Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why I Have A Love/Hate Relationship with emusic.com

When the free-wheeling version of Napster bit the dust after the RIAA went full-bore against it, I was weary of downloading music. My son continued to use Kazaa and Limewire, but after all the horror stories of grannies getting sued for a few grand due to their grubby little grandkids' nasty download habits, when they themselves didn't even know how to turn their computers on, I laid down the law. There would be NO illegal downloading in my house. I found plenty of songs to download from the labels' own sites and artists' sites to keep me in new music for awhile.

Then I wanted more. I downloaded iTunes, even though I didn't own an iPod. I wasn't happy with the DRM situation or the 99-cent per song cost, so I checked other services and settled on emusic. For 15 bucks a month, I can download 65 songs, plus an additional free song every day. That works out to about 16 cents per song. My kind of deal. There's no DRM to deal with and the songs are fairly good quality (The average bit rate used for VBR on eMusic is 192k.) I can play the songs with any music player, and now that I have an iPod, I can load them in playlists with ease. (I do have a quibble with the iTunes organization, since it creates iTunes music folders, thereby creating two copies of every song file and filling up my drive. I hate Apple sometimes.) Emusic is loaded with music from indie bands or music from artists on small labels, so I love to sift through it all. That's what I love about it.

What do I hate? Well, let's say I'm browsing through the lists of artists and I spot "Chuck Berry." Cool! I can find some good old rock and roll! DING! Then I click his name and see what's available. At first glance it seems like a huge catalog. That's exciting. BUT. BIG BUT HERE. But the offerings, upon investigation, are often crappy-quality live recordings, and sometimes they are not the original artist at all. You really have to listen to clips before you download! I hate having to be wary of the music offered by such a big name in the download business.

So, I do love emusic most of the time. No, I can't download U2 or any other big-name bands. I can grab that stuff, if I want to, at iTunes or some other spot. But I do love finding little gems like The Pipettes, Chris Pureka, Bow Thayer & The Euphorians, or Moonbabies and feeling like I got them for a steal.

13 comments:

Joe the Troll said...

Okay, I'm wondering how this post can be dated Saturday but not appear to my eyes until today. That's weird. Shouldn't it be dated the day it appears?

Anyay, I download my boots wih impunity because it's totally legal, and I find live stuff infinitely more interesting. If you ever want to try it my way, Nat, just let me know and I'll send you that tutorial! Wait until I finish my list - it will knock your socks right off!

Natsthename said...

I wrote part of it on Saturday, but finished it today. I forgot to change the post date. My bad.

Jefe said...

I did the emusic thing for a while, but stopped, simply because of the monthly fee. And no, it's not a lot. But it was still money I was spending every month, and with a new kid, blah blah budget blah blah house payment blah blah crack habit, I needed to cut. Now I pay when I buy, and buy when I'm ready.

Natsthename said...

I like your new name, Jeff. And your photo rocks.

Natsthename said...

And, damn those pesky crack habits!

Joe the Troll said...

Pay.....buy.....sigh. How terribly 20th century......yawners.......



Was that snotty enough?

Natsthename said...

Yes, but I'm old and set in my ways. I get plenty free, too, via The Hype Machine and other places.

I have used bit torrent a bunch, but I don't always like the quality of the live recordings.

O' Tim said...

I hate Apple sometimes

Mwahahahaha! Another one to add to my "I'll show YOU Steve Jobs!" file.

Love the new Jefe - now where's yer badge?

Natsthename said...

DOn't make me say it...

He don't need no stinkin' badge!

Joe the Troll said...

"I have used bit torrent a bunch, but I don't always like the quality of the live recordings."

Neither do I. Many don't make it to disc, but I still back them up in case they're just what someone is looking for someday. But I find that patience eventually leads to whatever I want, with the exception of some Elmore James.

I find that with Dime-a-Dozen, if I want something obscure, it helps to say it out loud. If I do that, it will show up in a few days if it's out there. You may scoff, but it worked for both Captain Beyond AND Grobschnitt, and them's good odds.

Jefe said...

Thank you, Nat. Because I don't need to answer no stinking questions about badges!

Lucyp said...

I do have a bit of a problem of paying again for a song especially if i have paid for it on vinyl back in the day and then again on CD so that is how i justify to myself using bit torrent. Also, it does get my back up to hear multi-millionaires such as Robbie Williams or Britney Spears telling me to not download and pay for their music instead.

Natsthename said...

Jefe, it had to be said. I figure you'll be saying it enough in the future!