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Free legal music for UK consumers -- for a week

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 03 Oct 2002 15:05 User comments (10)

Free legal music for UK consumers -- for a week Music biz heavyweights have finally agreed to try how well legal digital online music sells among the general public when offered for free. Company called OD2, backed by various UK portals and labels, launched today a campaign called DigitalDownloadDay.
Campaign, despite its name, lasts for a week and began today. Every British or Irish customer is entitled to receive 500 free "download credits" that are worth of 5 (around $7.50 or 7.70) and can be used to either stream or download music from the participating online services, converting roughly to ten full-length tracks that can be downloaded and -- surprise, surprise -- also burned to CD.

But the big thing about this experiment is the scale of it. The campaign offers a music catalog of 100,000 tracks from 6,000 artists. Obviously there are some nags in it -- getting the credits requires credit card or Switch (British debit card) and billing address has to be within UK or ROI. Participating music stores and portals include, and

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10 user comments

13.10.2002 15:08

As an update, freeserve -- one of the partners in this -- at least doesn't require credit card to subscribe to this.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

23.10.2002 16:26

Maybe I am missing something, but why are you worried about the credit card bit? Paul.

34.10.2002 1:37

To realize the facts -- even in the UK, where everybody has almost as many credit cards as in the US (believe it or not, but in various European countries credit cards are relatively rare, people use debit cards instead), banks are not yet allowed to hand them out to minors which limits huge amount of interested users outside this promotion.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

44.10.2002 7:09

Even though I don't live in the UK, I took a look at this. Of the five retailers offered, four were bogged down with massive usuage (and hence no available entry). The fifth, Tiscali Music Club, informed me that if I didn't use MS Media Player 7 or later, I couldn't enter the site. Fine. I don't *want* to enter the site, then. -- Klingy --

54.10.2002 13:48

Incidently, (just to update the above), if anyone does manage to download a few tunes, please tell us what audio file format they are in, ok? (and how good or awful they sound). If one really *has* to have WMP 7.0 or higher installed, I'm going to have to remain skeptical. However, I would imagine that if these tracks are truly burnable as advertised (standard red-book burnable, that is), then one could simply burn them to (say) a cd-rw, then rip them to .wavs in the normal fashion, right? (And then re-encode to whatever format you wish). If these labels mean 'burnable, but only as data (music) files', well, that's almost as bad as not being burnable at all. -- Just thinking out loud. I hope someone can get a track or two in the next few (free) days, and bring us up to date. Thanks. -- Mike --

64.10.2002 13:54

I'll try to d/l some clips over the weekend if the servers cool down a little bit and will post comments. They're most likely in WMA format, that's for sure.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

74.10.2002 14:09

Thanks Petteri (a lot!) - as you can see, I *am* a little excited about this - glad you're there right now. Yep, it's a good thing you reside in the UK and can take advantage of this. I was just (almost) able to access any of the five vendors a few minutes ago. The trouble is, I'm being told by "Dr. Download" that since I don't have WMP 7.0 or higher, I don't meet the minimum standards needed to even *view* their pages. I have read in these forums where folks have reported horrible problems after installing WMP 7 (or 8) - something about permanently buggering up their Window's Registry (and oh god, I don't want to have to re-install Win-98 all over *again!*. I take the member's comments here seriously. Perhaps because the use of DRM-riddled WMP 7 or 8 is required, maybe that's the tip-off that these files are indeed in .wma format. You *may* have to download a "license" along with your "free" tracks, who knows? I think that this is truly one of the biggest steps the established labels have taken so far to woo the public. But based on the RIAA's past records, I sugest we all tread carefully. My intent, as a non-uk resident, was/is simply to find out more about the service offered, the cost, what artists are involved (the collective library of established artists *seems* unlimited.) In other words, I was looking to view an FAQ or something. Anyway, if you (with your Win2k) don't experience horrible problems with that (danged) WMP, I *may* throw caution to the wind (oh, stooopid me), and let the damed thing on my system again. Much obliged, and it was *great* to see jake.k over here! -- Klingy --

84.10.2002 14:56

-- Klingy --, thanx. Maybe I visit in here more in future. But dont fu*k my english skill, if I write something wrong :)

94.10.2002 15:02

Never jake, never, not to worry. You make a lot of sense from where I'm sitting. :-) I'm more interested in what you think than how you spell it. Update (yet again on above thread).. I just visited (the other, probably American) .hmv website (of which the UK counterpart is participating in the 5-day 'free' venture), and you'll never guess what file format their free stuff is in..... LIQUID AUDIO !!! (Oh my god.....) I thought that dinosaur had been flogged off to Microsoft for $7 million. (???) -- Mike --

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Oct 2002 @ 15:09

104.10.2002 15:09

Okay :) I remember that..

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