"If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work."
Unlimited music downloads for $2.75 per week
- Competitive price, no download fees, unlimited downloads, simple user interface, fast downloads, community interaction
- Files are DRM-protected, low bit rate of files, slight loading delay when playing tracks
Vodafone’s MusicStation isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good. Critics will point to the fact that you can’t keep your music if you choose to unsubscribe, but unlimited music downloads with no extra download fees and a simple and easy to use piece of software make MusicStation attractive on the whole. It’s certainly a refreshing addition to the music industry.
Price$ 2.75 (AUD)
Claiming the title of Australia’s first unlimited mobile music download service, Vodafone’s MusicStation certainly looks great value for money on first glance. Although it isn’t perfect, a competitive price, hassle-free downloads and an excellent user interface certainly impress.
Exclusive to Vodafone in Australia, MusicStation is a mobile service that provides completely unlimited access to a catalogue of more than 1 million music tracks. Major record labels already signed up to MusicStation include Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner. A number of independent and local artists have also signed up.
Developed by Omnifone, MusicStation costs $2.75 per week to use. The fee is charged as an extra on Vodafone’s monthly bills, so there is no need for a credit card when purchasing tracks, nor do consumers require a computer or Internet connection. The service is available for both post- and pre-paid customers.
The fact that there are no data charges for downloads is a huge advantage, as most mobile music services are crippled by these often expensive and confusing fees. Unfortunately, as this is a subscription-based service users won’t be able to keep their already downloaded music if they choose to stop paying their weekly subscription. This is MusicStation’s biggest weakness.
The application itself is a piece of Java software. The user interface is simple yet extremely effective and utilises a tabbed menu system. There are four main tabs — home, buzz, line-up and playing. Scrolling through each is a simple matter of using your handset’s navigational pad, with everything very straightforward and concise. Importantly, the application quickly scrolls through long lists of music tracks, with no evident lag or slowdown, although there is a delay of a couple of seconds when playing an already downloaded track. Although not a deal breaker, this quickly becomes frustrating.
Downloading a track or album is as simple as selecting it. Individual songs are added to your line-up and downloaded in the background and users can queue up to 1000 songs. During testing, most songs took between 15 seconds and a minute to download; this obviously varies depending on the length of the track. MusicStation relies on Vodafone’s 3G network to download tracks, and you can’t increase download speeds by using Wi-Fi. Conveniently, if you aren’t in a 3G coverage zone, you can still open the application and listen to already downloaded tracks. Once your 3G connection resumes, downloading of queued tracks will automatically resume.
One slight annoyance is the fact that MusicStation doesn’t mark your already downloaded tracks when you are searching for new music. Instead, selecting an already downloaded track adds it to the end of your current playlist in the line-up menu. Files are downloaded to your phone's internal memory or a memory card. When there is no available space left MusicStation is still able to download new tracks but will delete the least-listened-to track in your playlist. All tracks include album art, but the image can’t be saved as a separate file and is only used for the playing menu.
Files are downloaded in the eAAC+ format and although bit rates aren't specified, it isn't high. Vodafone claims the bit rate varies depending on the handset you use to download the tracks. Although this is a disadvantage, music playback is restricted to your mobile phone so audio quality isn’t of paramount concern. In any case, quality is reasonable enough for playback, though volume at its highest level could have been improved. Files are DRM-protected, so they can only be played on the mobile you download them with.
Conveniently, if you lose or upgrade your handset and stay with Vodafone all of your downloaded music can be recovered on your new handset — as long as it’s compatible with MusicStation. Currently, the service is available on Nokia’s 6210 Navigator, 6120 Classic, E65, N73 and N95 8GB, Sony Ericsson’s C902, W880i and W890i, as well as the LG Viewty (KU990). Vodafone plans to increase the list of compatible phones in the near future.
MusicStation also has a community feel: users create a profile and can share their playlists with other users. A playlist with up to 100 tracks can quickly be created and sent to friends, who can be added by MusicStation profile name or mobile number. If you choose, you can also allow anonymous users to download your created playlists and rate them out of five. There is a top members list and a number of celebrity playlists, as well as the current Australian singles chart.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 2 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- WWDC 2018: Apple gives us a first look at an all-new Mac App Store
- Apple combats iPhone throttling backlash with new iOS 12 features
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
- JBL take smart speakers back to the living room Link 300
- Sonos say Aussie Alexa support for One smart speaker won't arrive until Autumn 2018
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies