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Archive for August, 2006

Yahoo Music Jukebox

Monday, August 21st, 2006

It’s been nearly 6 months since I’ve written here because, well, I haven’t really had the time. Today, though, I do… AND I have something to write about.

I’m a recent subescriber to the Yahoo Music Jukebox with Yahoo! Unlimited To Go: a subscription service (roughly $10/mo) that allows me to download an unlimited number of songs for playing on my PCs (up to 3) and my Creative Rio MP3 player (the songs stick around as long as I keep paying Yahoo!). I’ll start by saying that, ultimately, I can’t deny that it works as advertised. I had to endure typical early-adopter challenges (I had to do a firmware upgrade on my MP3 player and deal with a larger-than-usual number of bugs in the YME), but when everything works, it’s neat and super valuable for the gym, office, road trips, etc.

The Good

  • I can download other people’s playlists (mostly), move them to my MP3 player (generally), and download all the songs I want (often).
  • It offers some decent recommendations based on my preferences. I’m going to watch this closely–I’m not a music expert nor have a ton a ton of rating music yet. So far, though, it seems to work pretty well.

The Bad

Now, having said that, there is plenty that works less well than it should:

  • My PC has 500 MB of RAM, which (as far as I can tell) is nowhere near enough for Yahoo Music Jukebox–running it absolutely cripples my machine. I’ve just bought another gig of memory on eBay, so I’m hoping that solves my problem. I’ll post an update here.
    • This really impacts a number of other experiences–the worst being syncing with my MP3 player. The user interface here is not good and made significantly worse by the fact that the UI is sluggish (at best). I’m hoping that this is improved in the new 2.0 Jukebox. Even if it wasn’t sluggish, though, there’s no good way to say “of my 20 gigs of music, put these 5 on my MP3 player” or, better yet, “cycle fresh tracks through my MP3 player based on my updated ratings.”
  • Downloads often fail with no real explanation. If I “retry”, it often works (but not always).
  • For some reason, I can download playlists that have songs I can’t access. I really don’t understand this.

That’s all for now. I need to get back to work. In my next issue, I’ll talk about my new purchase: the Roku, and how it works with Yahoo! Music Subscription (hint: more of the same)…