Sky Launches ITunes Rival
UK Satellite Broadcaster Sky is the latest company to offer an online music download service.
Launching next Monday, subscribers to the new "Sky Songs" service – who will not have to be existing Sky customers – will pay a fixed fee of up to £7.99 a month, entitling them to download one album or up to 10 songs, and to stream as much music as they like. Downloading more songs will cost extra.
The downloads will be in MP3 format and without DRM - a major selling point meaning music can be loaded to almost any device.
Sky has reached agreements with the major music labels – EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner – as well as smaller independents, to make available new releases and artists' back catalogues, a total of more than 4m tracks.
Sky's new service comes hot on the heals of the upgraded Napster service. Napster has always offered unlimited streaming and downloads in protected WMA format but now boasts over 6 million tracks available in MP3.
I've already subscribed and tried this out, but be warned of the 4'000'000 songs claimed to be available for streaming most are currently coming up with the message "Sky Songs are unable to stream that song right now". This is the message I'm getting when trying to stream virtually any track which isn't a very well known chart track.
Posted by Aj on Oct 25, 2009 at 18:46 UK.
hmmm... interesting observation. thanks for the feedback.
Posted by Tim on Oct 26, 2009 at 01:25 UK.
I found it less interesting more annoying as I was hoping to use it to preview all kinds of music, however I'm guessing they must be gradually adding more and more of the songs they list for streaming. However it does mean I think that they've launched this service too soon and can't yet deliver on their promises. Even the preset playlists are coming up with the error for many tracks.
Posted by Aj on Oct 26, 2009 at 01:29 UK.
have you used napster at all? i subscribe and raid it on a weekly basis. funnily enough i was quite happy with the service prior to them dropping the DRM. with the new mp3 format downloads, they have ramped up the price for unlimited downloading of DRM protected tunes. its still better value given i download 1000s of songs per week but a crafty price move
Posted by Tim on Oct 26, 2009 at 01:33 UK.
I had always thought that Napster was mainly a streaming service. Being into radio as I am there is no way I would want any DRM protected tunes as they cannot be run through radio automation software or have processing applied to them. I use Winamp+Sound Solution. When you say you download are these the protected files that only work while you subscribe?
Posted by Aj on Oct 26, 2009 at 01:41 UK.
another update on this. Sky Songs seem to have fixed that issue now, today I haven't encountered any songs that wouldn't stream. Presumbably though just because of age Napster still has the biggest library.
Posted by Aj on Oct 28, 2009 at 00:58 UK.