iTunes Pass Lets Fans Subscribe to Bands’ Releases, Starting with Depeche Mode

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Back in 2006, Apple introduced a Season Pass feature for television series for sale as downloads via ites iTunes Store: fans could be a pass for a series while it was on the air, and have new episodes delivered to them automatically as soon as they came available on iTunes. Now, Apple is extending the idea to music releases with iTunes Pass, enabling artists to set up deals where users can subscribe to new releases and extras and receive them automatically as the new material comes out. And the first act to get in on iTunes Pass is veteran dance and alternative outfit Depeche Mode, offering an iTunes Pass to its forthcoming album Sounds of the Universe for $18.99. For that, fans get the new Single "Wrong" as well as Black Odyssey Club’s remix of the new song "Oh Well"—plus every new song will appear in users libraries when the album comes out on April 21, along with video extras and new music titles along the way. The Depeche Mode iTunes Pass is slated to be available through June 16, 2009.

The iTunes Pass represents the closest move Apple has made towards a subscription model for music. Unlike Rhapsody, Napster, and numerous other services, iTunes only offers music on a pay-to-download, track-by-track basis. While numerous industry watchers have advocated Apple offer an all-you-can-eat monthly subscription plan, Apple has remained adamant that users want to own their music, and not lose access to it if a subscription lapses.

iTunes Pass also represents a new step in Apple’s efforts to enable artists and record labels "upsell" fans by offering extra content and special deals to encourage users to buy albums or bundles, rather than paying only to download a track or two. Although iTunes may be the most successful online music service to date, its business model tends to encourage people to buy individual singles rather than whole albums—which, in turn, doesn’t really please record labels or the artists themselves, who don’t necessarily like to see their work perceived only in isolated fragments.

Numerous artists have experimented with special bundles outside of iTunes, offering them via their own Web sites or competing services. Recent successes include released by the Dandy Warhols, Metallica, and a Beastie Boys re-issue.

Emerging Tech

Here’s how Facebook taught its Portal A.I. to think like a Hollywood filmmaker

When Facebook introduced its Portal screen-enhanced smart speakers, it wanted to find a way to make video chat as intimate as sitting down for a conversation with a friend. Here's how it did it.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Home Theater

Apple Music encourages subscribers to give friends a free 1-month pass

It's no secret that Apple has its sights set squarely on Spotify's enviable subscriber count, but how will Apple Music grow? By using existing customers to recruit new members by letting them send friends a one-month free pass.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Smart Home

Amazon may be close to opening its first cashier-free store outside U.S.

Amazon could be on the verge of opening its first cashier-free store outside of the U.S. after a recent report claimed the company has secured retail space for a location in central London.

Ready for his close-up: Another man was caught licking a Ring video doorbell

A man in Lake Worth, Florida was caught on film licking a family's video doorbell. This makes the second incident like this in just over a month, after another doorbell licker was caught in California.

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Smart Home

Perlick brings a bigger, bolder version of its high-tech fridge to KBIS 2019

Milwaukee-based manufacturer Perlick has been making refrigerators for nearly 50 years. It will be unveiling a bigger, bolder version of its popular column refrigerator at KBIS 2019.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.

Walmart drops prices on Roomba Robot Vacuums for Presidents’ Day

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and Walmart has already begun dropping prices on Roomba, Shark, and Eufy robot vacuums. For a limited time, you can save as much as $150 on a brand-new iRobot Roomba.

The best Presidents’ Day vacuum deals: Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell

Amazon and Walmart are offering pretty substantial savings to help kick-start your spring cleaning. Top brands like Roomba, Dyson, and Bissell are dropping prices left and right for Presidents' Day.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.