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Monday, December 22 12:01 EST

Reviews: Digital Music Stores: Wal Mart

By Brian Briggs

iTunes Music Store - Napster - Musicmatch
Rhapsody
- Wal Mart - BuyMusic - EMusic

Wal MartWhat does Wal Mart offer?
Wal Mart offers songs for purchase from their website.

How much does it cost?
Wal Mart sells songs for $.88 per song and albums for $9.44 though album pricing varies.

What rights do I have with the songs?
The songs you buy you can burn to a CD, transfer to a wma player and listen to on up to three computers. Wal Mart’s license was more restrictive than the other services because it said it only allowed 10 burns to a CD while the others just limit the playlists not the songs.

What about selection?
The selection at Wal Mart was the worst out of any of the services tested. Like Musicmatch, it did not carry any songs from Green Day or Tenacious D. In addition, it only offers edited versions of songs that contain explicit lyrics.

File Type: Songs are protected .wma files ripped at 128k.

What I did?
I bought one song for $.88.

Songs bought from Wal Mart:

Sheryl Crow – Soak Up the Sun

General observations: The Wal Mart store is the only one reviewed that does not require the downloading of any extra software. However, unlike the wma files from Napster and Musicmatch they would only play on Windows Media Player. Trying to play them on Musicmatch crashed the program. Store felt much like a Wal Mart brick-and-mortar store with songs difficult to find and not arranged nicely. Thirty-second previews of songs are available. Searches did not show songs not available on the service.

Problems encountered: None.

Who would choose Wal Mart?
Someone who does not want to download extra software. Someone looking for the cheapest songs.

Who does not want to use Wal Mart?
Someone who wants a wide selection. Someone who wants unedited songs. Someone who wants to find new music. Someone who wants a streaming service or radio stations.

Store Location: Walmart.com

Screenshots: To get to the Beastie Boys screen took an extra click over the other services.

Store Home
Beastie Boys Search

Next: BuyMusic

Introduction

Conclusions

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