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Free beer is good beer. Free music is good music. Free = good. This may very well be the premise on which mp3.com founds it existence because it offers a small selection of free and decent music but does little else right.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that we were able to download MP3s without even signing up to mp3.com, and we tapped away to a couple of blues tunes, which were well recorded and objectively good even though we’d never heard of the blues group before. Things took a turn, however, when venturing further. There is a distinct lack of information on mp3.com. How many tracks do they have? Honestly it’s hard to tell, but searches don’t pull up a great number of results and you’ll almost always be forwarded to another site to listen to any tracks you find. Well never mind, you can just watch a music video or two, right? They have a tab at the top of the screen especially for music videos. Click. “No videos found”
It’s a theme that seems to permeate through mp3.com, a distinct lack of any actual music from their website. They offer an “artists sign up” too, where artists can put their own work on the site. Click. Oh, it’s a link to 2 other radio station-style music download sites. Passing the buck again. Search is also a slow process whereby you type in a band name, scrawl through the list to find the right one, search through their songs for the one you want, click on the link, follow it to another site and then – all being well – get to listen to it. Hopefully you like adverts, too, because there are plenty of those flashing in the sidelines and popping up when you click on a song. But the biggest faux pas of mp3.com is a complete lack of any FAQ or help section. Unless we’ve gone blind from the flashing adverts, it just doesn’t seem to exist.
To be fair to mp3.com you can listen to some music for free and that’s always a nice thing. They’ve even built a few play lists for us to listen to, have provided some information on the artists and have a few pleasant photos dotted about. It’s just disappointing that some of the product is there but it’s so hidden and convoluted that you can’t really access it without getting a headache. They have the free beer, they just forgot to put it in a glass.
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