No, Microsoft isn't giving away free songs made in Apple GarageBand — that's the other Garageband, as in Garageband.com, a site with peer-reviewed music from unsigned artists. CNet reports
that MSN will distribute Garageband.com music.
- MP3.com redux: All of the free songs acquired when
Garageband.com absorbed the defunct site MP3.com will go on MSN Music unless a muscian has opted out
- Free or fee, everybody: Garageband artists will be able to submit
songs to Garageband.com to be downloaded free or purchased on MSN. All current and future artists will be available for free or fee on MSN music, unless
they opt out of the deal. This is a big difference between MSN's stance
and Apple's iTunes; right now there's no simple way to get paid music
on iTunes without a label and no way to get free music on iTunes
- Featured artists: MSN will
be featuring links to top Garageband.com artists on their site, and on radio feeds
- Track record: Garageband does have an impressive track record: they've gotten many of their artists signed, and one even went double-platinum
- WMA vs. MP3: Only for-fee music will be offered as Windows Media files; the free music will be in MP3 format, just as on Garageband.com.
- Windows-only: Because MSN Music is powered by Windows
Media Player and IE, other players, iPods, Macs, and even browsers like
Firefox are all left out in the cold, even for MSN Music-hosted MP3s. Mac users and other browsers should stick to
Garageband.com, where you can download normal MP3s or buy good,
old-fashioned CDs published by cdbaby)
My current take: this is all good news for musicians, because
unless you're one of those featured artists, this deal is entirely
non-exclusive. It's a chance to promote or even sell your music on a
huge Website. If we're lucky, Apple will follow suit, and then our
music will be on both MSN and iTUnes.What's your take?
Hit comments and let us know!