Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fuck Monthly Payments

This is what I'm talking about. I was just ranting to Stephanie the other day about music services that charge monthly fees for access to music you'll never own. Way too many things now are all about the monthly fee. How many fucking things can you pay for every single month? Pretty soon you've signed away a significant portion of your income on an ongoing basis. How significant? Someone at Wired was thinking the same thing, so they did the math:

(Yeah, I'm reading the Wired site today and pretty much blogging everything I see.)

Cable or satellite TV (Comcast gold package): $87.94
Broadband Internet access (SBC DSL): $19.99
Voice-over IP phone service (Vonage Premium Plan): $24.99
Mobile phone and data service (Cingular): $39.98
Satellite radio (Sirius): $12.95
Streaming music service (Rhapsody): $9.95
Mobile headlines (SPOT watch): $9.95
DVR service (TiVo): $12.95
DVD service (Netflix): $17.99
Online news site (Salon): $2.92
Online game (X Box Live): $4.17
Total: $ 243.78


matt said...

Man, what a let down. With all the build-up I was expecting a four-digit number at the bottom of the list. Or at least something above $500. I agree that paying by the month for certain things (like music files) is retarded, but rather than adding up retarded and non-retarded things and coming up with what appears to be a reasonable figure it would be better to focus on the retarded things. But that's just my opinion.

lyan! said...

I know its all just a bunch of money, but you can also do a 'lifetime' tivo membership, which is what i think my parents did. Now the bonus is to also get a dvd burning vcr. Now, I tivo shows and burn them to cds so that i don't have to buy series collections. At least this is the theory...

C said...

Electronic Journal subscriptions are the now and future for libraries. instead of paying for an actual item that you recieve and catalog and keep forever, more and more, schools are paying for access to the electronic versions (Sometimes at the cost of canceling the print subscription). Although, unlike electronic music, the user can download the pdf of an article and keep it forever (although, maybe not legally). Electronic versions are fantastic for the students, easy access, easy searching. but the libraries are paying a yearly fee for access to something that normally they would pay for one time, and have forever. And, we have no idea how long these services providing access will be around, and have no control over their use policies or even if they keep providing any given title at any given time. The whole library community is in turmoil. access is good, but for a major university archives are important too, and there's not always money for both.

matt said...

academic journals are also suffering from what cynthia described. when a library (or school or firm or whatever) buys a print subscription directly from a journal, the journal is guaranteed a certain amount of moeny regardless of how often the print journal actually gets used. under the online LexisNexis/Westlaw system, the online service pays the journals a small fee every time someone clicks on one of their articles. so the cash flow is much less certain.

what's even worse, at some schools (like boalt, for example), ALL the money from lexis and westlaw goes to the law review, which then divies up the money as it sees fit among the topical journals.