How to leech off EMusic

EMusic has been acquired and is discontinuing their unlimited download service. The new pricing starts at $9.99 for 40 tracks per month. If you're an EMusic customer like me you'll probably be doing a lot of downloading before the new system kicks in on November 8th. Unfortunately, the EMusic download manager is buggy and it limits the number of tracks you can put in the queue, which makes mass downloading difficult. So I thought I'd offer this short and slightly technical tutorial on an alternate EMusic download method that allows unlimited queue length and more reliable downloads.

What you'll need:
A Linux or MacOS X system


A Windows system with Cygwin installed. Be sure to install Perl and wget with Cygwin.


This Perl script by Thomas Themel that decrypts EMusic's .emp files and downloads the album with wget.

How to do it:

  1. Make a directory for your .emp files.
  2. Go to EMusic and click to download the albums you want. Instead of opening the .emp files with EMusic Download Manager, save them to the directory you created. You may have to futz with your browser's filetype settings to accomplish this.
  3. Open up Cygwin or a shell prompt and go to your .emp directory.
  4. Run this command: for I in *.emp; do ./ $I; rm $I; done (assuming you put the Perl script in your .emp directory).
  5. Repeat as desired.