Jamendo.com is an online community of free, legal and unlimited music published with Creative Commons licenses. Basically, this means that any of the music published on the Jamendo site can be used free for personal use.
The Creative Commons license allows the owner of the music to retain some rights, while giving users the ability to download and listen to the music freely. Commercial rights are also available on a case-by-case basis, which can be handled through the Jamendo site. This allows the site to offer free music to its users yet allows publishers to earn some income from the commercial rights to their works.
Users can search for music on the Jamendo site by keyword, or by browsing by Artist or Album. The site also features a group of Selections, which includes The 100 Most Listened To, Radio Stations, and Play lists (developed by users). The site also features social networking aspects such as Profiles, Friends, Forums and Messaging.
There is a very active user base at Jamendo, and all of the music on the site is rated by the users using a star system of 1 to 5 stars. Music is available in MP3 or ogg format, as well as via BitTorrent download.Show more screenshots »
Jamendo.com was launched in July 2007 by Laurent Kratz, Sylvain Zimmer and Pierre Gerard. Laurent Kratz currently serves as CEO, Sylvain Zimmer as CTO and Pierre Gerard as CFO. The site has undergone steady growth since launch, and in June of 2008, the site passed the mark of 10,000 albums available for download. The site currently has hundreds of thousands of unique monthly visitors and an Alexa page rank well below the 10,000 mark.
Competition to Jamendo comes from paid sites like Itunes, free sites such as Imeem, and demand-based pricing sites such as Amie Street. Imeem is very similar to Jamendo, except that the site splits ad revenue with its publishers for the ads users watch while listening to their music. On Amie Street, the more popular a song is, the higher the price rises (up to a maximum of .98). Out of all of these sites, Jamendo probably has a higher percentage of truly independent artists, due to the Creative Commons licensing.
The Jamendo site has a somewhat busy overall look and feel. Advertising is displayed on the site, but is relatively unobtrusive. There is a convenient top menu bar shown on all pages on the site. The menu bar features captions for Music (browse by Artist or Album), Selections(Top 100, Radios, Playlists), Community (Forums, Members, Messaging), and Professionals (for artists). The site is quite responsive, with most page loads happening quickly. The site is very responsive while downloading music files as well.
Users can browse, search and listen to music without registration at the Jamendo site, but registration is required to maintain a play list or participate in the social networking aspects. The registration process asks for username, password and email address. Validation of the email address is required.
Registered users have access to all features of the site for free, and there is no premium membership offered by the site.
Jamendo is recommended to anyone who enjoys listening to music and is searching for new artists to listen to. The site offers a chance to discover up and coming artists who have not been picked up by the big music publishers yet. There is a wide variety of music in all genres available on the site, and the player, play list and radio stations work quite well.
Downloading music for playback on the user’s portable MP3 player is also easy, and the BitTorrent download is a welcome feature for downloading multiple tracks. The site is also recommended to music artists who are looking for a venue for their work.