October 02, 2007 |
The Starbucks-iTunes Store joint venture announced early last month was met with applause when it was first revealed, and rightly so. The partnership ? apart from being first and foremost a moneymaking one for both corporations involved ? would make it oh-so-easy for folks to buy music over the Web when ?on the go.?
Well, at least for folks who don?t mind stepping into a Starbucks at some point during their day and don?t mind buying music from the iTunes Music Store. (Lots and lots of people fit those criteria, but acceptance isn?t 100%.)
But for weeks many people have been under the impression that one needs to be in the possession of an iPhone in order to experience the coffee-plus-digital-download(s) combo for oneself. You know, walk into a Starbucks, order the regular, notice the tune playing, like it, pull out an iPhone or iPod touch, tap that newfangled Starbucks icon, and boom, a few more buttons later and you?ve got it in your own collection. No premium charged. No extra fee. Just a quick download and you?re done. Fortunately, however, you don?t actually need an iPhone to get free access to the iTunes Music Store within the confines of a Starbucks. You just need iTunes Store access.
Yes, one can use an iPhone, an iPod touch, or even a boring old clunker of a Windows-based laptop, as long as it?s got a WiFi antenna inside and Apple?s latest iTunes software installed. So head on over to a Starbucks in one of two ? yes, just two for now ? American cities, New York or Seattle, and enjoy a free browse of the mostly-DRM-laden music download shop.
By the way, here?s something you might find particularly interesting. As was advertised at its unveiling, the WiFi Music Store on the iPhone and iPod touch includes anything musical and with a price attached, yet looking at a screenshot of the Starbucks-green themed WiFi Music Store for full-fledged Windows and Mac OS X notebook users, I can?t help but notice that everything ? everything ? appears accessible to those using Apple?s standalone iTunes software. Not just music, but movies, TV shows, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts, iPod games, etc. All of it. The whole kit and caboodle.
So now I must ask those of our readership in New York and Seattle: Does the free access offered by the Starbucks-Apple partnership really give users the full, uninhibited iTunes shopping experience?
If so, that?s very interesting indeed.