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MusicMatch jazzes up Jukebox

New features include on-demand streaming, a music search engine and the ability to share playlists with friends.

    MusicMatch, a music software company, announced on Tuesday a new version of its Jukebox with on-demand streaming.

    Jukebox 9.0 features a search engine for browsing tracks and lets people rank searches by popularity, the company said. The feature is designed to let customers buy and manage music that's downloaded, recorded from CD or streamed on demand in one place.

    MusicMatch said subscribers can legally share complete playlists or individual songs, which recipients can listen to up to three times without subscribing to the service.

    The on-demand service is available for $7.95 per month when billed annually, $8.95 per month for quarterly billing or $9.95 when billed monthly. Songs can be downloaded for 99 cents each, while most albums cost $9.99, the company said. Access to the company's online radio service is free.

    The software can be downloaded from the company's Web site. While Jukebox 9.0 is free, the premium version, called Jukebox Plus, costs $19.99. This version includes faster ripping and burning speeds.

    MusicMatch is among the growing number of players in digital music sales, which is currently dominated by Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store. In March, Apple said that about 2.5 million songs are being downloaded every week from the online store.

    Dell recently launched a promotion giving a $100 discount to customers who return their Apple iPod and buy its Digital Jukebox. The Dell product comes with 25 free downloads from MusicMatch.