Well, it's here, and apparently in full swing. LEGAL internet music downloads, streaming radio, playlists and on and on. There are now a host of different internet site that people can subscribe to with a host of different features and options. Here are some of the main options:
1. Individual song downloads as low as 79 cents, whole album downloads for $9.99, with the ability to burn to CD and keep it forever and load on as many as 3 different computers at once!
2. Catalogs with as many as 500,000 plus songs
3. Streaming radio and playlists with minor subscription fees ($4.95-$9.95).
4. Non-subscription services that charge by the download.
5. Downloads in WMA, MP3 and other formats.
6. Direct downloads to the latest greatest new players, featuring miniature hard drives that hold hundreds of hours worth of music and play for 12-24 hours continuously.
Some of the more well known sites are itunes (apple's little diddy), Musicmatch, Rhapsody and yep, you guessed it Napster aka Napster 2.0!
Maximum PC recently reviewed these 4 contenders and rated Rhapsody number 1, but it really all comes down to user needs.
My wife recently handed me a list of 17-18 CD's she wants us to buy and I priced them at $14.99 almost everywhere we went! That's $270.00 plus tax! Compare that to the much more reasonably priced $180.00 and you can see why I would consider going this route. That could buy me 18 new Star Wars figures! Not to mention the other advantages, not buying whole albums for a few songs!
It happens to everyone, you hear a kick butt song and think, I gotta get this CD! Then you buy it and hate 1/2 the songs on the CD! Well, no fear here, most sites will let you preview songs before you buy/download them, so just throw out what you don't like!
With the music industries problems and the cost of CD's, not to mention lawsuits...on both sides, I believe online music services like these will be the way of the future, it will be a way for onliners to get the music they want at a reasonable price and it will allow the music industry to make money off individual songs and albums with reduced costs for distribution, etc.
Don't get me wrong, they still have a long way to go, but I see great things on the horizon for this new online service. If the recording industry was smart they would have caught on to this long ago.
Online music will probably never completly replace the standard CD, some peole just like to have the product in their hands. They like to hold the CD cover and read the lyrics, etc. But for me, this seams like a wonderful and cheap alternative.
I plan on hooking up to Rhapsody or Napster in the near future and will be happy to give everyone the down low.
But I am curious, has anyone here subscribed to any of these online music services? If so what is/was it like? PLMK, I am very interested.