I have searched the internet high and low, but I could not locate a DRM free Bob Weir’s “Ace” album for download on the internet. The only place I could find it was from eMusic.com. eMusic offers an amazing deal – sign up, you get 25 free MP3s. Then you go onto a subscription plan, $9.99 per month for 30 songs to more expensive plans that offer more downloads.
So I signed up for my two week trial with the intention of downloading a few of the Wier songs and then cancelling. But I still had about 20 downloads left. So I downloaded the entire EP “The Tain,” by the Decemberists, but instead of the five parts being individual songs, the entire EP is offered as one 18 minute song. So I downloaded some other random songs. While the selection is far from limitless, it’s certainly very deep and incredibly varied.
So, 24 songs later, despite my intention to rip off eMusic, I decided that they have earned my $9.99. The downloads go through the eMusic manager, which is really fast and really easy to use, and it’s cross platform. Also, did I mention the downloads are non-DRM, fully-portable, already-tagged MP3 files?
It’s easy to use services like mp3sparks and the like to get songs for cheap, but I don’t mind supporting my favorite artists when the price is right and I get to own a copy of the music that doesn’t impose random limits on me.
So, eMusic earned my $9.99 for what will eventually be 55 songs; I firmly believe that $9.99 for 30 songs is a reasonable price. So, if you’re so inclined, I encourage you to support eMusic. They are approaching things in a way that is actually right for the consumer.