Another big blow for eMusic (and its subscribers)

As reported previously, the mp3 downloading site eMusic is on the brink of undergoing some big changes. If the news in October didn’t make you cringe, the latest certainly will.

Late last night, a number of big hitting indie labels decided to pull their catalogs. Soon, you’ll be able to download artists from major labels like Sony and Universal, but in just a few hours, you won’t see anything from Domino, Merge, or Beggars Group (which includes Rough Trade, Matador, XL, and 4AD). In other words, if you want to download something by Animal Collective, Spoon, the New Pornographers, Dirty Projectors, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Panda Bear, Pavement, Elliott Smith, Deerhunter, Blonde Redhead, (the upcoming) Iron & Wine, Camera Obscura, Efterklang, The National, St. Vincent, Bon Iver, Beirut, Mountain Goats, Pixies, tUnE-yArDs, Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian, Shearwater, Yo La Tengo, Arcade Fire, Antony and the Johnsons, Jeffrey Lewis, Little Joy, Sufjan Stevens, Taken By Trees, The Decemberists, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Ros, Beck, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub, well… you may just be out of luck.

When it comes to a record store, what’s more important, a comprehensive selection or a carefully curated assortment of options?

That’s the question posed by NPR Music in regards to the news. I think you know where I stand on the issue.

With their huge ads in (now largely defunct) Paste magazine, eMusic has traditionally catered to an indie-music loving audience, but with such a painful hit to their catalog, will they be able to keep the very audience that got them going in the first place?

This is your two-hour warning. If you’re an eMusic subscriber, you may just want to download some of your favorite artists… before it’s too late.

How long before Sub Pop, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguar, Polyvinyl, and Fat Possum follow suit?


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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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