AudioLunchbox.com, a music download service that features independent artists and labels, announced Wednesday that it has added 100 new labels and plans to have 250,000 additional tracks online by mid-July. The service features higher music downloads encoded at higher bitrates than is available at the iTunes Music Store, available in the user’s choice of either MP3 or Ogg Vorbis formats.
AudioLunchbox.com has been online since October 2003, but President Morgan Harris told MacCentral that the service has been “going through the roof” since making a
big public push in mid-March. The small, privately held company has been “buried in content” as it adds new artists every day but has turned the corner financially and is now experiencing positive revenue growth, he added.
“We plan to have more than 350,000 songs available by mid-July,” said Harris. “We’d really like to have about a million online by the end of the year.”
In addition to the new artists and services, AudioLunchbox.com has revamped its Web interface to make it easier to find and purchase content. The service infrastructure has also been upgraded to better support its larger customer base.
Unlike iTunes Music Store and other commercial services, AudioLunchbox.com uses no Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology to encode its music. What’s more, the service utilizes 192Kbps Variable Bit-Rate (VBR)-encoded MP3 or Ogg Vorbis Q6 — users get their choice of which encoding method they’d like to use when they purchase their music. At the iTunes Music Store, all songs are encoded using 128Kbps Dolby Advanced Audio Codec (AAC). AudioLunchbox.com supports Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems — all you need is a browser and a credit card number.
Harris said that AudioLunchbox.com’s lack of DRM continues to be a competitive advantage. It’s not something that’s been an issue in his negotiations with record labels, he said. “Everyone’s really warm to it. We’re never going to impose digital rights management on our users,” he added.
New labels just added or coming online soon include Parasol, Idol Records, Minty Fresh, Red Records, Supa Critical and Hybrid Recordings. Harris also pointed to a new exclusive deal with Oyate Music, a publisher of Native American music.
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