T-Mobile has taken the wrappers off its new Mobile Jukebox service, which offers dual music downloads for your mobile phone and PC at a quid a pop.
In truth, it’s not radically different from the music services offered by other mobile operators here in the UK. It’s kicking off with 500,000 tracks sourced from major and independent labels, and initially works on 32 T-Mobile phones, including pay-as-you-go models.
The service works over 2.5G or 3G connections too. I’ve been poking about the Mobile Jukebox website to see if you pay data charges on top of the £1 per track. You’d hope not, but “Browsing charges apply for accessing t-zones until and after you download a track”.
Which is about as sensible as your local HMV shop charging an entry fee that increases the more time you spend flicking through CDs.
Tracks on Mobile Jukebox are in AAC format for your phone, and WMA format for your – I’m assuming both have DRM attached, as there’s no mention of DRM-free files in the announcement.
A welcome feature is ‘My Music’, which stores everything you’ve bought so you can re-download it if you upgrade to a new phone, or lose your handset. Customers signing up to Mobile Jukebox this month (July) get five free downloads to get them in the habit. Meanwhile, certain phones will have dedicated buttons to access the service.
On one level, Mobile Jukebox compares well to the services offered by other operators – Vodafone sells tracks for 99p, while 3’s are more expensive at £1.29. But on the other hand, it’s not offering that much new beyond the My Music feature.
A feature of recent mobile industry conferences has been music execs complaining that people aren’t buying much mobile music from the current generation of operator services. If that’s the case, it’s hard to see how Mobile Jukebox will change that.
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