Nokia Ovi Music now DRM free in South Africa – and it works really well!

Posted on September 9, 2010

Nokia Ovi Music has been around for a while, but to be honest, after signing up and finding out that it was all DRM’d music in WMA format that was the end of my experience.

Today I saw a few tweets saying that it had now been relaunched as DRM free. A quick visit to the Nokia website and … after a few minutes of wandering around to various pages saying lots and nothing I gave up and googled “Ovi Music” and ended up on the Music Store at : Music.Ovi.Com.

I logged in, and was pleased to see that it still had all my details from the Ovi Store account I had created on my Nokia E71 a few months ago. I dived straight into the music looking for the new Liquideep album, Fabrics of the Heart (link here), which I had been struggling to find on the on-line stores (Exclusive books etc) and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had the album for a very reasonable R80 for 14 songs.

Next I needed to pay, so was given the choice of either paying the R80 on my credit card, or buying credits to load into my account. I choice the credits option and was given R170 for a R150 payment (R20 free). There was the choice of paying R300 and getting R350 (R50 free). I wasn’t sure how good the experience was going to be so stuck with the R150. The credits do however expire if unused for 12 months. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem 🙂

Buying the album was quick and easy, a few clicks later and I was ready to start downloading. The tracks were 256kbit stereo MP3’s, with a 5 minute song being around 9MB. I chose not to install the Ovi music player software so had to download each song individually. A little painful, but my choice, and works with any browser so is great.

During the download process my login credentials timed out (without me realising) so the download links stopped working. It took a little while for me to work this out, but once logged back in, I went to my account, download history, and was able to download the remaining songs without problem.

While waiting for the downloads I took a wander through the store. There is a great selection of music with albums priced from R60-R100 and singles from R6-R10. I did come across a situation where an EP was priced at R20 (Crazy whiteboy) but had only 2 songs on it which could be bought for R16 (R8x2) so always worthing checking before you buy.

I am delighted with this new service, especially with the availability of local South African music. Great price, great selection, no restrictions make for a winning service. Well done Nokia.

Out of interest, the “comes with music” service is still available on select Nokia devices, however unsurprisingly that still uses the DRM’ed WMA format. Out of interest, those devices come with a one year subscription and to extend that to a second year is R500. That’s about R42 per month, which is really reasonable for unlimited access to music.

P.S. The last album I bought was a few days ago, Prime Circle’s “Jekyll & Hyde” This was R96 from Exclusive Books online, and isn’t available from Ovi Music. All or Nothing is R94 and this is R80 on Ovi music. Watershed’s new album Staring at the Ceiling not available on Ovi. Latest inernational music, Katy Perry R110 (on special) at Exclusive vs R100 Ovi. Last one, Aphrodite (Kylie) R120 on Exclusive and R80 on Ovi.

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Categories: Online commerce

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