Just like payola is something that went down in the history books regarding the history of 20th century rock and roll, the Napster court case was a precedent for the future of the way music is distributed. Kerchoonz, now in Beta, is a new website I just discovered that features free downloadable music. Instead of the artist not being paid royalties and the site acting like your childhood boombox you made mix tapes with, the artists are actually getting paid. In my observation, I would guess site advertising pays for that, though the website doesn’t state.
There are many Indie and unsigned artists on the site which make it very likely for you to be able to discover someone new. Also, since it is free to download the music, you are able to sample the music before running out and buying a CD, and the artists are getting an additional outlet for their music to be heard. The site uses a social networking platform as well, and it sure beats myspace for hunting for music.
The downside of the site is that there is no way to search by genre. With so many new artists, it is hard to navigate only being able to search by artist, album, or song. I just had to randomly guess a few times before I was able to find something. There are lists of the Hot 100 and Indie and Unsigned artists but it is hard to search if you have an idea of the type of music you would like to hear. Go to the site to sample and explore, not to find something specific.
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