A few weeks ago I wrote about My Recent Switches and said:

From iTunes to Yahoo! Music Unlimited. I'm totally addicted to subscriptions. Paying $6 a month and getting nearly everything I want kicks ass. I sold the iPod last week but still have the Shuffle. Yahoo! wins.

Well, I'm still loving it. So I decided to say a bit more about this. Yahoo! Music Engine (YME) has a killer feature that I suspect a lot of folks never noticed: synchronized music collections.

It's like this. I have a Yahoo-issued laptop that I use at work and quite a bit at home. But I also have a really nice Dell PC as my home desktop. Both have YME installed. If I add five Meat Loaf tracks to my collection on the laptop, they're automatically downloaded to my desktop PC next time I start YME on it. Of course, it works in both directions.

As the number of intelligent devices we own grows, synchronization (and replication) is going to become more and more important. This sounds like a little "nice to have" feature, but for anyone who listens to music a lot and has more than one computer, it's a big time saver.

Posted by jzawodn at September 06, 2005 10:53 PM

Reader Comments
# John Doe said:

Meat Loaf? I'd pay for it not to have Meat Loaf tracks added to any of my machines. ;) (Your Meat Loaf link doesn't work, btw)

Until YME works with an iPod, it's doomed. May as well try to be the next Microsoft by making only Mac software.

on September 6, 2005 11:03 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Odd, that link works for me. Maybe it works only for logged-in YME subscribers?

I'll try to find out.

I suspect that iTunes will move to a subscription model someday...

on September 6, 2005 11:09 PM
# neb said:

Do you syncronize to your ipod?

on September 6, 2005 11:13 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Uh, no. I sold the iPod.

on September 6, 2005 11:18 PM
# 杨飞 said:

That's cool!When could chinese Yahoo! addict enjoy this excellent service?

on September 6, 2005 11:18 PM
# yangfei said:

That's cool!When could chinese Yahoo! addict enjoy this excellent service?

on September 6, 2005 11:18 PM
# Doug Durham said:

I've got YME and I don't get synchronization. I can't see where to activate it. Right now I have to resubscribe to the songs on my second machine. Could you post instructions.

on September 6, 2005 11:29 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Hmm, I'll poke around but it was automatic for me. I don't remember ever having to enable it.

on September 6, 2005 11:34 PM
# Kevin Scaldeferri said:

Synchronization on all your devices is cool. Synchronization on all your devices that run Windows is decidedly less.

on September 6, 2005 11:56 PM
# Andrew Ducker said:

Does it work with multiple people using the same PC?

on September 7, 2005 12:33 AM
# André said:

There was an article on a Mac site recently, that Apple talked to record label folks about an iTunes subscription based service. Apple then decided themselves they don't need one. So much for your theory :P

on September 7, 2005 01:32 AM
# Pete Cashmore said:

You're right Jeremy - subscriptions are definitely the future of music and Yahoo! Music is really the leader here. But there are a few things that need tweaking (I'm not just talking about YME, but Y!Music as a whole) - for instance, Launchcast doesn't run on Firefox, so I find myself having to switch browsers to use it. That's a real disincentive, and needs to be addressed.

on September 7, 2005 04:39 AM
# David Magda said:

Can you buy music on Y!ME as well, or can you only rent it? If you can buy, can you give some of the details as to the format(s) you can get? I'm assuming that there would be some DRM on purchased music: do you know if anyone has broken the protection yet?

on September 7, 2005 04:53 AM
# David Magda said:

Oops, one more thing: is Y!M avaialble up here in Canada? Or more generally, do you know which countries it is available in, and if there are expansion plans (iTMS took a while to get out to the rest of the world, and I'm wondering on Y!M's time table).

on September 7, 2005 04:54 AM
# seth said:

still not sure why people aren't just buying songs off of iTunes and stripping the DRM. Then you get the best of both worlds (IMHO).

Although, without question, my new route is to use AllOfMP3.com (http://www.allofmp3.com). I don't listen to the most obscure music, but it isn't all top 40 either, and they have almost everything I have looked for.

Roughly $0.10 per song (depending on the encoding you choose) and you have DRM-less MP3s that you can listen to FOREVER, with no monthly fees.

on September 7, 2005 06:11 AM
# Glen Campbell said:

Darn, still can't get it to work on my Mac. Once it's on the Mac, I'm sure it'll sync with my iPod.

on September 7, 2005 07:29 AM
# DeWitt Clinton said:

Jeremy -- I'm in total agreement with you and everyone else who believes that this is the future.

Unfortunately, I can't use it, even though I would gladly pay two or three times what Yahoo charges for the service. Why not? Because in spite of having 5 or 6 computers at work and at home, I just don't run Windows. Seems like a stupid reason to be denied a great service.

Could you please talk to the people in charge of Yahoo! Music and ask them what their plans are? And if possible, advocate for a cross-platform solution? Monopoly lock-in is so 1990's.



on September 7, 2005 07:29 AM
# Jason Kratz said:

I gotta disagree. I know you're a Yahoo employee but YME really sucks. The player itself is horrible. The music selection is OK (why is there no real classical section?) but there are inconsistencies in audio quality between streaming and local copies (Dirty Laundry by Don Henley is a good example). The best thing about it is the price but apparently you are getting what you pay for. Rhapsody is still a superior service even if it does cost more.

It also pissed me off that I couldn't cancel when I paid for a year sub. I can understand not prorating for a given month but why should I have to pay for a year if I don't like the service? Really bad customer service on the part of Yahoo.

I also have to disagree with the guy who stated that subs were the wave of the future. I've talked to a lot of people who have no desire to pay a subscription fee for music and are more than happy with the iTunes model. I happen to love subs and wish Apple would have that model for iTMS as well as what they currently offer.


on September 7, 2005 07:42 AM
# Jason Kratz said:

Oops..I forgot to mention that Rhapsody already had the sync ability prior to the release of YME. Nice feature for sure.

on September 7, 2005 07:45 AM
# Anjan said:

o Doesn't play on iPod - STRIKE ONE
o Doesn't work on Macs - STRIKE TWO
o Music stops as soon as you stop paying - STRIKE THREE - ITS OUT!!

Seriously, I realize you are a Yahoo! employee and have to push its products as much as you can, but anything and everything is talking about music subscription is not even making a dent in ownership based models like iTunes. The things that I like, I buy and don't want to lose it if I do not feel like paying this month for anything.

on September 7, 2005 08:14 AM
# grumpY! said:

once again people choose convenience over freedom....

on September 7, 2005 08:57 AM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

People use browsers to listen to Launchcast? I just listen to it via YME. Much better for the way I listen because if I hear a tune I like I've never heard before, I can clickety-click and download the whole album.

I really came here to make fun of Jeremy for listening to Meat Loaf, but I see that angle is covered.

on September 7, 2005 09:59 AM
# Mark Denovich said:

I've been using (or trying to use) Napster To-Go since it was lauched. I was one of the lucky ones to get an iRiver H10 for free with a years sub ($149.)

I like the subscription model. As evidenced by my CD collection, I must buy more than 10 CDs/per year, which easily outstrips the yearly cost of most subscription services... and that subscription gives me access to way more music.

So what if the music goes *poof* when I stop paying... If I stop paying my gas/electric/cable/internet/phone/mortgage/etc I expect my service to stop too. The question is whether or not you get your money's worth of music listening/per year from these services.

Now that's currently the problem. The current crop of MS Fairplay compatible players mostly suck compared to the iPod. Sure they are more featurific, but when it comes to easily loading/playing music they are way behind. This makes it hard to get the most value out of these subscription services. I've invested way too much time upgrading firmware, reseting devices, resynchronizing, etc.

on September 7, 2005 12:41 PM
# grumpY! said:

>> So what if the music goes *poof* when I stop
>> paying... If I stop paying my
>> gas/electric/cable/internet/phone/mortgage/etc I
>> expect my service to stop too.

some non-sequiters here...you are actually purchasing equity with each mortgage payment.

and also you are not paying to simply have access to your utilities - you are exhausting them (you burn the gas, you drink the water, etc).

the real equation, the only one that matters for music services, is amortization: will you pay more or less over your lifetime to access your music? my music purchasing has decreased significantly since college, so my cost outlay has also dropped (furthermore i pay nothing to access music i have already purchased). with a subscription model you pay for a maximum consumption model, even if you consume little or nothing. there is no correlational between consumption and cost, which in this case is weighted towards the distributor, not the consumer.

to me the bottom line is that you are just going to pay more, and you are paying for maximum use regardless of your actual use (refutting economics in *the distributors* favor)

as it stands this reasoning is why i dropped netflix, i wasn't being rewarded for time periods where i was placing less demand on their system.

on September 7, 2005 02:04 PM
# Marc said:

Wait until you see the plugins that I know are coming down the pipe...

Then you'll really be hooked.

on September 7, 2005 05:21 PM
# Alisdair said:

Sorry I gave the wrong link to the last website, the actual link is http://www.technoculture05.blogspot.com

on September 11, 2005 03:58 PM
# Andrew S said:

Most people who speak very negatively about subscription music services have never used one before. It is one of those things that most people do not understand well until they've used it (similar to TiVo).

There are a few inherent problems with the Yahoo service though, that Yahoo cannot easily fix:

- The Microsoft DRM causes all sorts of ugly errors and problems for users, that >99% of users can't understand
- The portable music players that support the DRM are significantly inferior to the ipod
- The DRM is Windows-only

There are a couple serious problems that Yahoo should fix:

- Abysmal user interface (Has anyone shown it to Larry Tesler at yahoo yet? He'll have a fit.)
- Slow. Sooooo slow.

The service is great; I have a windows laptop at home whose primary purpose is to run YME (i control it over VNC) and use it for most of the day at work. I have difficulty with the interface, but it serves my simple needs (I use the launchcast recommendation playlists, and play albums)

I am certain that Apple will eventually add the subscription model to iTMS. It is a far too compelling format for Apple to ignore, and the way Jobs treats it is consistent with his typical behavior--he will deny, deny, deny a product, say no one would ever buy such a thing, then will ship such a product 6-12 months later. He does face the problem of how to retrofit music-industry-acceptable subscription DRM capability to existing ipods, though.

on September 12, 2005 09:55 PM
# Kevin said:

While writing this I am listening to Yahoo music!

grumpY has some great points, but I think that for the target audience they don't hold true.

"to me the bottom line is that you are just going to pay more, and you are paying for maximum use regardless of your actual use "

$6/month...that is 1/2 a CD per month. I'd guess that most music listeners that would be interested in the service purchase at least one CD per month. Yahoo music (or the other services) is cheaper for them.

I love the fact that I can listen to anything. Most of the music I listen to I wouldn't purchase. I like it, but not enough to pay $14 for the CD. $6/month is cheaper than eating out at lunch. It is well worth it to me.

The MS only DRM is a major issue. If they could license it on the iPod (which Apple wouldn't do) the service would take off in a big way. I'm sure once iTunes has a subscription service this model is going to become very popular.

on September 14, 2005 12:35 PM
# Kevin said:

I forgot to mention how much I dislike the application. On my PC it takes 70 meg of RAM. That is rediculous for a music player. Memory usage seems to be tied to the amount of music I have in "My Music". Are you storing a huge XML file of every track I have in my collection in RAM?

They really need to work on getting the memory footprint down.

on September 14, 2005 12:42 PM
# eric Thompson said:

I just do not get the concept of subscription services. Why would I pay for something that I can never own? I have read all of the posts above and understand that some people like the way that it works and are not concerned about owning the music that they listen too. I do not think however that this is the future. I see that it will work for some but as an average I would wager that people would like the iTunes model better. I guess the killer way to do it would be to offer BOTH ways! Subscription with option to buy. That is maybe something I would be interested in!

on September 16, 2005 08:23 AM
# Zach said:

I have to say that I love the service. It is absolutely awesome. No, I do not work for Yahoo and in fact one time swore that I would never buy anything from them again because of their horrible customer service. However, after scouring the web for a VERY hard to find song I discovered they were the only ones who had it. They have a great music selection of both Punk Rock and Christian Alternative (yes I know, culture clash) which I listen to quite a bit and they also have quite a few comedy CD's which is great for those long road trips.

There is one consistent comment that I keep hearing from everyone and that is that all of the other players are inferior to the iPod. Have any of you actually looked at or used any of the other players? The Creative Zen Micro is absolutely incredible. The 6gb size limit is smaller than I prefer but the sound quality and feature set is amazing. Show me an iPod that has FM radio or FM radio and voice recording and I will show you a purple elephant. The iPod is designed for one thing: to get you to purchase from iTunes. It is a great piece of equipment but certainly not the be-all-end-all.

I will say one thing that does separate the iPOD from the rest and that is third party support. They have more doo-dads and accessories than anyone out there and that is a compelling reason to buy one in and of itself.

Now on to the one drawback for the Yahoo Music experience, and that is the stupid, horrible, incompetent music player.

It crashes my PC regularly (I am certain it is driver compatibility since my desktop works fine but my Dell Inspiron XPS2 doesn't work well at all)

As soon as Yahoo fixes that problem it will be fantastic.

I also did have one problem with the licensing on my Zen Micro and I had to remove my music library and download the music again before I could load it onto my mobile device.

In any event, the service is inexpensive and I have finally gotten rid of any music of questionable ownership because I can pay for a good, reasonable service with a huge music catalog.

Grumpy, you do make a great point about the fact that you are paying for permanent ownership but to some of us, this is just worth it. Look at the numbers:

Assuming the price stays relative at their current subscription price vs. the price of a cd if I bought 150 CD's at an average of $14.99 it would cost $2250 dollars, which divided by $5 dollars is equal to 450 months, or 37 years. Since I am 31 now I could listen to music for the better part of the rest of my life for the same price as if I had bought them. That is assuming that I only listened to 150 CD's. However, with the unlimited nature of the service I am much more likely to expand my music selection to a much larger number of albums and artists that I otherwise never would have heard. I don't think that based on those numbers one can argue that there is more value in ownership. Even if you were to argue that there is a limited nature of my ownership in that I can only use them on computers I think you would be unable to convince many people. Consider the advancement of technology for a moment. If I have a digital entertainment system hooked into my home stereo and either an FM transmitter or a direct auxilliary input in my car what need have I of owning the actual physical media? Unless I am a collector I don't. So once again, I think that as technology becomes easier and easier to master this model will replace and or come to equal terms with the current. I think this is further evidenced by the amount of piracy that occurs today, which has definitely impacted the music industry. The point I make there is that people don't seem to show any inclination to actually own the physical media when they can steal it and get the same use from it. If the music industry moves towards a digital distribution model where encryption and licensing becomes nearly impossible to break it is easier for the music industry to control pricing and income etc.

Anyway, I am rambling. To each is own as they say. And for me...on with subscription services such as yahoo.

No, I don't work for them.


on September 19, 2005 02:11 PM
# Liane said:

I am new to all this and i just bought my 11 year old son a zen micro.let me see if i am getting this right.......for 4.99 a month he can listen to whatever and however much he wants instead of paying $5 for 5 songs correct? and i can put apply it to my computer and his mp3 player?

on September 20, 2005 11:28 AM
# Zach said:

That is 100% correct.

It is 6.99 month to month or 4.99 if you buy a year.

on September 21, 2005 05:18 AM
# liane said:

okay one more question.
i don't want all that bad language and porn you get with the file sharing, does yahoo have that stuff?

on September 25, 2005 06:33 AM
# Mark said:

I wondered onto this discussion board with both fascination and concern about the Yahoo music engine and related services. A moment of background: I'm a 20th century music guy who had the big stereo with the big speakers in the windows, blasting out onto the quad in the fall of 1979. Two cassette tape decks to make dubs and such. No doubt my hair is grayer than some 95% of the Yahoo music customers. Just some perspective here...

I stumbled on accessing music through yahoo accidentally but like it a alot. I was a launchcast user of streaming music, which was great because it seemed artifically intelligent and then learned my preferences and served up music generally in line with them. Then I gravitated to launchcast plus - for a small fee I got rid of the non-stop diet of silly ads encouraging me to switch to it. Sound quality improved a lot as well.

Two weeks ago I downloaded and installed the Yahoo Music Engine. Its intuitive, informative and fun. Its also, however, glithcy. Music downloads, free to subscription strings, are available for 99 cents each, but for me (both at home and at work) the downloads do not successfully complete. I suspect a firewall-like issue, but whether or not this is the case, the issue is frustrating. Yahoo needs to work on this glitch, and respond to my help requests far more promptly.

That having been said, I'm happily trapped in 1972-1985 musical bliss forever. Yahoo made evolving to the 21th century a relatively painless experience. A note to the folks who are complaining about the subscription-strings attached issues: I understand that Yahoo Unlimited will allow downloads (for everyone but me!) of no-strings-attached music for $0.79 a piece. Cheaper than the buck-a-song going rate.

Can someone help with my download issues? Thanks.

on October 22, 2005 03:54 AM
# Saurav Shrestha said:

This service is awesome but I dont like one thing. Once you're subscribed there is absolutely no way to unsubscribe. or maybe I couldnt find one. WHatever the unsubscribe process is a B*tch. Yahoo has made it unexceptionally hard for you to find the unsubscribe button. I click on my account then on premium services . THen I try to click on the YME subscription link that shows up and it ALWAYS takes me to a blank page which does not load at all. This has been goin on since ever ( i tried unsubscribing within my trial period but could not because of this problem. I tried looking for customer service phone numbers on the YME home page but to no avail. I think these shrewd YME ppl have really gone too far to con innocent people. By not providing an easy unsubscribe solution there is no way to stop getting billed unless you close ure credit card account. I have using YME for over 3 months now and I am satisfied with everything except the unsubscribe. I would definitely unsubscribe had it been an easy process but as long as im getting billed i might as well utilize YME fully.
Saying that I wanna say that my experience with Real Rhapsody was much more satisfactory. Faster more reliable streaming, More songs, more stations , very customizable, EASY UNSUBSCRIBE PROCESS, cool visualizations,
In fact it was 100 times better than YME I used it for over a year. The only downside .. Its a bit more expensive at $10 a month. But for me it was TOTALLY worth it.
alrite peace

on October 25, 2005 11:46 AM
# Mike said:


Yahoo doubles price of online music

on October 28, 2005 02:32 AM
# NIck said:

A lot of people have problems with the music subscription model. As soon as I heard about Yahoo's music service I jumped on it. Here is why: I work from home and spend 12 hours a day in front of my PC. I almost *never* leave my PC. So for 6 dollars a month I get 99% of the songs I like, and a whole bunch that I don't like, but can listen to whenever I want.

Eric Thompson asked "Why would I pay for something that I can never own?" That's easy - I look at it the same way I view cable TV - I pay a certain amount of money to be entertained on a regular basis. I consider this the equivelant of having a really big TIVO with everything downloaded already. When I do the math for myself and look at the hours of entertainment per dollar, the 6 dollars doesn't get much better.

The sad part about all of this is I still buy CDs. But I only buy them when I want a higher quality more portable version of the music ( for my home stereo, car, etc).

All in all it is worth it for me. Your opinion may be different.

on November 18, 2005 10:56 AM
# Jared said:

the synchronization worked automatically for me, too. just thought i'd add one comment. Tunebite--check it out. use any mp3 player you want, ipod or not.

on November 30, 2005 10:35 AM
# Totenmaske said:

Using a subscription based model for music distribution and end user consumption is like renting an apartment or renting a DVD at Hollywood video...great if it's something that you aren't going to want to use again but not the ideal solution for long term usage. If you plan on living in a home then buy it or if you plan on watching a movie more than 3-4 times buy it. I have artists/songs that I listen to over and over...I want to own those songs, not rent them. And why should I take the chance that once a particular artist is no longer in vogue (say...Black Label Society or maybe Disturbed) and Yahoo decides to yank those artists from the pool of available music that I will no longer have access to them. THAT'S the point that is being overlooked here...as long as you are paying a subscription you are locked into the music choices that Yahoo dictates. Right now I can play just about anything I want on my computer, in my car or on my iPod (DRM be damned) so why should I pay Yahoo $4.99/month for that privelege?

on December 31, 2005 10:52 PM
# Hank said:

How you disable synchronized music collections? It's annoying as hell.

on February 12, 2006 09:18 PM
# Drumguru said:

I love Yahoo music but I am having problems with my service. I can't even listen to a single song right now for what ever reason and I can't download anything. Another problem I have is the fact that I can't seem to find any customer service numbers anywhere. If you have any advice please help me.

on February 16, 2006 05:20 PM
# Jeff said:

I'm having the same problems ofr a month. The songs just keep scrolling through the list but nothing comes on. Any solution from your end?

on April 8, 2006 09:55 AM
# chris said:

gotta say i love the service. i've used launch for a long time, and as someone said, being able to listen to my personal station. have something be suggested for me or something, and being able to grab the entire cd is like the Radio on speed or something. its what everyone would always like to do when listening to the radio. hear a song you like and then instantly grab the cd. its great.
6$ per month. this is CHEAP!

on June 12, 2006 10:47 PM
# JT said:

Well if the damn thing worked at least half the time it wouldn't be so frustrating. Right now I can't play anything more than 30 seconds even though I am a subscriber, or wait wasn't it about this time last year I signed up? Let me check... well what do you know, something else that don't work, coutesy of Yapoo! I couldn't even check my premium services (Yapoo! is experiencing problems), ok so what was my billing history, that will give me an idea when my sub was to run out... well what do you know, server not found! Yapoo! deserves a kick in teh balls for this. And to top it all off, you don;t even get a ohone number for support, some crap web form...what a joke. I've used Rhapsody and Napster and both had phone support. I like Yapoo! a little better for pricing and something else, I forget what it is now through all the error messages and broke Yapoo! services....

PS. Dear Yapoo!, spend some of that money that people pay for your "service" (or lack there-of) and actually make something worth a damn for a change!

on June 27, 2006 11:47 PM
# karepanman said:

The idea of "owning" music that you buy is a mistake. When you buy an album, you only buy the right to listen to the content. The right lasts "forever", but really it only has value for the length of the copyright. Assuming just for the sake of argument that content is on average authored by 25 year olds, who then live to be 90. Life of the author + 70 = 135 years. So when you buy a CD, you pay for the right to listen to it for 135 years. You can pass your CD collection on to your kids (assuming they don't get scratched first). After 135, they are by law public domain.

Therefore, the better way to look at it is this: buying a CD is like paying $14.99 for a 135 year subscription to its contents. That's like paying just under 1 cent/per month for having access to that CD. You get to choose which CD to pay for, but you don't choose the duration, and you pay for all 135 years up front. If you listen to the CD for a year and then get sick of it, you lose out (unless you can sell the CD.)

A 135 year subscription to Yahoo Music Plus at $6/month is $9720. If CD's are $14.99, then that's the same cost as renting 648 CDs at just under 1c a month, i.e. buying 648 CDs.

With Yahoo Music, even if you listen to fewer than 648 CD's, you pay the equivalent of it anyway. On the other hand, you don't need to pay for all 135 years since you can stop subscribing.

Therefore, if you were deciding to possess more than 648 CD's at the same time, you would be better off just getting a Yahoo Music Subscription. $6 is the fair value of possessing a 648 CD music collection for a month.

Note, I've totally ignored interest rate effect of not having to pay the purchase price up front, as well as the collectible value of owning a rare 135 year old album, under the assumption that collectibles make up a small part of the overall CD's circulating.

Now, it's silly to ignore interest rates, so let's look at that. To take into account interest, a 135 year annuity based on $14.99 principle with a growth rate of 8 percent would pay out $1.11 a year. At 5%, it's $0.71. At 15%, it's $1.96.

In the 15% scenario, you buy a CD on credit and pay 15% a year on the loan. It costs $1.96 year to rent a CD, i.e. 16 cents a month. $6 / 0.16 = 37.5 CDs. The break even point for using Yahoo Music is about 38 CDs. If you buy more than 38 CDs on credit, you would save money by subscribing to Yahoo Music instead (assuming you don't subscribe to Yahoo Music on credit... yeeesh....)

If instead of being a creditor, you tend to save money, and you put your money into treasury bonds to be super safe. They yield %5.11, so your 135 annuity pays out .73 a year or about $0.06083 a month. So your break-even point is about 100 CDs. You put the $1499 you save into treasury bonds, and get about $6 a month, which pays for your Yahoo Music. Realistically, you know inflation exists, and the subscription cost will go up in time. You can still invest that $1499 conservatively in something that tracks inflation, like conservative income stocks, and have it pay for your Yahoo Music subscription for the rest of your life.


In an interest free world, the break even point for subscribing to Yahoo Music is 648 CDs.

At an interest rate of 5%, the break even point is 100 CDs.

At an interest rate of 15%, the break even point is 38 CDs.

on July 15, 2006 01:53 PM
# Michael said:

It seems to me that many people approach the question of subscription music the way they approach politics -- they have strong, heart-felt opinions, which nobody is going to talk them out of. :)

If you're the kind of person who thinks of music as a large shelf full of CDs, then a subscription service isn't for you. You'll probably never feel comfortable unless you have that album "in" your collection. (Even if it's a virtual collection on your hard disk.)

On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who listens to music on the radio, then you should probably try subscriptions. You may love the music on the radio, but you know that in a year your tastes might be different; the fact that you don't have to buy each album is actually a plus. For the music you decide you really like, you buy it so you can have it forever. This is how I use Yahoo music.

Remember, a subscription service is ADDITIONAL to being able to buy the music outright. (And with Yahoo, subscribers pay $.79 instead of $.99 per song to purchase, taking some of the sting out of the subscription payment.)

Of the nearly 5GB of music I've downloaded since subscribing, only about 60MB of it are songs or groups I was aware of before subscribing. The rest I learned about via the recommendation engine and other sources. Many I will never pay even $.79 a song to own, but enjoy enough to listen to for a couple of months. Some of my current faves took me several listenings to start liking. A service like iTunes, while a wonderful service with an awesome collection, would not have helped me much, as I would constantly be asking myself, "Is this song really worth $.99?" With YM (or another sub service) I just give it a try; the stuff that's still in my collection after a year is probably a keeper, and I'll buy it.

on July 16, 2006 03:05 PM
# jed said:

Agree with JT. YME crashed my entire server yesterday. I hard reset and tried again - crashed again. Have tried three more times with same result. No way to contact customer service except through a stupid annoying e-mail form. From past experience, I will not get an answer for three days and the answer will not solve the problem. AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!!!!!!! There needs to be a customer service number.

on July 26, 2006 01:28 PM
# Lurcher said:

I got here via a google for services that work like emusic.com, a subscription setup that does let you "buy" individual tracks or albums so you can make your own (semi)permanent CD's, or whatever. I like the alt.rock/folk sort of thing, plus classical, so their limitation to independent labels isn't a major drawback for me - but I'd still like to have access to major labels issues sometimes.

I can't comment on emusic's "machinery" - I keep it simple by downloading all the tunes to my desktop and sorting them into folders that I send to the Windows Player for burning onto discs. They generally have a free trial on offer; some of you might find them worth checking out.

on August 11, 2006 10:20 PM
# rufus said:

So you pay for music but they take it away if you stop paying. Nope, doesnt work for me. Happy to part of the 90%+ who share for FREE.
Leaching Corporations, Fat n stupid greedy musicians.....the consumer knows best...FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

on August 30, 2006 10:22 AM
# kim said:

Does Yahoo unlimited work with ipods?

on December 20, 2006 07:14 PM
# Beagle said:

I think this is exactly the type of service I'm looking for. I love listening to a ton of different songs, and simply can not afford to spend thousands of dollars on CD's and Songs... but if I could pay a flat rate per month, with access to pretty much most of the songs I want to listen to, then I think this is exactly what I'm looking for.

I was actually expecting something like this to cost more... I mean.. how much does XM satellite radio cost?? and you can't even choose the 'specific' song title you want can you with it? more like just a genre.

Also, considering that I typically only like 2-3 songs off an album, I generally waste money on the other 12 on a CD.

I find it completely unethical (even if I have caught myself doing it) to download music illegaly. Theft is theft.

So iTunes doesn't have subscription based audio???
Hmmmm... but I thought Apple was always the leader in all things media. Or is this yet another thing that they will copy (as they do with PC technology) and claim they do it better.

on February 9, 2007 08:41 AM
# Ben said:

I am having problems with my yahoo music. My playlists just scroll thu and don't play any songs (I am a subscriber). Any one know how to fix this problem. If you need a more through explination I have also posted a vide of what is happening here: http://www.jabbits.com/forms/question_detail?q=238

I am running windows XP

Hope someone can help me out as it stinks paying for music and not being able to listen to it.

on April 7, 2007 02:43 PM
# Jason Collins said:

YME is a pathetic piece of poo. Unfortunately, Yahoo took what was once the greatest thing since sliced bread (musicm match), and ruined it. You can't even change album art... "it's on the roadmap for future use"...? Give me a break, music match had been offering "super tagging" for at least the last 5 years, and yahoo doesn't support it yet, although they BOUGHT music match out? I'd rather have to listen to vinyl and carry a cassette walkman than ever deal with this garbage of software. At least iTunes is easy for use. YME feels as though it were written by apes and snails.

on June 2, 2007 07:49 PM
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