Tuesday, 22 July 2008

DRM Free Downloads Part 2 - We7

After my post on legal sources of DRM free music in the UK, Steve Purdham, CEO of We7 posted the following:

At We7, All the content we sell is DRM free and will work on linux. Unfortunately thats not the front line content at the moment but that will change in the coming months. The streaming will work on any computer with flash installed.

hope this helps,

Steve Purdham
CEO - We7

This is a music download service with a difference. For starters you can listen to streaming versions of all the songs for free (albeit with a short advert at the start of each track). The fun starts when you sign up (which is free too).

At this point you can choose to either buy the song via ITunes, buy the song as an MP3 direct from them (costing 70p), save to your streaming playlist, or download a free advert supported MP3 (encoded at 192khz).

Listening to your playlist is certainly no worse than listening to music on the radio (remember doing that back in the day?) and the short adverts aren't too obtrusive at the moment, not to mention that this station is playing only the songs that you choose.

As if that wasn't enough, there is a big bonus for all the cheapskates out there.

All downloaded advert supported tracks will also be listed on your "Available Soon" page. After 28 days you get the option to spend some of your We7 credits (of which you get 20 free ones each month) to buy ad-free versions at either a discount, or in some cases entirely free! You can buy extra credits as you want.

The site itself is very clean, it is very easy to find the music, and the playlist features of the site work well.

At the moment the content is a bit hit-and-miss, with some stuff only available via links to ITunes, but in all fairness even though the site is still in beta there is a good selection of stuff avilable for us Linux users.

I've been browsing their site today and I've got to admit I think it's a great way to sample new music, especially the unsigned bands section. Hopefully this will take off in a big way, especially as this should work on any platform that supports flash player.

Why not head on over to www.we7.com and give it a shot?

Update 1: I've had more of a hunt through their site and found some more cool stuff.

They have a pop-up player application to play your streaming playlists (which is a really nice idea), plus they allow you to embed the streaming media in your blog / website

Nice or what?

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