Apple released their new iTunes and although I'm sure all the mac fans think it's the greatest thing ever I can't actually see why I would like it more than Listen.com.
The assumption seems to be that I would rather buy a few songs at 99 cents each rather than actually be able to listen to 200,000+ songs. While I agree that the ability to put the songs on my iPod is a huge plus the question is where am I most of the time when I'm listening to music. Me, I'm at home, at work or in the car. The only time I use portable music is when I'm on public transportation and although in Japan that's everyday it's still only 1 to 2 hours a day. I'm at home 8 to 16 hours a day or at the office 8 to 12 hours a day. In both these cases I'm in front of a computer or near one so if I have to pick between purchasable music (apple) and streamable music (listen.com) then streamable wins. Instant access to 200,000 songs vs access to the 10s of tracks I bought. I don't have to go *preview* them then purchase I can just click a button and listen to the entire CD instantly. I can que up 10 CDs I've never listened to and have 10 hours of new music and it doesn't cost me more.
Obviously I'd like both. Listen.com already has downloadable music at 99 cents. Currently it's straight to CD only but I suspect they will add the ability to put them locally or in your iPod asap so it seems to me of the two for most people, listen.com would be the better and more used deal.
The only thing is, marketing helps and I think Apple with all it's fanatical fans will help Apple tremedously push the inferior service.