John Topley’s Weblog

Purchasing Music Online, Microsoft Style

My partner recently wanted to download a track from HMV Digital. The following is a true account of the process we had to go through before we could play the purchased music. By the way, the HMV Digital website only works with IE 6 or greater, so Firefox, Safari or Opera wasn’t an option. I know, party like it’s 1999!

  1. Click to download the purchased track.
  2. Tell IE to enable popups for the site.
  3. The HMV Download Manager opens.
  4. Tell IE to enable ActiveX controls for this window.
  5. The download starts but craps out after a few seconds with an obscure “DispInfo” error. I know that this sounds like COM-speak, but what’s a non-programmer to think?
  6. Switch to my clean installation of Windows XP running under Parallels on the Mac.
  7. Close the Desktop Cleanup Wizard balloon.
  8. Log in to the HMV Digital site. Click to download the purchased track.
  9. Close the Desktop Cleanup Wizard balloon again.
  10. Tell IE to enable popups for the site.
  11. The HMV Download Manager opens.
  12. Tell IE to enable ActiveX controls for this window.
  13. The download starts but craps out after a few seconds. It’s a different error this time: “The client does not have the DRM security update”.
  14. Do a Google search on the error text. End up at a Virgin Digital Music Help page. Follow the link to Microsoft to upgrade the security component.
  15. Click to download the purchased track. It works this time but is really slow because in the meantime Windows has decided to download this week’s updates.
  16. Click to install the updates.
  17. Click the balloon to see what updates Windows is installing.
  18. Windows Update prompts for a reboot. Ignore it because you haven’t transferred the downloaded track out of the virtual machine yet.
  19. Reboot Windows to finish installing the updates.
  20. Copy the track to the PC. Double-click it to play it.
  21. Windows Media Player 10 warns that some security components are missing. Click to install them.
  22. The installation fails.
  23. Double-click the file again. Nothing happens. Windows Media Player doesn’t start.
  24. Check for updates from within Windows Media Player. Update to the latest version.
  25. Windows Media Player can’t play the track because the licence is missing.
  26. Re-download the licence file from HMV.

Purchasing Music Online, Apple Style

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Click the iTunes Store.
  3. Browse or search for what you want.
  4. Click Buy Song.

Comments

There are 2 comments on this post. Comments are closed.

  • avatar Jeff
    04 January 2008 at 20:00

    Awesome :-) There are so many times when I wished I had taken screenshots during something like this, to show how many steps almost every Microsoft task requires. So many "Are you sure?" prompts, "Click Next", etc.

  • avatar Steve
    29 July 2008 at 14:26

    This is true, but it's not the experience you get from the Zune Marketplace. That is much the same as itunes. As long as you have the SM points or your credit card info set up it's pretty simple. Wish they could all be as smooth, though. I wonder how many more clicks you would have had with Vista?


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