No, Microsoft isn't giving away free songs made in Apple GarageBand — that's the other Garageband, as in, a site with peer-reviewed music from unsigned artists. CNet reports
that MSN will distribute music.


  • redux: All of the free songs acquired when absorbed the defunct site will go on MSN Music unless a muscian has opted out
  • Free or fee, everybody: Garageband artists will be able to submit
    songs to 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 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
  • 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, 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!

  • Guest

    Sounds like an "exploitation press" deal to me!

    Besides, who would buy through MSN if you can wander over to and get the same tracks for free.

    I would be very surprised if it was anything other than "You pay MSN to sell it, and maybe MSN will sell enough to put you into profit and start sending you cheques."

    If B&Massa wants an audience, he'll eBu$k for now, until he can get a CD on iTunes Music Store.

  • admin

    I doubt Microsoft's motives, too, but important to consider:

    [LIST][*]Some of the music will be exclusive to
    [*]Artists won't pay to be on MSN — they'll get paid (for sales)[*]The deal is up to the artist. Most will be non-exclusive. So it should be possible to be on ITMS, Napster, on a cdbaby CD, etc., at the same time.[/LIST]

    I'm disappointed that all this stuff is still incompatible with the Mac and browsers other than MSIE. But for musicians, it sounds like win-win.