Gimmick Schmimmick. It's 25 Free Songs!

I am not usually the "free gift if you sign up now" type. But in this tub of downloadable content that many of us bathe in, I can honestly say I'll "buy" what eMusic is sellin'. Specifically- get 25 free songs if you sign up now for a 7-day trial.

Granted, you have to do the following:

1. Sign up for the trial.
2. "Agree" to one of their paid monthly music subscription packages (that you can cancel after you DL 25 free songs).
3. Put up with the B.S. of their ads to upgrade and/or sign up for other services during said sign-up process.
4. DL the emusic file downloader (5.5 MB).

So, yes, there are a few minor inconvenient steps. But they pave the way to 25 free downloads of audio goodness of your choosing. Not to mention eMusic's really cool features like free daily music download that's part of a plug-in for your Web browser or suggestions that other users DL'd, should a given search not yield any pertinent results- think iTunes' Genius feature, but with- you know- brains.

You may not like every song they offer for free in the daily free download, but hey, by signing up you get 25 other chances to get at least 1 song right- all for free! That is, if you don't wallow in buyer's remorse for that moment of weakness where you bought the entire "Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber" Volumes 1, 2, & 3. (What the hell were you thinking?!!)

I recommend the really sweet Dark Was the Night (Red Hot Compilation) by that famous band they call Various Artists. Contributors to the 29-song (YES, 29!) album include Feist, The Decemberists, Spoon, and Cat Power just to name a few.

See below for a comparison of eMusic's service versus the big boys. With a library of over 4.5 million titles, it's worth the trial- just stay away from the musicals/sountrack section, Broadway Boy.

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