OD2 Launch Pay Per Play Jukebox Sonic Selector

OD2 think that streaming music to PCs, rather than downloading tracks, is the way forward: “Most of the music our users listen to on their PCs will be streamed,” Charles Grimsdale, chief executive of the company said.

Consequently, OD2 have launched their Sonic Selector service – allowing customers in France, Germany, Italy and the UK to stream any track from the company’s 350,000 track catalogue. As the streams are Windows Media encoded, you’ll need you’ll need Version 9 of Microsoft’s player.

OD2 already offered a similar feature on their download sites such as the shudder-inducing MyCokeMusic, where users can stream some tracks for one of their credits, as opposed to buying the track for 99 credits. Napster also offer a streaming service, but only with their UK£9.99 (€15) subscription.

OD2 evidently hope that a pay-as-you-go system will entice more users to buy music in a market where increased competition every day means that punters are less willing to lock themselves into a particular vendor with a subscription: “The pay-as-you-go system also allows the users to spend as little or as much as they wish each month, without the burden of a fixed rate subscription” commented Grimsdale.

Sonic Selector is in fact a proprietary plug in for Windows Media Player, created by OD2, but is a little more interesting that just a streaming gadget. Every day, the Sonic Selector team pick through new releases, chart hits and exclusives to offer their recommended picks, with featured artists in key genres. If you really like a track, then you can buy it and keep it.

Sonic Selector marks another small shift to consumers not owning music, instead paying for each play – it’ll be interesting to see how iTunes reacts to this at launch.

Sonic Selector

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?