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Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 18:05 GMT
The growing online music world
Online music service Pressplay has signed up Warner Brothers to its service - meaning it can now offer tracks from all five major labels.

But now unofficial file-sharing services are being replaced by record industry-approved sites, what do the new sites have to offer? BBC News Online looks at some of the biggest.

Pressplay
What is it? Founded in 2000 as Duet, launched in January 2002. Owned by Sony and Universal.

Who is on it? Has access to music from Sony, Universal, EMI, BMG, and now Warners, together with various independent labels.

Where? Only available in the US.

How much? Various monthly subscription options, from $10 - $18 (6.33 - 11.40) month. Basic option allow users to stream (play) tracks from the site.

A premium package, costing $180 a year, allows streaming, unlimited downloads from the site (so you can play tracks on your PC whenever you like) and 120 "portable downloads" - so tracks can be transferred to an MP3 player or other device.

Listen.com
What is it?Launched in 1999 as a directory for "legal music", its current Rhapsody service started in 2001.

Who is on it? Has access to music from the five major labels - Sony, Universal, BMG, Warners and EMI, plus independent labels.

But only some of the labels - including Universal, Warners and BMG - will allow users to burn (record) tracks onto CD from Listen.com, rather than stream them. Downloading tracks onto PCs or portable devices is banned.

Where? Only available in the US.

How much? Costs $10 per month, with a radio playlist service also available for an extra $5 (3.16). Burning CDs costs an extra $1 per track.

MusicNet
What? Launched in 2001, it is a joint venture between Warners, BMG, and EMI, plus independent label Zomba and software company Real Networks.

Currently, the service is available through Real Networks' Real.com homepage, and AOL will also offer it to subscribers. The firm is looking for other partners to offer the service.

Who? Over 75,000 songs by 10,000 artists from the record companies behind MusicNet - music is available to download or stream.

Where? Only available in the US.

How much? Depends where you sign up for the service. Real.com currently charges $10/month for 100 downloads and 100 streams.

MP3.com
What? One of the original pioneers of the digital music movement, now part of the Vivendi Universal group.

Who? Now mostly offers tracks to download by unsigned and emerging artists, promotional previews of new albums, and an online shop.

Where? Available worldwide.

How much? Free, but users need to register.

Emusic.com
What? Founded as a paid-for music site in 1998, it is now another part of the Vivendi Universal giant.

Who? Offers tracks from Universal artists and acts from over 700 independent labels.

Where? Available worldwide.

How much? Unlimited downloads cost from $10 per month.

Vitaminic.com
What? European operation, mainly devoted to new and upcoming artists, which was founded in Italy in 1999.

Who? Offers tracks to download from unsigned acts and a variety of independent labels.

Where? Available worldwide.

How much? Subscriptions cost $70 (44.33) a year.

See also:

15 Oct 02 | Entertainment
01 Aug 02 | Entertainment
04 Dec 01 | Entertainment
02 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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