Goodbye iTMS, Hello eMusic.

Discussion in 'iPod' started by whooleytoo, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #1
    After moaning and whining about the closed nature of Fairplay DRM on (several) other threads, other posters suggested I just use a different music service. (They phrased it rather more colourfully.. :p )

    So, I put my money where my mouth is, and tried eMusic.

    After using eMusic for about a month now, I can't see myself going back to iTMS (for music, at least), in spite of eMusic's flaws:
    The Bad
    - It's just a website, with no integration with your MP3 player. You have to sync the files with your player yourself.
    - To preview a track, it downloads a steaming file which then opens in iTunes (by default for me, at least). However when the preview finishes, iTunes goes on and plays the next song in your library, so you have to switch to iTunes and stop it. Also, it leaves these streaming files scattered about, and you have to delete them manually.
    - The subscription method (the biggest issue?) you have to subscribe per month, which gives you a fixed number of downloads. If you don't use them, they don't carry over. You can buy booster packs, but they aren't as good value. It's the inflexibility, when compared to iTMS, which is a tad annoying.

    The Good:
    - No DRM. None. Nada. Zip. They're MP3 files, and they're yours.
    - It's cheap! On my plan, I get 50 downloads for 16.99 euros, that's about 34c a track versus 99c a track on iTMS.
    - Good selection. It's difficult to compare two collections of a million+ songs, but I'm happy with the eMusic offering. I've found several albums from artists I like that weren't on iTMS. I'm not into mainstream music though, so YMMV.
    - Ability to re-download deleted/lost/corrupted songs, for free.

    So, apart from the download experience not being nearly as nice (but that's a once-off), once you have the music, it's yours and it's cheap! The inflexibility of having a fixed number of monthly downloads might turn some people off, works fine for me.
     
  2. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #2
    I've been with emusic since Dec 2001 and love it. Probably downloaded about 3000 tracks from there.
    I've downloaded 200 from iTunes...
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    Is there anyway to browse their selection without having to create a "free" account?
     
  4. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #4
    I think this link should do it.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #5
    Never could see myself paying good money for compressed downloads, be it DRM'd or unsecured. AllofMP3 is an intriguing service and probably the best out of the lot, surprassing even iTunes as a buying experience - but the current hassle of prepaid cards, etc is irritating.

    I just use Napster and Amazon. i.e. I subscribe to Napster's DRM'd 'all you can eat' service and buy nothing. I just download albums which I want to hear and if I think they're worth keeping, I buy a CD from Amazon - then I'm free to rip this how I like (usually FLAC, which I'll brute-force transcode in real time to an MP3 player if it doesn't support, or practically support FLAC). It's never the case for me that there's just one track I want to buy from an album, if I feel like that for a while it's usually the case that the track will bore me after a while, so it's a wasted purchase anyway.
     
  6. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #6
    I love choice and quality of buying a CD too, but the selection in the local shops isn't great if you're not into mainstream music, and I need the 'instant fix' - I don't have the patience for a CD to arrive from Amazon!;)
     
  7. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    I use emusic as they have a load of back catalogue stuff I have on vinyl.
    I'm too lazy to convert it myself:eek:
     
  8. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #8
    eMusic doesn't seem like a bad site, but iTunes still wins the convenience award, and that goes a long way with me.
     
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #9
    @whooleytoo Exactly. I get full album downloads from Napster - but they're at 192K WMA, which is about 160K AAC. So I listen with the degraded quality first, my instant gratification assuaged, then order CD's if I like the album enough to buy it.

    The good thing with Napster is that you pay a flat fee, and you can download anything you like without limits from their collection. This means unlike iTunes/eMusic/etc I can sample the entire tracks / albums in full. It also means exposure to a great degree more music I didn't know existed as I can graze the site much like browsing a series of links on the web.

    The last time I checked, Napster worked in Parallels.
     
  10. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #10
    Funny, your first negative is a moot point for me since I always manually move music to my iPod by way of playlists anyway. :p

    And for the previewing thing, that totally irks me. Now? I preview the albums on iTMS. :eek: Makes me feel scandalous. But *shrug* oh well. I hate hate hate the way eMusic handles those previews. *shudder*

    And yeah, I think it's such a drag that song credits don't carry over.

    I can think of two major plusses to using eMusic:
    1. Once you've downloaded a song or album, you can always re-download it. Without having to pay for it again. Perfect for clumsy forlk such as myself who are likely to accidentally delete stuff. :eek:
    2. And I swear, the reviewers on eMusic do quite a good job of relating similar artists and whatnot. I've "discovered" so many albums and artists I probably never would have w/out eMusic's user reviews/ lists and all that.
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #11
    I just wish emusic was unlimited like it used to be.
    :(
     
  12. slffl macrumors 65816

    slffl

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    God, I'm glad I didn't have to see your other ramblings. If everyone who quite itunes and went to another service posted here it would be a mess. If you don't like it then just leave, no need to post it. It's not going to make Apple change the things you don't like by posting it in forums.
     
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #13
    I don't think I understand your negativity. Nobody has thus far said, "OMFGBBQ!111!!! AppL3 is Teh suXx0rs!!! emu5ic FTW!!!11" Nobody was saying Apple should change anything.

    Just presenting a different option to legally obtain music. Choices and options are good...

    I've found that if eMusic has it, iTMS does. But the reverse isn't true. Just for what I've been looking at, obviously. :eek:

    Yup. I just re-joined eMusic on Sunday. Why? They were offering an additional free FIFTY songs if I re-subscribed. Figure I can always cancel the sub within the month so $9.99 for thirty + fifty songs = 80 songs for $10. Not bad me thinks. :D

    Nope, go for it!

    And truly, the users on eMusic really seem to take their time (at least they used to, dunno about now since it's gotten so much bigger) to write helpful reviews and make relevant connections between different artists. I love it.
     
  14. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #14
    You could use iTunes to preview - IF the same music is on both services. It's still a little awkward.

    As for song credits - I lost the 25 free downloads as I hadn't paid enough attention on when they had to be used by..:eek:

    I wasn't even aware you could re-download songs. I might add that to my original post, assuming you don't mind?

    And I'd agree about the recommendations - I've already stumbled across some good artists I might never have found otherwise.

    God, I'm glad I didn't have to see your other ramblings. If everyone who didn't like a thread posted here, it would be a mess. If you don't like it then just leave, no need to post it. It's not going to make me change the things I write by posting it in forums.

    :p
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #15
    No, but there may be (a surprise I know) a few people who may have requirements above or beyond the majority of Apple Zombies here, and they're perfectly entitled to post their experiences for the benefit of others not so rabid of all things Apple but rather just want stuff as they feel it should be delivered.

    Besides that, if you insist on tying one hand behind your back by using OS X for audio media use (or indeed be an iTunes Zombie under Windows), then there are relatively few other services you can turn to - so evaluations of them are hardly going to turn into 'a mess'.
     
  16. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #16
    Out of 7 albums I've downloaded thus far, one wasn't on iTMS (might be more, I didn't search iTMS for all of them).

    Perhaps your music taste is more mainstream than mine - you need to quirkify! :p
     
  17. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #17
    Hmph. You scallywag! I first joined eMusic like three years ago? Not my fault those artists have become more liked by the mainstream.
     
  18. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #18
    Do not count on "redownloading" ability as your sole backup strategy. They pull songs from eMusic quite often, so if your song is not available for purchase anymore, they delete it from your list of downloaded songs. It seems like once an artist becomes popular, the record company pulls it from eMusic. I don't know if iTunes gives them a better price or the lack of DRM at eMusic scares them, but I've seen it happen a few times.

    BTW, I have a solution for the "preview" troubles. Once you download the m3u file, drop it on Quicktime or VLC, then you don't have to worry about removing it from your iTunes library later. I prefer VLC, as I can drop a few of those files and they form a temporary library of albums.
     
  19. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #19
    I bought a new phone recently and got 50 free emusic downloads. I thought great free music is free music. Wow was I wrong. I had the hardest time finding 50 songs that I would want to own. Not simply because I already had them on cd or from iTunes. No I barely find any songs I would want to own period whether I had them already or not. Say what you will iTunes can't go wrong for selection.
     
  20. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #20
    I love eMusic. I have 40 songs for £6.99 a month. I always end the month with a list of stuff to download as soon as my credit appears. It may not appeal to those who spend their time paddling in the mainstream but for me the choice is fantastic. As far as integration goes all you have to do is drag the folders from your eMusic folder onto your iTunes icon.
     
  21. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Do the eMusic downloads include the album artwork?
     
  22. calculus Guest

    calculus

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    #22
    Yes they do
     
  23. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Amen.
     
  24. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #24
    I'm a big fan of AllofMP3. I understand that they aren't "officially sanctioned" by my national music licensing organization, but the service is great, it's technically legal, and they prove an important point: money can be made at a few cents a song. Say, for sake of argument, that a band gets $1 per CD they sell, and the production staff splits another $1 (those numbers are actually probably pretty close to reality). So, there's somewhere around $0.15-$.20 cents per track going to the people who made the music. I pay AllofMP3 between $.08 and .10 cents per track, so we should be paying roughly a quarter for an unprotected digital download, not $1 for a DRM'd file. Anything more than that is lining the wallets of RIAA execs.

    Ya, I've signed up for eMusics free 50 track trial before... I downloaded about 20 tracks that I actually enjoyed/wanted, and another 20 that were very much on the fringe of my musical taste... I never used the other 10. Trouble is that while I actually do listen to mostly "indie" music, the selection at eMusic just isn't that diverse, imo. iTMS has a decent selection, but they lack some significant indie music as well.

    At the end of the day, iTMS interface is without doubt the best on the market. The iTunes suggests is pretty decent, the user iMixes are fun. It's top of the heap. But, it's pricepoint and DRM added to that to boot are just deal breakers for me.

    On a related, but only slightly, note, a coworker of mine suggested that music should be sold at a per play rate, up to a purchase price. So, for example, you pay 2 cent per listen and after 50 plays you own the track for unlimited use. I thought that was a great idea, and would be fair to all parties.
     
  25. mashinhead macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #25
    wow i never knew about this. sounds great, what bitrate does it dl at? Only problem is how the selection compares. My itunes wishlist is always backed up.
     

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