2007-03-28

Check out Magnatune if you haven't already

If this hasn't already been featured everywhere, it should have been.

Magnatune is a record label that started in the year 2000 from what I can gather (claims that the famous Courtney Love article was written six months after the foundation of the company, but Wikipedia says 2003). The founder's wife had been signed and completely screwed over by the record company - she lost the rights to her music for 7 years, even though the CD was out of print for many years, and received $137 in royalties, parts of which was paid out as CD copies of her own album.

So John Buckman started his own record label. It is not connected to any of the music mafia lobby groups like the RIAA. These guys don't believe in such groups.

All artists signed to the label is handpicked. Which means they sell what they believe in. And because of this, they don't screw their artists over - 50% of the sales goes to the artist.

When you browse around the site, you'll notice that you don't make a buy based on a guess. You can listen to everything, every minute of every song of every album, so you know exactly what it is that you're buying.

And when you make the buy, you download full CD qualities in several formats, with high quality album art - or you can have the CD shipped to you. If you lose your products for any reasons, it's completely okay to download it again.

There is no DRM on their products. Magnatunes doesn't like DRM. Their music can be played anywhere.

If you have a podcast that is non-commercial, or what they call "commercial but starving", you can use their music for free, due to individual deals with every individual artist. And it doesn't stop their. On their website, they outright encourage the buyer to give three copies of your purchase to friends.

The three copies limitations sounds like DRM. It's really not. It doesn't stop you from making more than three copies of files. It allowes you to do four downloads from the downloads page. So when you buy something from them, four people can download the buy.

The only thing I miss is the opportunity to buy individual tracks or designing one's own CD - one buy the entire album in a chunk from Magnatunes, in an old-fashioned style that might quickly go out of date.

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