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Emusic Beta

Has anyone else been invited to be part of a beta trial with emusic? The details are as follows:

You have been invited to participate in a private beta while we develop the all-new eMusic. The purpose of this private Beta group will be to access, test, and use our new website. As we prepare to launch in a couple of months, we will collect and use your feedback to guide and shape our final release. We’d love your input to help us build the best product for music lovers.

In this beta, you can buy and listen to as much free music as you want from the limited catalog. Purchases made during the beta period may only be played on the site and only for the duration of the beta period.

The music available seems to me to be some things I have purchased plus a number of other albums, although I haven't explored too far yet. I wonder if they are thinking of going the same way as Amazon Prime or Spotify for that matter, for example, where you listen to the music but don't download?

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Comments

  • Yes, I'm participating in the beta. Seems like a decent selection of stuff available to stream, but it's definitely a step away from ownership, because the "free" albums you select are only available for listening through the app for the duration of the beta test. I do intend to poke around a bit and listen to different things while I have the chance.
  • Yes, I've searched around today and played a couple of things I might not have done otherwise. It does concern me that it might be the direction that emusic could move to in totality. So I am making use of the booster sales to catch up with a few things off my SFL.
  • I was asked but as I work for an online company I am not allowed to do this in my contract.
  • No invitation here. But I already pretty much cleared out my SFL of anything urgent and went on hold for a while.
  • No invitation for me, but I'm struggling just to carve out some time to spend on eMusic Alpha, so it's just as well.
  • I got an invite, downloaded the app on my iphone. Looked like any other streaming app, and it was not as buggy as I expected an eMusic app would me. Meh. 
  • It's hard for me to imagine emusic going to streaming *instead of* downloading, because (1) from what I read the existing services are not making money and (2) what would their edge be? They do have some things that Amazon et al don't carry, but they are not things that would exactly pull a mass market. For me the day they switched to streaming would be the day I cancelled, but it seems more likely they want to add it. Maybe they are going for a LaLa type deal, which was a hybrid.
  • edited February 2017
    I suspect that is the most likely outcome, GP. The look of the page is far better than anything I've seen from emusic so far. If this link works it will give an idea: https://beta.emusic.com/browse/albums 
  • No, it's hidden behind an access code.
  • edited March 2017
    greg said:
    I suspect that is the most likely outcome, GP. The look of the page is far better than anything I've seen from emusic so far. If this link works it will give an idea: https://beta.emusic.com/browse/albums 
    I never got invited but have signed up from this post by Jamie the Mod:
    Hi everyone,

    Firstly, I know it’s been quite a while since you’ve had any news from us here at eMusic HQ. Apologies for the lack of major updates. Trust me when I say… you are being heard.

    The truth is we’ve been hard at work on a few projects, one of them being a brand new version of eMusic.

    We’d like you folks here on the message board - some of our most dedicated supporters - to get the chance to try out the new site before it’s launched, in the form of a beta program.

    All we ask in return is your honest feedback (I already know you won’t let us down there :wink: ). The feedback gathered during the beta period will be integral to dictating where we take eMusic in the future, both the immediate and the long term.

    If you’re interested in participating, follow this link and enter your email.

    What to expect with the new eMusic?
    - Immediate access to new releases
    - A growing catalog
    - An all new look
    - Brand new apps
    - Much faster and more responsive
    - Revamped search
    - Discovery and recommendation features
    - …Much more

    Enjoy: http://new.emusic.com/

    -Jamie
    eMusic Moderator
    - Hoping for the best . . .

  • A comment from Jamie over there

    As music fans, we certainly understand the importance of access to new releases -- and share your frustration. Unfortunately, our dated music ingestion system is simply not able to keep up with the demand, and is far too buggy to be salvaged. So, at the core of the new eMusic is a music management platform that will give our Members immediate access to new releases and higher quality tracks, while providing better tools to search and discover the best new music. It's not just a new exterior; it's a new engine. We're very happy with our initial testing and hope everyone on this message board will join the eMusic Beta to help tune the system before launch.

    Good to see that they recognise some of the problems with the existing site. I am assuming that now they have new owners there is the money to put into action some improvements that are badly needed. the signs are good with a Beta version. I do not recall that happening last time around
  • @Brighternow After you signed up, how long did it take for you to hear back and gain access?
  • I haven't heard from them yet, I suppose I'll get a beta access code in the near future.

    Thank You for Signing Up!

    We'll be in touch very soon!
    - Is coming up when I click the link.
  • Thanks. Me too. Let me know if/when you get in. I am curious whether it will work for me since I am on hold on the current site.
  • I got bumped along to the next step, which was to give my email address and fill out a questionnaire. Seems like there is then a further step to actually access the service - still waiting for that.
  • For all the levels I'm having to stop and answer questions at just to get into Beta, I'm a little pissy that none of the questions asked me for my drink order.  I'm owed a martini by now.
  • I did the questionnaire as well, but I am not confident I will get to the next step since I said I own 100% of my music (no streaming services). 
  • Next step, (email from today):

    Dear Music Fan,  
     
    Thank you for your interest in the all-new eMusic Beta. As an active eMusic member, your input is most valuable to us.  
     
    This eMusic Beta is completely free. It is not associated with your active eMusic account or your credit card. You can log in with your current eMusic email and password, but there is no membership or expense. We are only interested in your feedback on the experience, and how we stack up to other music services you use. 
     
    In order to participate, please click the "join eMusic beta" button below, answer a few questions and confirm the email address you would like to use for beta. This allows us to understand your perspective and provide us permission to send your exclusive Beta invite.
     
    We're looking forward to sending your invitation and hearing your feedback!  

    Your eMusic Team
     
     
    Join eMusic Beta


  • The suspense is killing me!  Can anyone describe the features?  How does this "completely free" beta work with respect to downloads?  Is it streaming only?
  • Oops, I guess Muggsy says it is streaming only above.  Maybe they have the design elements for download in place, but it is disabled?  If they break the emusicj downloader I will be disappointed.
  • I think I can clear up some confusion about the beta site. To say the site is steaming only is technically correct but misleading. It might be helpful to describe the current state of the beta site as not yet including the shopping cart. So once you have found a given item about the only thing left to do is stream the SAMPLES.

    At a high level, I can sum up the beta site by saying it will remind you a lot of 7Digital but the layout is different (with an emphasis on mobile design).
  • I'm in. Yes, seems to be streaming only. First thing I tried to do was stream the new Thundercat album, which they are promoting and I actually do want to hear. No go - "Complete album unavailable," plays 30 sec samples only! I was able to "buy" a couple other albums for 0.00 and stream them. You don't seem to be able to DL them even to your phone. You can upload music, but current eMusic library doesn't appear in your library (at least not yet). No mention of subscription or download services at all.
  • Doofy is correct, if you move an item to My Music (by clicking buy for $0.00) you can stream the whole item.
  • Part of a mod response on the eMu messboard:

    - Streaming (in the spotify/deezer/amazon music sense) is of no interest to eMusic. The beta site doesn't allow for downloading because we simply cannot give away free music files unfortunately. You will be able to download or stream your purchased or uploaded music as before. 

    Do I hear a suggestion that we might be able to re-DL old purchases?

  • So you guys are in the beta website, correct? I got a response but it only let me into the iOS app.
  • edited March 2017
    I am going to post the comment below here because I am on hold at emusic and am not sure I want to come off hold right away just to post feedback. However, @matt ;from emusic just joined the board (Hi Matt) so maybe he can read the feedback here (let me know if that in fact works, Matt. Also, is it because I am on hold that I cannot get into the beta site but only the app??).

    First impressions of the beta app:

    The functions of the app work well, and it is easy to get around. I like browsing with the filters. The Discover and Spotlight sections are too limited for my admittedly not very mainstream tastes – can’t see myself paying them any attention at all unless they become more customized. For me it is all about exploring the dusty corners.

    While adding albums to my library and finding them there and playing them back works very smoothly, it sometimes takes a long time for the 'album added' message to appear.

    One feature that might keep me using the app is the “similar albums” – it’s surprisingly fun on the app to just browse down rabbit trails. This was one of the things that deteriorated from the much older, white background version of the emusic site when it went dark gray. I used to enjoy clicking on the little tiles by each release and finding random things. The equivalent on the gray site never quite grabbed me. This is an important feature to me.

    What I notice playing with it on the iOS beta is that so far, the “similar albums” are all by the same artist. E.g. I am looking at Solstøv by Pjusk, and it suggests three albums by Taylor Deupree and nothing else. I go to Lost and Compiled by Taylor Deupree and it suggests four albums by Fennesz. I go to Xerrox Vol. 1 by Alava Noto and get two Fennesz albums and two Tim Hecker albums. After a few moves I am going round a smallish loop. Is this because of limited catalog in the beta? It would be more useful if it offered me a variety of suggestions, not just a bunch of albums by the same artist (in many cases I already have all of them because I like that artist, but then there is no discovery increment).

    I can’t quantify this, but I have a feeling that the similarity engine is playing safe. If I go to a Modern Jazz Quartet album I get Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie suggested. If I go to Pjusk I get Taylor Deupree, Fennesz. These are not wrong – they are indeed similar. But they are also similarities that I would know already if I know anything about the genre. Less well known albums have no suggestions for similar albums or artists (e.g. Solas by Claire Singer on Touch). This might be by design or a simple limitation of the software you license – maybe an engine like this is best for helping newbies or folk entering new genres. It makes it less useful as a discovery tool for the fanatic who already has the common stuff and is looking for new byways. Again, will this change as the catalog expands?

    The app is not optimized for the iPad. It’s one of those old-fashioned phone-sized apps displayed x2 and it has no landscape mode, which makes text entry with the keyboard harder and makes the whole less attractive. I cannot see myself using emusic on a phone-sized screen. Others may, it’s just not how I work. Apart from the inconvenience of not being able to use landscape, the fact that the presentation is scaled for a phone screen means that even though it is blown up to an iPad screen size it feels cramped – there is enough screen real estate to comfortably browse more albums at a time, and it feels a bit like browsing the catalog through a keyhole. I CAN see myself playing around on emusic on the iPad, but the app needs to go iPad-native.

    I understand why it would not be a feature on this beta, but I hope that adding albums to save for later on the app will be a feature. That would be essential.

  • hey all, Matt from eMusic here.

    the beta site can be accessed here: beta.emusic.com
    access code: emub3ta

    there's a private fb group here for beta users: https://www.facebook.com/groups/969743086503977/
    feel free to join the discussion

    happy to answer any questions about the new eMusic

    cheers
  • @germanprof you can simply sign up to the beta with any email. There's no connection to your current eMusic account. It's pretty much a sandbox at this point.

    Thanks for picking up on the similar albums feature. At the moment, the brains behind it are fairly simple but we've found it adequate for now. As you say, it's nice to get lost. We will be integrating with a much more robust/clever system soon. Everything at this point is a matter of priority so it might be a few weeks yet until we have that in place though.

    Likewise with the home screen/discover section. We plan to tie this to purchase history/user collection to make it relevant to each person. Not quite there yet but it's in the pipeline.

    Usage stats indicate that iPad is a little further along the pipeline unfortunately. The website is entirely responsive however so should work well on the iPad browser for now.

    Save For Later will become available next release (on or around March 15).


  • edited March 2017
    @matt, I signed up for the beta a couple of days ago, filled out the questionnaire, then I got an email from TestFlight asking me to download the beta app from the iOS store. It asked me to sign in with my regular details. I have received no further communication telling me how to get into the website beta. So thanks for the link above.

    Good to hear the discovery engine will get smarter! I understand about prioritizing devices. And I know I am not a typical user.
  • Check your spam maybe? If you were on the testflight invite, you should have received an email with instructions.
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