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Murdoch takes aim at streaming pretenders

MySpace Music arrives in UK with a bullet

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Fresh from signing up the indies, News Corp's MySpace Music is launching an ambitious streaming competitor - in theory - to Spotify, We7 and Last.fm in the UK.

In practice, it's hard to see people substituting much Spotify time for MySpace time. Music on the portal is hard to find, and buried under major label marketing bumph. Making a playlist, or "leaving it running" - something the original MySpace got right, albeit in chunks of four songs at a time - is not as easy as it should be. The scope of the catalogue is impressive, but finding and using the music isn't.

"More legal music in the UK making music more accessible is a great thing for stimulating the overall market, so as they say in the States 'bring it on'", reckoned We7 founder Steve Purdham.

As for Last.fm - does anybody other than web designers still use it?

The UK is the third territory after the US and Australia/New Zealand to get the service. But as with the other versions, there's little sign of its heritage - the name MySpace is about all it has in common with the scrappy DIY music social network.

Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Kasabian ... ?

But that may not matter. If you like hundreds of acts (or more), but aren't anally retentive enough to follow each one obsessively, then you can customize MySpace Music to keep you up to date in a non-intrusive way - something rivals can't really do so well, if at all.

News Corp has partnered with Apple, so once you get through all the kludge, you eventually arrive at an iTunes store button. 7Digital pointed out that the tracks are in AAC not MP3 format.

Judge for yourself, here. ®

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