August 02, 2006


I have an intense dislike for DRM. It's a pointlessly restrictive method of copy protection that's as functional as a 20 year old Yugo. It's also why I'll never purchase any music from iTunes. To me, limiting myself to a single type of portable music player (or doing so on this side of the DMCA, anyway), and to a small amount of transfers is more cumbersome than buying a CD and then ripping the tracks.

I'd pretty much resigned myself to only buying physical copies of music, so I was pleasantly surprised by a post on BoingBoing about eMusic, a site that has legal downloads (and not quasi-legal Russian based servers) with no DRM, no restricions on transfers between storage devices, and a high bitrate.

Their selection, for me, is really quite good. Last night I downloaded the Old 97's album Wreck Your Life and a couple of songs from The Weakerthans. Today I used up the rest of my free trial (25 songs) on a few songs from Spain, Vox Vermillion, Petra Haden (from that dog. and The Rentals), Eletric Frankenstein, Future Bible Heroes (an alternate outlet for Stephin Merritt), and The Decemberists.

In the light of day, I'll probably activate the billed portion of my subscription. $10/month for 40 downloads means about $3 a cd, and still room in the budget to, you know, eat. I'm in favor of eating, especially to good, new music.