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Costly Music Downloads from Sprint

Though it may be convenient and well designed, Sprint Nextel’s offering of music downloads to compatible cell phones through the Sprint Music Store is certainly not cheap. The $2.50 price per song is much higher than you have to pay anywhere else, the only two phones that are currently supported both cost over $200 after rebates and you have to pay $15 a month for the data service required (though that does get you other services as well). As a final insult, you cannot use any downloaded songs as ringtones.

Sprint justifies this higher price by citing the convenience of their customers being able to download music on their phones, as well as the simple user interface. I am not convinced that this in any way justifies the exorbitant cost per song. Also, the songs that you purchase cannot be played on a PC. You need to download the same song in a different format in order to play it on a computer, though there is no charge for this additional download once you have purchased the song on your phone. This would hardly seem like a convenience to me, particularly since the iPOD is not a supported device for these downloads. I do not understand why you would not support the #1 selling MP3 player available today.

Nothing personal against Sprint, but I hope that the high prices make people think twice before they decide this is how they want to download music. Whether the high price is Sprint’s idea or something hatched in collusion with the record companies, I don’t know. But high costs for legal music downloads would seem to be counter-productive on the part of the music companies, and by extension Sprint’s new service. All people are looking for is a large catalog of music, at a reasonable cost and that is not overly restricted by DRM to the point of not allowing the consumer to use it in the manner they require.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Posted by Jeff


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