MSN adds music and 'sounds like' search

MSN Music, online in a test version, offers streaming media, but no downloads, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

The announcement comes two days after Microsoft's rivals RealNetworks and America Online teamed up with major record labels to start an online music company.

The new channel at MSN builds on Microsoft's existing online music offerings at WindowsMedia.com, which besides streaming music also offers movie trailers and a selection of songs for download.

Microsoft touted the "sounds-like" search technology of MSN Music in its announcement. A computer program and MSN musicologists, dubbed "groovers," power this feature intended to let the users "easily discover new music."

MSN Music offers many stations with music grouped into more than 20 music styles, and more than 200 sub-styles, according to Microsoft. It is not possible to listen to a particular song on demand. This is much like what has been offered in the past by WindowsMedia.com and competing services like AOL's Spinner.com, Yahoo Broadcast from Yahoo, and Launch.com from Launch Media.

A large chunk of the WindowsMedia.com content, however, comes from third party sites. Behind the scenes at WindowsMedia.com and at MSN Music is technology from MongoMusic, which Microsoft acquired last year. "Although the two sites might look similar, we see WindowsMedia.com as a technology platform to showcase the features of the Windows Media Player. MSN Music is the Web destination for consumers to find, discover, and listen to music," explained a spokesman for Microsoft.

In the future MSN Music will be expanded to offer personalised content and subscription services, Microsoft said.

Earlier this week AOL Time Warner and RealNetworks formed an online music joint venture with Bertelsmann and EMI Group. MusicNet plans to provide technology and license music for use in online services such as downloads. MSN's Web portal has 230 million unique users per month, according to Microsoft. The company's network of sites is second only to AOL Time Warner Inc.'s network of sites for number of visitors, according to market researcher Jupiter Media Metrix.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?