Over the past 18 years I've spent close to $200k on Apple products, and I think with a track record like that, I can honestly say that I'm a pretty good customer. I'm someone who not only loves Apple products, but has a tendency to believe in the general strategies of the company. In fact, even in those difficult years, the years you spent in the wilderness, I stuck with the platform while many people left in droves. And while I did have a small time away to the Windows side in the late 90's, I came back once you returned and started releasing great products again. The iMac...man that was a stroke of genius. You just seem to know what I want, even before I do.
But Steve...here's the thing. While I know you think you know what's best for me (and I appreciate that), I have to say that when you recently told me that I am not interested in a subscription-based iTunes, because I would prefer to own my music, you totally missed the mark. So I just wanted to write you this quick note and clarify my stance on this right away and make sure you knew how I really felt about this topic.
You see, when Sonos started to support Rhapsody, I fell in love with the subscription model. In fact, since I became a Rhapsody subscriber 8 months ago, I haven't purchased a single iTunes track. Amazingly, I haven't even played a single track of music from my own music library (which includes a lot of tracks I bought from iTunes). Not once...in 8 months! My NAS drive just sits there on the shelf...lonely...and pointless. I just can't bring myself to purchase albums based on 30-second samples, when I can go on Rhapsody and listen to the entire album anytime I like. Plus, I've found that when I switched to MP3s years ago (my library has grown to thousands of albums) a lot of what I had purchased over the years doesn't get listened to...because I'm always moving on to new music. With Rhapsody, sometimes I learn I don't like an album, so I just remove it from my library. Also, I can listen to any album on a whim...and honestly, some albums are worth an occasional spin, but not really worth spending $10 on. So purchasing seems silly and wasteful.
I love the subscription model so much that I even switched from my iPod Nano (which I love) to a Sansa MP3 player with Rhapsody to Go. And I gotta tell ya...while it isn't as aesthetically lovely as your product, it works really well. More importantly...I can take any of my Rhapsody subscription tracks along with me. That...is pretty awesome.
So Steve, I just wanted to write you because I respect you and what you've done to turn around the company. I love that you continue to make products that I want to buy. However, you couldn't be more off the mark about subscription based music and I thought that maybe you misunderstood my position on the topic or perhaps you didn't read my other blog entries about it (cause I know you read this blog every day!).
P.S. As for the new iPhone, what a neat product! I am excited to see it invigorate the cell phone market and teach those lazy cell phone makers to put some R&D into some real UI work. But, unless you come out with a subscription model for iTunes, I'm afraid I won't be purchasing it...and I really want one!!!