Monday, November 22, 2010

Emusic, Spotify, Last.fm

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
It seems to be all change at the online music services this month.  I'm cancelling my Spotify subscription because the phone reception under the hill here in Ilkley is dismal, and often means I can only stream a song or two at a time before the service cuts out. This is obviously O2's fault rather than Spotify's, but it does mean that the service is pretty useless for me.



Image representing eMusic as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

E-Music have changed their subscription from a points system to a cash per track system which on my current subscription plan works out at 42p a track (79p a track on iStore), in effect giving me exactly the same amounts of downloads each month as I was getting before the change.  The official reason for this is to allow a change in the amount of music E-Music is able to offer, and this month's new offerings do seem to include some more mainstream material in addition to the indy label music the service has previously specialised in.  Behind the scenes though, the new deal with Universal Music Group is the reason for the price change, and E-Music has been unable to re-negotiate deals with the indy labels behind acts like Belle & Sebastian and The Arcade Fire, undoubtedly two of their better selling acts.
Image representing Last.fm as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Last.fm have done away with one of their better loved features, the ability to stream a station made up exclusively of your favourite tracks, this due to licencing problems.  I can understand Last.fm doing this, you can use the service with all of it's geekily addictive personal chart building for free, or advertising free for the princely sum of £3 a month.  I'll be sticking with Last.fm having been a subscriber for a few years, but perhaps I'll change down to the free service when my current subscription runs out.

This month's E-Music downloads then....

Outlaw Blues - Larry Miller : Sounds all American, born in Guildford
Worlds Collide - Unruly Child : Their singer is a woman, but she used to be a he
The Very Best Of...The Undertones
A Way Of Life : Trad Brit metal
Black Masses : Electric Wizard
Ten - Ginger : I pressed the 'download whole album' button when I should have just downloaded the two new tracks, bugger.

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