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View Full Version : eMusic service. can it be this good?


trebblekicked
Mar 14, 2004, 08:02 AM
i love iTMS. it's great stuff. but i'm giving the eMusic service a whirl, too. the track listing is pretty sweet for anyone who digs independant stuff, and they're offering a free trial (50 downloads you can keep). their price structure is random, but it's worth a shot.

anyone have any experience with them yet?

eMusic link (http://www.emusic.com)

<edit> here's proof of the quality of their library (from a pop/rock standpoint) Link (http://aasearch.emusic.com/aasearch?rtype=viewlist&id=7545) </edit>

Foxer
Mar 16, 2004, 08:50 AM
I haven't used the service, but i have a couple friends who do. They like the selection (so do I) and have only raved about the whole operation.

medea
Mar 16, 2004, 12:54 PM
well thanks for letting us know about the 50 free songs I just signed up and plan on using them up, but emusic has been around for a long time so I don't think they are much competition, and besides you pay per month for a set number of songs and I myself don't download songs 40 songs every month.

trebblekicked
Mar 16, 2004, 03:13 PM
yeah, i'm definitely using up the 50 dl's, but i'm not sure about the service. i might use it for a couple of months to get some old albums i've been putting off getting for a couple years (old cat power and yo la tengo albums, maybe some elf power etc). i wonder how they are about new releases and if they're courting some of the other indie labels (thrill jockey, up, k, drag city). at any rate, i found a couple of gems that i couldn't even find on P2P:

chisel: it's alright, you're okay
sammy: babe come down
the yip/jump version of "casper" by daniel johnston
and the whole "bedside drama: a petite tragedy" album from of montreal

i've got to waste the last 20 downloads tonight as i'm going out of town to shoot an infomercial tomorrow. at least i'll have a solid 2 hours of "new" music to listen to.

medea
Mar 16, 2004, 04:13 PM
I picked up:
Boxhead Ensemble-Quartet
M.Ward-End of Amnesia
MF Doom-Operation Doomsday
Animal Collective-Here Comes The Indian
two tracks from Yo La-Nuclear war
and Zest-Interuptions (a track from PBW- my vinyl weighs a ton.)
4 albums and three tracks, not bad.

trebblekicked
Mar 16, 2004, 04:27 PM
I picked up:
Boxhead Ensemble-Quartet
M.Ward-End of Amnesia
MF Doom-Operation Doomsday
Animal Collective-Here Comes The Indian
two tracks from Yo La-Nuclear war
and Zest-Interuptions (a track from PBW- my vinyl weighs a ton.)
4 albums and three tracks, not bad.

how is the animal collective? i've been intrigued by the closeness-of-name to our sketch group, and i've heard decent things.

medea
Mar 16, 2004, 05:30 PM
kind of hard to describe but if your looking for some noise/psych/folk/pop? then I would definitely recommend picking up their album. They also have a new album due in may. Also if you can catch them they are pretty amazing live.

medea
Mar 16, 2004, 06:41 PM
I've noticed that eMusic's bit rates are completely random, every song I've downloaded has a different rate. 128,144,145,168....????.....200, it's quite odd really, why not just have one bit rate, or at least one bit rate for a whole album.

trebblekicked
Mar 16, 2004, 10:56 PM
I've noticed that eMusic's bit rates are completely random, every song I've downloaded has a different rate. 128,144,145,168....????.....200, it's quite odd really, why not just have one bit rate, or at least one bit rate for a whole album.

i noticed that as well. i'm not sure, but perhaps the encoding was done by the labels/artists.

i finished my 50 tonight...i grabbed a lot of kindercore stuff (great lakes, dressy bessy, essex green, christmas songs), giving the get up kids a shot, grabbed some cuts from my 2nd favorite jad fair album (strange but true), and some cat power and songs: ohia.

all in all, a decent service. while it's not difficult to use, it definitely makes you appreciate the all-in-oneness of itunes/iTMS for sure. i think i'll try the service for a few months anyway. good selection, great price (<25 per song) and i've got at least 10 albums i want to get

<EDIT> i did grab a couple of animal collective tracks as well. interesting stuff. first impressions were that it reminded me of what the black swan network was supposed to develop into.

scem0
Mar 16, 2004, 11:43 PM
I hated eMusic when I did the 50 song trial.

I ended up with a bunch of music I didn't like, and music by people I didn't know about.

One good find was the Asian Dub Foundation.

So, I don't think eMusic is for most people.

scem0

SilvorX
Mar 18, 2004, 05:34 PM
I tried looking for my fave band on it, couldnt find any songs by em, but somehow they were able to have music similar to theirs.. pretty clever

eyelikeart
Mar 18, 2004, 06:35 PM
I had emusic.com for a while, and literally pillaged the downtempo & jazz sections. I was pretty happy with it back then, not because of the limited selections, but the $9.99 unlimited download price I had.

Then they changed their pricing. Then it got to the point where the download engine didn't work, and I couldn't get an entire album to download anymore. I realize they were only making a move to try & benefit the company, but it pissed a lot of users off.

I canceled it soon after, and wouldn't think about going back.

pepita
Mar 20, 2004, 12:08 PM
I've just signed up for the trial (thanks to reading about it here). The selection seems appealing indeed. Overall it sounds good. The MP3 quality is fine. No problems downloading at all. But... there's not always enough of some artists, others are entirely missing, and whenever I see this it's really annoying: "Not available outside North America due to licensing restrictions".

So, I will cancel when the trial expires.

Once ITMS becomes available outside of North America..., I would definitely prefer it, for the pricing and the way it works. I don't want a subscription system. I may be away one month and not be able to download a thing, why should I pay for that? I think paying by song is much handier.

- By the way, anyone heard anything new on ITMS becoming available outside the US lately? I'd read a while ago Apple was in negotiations with labels and record companies, what's taking so long?

bousozoku
Mar 20, 2004, 12:38 PM
I've noticed that eMusic's bit rates are completely random, every song I've downloaded has a different rate. 128,144,145,168....????.....200, it's quite odd really, why not just have one bit rate, or at least one bit rate for a whole album.

Is it a higher bit rate for shorter songs and lower for longer songs?

comfort
Apr 4, 2004, 08:14 PM
Is it a higher bit rate for shorter songs and lower for longer songs?

Most of the tunes on eMusic are encoded in Variable Bit Rate (VBR).

From the eMusic help pages:
"VBR is a type of audio compression that allows certain sections of the audio to be encoded at different bit rates. The intricate audio sounds are encoded at a higher rate while the simple sounds are encoded at a lower rate. This is different than standard bit rate encoding, which allows for all of the sounds to be encoded at the same rate. The average bit rate used for VBR on eMusic is 192k. Essentially VBR encoding gives you the best possible sound quality in the smallest file size possible."

The iTunes Import preference pane allows you to import with VBR, which I now do with everything I get from eMusic.

My tastes run to jazz, blues, and folk, and I find eMusic's offerings in these areas far deeper than those in iTMS, which leans mostly toward albums that are or were best-sellers. I do dl occasionally from iTMS but most of my new music these days comes from eMusic. When my account refreshes each month, it usually only takes me a few days to exhaust my [65!] songs! For me, eMusic is a godsend.