The latest “discovery” in my continuing search for MP3s I can pay for is eMusic. While I really like it, eMusic is sort of a mixed bag in the online music world – half subscription service, half store, providing a strange experience at first.
Most subscription services give you unlimited access to a large library of DRM-ed tracks which all expire when you close your account. eMusic, on the other hand, is a subscription service that lets you download a limited number of non-DRM, totally standard MP3 files that are yours to keep even after the your subscription ends. You pick a service level, like $10/month for 20 songs or $25/month for 100 songs. That’s about $0.25 song – pretty amazing considering that other services tend to charge around $1.00 per song.
eMusic’s catalog tends toward the indie, which while great for me might not suit everyone (I’ve certainly found tons of music I like.). The quality also might not please audiophiles – VBR targeting an average of 192k. My only gripe is this: if I have 9 songs left on my account and I grab a whole album of 10 songs, I’d like to be able to complete the album at my currently monthly song rate of $0.25. It’d be great if the library were more vast, but that will come with time.
All in all, I love eMusic, and I’m sure I’ll be a long-term subscriber. I love buying music, I love doing it cheaply, I love generating no plastic waste or needless shipping, and I love getting standard files that will play forever.
Moreover, and my real reason for writing: if you think you might like it too, let me know. If I refer you and you join for at least a month, we’ll each get 50 free songs! That’s like four free albums. What more could you ask for? :D