We've covered how eMusic (which had a fantastic
reputation for a while) totally failed
in communicating changes to its service, which involved increasing prices and taking away many valued features. The company tried to bury that news along with the fact that Sony Music would now be included, not recognizing that many of its users didn't care, and were pissed off at the way eMusic presented this as a good thing. At least some others may be learning. Ragaboo
alerts us that online music site Amie Street is also removing some features (such as the ability to redownload tracks -- just like eMusic has done), but did so by admitting that it sucked and apologizing, but basically saying its hands were tied. They also gave advance warning of the changes. While Ragaboo isn't thrilled about he, notes that he appreciated the honesty from the company. Here's the email that he received:
"In several weeks we're going to be making a change to how Amie Street handles downloads, and we want to be certain you are fully informed in advance about this change. In brief, starting on August 5th we'll only be able to offer a single download of your purchased music unless you've encountered a technical problem.
Although most people only download their music one time, we've noticed that you have done so more than once on occasion. We realize that the ability to re-download files has been important to you, so it's understandable that you might be disappointed to see this no longer available. Unfortunately a number of factors beyond our control, including legal and royalty concerns, have made this impossible going forward.
We're very happy to say, however, that you can continue to stream all of the music you've purchased on Amie Street. That means wherever you have access to the internet, you also have immediate and unrestricted access to stream the entirety of your Amie Street music collection from your Library.
To make sure that downloading music continues to be as easy as possible, we'll be keeping a close eye on the user experience and making updates to the site as needed. The primary voice that directs any such changes will be yours, so if you have suggestions based on your experiences using the site, we'd love to hear from you. Tell us exactly what you like and don't like, and we can make Amie Street even better!
The Amie Street Team""
Of course, the fact that both Amie Street and eMusic have removed the ability to redownload tracks over royalty issues makes you wonder what exactly is the issue here. Are record labels really demanding a royalty payment every time people redownload a song?