Weedshare & Magnatune announce distribution partnership
December 13, 2005 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Below is a press release announcing a partnership between Weedshare and Magnatune. I tried to hit the DRM issue head-on in the release, as that's likely the most contentious issue with our existing Magnatune fans.
Bottom line: this is an alternative way for people to buy Magnatune music, in a scheme where they can themselves make money by sharing their bought files with other people, in what is typically referred to as an "affiliate network." We absolutely will continue to sell DRM-free music through the magnatune web site, but for those who wish to make money by sharing their files, that option is now there.

posted by zouhair (21 comments total)
I can see why they wouldn't want people selling unencrypted mp3s, as there would be no way to track which sales were 'legit' and which sales they paid no commision on.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on December 13, 2005

That's not the point.

They already sell music on their site (mp3, ogg, FLAC, and CDs) and it's viable. But the problem is they gonna open a door that they cannot close.
posted by zouhair at 3:28 PM on December 13, 2005

Is there actually anything on Magnatune worth listening to? I've browsed their catalog and been strictly underwhelmed.

I'm an Emusic member and they have some great indie, jazz, electronic and so on, VBR MP3s for 25 cents a track or less, no DRM at all. They have deals with labels like Thrill Jockey, Merge, Secretly Canadian etc. that actually manufacture and sell real CDs, so maybe that helps separate the wheat from the chaff. Magnatune has netlabel-quality music they expect you to pay for.
posted by fleetmouse at 3:38 PM on December 13, 2005

Seems like an awesome idea. If they gave their artists the ability to opt-out of the Weedshare scheme, it would be groovier, but probably less attractive to Weedshare as a business.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:40 PM on December 13, 2005

fleetmouse: I would say MagnaTune's catalog is slightly better than the average internet label simply because it is smaller and they are more selective in their process. It's much better than BitPass-owned Mperia or Garageband (hell, even Audio Luncbox). It in no rational way compares to eMusic, with which The Orchard's done an awesome job.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:45 PM on December 13, 2005

Captaintripps, what do you mean about The Orchard doing an awesome job? I know they're an umbrella organization for getting artists onto sites like Emusic and iTunes, but are they also part owners of Emusic?
posted by fleetmouse at 3:52 PM on December 13, 2005

As far as I understand they are (and have been for some time) both owned by Dimensional Associates and share a lot of key staff working very closely together.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:59 PM on December 13, 2005

I've paid for a number of Magnatunes releases. It's obviously not as varied as eMusic, but I've found some good stuff on there.
posted by cmonkey at 4:11 PM on December 13, 2005

posted by blue_beetle at 4:30 PM on December 13, 2005

I have also paid for Magnatunes tracks and liked what I got. Sure, they don't have a wide selection. But that doesn't matter much as you only pay for what you download. Just don't think of it as your one-stop music shop.
posted by Triplanetary at 4:32 PM on December 13, 2005

if you like minimal techno, belief systems is pretty good.
posted by jcruelty at 4:43 PM on December 13, 2005

actually listening to it now, maybe it's not minimal techno. whatevs. i like "liquid latina" and "boiling"
posted by jcruelty at 4:44 PM on December 13, 2005

I've bought stuff from The Wretch, Ivilion (same guy as The Wretch, he has a dozen projects), and Beth Quist.

In fact, I was the first person to pay max price for any album from MagnaTune, because I liked the Beth Quist one so much and was feeling all happy about sticking it to big record labels.
posted by Foosnark at 4:57 PM on December 13, 2005

blue_beetle, allofmp3 looks very cool.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:12 PM on December 13, 2005

i've been a big fan of magnatune for a long time. i think their selection is awesome compared to every other 'free' site, at least if you like electronic, world, or classical music.
posted by foraneagle2 at 5:38 PM on December 13, 2005

One other new player that came across my radar recently is BurnLounge. I can't really get a ken on what they're about yet. It seems like a lot of major stuff mixed in with other things.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:45 PM on December 13, 2005

Yeah foosnark it was Beth Quist I bought too, great one, really

and Brad Sucks too, love it

posted by zouhair at 6:57 PM on December 13, 2005

I'm not interested (I'd rather buy directly from their website), but it's not too bad:

"In an industry first, Magnatune will be making its catalog available in 'lossless' format to balance the competing interests of user rights vs. security. This enables buyers to burn purchased Weed files to audio CD with absolutely no loss of quality. This perfect-quality CD has no DRM and can be ripped to MP3 or any other desired format with no second-generation quality loss (unlike all other existing music/DRM offerings)."

I have heard some good stuff on Magnatune.
posted by D.C. at 7:09 PM on December 13, 2005

Zouhair: You seem to be having a pretty irrational reaction. You can still buy the same stuff from Magnatune; you don't have to use Weedshare. If people keep just buying things from Magnatune without Weedshare, they'll abandon Weedshare as a marketting model. That's it.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 AM on December 14, 2005

I've bought some stuff there. I highly recommend "Brad Sucks" if you like Beck and Aimee Mann.
posted by davejay at 4:54 PM on December 14, 2005

klangklangston: It's again not the point, if for example magnatune begins to make more money from DRM music than free one, they will be weak beside weedshare and limewire.

you see
posted by zouhair at 3:49 PM on December 15, 2005

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