Nokia is making a play for Apple's iTunes domination of digital music downloading with its latest endeavor, Comes With Music, a digital entertainment service that comes bundled with Nokia XpressMusic phones and the Nokia N95 8GB.
When a customer purchases a Comes With Music phone, they'll have access to tracks from Universal, Sony, and Warner artists, as well as independents from The Orchard and other independent music sources. Nokia also recently announced the addition of the EMI catalogue to its music service.
Users get access to a year's worth of music, for one fee included at time of purchase of their phone, and they'll get to keep the music even after the year is over without a subscription or price per track added on. With Nokia still the world's top mobile phone maker, and sales of XpressMusic phones reaching 10 million units, it's quite clear how this music service could make Nokia a significant player in the digital music downloads arena.
See a video below detailing just how easy the service is to set up.
Like iTunes, Nokia's music service is protected with DRM, which means users will be wedded to the device they purchased the music on (or another Nokia handset that uses the service). Already though, there's workaround software that provides a hack. The DRM-stripping program, called Tunebite, enables "playing and re-dubbing the tracks into a non-encrypted file and apparently works in a matter of seconds per song."
Currently the Comes With Music service is only available in the UK, but Nokia plans to make it available in the U.S. in 2009. Maybe Nokia will have an answer for Tunebite by then.