The somewhat crowded music download market received another entry this week, but one with a twist: a charitable service that lets you donate as you download.
Currently in public beta, fairsharemusic.com
aims to differentiate itself from its competition by becoming "the home of feelgood downloading
" - with half of the profits from each sale donated to a charity of the buyer's choice. Aside from that particular distinction - which, to be fair, is a pretty good idea and certainly one that the charities involved will be pleased with - the remainder of the service will be familiar to anyone who has used iTunes, Amazon MP3, or any of the other download services.
Pricing is similar to that of most other legal download services - which is to be commended, when you consider that the company is making half the profit on each sale - with individual tracks starting at 79p. Thankfully, there's no DRM to be seen: each song is available in high-bitrate MP3, with the occasional album also available as an MP4 file.
Charities signed up to the service so far - and therefore available to choose as the recipient of your donation - include Amnesty International, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Centrepoint, Friends of the Earth, Great Ormond Street Hospital, NSPCC, Oxfam, Sue Ryder Care, Teenage Cancer Trust and others - so there's something for everyone, no matter what your particular cause may be.
The service has managed to sign up a fair number of music labels as well as charities, too - the company claims that even in its current beta format it offers around 8.5 million tracks for download.
Are you impressed by the idea that charities could get half the profit from your legitimate and DRM-free music download, or is there something the founders have missed that you'd want to see included in the service before it becomes your default destination for downloads? Share your thoughts over in the forums