Thanks to a recommendation in my Debate on DRM post, I signed up for a free trial at emusic.com. Unlike iTunes, eMusic allows you to download music into a standard format, mp3.
With the free trial, I received 50 song downloads. If I continue with the subscription, 9.99 US dollars a month buys me 40 song downloads. This makes the service very inexpensive–about .25 a song.
I looked to see if the service had the music I’ve recently downloaded from iTunes, but it didn’t. eMusic does not have as good a selection of music as iTunes does. However, moving away from looking for specific songs and focusing on genres, instead, the selection is good enough. In addition, the royalties are paid for the music, and the downloads are legal–both of which are important to me.
I found and downloaded the 1922 release of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings with Jelly Roll Morton. This is classic oldtime jazz and ragtime music–important for being released before the infamous flood of 1927, which had a major impact on jazz and blues music.
This album was one of the first mixed race jazz albums released–significant because most white jazz bands ‘pretended’ that the black influence on jazz didn’t exist. The downloaded songs feature the scratches and pops of the old vinyl, but you’ll never hear this type of music again. I listened to it last night during my walk, and it was pure joy.
There is also a compilation of Jelly Roll’s piano solos, released in 1923, which I plan on downloading later today. In the meantime, I also downloaded Shirelles album, which will accompany my walk today.
Once I downloaded the music, it was simple to add the songs to my iTunes library, which were then picked up by my iPod the next time I synched. I even copied the album art into the iTunes music.
I told my roommate about Jelly Roll’s music and he was curious, so I burned him a CD to listen to in the car. I liked the ease with which I could import and export the music, in and out of iTunes. Also thanks to the DRM debate thread, I found there are additional utilities I can get that will make this process even easier. Unlike that silly Google Video, with its operating system restrictions and foolish purchase policies, with eMusic and iTunes there’s no lock-in.
Inexpensive….selection of music…artists paid…legal…simplicity…no lock-in… These are what matter to me when downloading music. Everything else, is just tech.