Nokia’s new feature: Comes With Crap

by Mathew on December 5, 2007 · 4 comments

A free music-download service on your mobile? Cool. Nokia’s new “Comes With Music” offer? Dumb. The details are sketchy so far, but it sounds like Nokia has done a deal with Universal Music to offer downloads of the record company’s catalogue for free, with the cost of the music built into the price of the phone. So far, so good. Unfortunately, it sounds like the files are also DRM-laden, and thus crippled.

According to The Register, the songs will be playable only on one PC (not Mac or Linux) and on a Nokia device, and that’s it. While they will not expire — as music downloaded with some other services does — you can’t burn them to CD or play them anywhere else, although there are hints that burning might be allowed for a fee. Seamus McCauley says that such moves say one thing to him: “uncomprehending death spiral.”

  • Sam

    ah, I disagree that its “crap”. from the press release, the scope of the service is tons of music for your PC and mobile. not all music to give away to all your friends and neighbors. In that sense, I'm not sure why DRM matters if you have music on your PC and with you on your mobile.

    Compare to other “rental” services… this seems quite similar. No other subscription service that I have seen has CD burning included. Other subscription services only work on PC and the subscription device. But if you stop paying, all your content dies. At least with Nokia, it seems they are letting you keep it all. So it sounds like its the most flexible subscription service. You arent tied to it forever if you leave. (Dont forget…Apple has super restrictive DRM too for the majority of their catalogue, too! And no subscription service…so every download needs to be paid for).

    Also, WHY in this day and age do you really need to burn a CD? I connect my mobile to my car and home stereos and dont have to worry about CD taking up space or not having the music I want with me/ or having to change CDs to get the music I want. I just create playlists or choose the album I want and its there.

    Anyway, I just think your post on this shows a lack of understanding about ditial music current offerings. From someone coming from the music industry, I think its admirable that a company like Nokia is trying to make a service that could work as well as P2P if all the labels play nice which would end up able to actually get money back to the people who make music.

    Sounds like you buy your phone, and you plug and play to then get the music you want on it. No need to illegally steal the music from P2P if the experience is easy, seamless, and you dont have to pay any more to get it. for yourself.

    Anyway, thats my two cents.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks for the comment, Sam. And I think you are right that at least
    Nokia and Universal are trying to think of different methods of
    delivering music in ways that people want. But while my post may show
    a lack of understanding of current music offerings, I don't think most
    of those are even close to what people actually want. As for the CD
    thing, you may plug your mobile into your car, but I would argue that
    the vast majority of people don't — so at least they're going to want
    some way of getting music onto another mobile device, if not a CD.

  • Sam

    ah, I disagree that its “crap”. from the press release, the scope of the service is tons of music for your PC and mobile. not all music to give away to all your friends and neighbors. In that sense, I'm not sure why DRM matters if you have music on your PC and with you on your mobile.

    Compare to other “rental” services… this seems quite similar. No other subscription service that I have seen has CD burning included. Other subscription services only work on PC and the subscription device. But if you stop paying, all your content dies. At least with Nokia, it seems they are letting you keep it all. So it sounds like its the most flexible subscription service. You arent tied to it forever if you leave. (Dont forget…Apple has super restrictive DRM too for the majority of their catalogue, too! And no subscription service…so every download needs to be paid for).

    Also, WHY in this day and age do you really need to burn a CD? I connect my mobile to my car and home stereos and dont have to worry about CD taking up space or not having the music I want with me/ or having to change CDs to get the music I want. I just create playlists or choose the album I want and its there.

    Anyway, I just think your post on this shows a lack of understanding about ditial music current offerings. From someone coming from the music industry, I think its admirable that a company like Nokia is trying to make a service that could work as well as P2P if all the labels play nice which would end up able to actually get money back to the people who make music.

    Sounds like you buy your phone, and you plug and play to then get the music you want on it. No need to illegally steal the music from P2P if the experience is easy, seamless, and you dont have to pay any more to get it. for yourself.

    Anyway, thats my two cents.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks for the comment, Sam. And I think you are right that at least
    Nokia and Universal are trying to think of different methods of
    delivering music in ways that people want. But while my post may show
    a lack of understanding of current music offerings, I don't think most
    of those are even close to what people actually want. As for the CD
    thing, you may plug your mobile into your car, but I would argue that
    the vast majority of people don't — so at least they're going to want
    some way of getting music onto another mobile device, if not a CD.

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