You may get run over by Omnifone’s runaway PR campaign sometime today or this week. The company has announced MusicStation Next Generation, a “revolutionary” music service that offers “unlimited access to the world’s music” and ushers in a “new era” of entertainment. (read press release).

It’s a familiar refrain. All that is known at this point is MusicStation will available to consumers through their ISPs and that the service will offer both streams and downloads. That’s it.

Here’s what we may or may not know: MusicStation is “expected” to be offered as both a monthly fee bundled with the consumer’s ISP bill, and as a pay-as-you-go choice.

Here’s what we don’t know: what file format will be used, anything about the user interface, size of catalog, if there are compatible portable devices, pricing and what ISPs in what countries will offer the service.

At first blush, this feels like another case of bad engineering. Too many times, a music service is shaped far more by the terms of licensing agreements than by consumer preferences. A better approach is to create a service with consumers in mind and then find the market. Judging from the anti-piracy hosannas in the press release, the goal of MusicStation is to satisfy content owners and offer ISPs a way out of legislation and lawsuits. But what about the consumers?

Posted by: Amy Sikkes