We spend so much time griping about money hungry record labels that it can actually blind us from noticing companies that “get it.” Just because the majority of them may seem evil to us doesn’t mean that they all are. In fact, some smaller businesses are learning from the mistakes of the big boys, and by applying this newfound knowledge, they’re creating services that are revolutionary in their own right. For example, what would happen if you applied the shareware model of “try before you buy” to music? Well, the result would be something called Magnatune.

“We are not evil” – at least, that’s what the slogan says. By all appearances, Magnatune is dedicated to sticking out from the crowd. You may not have heard of its catalog of artists before, but that definitely doesn’t mean that the music isn’t good enough for your ears to listen to. You can hear the entire album before you purchase it by streaming the content. If you like what you hear, you can easily buy and download the album for a nominal price that you decide on, have them send you a CD, or license the work for commercial usage. The honorable thing is that the artists retain half of the purchase price, and they continue to own the rights to their music. Bingo.

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