Launching an online music service that charges 99 cents a song, Apple Computers hopes to provide an alternative to the song-swapping services that saturate the Internet. On Monday, the day of launch, CNN anchor Miles O'Brien talked via satellite with Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
O'BRIEN: The novel idea here: it's completely legal, and consumers would actually pay for the songs they download. It isn't the first such service, but Apple is the biggest player in the realm, and it may help legitimize the move away from CDs and LPs into bits and bytes. The move comes amid a crackdown by the big music companies on music-loving scofflaws, and it comes as Apple's business plan seems to be running out of gas a little bit. Joining us with more on all this, the CEO himself, hot off the big demo, Steve Jobs. Steve, good to have you with us.
JOBS: Thanks for having me.
O'BRIEN: All right. What makes you so certain that people are going to actually pay for music they see online?
JOBS: Well, we're going to find out. Napster and Kazaa certainly demonstrated that the Internet was built perfectly for delivering music. The problem is they're illegal. And the services that have sprung up that were legal are pretty anemic in terms of the rights they offer you, and they kind of treat you like a criminal. You can't burn a CD, or you can't put it on your MP3 player. And so our idea was to try to come up with a music service where you don't have to subscribe to it. You can just buy music at 99 cents a song, and you have great digital -- you have great rights to use it. You can burn as many CDs as you want for personal use, you can put it on your iPods, you can use it in your other applications, you can have it on multiple computers.
And we were able to convince the big five music companies to go along with us on this. So it's a pretty landmark offering. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before.
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