I signed up for Listen.com last week and I'm actually liking it. Listen.com is this service that started a few months ago that for $10 a month lets you listen to 20,000+ CDs of streamed music.
At first I thought that not being able to copy the music would bug me so I passed on it but the other day I saw a CD I kind of thought I wanted. It was $18 at the store but I thought about it and ended up thinking, "instead of buying this now I'm going to go home and see if it's on listen.com" It was so I signed up for the trail. In a few moments I was listening to that CD.
My home PC is connected to my stereo and I've got ADSL so I'm always logged in so basically it's like having a 20,000 CD library. The interface is easy to use. They have a reasonably good search engine is it's easy to lookup artists, songs or CDs and at least so far they've had a ton of stuff I've wanted to listen to.
The songs are compressed well so they don't have alot of hiss or distortion. Less than any songs I've compressed myself even at higher rates (maybe I just don't know how to compress better). I look up something, click a button and in 5 seconds I'm listening to a new CD. They seem to have a pretty good selection. I'm sure they don't have every indy band but so far they've had most of the stuff I've looked for.
Sometimes they have a CD but certain songs are missing. I suppose that could be frustrating. I'm sure they are trying to negociate the rights to offer those songs too. My attitude so far as been "whatever" there's plenty of other stuff to listen to.
They also have various charts and radio like stations so if you don't know what you are looking for you can just check a chart or station and when you hear something you like click for more stuff by the same people.
As for not being able to copy the songs, if I had an iPod that I used a lot that would probably bug me. Also if I had a car I'd probably want to be able to listen in the car. I suppose that would get solved at some point with wireless car net access 😊 Otherwise though, even if I could never copy to an iPod or car stereo it might still be worth it for me because it's easier to find music I like than say going to the record store and listening to all the listening booth CDs so using listen.com I can easier find CDs I actually want to buy. I also wouldn't doubt they are working on a solution for iPods and similar things.
I'm liking it a ton so far. I just pop it on pretty much as soon as I turn on the computer, pick a few CDs or look up some new stuff and que it up. You can sign up for the first 7 days free so if you don't like it you can cancel. If you've got a similar setup I suggest you try it.