“An online digital music service debuted Monday offering 99-cent song downloads and the fewest restrictions yet on how often customers may copy song files onto CDs and other devices of any licensed service for use on Microsoft Windows-run PCs,” Alex Veiga reports for The Associated Press. “The MusicMatch Downloads service, from San Diego-based software maker MusicMatch Inc., benefits from the sort of generous music licensing rights previously only granted by the top five recording companies to Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store.”
“Apple’s Macintosh computers make up only about 3 percent of the PC market, however, so more than 90 percent of PC users have not been able to use iTunes,” Veiga reports. “Like iTunes, MusicMatch customers can copy the songs they buy to up to three PCs at any one time and can transfer the song files to digital music devices capable of playing Windows Media Audio files. MusicMatch users won’t have to subscribe or pay extra fees to transfer songs to other devices. Individual songs may also be burned or copied to CDs without restriction, although CDs with the same order of songs can only be burned five times to prevent pirates from churning out scores of full copies. iTunes allows up to 10 CDs to be burned with the same playlist.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What this likely means is that Apple’s iTunes Music Store’s debut on the Windows platform (coming soon?) will carry the same liberal usage rights (or very similar to) as iTMS for Macintosh. We wonder if the 10 CD vs. 5 CD burns will be a distinguishing feature between iTMS Mac vs. iTMS Win, or if Apple can wrangle 10 CD burns for iTMS Win, or if Apple will scale back iTMS Mac to 5 CD burns? The last possibility seems the longest shot to us and it would make sense for Apple to keep the Mac version just a little better than the Windows version for the benefit of Mac sales, if they can’t get The Big Five music houses to go for 10 CD burns. iPod AAC compatibility would be a main selling point for iTMS Windows vs. MusicMatch and it’s rebranded offspring coming down the pike from the likes of Wintel box assembler Dell.