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Currently trying out a new on-line music subscription service: Rhapsody – which I picked up at There’s a free 7-day trial available and two different plans – one is $2.95/mo and the other is $9.95/mo. For the pricier plan you get unlimited play-on-demand access to a fairly large catalogue of music as well as access to a larger catalogue of music that’s available in “radio” format and which includes music that’s not play-on-demand. “Radio” format means that you can listen to pre-packaged genre stations or create custom stations that are based on up to 10 artists that you select. So, if you create a station and plug in Autour de Lucie, you’ll end up hearing stuff from other artists like Saint Etienne, Stereolab, The Smiths, A.R. Kane, Cocteau Twins, Ultra Vivid Scene, The Sundays, and The Dandy Warhols. Not bad.

The service also lets you burn individual tracks onto CD for $0.99/track. I’m not sure how much of a bargain this is – but you will get a good-sounding music track (that you can later convert into mp3 format) without the guilt (minor though it is) that comes with grokster/morpheous/napster. And there’s a possibility that some of your 99 cents might actually get to the musicians themselves (but don’t hold your breath). Plus, since you’ll inevitably end up burning only tracks that you don’t think you can get elsewhere (well, without buying the whole CD retail), and since those tracks may not really have anything to do with each other, you might end up with a CD mix that includes everything from Alan Jackson to Echo and the Bunnymen to Air to Deee-Lite. I myself am a big fan of musical whiplash, and that’s pretty good whiplash, my friend.

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