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Perhaps you have heard the phrase “trade friendly artist” before. It is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more musicians falling under this category. Trade friendly artists are musicians who support the idea of their music being traded, shared, and torrented. Although it is most frequently live performances that these artists promote the trade of, many also support pirating in general.
The reasons behind this are somewhat complex, and often differ a bit from artist to artist. Generally speaking, though, musicians have come to the realization that the majority of their profits come not from selling records (especially not in the streaming age) but from selling concert tickets and merchandise.
Why be a trade friendly artist? – Anyone who has spent any time researching or working in the music business knows well that musicians seldom see the bulk of the money made from record sales. I think the number is, on average, somewhere around 12% … meaning that artists only receive around 12% of the total money made from record sales. The record companies divvy the remaining 88% amongst themselves, you know, for all of the creative hard work that they had to do … here’s to hoping you can hear my sarcasm.
There are, of course, countless music torrent trackers, free music indexes, and music torrent search engines on the web to choose from. If you are looking for a more traditional way to torrent music, feel free to check out any of the other sites reviewed on my list of music torrent sites. However, if you are looking for something a little bit different, well, my friend, you have come to the right place.
E Tree is a very unique music torrent site. First of all, it is not a private music torrent tracker. So, that is good news for anyone who wants to begin downloading free music today, right now. You won’t have to wait around for an invite or for a rare open registration window to open up. In no time at all, you’ll have hundreds of thousands of free music files available to torrent on E Tree.
A unique archive of music torrents – This site is also atypical in the kind of music files that it specializes in. E Tree is reserved solely for live performances from bands and musicians who are known to be trade friendly artists. It is a community that is rooted in respecting artists’ wishes. Oftentimes, there is an understanding built between artist and fan, even if not explicitly stated, that a certain act is trade friendly. If you are interested in learning more about trade friendly artists and finding sites on which you can find out if one of your favorite artists is, in fact, trade friendly, you can do so here.
Don’t go to E Tree expecting to find your favorite band’s latest full-length studio album. In fact, don’t go to E Tree expecting to find your favorite band’s debut release either. E Tree is not that kind of music torrent site (but, as I said, there are plenty out there for you to choose from). E Tree, on the other hand, is a great way to find much rarer and more unique files … one-of-a-kind concerts and live performances.
E Tree is a great resource for both superfans and music historians alike. Whether you want to find a concert that you attended back in ’85 for the pure nostalgia of it, or you cannot get enough of, say, Phish or The Grateful Dead (and, let’s face it, each of their performances is an entirely unique experience, like a snowflake), E Tree is going to be the site for you. Or perhaps you are simply curious in seeing how a certain band’s live performance has evolved over the years. No matter the reason, E Tree is the authority on live concert music torrents.
Grateful Dead and Phish fans welcome – Although this site has an enormous draw to Phish and Grateful Dead fans, E Tree has a much broader appeal than just that. However, enough of the torrents found on E Tree are by one of these two bands that the site saw the need to install a filter specifically addressing them. Below the search bar, users can choose one of the following: Hide Phish, Hide Grateful Dead, or Hide Grateful Dead and Phish. Whether you love these bands, or you can’t stand them, we can all agree on one thing: they are not for everyone, right?
No matter how you feel about The Dead, I think that E Tree will be a great resource for free music, especially free live music. But let’s dive in and take a closer look at everything that this site has to offer, shall we?
Okay, the first thing that I notice when I visit E Tree is the fact that the design is very uninspired. User experience was certainly not at the forefront of the web designer’s thoughts when he made this site. There is nothing experiential, immersive, or streamlined about it. It is more of a data dump than a creatively executed website, if you ask me.
That being said, the site is easy enough to figure out and navigate. You shouldn’t have too much trouble (no matter how psychedelic your mindset may be when you visit). You’ll find a sprawling table with small text indicating the artist, the file type, the number of seeds/leaches, etc. There are, above the table, options to jump ahead in the list, to any range of the 12,400 torrents currently available on the site (as of the time of this writing).
At the very top of the site, too, you’ll find a sparse site menu bar, presented in a cool and earthy green. Here, you’ll be able to browse the site by clicking on any of the following: Home, Upload, Login or Signup, Get BT Client, BT FAQ, or Contact Us. It is a very straightforward site, there is not much to it, really.
Content and Features
E Tree is similar to most other music torrent sites in what it allows users to do. You can browse and download torrents, obviously, and you can upload torrents so long as they are by a trade friendly artist. In addition to providing a source of thousands of free music torrents, E Tree also proves to have a fairly active and helpful community of peers, especially for a public torrent tracker.
Seed numbers are quite good, and many files have a great deal of comments attached to them. The community is helpful, grateful (heh), and social. Maybe this is to be expected from such a unique and somewhat niche music torrent site … that it would attract a certain type of fan. Either way, you won’t hear any complaints from me – I love a torrent site with a strong sense of community. It is Peer to Peer file sharing, after all, we should be able to hold an enjoyable conversation (which is, as you know, a rare commodity on the internet these days, period).
Mobile and Desktop Experience
I would not recommend using this site on a mobile device. It is not well optimized at all. Sure, if you were really in a pinch, you could probably make it work … but it definitely will not be an enjoyable experience.
There is no change to the site whatsoever from desktop to mobile devices. It is the same cumbersome layout, just smaller, meaning that you will have to do a lot of screen pinching to read and click on items.
I think that E Tree needs an app in order to become as effective a music torrent site as they could be. A dedicated app for iOS and Android devices could really provide a sleeker, more modern, smoother user experience. Actually, I think that this site should consider a revamp of its desktop site as well. I understand that some sites prefer a more data heavy approach to site design. But data heavy does not have to also mean hard to navigate, right?
Pricings and Plans
Although everything is free on E Tree, the site does advocate for supporting the artists outside of merely sharing their free music on music torrent trackers like this one. I could not find a link for donating to the site directly, but I think that E Tree’s main concern is simply to promote and share the music of trade friendly artists. From there, it is on us, as fans, to go see these bands live when possible, buy merch, etc.