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iPod vs. Zune vs. Rhapsody, Part 1
I've always considered that the was a beautiful thing, yet one that I would never buy. The reason is its lack of support for subscription music. I don't want to own music any more than I want to own DVDs. I want to rent it, and I have been a long time customer for subscription music providers, first , then . For $10/month (give or take) I can listen to an enormous library of music, far bigger than I could take the time, trouble, and dollars to build up CD-by-CD or song-by-song myself. Fancy listening to a little 1970s Pink Floyd? Queue it up. How about some Flaming Lips? If I liked that would I like this?

I started with Rhapsody because as well as computer play-back it also was supported by my (now discontinued) Prismiq digital media adapter (DMA - a device that connects to your stereo or TV and plays-back digital music or video pulled from a PC or network). I switched to Yahoo when I got an MP3 player (a small ) that supports Microsoft's portable Janus system, allowing me to load subscription music onto it, because Yahoo's Janus option was $5/month cheaper than Rhapsody.

I still remain a big fan of the subscription model, yet it does not seem to have broad appeal. All those iPod sales indicate that people either don't like the idea of leasing music, or they don't know about it. Or perhaps the iPod is just so cool that the question of how they are going to fill it with content doesn't really factor into the buying decision.

There's a shake-up coming in this status quo though, a consequence of the upcoming Microsoft player that is being somewhat lost in the general for-and-against buzz about the product.

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