do you even know what portion of music loaded on iPods was purchased or acquired after October of 2001?

    In short do you have any facts at all, or are you just pulling them out of your ass?

  8. I see the point in the music rent model. There are albums that I want to buy and own – mostly from my favorite artists. But there are also lots of music that would be nice to have, but I don’t want/need it enough to make a purchase. The renting model for that music would be perfect. I don’t need to own all the music I’m listening… many songs I want to hear for a while and I don’t have any use for them after that. Renting model for music videos would be perfect too, because I rarely watch any music video over 5 times.

  9. Are there any other phones out there (besides the ROKR and iPhone) that support iTunes? I wish that some Mac-friendly guy would list the available headset models that are actually able to support the iTunes type of music use. Maybe someone has already. Does anybody know? Thanks in advance.

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