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New Study Accuses Music Download Services Of Spreading Latest Consumer Disease: Digital Deficit Disorder
By Mi2N
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"Click-Here Commerce: Digital Downloading," an international study of the success factors in digital downloading services, has identified a disturbing new consumer disease: Digital Deficit Disorder. Symptoms of the disease, often contracted by users who try to download music and video online, are caused by poorly designed digital download sites. These symptoms include: loss of concentration, feelings of being trapped, and format anxiety. New research says the symptoms of this user interface disease are linked to other consumer diseases discovered by Shelley Taylor & Associates including Mad Couch Disease (interactive TV) and Abandoned Shopping Cart Syndrome and Post-Transaction Anxiety Disorder, diseases which are often blamed for the early deaths of many websites.

"Click-Here Commerce: Digital Downloading" evaluates 38 digital download services from Europe and the US representing a cross-industry sample, including: 15 download stores, 7 media player/jukeboxes, 10 online radio stations and 6 P2P sites. Sites were analyzed between October and December according to more than 1000 proprietary evaluation criteria and included:

Download Stores: iTunes, Sony's Connect (Europe and US), MusicMatch, Virgin (France), Napster, Real's Music Store Rhapsody On-Demand service, Fnac (France), Walmart;

Media Players: Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and Winamp;

Radio: live365, BBC radio, Yahoo Launchcast; and

P2P: Kazaa, eMule and Limewire.

These preview findings focus on music download stores, media players and online radio services. The second version to be published in February will include another 15-20 sites: record label, recording artist,TV and film sites (none of which offer the functionality of stores, players and radio services).

"We see some of the most popular download services actively engaging in a form of guerilla slavery: using proprietary formats, closed system media players and proprietary portable devices," says Shelley Taylor, the publisher of "Click-Here Commerce: Digital Downloading." "As a result, user's initial enthusiasm is being deflated as they realize they have been conned – there are more limitations imposed on legitimate digital downloads, media players and portable devices than advertised. If music services focused on creating and delivering features, functions and content that enabled users to more fully participate in the pleasure of music, then these services would sell themselves."

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