“RealNetworks’ new RealPlayer Music Store gets my vote as the second-best place to legally buy songs online — and that’s not a criticism,’ Mike Langberg writes for The Mercury News. “Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store is so elegantly crafted that it’s hard to imagine anyone will do better in the near future. But online music is going to be a huge business, with more than enough sales to support several major players, so there’s no shame in having a solid lock on the No. 2 spot.”
“What sets the RealPlayer apart is its unique ability to play the songs on your computer’s hard drive that you’ve purchased from other online music services, including iTunes [Music Store], Napster 2.0, Walmart.com and MusicMatch,” Langberg writes. “The one thing you can’t do yet is burn tracks from other services to CD. RealNetworks says it’s working on a software upgrade to make that happen with WMA files, but won’t be able to burn iTunes files because Apple won’t give RealNetworks the necessary license.”
“RealNetworks says its store will have 400,000 tracks by the end of January, about the same as iTunes [Music Store]. I did my standard Billboard test — looking to see how many of Billboard Magazine’s Top 10 singles and Top 10 albums are available — on Monday, and the RealPlayer Music Store was only slightly behind iTunes [Music Store in selection],” Langberg writes.
Full article here.