We recently learned that Apple's mega-sized data center in North Carolina probably won't be used for a subscription-based iTunes as many had hoped and speculated. Instead, it will be supporting enhanced MobileMe features such as allowing iTunes users to back up their library on the cloud. That's pretty cool and all, but that still lets the music lovers down. Personally, we don't listen to all that much music, so the occasional 99-cent song works out. That doesn't mean that some users don't want a subscription-based service. Luckily, there are a few of them out there, and quite a few of them work with iOS.
The options aren't nearly as abundant as streaming radio like Pandora, but this is great for people who want to listen to a given song when they want it.
Hit the jump to take a look at some services you may want to look into if you want streaming subscription-based music.
1) Rhapsody – Link
Probably one of the most popular services of its type, Rhapsody is $10 a month. As they advertise, "there's no need to pay per song…no files to manage." It's the ability to stream the music you want when you want it. It's nice idea, and thanks to it's availability on various platforms such as iOS and Android, it's easy to take it anywhere you want.
2) Napster – Link
Remember Napster? This was the application that started it all. It began as a place to get free music and was one of the hottest things on the internet in the late 90s when we were still using dial-up and a single song took about five minutes to download. Those days, it was probably faster to order a CD from Columbia House (Remember them? Man, we're old) than it was to find the songs you want, download and burn them on those slow, old CD burners of the 90s. Wow, how times change. This one has two main subscription options: $5 for streaming and $10 for streaming plus mobile access, monthly fees, of course.
3) Rdio – Link
This service is the lowest-priced at $5 a month. It's also available on various platforms, including BlackBerry, iOS and Android. They heavily advertise their social networking features and the ability to sync and listen offline. For the price, it may be a nice choice for the budget-consious shopper.
4) Qriocity – Link
Okay, so we are being generous by including this one. As of right now, there is no mobile option, which totally stinks, especially at 10 bucks a month. Still, Sony is no doubt working on that. What's nice, is that it works on your various Sony devices, so if you have a PlayStation 3, Bravia or Sony Blu-Ray Player, you can stream music instantly. Honestly, the only reason we feel that this is worth a mention is because it's still a new service, and that means there is lots of room for growth. Let's just hope that Sony knows how to do things in the streaming music space.
When Will iTunes Go Streaming?
We are wondering the same thing. Though it's unlikely that they will anytime soon. The current business model is working out well for Apple and they are still the top distributer of music. Without anyone out there proving to be a challenge for that market, don't count on it happening anytime soon.