Reviews of Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS) have become as common as iPods. The landscape in the download market is in constant flux, however, and we found a piece from the Gannet News Service that compared 7 different services to be interesting. Titled "Wired for sound - 7 music download services that rock," the piece offers a short look at Napster 2.0, Wal-Martis service, BuyMusic.com, eMusic, MusicMatch, Music Now, and the iTMS. The storyis take on the iTMS.
The original iTunes store, launched a year ago, was the exclusive domain of Macs and iPods. Last October, Apple opened the doors to Windows users.
The online store is well designed and easy to use. Shoppers can hear 30-second clips of many of the songs and buy individual songs for 99 cents each or full albums for US$9.95. Unlike the other online stores, iTunes also offers audio books.
Once you download a tune, you can play it on only three computers, but iTunes lets you burn a play list of songs to a CD 10 times, compared with its competitors five-burn limit.
Songs downloaded from iTunes arrive in the AAC format. Thatis fine if you want to play them on an iPod, but most other portable players wonit support the format.
The full article attributes Appleis iTMS with changing the way people looked at download services, but doesnit come out and call the iTMS the best. Indeed, it doesnit name any of them as superior or inferior, though a few have complaints. The article also does not note that the other servicesi downloads can not be played on an iPod.