In the growing market of legal music downloading services, Apple Computer’s “iTunes” has set the industry standard while other sites like Urge (MTV Networks), Rhapsody, Napster, and Wal-Mart struggle to find innovative ways to compete. In the indie music world there’s another music option. At eMusic.com one fan find a dizzying array of tunes from a wide range of artists. The downloads are a-la-carte like iTunes (no annoying ‘rental services’ like Rhapsody or Napster or new player Zune Marketplace) but eMusic was the first legal site to offer DRM-free music that works with any digital music player. The site has a pre-paid structure where for 10 bucks a month you get 30 tracks (or, in country music terms, roughly three albums). There are “Plus” and “premium” packages currently available as well.
What most people don’t know about eMusic is that the website is actually the second largest legal service behind Napster and contains well over two million tracks. There are country music albums from numerous artists including the catalogs of newer Nashville labels like Big Machine Records, Lofton Creek Records, Midas Records Nashville (Emerson Drive) and stuff from self-releasing artists like Steve Azar and John Berry. Traditional artists are on the site as well. I picked up Dayrle Singletary’s latest album from eMusic. It’s a great site that deserves love from country music fans all over.