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  Is Digital Download Day any good?
Updated 03 October 2002, 15.53
Kylie - she's available to download
Kylie - she's available to download

By Tim Levell
Editor, CBBC Newsround Online

I think I was one of the lucky ones!

It took me nearly an hour, but eventually I managed to sign up, log on, and get a track from the Digital Download Day website.

Thousands of people like me were trying to do the same thing, and the system could barely cope.

So is it worth it?

On today's experience, no.

Westlife - in
Westlife - on sale
If you wanted to buy the most recent Westlife album, it would be quicker and safer to get on your bike, cycle round to Woolies and buy it with cash.

It would probably also be cheaper. Downloading a full album costs as much as it does in the shops.

And when you add the cost of phone calls to go online, plus the fact that you don't get the CD case or cover photos, it's a bit of a raw deal.

What about children?

S Club - not available
S Club - not available
One of the main problems is that lots of the music is really old and dated. Great, they've got all the Elvis songs, but where are S Club, Slipknot and Blazin' Squad?

However there are some decent artists available, like Westlife, Atomic Kitten and Kylie, and more will be added all the time.

And one bit of good news: when they launched the free offer, they asked for your credit card details, which is no good for people under 18.

After pressure from CBBC Newsround Online, though, they got rid of the credit card bit, making it much easier for children.

But it's a start

People have been downloading music for several years.

Even though it's been illegal, there are several advantages:

  • It's immediate - you can get music (almost) when you want it

  • You can get tracks that are hard to find - especially by artists who haven't been in the charts for yonks

  • You can burn tracks onto your own CDs to make your own compilations

  • You can buy individual songs rather than splashing out on a whole CD - which is value for money

  • Illegal music tracks can often be dodgy or bad quality, but with this new system, you know you're getting the real thing

The verdict?

Downloading music is here to stay.

People want to do it and the record companies need to help them do it, rather than pretend it's not happening.

Things have moved on a huge amount in the past year.

But the technology needs to get lots better, and we need to be offered more tracks from more artists.

In a year's time, I think, I'll give it another go.

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