There’s an online music service I’ve recently been made aware of, and while it’s an interesting model, I’m not really sure what I make of it. So I’m setting you guys on it.

Jamendo is a membership site on which artists can upload their own music, and audiences can download and listen to it. And that’s pretty much it. Users can make their own playlists, and the site has a built-in player, but it’s basically as simple as thousands of musicians letting audiences download their albums entirely for free.

On the face of it, it looks like a nice, harmless gift-economy of music on which artists are hoping for wide acceptance, and audiences are hoping for good quality, free and legal music. It looks like it’s sufficiently removed from the mainstream music industry to not make too much of a ripple, but I get the sense that there’s more to it than that.

I’ve only had a bit of experience with it, but I was surprised at the quality of what I heard. Not only was it good musicianship, but some of these acts had clearly spent proper money on their recordings.

It’s not like Garageband, which is pretty much pitched as a leg-up to the ‘proper’ music industry. This seems to be entirely separate from that business, and comfortably so.

So I’m curious: what do you guys think of this?