This is a bit surprising, but we saw it coming. Starting later this Spring, Apple will be licensing Microsoft’s Zune software for all iPod devices. The Zune software allows users to pay a $15 per month subscription fee to download an unlimited amount of music. In the press release, Apple remarks “We found that most people prefer to not own their music as you can through iTunes. Instead, they rather “rent” music with a subscription fee that they must pay forever. While all of your music becomes unplayable if you stop paying the monthly fee, our research indicates that people see the unlimited downloading of music as a fair trade off.”
Starting May 1st, all iPod users will receive a software update through iTunes that will replace the native iPod software with Zune software. Also, any installation of iTunes on your computer will delete itself, and the Zune software will install (and yes, the Zune software will finally be compatible with Macs).