Digital Music

Zaptunes: Unlimited MP3 Downloads For Just $25 A Month. To Good To Be True?

Free For The Next 30 Days

image from www.zaptunes.com San Francisco based Zaptunes has launched offering unlimited DRM free mp3 downloads for $25 per month. They say they're adding songs constantly, but have started with 8 million tracks from all four major labels and many indies. To kick things off, the $25 is waived for the next 30 days.

How Are Beatles Downloads Available?

Is Zaptunes too good to be true?  The availability of catalog from The Beatles – never been offered legally before – throws the service's legitimacy into question.

But yesterday in an email exchange, Zaptune's media spokesperson Anand Patel insisted that all its downloads had been licensed from the appropriate major and indie labels.  When asked about The Beatles,  Patel wrote, "We have a contract with Sony music, who hold the rights to most of the Beatles music. I am sorry, but right now I can not give you more details about this contract."

That's a rather unusual answer particularly since a variety of others including Apple and EMI control many of The Beatles' rights and its impossible to imagine the Fab Four's advisers or Sony picking this startup for their first ever digital release.

On their site, Zaptune's claims to have received $5 million in venture funding, but offers no specific sources. They now also have my credit card info – a requirement for a free account.  So far, I haven't been approved to try the service, but stay tuned…

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15 Comments

  1. This is a scam. Proof? Take this for instance: http://www.zaptunes.com/free-download/mp3/Kokori/_/beat+demos
    Kokori is a musical project of mine, and there’s no track called “beat demos”. But I’ve listened to a “track” with that name (during a track-making process) with my music player, which scrobbles every track I listen there to Last.fm. So there are now three choices:
    1) they hacked my machine and got this file from it;
    2) they hacked Carlos (the other Kokori member) machine and gor this file from it;
    3) they are simply saying they’re selling every track they think there is, and their pulling that information from Last.fm.
    What do you think is the answer? 😛

  2. Agree with kokori, my music is listed there when I do a search, but I have nothing to do with them…
    so… lastFm ? bandcamp ? where did they get the info ? it’s not from my aggregator for they list 3 songs I only have for free on my website + listed on lastFM. And they even have the right art covers…

  3. Yeah, they appear to be scraping content from Last.fm – I found the same thing as Kokori for my own project’s music.
    Also, this:
    “ZapTunes.com does not provide any downloads from its servers. ZapTunes.com just enables its members to find free or paid music available on the Internet. The Artists/Tracks displayed on the home page and other parts of the website are for promotional purposes only and may not be available for free or paid download.”
    So, $25/mo… for a search engine?

  4. it seems to, unless they get the free downloads from lastFm… guess they don’t really have the right to do that…

  5. It’s a scam, actually. I looked at Kokori profile.
    They use direct links to lastfm pictures :
    src=”http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/252/49331119.jpg”
    Don’t give them your credit card numbers…

  6. Definitely something wrong here.
    “[…]Anand Patel insisted that all its downloads had been licensed from the appropriate major and indie labels.[…]”
    I can assure you this is not the case.
    So… how long do you guys give “Zaptunes”?

  7. I bit yesterday. Gave cc #’s, screen message said account would be live in one day. Not active yet. Checked my cc statement online and there is a $1 temp authorization by a site called trackyourpics.com . Entered that site name in my browser and was sent to a page with the following:
    “Did you see a charge on your credit card with TRACKYOURPICS.COM?
    It is because you either signed up on trackyourpics.com or ZapTunes.com.
    All the subscriptions have been cancelled, so you will not see any furher charges on your credit card. Also, we are in the process or reversing the charges already made.”
    I can only hope this is the end of it. If you’re tempted to sign up buyer-beware. I should have know it sounded too good to be true. Hoping there is no more cc activity, standing by to cancel account # just in case. Very sophisticated scam in terms of using the web PR machine.

  8. Weird. They’re going for the safe harbor excuse AND the “we have licenses in place” move as well? Somehow I feel they won’t make it too long…

  9. Please people, can we stop getting on the “all you can eat” train?
    This model SUCKS and will continue to ruin this business that, as we all know, is headed so fast in to the gutter.
    If you put your credit card info into this site (sorry BH ’cause I do have copious amounts of respect for you) I have some marsh land in the fabulous state of Florida that needs some dollars to build a new Super Target…

  10. Hi there, I run a netlabel called Audiocast Productions.
    We release music under a nonecommercial license.
    Zaptunes has taken ALL of our release from last.fm and offering them on their site.
    the site has not gone down as claimed, we must get together and force them to take the site down

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