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MSN Music is a part of the MSN web services. It delivers music news, music videos, spotlights on new music, artist information, and live performances of artists. In 2004, Microsoft created an MSN Music download store to compete with Applemarker's iTunes Music Store, though its sales in comparison were negligible. The store utilized Microsoft's Windows Media Player application and proprietary Windows Media Format files (protected .wma files).

It started out with 1.5 million songs, but decreased to 1.1 million songs due mainly to lagging sales and lack of real support from Microsoft.

The MSN Music store was not compatible with Microsoft's own Zune music player. As of 14 November, 2006, MSN Music ceased music sales and now redirects viewers to either Zune or Real Rhapsody websites.

Microsoft acquired MongoMusic on September 13, 2000 and merged its technology.

In April 2008, Microsoft announced that the DRM servers for MSN Music will be deactivated on 2008-08-31. After this date it will no longer be possible to reauthorise purchased songs when changing computers or operating systems.They have suggested that customers back up their music by burning it to CD.

Other Countries

Although MSN Music Downloads have ceased in the US, MSN Music Downloads (DRM Protected) are still available in the UK via the MSN UK Portal and/or through Windows Media Player although the service is powered by Nokia (formerly OD2).

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