First Impressions On The New Emusic

So now I’ve had a few days to go through portions of the new Emusic catalog, and here are a few of my impressions:

  • I see nothing from Chicago (Say what you want about them, their first three albums were more interesting than what most long-lived bands and/or artists do over a twenty year career) or The Velvet Underground (although Lou Reed is well represented). A disappointment, but it’s not the worst of the lot…
  • “Album Only” cuts. That’s right, folks, if you want to get certain tracks you have to buy the whole thing. Now I understand the bigger cuts being linked with the whole, but what peeves me is that all the hits have the limitation of being stuck to the album(s) they’re with.
  • Since when is an eight track album worth paying twelve tracks for? I don’t care if it’s The Boss(tm), last I checked Emusic didn’t have a policy in place that allowed for charging what amounts to more than a credit per track.
  • Having said that, there IS plenty here to add to my collection. Certain single tracks that I’ve long wanted or had pilfered I can actually buy now (I prefer my music legal and paid for. It’s called supporting the artist, and if can’t make it to the artist’s concerts (or worse, there’s no concerts to go to) at least pay for the occasional track and send them some love THAT way), plus some long-lost cuts and artists I’ve long wanted.
  • I also like that they’re trying to make the whole experience integrated, like the independent record seller from the mid-eighties. “Six Degrees” leads from one major LP (major or not) to six other LPs. This is something similar to what’s attempted with Amazon and other places with their “If You Like X, You’ll Like (Y, Z, W, V, etc.”

So that’s my start. Like I said, I’m sticking around to see how things work out. If this place turns out like the local record store in the late eighties (enough of a mix to satisfy everyone), I may stick around a long time. If the critics are right (Indies get pushed out by the biggies by force or by abandonment OR if Emusic becomes unworkable as a source of music, I WILL join the exodus.


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