Nokia has an unbelievably appealing offer coming up: unlimited downloads (to keep) from a library of over four million songs with a Nokia phone purchase.
UPDATE: Nokia has clarified that while it has the rights to APRA's 10 million songs, it will only offer 4 million through its Australian Comes with Music service initially. The reason is that not all the songs have been digitised yet, but as they are added to the Nokia music store globally, they will become available on the Australian store.
Nokia may not have the iPhone but it does have an unbelievably appealing offer about to come out: unlimited downloads (to keep) from a library of over four million songs.
The phone giant announced it had signed a deal with APRA|AMCOS, the organisation that represents virtually all music copyright holders in Australia, to license their entire library for Nokia's forthcoming "Comes With Music" service. This gives Nokia "blanket access" over 10 million songs for its music library -- all major music publishers and all significant smaller publishers.
"Comes With Music" is a deal where purchasers of certain Nokia handsets will get a free, unlimited download pass to Nokia's music download library for 12 months -- and then get to keep the music afterwards.
The music is licensed for use on one PC and one particular Nokia phone -- but if you upgrade your phone or PC in the future, you can get Nokia customer service to give you a new licence to transfer the music over to the new device.
Unfortunately, the service is only available in Windows Media Audio DRM format which means it will not work on Mac OS X or Linux, or any device other than a Nokia phone -- which illustrates why giving away a massive amount of free music works in Nokia's favour too: it keeps you locked to a Nokia phone if you want to keep on listening.
If you do want to burn your music to CDs or load it onto another device, you can pay Nokia for additional usage rights on a per track basis, which doesn't sound like something that would be fun, especially with the worldwide trend away from DRM on music, but at least the option is there.
Comes With Music is expected to launch with the Nokia XpressMusic 5800 handset -- Nokia's first touchscreen handset, which has already sold a million units worldwide and is tipped to launch later this month. Nokia says the delay in launching it in Australia was to ensure that the firmware of the phone was fine tuned to Australian needs and networks.
Nokia's touchscreen phone in high-res glory