BuyMusic.com - A Review

BuyMusic.com shows promise by providing downloadable Windows Media Audio (WMA) files to the public without requiring costly monthly fees or subscriptions. Unfortunately; like most Pay-to-Play services today- they have to provide some type of content protection (DRM) to keep their downloads legal and keep the RIAA off their back.

With this service; you pay to download WMA files to your computer which can then be played or burned to AudioCD using Microsoft's Media player. Download costs start from $0.99 per track; but most recent tracks seems to cost $1.14. Update: Buy.com has purchased Buymusic.com and now appears to offer tracks starting at $0.79 per track.You can pick and choose which tracks you want from a CD or if you desire purchase the entire CDs for around $13. BuyMusic.com does not appear to have a huge selection of music; but since they do not charge a monthly service fee this can be forgiven. This site does not need a free trial and provides 30 second samples of the tracks available for purchase. 

Hint: Unprotect BuyMusic.com's WMA files using this Tutorial.

Executive Summary:

BuyMusic.com gets 5 out of 10 stars for their current offering.

Pros:

Cons:

Detail:

Service BuyMusic.com
URL BuyMusic.com
Criteria Sub Criteria Specifics Score Total Possible score Notes:            
Overall     5.15 out of 10
Compatibility   1.75 out of 3
  Format   0.55 out of 1
    Open / Standard Format 0.3 0.5 Copy Protected WMA files
    Digital Rights 0.25 0.5 Ideally, no copy protection.. But most tracks seem to have fair use.
  Application Compatibility 0.5 out of 1
    Default format supported by CDMaster32 0 1 WMA isn't supported in CDMaster32 due to Licensing restrictions.
    Audio CD Format 0.5 0.5
  Portability 0.7 out of 1
    Burn AudioCDs 0.5 0.5 Supported if allowed via DRM
    Portable non-CD Devices 0.2 0.25 Some supported via Media Player
    MP3CD Format 0 0.25
Costs 2.05 out of 4
  Service Fee 1 out of 1
    Up-front Costs or Per Month 0.5 0.5
    None 0.5 0.5
    <$10 0.33
    $10-$20 0.25
    >$20   0
    Number of Plans 0.25 0.25
    N/A 0.25 0.25
    >2 0.2
    2 0.15
    1   0.05
    Type of Plan 0.25 0.25
    Unlimited 0.25
    Per Month 0.1
    Per Year 0.1
  Downloads 0.55 out of 1
    Cost To Download 0.1 0.5
    Unlimited 0.5
    limited 0.25
    pay per 0.1 0.1
    none / on server   0
    Available Players for Downloads 0.25 0.5
    Supplied / Proprietary 0
    Standard 0.25 0.25
    Any   0.5
  Burn Cost To Burn Audio CDs 0.5 1
    N/A 0
    0-$0.50 1
    $0.51-$0.99 0.5 0.5
    >$0.99   0.25
  Free Trial 0.25 1
    No Trial 0
    Sample Access 0.25 0.25 30second samples available for free
    Full Access < 7days 0.5
    Full Access > 7days   1
Availability 1.345 out of 3
Selection 0.65 out of 1.5
  Number of Labels 0.15 0.5
  All 0.5
  5 major 0.15 0.25 Most labels appear to be representedů but not entire catalog from label.
  Single   0
  Selection of Songs 0.5 1
  All 1
  Most Popular 0.75
  Some Popular 0.5 0.5
  Mostly Rare   0.25
File Rights 0.12 0.5
  All Files have Same rights 0.5
  Varies by Plan 0.25
  Varies per Track 0.12 0.12
  Listen only / No rights   0
Song Database 0.175 out of 0.5
  Free / Open Search 0.1 0.1 User Can search for song using standard WWW browser
  Detailed Artist / Song Info 0.075 0.1
  Cross Reference Similar Artist / Music 0 0.2
  Exportable data 0 0.1
Interface   0.4 out of 0.5
  Web Based Browsing 0.3 0.5 Web Based browsing needs work
  Proprietary Application 0.1 0.25 Looses points for WMA files / DRM.

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Review Date: 8/18/2003
Copyright 2003 by Zittware.com
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copying prohibited!

BuyMusic.com Review