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Coke's music download site falls flat

Gremlins in the mix

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Coca-Cola's mycokemusic.com music download site should have gone live yesterday but was offline most of the day. It is still inaccessible at the time of writing.

A notice on the site says mycokemusic.com is "currently being updated" and promises its availability by 16:00 today.

Coca Cola blames the failure on "minor technical problems", but is keeping schtum on the nature of the beast.

Online sites typically fail for one of four reasons: lack of bandwidth capacity; poor coding; inadequate server capacity ;or hostile attack. Servers buckling under too heavy a load are the usual explanation and the probable reason (we guess) for Coke's inauspicious debut.

mycokemusic.com uses technology from music distributor OD2 - Microsoft's European DRM supplier. Other sites powered by OD2 - such as MSN Music Club, Freeserve Music Club, HMV Digital Downloads, Tiscali Music Club, Ministry Of Sound, Dotmusic and Virgin Downloads are all looking rather sluggish today.

Coke's site is branded as the "first consumer branded, legitimate downloadable music site" for UK music fans. It promises to offers a selection of more than 250,000 songs from 8,500 artists, with individual tracks costing from 80p and albums from £6.40. Coca-Cola promises that the site will feature exclusive and pre-release content, with tracks available on the site up to six weeks before they arrive in music stores.

Music fans will be offered the chance to listen to Windows Media files without buying them for as little as 1p per track. All payments need to be made with either credit or debit cards. ®

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