MusicMatch hops into the online music fray:
- MusicMatch … is launching an a la carte download service for the Windows Media platform. The service, which goes live today, will be integrated into the MusicMatch jukebox software and will feature 200,000 tracks, including music from all five major labels and more than 30 independents. All tracks will cost 99 cents; most albums will sell for $9.99.
In a first for a Windows-based pay-per-download store, the service will feature consistent usage rules for all tracks. MusicMatch downloads can be stored on up to three PCs at once and can be transferred to compatible portable devices that support Windows files. Tracks can be burned to CDs; playlists can be burned up to five times. [Billboard]
Sounds like iTunes for Windows – next up this fall for PCs: Apple, Roxio, RealNetworks and AOL.
Here’s a review by Benny Evangelista in the SF Chronicle:
- Although Apple set new standards in the digital music market for simplicity and ease, analysts said the iTunes Music Store may have met its match.
“Right now, it’s the best of the services,” technology analyst Rob Enderle said of Musicmatch. “This is as close as we get to a legal Napster.”
Musicmatch, founded in 1997, helped pioneer the category of jukebox software that allows people to convert songs on CDs into the MP3 format, and organize those files into an easily accessible digital music library stored on a computer or copied to portable digital music players.
….Like iTunes, Musicmatch Downloads comes with its own all-in-one jukebox software to sample, store, play and burn downloaded music. Songs are encoded in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format. Although Musicmatch sells a premium version of its software for $15, only the free basic version is needed for Musicmatch Downloads, which itself can be downloaded.
Users can play downloaded songs on up to three PCs and burn songs an unlimited number of times. But users can only burn the same playlist of songs to a custom CD five times. With iTunes, users can burn up to 10 CDs with the same playlist, but Mudd said the record labels wanted some tighter restrictions in the wider Windows world.