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Vista offers music rental service

January 30, 2007

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Sanity Music is teaming up with Microsoft to offer a subscription music service which, for the monthly cost of “a couple of CDs”, will give Autralian users access to the retailer’s entire music catalogue.

The initiative was announced at the consumer launch of Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system and marks the first time that such a service has been offered outside the United States.

When it’s deployed in April, the service will give consumers an alternative to the pay-per-song/pay-per-album model that is the more common platform for digital music distribution – one that is dominated by Apple’s iTunes Store.

Exact details on the pricing were not announced but it seems the service will cost between $40 and $60 a month for an “all you can eat” menu of music. There are more than a million tracks in the Sanity catalogue.

The main service is renting music since the songs will only play as long as the subscription is current.

There will also be the option of buying individual tracks. Although no details of the pay-per-song price were announced, the current Sanity Digital music download site charges $1.69 a track – the same price as Apple’s.

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