CNET launches a new

After a lot of uncertainty about the future of following its demise, and rumours that all of the content had been deleted, CNet has re-launched, but as something completely different to its original guise.

The new version of the service combines extensive information about the musical groups such as the history of each member of the band and details of all of the tracks they have released. The reviews and background information about each of the major albums is also extensive. At a quick glance, the depth of detail is very impressive.

Once an individual track or album has been selected, a page is displayed showing a number of ways to get to the track. Online music download services, on-demand streaming and even where the physical CD are listed. Currently there are fourteen service listed, which we assume will increased as Cnet signs more deals. Each of the download services show the music file format, computer platform for each, as well as highlighting if the service protect their tracks with DRM.

As would be expected provides many routes to content that you might not have thought of listening to or buying. One of the novel ones is Musicvine. A graphical representation of artists is shown, with groups of a similar musical type clustered around them, joined by lines. When a band is selected, further information about them is shown on the left-hand panel. It’s a neat idea, but we are at this stage unsure how useful it will be long term. is a clear attempt by Cnet to try and become the Meta music service – THE destination when individuals want to buy music. On first impressions it looks like a pretty good stab at it, but we are unsure if there is sufficient here to keep the idea unique to them.

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