TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington points us to Magnatune, a Berkeley start-up he says has figured out the music business model of the future.

Magnatune allows buyers to download music in the digital format of their choice, and completely free of any digital rights management. Albums sell for $5 and up. Magnatune shares a flat 50% of gross proceeds (before any costs) from music sales with artists. They will also share 50% of merchandise sales profits. Great stuff for the masses, but hard to see the major labels playing along.

Apparently, no VC backing yet.

Second, the music search engine invasion continues. Siren Systems, a San Francisco developer of an online music search engine, has raised $2.3 million in a first round of funding. Amicus Capital led the deal, and was joined by Nueva Ventures.

This comes a month after a competing company, Pandora, announced it had raised venture capital. Like Pandora, Siren has a technology that helps you find music that caters to your unique tastes in music: “The technology marries objective (and unbiased) metadata, artificial intelligence, and listener ratings to yield unparalleled accuracy.” And we wrote about Google’s music search. And there’s San Francisco’s GoFish, which emerged this year (not to be confused with the seafood portal that died back in 2001), and others

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