Yahoo Refreshes Music Engine to 1.1

Yahoo has released the first major update to its Yahoo! Music Engine software since the product’s launch in August of last year. Atop the list of new features is a streamlined user interface, less memory usage and a “device wizard” for creating automated playlists on portable players.

Yahoo! Music Engine (YME) integrates with Yahoo! Music Unlimited, the company’s subscription music store that enables customers to download as many tracks as they wish, and optionally transfer them to portable devices. Pricing runs $10 per month when purchased annually.

Yahoo! Music Unlimited attempts to differentiate itself from iTunes and other services by focusing on personalization. Users can setup profiles of their musical likes and dislikes, which are used by Yahoo to create custom home page of recommended artists and songs. iTunes recently added a similar feature called “Just For You” that makes recommendations based on previous purchases.

With the release of YME version 1.1, Yahoo has responded to feedback from its users and made a number of changes to the player.
“This release falls into the ‘you asked, we answered’ category,” explained YME developer Ian Rogers. “We’ve taken your feedback from Yahoo! Music Engine’s initial release, prioritized it, attacked as many of the issues as time allowed, added a few new innovations, and packaged it all together into this latest release.”

The update adds a “scratch playlist” for viewing what songs are in the queue without leaving Yahoo’s music store. Playlists will also follow users wherever they log in, and can be made public for all users to browse, much like iTunes’ iMix feature.

Other additions include improved customer service, a bug fix for Microsoft’s digital rights management that left users with a “license store is corrupted” error, and a feature that remembers where you were last browsing in Yahoo! Music Unlimited.

YME is also now able to stream music to the living room by linking up with third party devices, adds Rogers. “We built and included the industry’s finest and most full-featured media server, compatible with (UPnP A/V) devices from Dlink, Roku and many others. Your subscription music will play on any device that supports the Windows Media Connect application from Microsoft.”

Unlike Microsoft’s offering, Yahoo! Music Engine does not require .NET and is able to stream songs that are not local to the computer. “So, make a playlist “Like You Gots To Chill” (using our one-click similar song playlist creator button) for your next dinner party and stream it to the Roku in your living room without downloading a single one of those songs,” says Rogers.

Yahoo! Music Engine 1.1 is available for download via FileForum. Current users can also update through the software itself.

News source: Betanews

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