Alex recently extolled the virtues of eMusic so I thought I would give it a go. For a monthly subscription of the price of a full-price CD you can get ~8 album downloads (99 tracks) from their fairly comprehensive catalogue (to which more is being added all the time). What I like about this service is that the files are VBR MP3 – so no DRM – and it is cheap enough for me to take more risks than I might in a store. What I can do now is take a look at the 6Music playlist, find the tracks that I’ve heard and liked and see what is available by that artist on the site. This has led me to Midlake, Peter, Bjorn & John and Camera Obscura amongst others. It has also let me pick up huge chunks of back catalogue from artists as diverse as Cocteau Twins and Basement Jaxx. As it is a subscription service it is easy to forget that you have it and have a download splurge just before the credits run out (only down side is that there is no carry over) – but finding 99 tracks you want to download is part of the fun and there is a certain amount of ‘well I might as well download that to use up the credits’ that makes you try out an artist you know the name of but not much more or back catalogue of someone you already know.

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