The Latest from Brightcove: Microsoft vs. Apple, Part Deux ? [+ Yahoo! Music Unlimited]: "I'm going to go out on a limb here and say history repeats itself. Microsoft's open approach trumps Apple's closed system. And to hedge, Microsoft also places digital media bets on cable and telco infrastructure.
I don't believe you can overlook the power of a robust developer community. Look no further than Yahoo's superb new music service. Built on the Windows Media platform - and network enabled by UPnP - this could give iTunes a run for its money. Yahoo's wide distribution and an interconnected set of services could finally build mass-market awareness for the value of a music subscription service. With Flickr, Yahoo 360, and Yahoo Music, is there anyone better right now at building and integrating complex and innovative online services?"
I've been using Yahoo! Music Unlimited since late last week and am very pleased with it so far. The catalog is incomplete (same for all competitors, e.g., no Beatles), and the client software gets a bit flaky at times, but for the most part it works well. You can download/rent music on up to 3 devices (for $4.99/month if you sign up for an annual plan or $6.99 billed monthly); I've downloaded a couple gigs of albums so far and have discovered or rediscovered lots of great music.
(I also agree with the Apple part of the Brightcove post, but you already knew that...)