I am currently a Napster-to-go subscriber. This service allows me to pay $15/month and download / transfer as much music as I want to a compatible player.
Yes, it is a rip off if I don’t continually expand my collection, because if I cancel my account, all the money I have given them becomes several hundred megabytes of useless DRM-locked bits.
That stinks, but the service is convenient, and I really had no complaints… until today.
I had a very nice collection on my old computer that I recently decided to use again – which required updating the licenses. What do you know, song after song were unplayable. The artist, or record company had decided to no longer allow the songs to be heard in their entirety without purchase. I’m only allowed to listen to the first 30-seconds of the songs.
In other words, my music collection is only safe as long as the artist and record company says so? This is ridiculuous.
What the industry doesn’t seem to understand is that the harder yoou make it to legally obtain music, and the more restrictions you place on it, the more people will seek out illegal means.
The album Once, by Nightwish is a good example. I have no desire to buy the album – most of the songs are no good. Neither am I going to pay $1.00 for a song I have essentially already paid for (and them some…). It is completely unreasonable to expect me to pay twice for something. So I wil find another way to get my songs back.
Most of my library was either from CDs or Napster. Unfortunately, more and more songs are getting the green 30-second circle, and I have to seek alternative means. I wish I didn’t have to, but I will probably cancel my membership – it has become a waste of money. Hopefully the industry will eventually get the hint – make music cheaper and easier to get, and people will be happy to pay for it.