If you're looking for legitimate copies of live sessions and bootlegs, you might have an interesting new source – the BBC.
revealed yesterday that the international arm of the BBC is set to launch an iTunes-style music download service, with both streaming and download options. The source of the music is the Beeb's not inconsiderable archive of music performed for its radio and TV programmes by almost every band you care to think of.
While the service will be free for streaming, much like the current iPlayer TV and Listen Again radio services are, anyone who wants to download a session will be asked to cough up some readies. While this makes sense for BBC Worldwide – being as it is the commercial arm of the Beeb – it's a move likely to anger UK licence fee holders, who already
fund the corporation via a “TV tax.” Being asked to pay again for content isn't likely to go down awfully well.
Nor is the format of the streams, either: although you can listen to as much music as you desire for free, the service will be supported by advertising inserted into the audio stream – much like commercial radio stations.
The service is currently in the planning stages, with January 2009 being mooted as a possible launch date. Whether there's likely to be a companion service on the main BBC site offering licence fee holders free downloads remains to be seen – but I won't be holding my breath.
Do you like the sound of a massive BBC sessions back-catalogue available for purchase, or do you resent paying twice? Share your thoughts over in the forums