With Allofmp3's future becoming more and more uncertain, users are starting to look for alternatives. One new service that is starting to gain some traction is Onlinemusicrecorder.com. The site is offering 128 kbps encoded MP3s from major label artists like Coldplay, Beyonce or Justin Timberlake for free.

online music recorder

The site owners are insisting that the service is perfectly legal, just like Allofmp3 has always done. Only this time it's not some Russian legal loophole . Online Music Recorder is stating that it is only making recordings of radio stations for it's users - and that it's users are only allowed to access these recordings if private recordings of radio transmissions are legal in their country of residence.

Registered users won't notice many similarities to their good old tape deck tho. The radio recording process is supposedly starting with your first login, which is why initially there are no MP3s available for download. Check back a day or two later, and you'll find a searchable pool of a few thousand individual songs.

online music recorder

Finding what you want is quite esasy if your musical taste is somewhat mainstream. Downloading and actually accessing the tracks on the other hand is rather complicated. Online Music Recorder doesn't host all of it's music itself. Some files are on mirror servers with domain names that sound like straigt out of an episode of The Scene.

online music recorder

Of course, most pirates wouldn't use digital rights management. Online Music Recorder does - sort of, at least. Each song is encrypted in a special OMRKey file format. Decrypting is possible with a software that can be downloaded from the Online Music recorder website.

omr decoder

Users need to enter their account name and password to start the decoding process. This information is supposedly used to check if the song was actually recorded with your own virtual radio recorder. There is no word on any watermarking, so I'd suspect the actual MP3 file stays pretty much unchanged.

The resulting MP3 is usually of acceptable quality. As good as a 128 kbps file can be, really. Some users report weird cuts in the beginning and end of the songs, which might be a side effect of the radio recording.

So will Online Music Recorder have an impact? Right now the service seems too complicated to actually compete with file sharing and other sources for free MP3 downloads. But judging from the language of their TOS the site owners seem to have further plans to integrate social and P2P components into their platform.

They also seem to be prepared to duck some legal bullets from rights holders. The website is registered to a company called "Chicco TV" based on the Carribean island of Antigua. The imprint reads "Matroschka Ltd., Darkwood Beach, St. John, Antigua". And the Terms of Service state that the platform is run by " Masterblasta Ltd., Norman Island".

Online Music Recorder might not be the next Allofmp3, but this surely sounds like a new round in the never-ending cat and mouse game.

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