Flyte Flipkart’s Mp3 Music Store | Flipkart launches Flyte MP3 download store
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Fast growing e-commerce website Flipkart is flying into the digital music download territory with its MP3 download service called Flyte.
The online music download store which opened on Monday will have to compete with music piracy websites and illegal BitTorrent downloads but also with free Indian online music streaming services.
While Flipkart had previously announced its plans to come up with a digital media store, a link to the iTunes-like music store for India was inadvertently put up on the website’s navigation a few days ago and was taken promptly taken off, but not before it being noticed by some bloggers. Flipkart had in late 2011 acquired mime360.com, a media distribution platform and Flyte seems to be the logical next step
Flyte, Flipkart’s digital music store, provides DRM (Digital Rights Management) free MP3 files at prices starting from Rs 6 a song and Rs 25 for an album. Users can listen to a 30-second clip before making their purchase. Music purchase from Flyte is currently restricted to users in India only.
Digital music is often a lot cheaper than physical CD purchases. For example, a Kahaanimusic CD is priced at Rs 160 on T-Series’ web store, whereas the MP3 for the same album is available for Rs 54 on Flyte.
According to Flipkart 99 per cent of the content on its music store is available as MP3 files encoded at 320kbps bitrates, though some songs are available only at lower bitrates. But the random album that I downloaded had most of the songs in only 64 kbps and 128 kbps.
Users have the option to either directly download their purchased files or use the Flyte Download Manager to simplify the download process. Each music file purchased from Flyte can be downloaded a maximum of four times.
The Flyte Download Manager is currently available Windows and Mac operating systems and Flipkart says the Linux version will be released shortly.
The Flyte Download Manager is a 4.3 MB download for Windows and 6.3 MB for the Mac version. There did not seem to be any noticeable difference in download speed while downloading the purchased files manually and via the Flyte Download Manager. The advantage of the download manager is that downloading multiple files is a one click process.
Flyte’s collection includes music from 40 Indian and foreign languages and dialects across 28 genres.
One thing that may put off some users is incomplete ID3 tagging in some of the downloaded files. Nitpicking, but customers are demanding. Also the file names were not in the style that I like them to be.
The launch of Flyte happens 10 days after reports that the notorious music piracy website Songs.pk was blocked in India. Though the website was not directly accessible via Airtel broadband, it is still accessible on mobile (Idea Cellular) or via simple workarounds such as Google Translate.
Legal action against piracy websites may direct some users to legitimate digital music services but Flipkart will need to give users some value addition to be able to lure them away from free, albeit illegal content.
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