Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Microsoft Preps Online Music Store

Microsoft Preps Online Music Store "Currently, the market is divided into three types of digital-music services: digital-music download services such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, which loses money on every song sold; digital-music streaming services such as RealNetworks' RHAPSODY service, which makes a healthy per-subscriber profit; and services that offer both features, such as Napster, which subsidizes the downloads with profits from streaming subscribers. Currently, which tactic Microsoft plans to use is unclear.
One fact is clear, however: Microsoft's entry into the digital-music market will further strengthen the Windows Media Audio (WMA) 9 format, which is used by all music services except the iTunes Music Store, which uses the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format. Microsoft already operates a music service in the UK called MSN Music Club, which offers digital downloads of songs that users can burn to CD; this service might be the impetus for a wider US-based service."

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