USATODAY: BuyMusic Not Compatible with iPod | iLounge News

USATODAY: BuyMusic Not Compatible with iPod

“BuyMusic’s songs are fully portable, but there’s a catch: None can be moved to Apple’s iPod, which has 50% of the digital music player market, though they do work with players from Creative Labs, Rio, Lyra and others.”

Related Stories



Apple better get off their asses and finish their Windows iTunes music store.

Posted by narco in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 10:40 AM (CDT)


Talk about being Unoriginal. the feel of the site is very hollow. and well the very first album i cliked on, the songs on there were 99C

well i think i can wait a little more for Itunes for Windows. this is nothing but another futile attempt to steal a good idea from apple.

Posted by fradac in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 10:43 AM (CDT)


Can’t you just burn a CD and then rip it?

Posted by narvitron in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 10:49 AM (CDT)


Do they provide free full quality clips for 30 seconds like iTunes does?

It would be a lot more schweet if they had a specilized client like iTunes, where you could access it using a WinAmp plugin or something. That would be more convinent than cracking open a browser.

Posted by Sraphim in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 10:59 AM (CDT)


“Thank you for visiting 
In order to take full advantage of’s offerings you must be on a Windows Operating System using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.
Download Internet Explorer Here.”

Yeah, right.  Nothing is better on IE.

Posted by thenightfly42 in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 11:03 AM (CDT)


Wow. And I don’t mean in a good way.

Windows Only. IE Only. WMP Only. Anti iPod. More restricted than iTunes files. No classical music section.

Of course, iTunes is Mac only and requires iTunes software.

Read the help page carefully on the BuyMusic site and note that whatever computer you download the purchased song to first gets the primary license, with no way to transfer that license.

I will continue to buy my music on CD or as MP3s from EMusic. I can back those up for safekeeping and I’ll still be able to listen to them in 20 years.

Posted by Pensive Chimp in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 12:14 PM (CDT)


Agreed. This seems like a very futile attempt at trying to pick up the Windows market before iTMS for Win is released. Unfortunetly it seems like a number of these copycat services will come out within the next two months.

Posted by Andrew Stern in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 12:31 PM (CDT)


Informal poll:  do people think that once iTunes Music Store for windows in released, it will be game over for other music services? 

I think ITMS is the best solution out there, but I’m wondering what will really compel people to stop pirating and start buying.  What other restrictions, if any, need to be lifted before this becomes kazaa-like in reach?  Keep in mind that the RIAA will probably fight any relaxing of rights management.

Posted by Albert in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 2:15 PM (CDT)


I am an iPod owner on Windows so have no experience with iTunes (but really looking forward to its release on Windows).

I noticed that songs on have a limited number of transfer to devices. How does iTunes work?

Does that number of transfers mean that if I wipe out my iPod and reload, I have effectively used a transfer (even to a device that had the song on it previously)?

Posted by Tim in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 3:04 PM (CDT)


anyone else view their comercials on the website? They are exacly like apple’s comercials. EXACLY.

Posted by Luis in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


Yes, the commercials are exactley the same as Apple’s. Only difference is the choice of song and Nomad Zen is the featured player.

Buying music is still quite inconvient. You can only burn, or transfer to portable device. Why not download straight to HDD?

They’re making you rely on a CD or a portable music player’s hard-drive. I’d rather have my music on a harddrive.

Posted by Stasyna in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 7:06 PM (CDT)


I don’t know anything about sueing (nor how it’s spelled) but can’t Apple sue them for copying the same exact commercial idea?? Apple WILL win

Posted by SkuzE in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 7:24 PM (CDT)


Stasyna, you can download directly to the HD with  I bought three tracks today and have no trouble playing them from the hard drive.  I can’t transfer them to the iPod of course and they won’t play on my Audiotron in the living room.

I solved that by using one of the three CD burns and then ripping that to MP3.  So the music goes through 2 compresses but that’s OK I guess.

What’s irritating is that if it’s this easy to get around DRM then why do they bother?

I still won’t buy whole albums this way, ever.  I will just order the CD in that case but this is nice for buying single songs.

I snagged the two new tracks on the latest Enya CD instead of buying a “best of” that was just repeating all the tracks I already had.

Posted by Andrew McDonald in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 8:08 PM (CDT)


From the Mac side you can transfer as many times (songs bought through the ITMS) from iTunes to iPod as you want. The problem arises if you want to play those song when connect you iPod to multiple computers. If that computer is not authroized with your ITMS account, the files won’t play through the computer I believe.

Music purchased from the ITMS can be burned three times to CD when the file is part of the playlist “Purchasd Music.” If for some bizzaro reason you need to burn again, just reassign the song to another Playlist. Same thing occurs (3 times only) At least that is what I have gathered reading on boards like this and other spots on the web.
How this process will be implemented on Windows will be quite intresting to see. ACC file support will have to be supported of course, and it will be curious to see how many hackers will attempt to crack the format for nefarious reasons.

What I find humorous is Scott Blumm ( founder) quote in USAtoday
“The iPod is the best little product I’ve ever seen, but it’s like building the best car in the world, yet it doesn’t use everyone’s gas.”
So what exactly are MP3s then? Does he even know how to use a digital music player? I guess I can buy things on the web site with Turnips, because credit card transactions are the best part of e-commerce experience only some people still use abacuses still.

Posted by Neo_Mingus in Irvine, CA on July 22, 2003 at 8:29 PM (CDT)


Neo, not quite.

It’s unlimited burns to CD - but every 10 burns you have to modify the playlist
And you can transfer them to 3 seperate iPods
I’m pretty sure that’s it.

Posted by Nathan Adams in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 1:26 AM (CDT)


Yes. Here are the iTunes/Fairplay limitations:

* Store your downloaded music, ready to play, on unlimited Macs. The AACs copy like any other file. Drag and drop. Back them up to data CD or anything.

* Instantly and painlessly authorize any three Macs to simultaneously play those tracks (or receive them streamed). Change your mind and de-authorize/re-authorize any Mac at any time—no limit on how many you can authorize, just only 3 at one time. All user accounts on a given Mac automatically have authorization. If your Mac is destroyed, iTunes Customer Service can still deauthorize it in your iTunes account. And no need to be online to prove you are authorized—only to initially activate that authorization. You can have multiple iTunes accounts (email addresses/credit cards) authorized on one Mac. You can buy on one Mac, and transfer the music to another. Total flexibility.

* Burn unlimited copies to CD. But you can only burn the same exact CD 10 times in a row. Then you must change something (even the track order) as proof that you aren’t automating mass-replication of pirated tunes.

* Transfer an unlimited number of times to 3 iPods. (More if you “de-authorize” one? I don’t have an iPod—yet—to find out.)

* No limits on the tracks you’ve ripped from your CDs.

* No limits on purchased AACs that you have burned to CD and re-ripped to MP3 or AAC.

Posted by nagromme in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 1:54 AM (CDT)


complete rip off ... only good thing i see is taking the album art when clicking “Larger Image” and putting it on my iTunes album cover :-D

Posted by AZ in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 1:58 AM (CDT)


For comparison…  the problems with BuyMusic, compared to the freedom of iTunes Music Store, include:

* Non-transferrable licenses. Downloaded files WILL NOT PLAY once you retire the PC you bought the tracks on.

* Can’t burn all songs to CD (but I’ve seen no examples to prove this). Other songs have a limited number of burns, such as 3.

* Can’t use all songs on portable players (but I’ve seen no examples to prove this). Other songs can only be transferred to a player a limited number of times.

* Can’t use all brands of portable player. No iPod, no Archos players, nothing that doesn’t support WMA with WMP9’s DRM. (Some major brands do.)

* Can’t transfer songs to your other computers. You can separately download, from scratch, a “secondary” version of some songs on a limited number (such as 3) of other computers. Secondary licenses can’t burn CDs or use portable players at all. When those computers are retired, you can’t use the secondary licenses anymore.

* Price. Songs start at .79 (not .70 as some publications reported), popular ones tend to be .99, and they cost up to $1.99 or more each. Albums start at $7.95—more than iTunes’ cheapest—and range to $14.99 or more. More, in some cases, than themselves charges for the actual CD.

* Despite the site name, you do NOT buy the music. You “sublicense” it. Their own fine print says that you do not “buy” or “own” what you have paid for. This is little different from past rental/subscription failures—but minus their monthly fee.

Posted by nagromme in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 1:58 AM (CDT)



* Can’t preview every song.

* The restrictions on burning CDs, “secondary” computers, and using on portable players vary from song to song. Complex rules about different types of licenses (“primary” vs. “secondary”). Confusion rather than consistency.

* Tied completely to Microsoft (.net, Explorer/ActiveX, and WMP 9) and to the greed of the RIAA. Even on Windows, browsers other than Explorer are locked out.

* Slower, awkward store interface and multi-step technical process, compared to iTunes’ complete simplicity and fast searching/instant re-sorting. BuyMusic needs complex how-to videos while iMS just works and is integrated into the jukebox.

* Can’t download a whole album automatically. You must get the songs individually. (Bad for users and artists alike.)

* If you buy multiple songs at once, you must wait for each to finish downloading and then manually click to download the next.

* Cover art is not included with the songs. (Windows Media Player is able to locate art online, though, as a separate step.)

* Your current media player (like WinAmp) where all your ripped CDs are, will not play downloads—not even if your player supports WMA. It must support the DRM too (WinAmp doesn’t, causing problems if it’s set to be the app used with .wma files.) So… you can ONLY play your tunes from Windows Media Player 9. No making playlists that combine those songs with your CDs. No transferring them to your player in one step along with your CDs. No shuffle-playing your WinAmp collection and your BM downloads.

Posted by nagromme in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 1:59 AM (CDT)



* Many songs on the site are “Not available for sale.” Whatever that means.

* Supposedly’s parent company tends to spam customers heavily.

* Lastly… no Mac (or Linux or other UNIX) support. Not even if you copy the WMA files to WMP for OS X.

iTunes Music Store with AAC/FairPlay suffers from none of those issues… although it’s not (yet) on Windows, and is not expected for Linux. And iTunes is completely integrated with the portable player that has half the market. has no such elegant hardware tie-in.

And will independent labels be jumping on board like they are doing with Apple? I have my doubts.

Even the number of songs at is in doubt: they say 300,000, but adding up all their genres comes to only 100,000—many of which are “unavailable for sale.” sounds like it could bomb badly, unless they really fool a lot of people. (Which they could, by getting just a small fraction of the Windows market!)

Posted by nagromme in Irvine, CA on July 23, 2003 at 2:00 AM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2019 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy