Taking it with you
In theory YME will let you transfer any songs that you’ve download using your Yahoo music unlimited account to any of the Microsoft approved Plays For Sure players. I haven’t had a chance to test this feature (my iPod is most defiantly not approved) but the list of supported players (shown below, from Yahoo’s site) seems a little short.
Compatible Devices “Out of the box”
Compatible Devices Which Require a Firmware Update
Audiovox SMT 5600
Creative Labs Zen Micro
Creative Labs Zen PMC
Dell DJ 20GB
Dell DJ 30GB
Dell Pocket DJ
RCA Lyra RD2762
iRiver PMC – 120
RCA Lyra RD2765
Samsung YH-999 PMC
For supported players YME will automatically synchronize your music, all of it or just certain playlists. This is defiantly not as flexible as iTunes, but should get the job done for most users.
Bugs, errata (as Intel would say) and other various rants
Boring repeat of the earlier disclaimer, beta software (Build 137 to be specific), hopefully they will fix most of the major bugs. The first update I received (on which this article is based) did seem to show good progress.
There is this one Robin William’s album I’ve tried about three times to add to my collection. The problem is that when I click “Add to My Music” the whole program dies. Nice. You think they fixed this with the first update? Nope.
Maybe I’m just a bit cranky, but when I install one piece of software I prefer not to be saddled with another product that I don’t want. When you install the beta of YME you get stuck with Yahoo Messenger. This is all fine and dandy if you like Yahoo’s instant messenger client, but I don’t. The install claims that it must be installed and the darn thing is not graceful about going away. Thankfully you can uninstall messenger without killing the YME.
All in all the current incarnation of YME is useable. It isn’t rock stable yet, which is pretty sad considering what it does, but the bugs shouldn’t get in the way too much.
Now let’s get this straight. I’ve been an iTunes user for quite a while. I even own an iPod. I carry it with me everywhere. This puts me in something of a quandary; maybe Steve will launch a subscription service for iTunes, but until then the YME has divided my music collection in twain, the half that is stuck on my computers and the truly portable half. As long as Yahoo keeps the price down to $6.99 US a month or $59.88 a year though, they’ve got my money. It may not be perfect, but for the price this is a very cool service for any music fan.
Go ahead and try it for yourself, with a 7 day free trial you can get a pretty good feel for the service and selection without risking any cas