February 7, 2006 5:10 PM PST

Yahoo updates its iTunes rival

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Yahoo released a new version of its new music jukebox on Tuesday, adding a handful of features aimed at making the software easier to use on networks and with MP3 players.

The company's Music Engine software is designed to be a rival to Apple Computer's iTunes, and serves as the home for Yahoo's monthly music subscription service. The company has not said how many subscribers it has attracted since launching it in May.

The new version of the software makes it easier to swap playlists and browse the music collections of other people who are using Yahoo's instant messenger software. Among other additions, it also fixes bugs that had marred the first release, particularly in transferring songs to portable devices.

"This release falls into the 'you asked, we answered' category," Yahoo Music team head Ian Rogers wrote in a blog post announcing the release. "Yahoo Music Engine still isn't perfect, but it's certainly headed the right direction."

Rogers said that one of the most serious problems with the earlier release was a bug in Microsoft software that occasionally prevented any music from being transferred to MP3 players that were supposed to be compatible with the service. Microsoft has provided a fix for the issue, he said.

The new version of the software also has features such as support for devices that stream music around a home network, as well as makes CD burning easier.

See more CNET content tagged:
Yahoo! Inc., Apple iTunes, Apple Computer, MP3 player, MP3

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