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On emusic

Over-all, I have had a good experience with emusic.com since I joined this music download service in early 2006.  At that time it cost $10 per month for 40 downloads.  It was the only for-payment legal music service available in Israel, except for some Russian sites, whose legality was murky enough to make me wonder if illegal downloads weren' t a better option.  There may be other possibilities today, though it could be the same: the music industry still attempts to close out competition from overseas. And now a neighbor who tried to follow my recommendation to subscribe to emusic was told by the emusic site that the service isn't available here.

Songs have gotten more expensive on emusic since 2006, though the service itself has improved quite a bit.  I came near to canceling my subscription recently when, without asking, they attempted to move me to a much more expensive plan (which nevertheless gave me fewer downloads than the previous one).  After a bit of email prodding, they came clean and even gave a hundred free downloads as compensation. So I was chuffed - though they still got me to pay more for less.

I'm happy with emusic because it specializes in the offbeat material I love - and the service works just as well on Linux as on Windows.  All tracks are DRM free, and owned permanently.  Still mainstream music fans in North America or Europe have better options.

One thing I learned to avoid was the service's Conduit.com tool bar.   Although not usually classed as malware, it certainly acts like it.   Ordinary Google searches start to be routed through Conduit (which is then paid by Google).   I did not understand, when installing the tool bar, that it was third-party, and it took me a while to find out what was hijacking my browser.   Conduit is an Israeli company, I discovered recently.

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