All For Nothing?

I’ve just been informed about a new site called It is a Russian site (link for English in the upper left corner) that offers digital music at a steal. What’s a steal, you ask? Well, iTunes charges $.99/song, and charges $.79/song + $10/month. So how does 1-2 cents/MB sound? Yes, they charge by bandwidth, and their Online Encoding (OE) system allows you to choose the format and bitrate. Of course, higher bitrate = more data = more money. Some songs cost $.02/MB, so for a high quality, long song, you maybe pay a quarter, but on average it’s a nickel. And some albums are even free.

You’re thinking, “This can’t be legal! It’s too good to be true!” Well, guess what, buster? I think you’re right. Well, it’s definitely true, but I am highly skeptical that this is a legitmate service. They claim they’re legitmate in Russia, which is very possibly true, but they also warn you that it might not be legal in your country. Since they don’t have time to check everyone’s laws, you’re on your own.

One of their payment plans seems particularly suspect. If there’s a CD they don’t have, but you do, you can rip it and upload it for twice their standard bandwidth costs. Something about that just shouts “accomplice”.

Most of the internet lore on them is testimonials, and I haven’t seen any stories of people getting burned. A few believe it’s run by hackers, and even though that claim is largely unsubstantiated, you’re probably best off using PayPal to avoid giving away your credit card number.

I’m curious as to how the RIAA will strike at this. Even if it’s illegal, they’re only finding/sueing those who share music for free. Can they subpoena Visa or PayPal? Get Russian authorities to hand over AllOfMP3’s records? Hard to say. Well, hard for me, at least. Every other review of this site is absolutely sure this is legal, no doubt in their minds, and this includes Tech TV. Granted, it has been around since 2001. Maybe they’re right.

Disclaimer: I have not used this service.

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5 thoughts on “All For Nothing?”

  1. It seems are not pirates, they just take advantage of horrible Russian copyright law. The site you listed is definitely pirated, and on their own complaints board (I’m impressed they have one!) people speak of getting in legal trouble with customs:

    They say that site/company is even on customs’ hotlist.

    My problems are 1) those discs are often of horrible quality or don’t play at all (my roommate received several from Vietnam), as they probably have to squeeze them onto single layer discs, and 2) as a film buff and screenwriter/filmmaker wannabe, I actually want to support the film industry.

    And I just bought School of Rock, brand new widescreen collector’s edition, for $6.50 on I’ll also buy $3-5 cds. So why bother with crap if you only save a couple bucks? I’m also a Netflix member, and they kick ass, too. Very fast turnaround, and awesome selection.


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