CokeTunes (www.coketunes.co.nz)

Content: 3/5
Effort: 4/5
Layout: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5

Finally, the honest music lovers amongst us can rejoice. Coke has launched New Zealand’s largest online music store, CokeTunes. I was excited the fi rst time I visited CokeTunes. I was optimistic that finally NZ had a decent online music store. However behind all the glitz and the glam I found many little problems with CokeTunes, which after a while really annoyed me.

The Site: The site design is impressive but not well thought out. Site navigation is really confusing – often I was unsure where to click, and this can’t be good for sales. When you first sign up for CokeTunes you have to download a music manager. The download never worked on the first computer I tried CokeTunes on, and on the second I got errors every time I ran CokeTunes.

The Content: CokeTunes boasts an impressive 570,000 songs. However they fail to host artists from the Sony/BMG label which means you cannot buy music by Foo Fighters, Oasis, Destiny’s Child and others. I was also annoyed at the lack of New Zealand music. Sure there are the big names – but where are the little guys?

The Price: $1.85 a song and $18 an album makes CokeTunes a lot cheaper than your local CD store. However with other things I found problems. CokeTunes tried to charge me $36 for one song that I went to download. I soon changed my mind about that song. Also be careful when downloading albums with less than 10 tracks – it’s cheaper to download the individual songs than the full album.

Music Portability: This was another area that annoyed me. The songs that you buy are in Windows Media Digital Rights Management format. This means you can only use Windows Media Player to play the songs or move them onto a select few portable devices. iPods and MP3 CD Players are not supported. However I got around this by creating an audio CD using Windows Media Player and then ripping the fi les off the CD into MP3 format using iTunes.

Overall: I believe Coke has made a really good attempt at bringing digital music to NZ however if they had done better testing before the launch it could have been a lot better. I doubt I will use CokeTunes much, unless it improves a lot. Come on Apple – give NZ an iTunes music store!