A partnership between eBay and Universal Music to sell MP3 tracks offers another DRM-free option for Australian buyers, but the integration is so sloppy as to render the partnership pointless.
eBay rolled out the feature earlier this week, and has created a portal page which combines digital sales from Universal's Get Music site (in 256Kbps MP3 format) with other music-related products being sold via auction. While eBay's huge audience should represent a large potential market, I don't think the iTunes Store or BigPond Music will be stressing too much.
At $1.59 for most tracks, the cost is slightly lower than the other options (though some listings appear to have erroneous pricing). What lets the plan down is the non-existent integration. Click on a 'Buy MP3' link and you get launched into a separate Get Music window, and purchasing requires a separate Get Music account — there's no integration with eBay at all, save an option to pay via PayPal. Given all those extra hoops and the less-than-comprehensive selection, I can't imagine why anyone would bother. Thanks Michael!