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Nokia's music plan: Truly unlimited downloads?

The music is yours to keep even after the year-long subscription ends.

At a press conference in Amsterdam this weekend, Nokia launched a new service dubbed "Comes With Music." As the name suggests, it's all about music. The promise is that customers buying a compatible handset from Nokia get a year of unlimited downloads from a huge catalog of tunes. More interesting still is that the music is yours to keep even after the year-long subscription ends.

Crave UK

It's worth noting that the only major label on board to begin with is Universal, a company not known for its support of DRM-free music. True, it provides AmazonMP3 with a DRM-free selection, but it's a far cry from EMI offering its entire catalog in DRM-free form. So we assume this music will be DRM'd to hell. There's no mention of prices or subscription costs either, or any mention of a fair-use policy--a term companies like to use when offering "unlimited" packages.

The Comes With Music deal will come with a new phone--possibly a whole new handset, possibly the N81--that'll be launched in the middle of next year, according to Nokia. Also, "unlimited" really does mean unlimited--you can download every song possible in one year if you want, either via your phone network, over Wi-Fi or via the Web on your PC. Seriously.

Downloads will be in protected WMA format, but a bit rate hasn't been disclosed, so we're still in the dark there. There's also, apparently, no massive fee for the service--it's simply something that will come with this new handset and there's nothing extra to pay for the year.

Now, Universal signing up to this unlimited deal is one thing. But if the other three majors get on board too this could truly be the best mobile, hell, best PC-based subscription service ever--the songs are yours to keep. Permanently. Forever.

(Source: Crave UK)