Sounding Off on MSN Music

Thanks to everyone who commented on the review of MSN Music that ran in SearchDay last week. Here are some of the more interesting comments from SearchDay readers.

Dave Rietz
I have a tremendous distrust for ALL MS products! For now I am forced to use Windows... with all its crashes, leaky memory, bloat, and more. However, I am NOT forced to use more of their programs such as IE, Outlook Express, Word, etc. I have them... and use them only when I have no choice.

Andy Granger
I just wanted to say to people, "Leave Microsoft alone!" If they can do music, business operating systems & applications or even fast food better, let them. I'm tired of hearing condescending computer "aristocrats" grouse about how bad/unfair Microsoft is. Fact is the "market" has spoken; Microsoft is the best.

Martin W.
I'd like to point out that many people used Napster to find music they could not otherwise find in stores/online CD shops. Particularly with DJ mixes. For every dance music afficianado, getting your hands on a DJ mix recorded live from another countries radio or live from a club/event is a goldmine, a chance to experience the vibe and music. Is MSN going to provide such music? I highly doubt it.

Laurie Knight
Although this sounds like quite an interesting service I will stick with services that allow me to download tunes for offline listening. Living in the UK we do not have permanent net connections (broadband rollout still going very slowly) and hence a service that required the user to be online all the time they want to listen to music is not much use.

Jennifer Pawlak
I think the article should have been titled "MSN Music: THe Napster Companion" Most net-users are limited in using programs like the original Napster only by their knowledge of song titles, artist names, and current music. Most of the Napster type programs do not offer a playlist feature (i.e. one the displays the songs each user has for you to browse) and so once you run out of things to search for- you're done. If MSN Music works as well as the article says, it should eliminate that problem.

Amanda C.
It sounds like MSN Music will be good for some things, but that file-sharing software like Napster will be good for others. It does bother me that Microsoft is taking over yet another niche. But perhaps someone will see what they're doing and design their own MSN Music-type thing and improve it.

Angie J.
There is one thing about your comparison I found to be accurate, your subject heading/title for MSN's service, the Anti-Napster. To those of us who really used Napster, I imagine you couldn't have summed up MSN's service any better.

Ken Fasimpaur
This sounds like an interesting alternative from a radioesque, listen-and-forget point of view. However, I have to remain opposed to any commerce option that won't allow me to download files and treat them just like a CD, copying them, making mixes with them, and so on. Streaming files just aren't a viable alternative to downloads....

For an internet application, at the moment, MSN Music is useless. It only works for people who happen to be using an array of Microsoft products: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Windows Media Player, and Microsoft Passport. I don't think I could possibly afford all those products!

Original article:
The Anti-Napster
While Napster remains shuttered, another search and play service offers a compelling alternative for getting your online music fix. MSN Music is about as opposite from Napster as you can get -- and for both music fans and musicians, that's a good thing.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.