There has been a few articles online recently regarding the re-launch of eMusic, one of the original online digital music retailers, a company I haven't thought of, let alone used, in years. Thanks to Gmail's incredibly long memory, the last email I received from eMusic was in 2011...
Mostly a haven for indie artists and labels, I had been known to sign up with eMusic whenever I found a usable promo, download some Black Label Society, import those MP3s into iTunes and then cancel as there subscription model and lack of mainstream artists generally made eMusic unappealing to me.
Now eMusic is back with a new website design, a tweaked business model, and is hoping to entice users to once again convince buyers that purchasing music, in lieu of streaming, is the way to go. For many, especially those into the latest music, that is going to be a tough sell indeed, especially in light of their monthly pricing which starts at $4.99/m pay-as-you-go sub (which includes a 55% discount off retail on purchases) to their $20.99/m sub which gets you up to 42 downloads/m - compare that to the average music streaming sub at under $10.00/m and it's hard to make a case for a subscription based download service. However; one intriguing new feature to the eMusic service appears to be their digital locker, which promises unlimited storage and playback of your original uploaded files - unfortunately it appears that it is restricted to MP3
files only (when I attempted to upload an M4A
file the eMusic downloader didn't even "see" the file). Which is somewhat ironic in light of the announcement by Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
, the creators of the format, that the MP3 is 'dead'. And since most competing online music lockers have some sort of a cap, either by an allocation of space or maximum file allotment - the idea of 'unlimited storage' while otherwise attractive, is greatly diminished by the restriction to the MP3 format. It also remains to be seen if this new 'unlimited' digital locker feature is enough to lure users, and buyers, back to the eMusic