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, 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 and competing services like AOL's, Yahoo Broadcast from Yahoo, and from Launch Media.

A large chunk of the content, however, comes from third party sites. Behind the scenes at and at MSN Music is technology from MongoMusic, which Microsoft acquired last year. "Although the two sites might look similar, we see 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 newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

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
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?