Thursday, October 16, 2008

Comes With Music doesn't, actually, come with music

There's been much excitement over Nokia's Comes With Music phone, pegging it as a simultaneous iPhone and iTunes killer. And you can see where the thrill lies - you buy a phone, and you get access to Nokia's fabulous music library, forever, for free.

Only now that a deal has been struck with a carrier - 3, in the UK - it turns out to not be quite so sweet a deal after all. Andrew Orlowski runs through the small print:

Comes With Music reportedly bundles "free and unlimited" music downloads with selected Nokia handsets. But actually, it doesn't. Downloads are limited to 120 per year*, and there's an upfront charge of £129.95 at Carphone Warehouse. So it more accurately resembles the Britannia CD club model: pay up front and get some albums.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice the weasel words in Nokia's press release:

"Comes With Music offers one year of unlimited access to the entire Nokia Music Store catalogue…"

But access to the Store is not the same as unlimited downloads, of course. Asked about this, Nokia's EVP of entertainment Tero Ojanpera repeated that unlimited meant unlimited access, not downloads.

So, that would be Comes Without Music But You Can Pay For Music If You Like. Just Not Too Many Tunes, Eh? Don't Go Mad Or Anything. Two Songs A Week.

Oh, and if we've done the maths correctly, at £129 for 120 songs, that's not only not free, but more expensive than average downloads.

[UPDATE: Nokia's PR team have been denying there's a 120 song limit but admit there is a "reasonable" usage clause in the deal.]


theneedledrop said...


Anonymous said...

What on earth are you talking about?!!! There is no limit on the number of songs you can download. Get real.

The only thing restricting you is hard disk space. You can download the entire 4 million tracks.

simon h b said...

No, anonymous, you're wrong. There is a fair use limit which would stop you from downloading all four million tracks; it's just nobody who is responsible for the limit is saying what it is.

By the way: nobody actually says 'get real' outside of advertising agencies and marketing companies these days.

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