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I have found this to be identical to the Mac version. And of course comparing it to what Winamp and MusicMatch has to offer, iTunes is the hands down winner.
And I don't think I understand where people are having problems right-clicking... I am right clicking fine on songs and library folders.
We got all our PC friends on campus to download it... they all love the shared music streams from others on campus :)
It spits out HTML that allows you to deep link from a web site directly into the Music Store. As I oversee a music-related web site, this could be pretty cool. I'd change that to "very" cool if they start an affiliate program. :)
1. They (Apple) reportedly only make about 30 cents per download, and any further dilution of that revenue would probably kill the likelihood of them ever making a dime off the Store as a unique business unit. (Clearly, it's okay to lose money on the Store as long as it spurs sales of the iPod, which is a BIG profit-generator.)
2. I think Apple may just be a bit too arrogant to ever get involved with an affiliate program. Y'know, "iTunes is cool enough that we don't need to offer incentives for people to link to it (and use it)."
Supposedly that first piece of code they give you in the Link Maker is the iTunes "checker", and you have to use it so that an "appropriate" message is shown if the user doesn't have iTunes. "Appropriate", of course, would be a link to download it. :)
whether it was initially developed for the AOL deal or not I don't know... All I know is the way Steve talked it sounds like it was initially developed for the AOL deal. He speaks of it as buttons or something that they've created for AOL to link the music to the itunes store... he doesn't mention or indicate that anyone can create the links.. thats why I believe it was initially developed for the AOL deal.
On the whole, I find it sadly underwhelming, particularly when compared with Napster 2.0, which I'm currently beta testing.
- Relatively uncluttered interface
- Blazing fast search, plus the *ONLY* dang online music service for the PC that offers 'power searching'! Such an obvious feature, yet still... iTunes has it first.
- Really fast playing of 30 second samples. Almost no perceptible buffering time on most clips (I'm on DSL, btw). This is MUCH better than the other services, which often make you wait 2-5 seconds before samples play.
- Easy song ordering process (but no easier than Musicmatch or Napster)
- My mouse forward/back buttons work... seemingly a minor thing, but oh-so-nice!
- Tons of keyboard shortcuts. Absolutely tops among any online music services by far.
- Ability to purchase credits for friends. This, too, falls under the so-obvious-why-didn't-others-implement-this category
- There's a soundtrack category. YAY! :)
- The 'radio' service is a joke. Poor selection, lousy bandwidth, no real value at all over ANY current Internet radio implementations.
- The iTunes application (not service) is very feature-poor, especially when compared with Musicmatch.
- No WMA support. Boo!
- Previews get cut off if you move to a different page :(
- Right-click options are very sparse throughout
and the biggie...
Only supports iPod!? Ack!
Overall, Napster 2.0 provides far more value than iTunes, IMHO.
- Option of a la carte AND subscription pricing. This is key. I LOVE being able to sample as many tunes as I want, FULL-LENGTH, for just $10/month. Heck, I'd probably even pay double that.
- Much better selection of music than iTunes.
- Community features! I can right click on a track and see who else has downloaded it, then check out their library to get more ideas of what I might like :)
- Plus, via Windows Media Player and Musicmatch, Napster supports a TON of portable music players.
If anyone is more curious about Napster, I plan on writing one or more very detailed essays/reviews on my experience with the service in the next few days. Search for "Napster 2.0 Review" on google in a few weeks and you should find it :)
DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation with any online music services, except as a user and/or beta tester.