MSN Radio has launched in beta mode and at first look, seems to have created a audio service which gives listeners the best of many worlds.
According to its website:
"MSN Radio [features]...more than 50 pre-programmed genre stations and hundreds of ‘Fan Favorites’ stations that suggest songs and artists based on your favorite bands. (Note: Fan Favorites stations require a RadioPlus subscription.) You can even listen to online stations that are based on the actual playlists from your favorite local radio stations -- fewer ads, less repetition, and no annoying DJs."
With MSN Radio, if you like a particular song you’re hearing enough to want a permanent copy, simply click and you can download it for 99 cents. Or, if you’d rather buy the CD it comes from, MSN Radio will link you directly to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and other online vendors.
MSN Radio says it has licensed over 1 million tracks from "...from major music labels, independents, and even undiscovered artists." Besides the basic free offering of MSN Radio, there is also RadioPlus which charges a small monthly fee for extended service and capabilities. For $4.99/month or $29.99/year, A RadioPlus subscription gives the user:
No commercial interruptions Higher sound quality
More stations to choose from in every genre
Ever-changing Fan Favorites from thousands of artists
Live baseball games with MLB.com Gameday Audio
The beta version of MSN