Music Store - Napster - Musicmatch
Rhapsody - Wal
Mart - BuyMusic - EMusic
It was difficult to compare these programs head-to-head because
each offers different music services. Each has its strengths and
its quirks. One of the biggest issues would be the availability of
the songs that you want, which is something I cannot review. Three
of the services changed while I was doing this review, so I expect
even more in the near future.
Additionally, if you have a digital music player like an iPod or
a Dell DJ then that would certainly influence your choice. If you
plan on adhering to the licenses and restrictions from each service
then you should read their EULAs closely, and maybe get a lawyer.
What will I choose?
Rhapsody does not meet my music listening needs, so I will be removing
it from my computer. I like that Wal Mart has broken the 99 cent
price floor, but the editing of songs is something I cannot abide
by, so I will not be buying songs from Wal Mart. I like the Napster
Premium Service, but my music budget does not allow for $10 a month
in subscription services, and money for buying songs. I’ll
download my fifty songs from EMusic if I can find that many, but
my tastes are more mainstream, so I will not continue the subscription.
I will keep Musicmatch as my default music program and streaming
service and search the iTunes Music Store and the Napster Music store
for songs that I can’t find on Musicmatch. Unless, of course,
I get an iPod for Christmas.
The Perfect Service
I think the perfect music program would have the selection, allowance
feature and store design of iTunes, the abilities to download songs
and playlist searching of Napster, the price of Wal Mart or BuyMusic's
cheap tracks, the powerful jukebox, tagging features, and streaming
service of Musicmatch, the file format and rights of EMusic, all
fit into the program size of Rhapsody. As quickly as these programs
are updating, maybe we’ll get there some day.
Suggestions for your Digital Music Budget
With $5 a month to spend on music I would subscribe to the $2.95,
Musicmatch streaming service and spend the $2 on other songs at any
store for purchase.
With $10 a month to spend on music I would subscribe to the $2.95,
Musicmatch streaming service and spend the $7 on other songs at any
store for purchase. Or, EMusic Basic if it fits your musical tastes
With $15 a month, I would spend $4.95 a month for the Musicmatch
streaming service and $10 a month purchasing songs either through
EMusic or the other stores.
With $20 a month, I would subscribe to the Napster Premium service
and buy $10/month in songs but still use Musicmatch as a jukebox.
Or, sign up for EMusic Basic, MusicMatch Platinum and spend $5 at
the other stores.
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