AllofMP3 Down – For Good?

The extremely popular, quasi-legal AllofMP3 site went down over the weekend and is not yet back up. The site currently says “We are sorry but the server is closed for maintainance.”

We’ve written about AllofMP3 a number of times, including a review of their iTunes-like client software and as part of a general review of downloadable music. AllofMP3 offers DRM-free downloadable music in a variety of different formats and quality levels, for $0.02 per MB, far below what legitimate music services charge.

The site has evolved from being a little known cult favororite service to a powerful force in music sales. In April 2006 it was second only to iTunes in U.K. online music sales.

Pressure on Moscow to close the site has been intense and is increasing. In recent comments, Russian President Putin stated that they would do more to fight copyright infringement in order to gain admission to the WTO.

I am a fan of AllOfMP3 because it puts pressure on labels to strip out DRM and keep online prices low. It’s disruptive to a broken business model. I hope it comes back online.