88 cents? A song for a song.
March 23, 2004 7:01 PM   Subscribe

11 cents cheaper than iTunes, WalMart enters the music download business.
posted by ColdChef (50 comments total)
 
This will only serve to drive out my friendly mom and pop neighborhood online music store run by old man Jobs, thus diluting the charm of the internet.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:03 PM on March 23, 2004


Plus, you can download a sample for free. I'm finding it hard to hate this. I mean, I know I'm supposed to, because it's WalMart and all, but...if all I want is one song, and it's 99 cents at iTunes, and 88 cents here...I don't know.

Help me out here, people!
posted by ColdChef at 7:04 PM on March 23, 2004


Golly, at 11 cents cheaper, the number of songs you can download in an hour are worth more than what an average Wal-Mart employee makes in the same amount of time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:05 PM on March 23, 2004


Nope. Still nothing.
posted by ColdChef at 7:06 PM on March 23, 2004


Note: Music downloads from Walmart.com will not play on the Apple Macintosh or Linux operating systems.

All I need to do is go out and buy a Windows system and make sure I've got the latest version of Windows Media Player installed, and I too can enjoy exclusive tracks from the likes of Tim McGraw and Hilary Duff. Sign me up.
posted by barkingmoose at 7:07 PM on March 23, 2004


'88' is neo-nazi lingo for Heil Hitler. When you buy from Wal-Mart, you buy from the fuhrer.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:07 PM on March 23, 2004


Doesn't Wal-Mart only sell "sanitized" versions of songs?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:08 PM on March 23, 2004


Oh, and iTunes has William Hung, and WalMart doesn't. Now who's the whore? Huh, whore? Answer me, whore! (Oh, but WalMart doesn't have "This American Life"...yet.)
posted by ColdChef at 7:08 PM on March 23, 2004


Wait. No Macs? Fuck you, WalMart!
posted by ColdChef at 7:09 PM on March 23, 2004


Heh. You can download "Rage Against the Machine" at WalMart. Oh, the ironing.
posted by ColdChef at 7:12 PM on March 23, 2004


I wonder if I can download Nirvana's "Rape Me" at Wal-Mart.
posted by keswick at 7:25 PM on March 23, 2004


Keswick:

Yes you can download Rape me...
posted by edmcbride at 7:32 PM on March 23, 2004


Looks like their server is sufficiently fucked.
posted by McBain at 7:34 PM on March 23, 2004


Wait, working now.
posted by McBain at 7:35 PM on March 23, 2004


I think, for a mere 11 cents difference, I'll stick to my tried and true, downloading off LimeWire to see if I like the music and then going out to buy the CD so I can rip it and put it on any medium I like. I don't use the iTunes store either, they don't have the random stuff I've been listening too or the live colloborations.

Besides, WalMart is Pure Evil (warning, that IS a self link).
posted by fenriq at 7:35 PM on March 23, 2004


Still no Beatles though. That's the thing that pisses me off about iTunes.
posted by McBain at 7:36 PM on March 23, 2004


Download music to 1 computer and back up to 2 additional computers
This is more restrictive than the iTunes music store. Yes, it's the same magic number of three computers. But let's say you have three computers in your home and decide to get a fourth for some reason. Can you de-authorize your Wal-Mart download on the third and transfer the account to the fourth computer? It's not clear if you can. iTMS is less restrictive because iTMS lets you do just that. With iTMS you can keep de-authorizing and authorizing computers as long as no more than three are authorized at the same time.

Make 10 burns to a CD
Translation: You may only burn the one track ten different times and then it seems the burning feature is disabled somehow. Much different from iTMS, which lets you burn the same list of purchased songs up to ten times before you are forced to change the order, add a track, etc. to make the playlist different somehow. This is to prevent people from buying an album from iTMS and making multiple (well, more than 10, which is still generous) copies of it. You're still free to burn your purchased iTMS tracks as many times as you'd like.

Make unlimited transfers to portable players
Except the iPod, which doesn't do WMA. Great business sense. "Let's make sure our product can't work with the iPod, it being the most popular, best-selling MP3 player out there."
posted by emelenjr at 7:37 PM on March 23, 2004


Wonder if they support FreeBSD? Rollback Guy doesn't like Mac or Linux.......perhaps s/he likes FreeBSD?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:39 PM on March 23, 2004


Not available to those without a US credit card billing address? Fuck you WalMart!
posted by dg at 7:43 PM on March 23, 2004


Heh.

What should I do if I have trouble transferring songs to a portable player?

Please open Microsoft Windows Media® Player 9 on your computer. From the Help menu, click on "Help Topics." Under the "Contents" tab, navigate to the help topic regarding "Copying files to your portable device."

See...we could tell you how to fix the problem here, but we'd rather have you ask someone else.

Also, we do netflix!
posted by ColdChef at 7:44 PM on March 23, 2004


What happens when I download a song?
When you click the "Download Now" button to download a song, you will download the song file. Then, the first time you play the song, Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 will retrieve the license file, which includes information that allows Windows Media Player to determine the usage rights associated with the song and to decrypt the song so you can play it. Without the license file, you will not be able to play the song. This is why you need to be connected to the Internet the first time you play the song.

"At Wal-Mart, we tell you when you can play your music."

If there is this extra step to determine the usage rights of a song you download, it sounds like the Wal-Mart music store is yet another one that doesn't give users the same rights for every single song.
posted by emelenjr at 7:51 PM on March 23, 2004


F*ck this too, just like itunes and all the other iterations that decide where and when you can listen to a piece of music. Sorry, but I never bought a book or a magazine that was limited to where I could read it, or how many times. For that matter, I never bought a 45 single that I could only play on a few record players, or that disentegrated after X listenings. When will the people that are trying to sell us digital music realize that the business model they want to use just won't work?
posted by yhbc at 8:02 PM on March 23, 2004


From the really, really long legal page:

First play within 120 days. You must play the Product for the first time within 120 days of purchase. After 120 days, if you have not yet played the Product, the license file that is required to play the Product will no longer be available. There is no refund for Products that are not played for the first time within 120 days.
posted by ColdChef at 8:03 PM on March 23, 2004


Okay, so it's worse - this is buying a 45 single that disintegrates after NO listenings, if you don't listen to it in time.

Next?
posted by yhbc at 8:06 PM on March 23, 2004


they really should bring 45s back (playable on cd players, and 99 cents)
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on March 23, 2004


I never bought a 45 single that I could only play on a few record players, or that disentegrated after X listenings.

Hey you remember dub plates too? of couse they were never commercially marketed, they were pre release fodder..

but who remembers the first DIVX standard?
posted by vincentmeanie at 8:11 PM on March 23, 2004


Still no Beatles though. That's the thing that pisses me off about iTunes.

Yeah, I too hate the Beatles people for being so restrictive with their music. Oh, wait. You're blaming Apple for that?

As for DRM, we've had this conversation a million times. Ok, some people won't download anything with any DRM ever. I think the real story is that WalMart's DRM is more restrictive than Apple's.

Users who are willing to put up with DRM might not be willing to put up with anything more restrictive than Apple's offering.
posted by jragon at 8:16 PM on March 23, 2004


I never bought a 45 single that ... disentegrated after X listenings.
You don't remember those flimsy, thin plastic singles that were used for promotions? They certainly disintegrated after a few uses. or maybe they are the dub plates mentioned above?
posted by dg at 8:17 PM on March 23, 2004


Help me out here, people!

most whores charge more than 11 cents.
posted by quonsar at 8:20 PM on March 23, 2004


Yeah, I too hate the Beatles people for being so restrictive with their music. Oh, wait. You're blaming Apple for that?

Who else would you blame?

posted by eyeballkid at 8:26 PM on March 23, 2004


most whores charge more than 11 cents.
*shudders to think that, not only do some not charge more than 11c, but that quonsar seems to know that*
posted by dg at 8:38 PM on March 23, 2004


For Wal-Mart to promote the fact that their content is virus-free tells you something about the demographic they're going for. Yes, Windows users, but maybe more specifically people who might be new to computers and who might think that downloading something from the this nebulous, scary thing called the internet is going to break their computer somehow.

Obviously a concern about viruses would never be on the minds of people who use something other than Windows, who are precisely the type of customer Wal-Mart doesn't want to work with.
posted by emelenjr at 8:45 PM on March 23, 2004


Sorry, but I never bought a book or a magazine that was limited to where I could read it, or how many times.

That's because you buy a copy of the book and license a copy of the song.

Sucks, but that's the way it is.
posted by anathema at 8:46 PM on March 23, 2004


Only terrorists download music.
posted by Slagman at 9:00 PM on March 23, 2004


"This is why you need to be connected to the Internet the first time you play the song... You must play the Product for the first time within 120 days of purchase."

Is the DRM on a per-album basis? If so, this seems like too much work. I go and buy three albums, and then I've got to sit there and individually click on the songs to download the license files for all of them? Thanks, I'll stick with iTunes.
posted by brool at 9:28 PM on March 23, 2004


11 cents cheaper than iTunes

They probably just eliminated the artist's cut.
posted by boredomjockey at 9:33 PM on March 23, 2004


come on, lighten up......you folks are just too serious about this...it's not as if you give a shit about the artist. You just want no-cost downoads. Get with it.
posted by marc-hamilton at 9:45 PM on March 23, 2004


Ok, what I don't understand is how they say you must have Windows Media Player 9 and the DRM blah blah, AND that you can't play the files on a Mac. Why not? Media Player 9, in all its glory, has been available for Mac OSX for quite some time (Nixon used it, I think).
What's the difference?
I might just go buy a song to prove those Wal-Mart f**ks that they don't know what the hell they're talking about.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:47 PM on March 23, 2004


Hahahahahahaha! Haaa! You stupid Wal-Mart f**ks. I am playing your free shitty Damian Anderson song on my Mac. Yes, my Mac that you claim in several places on your stupid music download site that will not, can not, should not, play your stupid 88 cent songs. In fact, I opened it with two different programs. Just for that, I'm going to go buy some songs at my local music store.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:59 PM on March 23, 2004


Wal-Mart sucks. DRM sucks. Ergo, Wal-Mart DRM doubly sucks. Or is it squared?
posted by pmurray63 at 10:22 PM on March 23, 2004


not only can you not play it on a mac, but you can't play it on an ipod (not even a windows ipod) nor many other portable players...
posted by luriete at 10:35 PM on March 23, 2004


I don't know if this is an actual double-post, but this happened like 2 months ago.
posted by abcde at 11:15 PM on March 23, 2004


The more competition the better, its not like Job's business is a ma and pop shop. Walmart is dealing with real competition here.

Also, shop at Target.
posted by skallas at 11:18 PM on March 23, 2004


for those of you who'd like to do without Walmart's or iTunes' limiting DRM, but still want to grab their music legally, please try

Magnatune: Internet Music Without the Guilt
Bleep: Warp Records
Audio Lunchbox (awesome selection of indie music from several labels)

though they don't necessarily have the Quantity of other "music download services," they certainly are overflowing with QUALITY.

if you're still interested in downloading the Top 40-esque material you find in iTunes/Walmart/Napster, try AllOfMp3. It's a bit dodgy on whether it's legal in the US or not, but this is how buying music online should be: Your choice of encoding lossy or lossless (in WMA, OGG, MP3, MPC, AAC, FLAC, etc.), being able to play your music in virtually any digital audio player available, no DRM restrictions... Good times.
posted by lotsofno at 5:31 AM on March 24, 2004


No Macs. No profanity. No thanks.
I'll stick with old man Jobs and his quaint li'l corner store.
posted by spilon at 7:42 AM on March 24, 2004


Still no Beatles though. That's the thing that pisses me off about iTunes.

Actually, that's what pisses me off about the Beatles.

(Or management thereof.)
posted by o2b at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2004


the service i mentioned earlier, allofmp3 seems to carry a few beatles tracks. :o)
posted by lotsofno at 9:43 AM on March 24, 2004


i'll vouch for allofmp3.com. i've successfully used it (though not in a while).

b/c of their superlow prices ($.01/MB when i used it), some people say "that's the same as stealing it," but for me, it's well worth it to save the time of finding and downloading music for free, and if Russian licensing fees are much lower than those in the US, so be it. the model doesn't seem sustainable (i.e. artists can't possibly make enough money on $.01/MB, i don't think), but if enough people keep buying music for $.99 a song, or $15-$18 a CD, i figure it balances out.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:20 PM on March 24, 2004


1. Claim your system doesn't work with Macs.
2. Wait for people to purchase songs in an attempt to prove you wrong.
3. ???????
4. PROFIT!!
posted by turaho at 5:45 PM on March 24, 2004


Does Apple actually allow anyone else to produce DRM'ed content that is playable on the iPod?
posted by smackfu at 1:16 PM on March 25, 2004


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