Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Annoying music downloads

I'm really quite annoyed.

I've been subscribed to eMusic for nearly 6months now and I've found quite alot of stuff on there that I like. I'm quite pleased that it's not the usual mainstream pop that you find in high street or on iTunes (not that I look on there) or Amazon. Reasonably pricing aswell, I pay £14.99 for 75 tracks per month (20p per track or about £2.60 per album).

But there is a catch: if you don't use your monthly allowance you lose it!

This annoyed me so much the last time I signed up to eMusic that I cancelled after only a few months - I didn't lose out at any point it just made it really awkward to use, having to keep track of albums that I'd half downloaded etc.

This time I have been caught out - I thought I had 1 day left so I logged on to use up available credit only to see my account had already been refreshed. Damn, I was sure that I had 1day left, mainly because the audiobook subscription I have with eMusic started on the same day and it hadn't refreshed yet!

Even more annoying is that I filled in the online form to question this and the standard automated reply actually gives several fairly useless pieces of advice and then states that you need to REPLY to this e-mail to actually get some real response - not what you expect! So having replied and got a reference number I STILL haven't had anything back from customer services and no sign of my account been credited!

So with me on the verge of cancelling my accounts or good (which may be worth it as in a few months they'll likely offer me 50 free downloads to come back again) I thought I'd look around for alternatives.

I did really like Allofmp3 as they were cheap, easy to use, had a good catalog of music but they were effectively closed down by the RIAA and related parasitic organisations last year and haven't really re-surfaced, there's more info on Wikipedia's Allofmp3 page.

There is mp3fiesta which I may give a go at some point but it doesn't look like it's carrying the same useful information that you could find on Allofmp3, namely related artists and other links that allowed you to find my music you might like.

It occurs to me at a time when the likes of Phorm can harvest your browsing habits and sell this to advertisers that the music industry has shot itself in the foot somewhat by not trying to make a deal with the supposed 'illegal' download sites in Russia.

So instead of actually trying to come up with novel ways to make money they just try and stomp on the 'competition' and limit the choice for the consumer to completely over-priced options such as iTunes and the new Amazon service.

Hopefully more artists will realise that they can cut out the middle man and do what the likes of Radiohead, Trent Reznor and even Tasmin Little have done and provide a product to consumers that is reasonably priced and accessible ... at which point we'll likely see a resurgence of sites like Allofmp3 and even the original mp3.com where artists can market and sell their music without losing out.

1 comment:

StereoBalls said...

I'm glad to find the same passionate music fan as I am :) I've used MP3Fiesta and also several others. I prefer to download legal mp3 and save money using one of the sites compared at Legal MP3 sites chart at Squidoo