I want my MP3's

I’m willing to pay, y’all. I am not a freeloader. I want artists and, yes, even the middle men, to get their fair share of my music buying dollar. Problem is, I can’t find a place to buy what I want. What I want is a service where:

I can, for a monthly rate or a per-file charge, download mp3 files.
I can find all the obscure stuff I listen to and recent titles as well.
I don’t have to buy an entire CD if I just want one or two songs from it.

That doesn’t seem too unrealistic, does it? I thought I had found it. I was trying out Audiogalaxy and was about to sign up for their for-pay service (’cause I’m not a freeloader, right?) when they were gutted by the courts. They had an excellent selection of stuff and I was very happy with it. Now they’re gone.

So I thought I’d try one of those “legit” commercial services run by the labels. I signed up for a free trial at emusic.com. Gawd, what a fiasco. First of all, I was trying to get a free trial at mp3.com but got redirected to the emusic site, which I thought was may be a result of some sort of merger. Anyway, whatever.

Turns out that emusic, owned by Vivendi, one of the largest entertainment conglomerates in the world, has no music. Well, they have some music, but 7 out of 10 of the searches for bands I entered came back with either no results or “bands like” entries. Excuse me, but I don’t want a band “like” Wilco, I want Wilco. I should have known when, on it’s home page, emusic was advertising its Creedence Clearwater Revival files. Don’t get me wrong, CCR is a great band, but don’t you have something more recent than that to give front page space to? What would you think of a video store that still had posters for “Ordinary People” still hanging in its front window. I’m sorry emusic, if you want me to pay $9.95/mo for a year long contract, you need to give me more music. I couldn’t even find enough stuff to download to complete my 50 file free trial. I quit early.

So now I am in a pickle. I could do the wrong thing and rip files for free at a peer-to-peer service that provides me the selection I want but am willing to pay for, or I can search for a commercial service that gives me half-assed attempt at what I want, hopefully for a lot less than what emusic wanted for access to its anemic collection.

I’m beginning to believe that piracy is not the issue with the RIAA. They just don’t want to lose their business model. They don’t want to provide a way for listeners to get just the songs they want instead of having to buy 10 turkeys packaged with three or four hit songs into an $18 CD.

So if anyone knows of a good Audiogalaxy P2P replacement, I’m listening. And by any chance if anyone can tell me where I can legally purchase individual mp3 files from a large selection of artists, you’ll be my new hero.

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