Microsoft mobile music store starts on a bum note
By Barry Collins
Posted on 21 Jan 2009 at 10:34
Microsoft has launched a mobile music store in the UK that allegedly downloads music directly to handsets - although not in PC Pro's early trials.
The MSN Mobile service - which is available on all UK networks - is offering 1 million tracks, 25,000 musical ringtones and 10,000 music videos from labels such as Sony and Warner.
Microsoft claims the service works with more than 130 different handset models, and isn't restricted to Windows Mobile handsets.
In our brief tests, the service wouldn't work with an Apple iPhone, although we could buy songs using a Nokia E71.
That's where our problems started, however: having taken our money with a one-click service that charges the music to your next phone bill, the MSN service then failed to deliver our music. "The Vidzone WAP service is currently experiencing problems. Please try again later," the error message read.
A subsequent text message reminding us that we'd been charged ?1.50 for the Franz Ferdinand track offered a helpline number. The first time we called it failed to answer, the second time we were connected to a fax machine.
A troubleshooting page on the MSN Mobile site says support emails will be answered within 48 hours.
Microsoft insists the flaw was with the particular track PC Pro downloaded, and a text message sent a few hours later provided a fresh URL to download the track from.
Those who successfully manage to download the music tracks to the phone, won't be able to transfer the DRM-protected tracks to another device or PC, meaning Microsoft is essentially charging twice the price of an iTunes track for fewer rights.
You can access the music download service by visiting www.msn.co.uk on your mobile browser.
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