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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 16:23 GMT
Coke music site finally launches
CDs
The site was dubbed the first legal music download service in the UK
A music download site from Coca-Cola has launched after being shut down for much of its first two days due to technical problems.

My Coke Music, which offers more than 250,000 songs from 80p per track, was offline for most of Monday and Tuesday.

Coke is hoping to cash in on the recent growth in online music services, which have been spearheaded by iTunes.

The website is powered by Peter Gabriel's company OD2, which is also behind services from Virgin and HMV.

Speaking about the problems, a Coca-Cola spokesman said: "As you can appreciate, being the first to do this and working with new technology there are often teething problems.

"Our primary aim is to get the technology right, the consumer experience right and to develop the site further to make it the best place to download music on the net."

250,000 songs

It is reported that the technical problems were compounded by the fact that support staff in the US were not in their offices because it was a national holiday there.

The site has promised to have song by artists such as Stereophonics, Sugababes and Kings of Leon on the site up to six weeks before they are made available in the shops.

And instead of downloading tracks, people will also be able to listen to songs through their computer for as little as 1p a track.

However, music downloaded from the website is not available in a form which can be played on Apple's iPod, the most popular portable media player in the world.

OD2 uses Microsoft's WMA format, which is a rival to Apple's preferred AAC format, which the iPod uses.

The two formats are vying to become the preferred system for consumers but many people remain confused about the differences and incompatibility issues.

The Coca-Cola site is only available to people who have certain credit or debit cards.




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