A Record Label from the Other Side

November 17, 2006

"We are not evil," runs the mantra of the upstart online record label Magnatune. And, surprisingly enough, it's true. In a climate of anti-piracy lawsuits, fair play and a try-before-you-buy approach make Magnatune a refreshing alternative to the mainstream recording industry. Unlike its competitors, the label's uncluttered organization, quality music, and generous pricing and licensing make it downright virtuous.

When John Buckman founded Magntune in 2003, he was frustrated with the music industry. As a consumer, he felt that CDs were too expensive and that all of the music on the radio sounded the same. As the husband of a musician, he saw his wife being cheated by her label. Despite selling more than 1,000 CDs, she earned only $137 and lost the rights to her music for seven years.

Photo credit Sheila Newbery Magnatune founder John Buckman

Three years later, Magnatune is the result of Buckman's frustration. The label currently boasts 236 artists, 505 albums, and 6,677 songs. Unlike iTunes and other online music stores, Magnatune sells entire albums rather than individual songs. And unlike these competitors, it allows you to listen to high quality, full length recordings before you make a purchase. After buying music, you can download the album in variety of full-quality and compressed formats such as MP3, AAC, and FLAC. For an extra charge, Magnatune will send you a physical CD.

Continue to Navigation