• United States
Contributing Writer

Online music nirvana?

Aug 14, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Why Pressplay is worth the payment fee

As you all know by now, I am a music junkie. I listen to music while I write and at times rely on finding the perfect song to inspire words to fill up the page. Having to flip through CDs can slow down that process. But I’ve stumbled upon a service that is perfect for folks like me: Pressplay.

Pressplay is the “legal” answer to Kazaa and other “not-so-legal” download services. And I have to tell you, I think it’s a better experience overall and well worth paying for.

The service costs $9.95 per month and for that fee, you get unlimited access to an amazing trove of songs. You can either stream those songs in real time or download them to your computer. If you want to move your download to a different location – i.e., MP3 player or another computer – you can pay a fee for “portability” rights.

I am fickle when it comes to music, and I’ve had a hard time stumping Pressplay on my varied tastes. For instance, I typed in Sheryl Crow for one day’s lineup – it had quite a collection of not only her individual tracks, but full albums – and next I wanted to hear the best of Bob Dylan. The only request that I’ve had that’s gone unanswered is for Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street.” Luckily, I have two of the CDs that feature that song.

But the great thing about Pressplay, when it’s put up against other non-fee file-sharing alternatives, is that what you click on is what you get. I click on Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas” and that’s what pops up in my headphones. But not so with Kazaa and other “Napster-like” software. You never quite know what you’re going to get.

Pressplay has other cool features that I’ve been playing around with, including playlists, which let you mix and match your music into a personalized program. One day, I picked all the Pink Floyd songs Pressplay had and dropped them into a playlist. In the end, I wound up with several dozen tracks in a stream. And the whole process took less than 5 minutes.

I’ve asked the question of all of you before: Would you pay to access online music catalogs? I can now answer that I would and I am.

What do you think? Is this your idea of music nirvana? Or is this model just a placeholder for something better to come along? What will that model look like? Let me know at>.