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Ending months of confusion about MSN’s download music strategy, the two-year-old MSN Music store — which never really gained traction in th…

Ending months of confusion about MSN’s download music strategy, the two-year-old MSN Music store — which never really gained traction in the competition with Apple — will stop selling downloads Nov. 14. Traffic being redirected instead to RealNetwork’s Rhapsody or the new Zune Marketplace, according to a note on the site. A message with similar info went out today to MSN Music users, Cnet News.com reports.; the site had the story first.
Zune runs completely contrary to the MSN Music notion of selling WMA-based music that could be played on any PlaysForSure devices, opting instead for a closed system relying on a new format. Why Rhapsody? It goes back to the 2005 settlement between Microsoft and RealNetworks; one aspect keeps Microsoft from promoting any music service more prominently than Rhapsody.
– MSN Radio will be free
– The recent MSN deal with Control Room (formerly Network Live) highlights the new emphasis of MSN Music on content, not sales.
– Downloads already purchased can still be played, transferred to PlaysForSure devices and burned to CDs for personal use.
– “Buy” buttons will change to links to Rhapsody and Zune.
Update: Meanwhile, the Zune site is now online.
Related: MSN Music Launches Formally; European Stores Launched
– <a href="http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/msn-music-its-really-about-windows/&quot; title="MSN Music: It

  1. How about the also DOA Urge?

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