Recently I wrote a screed about the end of the age of ownership.Today, I'm enjoying the fruits of a company whose business is based on the new model, pay to play.
This service is Rhapsody, an online digital music service. Instead of selling me songs, Rhapsody allows me, for a monthly subscription of $12.99, to access and play any tune from its collection of millions of songs. The only band I've found to date that isn't included is the Beatles, not surprisingly. At the moment I'm dipping into the past for a listen to Tommy by The Who.
The caveat here is that the music is streamed to my PC, and therefore depends on my being connected, with fat bandwidth, to the Internet. If your connection is lean or inconsistent, Rhapsody wouldn't be a good choice.
Luckily, I have 24/7 connectivity. Therefore, although I own a couple of hundred LPs, a box of cassettes, and hundreds of CDs, I'm done with maintaining parallel technologies and forking over bucks to buy new music that I will soon tire of.
With Rhapsody, I don't worry about ownership. If I want to listen to something, I dial it up, anything from a Schubert lieder to a Franz Ferdinand dance tune. The service allows me to build up a library of favorites and create play lists to match my mood and share with friends.
I haven't made use of another Rhapsody option which would allow me to load tunes into a portable player to take to the gym or a trail hike. This portable option costs a couple of bucks extra per month, and, like most services, only works on very small number of MP3 players.
I'm sold on the service, which allows me access to all of the music I love and the ability to find new artists without the need to buy a pig in a poke.
Ownership is SO 20th century!