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MSN Music Service Fact Sheet

April 2005

The Scoop

The Internet is revolutionizing the way people find, buy and experience music online, and MSN® Music is at the heart of this revolution. MSN Music helps users find what they love by offering a complete, easy-to-use, high-quality music experience unlike anything else available on the Web today. Whether people are once-a-week listeners or diehards who falls asleep with headphones on, MSN Music offers them the music they want, the way they want it.

MSN Music, located at or via Windows Media® Player 10, allows music fans to listen to favorite bands or discover new artists, download songs and albums or purchase packaged CDs, burn customized discs, or load tracks onto a range of portable players. The service offers a vast selection of music from the newest pop releases to the great classical compositions from all the major labels, including EMI Music North America, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, along with more than 3,000 independent labels and dozens of exclusive independent labels.

The clean, easy-to-navigate MSN Music interface makes it simple, even for Internet novices, to find and download music though their Web browser or directly in Microsoft® Windows Media Player 10. A vast majority 99 percent of tracks cost 99 cents, and most albums are $9.99.*

MSN Music offers Windows Media Format digital music files. This format provides the highest-quality sound and is compatible with more than 70 portable music devices, some as low as $100. With such a broad catalog of music, an easy-to-use interface and support for a wide range of devices, MSN Music lets music fans spend less time finding music and more time enjoying it.

The Details

MSN Music makes it easy to find and purchase the music customers love, discover new songs and bands, and share with friends and family. It would take a radio dial full of musical styles, a mall of CD stores and an army of music store clerks to duplicate the following MSN Music features:

Its Easy to Legally Download High-Quality Digital Music

Easy sign-up and navigation. MSN Music offers a simple interface that is easy to use and allows listeners to find old favorites or the latest hits without requiring a complicated setup or lengthy download before starting to browse the service. Once they choose a song they like, signing up and purchasing from MSN Music takes only a few simple steps.

Accessible via the Web or Windows Media Player 10. Music fans can discover, sample and download songs via Internet Explorer, or as a feature of Windows Media Player 10 with direct access to the music library and playback experience, as well easily synchronize with more than 70 portable media devices.

Clean, easy-to-navigate format. An open, streamlined interface distinguishes MSN Music from other services. Commonly used features are displayed prominently, making it quick and easy to find and download music.

No-hassle download and purchase. Music fans can choose to download songs or albums to their music library in as little as one step, without lengthy checkout procedures or the need to re-enter credit card numbers.

Consistent, generous rules for use. Using Windows Media Player 10, downloaded songs can be played on five computers. A playlist of songs can be burned to CD up to seven times, and there are unlimited rights for transferring songs to portable audio devices.

Superior sound quality. MSN Music digitally encodes tracks using Windows Media variable bit-rate encoding, with an average variable bit rate of 160 Kbps and a peak bit rate of 256 Kbps, offering some of the industrys highest-fidelity audio in a compact file size.

Parental controls. If a song or album has the music industrys "explicit lyrics" warning label attached, parents who subscribe to MSN Premium can easily stop their children from buying it by implementing the MSN Parental Controls feature. With one click, parents can block all purchases of music geared for listeners 18 years or older.

Choice of devices to match any lifestyle. Music fans can listen to their MSN Music downloads on a choice of more than 70 devices, including flash memory devices and hard-drive players. MSN Music is also a component of the digital entertainment anywhere experience one that allows consumers to take digital music and other entertainment anywhere around the home or on the go when used in conjunction with Media Center PCs, Portable Media Centers, and Windows Mobile™ -based Smartphones and Pocket PCs.

International reach. MSN has teamed with online music partners around the world to create the largest network of legal online music download services. MSN Music reaches music lovers in 20 markets worldwide, making it the largest global digital music download service. The international services, built on technology by CDON, Loudeye Corp.s On Demand Distribution (OD2) and other partners, are available on the MSN site within the countries they serve, providing a similar look and feel. The services are available through a Web browser or Windows Media Player 10, offering direct access to the music library and playback experience, as well as automatic transfer to portable devices and to Media Center PCs.

Partner commerce features. MSN Music enables third-party Web sites to integrate the purchase of music directly from their page via a link to MSN Music. This is possible either by linking directly to individual artists, albums or songs, or by integrating RSS feeds for top downloads. More details are available at .

A Broad Selection of Music

Vast catalog of legal downloads. MSN offers more than 1 million licensed tracks in more than 20 genres from all the major labels and more than 3,000 independent music labels. The library spans a wide range of genres including classical, country, hip-hop, rock, jazz, alternative and more.

Exclusive music. The MSN Music catalog includes music from artists, record labels and events unavailable from other commercial download services. Among the MSN Music-exclusive labels is jazz and dance label Justin Time Records, soul label Malaco Records, genre-defying label Telarc International Corp. and classical label Delos. In addition, fans have access to exclusive content from the Monterey Jazz Festival, the worlds longest-running jazz festival, and can download exclusive tracks from current festivals. MSN Music also offers access to up-and-coming artist content from; traditional folk, roots and world music from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings; and more than 1,400 exclusive classic radio shows from the golden age of radio through partnership with MediaBay Inc. and its RadioClassics catalog.

Album-only major artists. MSN Music is one of the few services that offers music from artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Linkin Park and Radiohead, who dont permit commercial downloading of singles and prefer to sell their music in full albums only.

Videos. MSN Music features hundreds of music videos from todays top-selling artists and continually will offer new exclusives through its partnership with Universal Media Group.

Powerful, simple search. MSN Music provides a powerful and easy-to-use music search engine that immediately connects people to music downloads, album information, artist pages and more. Fans can search by artist, genre, album and song.

Try before buying. Music fans can listen to a free 30-second preview from any song in the MSN Music library, or tune in to an MSN Radio SoundsLike station that plays the song and others like it.

Finding favorites. A convenient music rating system makes it easy for music fans to locate popular music and go back and identify their favorites.

Bringing consumers the extras they want. MSN Music will always offer a rich supply of playlists, top sellers and new releases, as selected by music experts. MSN Music also offers downloadable ring tones for many popular songs through Zingy Inc. and brings consumers closer to the music they love by offering links to purchase concert tickets.

Whats hot for 2005. MSN Music offers an article devoted to the highly anticipated albums of the year ahead.

Digital or plastic? If music fans prefer to purchase a packaged CD, MSN Music connects them to several online CD sellers such as,, Barnes &, and eBay, to name a few.

Integrated streaming radio for discovering new music. MSN Music offers free streaming across 50 genre-based radio stations through MSN Radio, allowing music fans to discover and download new music while enjoying the radio. When they hear a song they like, they are only one mouse click away from buying the download.

Local radio station sounds. Fans can hear music similar to that heard on thousands of local radio stations through MSN Radio, which provides the same music mix but with less repetition, fewer ads and no DJ talk.

Billboard Hot 200 and More. MSN Music contains top albums for the Billboard 200 and comprehensive information about favorite artists, extensive biographies, discographies, photos, gossip and news.

Hot cities by decade. Music fans can take musical journeys through time and around the United States by selecting a recent decade and city from an interactive list and map. MSN Music has created a list of top bands from popular cities during different decades, as well as provided articles on each of these music scenes, from the Grateful Dead and other bands of the 1960s San Francisco scene to the Ramones and the rest of the 1970s New York punk scene.

Community ratings. As people rate songs and albums in MSN Music, the ratings are anonymously aggregated into a community rating that shows exactly what the world thinks of a particular song or album.

"Listeners also liked." On any album or artist page, MSN Music utilizes collaborative filtering to provide lists of additional albums and artists that other listeners also purchased.

User reviews. Music fans can become music critics by submitting reviews that appear with albums within the service.

Tell-a-friend. Music fans who find something they think their friends might like can easily send any page in the MSN Music service via the "e-mail this page" feature, to up to five people at a time, and even add a personalized message.

System Requirements

MSN Music

The following hardware and software are required to play radio or purchase music from MSN:

Windows® 98 SE, Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later

Browser support for 128-bit encryption

Windows Media Player 7.1 or later

Speakers and sound capability

Internet connection

Windows Media Player 10

Specifications are available at .


MSN Music is available at . MSN Music is currently available in 20 markets worldwide, making it the largest global digital music download service. The MSN Music service is available outside the United States, through various partnerships, in Australia, Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland (French and German) and the United Kingdom; with Loudeye company OD2 and in Denmark, Norway and Sweden; and in Finland with CDON, Brazil with iMusica, Korea with Digital Prism and Japan with OCN.


Most downloads from MSN Music in the United States will be available for 99 cents per song or $9.99 per album.*

* Some prices may vary.

Microsoft, MSN, the MSN logo, Windows Media, Windows Mobile and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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