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Yahoo! Music Engine gets new features and new name

Yahoo! Music JukeboxYahoo! Music Engine is now called Yahoo! Music Jukebox (haven't I heard that name before?). This name change coincides with the roll out of new features and a premium "Plus" version.

According to the press release, Yahoo! Music Jukebox will be enhanced with:

  • New Audio Equalizer: A new 5-band equalizer allows users to adjust the sound of their favorite music in a convenient fashion.
  • Usability Enhancements: An overall new look of Yahoo! MusicJukebox has made key functions more accessible through consistent right click and tick menus. Users can quickly play a selection of an artist's top tracks with just one click. The improved application makes moving the Yahoo! Music catalog - to a users' music collection - to Messenger Music and back again for a seamless experience.

  • Shared Playlist Improvements: Playlists created using the Yahoo! Music Jukebox will be automatically stored for users to access from any PC. In addition, searching for playlists becomes more efficient to help users find other music fans with similar tastes and preferences.
  • Introduction of Yahoo Music Jukebox Plus - For a premium fee of $19.99 consumers can enhance their music experience with:
    • Audio Boost - Optimize the sound quality of your imported music files to enjoy them at the highest fidelity.
    • Enhanced CD Ripping & Burning Ability: Maximum ripping and burning speeds for audiophiles.
    • SmartSplit: When users want to burn a large number of tracks, SmartSplit automatically organizes multiple tracks for users across as many CDs as necessary.
    • CD Label Creation: Users can create fun and exciting CD labels for their newly burned discs using a very simple program.
The $19.99 fee is a "one-time" fee according to the upgrade page displayed in Yahoo! Music Jukebox. Ripping and burning are reportedly 40 times and 50 times faster respectively for "Plus" subscribers.

But the "Jukebox Plus" program comes with some confusion and disappointing surprises. The upgrade page says "Plus" subscribers will pay $0.99 each when buying tracks. Erm, I'm paying $0.79 each as a mere Y! Unlimited subscriber. Why would I want to pay a one-time fee to pay more?

In addition, the one-time fee doesn't carry forward to future versions of Y! Music Jukebox - what part of "one-time" don't they understand? There is a $59.98 Plus version available so you, "Never pay for another Plus upgrade again!" To Y!'s credit, the $19.99 option's limitations are clearly identified with, "Gives you access to version 2.0 only. As we continue to upgrade the Jukebox going forward, you will need to purchase Jukebox Plus again to gain access to new features."

Must there always be disappointing surprises when leading users to the purchase point? This should be a "woo hoo!" post about great new features in the new player but I end up pointing to the marketing flummery. Y! Music Unlimited remains the best subscription program available. But I'm not so sure about the "Plus" program and the sales tactic used..

Tags: burn, music, music player, MusicPlayer, player, rip, yahoo, yahoo music, yahoo music engine, yahoo music jukebox, yahoo player, YahooMusic, YahooMusicEngine, YahooMusicJukebox, YahooPlayer