Posted by: Richard Chennault | August 8, 2005

Yahoo/MSN/Napster Music is a scam

More news from the consumerism front:

My wife thought it would be nice if she could play some of her favorite music on her PocketPC Phone (Siemens SX56) whilst she was in labor. She then assigned me the task of finding and loading the music she wanted on the phone.

No problems until she informed me some of the music she wished to have was not in our music library of over 120 CD’s (small for most folks). She knew about online music sites (i.e. MSN and Yahoo) and suggest I use one of those services to obtain the music requested.

“o.k.” I said to myself with a little reservation. I was a bit concerned that there would be some catch to the music sites. I did a quick search and decided I liked the interface and the price of the yahoo music offering (kudo’s to Lance’s company). So I plugged in and began to download.

“So far so good” I murmer to my now eased conscience. Regina liked the music offerings and selected some fairly esoteric piece for Over the Rainbow and Moon River. The yahoo interface provided a nice drag and drop way to transfer music I paid for and the deivce/storage card I wanted to put the music on.

“Pretty sweet” I practically shouted my exuberance. The transfer was a snap and I thought I was ready to go… oh if it were only the case. It turns out that the windows media player on the Pocket PC would not play license content without the license. Yahoo music (and I presume) MSN does not transfer the license to storage cards. Instead you must transfer to a ‘supported’ device.

“F()@&!^$ Crap” I raged! I paid a hard earned $.79 per song plus the monthly fee of $6.95 to get music I can’t transfer to a storage card (secure digital). Pissed and not wanting to be had by the corporate pigs I decided to investigate what pirating options I had. Turns out there is something called TuneBytes but it cost about $20.00. No way I’m going to pay a total of $29.00 for 4 freaking songs!

So I cut my losses and was finally able to put three of the four songs directly on the PocketPC limited internal storage (32mg). At least it was not a total waste. Maybe if I was a big music listener the TuenBytes software would be a good solution for those of us who pay for music and simply wish to play through the use of a portable storage card (i.e. SD, MCC, SmartMedia and etc.).


  1. Send me your list of songs. I’ll take it from here.

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