Let’s Take Some E – emusic, That Is

Sorry I’ve been gone so long.  The Long Hot Summer just passed me by, as Style Council would have it.

Anyway, I was recently sucked into emusic, yet again.  Yes, once long long ago, I tried emusic, and it blew.  Hard.  I think I downloaded the entire number of songs I was allotted in my trial period – and all of them were either by Sharon Jones or Dwight Yoakam, just so you know – and promptly cancelled.  Here’s why:

  • Shitty selection.  Even I, who loves nearly everything put out by either CCR or the Stax label, which emusic has tons of, couldn’t find much to love on emusic.  I think my tastes are far too plebian, but that’s a personal problem, right?
  • “New Stereo Recordings by the Original Artist.” Yes, you read that right.  Emusic is awash in those cheap re-recordings that you find for $3 at Wal-Mart – only there’s no fine print to read to let you know it.  The only way I figured this out was by reading reviews and listening to some of the songs (and considering I was using a laptop with tin-can speakers, that was a challenge). I think this practice is an ABOMINATION. Who wants to waste their downloads on this kind of trash.  Not Miss Ruby, for sure.
  • Shitty sound quality.  Some of the files have literally been ripped from vinyl.  Vinyl that a dog’s been packing in its mouth for a week or so. Others just sound muddy.
  • That wonky download manager.  Emusic has the craziest download manager I have ever seen.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

So, curious to know what I found when emusic solicited me with 75 free downloads to come back, a year later? Well, more of the same.

All the same problems I found last year are still there. Like the last time I was suckered in, I couldn’t even use all of the 75 downloads they gifted me because I couldn’t find that many songs I liked.  And trust me, I looked – if emusic was a guy, I’d be in jail for stalking.

That being said, I did find some interesting things on emusic that surprised me, enough that I’ve signed up for another month, just to see what else happens, because it appears that they are trying to clean up their act.   Here are some of the gems I unearthed:

  • Margo Guryan’s Take a Picture.  Yes, that’s right.  I’d been tempted on more than one occasion to pay outrageous sums for imports of this, and here it turns up on little old emusic.  For real.
  • The Free Design’s Kites are Fun.  Another htf gem I’d been tempted to throw down a king’s ransom for.
  • Orpheus.  Are you starting to see a pattern here?  So I like cheesy late-60s pop.  It’s none of your business, anyway.
  • Sloan.  And yes, I also like Canadian bands that owe a lot to 60s-70s pop.  Just try to deny Sloan.  You can’t, you know.
  • Spoon.  Need I say more?
  • Dr. Dog.  I was just about to order Fate from amazon, too. I got it free, baby doll.
  • Bobby Caldwell.  AAAAAHHHHHH.  Both “Open Your Eyes” AND “The Flame.”
  • Sammi Smith.  “Kentucky.”  And “Birmingham Mistake.”

HOWEVER. I fully intend to let emusic know every time I find a shitty-sounding file or one of those rerecorded things.  I want to see what they do about it, if anything.  And, if their selection doesn’t improve drastically by, oh, say, December, I will cancel again.

I’d love some feedback here.  I’d love to hear what some of you have thought about emusic, if you’ve used it.


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3 responses to “Let’s Take Some E – emusic, That Is

  1. Joe

    emusic is a waste of time and effort. I had better luck finding my tunes on the record label site. Or on uk sites.

  2. Steve

    I just signed up for emusic today. I searched for 6 songs, and I found all of them. No, you caught me…zero actually. I downloaded something just to make me feel better. 68 to go… And how did I find your post? … by searching “emusic is shitty”…

    • missrubyjones

      Believe it or not, I have stuck it out with eMusic. You may want to hang on a bit, too – in November, eMusic is adding the Universal Music catalog, which is evidently huge, and are going to a pricing structure more like iTunes.

      The other thing I’ve noticed about eMusic is that the search is pretty wonky. I’ve happened upon some pretty cool stuff from links from other pages – then attempted to search it and couldn’t get there again.

      I think the eMusic bunch is making a real effort to do better, so I’m anxious to see what happens…

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