“I just tried out Napster to Go with my iMate and while I still am not sure that I like the idea of music rental, but I would pay a monthly fee to Apple if I could get access to any piece of music anytime even if just for a while after using Napster for even a few days. The software experience needs work, but it is a lot better than I ever expected it to be. Napster has something here actually, but most people don’t realize it yet because Microsoft and the industry is doing a piss poor job at showing just how interesting life can be in this model.” [Lenn Pryor]
While Lenn admits that “Napster has something here actually”, I guess I have never understood the issue some people have with “music rental”. You don’t own the music and you never did. You’ve always owned a copy of the music. You “rented” the music in perpetuity (that’s legalese for “a long ass time”) for a flat fee. You can argue that the record labels have kept more than their fair share of said flat fee, but it doesn’t change the fact that you never owned anything but a copy.
Personally, I like the Napster model much better. I am paying $15 a month in perpetuity but I get access to pretty much everything that comes out. Actually, I’m not even paying yet – I’m still in my 14 day trial period. But I’ve downloaded nearly 3GB so far including a variety of stuff that I was going to buy on CD anyway when I got around to it. Life is certainly more interesting under this model.