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Yahoo! Businesses The Internet Media Music

Yahoo Music Shutting Down, Users Going to Real 128

Posted by kdawson
from the real-world-music dept.
Tech.Luver sends in word of Yahoo's decision to exit the subscription music business. Yahoo's current subscribers — the company doesn't disclose how many it has — will be switched over to Real's Rhapsody service, and Yahoo will promote Real on its site. Yahoo had priced its subscription service significantly below Real's: $5.99 a month (if users pay a year in advance), vs. Rhapsody memberships at $12.99 a month and up. The Mercury News wonders how the Yahoo-Real deal would fare if Microsoft takes over — not well, the betting goes.
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Yahoo Music Shutting Down, Users Going to Real

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  • RealPlayer (Score:5, Funny)

    by misleb (129952) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:12PM (#22300400)
    Does that mean users would be forced to use the abomination that is RealPlayer? All I can say is "Haha!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by numbsafari (139135)
      I refuse to use any site that requires RealPlayer... Hence I don't use Amazon's song sampling...

      I hate RealPlayer.

      It would actually be a great thing for MS to take over Yahoo if only to help prevent the further spread of the virus that is RealPlayer.
      • Re:RealPlayer (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mrxak (727974) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:26PM (#22300578)
        As much as I agree with you about RealPlayer being utterly evil, I still prefer the unstable tripod of Google-Microsoft-Yahoo to the cold war deadlock Google-Microsoft.
      • Are there any (major) sites still using Real as their video delivery of choice? They were on the ropes even before Flash video became all the rage, so I can only assume they have a couple of juicy patents that keep from being buried outright.
    • Sometimes I wonder if anyone uses realplayer anymore. I haven't given it a second thought since around '97 when I briefly used it before a buddy in the dorm showed me winamp (which I still use). The pop ups, adware, spyware, and invasiveness took such effort to use.

      The true number of people who use it must be miniscule. Why would anyone ever use it?
      • Re:RealPlayer (Score:5, Informative)

        by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:22PM (#22300510) Journal
        Real player no longer sucks and its the only player on Linux that has correct color calibration and brightness on my laptops.

        IT no longer has spyware and adware but the reputation quite damned it. Its quite slim now and fast since the company went in a different direction a few years ago. ... no I dont use it anymore on Windows and prefer Itunes. Raphsody requires real player so some people still use it. My wife has it on her computer but she rarely uses it anymore.
      • Re:RealPlayer (Score:5, Informative)

        by kcornia (152859) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:31PM (#22300642) Journal
        Some of those of us who are willing to give people/things a second chance have been pleasantly surprised with current incarnations of RealPlayer. It is non-adware, non-spyware, light on the CPU, and Rhapsody is AWESOME.

        I've bought five or six albums in the past few months, several from artists I'd never have listened to (Daft Punk, Modest Mouse, Big Audio Dynamite to name a few) if not for Rhapsody including them in custom channels that I built. Granted I'm buying the CDs because Infiniti SUCKS and can't play home grown CDs in their player without it breaking and they don't have an input jack, but the point is I'm getting exposed to a bunch of new music for the first time in years thanks to Rhapsody.

        I actually feel bad for them for having to pay such a high price for their early bad decisions. I mean, I shit-canned them back in the late 90's when they pulled those stunts, but they've matured a lot, and are one of the most complete players out there (although .mov files have quit working on them recently).

        I encourage those of you who still have bad memories of Real to read up on the changes and perhaps give them another shot. Rhapsody really is kick ass. I'm sitting here listening to my Sansa player that has 4GB of music that I don't own and loving every minute of it.

        I even take it out when I run now, even though I still have to cart the iPod Nano for the running shoes/chip combo.
        • Re:RealPlayer (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Seor Jojoba (519752) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:57PM (#22300986) Homepage

          I love Rhapsody. It has its problems, like forcing you to too frequently upgrade the software, but the basic subscription idea is great, and Rhapsody has a very good selection. You can pretty much just put in any artist, obscure or famous, and 19 times out of 20, their music pops up ready to listen to.

          The reason that the pay subscription model is not insanely popular is probably because it is competing against the "free subscription" model, where you get all the same music, but for free. Who is offering that? Millions of torrent clients, spread across the internet. For myself, I guess I'll just be a chump and pay twelve bucks a month for all the music I could ever want and then some.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by webmaster404 (1148909)

            The reason that the pay subscription model is not insanely popular is probably because it is competing against the "free subscription" model, where you get all the same music, but for free.

            Not to mention its DRMed and may not work on your devices. When someone offers a subscription model DRM free service that works on Windows/Linux/Mac in whatever encoding you want FLAC/MP3/OGG I will sign up until then its again the "pirates" offer a better product on more then just price and if this continues I don't see how digital music will survive.

            • Not to mention its DRMed and may not work on your devices.

              Even worse, you can end up like my mom, who thought she was happy with Yahoo Music...until she took a trip to Europe. She didn't sync the player in the week leading up to the trip, and during the long trip, her licenses ran out and she had no music. I told her that this was caused by DRM, and the only sure way to avoid it wasto buy CDs and rip them herself (this was before Amazon mp3). She dropped her Yahoo subscription after that.

              I'm sure DRM has
          • by Lumpy (12016)
            Pay subscriptions suck because when you quit paying all your music explodes.

            I prefer the Amazon.com mp3 model.. no drm 256Kbps VBR mp3's. I have purchased at least 30 albums from them and a crapload of singles as well. It's great they work on my car stereo, audiotron, Lansonic DAS950, basically everything. and they cant take my music from me when they want to.
            • Re:RealPlayer (Score:5, Insightful)

              by kcornia (152859) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:44PM (#22301450) Journal
              This argument always fascinates me. The same is true of your cable TV, but I don't see constant bitching about the cable pay model. The music goes away if you stop paying because you're paying for a SERVICE, not for the music. If you want to pay for the music, then Amazon/iTunes is all there for you. But to buy just what I have in my sansa right now you'd be paying about 5-10 years worth of rhapsody monthly fees. Do you think you'll still want all that music that far in the future? I know I don't listen to many of my old CDs, so Rhapsody is great value for me.

              And as far as the comment above this, you're asking the company to let you download whatever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want, in any bitrate/codec you want, on the HONOR system, the promise that you won't download it and then stop paying and share it with your friends?

              DRM for music that you guy is lame, I agree. But DRM for music that you buy as a service makes total sense and I have no problem with it. Sure it would be nice if they could all agree so I didn't have to have both a Nano and a Sansa player. But Sansa players are 40 bucks and its plug and play from there so I'm not losing sleep over it.
              • by strabes (1075839)
                Your comparison to cable TV is accurate except that you can't watch everything you see on TV multiple times unless you use a tivo system. So if you think about it cable TV is even worse. Regardless, this is the major reason why I don't use a subscription service.

                Regarding your second paragraph, eMusic does just that. It's a subscription-based, DRM-free music service. You only get 192kbps mp3s but they are DRM free, meaning if you cancel your subscription you get to keep all your music. I prefer the old-fash
              • Re:RealPlayer (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Skynyrd (25155) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:43PM (#22302462) Homepage
                This argument always fascinates me. The same is true of your cable TV, but I don't see constant bitching about the cable pay model. The music goes away if you stop paying because you're paying for a SERVICE, not for the music. If you want to pay for the music, then Amazon/iTunes is all there for you. But to buy just what I have in my sansa right now you'd be paying about 5-10 years worth of rhapsody monthly fees. Do you think you'll still want all that music that far in the future? I know I don't listen to many of my old CDs, so Rhapsody is great value for me.

                Yeah, but that argument doesn't hold water at all. Video is generally watched once or twice (with some exceptions) where music is listened to repeatedly. I want to rent video (because it's so much cheaper per viewing) and buy music (because I keep it and listen to it over and over, for years).

                I can play MP3s in my living room (HTPC), bedroom (PC), truck (MP3 player/CD player), car (iPod + tape deck), motorcycle (cell phone + earbud) at work (thumb drive in my PC + speakers or iPod + speakers/earbuds) and on and on... I just don't have that flexibility with rental music. I'm also not interested in the "band of the week". I tend to listen to music for years, so renting doesn't do it for me. I guess if I was 15 again and listened to whatever the radio told me to, I'd rent.

                My music collection is about 1,000 albums, and I've been buying CDs for 20 years (records for a few years before that).

                If renting works for you, that's great. But the music/video comparison doesn't really work.
                • Yeah, but that argument doesn't hold water at all. Video is generally watched once or twice (with some exceptions) where music is listened to repeatedly. I want to rent video (because it's so much cheaper per viewing) and buy music (because I keep it and listen to it over and over, for years).

                  No that idea doesn't appeal to you. Just because you are not the type of person to have a subscription service, does not mean the idea is far fetched. All it means is that you are different.

                  I can play MP3s in my li

                  • by Skynyrd (25155)
                    Did I miss anything?

                    Yes.
                    You seem to be an angry troll.

                    I pointed out why it didn't work for me... oh fuck it. You seem to be too stupid to bother to reply to.
                    • Yes. You seem to be an angry troll.

                      Ha ha. I'm just responding to your comment. I'm neither angry nor a troll.

                      I pointed out why it didn't work for me...

                      You did more than that. You chimed in with your opinion about subscription music. Remember?

                      Yeah, but that argument doesn't hold water at all. Video is generally watched once or twice (with some exceptions) where music is listened to repeatedly.

                      And then you insulted the original poster (emphasis mine):

                      I just don't have that flexibility with rental mu

                • Yeah, but that argument doesn't hold water at all. Video is generally watched once or twice (with some exceptions) where music is listened to repeatedly. I want to rent video (because it's so much cheaper per viewing) and buy music (because I keep it and listen to it over and over, for years).

                  Fair point, but I do think you're underestimating how much 'consumable' music is out there. I also think you're overlooking the idea that you can get a lot more audio time than video time during an average day, at least for those of us working in an office environment. But I think if this discussion were to taken much further it'd involve generalizing about people's tastes, and that could turn into a cyclic debate.

                  That said, agree with you, the video debate breaks down when it's over-analyzed. However,

                  • by Skynyrd (25155)
                    Fair point, but I do think you're underestimating how much 'consumable' music is out there. I also think you're overlooking the idea that you can get a lot more audio time than video time during an average day, at least for those of us working in an office environment. But I think if this discussion were to taken much further it'd involve generalizing about people's tastes, and that could turn into a cyclic debate.

                    Ohh look, an intelligent reply. :)

                    I agree on how much consumable music there is. That isn't ho
                    • Hey, I don't really have anything to add but I did want to say thanks for reading what I had to say. (Can you tell I've had some rough experiences here lately?)

                      Good luck. :)

                • by jp10558 (748604)
                  I think it's also a perception problem. We've never had music rentals before, while everyone is ok with, and at a gut level, understands video/game rentals from Blockbuster, Netflix and back 20 + years of stuff. Music has always been a "buy" transaction, and people just think of it like that.

                  OTOH, the big deal here is that DRM gets in the way of freely competing rental companies, you can't buy a "music player de jure" like a Walkman or a CD player and get music from anywhere like you could with a VHS deck a
            • I have to say, that's not neccessarily a bad thing. I consume music like it's popcorn, and I have a Yahoo music subscription. My problem is I listen to music all day long at work, and in the car. I need more new music, I just can't stand the same tunes over and over.

              So, even though I have a library of thousands of songs in my Yahoo Music library- if I stopped paying, I wouldn't mind losing them, since I'm already sick of all of it. Thanks to my new [bad] habit of consuming music at such a high rate, I'm ru
        • by WaXHeLL (452463)
          Except for the fact that when I did try to use Rhapsody six months ago, the software could never get past updating my Windows Media DRM.

          Their tech support was of no help, and when I tried to cancel the free trial, they offered me an additional free month. I don't get the point of that considering that their software didn't work in the first place.

          Yahoo Music Unlimited and Napster did not have issues with updating DRM.

          Napster's interface is pretty horrid and some of the songs are written with invalid tags (
        • by Symbha (679466)
          I totally agree... I love the Rhapsody service, I get to hear tons of new music because of it. The really big boys ain't on there, but I don't care about that shiz anyway... I don't need Metallica or Madonna.

          I do have my gripes though... like songs that were once available for stream, later being removed, or limited to 30s clips... (the minority, but it still happens to me alot.)

          As for the official RealPlayer (which rhapsody is not,) I do believe it still sucks...
          http://www.stopbadware.org/reports/reportd [stopbadware.org]
          • by kcornia (152859)
            I saw that, and although the blog that was linked on Digg badly mis characterized the issues, those are issues. But the more important note to me is that practically as soon as it was published Real said they would address both. That to me is a good example of the new model they employ, as opposed to the old model of deny and/or ignore.

            And as far as the songs being removed, I doubt that's Real, it's more likely a result of a dispute between the artist and the label. Otherwise you'd see entire label's cat
            • by Symbha (679466)
              That's good to hear... like I said, I'm a fan.

              I agree that the song issue is the result of disputes, it's just one of the things that bugs me. I understand it, jut don't like it. As usual, some artists are still holding out... but it bugs me when I see them do it to only a couple songs... it's like they are admit the other stuff isn't worth anything to begin with.
          • I used to have the Rhaposdy service, but wound up canceling it after buying Iron Maiden "A Matter of Life and Death", but couldn't download it to my iPod because of compatibility/DRM issues. Enough DRM crap. I now buy all my music from Amazon.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Skynyrd (25155)
          I actually feel bad for them for having to pay such a high price for their early bad decisions. I mean, I shit-canned them back in the late 90's when they pulled those stunts, but they've matured a lot, and are one of the most complete players out there (although .mov files have quit working on them recently).

          I'm glad they are paying the price, if for no other reason to serve as an example.

          They screwed the pooch - over and over again. They justifiably lost marketshare and honor and I sincerely hope that the
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by toadlife (301863)

        '97 when I briefly used it before a buddy in the dorm showed me winamp

        I call BS on your post. I was an early user of WinAMP, as I was one of the several thousand or so people on the planet who new what an mp3 even was in 1997.

        In 1997, WinAMP was a barely functional audio player that only played Mp2, MP3 and (I think?) uncompressed PCM audio files, whereas Real Player pretty much only played real media files, and maybe uncompressed PCM (wav/aif) files. Real Player most certainly didn't play MP3 files in 1997.

        AFAIK, "Winplay", a really crappy shareware app from Fraunhofer and

        • i forgot this was slashdot and people have egos about when they adopted software...sorry...don't get your panties in a twist

          wow...you're calling BS on 10+ year old memories...details are hazy...however, in '97 my campus was one of the first to have campus wide ethernet in every dorm room with good computers provided, so I wouldn't be surprised if I was a fairly early adopter of winamp, i may have heard about it through one of the computer science majors or something...

          so, the /. version of my mp3 player his
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by toadlife (301863)
            Sorry. Upon further reflection I was bored at work and grumpy and being a pedant.
            • it happens my friend

              man, it was awesome to be on the cutting edge of the internet back in the late 90's...so many new things were comming out...I remember when I was introduced to mp3 files, I just loved it...I could make my own mix CDs!...then early napster, any song I could want for free!...Even to this day it seems many people (RIAA) still do not understand just how revolutionary the mp3 file format (and the bandwidth to transfer them) really is

              from your other post, i have a feeling you can rela
      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        You want a great free music player that has wicked features try Musikcube [musikcube.com]. The dynamic playlists and built in SQL backend ROCKS! I used to not touch anything but winamp, and then stumbled onto this thanks to shell extension city. The SQL backend makes it wicked fast for updating tags and files and if you prefer a winamp interface they have a plugin that'll give it to you. It is also licensed under BSD and they welcome input from the community. A really nice player from a really nice bunch of guys. It is for
    • Hey, I love real med...buffering...buffering...buffering...ia player!

    • Rhapsody doesn't use the RealPlayer. It also works on the Mac and Linux.
    • by szyzyg (7313)
      Well it turns out that if you use yahoo's player then you've got an active-X control that's being actively exploited by drive by downloaders
      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/05/yahoo_jukebox_vuln/ [theregister.co.uk]

      So, right now realplayer is a preferable alternative.
    • Am I the only one moderately shocked to learn they're even still around? I thought they got bought out years ago.
    • Does that mean users would be forced to use the abomination that is RealPlayer? All I can say is "Haha!"
      No, they use an app called 'Rhapsody'. It really isn't bad, either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:15PM (#22300450)
    There has to be some Ballmer PowerPoint slide somewhere deep inside Microsoft that looks like this:

    1. Throw billions at fading dot com era giant in hopes to replace their own basket case of an online search and content efforts

    2. ???

    3. Profit!

    Yahoo right now must be feeling like someone sitting at the side of the road with their car broken down and someone else with a broken down car comes up to them and offers them 40 billion to buy their car off them because they really need a lift...

    • by mrxak (727974)
      Heh, I do think you're right. Microsoft buying out Yahoo really does seem desperate to me. I wouldn't mind if both companies ended up sinking each other, but then it would be far less interesting without all three search companies constantly fighting each other.
    • +1 ???/profit meme
      +1 car analogy
      +1 MS bashing

      Great post!
  • The Mercury News wonders how the Yahoo-Real deal would fare if Microsoft takes over -- not well, the betting goes.
    ...unless microsoft also plan to buy Real.
    • My guess is the plan was to redirect consumers to surge for media player at yahoo's site. Or perhaps the company is trying to sell it quickly before ms controls it. Perhaps Yahoo did this to increase their networth so the CEO could make some money before being totally under MS control.

      But if I were MS I would just cancel the music subscription service or force them to use Surge.

    • >..unless microsoft also plan to buy Real.

      Which brings up a couple of questions. Which sucks more, RealPlayer or MediaPlayer? Would some Satanic merging of the two programs become known as The Day That Music Died SP1?

      • by Khuffie (818093)
        To answer your question...

        ...iTunes. It is so slow and buggy on Windows. It's a joke.
      • by syousef (465911)
        Would some Satanic merging of the two programs become known as The Day That Music Died SP1?

        No, Plays for sure.
  • As a long time user of Yahoo's "Launch" subscription music service, I think that sucks. Launch isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn good, and I've been happy to pay the $36/year for no ads and better sound quality. That being said, I won't install anything from Real Networks onto any of our machines, so it looks like I'm on the lookout for a replacement that's as good and as cheap as Launchcast. Shit.
    • Re:That sucks (Score:5, Informative)

      by darkhitman (939662) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:26PM (#22300580)
      Well, if you're looking for a replacement, I've tried out two streaming music sites recently that are pretty good:

      http://www.imeem.com/ [imeem.com] - Like youtube, but for music I guess. It has a lot of good playlists, even for my doom metal tastes.

      http://www.pandora.com/ [pandora.com] - Streaming internet radio, dissimilar to imeem in that it randomizes what it will play for you - though it tries to play music similar to what you like/tell it you like through some sort of algorithm. Good for finding new stuff. I found Electric Wizard here.
      • by szyzyg (7313)
        Yes with imeem around the only thing that a paid subscription is offering is the ability to download the music to your windows media compatible player.

        Of course we all know QTrax is going to provide that feature for free too ;-)
      • That pandora sounds a lot like what I use Yahoo! Music Canada for. Unfortunately they are US only:

        Dear Pandora Visitor,

        We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

        We believe that you are in Canada (your IP address appears to be xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx). If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com

        If you are a paid subscriber, please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com and we will issue a pro-rated refund to the credit card you used to sign up. If you have been using Pandora, we will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you.

        We will be notifying listeners as licensing agreements are established in individual countries. If you would like to be notified by email when Pandora is available in your country, please enter your email address below. The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere.

        We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding.

        Sincerely,

        Tim Westergen

        Tim Westergren
        Founder

        Bummer.

        Yahoo still works for now, so I'll wait until it stops working to shop around for the other ones listed elsewhere in the comments.

        - RG>

      • by tieTYT (989034)

        http://www.imeem.com/ [imeem.com] - Like youtube, but for music I guess. It has a lot of good playlists, even for my doom metal tastes.

        imeem's user interface sucks: Get your back button ready, you'll be using it a lot. Even if there is a way to listen to things without having to go to a specific page, the UI still sucks because it isn't immediately obvious to me how to do it.

        A really good music website is http://www.thesixtyone.com/ [thesixtyone.com] Their selection of music is very tiny, but the UI is amazing. You can play any

    • DuoDude,

      If you liked Yahoo! LaunchCAST (free or Plus version), you will love Pandora [pandora.com]. You can create custom stations by entering an artist's name (e.g., Steely Dan). The service then starts sending you music its matching algorithms think is similar to Steely Dan's music (a sound so unique to this day that this is a real challenge for their back-end algorithms).

      I dumped LauunchCAST Plus about six months ago because they were releasing buggy versions of the player on a regular basis and their customer

  • by Brigadier (12956) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:17PM (#22300464)


    First they ship all there pictures to flicker, then they get rid of there version of myspace 360. Now yahoo music. I understand restructuring but they are doing horrible things to the brand. With the news of msn trying to by them out. If I was an investor I would be bailing out. Without content what do users flock to ?
    • I was using Flickr before it migrated and I liked that I could use my Yahoo user name and password there, but I did have a few pictures on Yahoo pictures, but nothing more than profile pictures that I just erased. Flickr is much more powerful and for photo buffs like me
  • This news is making me think of bailing from Yahoo and going to Google and Real.

    It's a shame, as I've loved Yahoo, but if need be, consumers don't have to stick around on the Web.
  • I have used Yahoo Launchcast plus and then migrated to the Yahoo Music Engine (now Jukebox) since they were started and this just sucks. I never wanted Real. Seeing that there are still thousands of people complaining about the migration from MusicMatch to Yahoo Jukebox, I think this is going to be a major problem and I surely hope that the price does not increase. I remember when it used to be 55 a year and now its near 70, I am not willing to pay any more. This sucks!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:42PM (#22300804)
  • So, let me get this straight...

    A company, that is dying evermore quickly by the day it seems, is shedding some of its users to another company. One that is, to all intents and purposes, long dead after committing suicide a few years back by installing what was essentially a virus into people's computers.

    I think that's pretty much it, isn't it? Yep, still makes no sense.
  • I bet that this was done for the possible buyout of Yahoo by MS. Even though the US DoJ will surely let it through, the EU will be less certain, by stripping Yahoo down it can make it seem that all MS is buying is the Yahoo search engine and that is going to make it seem less like MS is trying to get an internet monopoly, not to mention that there probably is an exchange of cash somewhere and if MS gets Yahoo they get that cash.

    Seems like to me Yahoo really wants those billions MS is offering and will d
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday February 04, 2008 @08:54PM (#22300944) Homepage Journal
    Yet another example of why you never want to sign up with one. No matter how good the company is, *today*.
    • by syousef (465911)
      There are two things for which I've never understood how they can be viable: Bottled water sold for the same price as soft drink, and DRM music. The thing is I'd buy bottled water if I had to in order to survive since we all need water, but why oh why would you buy DRM music when you can get a CD??? No wonder the record companies have become so fat and greedy!
      • by ragefan (267937)

        There are two things for which I've never understood how they can be viable: Bottled water sold for the same price as soft drink, and DRM music.
        Probably because the cost isn't the water (and other ingredients for soft drinks) but rather the plastic bottle it is in, and the marketing and distribution of the product.
      • but why oh why would you buy DRM music when you can get a CD??? No wonder the record companies have become so fat and greedy!

        You don't buy DRM music, you subscribe to a service. I buy CDs for DRM free music that I own, but I subscribed to Yahoo Unlimited to listen to random stuff while on the road.

        Why? Because that $15 CD has only 10 songs on it, while my $13/month subscription has 100s of thousands of songs available...

        Why oh why can you understand? ;)

      • by mypalmike (454265)
        why oh why would you buy DRM music when you can get a CD???

        As a happy yahoo music subscriber (who also has an extensive CD collection), a few bucks every month gives me access to an unlimited amount of music from millions of albums. If someone mentions a band they like, or I want to listen to some album I heard about long ago but never listened to, or whatever, I just go on Yahoo music and listen to it. No extra charge, I get the real deal, high quality, legal album. I have diverse and changing musical t
    • by Carcass666 (539381) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:10PM (#22302144)

      Actually, my understanding on a subscription deal is that you pay an agreed upon amount of money to have access to a source of music for an agreed upon amount of time. Unless Yahoo is not giving their customers the ability to opt-out of a prolonged subscription (instead of switching to Rhapsody), I don't see how there is any bad faith on their part, or a problem with subscription models in general.

      It would be a different story if I purchased a track and the DRM on the file required connection to a back-end server that didn't exist in the future (like Google video). In that case, if I purchased a track, and if I am denied future access to it then I should get a full refund. I agree with you if you're saying that purchasing a track with the potential of being denied access to it later should be avoided.

      In Rhapsody's case, you can buy tracks (most of the time) by burning them onto a CD. Some artists are allowing purchase of unencumbered mp3's, nicer yet. Sometimes, artists may pull their music from Rhapsody (like Radiohead, bastards), in which case I can decide to cancel my subscription if it pisses me off enough. At any rate, I am paying a subscription to legitimately listen to music (and maybe get the artist 1/1000th of a penny when I do so). Works well enough for me.

      • by imnlfn (140832)
        It would be a different story if I purchased a track and the DRM on the file required connection to a back-end server that didn't exist in the future (like Google video). In that case, if I purchased a track, and if I am denied future access to it then I should get a full refund. I agree with you if you're saying that purchasing a track with the potential of being denied access to it later should be avoided.

        Unfortunately, this is the case with Yahoo Music, at least in my experience. I purchased tracks from
        • If it's a purchase, then you're right, it's fscked up.

          In the case of Rhapsody, it's a subscription, and if Rhapsody isn't around a year from now you won't be listening to your tracks, but you won't be paying for a subscription either.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:00PM (#22301030) Journal
    One assumes that Yahoo could have raised prices -- to the same level as Real now charges. However, this would incur quite a lot of displeasure amongst users. This deal will undoubtably incur some displeasure, but, some of that will be directed against Real, not Yahoo.

    So, Yahoo presumably has a deal under which it will be able to be compensated for the lost revenue (perhaps even the revenue which could have been gained by increasing prices) without the pain of actually putting up prices. THere may be some upfront cash which may help in a battle aginst Microsoft.

    The problem is that the net result is less eyeballs on Yahoo's pages. It's those eyeballs that are Yahoo's value. The long term effect of this may be a net reduction in revenue.
  • by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:03PM (#22301066) Homepage
    I have a friend who uses it pretty regular probably has a 1000 songs he listens to (DRMed - has to check in regularly to keep them alive).

    I wonder how it will transfer?
    Will it transfer (DRM compatibility)?
    Will Real support his devices?
    And what songs will he loose access to due to the transfer (from RI contract differences between Cos.)

    If they do it right he probably will keep going with them, if they mess it up he probably will leave along with others.
    • My question is: How does this affect people who subscribe to LAUNCHcast plus? I've had a subscription to that for a couple of years now, and the article makes absolutely no mention of it. While I'm not really opposed to seeing if the new Real Player is as non-evil as what some other posters have said, it's still bound to be a pain.

      Though I suppose it might be a win anyway... If Real actually works well under Linux, and all of Yahoo!'s music services move over, then I would actually be able to use my s
    • I am worried about how my subscription to Yahoo Music Unlimited will transfer. I signed up for 2 years for $79 (Pay for 1 year get 1 year free if you use a Mastercard), which is an absolute steal, DRM or not. If Rhapsody honors my 2 years then I will be a happy camper. If they just convert my $79 into 6.5 months of subscription, I will be one irate nerd.

      (BTW, you can transcode the WMAs into MP3s so you can use them on an iPOD. A minor hassle but easy enough. I don't notice any quality loss although
  • FTC.GOV, anyone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by keraneuology (760918) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:06PM (#22301090) Journal
    Already lodged my complaint of anti-competitive behavior. They've stopped deals that were less obnoxious than that one....
  • Sansa Connect (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maxwell309 (639989) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:06PM (#22301098) Homepage
    I really like my Sansa Connect [amazon.com] WiFi enabled player with the Yahoo Music Unlimited service. I knew there was trouble ahead but I figured it would still work as a regular mp3 player once Yahoo Music Unlimited goes dark. The Sansa Connect runs Linux and uses Mono [linuxdevices.com]. Time to start hacking. A general purpose WiFi internet radio receiver would be cool. You can find Sansa Connects for under $90 as recently as last week and probably less next week.
    • I've really been enjoying using my Sansa Connect. It's like a cross between satellite radio and a Tivo. And being able to listen to whatever album strikes my fancy while I use Yahoo Music at my desk has been nice, too, but there's no way I'll ever install another piece of software from Real. They had their chance.

      Well, back to the P2P music for me.

      I tried to go legit, I really did, and now I own a little black brick.

      My advice to anyone else in my situation is to download as much music as you can
  • Not a surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BanjoBob (686644) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:29PM (#22301316) Homepage Journal
    After all the complaints [yahoo.com] by digruntled customers after Yahoo Downgrades MusicMatch Jukebox [slashdot.org] and removed many of the features of that application, failed to get it working 100%, and a host of other problems, one might ask why they just didn't give the customer what they want? That was the return of the MusicMatch Jukebox program the way it was in its last release.

    It seems that the music business is in the business of denying customers what they want. Just as the RIAA is seeing drastic declines in music sales because of similar tactics and a blatant refusal to monetize the net, Yahoo! music did the same thing - refusing to satisfy their customers and give them value for their dollar. This is what happens.

    One must ask, "why they never learn?" There are better and more value-for-your-dollar options out there. All Yahoo Music had to do was give the consumer value for their dollar.
    • by peektwice (726616)
      You are correct about the music business denying customers what they want. They want good music, in an easy, small format that they can play on anything. The music industry wants you to buy the format flavor of the day (record, tape, CD, whatever...full of one or two good songs and 10 crappy ones) and then buy it again in ten years or so when they deem the old one obsolete. They're willing to fight unfairly to prop up their collapsed business model, and are currently doing so.
      On a side note, I personally b
    • Well, they also would have to stop sucking. Ironically, I gave up on Yahoo music a few weeks ago. The quality of the "services" that they still claimed to be offering was so horrible as to be pretty much unusable. Those bozos over at Yahoo couldn't even keep their track licensing consistent and in good working order. I've finally arrived at the same conclusion that those (many) far smarter than I arrived at long ago, a subscription music service is a bad consumer model. $13/mo adds up to quite a lot of pur
    • by ProppaT (557551)
      I've used Yahoo Music Unlimited since the beginning of it's beta days and, even though the software has always been less than stellar, the software wasn't what drew me to the service. The great music selection and my ability to listen to it whenever I wanted to for $7 a month was a tremendous value for me. I'm going to weep the day it goes away and, unhappily, probably switch over to Rhapsody and pay twice as much a month for a selection of music that's not as good. I can't say I'm a happy camper. Yahoo
  • Is this for Real??
  • by Exp315 (851386) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:51PM (#22302512)
    I wasn't a believer in the music subscription model either, but eventually I tried Rhapsody on a free trial, and I discovered that I like it and I would use it. I think I would even pay the new higher monthly subscription price for it. That is I would if I didn't live in Canada, where I'm not allowed to subscribe to Rhapsody because of the regional licensing schemes of the big music cartels. But Yahoo Unlimited provided service in Canada, so I subscribed to that instead. So now Rhapsody is going to take over Yahoo's music subscription service? So what happens to the Canadian subscribers? The big problem with new service models like this is that they invest a ton of money in getting people to know and accept their model - but then they can't keep it stable long enough for people to get comfortable with it. Why invest your time and effort in understanding the current deal and figuring out if it's workable for you, when they're just going to change it arbitrary next month?
  • I've just heard that Yahoo bought foxytunes http://www.foxytunes.com/ [foxytunes.com]
    for 40-50 M$. Interestingly it started as a Firefox add-on now if Microsoft will
    buy Yahoo it'll develop add-ons for Firefox !
  • I was one of those people who justified my music swapping by pointing out that the industry had not provided a compelling and reasonable alternative. With Yahoo Music Unlimited that changed and I went straight.

    I pay $6 a month (or $3 if you sign up via Mastercard) and I get almost everything. It totally changed the way that I listen to music. It's like I own everything and now only have to worry about what I like/dislike. I discover much more new stuff now. And I think it is quite reasonable that I hav
  • Don't you mean Microsoft Music? Oh wait, its not official yet!

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