The big news today is the rumor (wait, "news"... "rumor"... is that an oxymoron?) that Apple is in talks with the record companies (wait, do they make "records" anymore?) over subscription and so-called "comes with music" plans.
Chances are, like most of these rumors, any number of the details are wrong. Indeed, these rumors hardly ever come out of Apple so they must be coming out of the recording industry. That's why it sounds so much like recording industry porn. "Apple's gonna pay us $7,000 for every iPod they sell!" It shouldn't be surprising such talks are going on, though.
While some people swear by them, the Macalope has never been a fan of all-you-can-eat services. He'd rather pay less and get to keep, you know, the music that's actually good. But, of course, the Macalope's already got seven or so iPods. Apple's already got his business. If you're a subscription service nut, you probably don't have an iPod. Or, at least, you don't have seven. And Apple wants you to have seven. They're kookie that way.
Further, even if the recording companies' 5-year business plan reads "Keep acting like petulant children", Apple has to do something to get them back to the table. iTunes continues to defy the nay-sayers because the kids love one-stop shopping and convenience, but you can't sit still and expect to wear your big "We're #1!" foam hand without it becoming painfully ironic. The industry apparently won't give Apple access to its catalog DRM-free, so it needs to find another way to push the envelope.
Not the envelope with the MacBook Air in it. That's a different envelope.
Remember, Apple's goal is to push iPods and iPhones, not sell songs. And now its challenge is to keep turning over rocks to find more buyers.
Not that the Macalope is saying subscription music fans live under rocks.
They actually live in caves!