eMusic Comes to Canada

eMusic Comes to Canada

For indie music supporters like me who aren't drawn to the major label fodder that iTunes pushes upon the masses, eMusic was a welcome change. According to its website, it is "a digital entertainment retailer focused on serving customers aged 25 and older" that "offers a vast selection of independent music and audio books in a universally compatible file format at great value".

What that means to me is that it's less about pushing the big names that sell millions to high school and college crowds and more about supporting quality releases in all genres and offering them DRM-free and at a lower cost than iTunes. Adopting a subscription-based model, eMusic's standard package costs around $11 for 30 downloads per month. I just whipped out my calculator widget and that means you pay less than 40 cents per download.

Although iTunes offers independent artists some e-shelf space, eMusic focuses on music released on independent labels or music made by unsigned acts. It's electronic music section in particular is quite amazing.

About a month ago, eMusic launched a Canadian version aimed at highlighting music made in this fine country and making music available that was previously unlicensed for sale in Canada including current Toronto resident Feist's latest record The Reminder (pictured above).

Toronto artists are naturally well-represented on eMusic. Big indie bands like Metric, Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think, and Tokyo Police Club have releases up there, as do electronic acts like vitaminsforyou, Polmo Popo, and Hatiras.

I've been an eMusic subscriber for over a year now and would recommend it to any indie music lover. There's an ever-growing community there where most releases have a list of thoughtful customer reviews posted by people who know what they're talking about. You can also easily link to related releases from any album you look up. Another great feature is the "Saved for Later" function, where you can store releases to purchase at a later date.

Want to try out eMusic for free? The first two people to comment below get a free trial membership which includes 40 downloads per month for three months. Good luck!

Photo: Beth Hamill.

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