Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Handhelds Hardware

Sprint Launchings Music to Mobile Downloads 130

* * Beatles-Beatles writes to tell us that Sprint Nextel is looking to take a bite out of Apple's iTunes pie with the upcoming release of the first music download service direct to mobile phones. The service offers the ability to get the song directly to your phone in addition to a high quality version that you can download to your PC. From the article: "The Sprint Music Store will enable subscribers of the third-largest mobile carrier to choose from 250,000 songs from all four major music labels and download them for $2.50 each using phones from either Samsung Electronics or Sanyo Electric."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sprint Launchings Music to Mobile Downloads

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is loves tos hears stuffs likes thats.
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @07:50PM (#13919453) Journal

    I heard this same announcement on the radio this morning. My initial reaction was $2.50 a pop?, what the? My next reaction is, I'll never buy music at $2.50 a song, never! (Okay, unless you count Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, or Violin Concerto in D as a song.)

    I'm getting the sense that these providers may actually really not care about the phone part of your cell "phone" service. Heck, if the buying public really will pay that kind of money for a song, why bother trying to make money on cell phone technology?

    Are any slashdotters willing to pay this price per song? (Not to mention the selection is less than half the other major players.)

    Where did I put my Dual 1226? (Not to worry, I know exactly where it is.)

    • If they can get away with it for ringtones, of course they'll try and gouge you for songs too.

      Just say no.
      • The problem here is that there are plenty of people who would pay $2.50 per song simply because they're too retarded to transfer music to their phone manually.
        • The problem here is that there are plenty of people who would pay $2.50 per song simply because they're too retarded to transfer music to their phone manually.

          Which is precisely why iTunes is such a comparatively elegant solution. Who needs yet another music management program? iTunes will sync your music to your phone (provided it is a ROKR...they need an iTunes RAZR immediately).

          No one needs to sync music manually. Why SprinTel expects you to do so is beyond me.

          • "Which is precisely why iTunes is such a comparatively elegant solution. Who needs yet another music management program? iTunes will sync your music to your phone (provided it is a ROKR...they need an iTunes RAZR immediately).

            No one needs to sync music manually. Why SprinTel expects you to do so is beyond me."

            Explain to me how iTMS purchased music will play on a cell phone that doesn't support fairplay.
        • Some people aren't allowed to transfer content to their phone manually without going through a lot of rigamarole. If you've got a common motorola phone that you got from verizon it will almost certainly be locked down so that you can only do that stuff via their web service, at a premium. Verizon V220 phones [for example] require seem hacking to unlock that functionality. Yes, for most people it's a case of stupidity, but not all.
        • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:36PM (#13920145) Journal
          Others are willing to pay hundreds of dollars per hour because they are too retarded to unclog their own plumbing. Still others pay $50 several times a year because they are too retarded to change the oil in their own engine. I hear some are so retarded they even pay other people to cook their food for them!

          We're all retards at one thing or another, friend. Please be kind.

          • Others are willing to pay hundreds of dollars per hour because they are too retarded to unclog their own plumbing.

            I'll give you this one.

            Still others pay $50 several times a year because they are too retarded to change the oil in their own engine.

            That's either called 'being lazy' or 'being unwilling to learn'. I know virtually nothing about cars, and even I can change my oil.

            I hear some are so retarded they even pay other people to cook their food for them!

            If you're talking about fast food,

            • I hear some are so retarded they even pay other people to cook their food for them!

              If you're talking about fast food, that's perfectly acceptable. If you're talking about in-home cooking, that's laziness.

              Depends on how much your time is worth. Someone earning millions a year can afford to have an in-house cook. When he goes home, he wants to RELAX, and that relaxation time is well worth the price of an in-house cook.

              And, no, I'm not one of those people, but I wish I was :)

          • Those are a bit different.

            In the plumbing case, do you know how much a snake costs? I do, about 100$. And they rust. What does a plumber cost for an hour? Don't know? About 65-85$. You do the math.

            As for the car case. In the "ideal" world your car mechanic is supposed to be a professional [and in many cases I suspect they are]. So the idea is when you go in for your "once every few months or whatever" oil change you get the car looked at.

            You can't be an expert plumber, car mechanic, pilot, doctor, e
            • Those are a bit different.

              All analogies are.

              In the plumbing case, do you know how much a snake costs? I do, about 100$. And they rust. What does a plumber cost for an hour? Don't know? About 65-85$. You do the math.

              In the music downloading case, do you know how much a USB cable costs? I do, about 30$. And they break. What does a download cost for a song? Don't know? About 3$. You do the math.

              As for the car case. In the "ideal" world your car mechanic is supposed to be a professional [and in many cas

            • You should really shop around [google.com] a little more. $10-$20 is not expensive, and you can get them up to the 25 foot range (which will take care of most anything a typical homeowner will *ever* encounter) for well under $50. It doesn't take much skill top operate one, either. I can see hiring a plumber to replace a pipe (well, for others - I'd do it myself because I have this strange compulsion to learn useful skills and I learned about plumbing a long time ago), but you can go out, buy a snake, and return befo
          • Some people just don't like to deal with pulling shit out of pipes or crawling around on the garage floor. Just like most people eat in restaurants at least sometimes even though hardly anyone is incapable of preparing some sort of food on their own. It's largely about convenience. I could easily change my own oil but have better things to do with my time, like trolling Slashdot.
          • If you're paying $50 for a $12 oil change, you, my friend, *are* a retard. And welcome at my garage anytime you need your oil changed, BTW. :)

            BTW, your local hardware store sells chemicals which will remove typical drain clogs for $5 to $10. Anything bigger is the result of a retard putting something in a drain that shouldn't have been - and a snake to drag it out can be purchased at your local hardware store for under $25.

            I eat fast food, though, so I'll grant you that last one.
    • Sadly, a lot of people will pay that for a freaking ringtone, and that is a huge market. The same can be said of the games and backgrounds that can be bought for a phone, and I've seen many that expire in 90 or 120 days. That isn't good enough for me.

      I don't think slashdotters are the target market. If they are, then I think Sprint has miscalculated.
    • Are any slashdotters willing to pay this price per song?

      I wouldn't. But then again, I use a cell phone to just make and receive calls. Not to take pictures, or function as a PDA, or annoy people with custom ring tones.
      • I wouldn't. But then again, I use a cell phone to just make and receive calls. Not to take pictures, or function as a PDA, or annoy people with custom ring tones.
        You're boring. I use mine to ssh into my machines & send emails. custom ringtones arent annoying, that way you always know its your phone and other people dont think its theirs. but the stuff that is sold through operators is hardly "custom" is it? its just a generic extention of what you had when you bought the phone
        • I'm sorry but I don't want to hear your phone, or anyone elses phone. Put the damn thing on vibrate mode and quit bugging me. There are few things worse than hearing someones idea of a cute ringtone twenty times a day just because THEY think it's cute.
        • I'm from the era where geeks were just boring, not wierd, so that's a compliment. And yes, custom/downloadable/whatever ringtones are annoying as hell. If you can't tell if the phone that's in your own damn pocket or clipped to your belt is the one that's ringing, you have problems. Having everyone in a 3-4 cubicle radius know which phone is ringing because of some dorky pop tune is annoying.
    • Yeah! It's a bargain at half the price!

      Oh, wait a minute.

      It's the usual cell carrier strategy of "introduce high, then chase the market until you've settled on a price point".

      Unfortunately, there are other companies that sell music for less already - Apple is in the sweet spot, with Napster below, but with more restrictive licensing, SprintTel above with onerous prices.

      As an Apple shareholder, my reaction is easily summed up: Keep making stupid mistakes, cell carriers!
    • Who is the PHB that came up with this idea? I have a Sanyo phone that includes a media player. I also have iTunes. If I want music on the phone, I pick some MP3s made from the iTunes tracks I have purchased and load them into the phone. (It can accommodate a 1Gb miniSD card which allows the phone to serve as a USB drive.)

      It seems a bit odd that the marketing PHBs might think there is a demographic out there willing to pay $2.50 for tunes they can easily get for $0.99. People pay for ringtones because they a

    • "My initial reaction was $2.50 a pop?, what the? My next reaction is, I'll never buy music at $2.50 a song, never! "

      I had the same initial reaction, but you need to take a step back and think about what you're getting...You're getting a high quality download for your computer, and a ringtone for your phone.

      You DO realize that most people pay $2.50 for JUST a simple lo-fi ringtone, right? And that may even be a weekly fee depending on who they buy it from.

      So what it really comes down to is this:
      Download fo

      • Perhaps you think it's a fair deal but I don't. The whole notion of paying for a ringtone seems pretty foolish to me.
        • There's a difference between it being a fair deal and it being foolish. I too agree it is very foolish, hence the data cord I have that lets me upload my own ringtones for free.

          However, the market has shown that it is willing to bear the cost of $2.50 for a ringtone, and in comparison to that price, this is an exceptionally fair deal.

    • I know... i flipped at the price. Does it make ANY sense to try to defeat iTunes by charging 2.5 times as much?
    • I work for one of sprint's tech support vendors - and I must say this is a typical move. The purpose isn't to compete with iTunes directly, it's to generate cash. Sprint's "clientele" would have no qualms with spending for the phones and the music. (Remember, this is the only major network where you can get in with a $150 deposit if you have bad credit - think about that one.)

      What's sad, if you find problems with the service, tech support will likely not be able to help you. (They haven't told us about it
    • I used to have one of these...

      http://www.compassnet.com/concept/tables/1214.htm [compassnet.com]

      It was my brother's... It was purchased from a TurnSyle department store in Indianapolis, IN.
    • 1/6 The selection, 2.5 time the price, and 10 time the complication (think *average* user).

      the iTunes killer cometh!

  • Goodie (Score:2, Funny)

    by tivoKlr ( 659818 )
    Boy, I'm lining up right now to buy tracks for 2.50 a piece...

    I can see this taking off like a lead balloon.
    • Re:Goodie (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You know, if it's a Sprint offering, the price is the least of their problems. Even if they were going to PAY YOU 2.50 per song, they'd find a way to fuck it up.
  • How's the quality? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ankarbass ( 882629 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @07:52PM (#13919472)
    Is it at least 2.5 times as good as iTunes? Since when did music become like crack that we have to have it so bad that we'll pay $2.50 to hear it on a crappy sprint speaker? When I was a kid the best you could hope for was that there were some stickers in the album (dark side of the moon) that you could stare at until you got home to play your new record.

     
    • I wouldn't buy it for 100 times the quality. However, teens and freshman college students will buy this crap because their parents pay the cell phone bills. $2.50 is a complete ripoff for anyone with any sense, but the people they're targeting to don't.
    • I recently bought 3 phones from the Sprint half of Sprint Nextel, having previously been with the Nextel half of Sprint Nextel. Two of the phones (the cheaper ones, for my dad and sister) sound TERRIBLE when playing songs. But the third phone (mine), sounds extremely good. I was quite impressed. My phone is a Sanyo MM-8300 ($280).

      As for paying $2.50 per song... yeah... it sucks... specially when they only let you keep them for 60 days, and these were just "ring tones" so they are only 30 seconds long or so!
  • by queenb**ch ( 446380 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @07:53PM (#13919489) Homepage Journal
    Ok,

    I have napster, sattelite radio, an iPod, a laptop, and a Treo650 which are all perfectly capable of playing MP3's. Now they're going to make you buy a special phone in order to get their songs. I guess if people are stupid enough to pay $2.50 for a ring tone that evaporates in 90 days, it will be a resounding success. Napster is still $9.99 a month for all you can download. I can have 4 songs on my cell phone or 400 on laptop which synchs with my cell phone....Hmmmm....golly, I can't decide....

    2 cents,

    Queen B
    • This may come as a shock to people here, but the vast majority of people do not use their computer to manage large music collections. Most people do not in fact use their computer for music at all. A substantial fraction of any industrialized country's population do not in fact even own a computer.

      And getting a special phone? Rather you get that nice phone with the neat design and cool themes that's on offer from your carrier and you will find the music player tucked right in there. And it will be right the
  • I mean, that would be a huge deal if I couldn't get songs at 40% of the price elsewhere!

    *sigh* The sad thing is, people will totally buy into this. I mean, they get it *now* instead of later. I've always been surprised at the ROKR didn't use something and better looking that could have used this, like taking the Razor phone, adding an extra inch for the scroll wheel so it would look like an iPod Nano as a flip phone.

    Then Apple could have gotten the "I gotta have it *now*" market with a link to download t
    • The sad thing is, people will totally buy into this...

      Not so sad, if you look at those people as (nearly) early adopters.

      Unlike, say, petroleum products, the supply of music is neither finite nor particularly controlled. Genuine price-wars should eventually occur, leaving a properly calibrated market in their wake.

  • are the only ones stupid/implusive enough to buy a song at $2.50 (which you can't even you as a ringtone! ARG!).

    Barring that, I don't see this taking off. It seems like a "me too" move after the crappy ROKR+iTunes fiasco.

  • Music on mobiles..? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Flamekebab ( 873945 )
    With portable music players being so small in size and no longer carrying any geek stigma for most of the general public, why do mobile-related industries insist that music on your mobile is The Next Big Thing (tm)?

    I used to use my n-gage (quiet at the back..) for listening to music, but my GPRS costs for downloading anything were astronomical!

    I certainly don't know of anyone that seriously considers mobile phones in their current incarnation as replacements for separate portable music players.

    From TFA - "i
  • Pah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Trogre ( 513942 )
    Yet another pay-as-you-go phone service.

    What we really need is for someone to port eMule or bitTorrent implementations to mobile phones.

    • Or for the price of 2 songs you could buy a USB cable to connect to your phone and put songs on there manually. But for a wireless service, a bittorrent port would be nice as long as you've got an unlimited data plan.
    • This [wired.com] wired article mentions a Nokia phone running a Symbian Gnutella client.
    • most of the phones out there make it either impossible or exceedingly difficult to run server software - that is, to open up a port and listen on it. this is at least a limitation of all the software environments i've looked at; i'm not sure whether there's anything technical in the network which inhibits this as well.
  • What "first"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @07:56PM (#13919517) Homepage
    Music store for mobile downloads has been available for some time here in Japan already, under then name "chaku uta" (very approximately "arriving song" I think). In fact, with the manufacturers listed I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same system.

    That said, it sucks for me (just like iTunes does). Most of what I listen to is just not available, and I sure hate to pay all over again for the stuff that is. At least my phone allows me to upload my own files as well.
    • Sorry to sound like an old man, but I just don't get the point of music on your cell phone. I'm not trying to be a troll, but I really just don't get it. I know that it would be better to just have one single device to do all (phone, camera, music, etc...), but with the limitations of memory, battery, portability (as in moving to the PC) I personally wouldn't want this all-in-one wonder. Can someone please explain this to this old man?
      • Sorry to sound like an old man, but I just don't get the point of music on your cell phone. I'm not trying to be a troll, but I really just don't get it. I know that it would be better to just have one single device to do all (phone, camera, music, etc...), but with the limitations of memory, battery, portability (as in moving to the PC) I personally wouldn't want this all-in-one wonder. Can someone please explain this to this old man?

        I, too, am "an old man" :) And I much prefer having it on my phone.

        Yes, i
  • One Word (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by coop0030 ( 263345 )
    hahahahaha

    (omg)

    hahahahahaha
  • Barring the price tag of the songs (which you'd think they'd be lower than iTunes to try to compete), does Sprint really think they have the infrastructure necessary to handle this? When I say infrastructure, I mean the combination of enough users and their hardware that could even possibly be interested in this music, and can/are willing to pay 2.50 a song.

    -Da3vid-
    • Re:Infrastructure (Score:3, Informative)

      by twiggy ( 104320 )
      Yes - they have just launched the infrastructure. It's called "Power Vision", which is their cheesy name for EVDO. It's a much faster network infrastructure than their really crappy slow data service they currently offer. It was launched today in concert with this music stuff.

      For all the naysayers about the price: I agree with you, $2.50 is insane. However, people are paying that much for ringtones, etc now. The public is not as tech-savvy as you are, and the sheer convenience of downloading music via
      • They should've put the part about EVDO up there with it. How many phones though can support this type of technology with the music? Aside from models, how many people own phones that can do it? My point is that all the factors together added up seem to make a small market to me. In order to be a customer, you need to 1) Have Sprint be your cell phone company (which is generally more expensive than other alternatives) 2) Have a phone that is compatible with the technology including sending/receiving as well
  • The Hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EdwinBoyd ( 810701 )
    My only explanation for the ridiculous price is that they must be looking at the sales of ringtones (which with my carrier can cost up to $3.00 plus download fees). If people are stupid enough to pay that much for a polyphonic midi of a song then they might have a niche business. If they're trying to compete with iTunes they're in for a big surprise. People rarely buy more than a half dozen ringtones whereas ITMS users purchase entire albums at a go.

    Is there a music exec sitting in an office somewhere gi
    • Hell Of A Niche (Score:3, Interesting)

      by meehawl ( 73285 )
      If people are stupid enough to pay that much for a polyphonic midi of a song then they might have a niche business.

      Globally, the revenue of mobile phone ringtone sales dwarfs that of music downloads by around 15:1. That is, the total revenue of *all* music downloads combined (iTMS, Napster, Rhapsody, etc) accounts for less than 10% of the total revenue sales that mobile carriers are raking in from ringtones.

      Remember, whereas Apple's sales of iPods are reckoned in single-digit millions per quarter, mobile ph
      • This is something people never seem to notice. Anyone know that Crazy Frog ringtone? Guess what--a few months ago, it was the number 1 selling SINGLE (not ringtone) in the UK. That's right. Better selling than Britney Spears and Kanye West. Ringtones are a 1.5 BILLION dollar market. The other thing people never seem to notice is that Apple wasn't first in the mobile market, just like they're not first in any market. The ROKR, just like the iPod, was nothing new. All it does is act as another sideloader for
      • Ringtones are a public statement. They are like accessories, phone cases, jewellery or designer clothes in that they help define to others who you are. Therefore people are prepared to spend large amounts of money on them for reasons of status. I personally wouldn't but I see why people, particularly teenagers, do. For the same reasons as people buy trainers (US:sneakers) for £100.

        Having music on your phone is a completely different market which is based on private listening habits and convenience. At
  • This is doomed to fail, and here's why. 1) an incredible $2.50 a song 2) Whoever would seriouly listen to music on a phone is nuts 3) Considering the price it shuld be a music video AND a high quality version for computer/mp3 player Ok, so it might not fail, but to put it into perspective the ITMS breaks even for apple, even with its huge success.
    • Actually the phones it runs on have stereo headphones. And I'm pretty sure you get both a mobile download AND a higher quality, CD-burnable desktop download for the $2.50 pricetag.

      I carried a music-capable phone for quite some time and it was rather handy. I always had my phone, and I always charged my phone, so it was easy to slip on my earbuds and listen to some tunes when out for a walk, mowing the lawn, whatever. It's really not as bizarre as it first seems. In fact I rather miss it -- I have since ch
  • by obli ( 650741 )
    This does catch on, we've had this in Sweden for a little more than a year now, even before iTunes opened over here we had network providers selling music to cell phones.

    What's bugging me is that it does seem to work, I just don't get why, some phones don't even have a normal headphone connector, thus no connection to a real speaker. But still the music gets bought, just to be listened to through loudspeakers designed to reproduce no bass at all, I pity them.
  • This yet another attempt by the labels to screw their customers. I mean who wants to pay 2.5 times for a song just because you are "on the go." Last time I checked I use a WiFi connection to iTunes "on the go." This reminds of the Blue Media debacle a few years ago where the labels came out with this really crappy DRM music format and tried to force it to the retailers. I was director of marketing for Penny Lane Records [pennylane.com], a music chain in LA. Yet another sucky product designed to prove they are smarter than
  • Globally, the revenue of mobile phone ringtone sales dwarfs that of music downloads by around 15:1. That is, the total revenue of *all* music downloads combined (iTMS, Napster, Rhapsody, etc) accounts for less than 10% of the total revenue sales that mobile carriers are raking in from ringtones.

    Remember, whereas Apple's sales of iPods are reckoned in single-digit millions per quarter, mobile phone sales are reckoned in hundred of millions per quarter. That's a lot of people buying "one or two" ringtones per
    • When the carriers finally get enough bandwidth to deploy always-on streaming is when Apple really has to worry. With sufficient bandwidth for streaming, carriers can link up with cable/phone providers to sell "all you can eat", ala Napster-To-Go or Yahoo Unlimited subscription services. Offer to bill people an extra $10 monthly on their mobile bill for unlimited music or personalised radio? That's an easy sell. People can move their playlists between their phones, their HTPCs, their stereos, and their cars.
  • We'll ignore the fact that I have an iPod (that I like), and a Windows Mobile handheld PDA (that I could use to listen to music) and occaisionally carry a PSP (which can also listen to music).

    Instead, they want me to use my Sprint phone (I am a customer). So instead of paying $1 on iTunes, I can pay 2.5x as much to buy it from Sprint. Now I don't know anything about their DRM (although they MUST have it, they're Sprint).

    So what can I listen to this on? They probably have specific phones (elluded to in the

  • "Sprint is first carrier in the US to deliver what customers want most in a wireless music store - the instant gratification of downloading and owning their own personal collection of high-quality songs on a device that is always with them," said Len Lauer, chief operating officer for Sprint Nextel.

    I have a Sprint Treo 650 and access to the Internet so I can already download music.

    When Sprint offers broadband expect them to bundle the service somehow. This might be a bit off topic but it gives you some
  • by flinxmeister ( 601654 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:28PM (#13919725) Homepage
    That pretty much ensures that all best music is there!

    No wonder they're charging $2.50. If they only dealt with labels then this shows what the labels are going to push Apple for next year.

    The situation is getting riper and riper for musicians to tell these folks to go jump and take the primary seat in dealing with digital distrubutors. Sooner or later it will happen.

    If labels had any sense they would be charging nickels and dimes for very lightly DRM'd downloads to hold that market.
  • We've had music available for purchase via Vodafone for quite some time now. For those interested:

    http://vodafone.co.nz/vlive/3g/experience_music.js p?item=experience3g&subitem=music [vodafone.co.nz]

    NZ$3.50 each though - no way I'm going to be paying that...

  • Ach. You missed out the phrase in the FA that says 'the first US music download service' to mobiles

    You can do this in the UK - at carrier, handset and 3rd party level,

    http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/Oct2005/2095.htm [3g.co.uk] (and loads more)
  • OK, $2.50 per song is pretty pricey - agreed. But there are already services in the UK (Orange has one) that charge 2 pounds per song (~$3), and they don't even bundle a second version of the track which is downloadable on the desktop.

    I also hasten to say, the /. group is most decidedly *NOT* the target market for this product. Think teenagers. Think parents of teenagers who are being badgered to get their little cherubs cells phones and iPods. According to the press release, with a 1GB card you can put
    • At those prices the market is DECIDELY not teenagers - Yah you can put 1,000 songs on it but that will run you $2500. Most teenagers I know do not have that sort of discretionary income. The market is the mobile professional who doesn't mind "paying a bit more on the go" or at least that's the rational cited. If the product costs 2.5 times as much and doesn't offer any real value (How is it better than iTunes in any way?), it will flop. A big honking red belly flop.
      • I think you missed an important qualifier:

        Maybe they can use that to convert their MP3s to put them on their phone. If that were the case then Sprint might have something.

        So IF you could transcode your MP3s and put them on the phone and IF it could hold 1000 songs, THEN I think Sprint would have something pretty cool.
        • Sorry but no where does it indicate that in the article. I mean sure it would be cool. I am just willing to bet that it doesn't do that as you would eliminate the revenue stream that make the phone possible. How do you make money off the phone if people aren't buying the songs?
          • The article highly suggests that you cannot load your own MP3s on it.

            "For example, using an optional 1GB removable memory card, customers will be able to store up to 1,000 songs purchased from the Sprint Music Store. Downloads are expected to take about 30 seconds per track."

            The key phrase there is "purchased from the Sprint Music Store." It's entirely a closed box. I mean what's the revenue stream if you can load your own MP3s on it?
            • Well, it is a high end phone (~$400), so they make more profit from that. Also, people who buy high end phones are more likely (and able) to use other pay-for services. Lastly, if you get people accustomed to listening to their music on their phone, you have a good chance of selling them a song or two each month on an impulse, gotta have it now, purchase. Yeah, $400 is alot for a phone, but it's not alot more than buying an iPod AND a phone (especially a "cool" phone).
              • There is no way they'll let you download songs from your computer, this is a phone company we're talking about.

                And 1GB is enough for 1000 songs only at a bit-rate that will make them sound like they're played underwater. The original ipod had 4GB, and claimed to fit 1000 songs.
                • Actually according to an article on Ars they DO allow you to download your own songs to your phone. Also, they make the same statement: 1GB = 1000 songs, which translates to a 32kbps encode rate. I doubt they would release songs at that bitrate that sounded terrible (especially at $2.50 a pop) so I would withold my judgement on sound quality. Along those lines, I wonder if they let you encode at different rates when putting music on your phone (trade capacity for quality for more discerning listeners).
    • Think parents of teenagers who are being badgered to get their little cherubs cells phones and iPods.

      Yeah, they can badger all they want. They're not getting any of those from me unless they put down the game controller and get a part time job. Not surprisingly, they shut up for a little while and keep playing their games. The target market is the teenagers' grandparents. They are the ones that buy all the crap for the little ingrates in the first place. You'd be surprised how much of the X-Box/PS2

  • Sure, $2.50 is a lot, compared with other music services [cough cough iTMS]. But what will inflate it even more is the cost of the airtime to download a 3mb music file, even at 3G data rates.

    Don't forget the state & federal taxes (univeral access fee, sales tax, facilities recovery fee, etc. etc.) Also - the music you just bought won't fit on your typical SIM card, so if you change phones, guess what, you get to buy it all over again.

    This is shaping up to be such a *deal*, oh yes...

    Chip H.
    • 1. There are no airtime charges for Sprint's data services, unless you're paying per kilobyte. Data access is flat rate, for the most part. 2. This service is aimed at the new "Power Vision"(EV-DO) handsets, which average 400-700kbit/s with peak at 2.4Mbit/s. 3. There are no SIM cards involved; files are transferable via the USB cable included with all EV-DO handsets. All said, yeah, $2.5/track is a bit pricey, but it's not aimed at iTMS users, it's aimed at the ringtone crowd. That is, the crowd that
  • I read about this at Designtechnica too: http://news.designtechnica.com/article8671.html [designtechnica.com] The problem is that the music phones out there sucks. I think the Sony Ericsson W800i is probably the best so far.
  • ... to show everyone around you that you are stupid enough to pay $2.50 for a single song. For that price I want permanent/physical media atleast (5 songs would be $12.50 for a pretty lame CD). What percentage goes the artist? Is it even measurable?
  • Biting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Dear Medial

    Please refrain from using "take a bite out of apple" in every single article relating on "attacks" towards Apple. I mean, it isn't like it hasn't been used before. Trust me, it isn't creative nor is it funny anymore.

    Seriously.

    Thanks,
    The Public
  • Vodafone New Zealand [vodafone.co.nz] has this already. It costs $3.50NZD per track and you only have access to the song on that particular mobile. Lose your mobile and you lose the song. You can't transfer it to a PC either. /b
  • by Jon_E ( 148226 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:23PM (#13920735)
    Cell phones always seemed like an interim market until widespread highspeed network access becomes affordable. Who cares about another service to try and hook you into a lame portable network access subscription .. what i really want is free wimax access, then IP phones become commodity and then we can really talk about features.
  • Well, let's see...

    I can spend my $2.50 to listen to a compressed DRM'd mono version of the Black Eyed Peas' latest musical nightmare.

    -OR-

    I can go buy a gallon of gas.

    What to do...

    OH! I can save the $2.50 and walk to work! That'll do!
    • What I don't get ... is for 0.99$ you can buy legit copy that sounds a "tad" better than the "beeps" and "boops" that is crappy ringtone satire...You probably pay data and air usage for the download!!! This is why telcos are slowly but surely getting assraped by all new technologies out there [cough cough voip].

      They think they can just charge whatever the fuck they want and people will "just put up with it".

      Answer: No they won't.

      Tom
  • Not the first (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greggman ( 102198 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:51PM (#13920853) Homepage
    Sorry, but there are already music to cell phone download services in Korea, Japan and other places. Sprint's is hardly the first
  • Many of you have an American-centric point of view, where iTunes rules. But, in Asia, cellphone rules! In Indonesia alone, there era 30 million cellphone usuers. Compare that to around 8 million Internet users. 30 million is a large number. How be is the population in your city? I could imagine that the market in China and India would be much BIGGER! Although, US$2.50 is a bit too much. My informal polling (in one of my blogs) showed that people are willing to pay US 10c for a song. That's their willingne
  • Nitpick (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @07:48AM (#13922367)
    with the upcoming release of the first music download service direct to mobile phones.

    I know Slashdot is based in the US and has a very large base of individuals who are based there - but I do think it is worth pointing out that in the UK, O2 were the first with direct download of music to mobile phones and T-Mobile were the first with direct download of music which required no additional hardware or software (WAP discovery and OTA download) - both of which were in order of years before this announcement.

    I have no doubt that other countries probably were quicker off the mark than the UK too, so it would be only fair that in the future the editors ensured that statements claiming to be the first at something either were verified or stated in which terratory they were first in.

    In this case, it implies the first everywhere, which isn't so.

  • This just in (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @09:28AM (#13922713)
    There is another article in Ars Technical (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051031-550 3.html [arstechnica.com]) that says:

    Users will also be able to copy music purchased via the store to their PCs and burn it to CD. In addition, they will be able to load 16-32MB of their own music on to the new phones if they choose.

    I *assume* the 16-32MB *limit* is because that is the size of the bundled cards. So it looks like you CAN put music you already own into your phone. And if you did put in a 1GB card you can have a pretty decent portable music player that is also a phone. I think that makes this a much more significant announcement. I'm surprised they don't play that angle up more. Seems to me that Sprint has 2 distinct advantages over the iTunes phone: no 100 song limit and the ability (if you want) to buy a song instantly over-the-air.
  • As it sends it to your phone, and also gives you a high (read: normal) quality version for your computer, this is probably a good price point for those fools^Wpeople who pay $2 - $3 to get ringtones - IF it can be used as a ringtone direct from the phone, or more easily (otherwise they'd just use their computer and set them up from itunes or mp3s)

    I don't know anyone who buys ringtones, but since I hear a lot of annoying shit whenever I'm out in public, I know there are plenty of these people.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...