Vodafone has launched the first unlimited music download service in Australia, allowing customers to an infinite number of songs for $2.75 a week accessing content from all four major record labels – Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Music – along with a range of independent artists.
Dubbed the “Vodafone MusicStation”, the subscription will be charged on a weekly basis (meaning you’ll cough up $11 per month for the service) and you can switch it off at any time – but there is a catch, the music you download will be disabled until you resume the plan; not even iTunes would go that far.
This DRM is, well, idiotic for a mobile company to do – its just basically music streaming but the file is in your phone’s storage. It’s basically worthless, and it just won’t make a difference to the already increasing number of piracy in the recording industry – especially when you can’t play the music after cancelling your subscription.
However, Vodafone has a solution – spend more dollars on their Vodafone Live! service to get the song permanently on your phone, which might be okay – but not to those who have a 100MB limit on their 3G downloads. That’s like 16 songs you’ll have to download twice – one to see if you like it, and another to keep it on your phone if you cancel your subscription.
However, this service will be joined with Nokia – who would be launching their Nokia Comes With Music initiative to Australia, and some are saying that Apple may get into the business. Nokia’s service is bundled with the phone, with a one-year unlimited subscription. However, renewing it requires you to buy another phone; but at least the music will still be playable afterwards.