Edit: I have received reliable responses to the questions I raised in this entry and I have edited this post accordingly for sharing!
Words cannot describe the sense of liberation as we spent the entire Sunday downloading music, legally. Free or not free, it’s arguable. But for what I pay for, I don’t know which one is a bonus – the entire catalog of music at the Nokia store or the touchscreen phone itself.
I like to surprise Cynthia every now and then, just to put a smile on her face. Ever since I have attended the official launch of “Comes With Music”, ever since she has read the advertisement of these new Nokia phones the next day, I know she’d love the possibility of unlimited downloading any number of music tracks – even for just a year.
Yesterday, out of nowhere, I asked her to synchronize her personal info from the Nokia N95 that I passed to her, to the Ovi.com Nokia server. After I’ve backed up her media files, I told her that we were going for phone shopping. She was shocked, and so was the shop assistance when I handed him the N95 for trade in. “You don’t want this phone?” he asked. It was either that or the Motorola that Cynthia wanted last February. Doesn’t matter to me, either way.
This is not a sponsored post. Not even for the yearly S$120 phone voucher from the phone operator that I couldn’t use because after the trade-in, the balance is less than that. This is a little personal journal of mine on day 1 of the free music download service and my 3rd impression of the XpressMusic 5800.
Comes With Music – 12 hours of download, 60 albums, 904 tracks, a play time total of 2 days and 13 hours!
Click here for a screenshot of day 1 achievement! The Nokia software is pretty neat, as you can see. I was playing music to my Hi-fi, downloading albums from Nokia Store, uploading albums into Cynthia’s new phone at the same time.
OK, to be frank, the Nokia Music Store doesn’t have everything. There are tracks I couldn’t find. But interestingly, there are versions of the albums I wouldn’t be able to find in Singapore either. Some versions have bonus tracks, some versions have a lot more tracks than others. Some are digitally remastered. All of them come with album artworks, encoded in a decent sound quality (192 kbps, mp3). Yes, you can download as many tracks as you want. No, you can only play them in your computer or from your phone. It’s not big a deal to me really. For what it’s worth, 60 albums would have cost me quite a bit. And it is only day 1. My on-board sound card handles mp3 format pretty well (with X-Fi Crytalizer). I have a very decent cable to connect either my computer or the phone to my Hi-fi. I am a happy man; Cynthia is a happy girl; we are a happy couple.
So we downloaded albums that are on our to-buy list, albums that we couldn’t get in Singapore, imported albums that are usually too steep in price, old and new albums that worth the listen but may not worth the cost, albums that are digitally remastered, and albums that satisfy our curious minds. A download speed of half a minute per song seems reasonable. But all things in moderation, it takes much longer to consume an album than the time it takes to download for sure.
I know there are people who are not entirely happy with the digital rights management (DRM) that restricts how we play the downloaded music from Nokia Store. I certain have tons of questions in my mind such as what would happen if I too shall buy a “Comes With Music” phone and would Cynthia and I be able to share the same library since we share the same computer at home? Is the yearly subscription model of “Comes With Music” as simple as upgrade my Nokia phone every year? How easy it is for me to move the contents when I eventually upgrade my computer?
Reliable responses received as follows:
- Tracks and playlists can be shared between registered Comes With Music users (subject to confirmation that the user hold an active Comes With Music license)
- For now, access to the Comes With Music service after a subscription ends is only available with the purchase of a new Comes With Music device.
- You can de-register your old PC and transfer your Comes With Music membership to a new PC every three months. Following which, you can transfer your entire Comes With Music collection to the new PC via the Nokia Music Store as all your account information is stored there.
Looking at the way we collect and consume music on vinyl to today, I personally wouldn’t think too hard on DRM. Today, I am a happy man. That’s all that matter. You could be too.
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic – Still loving it
The phone is a beauty. Before long, Cynthia was showing me how to switch on the predictive messaging in her native language Bahasa Indonesia. OK, it did take a a good couple of minutes for me to figure out how to download Cynthia’s personal info such as contacts, notes, calendar items from the Ovi.com Nokia server into her new phone. But the rest of the functionalities are pretty easy to be figured out. Like tapping onto the clock to set the alarm. Tapping on a little icon on top that opens up a quick application access bar. Tapping onto a video on YouTube opens it up in full screen mode. And etc. Punching in text messages is a breeze. I like the alpha-numeric mode with vibration feedback. Cynthia seems to like the QWERTY keyboard or the handwriting mode.
To those of you who approached me for opinion be it as you have not owned a touchscreen phone before or you are not entirely satisfied with the Apple iPhone or others, I am putting my money to where my mouth is. Go get one. You won’t regret it. If you have the budget and touchscreen is not a must, the N96 Comes With Music is a very good option. Otherwise, you could also wait for the new touchscreen N97.