Friday, May 17, 2019

The End.

You're right, I haven't posted in a very long time. That's because of the usual sorts of reasons why people stop blogging. I actually started this post back in October but didn't have quite enough enthusiasm. But I have to post now, because this has just happened:
I first joined eMusic back in 2001, when legal digital downloads were young. Enticed by new and exclusive recordings from They Might Be Giants, I stayed for a year before wandering off. This was back in the dial-up days, of course. It was "all you could eat" but each bite took a very long time. Aside from those TMBG tracks I discovered (notably) John Fahey and an interest in bizarre cover versions which persists to this day (shit, I never wrote that second post about the Thanksgiving Mix, did I?). The classical selection wasn't much good - there was Koch Classics plus some minor labels - and once I felt I'd gone as far as I could, it was time to leave.
I came back in 2005 when I discovered that some of the big independent labels had arrived - Naxos, BIS, Harmonia Mundi. The next few years were a joy - great music in great bargains, an entertaining community on the forum, the rise of Nereffid's Guide... Those last two things fell apart thanks to the site's disastrous attempt to become a mainstream retailer. But the music remained, even as eMusic kept trying to reinvent itself. 
Oh man, the music. I got so many Mahler symphonies. So much Vaughan Williams. So much Handel. So much old jazz. So much early music. And more They Might Be Giants! And Mrs Nereffid, who subscribed for a few years, introduced us to so much non-classical - The Decemberists, The National, Tinariwen... Adele, for God's sake, Adele used to be on eMusic! And I discovered Gordon/Lang/Wolfe and the whole post-minimalist or whatever you call it crowd.
Back in 2009, when I started this blog, I reckoned it was only a matter of time before the plug would be pulled on the "grandfathered" account I had, which meant albums cost an average of €2. "Phew, I've kept it for another year!" I'd say when my annual subscription was paid. But it never stopped. Even now, it's still going. So why quit? 
Well, they got rid of all the frigging music, didn't they?
That was a blow, all right. Most of the classical music disappeared overnight. I looked at the wreckage and thought, "well, shit. But at least they've still got Naive". And then Naive disappeared too. Now basically it's Brilliant Classics and a handful of other not-especially-exciting labels. Time to go.
So yeah. It was a great 14 years (well, 13 and a bit before it all fell apart). Goodbye, eMusic, I'll miss y- what's that? But don't I have a second subscription that still runs until December? Well, er, yes, I do have that. But my original account, the one that says "eMusic member since 2001", is now defunct. And so, in a not strictly accurate but nevertheless very meaningful way, it is The End.