Please note that this program has been discontinued and can no longer be used to listen to streaming music.
With iTunes streets ahead of the rest of its rivals, Yahoo! is revving up its engine in a bid to catch up with the uber-popular music player and download service.
Make no mistake about it, Yahoo! Music Jukebox is the search company’s attempt to wrestle the lucrative music download business from Apple’s clutches – and it’s not a bad effort either.
Billed as a complete music management system, the application allows you to organize your music collection, create playlists and access music downloads and streams from the well stocked Y!
Unlimited portal. It pulls this off through an attractive, easy-to-use interface that looks and feels like the lovechild of iTunes and MusicMatch Jukebox.
Out of Beta and now with iPod support (apart from the Nano and Shuffle versions), Yahoo! Music Engine surprisingly does some things even better than its Apple-built rival.
Adding music to playlists is much simpler for instance, because you can drag and drop tracks directly from your library into the playlist without having to open a new window.
However, the biggest differences between the two apps arise in the integration of their respective download services. The Yahoo! Music Jukebox brings the online service and the client app together much tighter than iTunes does.
Some of the cooler features include the ability to create personalized LAUNCHcast radio stations, build playlists based on these personal preferences, and the ability to share songs and playlists via Messenger or email.
As with iTunes, streaming music is limited to 30 seconds per song, although registered Yahoo! members qualify for a free 7-day membership trial of Y!Unlimited. This entitles users to play every song in its entirety during this week – a tantalising prospect when you realize there are more than a million different tracks to choose from.
However, the deal becomes less appetizing when you realize you need to enter your credit card details to qualify for the trial, and unless you cancel, the company will start plucking five dollars a month from your account.
What’s more, becoming a registered user only entitles you to a meagre saving on paid downloads – 79 cents per song (it’s 99 cents for non-members).
As you’d probably expect from a big-brand internet firm, the service is riddled with adverts for itself and other Yahoo! services, sometimes subtly and sometimes annoyingly in-your-face.
Even if you’re just using the player to spin tracks and organize your MP3 collection, you’re still forced to install Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo!
Toolbar as part of the bloated software installation.
Given the swollen nature of the software and the fact that the player is so similar to iTunes it’s hard to see why anyone would want to switch over from the Apple software to Yahoo!
Music Jukebox. Having said this while we’ve now uninstalled the app and removed its far-reaching tentacles from our machine, there are enough novel features to make this program worth checking out.
Please bear in mind that although you can still download this program, it is no longer officially supported by Yahoo! and cannot be used to stream music. Also installs Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Toolbar