Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Free Music - update

More on We7 at the end

An article in the guardian about new ways of distributing music
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/28/piracy.digitalmedia?gusrc=rss&feed=technology
introduced me to a new service: We7. This offers free music downloads - as MP3, no DRM - but with a caveat - there is a brief advert at the beginning of each track (which sounds more like a radio sting - not too much of a nuisance on long tracks)
http://www.we7.com/welcome

After 28 days you can (apparently) download a new version without the advert. Or, the files seem to editable in Audacity and the ad can be removed. The site aims to promote new artists, and the range of existing artists is limited - there are some Morissey singles, and if you are an ELP fan (yes, I admit it - there goes my credibility!) their back catalogue is there, including the Manticore bootleg series. Keith Emerson is obviously a big supporter of the site. Surprisingly (contractual?) Peter Gabriel who is somehow a backer is not on site. (There are also some oher 'names' - Tangerine dream [including their bootleg series], the Kinks, eap, early Bob marley, Fairport convention)

It's an interesting experience: there is no way I'd be willing to pay for the ELP bootlegs - I have never been one for collecting live versions (never joined the King Crimson collectors edition club). However, I am enjoying these and will get the lot. The We7 stings are like radio ones at the beginning of a track: somewhat distracting where there are shorter tracks, or edits of long pieces (like Pictures At An Exhibition) but you get used to them.

But shows things are developing

PS my ongoing saga with Apple for the $16 Bruckner set - next stage. I tried buying a track and doing complete my album. No luck. Sent in a 'complaint' and got credits for 5 tracks, so am a bit ahead at the moment - still want the Bruckner though!

We7 registrations allow you 100 tracks per day or 500 per week. Have had a good look through and there is some interesting classical, the rock/progressive already mentioned, quite a bit of folk (pentangle, incredible string band, bert jansch), a Gary Numan compilation of his 80s&90s stuff, but most surprisingly the most recent King Crimson - Power to believe. Some material is not available in some places (eg a Nice collection and also surprisingly the King Crimson album before Power! can't be downloaded in Australia. Not sure where they are unrestricted).

It works well for me - have got a host of new string quartet stuff (lots from a UK mob called the Lindsays; and while I wouldn't contemplate buying the ELP I am enjoying the bootleg collection).

Ads so far have all been for We7 - and can be managed.