elistening Post allows artistes to use the facility within Windows Media Player and Real Player to limit the number of times a music track can be played before it stops working. In the past this meant having to buy a license from Microsoft or Real since the Digital Rights Management (DRM) had to be inserted into the file. eListening Post have cleverly exploited this (unsurprising since one of the founders worked at Real) and offer the DRM function for a monthly subscription fee. V2 and Independiente have signed up, distributing their artiste tracks to Last.fm and Drowned in Sound and allowing fans to hear the track five times before it expires – at any point fans can buy the track or send it to friends where the same rule applies.
We like the principle – labels get to feel like they’re promoting their artistes by allowing fans to hear the music and artistes feel protected. The achilles heel is what the fans think of it? I never use Windows Media Player and avoid WMA files. I especially don’t like downloading a track and having it expire, when at any point I could go to a P2P site and download the MP3, or visit eMusic and download the track legitimately. However, the service is to be applauded and offers a decent alternative to giving away an MP3 or a stream.
Tell us what you think.