Apple's iTunes Music Store is the best download service, according to Fortune magazine.
Fortune says iTunes is the "best service overall, is easy to use, and is best service for audio books".
The Store is criticized only for its lack of compatibility with MP3 players other than the iPod: "iTunes songs use a proprietary-rights management system called FairPlay that's not yet supported by other portable players, meaning you're locked into using an iPod. But there are worse fates."
It recommends Apple's iTunes Store to anyone who is new to online music. "This is the place to start. It's based on the Windows version of Apple's iTunes software, which tightly integrates a media-player program (iTunes), a download service (the music store), and a portable player (the iPod), resulting in unparalleled ease of use.
"The software is free and there are no subscription fees. The catalogue of more than 500,000 songs is among the largest of all legal services. Apple's search functions are best-in-class, making it easy to find the music you seek, assuming it's available. Any song you buy can be burned to a CD an unlimited number of times; unchanged playlists can be burned to a disc up to ten times. You can transfer songs for playback on as many as three computers, and to your iPod as many times as you want."
iTunes-specific features such as celebrity playlists, iTunes Essentials, Billboard charts, prepaid cards and allowance accounts, gift certificates, and audio books, all receive praise.
BuyMusic won praise for the affordability of some songs, musicmatch's integrated software is "among the best", MusicNow offers "full-quality audio samples", RealPlayer offers the "highest-quality audio in both WMA and AAC". Napster offers a wide selection of features, and Wal-Mart offers "cheap tunes".