History of eMusic
eMusic first launched as an online digital music service in 1998. Previously to this, the company first started out selling physical audio CDs (in 1995) via the Internet. Before being known as eMusic, it was originally named GoodNoise Records -- the name changed shortly after eMusic.com and IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archive) was purchased in 1998. eMusic's business model was reshaped in 2004, which saw a facelift to its website and the addition of more content. However, the company has still adhered to its original business model of digital music ownership (via downloads) rather than a pure streaming subscription where you don't actually get to keep anything. eMusic also became the first online service to offer audiobooks in the MP3 format. This service was launched in 2007 and boasted audiobook downloads that were free from DRM copy protection unlike other services such as Audible.
eMusic has now made it possible to use their service without having to become a paid member. You can browse their music library in order to purchase tracks a la carte style. Subscriptions are still offered to make buying music cheaper, but there's no longer a financial commitment required to download MP3s.
Can I get eMusic in my Country?eMusic is available in several parts of the world where you can use it to download DRM-free music tracks and audiobooks. Currently, the eMusic service is available in the following countries / continents:
- European Union
- United States
How to Buy MusicJust like other digital music download stores such as Amazon MP3 or the iTunes Store, eMusic also has a large library of songs to browse through that cover various genres. But, how do you actually go about buying songs from eMusic?
There are two ways that you can use to purchase MP3s from eMusic:
- A la Carte -- if you don't want to commit to a subscription, or feel that you wouldn't get the best out of a monthly paid-for option (because you aren't a big consumer of music) then eMusic offers a pay-per-click (a la carte) route. This gives you a way to own what you buy via MP3 downloads, but you won't have to financially commit to a subscription tier. However, to get the best deal usually involves paying a membership fee in order to receive savings (on the RRP) if purchasing multiple tracks on a regular basis (every month).
- Monthly Subscriptions -- if you want to purchase a set amount of music every month, then paying for one of eMusic's monthly subscription tiers is the best way. As well as tracks typically being cheaper (sometimes up to 50%) via this route, you also get a set amount of monthly downloads using eMusic's credit system. These allotted downloads have to be used every month as they aren't rolled over to the next billing cycle. However, this route remains the best option if you are a mid-to-high consumer of music and want to get the best deal on downloaded MP3s.
What Subscription Options Does eMusic Offer?
- eMusic Basic ($11.99) -- this gives you 24 free downloads per month and a 25-50% saving on songs.
- eMusic Plus ($15.99) -- 34 free downloads a month, $1.00 bonus, and 25-50% saving on tracks.
- eMusic Premium ($20.99) -- 46 free downloads a month, $2.00 bonus, and 25-50% saving on tracks.
- eMusic Fan ($31.99) -- 73 free downloads a month, $4.00 bonus, and 25-50% saving on tracks.
How to Buy AudiobooksAs with songs from eMusic, audiobooks are also in the MP3 format giving you the ability to play them unrestricted on practically any device that can handle this popular format. At the time of writing, eMusic doesn't offer an a la carte way of purchasing audiobooks. Instead, you'll need a subscription in order to purchase them via eMusic's credit system. Most audiobooks are priced at 1 credit, but some are higher than this.
Music Apps and Software
- Android App -- if you've got an Android device, you can download the free eMusic app to: discover new music; get recommendations, create mixes, download MP3s straight to your device, and more.
- eMusic Download Manager -- this is a desktop software tool (for PC and Mac) that helps you to complete various tasks. For example you can sync downloads straight to software media players such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Winamp. It also makes it easier to download music -- especially multiple songs and entire albums.