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Music Media The Almighty Buck

EMusic Acquired, Halting Unlimited Downloads 379

wallabywatson writes " have announced that they are cancelling their $9.99 a month unlimited download service after being acquired by Dimensional Associates LLC. Instead, subscribers will be limited to 40 downloads (ie 3ish albums) per month. A new premium $50 a month service will allow 300 tracks (~25 albums). The service details have been released as have new terms and conditions. If, like me, you think this sucks and want to cancel your subscription go here before November 8, 2003."
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EMusic Acquired, Halting Unlimited Downloads

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  • Link... (Score:5, Informative)

    by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:19AM (#7171140)
    The link provided is to UPGRADE your account, not delete it. Someone get a real deletion link.
    • Re:Link... (Score:5, Informative)

      by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:42AM (#7172008)
      To cancel your emusic subscription, click here. [] I already canceled mine. One a related note, as of today the emusic downloader is unable to retrieve more files after ten consecutive downloads, and must be restarted to work.

      I not sure whether or not users will be committed to pay until the end of the account's three-month or one-year term, however. I recommend that anyone charged beyond October dispute the charges.
  • I agree (Score:5, Funny)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:19AM (#7171145) Journal
    By the way - When will /. offer a subscription with an unlimited number of pages?
    • Re:I agree (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      I was so busy laughing up chocolate milk through my nose that it took me a few seconds to realise that I wasn't even drinking chocolate milk.

  • Don't go "there" (Score:5, Informative)

    by hrbrmstr ( 324215 ) * on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:20AM (#7171148) Homepage Journal
    The "go here" URL takes you to the upgrade account page.

    Just login to EMusic and stop your subscription if you want to cancel. I just did.

    Darnit, no more all I can download cheesy sound effects MP3's...
    • If you liked the service so far, it seems waiting till next months deadline would have been a more logical time to cancel... Get all you want until then, and then get out.
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:22AM (#7171180)
    I wonder if their catalog will be changing/expanding.

    If not...bye bye emusic. It was nice knowing ya.
    • I certainly hope so. Under their new pricing plan, some of the music I've grabbed recently I'd get cheaper at a used CD store.

      (Yes, we still have one or two of those around.) :-)

  • I got their email. Ten minutes later I cancled my account.
    • Re:instant responce (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) *
      It took me two minutes to find the credit card I signed up with and cancel it. I have wanted to cancel since they changed to that shitty download manager that does not let you queue more than 40 mp3s. I was never a huge downloader but I liked the fact that I could queue up 10 albums once every two months and listen to them. They totally screwed my user experience with that stupid limitation. So, yes, I am very sad to stop being their customer since I learnt of artists there was no way I could find out about
  • It's not that bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lazyl ( 619939 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:25AM (#7171195)
    It's not nearly as good as it used to be, but it's not bad. It's way cheaper than buying music in the store. Everyone is always saying that if CD's were $5 that they'd buy them all the time; well, here they are less than $5 so what's the problem?
    • by VertigoAce ( 257771 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:32AM (#7171271)
      The thing is, they aren't CD's for that price. They're mp3 files which are worth less than the CD tracks themselves. With a CD I can re-rip the tracks if a better music format comes along.
      • Depends upon the ear of the listener.
        Yes, I know plenty of people who scoff at anything less than 198kbps encoding, saying "why not just listen to your music through a tinny radio shack speaker that you've slit up with a razor blade!?!?!"

        But I for one find 120kbps perfectly acceptable.
        So for 5 bucks, it might be worth it for me, because they are close enough.

        Also your other point of re-ripping. With an MP3, I can convert it to an AA3, and vice versa using any number of converters- no need for an interim
        • I was actually thinking along the lives of wav or a lossless encoding. You get the advantages of having a digital copy, but you can then encode it in other formats without stacking the loss of quality. If your music is in 128kbps mp3, you aren't going to get a better sound if any new format comes along. You'll just get smaller file sizes with equal or lesser quality.
          • If your music is in 128kbps mp3, you aren't going to get a better sound if any new format comes along. You'll just get smaller file sizes with equal or lesser quality.

            Right- and thats my main point: 128 mp3 is good enough for me. Unless there is some REALLY crappy artifact from conversion, I don't notice any loss.

            The new E-music service agreements are for those who find mp3's "good enough."
    • Most people are not familiar with 95% of artists on EMusic. These are not bands that get radio time (with some exceptions). That means you don't know what you're getting until you download a track or two, and 40 tracks / month ain't much for that. I imagine previews don't count, but 20 seconds of low-quality audio isn't the same - and that's IF there are previews of more than the best 2 or 3 tracks on the album.

      I don't know ho emusic was doing before, but it will be interesting to see whether downgradi

    • so what's the problem?

      crappy quality mp3's

      Should I go on?
  • bad news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by archen ( 447353 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:25AM (#7171197)
    40 downloads? That's a joke right? The main reason I even subscribed in the first place is so I could just browse around and FIND music I liked. And no, Kazaa dos not make music (ie music you've never heard) easy to find, it only finds things that you already want. At a mere 40 I doubt I'll find much of anything. Hell by the time I did find an artist I liked I'd probably be at my cap anyway. It's really sad considering how much I've been preaching about and now it's been completely fucked up.
    • Re:bad news (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sporkinum ( 655143 )
      And no, Kazaa dos not make music (ie music you've never heard) easy to find, it only finds things that you already want.

      I disagree. When looking for something, I often will look at other tracks from someone I am downloading from. Also different bands do covers. I'll download the covers or unknown stuff, and If I like what I hear, I'll buy their discs. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a good example of a band I never heard of. I ended up buying 3 CDs from their website.
    • Re:bad news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pavon ( 30274 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:26AM (#7171846)
      I have been contemplating joining eMusic for the exact same reason. I haven't because I had a hard time justifying the cost when I would end up buying CD's from all the bands I liked anyway.

      I strongly believe that the ability to easily FIND NEW music is the biggest gap in digital music right now, and a huge lost opportunity for independent labels. What I would love would be a subscription based unlimited download service, like eMusic was, that also sold CD's and gave you download credit for everything you purchased. Then people who bought CD's would have a convient venue to discover new music - downloading mp3's for free, and the ones that didn't would have a convient venue for paying for downloaded music.

      If you were to integrate (cross link) this with a nice online radio site, like, then I would be in music heaven.
  • ITMS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:26AM (#7171207)
    For people who download a lot of music, EMusic might have been a good deal before (not so much now). But for those of us who buy less than 10 songs a month, Apple's iTunes Music Store (ITMS) is a much better deal.

    The rumors suggest that it will be out on Windows before the end of October. I'll play with it on my Windows box, but I'll still do all my purchasing on my Macs.
    • Re:ITMS (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      >I'll play with it on my Windows box, but I'll still do all my purchasing on my Macs.

      What purchasing? You're renting. It's DRM crippled encrypted data, and your license to decrypted it is revokable. You'll be paying them money to the day you die.

      • Re:ITMS (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You can burn it to a CD. Vola no DRM. Then you can do whatever you like with it.
  • by media_Assassin ( 176375 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:26AM (#7171208)
    For those who don't want to RTFA, there's actually two plans, plus a third for subscribers who signed up before 10-8-2003:

    EMusic Basic: $9.99 per month/maximum 40 downloads
    EMusic Plus: $14.99 per month/maximum 65 downloads

    EMusic Premium: $50.00 per month/maximum 300 downloads*

    *Only for members who signed up before October 8th, and only if you sign up for Premium by November 8th.
  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:27AM (#7171217) Homepage
    Post your predictions when this company goes belly up. My guess is March 12, 2004.
    • by Zigg ( 64962 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:32AM (#7171264)

      Well, now they can make guaranteed payouts to rights holders; I'm not so sure this is a death knell. Probably an intense metamorphosis in subscriber base.

      We've been saying it on the currently-dead message boards [] for months -- if all of Emusic's subscribers downloaded as much as we did, they'd expire overnight, taking in less than a penny per track.

      It was only a matter of time before they had to revamp their pricing structure. I just didn't expect so drastic of a change.

      • Yeah, absolutely. During my three-month stint with Emusic some time ago, I got a staggering amount of stuff. I got a couple of friends signed up for the service too, and it was great 'till one of them got unceremoniously kicked off for downloading too much. Now, I understand that they were probably losing money off of us, but I was really curious why they didn't just, you know, limit his downloads or something, rather than just dropping his account without any prior warning. I figured that eventually
  • So, lets just work this out in our heads... how does this end up earning money for them? They won't be getting any NEW subscibers, right? (Nobody I know was saying, "Man, i'd love to sign up for that service, but darn it, it's just not nearly limited enough!")

    And it's not like there are no alternatives where unlimited music downloads are available, right?

    Right now thier customers are those people who are kind enough to give them a break and not go and download thier songs from kazaa. How does kind of a
    • >how does this end up earning money for them?

      Pyramaths. You just need to keep squeezing. Here's how it works.

      You crank your prices by 5%. For one month, you're making 105% of what you were making before.

      At the end of the month, 10% of your customers leave. No problem, you crank your prices by another 10%, to 115.5% of your original price. With 90% of the customers, you still make 103.95% of what you were making before you started squeezing.

      The next month, another 10% of your customers leave

  • by no_demons ( 602587 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:31AM (#7171259)
    The word is out! I'm sure you'll all get this eventually - but here is the full text of today's email announcement. To cut to the chase and cancel your account, the link is:

    Cancel link []


    Dear EMusic Subscriber,

    Over the past several years, EMusic has stood alone in its commitment to providing digital music consumers a service that offers flexibility and portability. We remain the ONLY service offering downloads in the standard MP3 format.

    We are also unique in our focus on music from the leading independent labels. Unlike other services, we understand that many music consumers want to go beyond the Billboard charts. We remain firmly committed to continuing to provide avid music fans an alternative to the mainstream.

    The digital music industry continues to change rapidly, and EMusic also continues to evolve. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of a number of important changes that will affect EMusic Subscribers.

    First, we are pleased to inform you that Inc. is being acquired by Dimensional Associates LLC ("Dimensional"), a private equity group focused on providing innovative online music distribution services. Dimensional shares EMusic's consumer focused philosophy of providing low cost, convenient access to great music. Dimensional plans to continue enhancing the EMusic service with new features and content and you can look forward to hearing more once the acquisition has been completed.

    Although our current privacy policy remains in effect,, when the acquisition is completed, EMusic's privacy policy will be changing to reflect Dimensional's ownership and your Personal Information (as defined in the privacy policy) will be transferred to Dimensional. Please take a few moments to review this our new policy which will take effect around
    October 30, 2003. html

    As always, EMusic is firmly committed to consumer privacy and we believe the new policy continues to reinforce this.

    As an avid digital music fan, you are also aware that the music industry continues to suffer under intense financial, legal and technological pressure. As a provider of music downloads, EMusic is subject to a complex system of intellectual property rights and technological challenges that impose high costs and often uncertain risks on the company.

    In order to respond to these ongoing challenges and maintain a compelling service for our valued customers, EMusic will be making a number of significant changes in the coming weeks and months. As part of these changes, we will be discontinuing the unlimited service plan and replacing it with a new service offering.

    Unless you visit the link below: &categoryID=1198 and notify us of your intention to cancel your subscription prior to November 8, 2003, your EMusic subscription will convert into EMusic Basic. Under EMusic Basic, you will be billed $9.99 per month for access to the service with no minimum monthly commitment, but you will be limited to no more than 40 downloads during your monthly billing cycle.

    In addition, EMusic is pleased to present a special, limited time offer available exclusively to current subscribers - EMusic Premium. Designed for our most active subscribers, this plan allows you to download up to 300 tracks per month (approximately 25 albums) for a monthly charge of $50.00 - a price of just 16 cents per track - with no minimum monthly commitment.

    If you are interested in registering for this subscription plan, you must complete the EMusic XL registration form no later than November 8, 2003. tep2&st=1&categoryID=1998

    You will still have unparalleled access to the best MP3s available from independent mu

    • I'm mostly just curious--if you cancel your account, do you lose access to your previously downloaded music? Or does it persist in the absence of a subcription?
    • you will be billed $9.99 per month for access to the service with no minimum monthly commitment



      • Meaning they don't require you to stick around for a year, like they used to with the $9.99 plan. ($14.99 was three months.)

      • you will be billed $9.99 per month for access to the service with no minimum monthly commitment


        Exactly what I thought. I guess they mean you can give them $9.99/month, but your not required to actually download anything. Doesn't make sense however which way I read that sentance.

        One thought though, at $9.99 for 480 tracks per year that's $0.25 per track. Why not just offer all tracks at 25 cents, or at least make it so subscribers can pay .25/track for more downloads. I may want 100 tracks one m
  • I read the email from emusic as soon as it had landed in my inbox, and the change did annoy me, especially the fact that they buried it 3/4ths of the way down, where presumably they thought folks weren't going to read it.

    Still, I think I'm probably going to keep the subscription since I average about 3 albums a month anyhow. I just wish they would let unused downloads accrue.

    The really annoying thing for me about Emusic is that I can't access certain albums from Europe, and I'm too lazy to change my bill
  • Not so bad (Score:2, Funny)

    by indros13 ( 531405 ) *
    Big deal, no one will ever need more than (6)40 songs(K).


  • People who missed the article about a week or so ago should check out I'm _not_ affiliated or anything, and it is a new-ish service (read: needs artists, but needs customers, but needs artists...), but as the artists retain copyright and share profits 50/50 with magnatune itself, and as you can pretty much name your own album price (well, $5 and up), it seems like it solves a lot of problems many /.'ers complain about w.r.t. digital music pay/download sites. I believe Wired has/had an article
    • Shareware music, hmm.

      You are on play number 10 of 200 and you have not yet paid for this music. Stand on your head and type "I AM A CHEAPSKATE" with your nose to play this music, or register your copy today!

    • If you put in your email address, they send you the URL of that page, so you can get there again. It seems to be{album}; you'll have to remember the password or get it out of the email, though. A handy feature if you want to download albums you've bought a second time from work or something.

      Incidentally, John is actually a real person and reads both the forums and his email. If you pointed out the issue, he'd probably put in an "already bought this" link.
  • by rjforster ( 2130 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:35AM (#7171302) Journal
    The problem is I don't know what I want. I already have every CD by every band that I know that I like. As I can tell from a 56kbit mono OGG file whether I like the music or not I can then either buy the album or not, my choice.

    Small files. Fast downloads. Free advertising for the bands, rather than 'digital pillaging on the cyber-high-seas'. Lets you 'try before you buy'. etc etc.

    That's what I want. I'll pay for it by buying more regular CDs if it recommends some good stuff to me.

  • I might be offtopic because it doesn't seem to apply to this particular service, but this problem applies especially to stores like the Apple online music store. Songs are sold at 1$ a song. That seems pretty reasonable in the US, where an 12-13 songs album is sold 15-16US$.

    (Of course you might want to say the price in kinda inflated compared to the price the music industry sells their CDs to the store. Especially if they sell it for 8$ and the middle man adds 9$ for shipping, paying it's workers, etc. But
  • by Uncle Dick ( 534747 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:39AM (#7171336)
    Despite repeated attempts to characterize it as such, Emusic has never been an unlimited download service. An arbitrary limit of 2000 songs per month was established on every account. Of course, Emusic never bothered to tell anyone about this limit until they actually went over, at which point their account was cancelled and money refunded.

    With a business strategy like this, it's not hard to see why Emusic is being acquired. Unfortunately, it's hard to see how this new pricing structure will work any better with a music catalog that is decidedly obscure.
  • If I subscribe at the monthly rate $9.99, then over the course of a year, I'll pay $119.88 and download 480 songs.

    If I opt for the $50/month subscription and CHOOSE to subscribe twice a year, every SIX months, then I'll pay only $100 and be able to download 600 songs. I can use the time lag to see if they can indeed add to their song catalog in the meantime and wait for something worth downloading (good music, good quality files, etc) to be added.

    Not only that, but the time lag ALSO allows me to go elsew
    • If I opt for the $50/month subscription and CHOOSE to subscribe twice a year, every SIX months, then I'll pay only $100 and be able to download 600 songs.
      Can you even sign up for a month every six months? When I was a member there was a minimum term in the contract to prevent people from doing that.
    • by Zigg ( 64962 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:59AM (#7171519)

      You can't do the $50 thing twice a year. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to subscribers that opened their accounts before October 8, and it's only good till November 8. You cancel it, it's toast.

      As a current subscriber, I'm not so convinced it's the olive branch they intended it to be. Maybe at $25.

  • I don't get it. Even the basic subscription is $9.99/40 tracks = $.25

    That's a quarter per download. That's a better price than iTunes. I'm not up to speed on the particulars of both services (i.e., digital restrictions management, avilability inside/outside the US, etc), but they are company trying to make a profit.

    Now, if they came in and said, "by subscribing to our service you agree to buy musix *only* from us," that would be a different story. As it stands, you are free to get music somewhere els
    • by 26199 ( 577806 ) *

      The difference is that EMusic doesn't carry mainstream stuff; it's good music, but it simply isn't worth as much money.

      Hmm. Time to change my sig...

    • by Zigg ( 64962 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:01AM (#7171544)

      To bring you up to speed:

      • The format is MP3 and they say they're keeping it that way. So, no DRM. (That's why Emusic is the only non-CD PC format I get my music in; the CDs are only un-"protected" ones btw. I listen to my music my way, thankyouverymuch.)

      • They are available around the world but licensing agreements do require them to keep certain tracks available to i.e. North Americans only. Mostly foreign stuff that's supposedly selling well in foreign countries.

      • Finally, part of the reason Emusic is still cheaper is that their catalog is largely eclectic and indie stuff, with a sprinkling of "sampler" albums from a sprinkling of "popular" artists. That stuff goes cheaper, so it can be sold cheaper. I don't know how much this trend will continue.

      • I agree with you that they did need to change to be profitable. I just think they made too drastic of a change here.

    • It's 'bad' because now you get less for the same money.

      I've been with them almost a year. My sub runs out in Nov. ('s Nov 7 to be exact)

      In that time, I've grabbed about 130 cd's. So maybe 12 cd's per month. 120 tracks on average. Often, I might go a month or two without anything, and then go get a bunch all at once.

      With this new d/l limit, I'd have to cut back to 1/3. About 4 cd's per month, for the same price. And no month to month carryover of unused tracks.

      Plus, now you'd have to be MUCH mor
  • It was nice of them to me the notice one month in advance. I will leech as much as I can before cancelling my account on November 7th.

  • I actually just cancelled my membership not long ago a bit before my 3 month subscription was up. After my 3 months was up, they pretty much ignored the cancellation and charged me for another month. I had to contact customer support again to get it removed.
  • Well, I can't figure out why people are looking at pay services (except for backlists of singers).

    Vivendi's and have hundreds of thousands of free mp3's. You can use iRATE radio [] to discovery all sorts of free legal mp3's.

    You can find out about the best free mp3's at gods of music [] among other places.

    My essay [] gives more information about how to find out about legal mp3's and legal ways to share the music.

    The big question is when vivendi will start charging money fo
    • The types of free offerings you note illustrate the new ground of music distribution that is being shaped right now.

      I never signed onto e-music, despite good things about it, for a very simple reason: I don't do MP3s. Call me a purist but I'll wait for Ogg. It's pretty much already there but I'm waiting for the portable that has all I want and supports it. The argument that that's the way it oughta be is sufficient for me.

      I haven't bought into other pay download services, because I think the pricing

  • ... I was just planning on signing up again to get some things I missed the last time I signed on.

    Then again, I shouldn't complain seeing as though I used my $15/month subscription to download about 40GB of music over the course of three months, so I guess I got my money's worth. :P

    Forty downloads though? What if you want to download a Gore Beyond Necropsy [] album? Seems you wouldn't be getting your money's worth at all. You'd blow all 40 songs on part of one album and end up with less than an hour of

  • I've been an EMusic subscriber for a couple years now, and have been an avid fan of their service the entire time. For me, the ENTIRE POINT of EMusic (over and above the iTunes store) was being able to try out new music without any penalty. I could download what I wanted, and if it sucked I could delete it without feeling remorse over wasting (money | download credits | whatever). Given the fact that EMusic's catalog consisted mostly of independent / unknown bands, this was a critically important aspect of
  • iTunes for Windows is about to hit the market pretty soon, and while the price per track is higher, Joe Public will be paying PER TRACK or PER ALBUM, and you know what you're getting. The feeling of a shrink-wrapped package is still there. Downloading mp3's is still sketchy, how do you prove ownership in this age where the RIAA can swoop down on you at any time and snatch your grandmother's retirement or something.

    I applaud the vision behind Emusic's business model, but it's wacky and unsustainable in t

    • Unless drastic service (as opposed to pricing) changes are afoot at Emusic, proving ownership is as simple as going to your "my collection" page. Well, actually, except for albums/artists that have left Emusic, I guess. I am confident that information is still available somewhere, though.

      Of course, if you're not infringing copyright by putting your Emusic files in your "share" folder, it's pretty much given nobody's gonna "swoop down on you".

  • NOOOOOO!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peter_gzowski ( 465076 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @09:52AM (#7171452) Homepage
    This is the worst news of the week. EMusic was the site I pointed everyone to to say, "look, there is a service offering high-quality, no-DRM restricted mp3s with unlimited downloading for a (more than) fair price." The unlimited downloading is the ENTIRE POINT of EMusic. This gives you the freedom to discover new artists without fear of being charged for it. This more than made up for the fact that they didn't have major bands, as the had an entire system in place for music discovery (their My List feature was ingenious). Where else would I have found Reggie and the Full Effect, or St. Thomas? Arrrrggghhh! I'm so mad I could go on, but I have to go download as much as possible right now!
  • In order to respond to these ongoing challenges and maintain a compelling service for our valued customers, EMusic will be making a number of significant changes in the coming weeks and months. As part of these changes, we will be discontinuing the current unlimited service plan and replacing it with a new service offering, as described above.

    Wow! If they value their customer anymore, they may have to stop downloads alltogether!
  • Damnit!

    A couple months ago, I found out about the joy of eMusic from some post here. So, I did the trial, and that went well. I wanted to sign up for 3 months @ 14.95/mo, but didn't have the money at the time. And still wanted to do it, but still didn't have the money... UNTIL NOW. Literally. Today I got an email from my college letting me know that my school loan surplus is being direct deposited into my account. So today (or tommorow) I was going to sign back up for eMusic, and start the leech-fest.
  • by goldspider ( 445116 ) <ardrake79@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:12AM (#7171664) Homepage
    First you said that iTunes' $.99 per download was unreasonable, and now you're saying that $.25 per download is unreasonable. What is it you want? How cheap is cheap enough? Should these musicians (indie or otherwise) be allowed to make ANY money from their work at all??

    Really folks, I can't figure some of you out. People who are cancelling their subscriptions over this are being unreasonable.

    • $.25 is not unreasonable. It's the particulars of this plan that does kind of suck. You have a very low, hard limit of how many tracks you can d/l. And you're being charged that whether you use it or not.

      There is no carryover of unused tracks.

      Currently, there is no way to actually buy more. Either 40 tracks for $10, or 65 for $15. Unless you can and want to buy into the $50 plan.

      emusic has a very eclectic catalog. Part of the draw there was being able to sample different artists at will.'d h
    • You're wrong... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gfxguy ( 98788 )
      nobody is saying that $0.25/download is unreasonable. I'd like you to find one post that says so.

      The problem is that you are paying the full price wether or not you actually download 40 songs. Being a mostly indie site, you may rarely have any idea what you are downloading. You may download 40 songs before you even find one group that interests you (unless you only stay with groups you aleady know).

      Another problem is that it's subscription, unlike iTunes. That is, if I downloaded 12 song's in three mo
    • now you're saying that $.25 per download is unreasonable

      It's only 25 cents if you download the max. Even if the service had every track you want there's only so long you could sustain that price point. Given that the music in question is not going to all appeal - entire genres might not interest you - then the base cost of $50 per month, if you only download 5-10 songs is way too high.


    • iTunes gives me better options. I have used emusic a lot, and I can honestly say that most of what they carry is music by the minor indie labels selling albums that even Tower Records doesn't carry. Most of what I find on emusic is bad classical recordings, novelty DJ recording that get boring after a few listens, and noisy old jazz recordings from companies that got rights to shitty old recordings after the artist died. At least with iTunes I can pick *good* music.

      Along with the selection, at least iTunes
    • by pwtrash ( 593047 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @11:09AM (#7172400)
      You do not get the point of eMusic. The catalog is such that you have to invest time in it by downloading a lot of stuff you're not sure about (and :30s samples are not enough to judge). Quick - name 10 bands you really like. Unless you're already an indie freak, I'm willing to bet you will not find 2 of them on eMusic, and certainly not their new stuff.

      The reward, though, is getting turned onto bands that you would have never found out about otherwise. You download 20 CD's in a month, and out of those you find 2 new bands that you think are really cool. You can then check the "you might like" links and branch out from there. Over a couple of years, you wind up with a pretty good education in indie music. It had the potential to really elevate indie music to a new level of acceptance (like IFC & Sundance try to do for indie film).

      but not anymore. That's what people are complaining about. I'd be willing to pay more per month, but I won't pay to lose the joys of exploration. The reason eMusic will hurt from this is that their catalog is really not strong enough in mainstream music selections to provide a compelling value proposition other than the joy of exploration. Of the 400-500 CD's (not tracks) I've downloaded, there are probably 100 that I think are really good. That's 20%. At 40 tracks a month, that means I'll average out 8 really good songs a month; if I'm lucky, those will be on one CD & I'll discover - when I'm lucky - 1 new band I like a month.

      It's not about the cost per song I like. It's somewhat about the cost of songs I don't like, but moreso about the loss of exploration. It's the same reason people want to hold onto Kazaa, but we were exploring legally & in a socially responsible manner. It's the loss of discovery that's killing me, not the price per song.

      Before eMusic, I was not even familiar with Mogwai(!), much less bands like Wheat, South San Gabriel, Mark Eitzel, or Claire Voyant. I'm not in college anymore - eMusic was my connection to new, non-corporate album-oriented music. And now that connection is lost.

  • I've been a subscriber for close to two years. I supported them because it seemed like a fair plan. And lets face it, most of the music on emusic wasn't for the "average" music consumer. I sort of looked at the site as 10 bucks a month for access to the worlds largest cut-out bin. It was good for me because I like blues, jazz and folk music. If you are into contemporary music, forget it. Needless to say, I'll be canceling my sub. I'd rather use itunes if I'm going to be gouged. At least it "works." Half the
  • Well, thats put the kibosh on that one then. As an emusic subscriber, I was very vocal about how good the service was. It was the kind of offering that I'd been looking for since I first installed Napster all those years ago.

    It had a wide range of music, offered high quality encodings and even allowed you to chose your file naming policy. Even better, it was legit and allowed you to feel as if you were working with with the music industry rather than against it.

    Of course, on first inspection, the new sub
  • If, like me, you think this sucks and want to cancel your subscription go here before November 8, 2003.
    ...your birthday is November 8, say hoo rah!
  • Anyone want to get together and swap eMusic albums? I'm into jazz and eastern music myself.

    unlimited u/d credz for l/d callerz
  • I finally got fed up and cancelled after they couldn't get a working linux download manager after 3 months. It was a nice service when all it required was a web browser, but the more they mucked about with it, the worse it got.
  • music in America (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cetan ( 61150 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:26AM (#7171844) Journal
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench. A long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

    -- Hunter S. Thompson
  • i'm a current subscriber to emusic, and i was under the impression that i had a contractual agreement. i suppose i need to speak with my friend who studies arbitration about this. i suppose there is something in their terms of service which mentions they can change their terms at a months notice. hardly fair if i cannot cancel my subscription at a months notice.

    i guess i have a month to leech as much off them as i want. it's a shame really. i didnt download that much (5 or 6 cds a month). this was mainly b
  • by Perianwyr Stormcrow ( 157913 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:31AM (#7171894) Homepage
    Oh well. Back to kazaa.
  • by KrispyKringle ( 672903 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:32AM (#7171909)
    That's hilarious. I stumbled across EMusic (thanks to a mention of it in Zinf) at about the end of last week. I tried out the free demo, and figured $45 for three months of downloading was worth it. After all, I could only get about 3 albums for that price on CD; here I could find easily 10 or 20 good ones and tons more I wouldn't mind, so I figured it would pay for itself.

    So I registered for the 3 month service ($15 a month) last Sunday and started downloading. Now, you only can queue 45 tracks at any given time, which is a real pain (I considered scripting something to aid me on this, but never got around to it). But whenever I was at my machine, I'd click on new albums to download. Finding good artists was easy--EMusic doesn't have the absolute widest selection--so I just started at CCR, downloading every single album, and went right through 'till I realized on Tuesday that I had nearly 4000 tracks. W00t.

    Well, on Teusday, when I was sorta coming off that initial orgy of downloading, I got the following e-mail from EMusic:


    Your subscription has been permanently terminated pursuant to sections 5.3 and 7.1 of the Subscription Agreement due to account activity in violation of the terms and spirit of the EMusic service.

    The monthly subscription fee collected by with respect to the current period shall be reimbursed to your credit card account and will not bill for those months remaining of your subscription commitment period.

    Now, just to make it clear to anyone who missed the implications: my usage patterns apparently matched those of a 'bot (and why not--I was a machine!). So EMusic cancelled my subscription and refunded my service fee. I got 4000 MP3s, legally, for absolutely free. So as I said, w00t. Too bad this service isn't around any more.

  • ... policy is altered. To wit:

    Although our current privacy policy remains in effect,, when the acquisition is completed, EMusic's privacy policy will be changing to reflect Dimensional's ownership and your Personal Information (as defined in the privacy policy) will be transferred to Dimensional. Please take a few moments to review this our new policy which will take effect around October 30, 2003. As always, EMusic is firmly committed to consumer privacy a
  • I signed up for the free trial and downloaded their free 50 in 2 days... $.25 a song is definetly a bargin, but it's such a drastic move from where they once were...
  • by thisissilly ( 676875 ) on Thursday October 09, 2003 @10:40AM (#7171985)
    Someone decided to kill, apparently. "Unlimited" used to mean "under 2000 tracks a month". For $10, it was a good deal. Now I'm being told as a subscriber, I have the privilege of paying $50/month to be able to download 300 tracks. That's more than a thirty-fold price increase! It's the same as saying my subscription cost is going from $10/month to $333/month. Not going to happen. I would have put up with a 2x or even 3x price increase. But not this. I also see the emusic message boards have been shut down, another bad sign. At $10/month for a measly 40 tracks, I be going back to buying used CDs instead. I suspect their customer base will be leaving in droves, and undoubtedly some of them will go back to running p2p apps they had shut down when they discovered emusic. it was too good, so it had to be killed.
  • So let me get this straight... if you don't contact them, they will automatically and unilaterally swtich you over to the new "basic" service.

    That, my friends, sounds plain illegal. It would be in the UK, at any rate, and UK and US contract law are very similar. If I sign up for one thing, emusic cannot unilaterally decide to give me something else. I have to accept it first. And it's a basic principle of contract law that silence does not amount amount to an acceptance. I can't tell someone "I offer to se
  • I just found out about [] last night when I was looking for a rush song and I didn't want to go out and buy the cd(it was late at night). It's a russian site so I'm not sure of the legitimacy of it. $15/month unlimited downloads or $.01/meg metered. It was pretty nice paying $.06 for a song rather than spending $15 on a cd so I could get that one song.
  • I understand EMusic's point of view; bandwidth isn't cheap (enough). At a $9.95 unlimited rate (or $14.95, for you three month subscribers), there's a significant cost to serving up this data. I myself downloaded about 7 gigs of data in just the first three days. Yes, I got the warning note from them on that. No, the downloads weren't automated. =) I actually wrote them an email message about that, noting that 1) I was probably exhibiting typical activity for a first month subscriber; and 2) I don't m

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost