MySpace Music launched in the UK today, and we just don't get it. Not only is it ludicrously late to the party (even Sky -- a TV company --), it's just horrible to use.
The idea is that you can stream as much free music as you want (think Spotify, , et al), from major artists down to unsigned bands. But, for one thing, browsing for this music is a joke -- click an artist from MySpace Music's charts and you get taken to their MySpace artist page, not a list of their streamable songs.
Then there's the convoluted results page itself. After searching for music to listen to, you get an enormous page of content. At the top, there's a box of four Google AdWords-style advertisements. Below that are links to the artist page of whoever you searched for. Below that are music video results. At this point you run out of monitor space, so keep scrolling. Ah ha -- there they are! Albums and song results! Crikey, that took some getting to.
Next up: downloads. Some songs can be purchased via links to the iTunes Store. There are two problems here. The first problem is that these downloads require that you install and use the iTunes desktop software.
The second problem is MySpace's claim that these DRM-free downloads are 'playable on all digital music devices'. That's just totally untrue. iTunes is DRM-free, sure, but its downloads are in AAC format, not MP3, and we have a vast selection of devices which don't play this format.
We gave up at this point. It's bad enough having to fight MySpace's horrible designs to find the music it has, but, when there are so many alternatives, it seems like MySpace is just rubbing salt into the plentiful wounds.
MySpace Music also offers some other features, such as options to build playlists. Rich gave this aspect of the site some love, saying that "sharing playlists is more sophisticated than with Spotify". But, overall, "it's too counter-intuitive" to go back to.
Have a look at MySpace Music and tell us what you think in the comments section below.