Posted by: rubberhawk | February 16, 2009

Deezer, a new approach to online music



Recently I had to move all my music off of my hard drive on my computer in order to upgrade it to Leopard. This has left me without instant access to my music, some 5,000 songs. In the meantime I’ve looked towards the cloud for a solution…

Deezer is a new online music service that has been online since August 2007. The site offers some 3.7 million songs to stream for free off of their site completely for free to its 4 million registered users. How does it do this and not get attacked by various music rights groups? The French site has become the first in the country to sign royalty agreements with both Universal and Sony which allows it to stream music from its site in exchange for royalties paid to the two groups, the revenue being entirely advertising-generated.

I’ve played with the site for the best part of a few hours now and the system is working well for me. Even in the countryside, where my internet access is a measly 2Mb/s the songs play smoothly and without interruption. Creating playlist is a simple process of searching for the song and clicking add to playlist. It also leverages the power of its users to create what seems like a never ending stream of smart playlists. Of course, every song on the site is available to “purchase”, but with the stability I’ve experienced so far I haven’t even felt an urge to look into what that means.

The only flaw I have seen is with tracks that are listed but are for some reason disabled (just look for The Kings Of Leon). This I suspect is some sort of conflict over either the licensed songs or peer-to-peer distributed songs. Either way, it is frustrating when 70 songs are all listed to you as disabled for an unknown reason. If the service became more consistent and had the support of all the major labels instead of what seems to be a legally dubious combination of p2p and licensing agreements then I could see myself using the service on a regular basis. As it stands it seems to be plagued by the aforementioned license issues that see tracks being taken down.

Online it’s main competitor is probably but where focuses on primarily introducing you to new music, Deezer aims to let you access all your favorite songs on demand and as you want. Ultimately you should be able to control your music  as easily as you would in iTunes or Windows Media Player. The only problem being that labels won’t let it.



  1. […] – Online Music Round Two In round One, I discussed an online service called Deezer which allowed you to stream music from the site […]

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