I've just spent a few minutes looking at Microsoft's MSN Music service. It sucks butt. And I'm not just saying that because iTunes is better. As an example, I compared Microsoft's No Doubt page with the iTunes No Doubt page .
Now, just the initial comparison shows that Microsoft uses a stock photo of the band while Apple's iTunes has a unique photo that's never been seen before or after outside of ITMS. To me this displays a higher level of quality on ITMS right from the get-go. Apple 1, MS 0.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft's store includes Maximum No Doubt, which I've never even heard of before now. I thought this would be Microsoft's first plus point, until I looked it up on Amazon.com and listened to a couple of tracks. It's an unauthorized CD biography of the band made by some twit britt, and from what I hear a pretty poor one at that. Apple 2, MS 0.
Now, discounting the bogus tracks Microsoft has only 81 tracks available by No Doubt while ITMS has a total of 85. Don't Speak is missing from both Tragic Kingdom and The Singles and Dark Blue is missing from Return of Saturn. Apple also includes an exclusive track, Everything In Time which is unavailable anywhere else. Hmm. Apple 3, MS 0.
Now, if it's not about No Doubt then it's about Poe right? Poe, the awesomely wonderful singer/songwriter who was royally screwed over by Atlantic records and got dropped like a bad habbit faster than you can say "Raven". She's venturing out on her own endeavor now starting her own label called RePoe. Poe used to be featured on ITMS but she's not there anymore, probably at the request of Atlantic or RePoe. Microsoft's store still has her first album Hello and her spectacular second Haunted available for purchase. The Microsoft store is in beta right now, and it is yet to be seen if they'll be dropped from there as well. But who cares? I have both of those CD's anyway. Apple 3, Bahamat 1, MS 0. I abdicate my point to Apple. Apple 4, MS 0.
Well, there you have it. Unbiased and irrefutable evidence that Microsoft's music store, as previously stated, sucks butt. It's too bad that Microsoft's monopolistic leverage will probably get them much farther than they deserve. You can help fight this trend. Boycott the MSN Music service. Download iTunes and buy some songs.