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Most of you know I'm a big iTunes fan. Yesterday I came across a new music service which is interesting -- AllOfMP3. Despite the gramatically incorrect name they have an interesting model. $0.01 per megabyte downloaded, you choose the format from MP3, OGG, AAC, WMA and lossless, and the bitrate (128-384kbps). They have all the major label music including stuff that you can't get on iTunes. So, how does it work? Its run out of Russia where copyright laws are very different than the US, and it is apparently legal to offer any CD for download.

So I decided to check it out last night. Since it is operated from Russia, and even if it is on the up and up I'm not too thrilled about having my credit card number sold to the Russian mafia, I used my MBNA credit card which offers a disposable number for one-time use. I loaded up a whopping $5 in my account and chose Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits, a $9.99 value on iTunes for less than $2. I'm listening to November Rain right now, and it sounds as good as anything I've ever bought off iTunes.

It remains to be seen whether this service will stick around, but apparently they have been operating since 2001. I guess the RIAA doesn't have any jurisdiction in Russia. As far as legality, nobody has ever been sued in the US for downloading music, only uploading so I'm not concerned and as far as I can tell it really is legal, what they are doing is apparently within the letter of the law in Russia.

So, it's not quite as convenient as iTunes but it definitely is appealing, especially for music that I can't get at other online stores. I wonder how they are turning a profit at only $0.01/megabyte.