Windows Media Player 10 is out!

Go grab it here. I must say, I'm very happy with it, especially the music store integration.

I use Napster's subscription service. It lets me download all the music I want and listen to it all I want for $10/month. However, I loose access to all the music if I stop paying for the subscription. I love it because it lets me easily explore new music without having to commit after listening to a 30 second clip. It also lets me grab old albums that I listened to back in high school or college without having to shell out $10/album. I only wish they had more content, and I hate seeing "buy only" sections.

One of my biggest beefs with Napster was its client. The UI for managing music and selecting what to play is not very well thought out and I was always frustrated it. There were also little things that drove me crazy, like the media control buttons on my Dell Inspiron not working with Napster. You could play the music in WMP 9, but you had to jump through some hoops to get it into WMP's library and you had to manage your music in two places. With WMP 10, there are plug ins for the different music services. So, I can browse and download music from Napster directly within WMP 10 and it's very well integrated. I can now just use WMP 10's UI to organize and play my music, and that UI is quite nice in WMP 10.

A preview of the MSN music store is also available. The selection is still growing, so it's hard to judge its selection. At this point, there aren't any revolutionary features that I've seen. But, I love the fact that if I decide to purchase an album (either because it's not available through Napster's subscription or because I want to listen to it somewhere other than my computer) that I can go to any number of music stores in WMP 10 to find it. Choice is good 🙂

Comments (7)

  1. Brendan says:

    It should be mentioned that WMP10 is for XP only.

    Maybe this will be the reason for me upgrading away from 2k… na

  2. Corentin says:

    Yeah, if they could get WMP9 for Mac to actually work, I’d be a pretty happy camper already 🙁

  3. I don’t get the fascination with subscription services. You pay whether you listen or not. this sounds suspiciously like…

    Internet Radio

    Which, after comparing both, is better than sub services, because it’s more random. The problem with a sub service is that you’re still going to tend to listen to what you always listen to. Internet Radio reminds me of radio before MTV and ClearChannel.

    And all it costs you is the price of the bandwidth. It’s platform neutral. It’s application neutral.

    But paying to only listen? there’s no way I could listen enough to make it worth the cost, and I sure as hell don’t buy enough to make it worth the cost there either.

    and just in case someone asks, if I had to pay a sub fee for the iTMS, i wouldn’t use it either.

    Now, if the WM group at MS would only put their "Choice is good" money where their mouth is and fully support WM on all the platforms they have WMP on, they wouldn’t look so silly when the spout off about choice.


  4. Dan Crevier says:

    John, I don’t think you understand the user experience with Napster’s subscription service. I can download anything I want just as if I were buying it with the iTunes Music Store. I can manage and play that music just like any music I bought or ripped from CD. I don’t see how it’s anything like Internet Radio.

    One thing that is important is that the main time I listen to music is at work through my laptop. If you want to listen on a portable device, you have to make sure you have one that supports this sort of subscription based music.

    For me, it makes tons of sense financially. It’s like buying a CD a month (at iTMS prices). I easily spend that, but I get to listen to a huge variety of music instead of just one new album a month. I also don’t have to worry about making a bad choice purchasing something. If I get something I don’t like, I just delete it.

  5. Ben says:

    Where is an update to the crappy-ass Mac version? At least iTunes works perfectly on both.

  6. So much of the content is 30seconds only though. Or maybe its just the content I want to listen to. 🙁

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