Hands-On MySpace Music

A new iTunes competitor stepped into the ring last Friday promising DRM-free tunes and free, unlimited streaming. But does MySpace Music have what it takes to challenge Apple or did the site's new overhaul miss the mark? We spent the past three days with it to find out.

What is it: MySpace Music is a joint venture between MySpace (owned by News Corp.) and the big four record labels — Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and EMI. The ad-supported site lets members create personalized playlists and stream unlimited amounts of music via a small pop-up player. In addition, the site is affiliated with Amazon's MP3 Store, so if you hear a song you like, you can seamlessly purchase it via Amazon.

What we like: MySpace Music is a like a digital encyclopedia of music. Thanks in part to its contracts with the four major record labels, you can find just about any song on the site, and despite its massive catalog of music, searching for specific songs or artists is fast. Once you find a song you like, you can add it to your MySpace profile playlist (10 song limit) or to a separate, personalized playlist (no song limit) by clicking on the "+" symbol located next to the song title. You can then launch the MySpace Music pop-up player to stream your tunes.

To test the extent of MySpace Music's catalog, we searched for iTunes' current Top 10 list on the site and quickly found each song available for streaming. This part of MySpace Music we liked. It's a great way to listen to full-length CDs before you purchase them. To make the purchasing part easy, MySpace Music has teamed up with Amazon's MP3 Store, so when you find a song with a "Buy" button, clicking on it takes you directly to Amazon.com where you can purchase a DRM-free copy of that song. The transaction is seamless, although not all songs on MySpace Music offer this option. In addition to songs, members can also purchase tickets and merchandise directly from each artists' homepage, although again not many artists offered that option.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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