Musicmatch stops Mac work, offers Windows iPod news

MP3 software maker Musicmatch -- developers of Musicmatch Jukebox -- have announced plans to discontinue support of their Macintosh software, including the subscription-based Mac version of their Radio MX service. Musicmatch plans to focus support of the Windows platform alone going forward.

Starting this week, Musicmatch plans only to support their Jukebox and Radio MX products for the Windows platform. The Mac Radio MX service will be discontinued all together, and the small number of Mac subscribers -- measured in the hundreds, according to Musicmatch spokesperson Jennifer Roberts -- may be able to request a refund. Musicmatch plans to distribute details to subscribers affected by this decision by e-mail in the coming days.

Roberts said the business decision has been a long time coming. "We really need to focus on what we do best," she said, acknowledging that Musicmatch's forte is on the Windows market, not the Mac market. iTunes is ubiquitous on the Mac market, and enormously popular. Given its "home court advantage" as an Apple product, did this affect Musicmatch's decision to discontinue its Mac efforts? Roberts said no. "We compete against Windows Media Player in the Windows market, and that's installed on practically every PC," she said. "It's more a matter of where we should put our development efforts to begin with."

Roberts said that Musicmatch Jukebox's limited use on the Mac ultimately hasn't merited the additional expense and difficulty of maintaining a Macintosh code base. "Our last update to Jukebox itself was last year," she noted.

A Windows version of Musicmatch Jukebox is included with Apple's iPod for Windows box, but Windows users have noted that the most recently released version of Jukebox -- 7.2, a later revision than what's included with the iPod -- doesn't support the iPod. Roberts offered some clarification.

"The version included with the iPod and what's currently available were developed at the same time," she said. "So when the 7.2 version was released, it didn't have the support for the iPod that the special version included with the iPod does."

Fortunately, this problem should be remedied with a new point release. Roberts said that with Musicmatch Jukebox 7.5 -- due out sometime in the next several weeks -- will have iPod support that should be maintained by future releases as well.

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