Sprint is getting into the music distribution game today with the launch of its Sprint Music Plus service.
Partnering with RealNetworks, the free Android application lets users manage their existing music library, as well as purchase new music and ringtones. Individual tracks range from 69 cents to $1.29 each, and you can also purchase full albums and ringback tones and ringtones.
In an effort to attract more spending, Sprint will offer bundles of songs with their respective tones should a subscriber opt to pick up all three at once. Any purchases made will be automatically deferred to the monthly service bill where customers will see itemized charges.
I've spent a few hours with the Music Plus application today and find it to be only average as a media player. Compared with the HTC music player that comes with the Evo 4G, it looks partially finished and lacking. What I do like, however, is the ability to create custom ringback tones for my contacts based on individuals, groups, and special occasions. It was very easy to set up a special ringback for select friends, so that they hear a specific song at certain times of the day.
As handy as it is for users to buy tracks and ringtones, I cannot help but feel bad for novice Android users. Paying $2.50 for a ringtone seems silly when Sprint will sell the full song for $1.29 at the most. There are also other applications in the Android Market that allow for cropping tracks into bite-size tones.
However, as an all-in-one app, it's hard to complain much when things are free. Sprint customers can find Music Plus as a free download in the Sprint Zone application today.