Microsoft supports first music marketplace on WP7 in Australia, but it’s not Zune

Today, Microsoft Australia is filling the music void on Windows Phone 7 in Australia by putting their support behind a companion mobile application for, a third-party music marketplace service by Universal Music Australia.

The free application allows users to browse, preview and download DRM-free songs from over 300 artists signed with the Universal Music Group which includes Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, U2, Eminem and Justin Bieber. In addition to just music, users can also view purchases by friends, read entertainment news, buy merchandise and enter competitions within the application.

Unfortunately due to WP7’s API limitations, the purchasing experience is not anywhere near as convenient as the native Zune marketplace would otherwise be. Besides having to set up yet another billing account, the app isn’t actually able to download the music to the library so users won’t be able seamlessly play the songs in the Music + Videos hub.

Instead, users will be emailed an MP3 download link for every purchase which they can save to their PC’s library to sync with the Zune client. Oh what fun.

If you’ve been holding your breathe for Zune’s music service in Australia, at this point it’s probably more productive to watch paint dry, while your face turns purple.

12 insightful thoughts

  1. You only briefly touched the “create yet another” account issue. My experience went like this

    I opened my WP7
    went onto the marketplace
    seached for the app
    downloaded it
    launched the app
    browsed about and had nothing load
    clicked a button in the app to create a new account
    which then takes you OUT of the app, and launches IE Mobile, and browses to their desktop version of the site…
    Then you need to hunt down where to create an account
    (by this time I gave up).

    But if I did continue, then I would need to go through the process of creating “yet another account”
    go back into the app,
    enter user/pass
    browse for songs
    try to purchase
    put credit card details in, or would I have to go back to the desktop website again via IE Mobile?
    purchase the songs
    have a MP3 link emailed to me
    go onto my desktop, download the mp3 file
    load the zune software
    plug the phone in
    sync the song to the WP7

    Something seems REALLY wrong here.

    1. That was just the workflow of the app, and doesn’t get into the Visual style of it.
      When you first load it up, it is a SEVEN screen panorama.
      And the initial page that you hit, looks like it was a Winmo 6.0 app that they decided to throw into a pivot.

      Oh, and searching doesn’t work right now. No feedback, no indication that it is trying to do anything.

      A read of the Windows Phone 7 UI guidelines wouldn’t go astray

  2. Typical. Universal, one company/corporation against allowing Zune/Microsoft to sell their content in Australia, have created an application to sell their music on WP7.

    This raises several points:
    Universal has paid cash in order to create their own system and service.
    The system and service mentioned aren’t even decent. They are incredibly obtrusive.
    Customers will need to be aware of the application in order to download and buy music, again costing Universal more money in advertising and marketing.
    Running separate from Zune, this makes content consumption more tedious for Universal’s customers and WP7 users.
    All these problems could have been alleviated by allowing their content on Zune in Australia.

  3. Oh god. Who is going to use this??? MP3s e-mailed to you ?? 300 artists? This would have been crap 10 years ago!!! No wonder the music industry is dying when they think this is a good idea.

  4. Oh my god, if Universal are happy to be selling music via WP7 why not just get Zune up and running, start with one company and add the others when they finally decide to pull their fingers out their respective arses. What a complete joke this is. Australia MUST get Zune music NOW.

  5. i found the idea of merging the xbl video mp & zune video mp a little stupid since some tv shows/movies for example were removed(that are still availible on itunes probably). & the music video mp isnt worth the time. hopefully this year my country will get the music portion but i seriesuly doubt it

  6. Seriously where have MS’s balls gone? and moreover where have the MS Australia balls gone? MS Australia stopped providing bing maps data from the preferred suppliers and used an Aus distributor it’s rubbish ! Now this!!

    How can MS allow themselvesto be pushed around like this in Aus? I suspect the folk in charge of Aus are either incompetent or they just aren’t being held accountable or BOTH!!

  7. STOP COMPLAINING! The app is a decent option for those wanting to download music on their WP7 device until Zune is released in Australia. I have played with the app and it has some cool features that I don’t think Zune app has. E.g. Buying merchandise.

  8. So we should we stop providing feedback, just because it is negative feedback?
    Its entirely appropriate to comment on issues we as consumers of the service see/percieve otherwise how else can continuous improvement be facilitated?

    This may have some nice features but you seem to be forgetting that it is the overall service/outcome that matters more than a few nice features.

    Do you have a date when Zune will be released in Aus? I bet there is no current solid timeline i.e. not in the next few years.

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