updated 02:20 pm EDT, Tue May 29, 2007
PayPlay takes on iTunes
PayPlay.FM today began selling its catalog of 1.3 million audio tracks in unprotected MP3 format for $0.88 cents per song, beating out Apple's iTunes Store which charges $0.99 cents per track while matching the Cupertino-based company's efforts to offer DRM-free music. PayPlay works with Mac, Windows, and Unix platforms by providing music without monthly subscription services and without advertisements or plug-ins. PayPlay's browser-based interface and buy-to-own model deliver music in 192Kbps VBR sound, higher quality than iTunes' 128Kbps tracks which cost $0.10 cents more. Apple's iTunes Store currently dominates digital music sales, however, providing iPod owners with an easy way to purchase, load, and listen to tracks on the portable device as well as from the home PC or Mac.
Many industry experts have concluded that Apple's success is at least partially due to its near seamless music experience which allows customers to locate, purchase, and listen to songs without extra effort or headaches. Time will tell whether PayPlay.FM manages to take a significant slice of Apple's digital music sales through lower pricing and improved audio quality.