Thursday, January 14, 2010

eMusic, six (well, more like seven) months later

Time, I think, for some reflection about eMusic. I wouldn't be Nereffid without it - Nereffid would just be the drunken taxidermist in my brain - and I haven't yet forged a Nereffid identity (if I ever will) that's not associated with eMusic, as in, "Nereffid? Oh, wasn't he on the eMusic boards?"
I indeed had a regular presence on the eMu boards for a few years, to the extent that at one point when I hadn't posted for a couple of weeks people were wondering what had happened. That was nice. Because of the Sony shenanigans and the ensuing fallout I quit the community in June of last year. But I never really left; Nereffid left the community, but I've been contributing occasionally to the boards, incognito. And of course I still use the service.
I'm fascinated by how difficult it's been to quit completely. No, "difficult" isn't really the word, because I haven't been putting any effort into quitting. That's the weird thing about the Internet - you can lurk, never contribute, and still feel like you're part of something. But I don't much miss offering advice on recordings, or indeed running Nereffid's Guide. Part of that's down to the small size of the eMu classical community - not much goes on there that one would feel compelled to contribute. You can say that about the community overall, I think. Too many of the long-time regulars are gone now, and it really isn't the same anymore.
Then there's Sony, and of course now Warner. The fact that so much of the eMusic catalogue is inaccessible serves to push me that bit further away. I can't share in the community's excitement over music I can't get. And, although I was never one for eMusic's editorial content, it seems to have dropped off a lot in the past six months, perhaps shifting focus to places I can't see, and there's hardly any material on classical music that I can pshaw about. So basically by making the site better for its US customers (inasmuch as more music = better), eMusic has, de facto, made it worse for everyone else.
In my goodbye post, I remarked that eMusic had, with its Sony/increased pricing/screw-the-community triple-whammy, demoted itself into just a shop. Six (well, more like seven) months later, I see nothing to change my mind, unfortunately.


jacked UP jazz said...

Yes I miss the old eMu experience as well. Although I said goodbye I still lurk there but I don't post. I guess I should have known there was going to be no good to come when they started recognizing me as some sort of wise village elder.

I really enjoyed associating with others who were just a passionate about music as I, even if their passion was for different kinds of music. Now it just seems like a bunch of shopaholics who get their jollies buying music but never really listen to what they buy.

I know it is frequently more difficult for you folks outside the US to enjoy all of the music but it seems to be getting better. This latest drop by Warner seems much more substantial than the Sony drop. It could definitely get interesting for me.

I hope you come hang out at No it's not the same as the old days at eMu but it's the closest thing we have and some of the old regulars try to keep the board interesting. I started a classical thread hoping you would drop in from time to time to set the record straight. Otherwise the kiddies are going to base most of their knowledge about classical music on my teachings (and you know what that means).

Nereffid said...

"a bunch of shopaholics" - I like that! I stay up-to-date with emusers, though I don't post very often. Actually I'd been holding off from adding to your "Clapping between the movements" thread - not sure why, maybe partly because I wasn't certain where you were going with it, and possibly because I didn't want to typecast myself! So OK, I shall muscle in there...