Ten thousand dollars

… or $15 per month. That’s one way the new Napster characterizes the choice between the iTunes Music Store and Napster To Go.

They’re idiots. (Really, don’t hold back… tell us how you really feel.?ed)

Normally I wouldn’t stop to point this out, but there are a few problems with their logic. For one, Napster is not giving you MP3 files, but rather a Microsoft proprietary format called WMA. They blur the distinction quite readily, but these are two different animals entirely. Worse, having 93 crappy music players that might someday support Janus – the Microsoft add-on to WMA that enables Napster To Go – isn’t much of a draw against what consumers have declared to be their hands down favorite.

Second, this new service is a subscription service. That’s right, as long as you keep pumping $15 per month to the gods of Napster, you can download and play as much of their music catalog as your Internet connection will allow. Heaven forbid you stop shelling out the moolah, though. What’s that? You’re not into the idea of a subscription-for-life? In that case, kiss all of your downloaded songs goodbye. They’re not available if you don’t keep up the subscription – unlike, for example, those issues of Redbook and Popular Science you bought from Ed McMahon back in 1996.

Third, and this is the really critical point: who on earth loads up their music player with music they primarily, much less exclusively, bought online?! You see, whether you own an iPod or have one of these, you probably already have a music collection on compact disc that’s just begging to be digitized and loaded. Even Windows Media Player (twitch) make this a trivial task.

So far I’ve “spent” $49.50 on tracks from the iTunes Music Store. My collection is a modest 1,990 tracks, which means that a whopping 2.5% of my collection came was “bought” online. Of course, if you take away the free tracks, it’s even less. But you know me, always willing to do what I can to make the opposing argument a little more plausible, right?

And finally, while I was writing this, what to my wondering eyes appeared but a similarly themed (though far more humorously written) entry over at Daring Fireball. Make sure you go take a peek.

PS – Note to the Napster execs: if that’s the best television spot you could get together for a $30 million campaign, fire the ad agency.

UPDATE: Apparently some people still don’t get it.

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