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AOL tries for a one-step-forward day after a series of two steps back with the launch of revamped AOL Music Now, in the works since AOL acquired MusicNow last fall. The on-demand service is $9.95 and PlaysFor Sure portability is $14.95. It’s getting harder for music services to differentiate so AOL is pushing unlimited music video downloads — including syncing to portable devices — as a claim to fame. The free AOL push means many features are available without charge; also songs can be purchased a la carte. Another difference for AOL: an alliance with XM that provides access to the sat radio services’s music channels; the radio service runs $4.95 monthly. There’s a 30-day trial that probably won’t work if you tried the previous edition. As for hardware, AOL partnered with Creative to offer $50 off the popular Zen Vision:M 30G video/music player. Release.
Some aspects I noticed on a first look:
— The now-routine sharing of playlists and music profiles. The preferences seem to default to public profile, requiring an opt-out if privacy is preferred.
— Customized RSS feeds.
— It works in various browsers but requires IE for downloads and syncing.
Related: AOL Music Now Opens To Developers; Increases Customizaton
— AOL Buys MusicNow; MusicNet Booted