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eMusic is sharp. It’s a music site in a pinstriped suit, with dreadlocks. Whatever you’re after, be it a karaoke singalong, an old classic from yester years, or an up and coming alternative group, eMusic is there to help you find it.
The major thing that strikes you about eMusic is its staff. There’s an army of music aficionados at its helm, finding new bands, writing insightful articles, interviewing bands and recommending rarely-heard albums. eMusic is for the music fan who likes live music, for the fan who wants to ask the band questions after their gig over a bag of pork scratchings and a refreshing pint. Its writers and support staff know their onions. Their musical onions. And they aren’t short on a supply of articles and blog posts to help you delve into the world of whatever sort of music you’re interested in. They even have their own charts which will introduce you to new and unheard of groups.
eMusic offers a number of packages to its users (see the costing section of this review) to help supply their services to a range of consumers. But they don’t come cheap. Even their basic package costs only a little less than premium packages elsewhere. But the difference is that with eMusic you get to keep the tracks. Every single one. Your library of music, therefore, isn’t on loan. You own it and can do what you please with it.
eMusic isn’t so interested in media sharing, it’s more about YOUR music, what YOU like. It’s about developing an awareness of music, not just following the trends on social networking sites. It’s about reading up on the music scene, getting to know bands before everyone else jumps on the (excuse the pun) band-wagon. Value comes from their expertise, then, rather than the volume of songs you might get out of it.
Finding songs on eMusic is a simple affair. Either you search for something you already know and filter it via the track, album, features and reviews, labels or composers; or you can browse songs and make your decisions based on the various articles or star ratings. On eMusic the members have a say and this is brought about by giving a track a star rating. 5 out of 5, you might assume, is a pretty good song. 1 out of 5? Best left alone. This system allows you to make informed decisions and not to waste that precious credit. And it is precious as any credit left over after the month is deleted. You can easily keep a check on this through your account, which tells you how much credit you have left, but as the end of the month approaches you may want to use this as an opportunity to go on a spending spree, it’s one of the ways you’ll get to expand the music you listen to, though you need to keep on top of your account to make sure you don’t lose out. Feedback and complaints are dealt with via email, a submissions sheet and their FAQ. They’re also active bloggers and tweeters so having a public profile is worth considering.
Overall eMusic is a great site for people who have a real interest in music and where it comes from. Its slick exterior holds a lot of gems inside but this isn’t necessarily the site for someone who is looking to downloads hundreds of tracks every month. Now get back to the pub and order those pork scratchings!
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