“Music retailer Tower Records is preparing to take the shrink-wrap off its digital download store on Tuesday, when Tower.com/Digital goes live with a comprehensive service powered by Puretracks,” Chris Marlowe reports for Reuters. “Initially the store will offer a catalog of 1.2 million tracks priced at 99 cents each or $9.99 for an entire album.”
“Tower Records chief marketing officer Russ Eisenman said the digital store fit perfectly with Tower’s history of offering music in all formats that prevailed throughout its 45-year history,” Marlowe reports.
“All of the music is in Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format, encoded at a higher bit rate than most other online stores to provide better audio fidelity,” Marlowe reports. “This format can be burned to disc and played on many existing CD players, he noted. It also can be moved to most digital music players, with the exception of Apple’s iPod. No special software is needed to make a purchase, and the songs can be downloaded to any location on the computer.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bruce” for the heads up.]
Kudos for the marginally higher quality bit rate (192 kbps). We’d like to see higher bit rates from Apple, too, if the music labels would allow it.
That said, how many of these outfits must flounder and die before these gluttons for punishment stop launching limited Windows-only WMA-based junk with far less than even half of iTunes Music Store’s extensive library that also happen to exclude both the dominant portable media player, Apple’s iPod, and those with the most disposable income, Mac users?
Microsoft’s “PlaysForSure” is more effective than a noose around the neck for these outfits. Figure something else out, guys. How many also-ran outfits do we need to have around to suck up the few crumbs left over from Apple’s pie? Why even bother at this point? To say “too little, too late” to Tower would be too charitable.
By the way, back in the third quarter of 2005, NPD reported that Apple Computer’s iTunes music store had passed Tower Records in music sales as it surged from 14th to 7th largest U.S. music retailer within a one year period.
[UPDATE: 3:18pm EDT: Found and added 192kbps figure as per comment from “whatever” below.]
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