Walmart Music Store, Shmalmart Shmusic Shtore

[emusic]http://www.emusic.com
[walmart]http://musicdownloads.walmart.com/catalog/servlet/MainServlet

Everyone is all excited about the "Walmart online music store":walmart. Many people seems to be laboring under the misapprehension that Walmart has the lowest price-per-track of all the pay-for-download music services. They don't, not by a long way.

The online music service I use is "eMusic":emusic. They have subscription-model pricing rather than per-track pricing. I have a subscription plan which entitles me to 90 tracks per month for $19.99, which comes to $0.22 per track, _one-quarter_ of Walmart's price.

Even more importantly, all the tracks you download from eMusic are bog-standard, plain-vanilla MP3 rather than DRM(Digital Rights Management)-encumbered, OS(Operating System)-dependent "secure" formats, which may not be supported by your portable digital music player. Here's a tip for those struggling with DRMed files from online music services: burn them to CD as audio, then encode off the CD in the format of your choice. See why I put "secure" in scare quotes?

eMusic's catalog comes overwhelmingly from independent artisits and labels; they don't have Brittney Spears or N'Sync or whatever the hell they're playing on top 40 radio now.

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