AT&T Wireless launches mobile music store

Buy on your phone, listen on your PC


US mobile phone network AT&T Wireless today hopped onto the digital music bandwagon, launching an online music store accessed from customers' handsets, the first of its kind in the US.

What's really interesting about mMode Music Store, however, is that it's not intended as a mobile service, at least not yet. The service's 750,000-odd songs - available as 99c tracks or $10 and up albums - are intended to be downloaded to a PC, not a phone.

AT&T Wireless will tout the store as a way of making impulse purchases. Users hear a song while they're out and about, decide they like it and can then use mMode to buy it straight away, either as a Windows Media Audio download or as a ringtone for their handset.

If punters don't recognise a pleasing tune, they can use AT&T Wireless' Shazam-style music recognition service to find out what the track is called before visiting mMode and buying it.

"Now, consumers no longer have to scribble down the names of songs they've discovered and wait until they get home to download them onto their computers," said Sam Hall, AT&T Wireless' mMode VP, in a statement. "The convenience and immediacy of our mobile digital music store lets users remotely explore and buy digital music while on the move."

It's a canny ploy on AT&T Wireless' part, since it not only provides revenue from ringtones - not to mention the GPRS packets used to access the Music Store and order tracks from it - but doesn't risk annoying users with lengthy song downloads to phones that lack the capacity to store more than a few of them at a time.

Of course, the company has its eye on a future where considerably more capacious, possibly even hard drive-equipped handsets and fast 3G connections will enable straight-to-mobile downloads. In that sense, it's a victory for Microsoft over MPEG 4/AAC, currently being touted as the key format for mobile music.

The cost of songs purchased through mMode are added to the customer's regular monthly invoice. Downloaded tracks can be burned to CD or transferred to a WMA 9 DRM-compatible device.

mMode Music Store is delivered by digital music distributor Loudeye which in June acquired the Peter Gabriel-backed On-Demand Distribution (OD2). ®

Related stories

T-Mobile to battle iPod with music smart phone
3G chiefs choose AAC for mobile music delivery
MS, Apple pitch music at mobile phone makers
Nokia moves to counter Apple-Moto music alliance
Apple licenses iTunes to Motorola
Peter Gabriel sells digital music firm
Most songs on iPods 'stolen' - Microsoft CEO
Virgin launches digital music service


Other stories you might like

  • Software Freedom Conservancy sues TV maker Vizio for GPL infringement

    Companies using GPL software should meet their obligations, lawsuit says

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit which supports and defends free software, has taken legal action against Californian TV manufacturer Vizio Inc, claiming "repeated failures to fulfill even the basic requirements of the General Public License (GPL)."

    Member projects of the SFC include the Debian Copyright Aggregation Project, BusyBox, Git, GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, Homebrew, Mercurial, OpenWrt, phpMyAdmin, QEMU, Samba, Selenium, Wine, and many more.

    The GPL Compliance Project is described as "comprised of copyright holders in the kernel, Linux, who have contributed to Linux under its license, the GPLv2. These copyright holders have formally asked Conservancy to engage in compliance efforts for their copyrights in the Linux kernel."

    Continue reading
  • DRAM, it stacks up: SK hynix rolls out 819GB/s HBM3 tech

    Kit using the chips to appear next year at the earliest

    Korean DRAM fabber SK hynix has developed an HBM3 DRAM chip operating at 819GB/sec.

    HBM3 (High Bandwidth Memory 3) is a third generation of the HBM architecture which stacks DRAM chips one above another, connects them by vertical current-carrying holes called Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) to a base interposer board, via connecting micro-bumps, upon which is fastened a processor that accesses the data in the DRAM chip faster than it would through the traditional CPU socket interface.

    Seon-yong Cha, SK hynix's senior vice president for DRAM development, said: "Since its launch of the world's first HBM DRAM, SK hynix has succeeded in developing the industry's first HBM3 after leading the HBM2E market. We will continue our efforts to solidify our leadership in the premium memory market."

    Continue reading
  • UK's ARIA innovation body 'hasn't even begun to happen' says former research lead

    DARPA imitator not doing much after two years of Johnson government

    Updated The UK's efforts to copy US government and military innovation outfit DARPA are stalling, according to a leading figure in research and development.

    Appearing before the Science and Technology Committee, Sir John Kingman, former chair of UK Research and Innovation, told MPs this morning that ARIA – the Advanced Research and Invention Agency – was a good example of departmental research spending that could be cut, sidelined or delayed.

    "A very high-profile example would be ARIA, which has been this big plan for the Boris Johnson government, and yet here we are a few years into the Johnson government and it still hasn't even begun to happen," he told MPs.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021