Template:Infobox Online music service Magnatune is a small Berkeley, California–based independent record label, founded in spring 2003 by John Buckman, then-CEO of e-mail software company Lyris. It aims at treating both its musicians and its customers fairly—its tagline is "We are not evil". It originally only sold music for download through its website, but added a print-CDs-on-demand service in late 2004, and in October of 2007 began selling complete albums and individual tracks through the Amazon.com Music Store. In May, 2008 Magnatune launched all-you-can-eat membership plans  , and is believed to be the first online music site to offer a DRM-free unlimited membership. Magnatune was the first record label to license music online and as of May 2008 had sold over 3000 licenses in its five years of existence..
Magnatune makes non-exclusive agreements with artists, and gives them fifty percent of any proceeds from online sales or licensing. These kinds of policies were very unusual for a record label in 2003–2004. Users can stream music in MP3 format (no DRM) without charge before choosing whether to buy or not. Buyers choose their own price, from US $5 to $18 per album, and may download music they have purchased in WAV, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis and AAC encoding formats. Music files sold by Magnatune do not use any form of digital rights management to prevent customers from making copies of music files they have purchased; and actually encourage buyers to share up to three copies with friends.
All of the tracks downloaded free of charge are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Even though using liberal licensing is not a new idea in itself, Magnatune is one of the first and most visible companies to try to build a business in music around this idea.
Integration with media playersEdit
Magnatune has an XML API that has made integration within media players possible. In October of 2006, version 1.4.4 of Amarok was released, which allowed users to preview and buy music from all signed artists from within the application. Rhythmbox 0.9.7 added this functionality in December of 2006. A Slim Devices plugin for SlimServer is available . A plugin for Songbird is also available.
- Main article: List of artists signed to Magnatune
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