Yahoo! Music Unlimited

July 7, 2006 in 5 out of 5 stars, Fun, Technology

What is it?

Yahoo! Music Unlimited[*]: A flat out, too-good-to-be-true, $60/yr, all you can eat, on demand, music candy store.

Yahoo! Music Unlimited

Who makes it?


Why is it the killerest?

If you are tethered to your desk for most of the day and enjoy music, this service is a life-changer. I reviewed Yahoo's Launchcast music service a year ago. A month ago, I finally upgraded to Unlimited and haven't accomplished a single thing since.

Not really, but here's what I love:

  1. You have to use a special Yahoo! player. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of another media player on my computer, but this thing is amazing. I don't use it to catalog my music (still use iTunes for that) but I do use it with this service, and it's positively amazing. It uses Windows Media Player as it's guts (transparently) and it is very impressive. It's polished and does a brilliant job of reading my mind and making it easy to run around like a wildman inside the candy store.
  2. It keeps all your ratings from Launch and lets you use them to find music you like.
  3. You can share a song you like via link with a friend (fellow subscriber) over email or IM.
  4. It still has the Launch radio built in as part of it. And the best part? You hear a song you like - 2 clicks later you're on the song or album page. Listen to the song again, or the whole album. Any time.
  5. If you want to buy a song, (a la iTunes) it's only $0.79.
  6. You can put any music locally on your machine.
  7. You can make playlists.
  8. You can run it on up to three computers at a time.
  9. I've finally, almost, after repeated, near-intravenous listening - gotten enough of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy. (Does that make me craaazzaay?)

What could be improved?

It doesn't work with the iPod. But this isn't Yahoo's fault, it's Apple's.

It doesn't have every single song ever created. Again, not Yahoo's fault (it's typically the label's fault) but it's a bummer. That said: with over a million songs, 90% of what I look for, I find. It's amazing really.

You can't burn CDs without paying (duh) or take it with you (although they have a service ("take it to go" tab) that allows that too, for $10/mo).

How much does it cost?

$60/yr or $7/mo - start with a free trial .


Reviewed by Carson McComas

[*] The links above are affiliate links. Should you wish to follow them without supporting this site (fine!), or if it just makes you feel yucky, please use this direct link instead:

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At $7/mo., it actually sounds kind of expensive for not much return. What are you exactly paying for? If you are paying for the $0.20 discount (from iTunes $0.99/song), then you'd have to buy 300 songs in a year to make it worth it.

I hate to say it, since I've always thought WorkHappy has reviewed great products honestly, but this combined with the rare 5-star rating and the cryptic URL in the link to the service, make this post seem more like some kind of advertisement than an honest review.

Posted by: Nick | Jul 7, 2006 1:29:07 PM

Hi Nick, actually it's $5/mo if you do the yearly subscription.

You aren't paying for the discount, you're paying for completely unlimited, unfettered access to over a million songs. i.e. you don't need to buy a single song. Imagine if you were at iTunes and you could listen to full versions of any song, at any time, on demand without paying per song. That's the idea. And it rocks.

Re: the cryptic URL - good catch, I did put an affiliate link behind that (something I do when I have the chance). You can click here[1] if you wish to check it out/sign up without feeling like you're being advertised to.

FWIW (and I need to do a post on this I suppose): I would never recommend something (or increase its rating) in an effort to get the few (literally) dollars I might make off an affiliate link. But if I highlight a product or service here, and it happens to have an affiliate program, I'm an entrepreneur too and I assume it won't offend my readers if I use an affiliate link (I do it with book links to Amazon for example). I hope that's not a false assumption. I hope my readers see it as an easy way to support the site if they're going to check something out anyway. I understand how you might be concerned about a conflict of interest. I can assure you I wouldn't sell my soul for $8.

I really am blown away by this service, and with it being Friday and all, I figure entrepreneurs aren't all just about spreadsheets and shopping systems. If this review has tarnished your opinion of over a year's worth of other reviews and posts I've made, that's a shame and I'm sorry.


Posted by: Carson McComas | Jul 7, 2006 2:07:05 PM

Yahoo Unlimited is easily the BEST $$ I spend all year. For less than the price of a CD each month I can listed to MILLIONS and MILLIONS of songs. I can listen to whole albums, or just single songs. I can listen to my own playlists - taken from the millions of choices available. I've even got the ability to listen to a 'radio' of randomly mixed songs that are keenly tied to my listening preferences - that's frankly my favorite feature (because of the 'Amazon-Love' functionality that keys songs I like against songs that other people like, and then recommends 'similar' artists and songs.)

So yeah, it won't write my invoices for me - or find me any new clients. But it does make tedious tasks that much easier - I find that billing is much less of a pain in the butt when I have something like a good album to accompany me. The same goes with other tedious tasks. And when I'm coding or 'in my element' I can use other albums/playlists as an 'adrenaline' boost. Likewise, we all know that music is a great 'inspiration accessory' - so having oodles of it available is a big win.

DISCLAIMER: I'm one of Carson's Geek friends - but that doesn't lessen my love of Yahoo Unlimited.

Posted by: Michael K. Campbell | Jul 7, 2006 2:33:55 PM

It's only available in the US and Canada, it requires Windows, and you don't actually get to take the files away from the computer. And it sounds like the files have nasty DRM stuff, so I'm guessing they're wma files.

If you need to have music playing all day every day, try's neighbour radio. If you need to actually download mp3s, try that Russian pay-per-megabyte website.

Posted by: LordRich | Jul 7, 2006 3:38:19 PM

Yes, good point. To confirm: it's Windows only, US and Canada. It does indeed have DRM, of course (and they are .wma files).

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jul 7, 2006 3:44:02 PM

I'll never pay to rent music. I don't think the general public will fully adopt a subscription model that doesn't allow you to keep your music or play it elsewhere.

Think of this not as "all you can eat," but as "all you can chew."

Posted by: Adam | Jul 7, 2006 4:05:11 PM


You can get an all you can... 'regurgitate' by paying $10/month - in which case you can carry the songs around on a WMP device (that manages my DRM). Yeah... big brother, DRM, etc. (Nobody hates the RIAA more than I do, but I also don't mind paying for services either).

And speaking of 'stealing' music: it would cost MORE than listening to it with Launch/Yahoo Unlimited. If I want to hear a song, 3 seconds later I'm listening to it - no viruses, no screwed up tracks, EXCELLENT quality, etc.

Yeah, I have to be at my desk (or connected to the internet) to do it. But big deal. And, if I just HAVE to have it while offline... no biggie, $10/month and I can 'offline' as much music as I want.

Plus, if you just refuse to pay for music, fine; Yahoo provides a 100% free service called LaunchCast. I originally started there - and PAID $3/month to bypass all of the commercials. But if you want it free, you can get it streamed with 'commercial' support. It's still a great option - as you get to set preferences and it plays music that 'listens to you.'

If you like music AND money Yahoo Unlimited is a great option - you can listen to tons of EXCELLENT music for just pennies. And if my HD barfs... i don't have to worry about losing my music collection (nor do i have to worry about backing it up, etc...)

If it sounds like I'm a shill... fine, I don't care. Everyone that I've recommended this service to and who has used the trial has ended up paying for it - and never looking back.

My advice: go install the 1 week trial. You'll be seriously impressed.

Posted by: Michael K. Campbell | Jul 7, 2006 4:31:43 PM

Hey, a rare and engaging quasi-flame fest here on How fun. I hereby dare all skeptics and slashdot readers to try the 1-week trial and then write back to tell me you didn't just leave the back of Plato's cave.

In the impossible event that you don't like it, you can always whip out your ninja FDISK-ing skills, followed by a DOD 5220.22 M compliant hard drive wipe and an identity change to be rid of the DRM boogeyman.

(And make sure you click the affiliate link above when you do the trial, natch.)

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jul 7, 2006 4:44:54 PM


Thanks for explaining yourself. I understand where you are coming from. I wouldn't ever fault you for the sole reason of using an affiliate link. I was only questioning whether there was some other motivation behind the post. You sound like a truly dedicated user of Yahoo! Music Unlimited, and that certainly gives you the right to make a post such as this.

I also totally agree that things like this can be useful to entrepeneurs just as much as a spreadsheet or time-tracking program. Music is a huge part of being able to stay sane while sitting in front of a computer all day long.

And for what it's worth, my opinion of WorkHappy hasn't been tainted.

Posted by: Nick | Jul 11, 2006 10:00:07 AM

All you can chew. :)

Posted by: Adam | Jul 13, 2006 12:03:39 PM

I'd like something similar in Australia but I think I'm dreaming.

Posted by: Ross Hill | Jul 27, 2006 6:08:02 PM