eircom’s music store

Update: Website is live. (reviews are imported in from Entertainment.ie, please use LouderVoice!)

Met some nice people from eircom recently who told me about their future broadband plans as well as their plans for content. Not one of them wore a tie by the way. eircom will be relaunching their new music store very soon and from what I’m told it’s being built using lots of web 2.0 goodness. They’re also using a well-known and respected Irish company to design the store. Nice to see young local companies being used. They’ll be launching IPTV next year and are doing deals with media producers to get channels on the service as well as selling/renting movies and videos.

What I’m liking most about all of this is that the people looking after these areas are very enthusiastic and definitely are unlike the old eircom where the attitude seemed to be reject the new and hold on to the old ways as much as you can. Love that they are using the Last.FM engine to make recommendations to people. “If you like this, you’ll probably like this”. Better than Amazon’s recommendations based on purchases alone. They’re also getting the idea of the long tail by going around and trying to get as much local talent on to the store as possible. Perhaps they’ll add a podcast section some day? I asked them the dodgy DRM question and for labels that insist on it, they’ll use it but a lot of their music will be DRM-free. Universal looks to be on the way of getting rid of DRM completely anyway and yeah, they should be able to offer more content than iTunes because of that Universal/Apple spat.

Here’s some of the features:

  • The music channel will carry music from all the major labels, plus international and Irish independents, offering the widest range of products in Ireland – 800k tracks at launch; 7k videos, 27k polyphonic ringtones, 8k realtones.
  • Also features music news, album reviews, plus an Ireland-wide music events guide
  • In partnership with downloadmusic.ie, the channel will include free MP3s, videos, and a 24/7 streaming music player.
  • Music store Includes music recommendations from Last.fm, a media player where users can compile sample playlists, and 30sec samples before you buy
  • Channel will offer the widest range of download types in the Irish market place. Customers can download in multiple formats – to pc, to mobile, dual download (simultaneously to pc and mobile), video, real tones & poly tones and wallpaper.
  • I’d love to see what it looks like at the end of the day. Right now I can’t access the music section on eircom.net with Firefox or Internet Explorer due to some overzealous scripts saying I don’t have the right version of IE and Windows Media player. That’s not good. Lastly, eircom are turning up at more and more tech events like BarCamps and Open Coffees and want to meet local tech companies. Do say hello to them, you might get some work from them!

  • Customers can pay for downloads by either credit card or through premium rate SMS
  • Entire EMI catalogue is DRM-free, so there are no restrictions on usage
  • DRM-enabled tracks can be burnt to CD or transferred to appropriate media players

9 Responses to “eircom’s music store”

  1. Anonymoose says:

    IPTV from Eircom wohooo.
    Now all they have to do is roll out a countywide broadband service of sufficient speed so that we can watch it.

  2. Neil Ward says:

    I did some work for eircom back in 2000/2001, and they were talking about a form of IPTV being available within 12 months at that stage.

    The music store sounds promising though….

  3. Jim Carroll says:

    I have never been able to access the eircom music store or get past the front page thanks to Eircom putting all their faith in the OD2 set-up which doesn’t like Macs. Has that changed?

    Hopefully all their content will be original and not simply entertainment.ie rehashes. Or perhaps when it comes to content, eircom still get rondomondo-related nightmares?

  4. A decent, working website from Eircom?

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  5. mj says:

    Brilliant. The world needs ANOTHER music store.

    Can’t the people developing this be put to some other use like, say, rolling out copper wire to give broadband to people?

  6. Rahood says:

    Damien did you think this one all the way through before you gave it such an apparent thumbs up or have they gone live a little early like before EMI’s drm free mp3’s are available ?

    From the misic.eircom.net FAQ
    #…. Windows XP and Windows Media Player version 10 or above. Apple Macs are not compatible with this service”(nor is VISTA)
    #….Deleting your account would mean that you lose access to any purchased content.
    #….not accept debit cards

    And the ::show stopper::

    “”Music downloaded from eircom Music is delivered as Windows Media Audio (WMA files which are protected by Windows Media DRM). You can play your files using your PC’s Windows Media Player. The first time you play your downloaded track, eircom Music will send you a licence that governs the number of times that you can burn or transfer a track.”
    ……..”Tracks can only be transferred to portable devices that support Windows Media DRM 9 or above – if in doubt, please check with the device manufacturer.
    eircom Music PC downloads are NOT compatible with the Apple iPod.””

    “Formatting, re-installing, replacing the hard drive, all require the content to be re-licenced unless the licences are previously backed up (this facility was removed from Windows Media Player 11+). Similarly downloading and attempting to playback the content on any other PC will use another licence attempt.”

    Transfers to a portable device:”between 3 and 5 transfers. The remaining transfers can be found on the “Licence” tab on the file properties.”

    I stopped reading at that point because its game over before it even started. No ipod support = No market in Ireland you just have to get on the Luas or any bus to see that.

    //loudervoice.com is down for an upgrade.

  7. Justin Mason says:

    It’s quite nice and all, and definitely an improvement in UI terms.

    However: if they’re going to fall into the record companies’ DRM trap, and mix
    up MP3 and non-MP3 DRM’d content, they need to put the technical details _well_ up-front. I mean, what the fuck is a “fulltrack to PC” when it’s at home?!

    And I work on defeating unpleasant encryption schemes as a hobby — god help the typical iPod owner.

    This is exactly the problem that 7digital.co.uk had.

    In fact, do they have any non-DRM content? I can’t find any…

    PS: I remember Eircom back in the mid-90s had a bunch of massive Oracle
    database servers for their IPTV trials back then. No, I don’t know why an insanely large database was relevant, either 😉

  8. Justin Mason says:

    (correcting myself: actually, that was about 1999/2000, not the mid-90s.)

  9. John says:

    No non-linux options again. 🙁 Anyway why bother All this has been done before,