ninemsn vamps up music service

Microsoft and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) online media joint venture, ninemsn, has extended its online music service by making it available in Windows Media Player 10, starting today.The download service is expected to be rolled out over the coming months on the Windows XP Media Centre Edition PC 2005.

Microsoft and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) online media joint venture, ninemsn, has extended its online music service by making it available in Windows Media Player 10, starting today.

The download service is expected to be rolled out over the coming months on the Windows XP Media Centre Edition PC 2005.

ninemsn has also upgraded its music download service, bringing it inline with the global MSN Music service. The move is expected to pave the way for future integration with MSN products such as MSN Search and MSN Messenger.

Martin Hoffman, ninemsn chief executive officer, believes that the changes will "serve to further strengthen our position in the market".

"By bringing our service in line with the global MSN Music offering, we will be able to take advantage of global product roll outs and updates to the world's largest network of legal online music download services. We are also now geared up to integrate into MSN products which will be tremendously important as this market develops," he said.

Starting today, Windows Media Player 10 will include ninemsn as the default music download service in Australia. Users will be able to access the ninemsn music download service and buy, stream, store and listen to music using the player.

Within the media player, ninemsn music store will also feature a recommendation service available through the plug in so that whenever a customer looks at a track or an artist, additional tracks and/or artists are automatically recommended to the user.

An interactive entertainment playlist feature will also be available through the plug in and will include random auto playlists, genre playlists and artist playlists.

ninemsn has also announced its plans to provide music and games, sport and news content, based on its Channel Nine and ACP assets as part of the new "Online Spotlight" services which will be enabled via Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005. ninemsn content will be introduced over the coming year, starting with the ninemsn music download store.

Aside from the new look and feel consistent with the global MSN music services, ninemsn's music download service has also undergone a service upgrade to make it easier for the ninemsn music site to integrate with future Microsoft products.

ninemsn clarified that the changes to the music service will not affect customers' existing accounts.

ninemsn launched its online music store in Sydney last April, giving Australian customers access to more than 200,000 licensed music tracks online.

The ninemsn store incorporates content from six major labels including BMG, EMI, Festival Mushroom, Sony, Universal and Warner--and 103 independent labels from Australia, Europe and North America.

ninemsn claims to have a further 900,000 songs lined up for distribution through the service.