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barnesandnoble.com Tunes In to Music

In an effort to go head-to-head with e-tail competitors, online bookstore barnesandnoble.com Wednesday debuted its Music Store, offering music from a variety of genres.

The Music Store features 16 categories of music in its All-Music Guide database. Categories include alternative, blues, show tunes, country, dance, folk, jazz, kids, new age, pop, r&b, rap, hip-hop, rock and world music. The company boasted that it specifically focused on offering the most comprehensive classical music titles in its classical music "superstore."

The site also offers "Listening Walls" where users can listen to streaming music samples, as well as editorial reviews, recommendations and listings of top releases. Like its bookstore, barnesandnoble.com said its Music Store also offers users the opportunity to post their own reviews.

As a special promotion, barnesandnoble.com is making available an unreleased live track from singer/songwriter Jewel. Users can download "Deep Water" using the Liquid Audio format, the company said.

barnesandnoble already competes with megaretailer Amazon.com in the book arena and with the launch of a music store will go up against CDNOW. But Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of barnesandnoble.com, said that he is confident of the site's success.

"We have the best site for book lovers, and now we have the best site for music lovers," he said.

"Our Music Store has the deepest content, simplest navigation and the most robust search capabilities, making it the easiest and most exciting online music shopping experience. In addition, we have a tremendous cross-selling opportunity between book buyers and music buyers."