On the day of the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, Vodafone has launched its music download service for iOS and Android for New Zealand customers.
A free four-week trial is available to Vodafone customers, and a two-week trial is available to customers on any mobile network. After the trial, users who wish to sign up for the service will pay NZ$1.50/week or NZ$6/month on Vodafone, or NZ$8.29/month if on any other mobile network.
The trial allows full, unlimited access to the default playlists - the official NZ Top 40, 'Up & Coming', Top 10 NZ Artists, and tracks from VFNZ Music Awards nominees. In total, there are 70 tracks available.
Subscribers will be able to create their own playlists.
While the trial allows users to test the app its performance, it does not shed any light on the range of music available, as the trial is limited to those default playlists.
Vodafone's offering is not a streaming app: all tracks in your playlist are downloaded to your phone when the app is updated. Notifications pop up when updates to your playlists are available. By default, the app will only update via Wi-Fi, meaning updates won't incur data costs. It's possible to change this setting, but any data costs incurred with Vodafone or your own mobile carrier (if on another network) are above and beyond the price of the app.
Avoiding the now-common streaming model presents a good option for mobile users without large data plans, or frequent travellers who want offline music to listen to in flight or while roaming abroad. Most streaming apps do allow music to be cached offline, however, for just these reasons. Vodafone's app is not unique in offering downloads, but is notable in that it's solely based on that download model.
Review to come.