Thursday, May 17, 2007

Trying Out eMusic

Very belatedly taking a tip from Case, I went to check out eMusic.com yesterday. Initial impressions:

Pros:
  • No DRM.
  • Good prices (about 30-60¢ per track, depending on your plan).
  • "Booster packs" to supplement your regular subscription.
  • Pretty easy, smooth download process, once you've installed the Download Manager.
  • 25 free songs for your trial period.
Cons:
  • I had trouble at first figuring out how to browse their selection without signing up. (If you get the giant promo page, click through to the about page in the footer, and browse from there.)
  • You have to subscribe to a monthly plan, which doesn't carry over after the month is up.
  • The site wouldn't let me find any info on the booster packs until I'd already signed up for a paid account.
  • You can't search their help site. Sheesh, people, come on.
So I got my free trial, and then went ahead and took their cheapest subscription as well (30 tracks/month for $9.99). That let me get all three disks worth of Tom Waits' Orphans set. I'm still browsing around to determine what sort of a selection they have to go with my tastes, but I'll probably give it a try for a while, at least until we see what sort of a digital music store Amazon comes out with.

The forced-subscription thing is my biggest peeve about this, especially when things don't carry over. I'd be more than happy to just live off their booster packs (units of 10-30 tracks at a time), as long as I could get them when I wanted and use them when I wanted. It's a pity you can't just get those without a subscription. On the other hand, if I have trouble finding new stuff that I want each month, I figure I can always use my monthly quota to legitimize those parts of my music collection that may have come from *ahem* other sources. And that would probably be a good thing.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Right on, Graham!

-E