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[Pressplay -- not ready for primetime]

December 20, 2001 By Dave Kristula
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ARTICLE QUOTES







"You can't legally mix your collection with other songs in your digital library."





"Since I've downloaded the software, my computer has crashed (consistently) every forty-five minutes pressplay is active."

Pressplay, the pay-for-music subscription service created jointly by Sony and Vivendi Universal, was released Wednesday. I downloaded the 14-day trial copy of the service from Yahoo! Music. It is a real disappointment.

Pressplay offers several subscription plans. You get an allocated number of streams and digital music downloads every month. Any downloads you make are yours to keep on your PC as long as you continue to pay the monthly subscription fee. For example, if you have a plan of 50 downloads, after two months you could have 100 songs downloaded and playable on your computer, if you had made exactly 50 downloads each month.

There are several stipulations. You can't legally mix your collection with other songs in your digital library. You want to play your pressplay songs along with songs you've ripped from your CD collection? Think again, the software disallows it.

Pressplay does offer one concession: You may burn a certain number of tracks, to keep forever, with some of the pricier plans (starting at about $15 per month). The catch: You can't burn non-pressplay songs on the same CD, and no CD can contain more than two songs by the same artist.

There are three significant problems with pressplay. First, their selection isn't even close to perfect. You have perhaps a one-in-four to one-in-five chance of finding any given popular song you'd want to download. Second, downloads tend to restart after you lose an Internet connection. If you are 90% done, and the connection drops, chances are you'll have to start over. The third problem? Pressplay only works with Windows, and is based on Windows Media Player technology. Why is this bad? Since I've downloaded the software, my computer has crashed (consistently) every forty-five minutes pressplay is active.

I sincerely hope you take my advice, and don't download pressplay until pressplay SE (Second Edition) -Chuckle-


Dave Kristula is the editor of SLASH Magazine.  He just spent
a full day reviewing pressplay (and rebooting his computer).
He can be reached at themag.editor@davesite.com.
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