« Previous Idea | Main | Next Idea »

February 03, 2007

eMusic and DRM-Free Music


Whenever I see a new article about the RIAA or CD prices I just roll my eyes, thanks to eMusic. With so many lousy music services out there, it's so nice to see one actually done right. For those unfamiliar with eMusic, it's a subscription based music download service, but you don't have to keep subscribing to listen to the music you download. That's because eMusic songs come in DRM free MP3 format that play on anything from iPods, to Zunes, to cellphones. The basic plan starts at $9.99 for 30 downloads per month, so it works out to about $0.33 a song. But the real reason I wanted to write about eMusic is that it's the first major (legal) experiment in DRM-free downloads and it appears to be working. So hopefully, we'll see eMusic's catalog increase and other download services follow in its path. I've been a member for about a year now and it's fantastic. EMusic only offers independent music, so while it's fine for me it's definitely not for everyone. They have a particularly good collection of underground hip-hop, which really keeps me happy. My only real complaints are that eMusic is not all that helpful in finding new music, and I really hate that I can't preview songs in my browser. Also, there really aren't as many user reviews and ratings as I'd like. They should really have some reward for reviewing and rating music, like 2 additional monthly downloads for every album you download and review. Oops, that one just slipped out.

Anyways, if anyone wants to try out eMusic leave a comment and I'll send you a link for free 25 downloads.


I would love to try emusic. Thanks in advance for the 25 songs.

have you heard about amie street? it treats songs like stocks and the price of download rises with popularity. you get to recommend songs you have downloaded and liked, and you get money back if the song's value goes up after you recommend it.

it's not exactly what you're suggesting, but it's a similar premise.

I would have really liked emusic if it had more artists i'm familiar with. I've been using Pandora and Rhapsody lately. While I hate the protected format, it's good for just listening at home (and finding new stuff)...which is what I do most.

Watch out for emusic's terms of service. I got nailed after they stated they deactivated my account and yet continued to charge my credit card months later. They don't roll over download credits.
Email to emusic gets answered with a form response after a week.
I want to love them but their service seems customer hostile.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2