Buying from Emusic.com

I just wanted to say a quick word about Emusic.com. In short, it’s a subscription-based source for music (MP3s) produced by indie labels. You pay a flat monthly rate for a limited number of downloads – there are a number of packages depending on how much you want to download per month. You also download individual songs, so after you listen to an album, you just download the songs you want. We have tons of half albums or single songs.

What makes it awesome is that because it carries primarily indie labels, the cost-per-song is significantly cheaper than sites like ITunes, you’re supporting indie labels, and it’s 100% DRM-free. If your computer crashes or you’re at your friends’ place or you just want to put your purchased Emusic songs on another computer, you can log in to your account and re-download your songs for free. I was able to leave a few albums’ worth of MP3s on my parents’ computer for them to enjoy the last time I visited them.

It is a fabulous place to discover new music. I found a lot of the first few seasons’ worth of the Gray’s Anatomy soundtrack there (artists before they made it to the Big Time). There’s a good online community, tons of articles and reviews (I admit that I get a lot of my review info from there), and a great recommendation system. We love it. AND, it has a truckload of children’s music (although it’s filed under “Soundtrack”, which I didn’t figure out for a while).

I’ll be upfront about a few drawbacks – all of the kids music that we’ve ever searched for is there, but if you’re looking for more mainstream artists, you’re not likely to find them. If you do, it’s usually what they contributed to a compilation or an older album of theirs. So you need to be open to finding new music – for me personally, this was daunting at first, but I’ve discovered literally dozens of artists that I love and we now have a massive MP3 collection. The other drawback is that unused downloads don’t rollover, so you need to make sure you’re on the site downloading your max every month. We scheduled a monthly email reminder on our Google family calendar to make sure we don’t forget and it’s worked out really well.

I think there’s a trial period so that you can test it out and see if its for you, and you can quit anytime without penalty. So if you’re excited to accumulate a family music library, and/or to expand what you listen to, or simply want to support indie labels, this is a diamond of a site.

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