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.
BuyMusic.com gets 5 out of 10 stars for their current offering.
- No monthly service contract.
- Files exist on your computer; not their server.
- WMA files which can be burned onto AudioCD.
- Limited Selection of Music.
per track costs seem a little higher that other services.
- Each file's License can vary; making it difficult to remember how you can use the file.
|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|
|Costs||2.05||out of 4|
|Service Fee||1||out of 1|
|Up-front Costs or Per Month||0.5||0.5|
|Number of Plans||0.25||0.25|
|Type of Plan||0.25||0.25|
|Downloads||0.55||out of 1|
|Cost To Download||0.1||0.5|
|none / on server||0|
|Available Players for Downloads||0.25||0.5|
|Supplied / Proprietary||0|
|Burn||Cost To Burn Audio CDs||0.5||1|
|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|
|5 major||0.15||0.25||Most labels appear to be representedů but not entire catalog from label.|
|Selection of Songs||0.5||1|
|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|
|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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