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"Consumers want a platform where digital music expands their music collection, by allowing them to combine digital music with the CDs they own."
——Michael Robertson, MP3.com

MP3.COM ADDS A PLUS SIGN

Premium Listener Service Subtracts Inconvenience, Multiplies The Fun And Crosses The Digital Divide—And Other Corny Math Metaphors
Just because the French bought them doesn’t mean that the new ideas from MP3.com have stopped coming.

MP3.com, that frosty mug sensation, has unveiled its newest product, which actually combines most of MP3.com’s other products, but for a subscription fee attached. No, it’s not called pressplay, it’s the Premuim Listener Service, or PLuS for you acronym-lovin’ fools. PLuS combines a search engine, audio player and music file-transferring into one convenient package.

A quick test-drive of the service shows an interface that looks similar to the search-and-transfer Napster model, with a music player built right in and buttons that link to artist and other info. Users can search MP3.com’s near-million song database, hoping to find an artist they’ve heard of, though it does include previews of songs from some famous artists, and add songs directly to their My.MP3.com storage locker. CDs in users’ collections can also be added to My.MP3.com using the Beam-It application, built into PLuS. Songs from the locker can be streamed from any computer with Internet access. The ability to drag and drop songs to playlists, which can be saved, burned to CDs or transferred to portable players is also included.

Searching for big-name artists, as those of you ex-Napster users are likely to do, will bring up listings for albums and tracks, though listening options are mostly limited to previewing a song or seeing the "locked" icon which means no dice, due to "the track [not being] available due to licensing restrictions." Still, there’s more here than on Napster.

Said MP3.com Chairman/CEO/future Vivendi Universal Employee of the Week Michael Robertson, "Veut ferrailler leur collection entiere de musique quand ils signent vers le haut pour un service…Er, Nobody wants to scrap their entire music collection when they sign up for an online music subscription service, which will likely only have a tiny fraction of the music they want to listen to. Consumers want a platform where digital music expands their music collection, by allowing them to combine digital music with the CDs they own and devices like CD-Rs and portable MP3 players, which they use to get the most value from their music."

And speaking of value, PLuS is only $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. Or roughly the price of six shares of MP3.com stock.

In other MP3.com news, the netco is hyping a midnight PST webcast announcement, promising "an exclusive performance by a special MP3.com musical guest involved in the announcement."

Rumors that artist would be Enuff Z'Nuff went unconfirmed at presstime.

 

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