Virgin to offer unlimited, DRM-free music

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by edesignuk, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #1
    The Register.
     
  2. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #2
    It's great that a virgin is offering free music to people. People in the UK seem so much nicer than here in the US.
     
  3. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #3
    It's not free, it's DRM-free. Sounds like it'll basically be a subscription service. You pay a monthly fee and download what you want. The difference is that when you cancel your subscription you still get to keep and use all the music you downloaded as there is no DRM.
     
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #4
    Well, that seems more like it. Virgins are always trying to make money. I guess it's the same over there as it is here.

    At least you get to keep your music when you stop paying the virgin.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    Yes, they always think that what they have is far more valuable than anyone else accounts it. :eek: ;)

    So basically, if I understand this, the new Virgin offering is like and unlike previous subscription models...

    Like:
    - One must pay a monthly fee rather than paying for actual downloads

    Unlike:
    - One must be a user of the Virgin network? Would one be able to download songs when not on the network, if one is a member by virtue of being a Virgin member?
    - One can presumably keep the songs, since they do not have DRM
    - One can presumably put them on any kind of device one wants...
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    I don't get it either.

    Do you need to use Virgin's service? If you do, then are you limited to, say, 30 songs a month or something, or is it a full subscription service where you keep all the songs (which doesn't make any sense whatsoever)?
     
  7. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #7
    Damn. I thought for a moment the title was a virgin was offering an unlimited supply of something else...
     
  8. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

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    #8
    It does seem a little odd as nothing is stopping someone paying for one month and downloading a few hundred GBs of music and then cancelling their service.

    That is, if it is unlimited... 30 songs a month sounds more like the kind of limit Virgin Media would put on such a service.
     
  9. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #9
    If the number of downloads you can do per month is capped, is this just not essentially a prepay service....where you're paying to download a fixed number of songs in a month...and if you don't download all the songs that month, you lose out? What's the advantage? Is it simply that you pay less for the songs if you prepay for a pack of 30 (or whatever) song downloads? If it's unlimited, as somebody else said...and the titel implies, why not just join for a month and download everything you want then?
     
  10. Stardotboy macrumors regular

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    #10
    The service they're offering is unlimited DRM-free music for a fixed monthly cost. Not bad, except there's a catch. Virgin will also 'police' the system so that anyone downloading copyright-infringing material will have sanctions brought against them, including temporary suspension of a customers account.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8100394.stm
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #11
    I wish they'd just sort out their TV and broadband stuff first. Get the other HD channels and get rid of traffic profiling...
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    How did the world come to such a place that a company preventing one from breaking the law by using their service is viewed as having committed an outrage against humanity in the process? :p

    But so anyway, there aren't any catches that are specific to the download system itself? I wonder if they will require a contract.
     
  13. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #13
    Probably.

    Also if you download more than a few hundred tracks a month, they'll limit you to about 10 tracks for the next 3 months...
     
  14. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    #14
    Assuming these are 256 kbps, then it seems like a good deal. Since they specifically mention prevention of these mp3 tracks appearing on file sharing networks, I expect they will be watermarked in some way.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #15
    Is this a joke or serious? I think that would be pretty ridiculous... not that I really need 500 new songs a month, but still... if I'm given unlimited, yeah, I'm going to download tons of stuff when I first sign up.
     
  16. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    #16
    Yeah, you could download their entire catalog in the first month, then quit as soon as you can.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #17
    I can understand prohibiting something like that... Maybe just having a monthly cap. But I imagine that, unless there's a contract, if I'm told, "Okay, you're capped at 10 songs a month for the next three months," there is zero chance I will continue the service. If I were actually to subscribe to such a thing, I'd think I'd rather they say, for instance, you can download 100 songs or 250 songs or whatever per month, and if you hit that limit, downloading is disabled until the next month.
     
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #18
    That doesn't make sense though. If I was allowed to download unlimited DRM-free songs through Virgin, there would be no reason for me to download pirated music.

    There must be a cap on this "unlimited" plan, or a throttling system that's similar to bandwidth throttling. Perhaps your internet connection suddenly starts to slow down when you've downloaded over 1 GB of music using their service.

    If it's too good to be true, then.....
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #19
    As I understand this part, the idea is that Virgin sold this plan to the record companies in tandem with a promise of cracking down on piracy. While I guess you could be a paying Virgin music customer and still be pirating video, I'd guess the idea is more that the anti-piracy measures affect all users, thus in principle (not sure in practice) encouraging more adoption of the new legal option.

    I would guess there are other "catches." This isn't really a catch per se.
     
  20. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I suppose the catch, as ever, is once the novelty of unlimited downloads wears off, you suddenly realise that you will never ever find the time to play even a fraction of what you have downloaded. I do not even fire up Spotify that much any more.

    I have still quite a few cds and the odd dvd, that I have never, ever played.

    Sort of like the people who work for Cadburys. After a while they get sick of the sight of chocolate.
     
  21. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #21
    Shame that if I actually used this service, Virgin would cap me to hell for doing so :rolleyes:
     
  22. Stardotboy macrumors regular

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    #22
    Bear in mind that at the moment the deal applies to only one record label, Universal. And by signing up to the service you're effectively giving Virgin permission to snoop on all the data you download so that they can decide if you're doing anything naughty.

    A pretty big privacy issue if you ask me, and considering the cost is likely to be somewhere in the region of £20 a month (the price of "a couple of albums" I believe they quoted) on top of the usual charges, it's not cheap either - considering the many similar legal alternatives.
     
  23. DAC47 macrumors 6502

    DAC47

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    #23
    this is certainly an interesting plan

    but where does it leave the artists
    assuming it is an all you can-eat-service
    for say £15 a month a subscriber could download 1500 songs a month
    that's a penny a song or less
    does anybody think the artists will ever see any of that

    can't wait till Metallica find out about this deal
     
  24. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #24
    In the article, they specifically say that they will not be spying on your downloads. Most probably they will have watermarks on the songs, so if one your songs end up on bit torrent, they could come after you. Of course, I am not sure if it will be that difficult to get rid of the watermark.
     
  25. instaxgirl macrumors 65816

    instaxgirl

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    #25
    See I can see a model like this maybe working, if it's a decent price. Like emusic but with at least one massive label, meaning it won't be such an acquired taste but I don't know. I have an emusic subscription, and I love it, but I don't know anyone else who has one. My friends can't be bothered searching for stuff to download and try, so I can see people not bothering because they don't want to be locked in to spending £20/month and therefore having to download x many songs every month.

    I can't see how the unlimited thing can work as a viable business model without DRM, tethering or capping - all of which suck.
     

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