By contrast, after only a few days of browsing, I’m ready to commit to at least a three-month membership at EMusic at the rate of at US$14 per month. While EMusic may not offer the breadth of the major labels’ blandest, most mainstream albums, it stocks an impressive supply of more obscure releases — the kind of music to which I naturally gravitate.
Here’s what I’ve downloaded so far:
The Fall “Bend Sinister”
Interpol “Turn on the Bright Lights”
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists “The Tyranny of Distance”
Peanut Butter Wolf “Best of Peanut Butter Wolf”
These are nowhere to found in the iTMS, and even if they were, they would be somewhat inelegantly hobbled by Apple’s earnest but imperfect FairPlay rights-management system. By contrast, the EMusic offering is entirely MP3-based, meaning that I have exactly the same freedom with these tracks as I would with any MP3s that I legally rip from CDs that I own.
This leaves me feeling pretty bearish on the iTunes Music Store; its selection is so paltry that I can’t see myself spending any serious money there anytime soon. I still hold out hope for it to improve though, especially with promises for the inclusion of more independent record labels. In the meantime, I expect EMusic will win my dollars… and, for better or worse, it will continue to feed my recent insatiability for more and more music.