Monday, June 14, 2004

DOWNLOADS, DOWNLOADS, NOTHING BUT DOWNLOADS: With just twenty four hours to go until iTunes hits the UK, the other legitimate download services are flapping their tailfeathers in a bid to get noticed. OD2 has launched an a la carte service, including a penny-a-play jukebox. Sonic Selecter, which is some sort of horrid plug in for the nasty windows media player, will allow ("from just") 75p downloads from the 350,000 songs OD2 has available, which appear to be free to burn to CD. Oh, and it only works if you're using a Windows PC. Confusingly, there's some sort of claim that "the more tracks people buy the cheaper the unit price becomes", but we're not sure how that works - does it count total downloads by everyone? Or does your own personal price drop on everything as you buy more and more? Or is it the most popular tracks will be cheaper? And can you download so much you get all your music free? We're just not sure.

Meanwhile, Napster - the disappointingly dried-out, cleaned-up, straightened-off husk of the former outlaw service - has issued a press release with the exciting news that it's signed some sort of deal with ntl, the company that probably wishes it had stuck to its original mission of looking after ITV's transmitter network. This will be of no interest to anyone without ntl broadband, which is nearly everybody.

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