Friday, May 20, 2005

I signed up for eMusic yesterday, and have been impressed with their selection. I will be continuing as a paying customer once my 50 free downloads are up. I got a Ray Charles song from his last album, an early Willie Nelson album, some Dead Milkmen tunes, a Robbie Fulks album, and some CCR, among other things. I was excited to see they have the Bloodshot Records catalog. I already have most of the albums I want of theirs, but there are a few I don't have, including some of the compilations they've put out. The nice thing about the subsciption model is, though you're still somewhat pressured not to waste downloads, you can be more experimental than when you are paying for every track, and I'm more willing to download an entire album then just cherry-pick a few tracks (though you can still do that, of course). They have some good comedy albums which I already have, including both of Mitch Hedberg's (they have all the Comedy Central Records releases, as well as Eddie Izzard and Bill Hicks, and probably more--though it's hard to tell since the comedy records are lumped in to the "soundtrack/other" category).

As for the site itself, it's pretty straight-forward to navigate, though it could probably be improved a bit on that count. You can download their download manager or use your own (or just download the tracks yourself one at a time). I have the GetRight download manager, but I'm using theirs, since if you don't, you have to manually change the file extension of each file, and since their program works perfectly fine, why not use it? The main disadvantage is that they only deal with indie labels, so it's hit-or-miss whether they have the music you want. But I've been happy with what I could find, though often I've just confirmed they have CDs I already have. I've even found several tracks I've already purchased off of iTunes (some Etta James, for instance). So I don't think I'll have any trouble using up my monthly quota of downloads. I highly recommend giving the trial membership a try (50 free downloads, credit card required...if you e-mail me, I'll send you a referral...I'll get ten free downloads, though I think you get the same free trial offer everyone else gets, so there's really nothing in it to you to get referred, but hey, help a guy out, ok?)

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