Cricket Wireless is getting into the music biz this CES. Today, the regional, no-contract carrier revealed a new service plan that wraps unlimited music downloads, playback, and ringtone creation into the customer's monthly charge. For $55 per month, the MuveMusic ("move") plan includes music downloads, ringtones, and ringback tones in an unlimited talk, text, e-mail, and Internet plan. (And yes, labels EMI, Sony, Warner, and Universal are all signed on).
This is the first carrier-driven service that doesn't try to sell you either a separate music subscription or piecemeal ringtones and tracks through an online store. Interestingly, the music is completely tied to the phone. Song files are stored on the phone's microSD card, but aren't transferable to a computer.
And since the all-you-can-eat music buffet is fueled by your monthly plan, customers get access to their beats as long as they settle their bills. Skip a month and the full-track downloads--along with calls, e-mail, texting, and browsing--disappear until the piper's been paid. In that sense, Cricket's musical leanings follow the renter's model.… Read more