This is really unfortunate. eMusic used to be a great
example of how treating customers right and with respect and trust could win over more customers -- but in the last month or so, it seems like the company is throwing all that out the window and pissing off customers left and right. Beyond the big price increase
at the same time as signing its first major record label (bad PR to announce both together), the company has censored critics
the feature that let you redownload songs you'd purchased before, at your convenience. However, now we're hearing that there were a bunch of other features that were removed as well. An anonymous reader notes:
"July 1 was the first day in the Sony era over at eMusic. Despite published interviews with eMusic executives, FAQs on the eMusic web site and messages from eMusic employees on the eMusic forums attempting to clarify the new pricing structure, there were quite a few surprises. Some of the changes I've noticed (or read about in the forums) include:
IMO, the fact that eMusic did such a poor job communicating these
important changes suggests that they deliberately withheld (or downplayed) this information, possibly to keep from fueling the outrage generated from last month's Sony/pricing announcement."
- Certain tracks can only be downloaded with "paid" credits, not the free credits eMusic hands out for trial memberships.
- Individual track downloads disabled for tracks longer than 10 minutes - you must download the entire album
- Certain (popular) sub-10-minute tracks disabled for individual download
- No downloading individual discs in multi-disc sets
- Most new albums use 12-credit album pricing (very few reports of 6 or 9 credit album pricing)
- Many (a significant portion in the classical section at least) albums with fewer than 12 tracks cost 12 credits
- Many albums previously available on eMusic have been re-priced (in some cases, tracks available for 1 credit on June 30 now require 12 credits)
This seems like an increasing disaster. Hopefully some of these changes are mistakes, rather than permanent. But the way this whole situation has been handled is going to make a terrific case study in how not to do PR. eMusic has turned from a company that customers really loved into one that many seem to hate... and it's happened in an incredibly short time frame. That's really unfortunate.