The latest version of the Yahoo Music Engine (YME) adds new playlist features and support for iPods. The free download includes a variety of extra content for Yahoo subscribers, including a seven-day trial of the Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service. Users who don't want to create a Yahoo account still get lots of functionality, including ripping, burning, and playlist creation. The program performs very well as a music manager and player, and has a few features we'd like to see added to iTunes. However, aggressive system behavior and a confusing music store keep it from earning a top rating.
Unlike the beta version, the full release of YME supports the megapopular iPod portable device; unfortunately, it doesn't support the Nano or Shuffle versions, and you can't transfer music from the Unlimited service to an iPod. For Yahoo subscribers, the number of features increases. You can share music with your contacts from Yahoo Instant Messenger, listen to customized LaunchCast Radio channels, and sign up for the free seven-day trial of Yahoo Music Unlimited.
The Yahoo music store needs clarity. A credit card is required for the free Unlimited trial, and be warned it costs $4.95 per month once the seven-day period ends. Plus, in its push to promote the Unlimited service, YME fails to explain that you don't need to be a subscriber to buy burnable digital files; songs cost 79 cents for Unlimited members and 99 cents for nonmembers. However, it's very difficult to search the store without signing up for the free Unlimited trial or receiving annoying promotions for it.
Most bothersome about YME is its aggressive system behavior. The standard installation includes all the Yahoo software under the sun. The end-user license agreement is lengthy (18 pages) and unnecessarily complex. YME also requires Windows Media Format Runtime, which when installed, changed our MP3 file association to Windows Media Player. YME also tried to insert itself into our start-up menu without asking. We like the new on-the-fly playlist and sharing features, but both minor and major annoyances detract from the experience.
Rip, mix and burn CDs with the free Yahoo! Music Jukebox. Import and manage your entire music collection on your computer or network. Easily create playlists of your favorite artists and send to friends through email, IM or share with other music community users. Transfer your music or playlists to portable devices. Find new music: the Yahoo! Music Jukebox generates personalized music recommendations based on your music ratings and the ratings of other members you select to influence your profile. Gain access with the Yahoo! Music Jukebox to Yahoo! Music Unlimited, a subscription service providing "on demand" access to a library of over one million songs, as well as 120+ commercial-free radio stations with LAUNCHcast Plus premium radio.
Version 184.108.40.206 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
What's new in this version: