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BuyMusic.com to Compete With Apple iTunes, Real Networks, But Is It Up To Par? Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 July 2003
Another music downloading site, BuyMusic.com, has just entered the online music battle. Owned by Buy.com, a website that offers everything from computer products to luggage, BuyMusic.com offers consumers 79 cent downloads and $7.99 complete albums.

It sounds like a good deal compared to other pay per download sites. However, after extensively surfing the site we found some significant issues. The largest of which is the fact that this service is only available to PC users. This limits a substantial portion of the market, but is not unlike Apple’s iTunes which is only available to Mac OSX users. When trying to search for a particular artist, we found their search engine non functional, and with the non-intuitive layout of site, it is almost impossible to find what you’re looking for by browsing the sub categories. BuyMusic.com claims to be “The World’s Largest Download Music Store,” however, it was difficult for us to confirm this and compare artist availability against similar sites, with the inadequate search engine.

On the front page of site the words, “from 79 cents per song” is prominently displayed, but you won’t pay 79 cents for a newly released song. After browsing a bit through their selection we found only about one third of their catalogue was available for 79 cents. Most songs are 99 cents.

One positive feature of the site are three “How To” videos covering downloading music, transferring music to a portable device and burning music to a CD. No other music downloading site has this feature, but again, it only walks you through “How To” on the PC and you won’t be able to play the video without Window’s Media Player Version 9, also currently available only on the PC.

For PC users, BuyMusic.com has potential to be the least expensive music downloading service, but its far from most user friendly. And while Mac users are unable to use the site to download or preview music, BuyMusic.com is still willing to set up an account and take credit card information.

Another online music downloading site, Real Networks which offers a similar format of 79 cent downloads, requires a monthly fee of $9.95. Apple’s iTunes provides single downloads for 99 cents and $9.99 for complete albums with no monthly fee.

For more information visit: www.buymusic.com

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