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Best legal/pay mp3 downloading site?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Kristopher, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    I'm looking to download some songs legally and I know there are some legal pay site out there, some less than the dollar-per-song standard. I've tried E-Music, and they have 50 free downloads for a trial period but they have absolutely no motown stuff, something I'm trying to research right now.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
  2. Well, not entirely sure of the legality in the states, but allofmp3.com is pretty good and cheap.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    iTunes has like 90% of the market, as such, it makes sense to go there, they have over 2 million songs(including a massive motown collection), and it's all standard pricing. No subscription, pay as you download.

    The downside is that you are getting copy protected .aac files that are not supported by any portable music player other than the iPod. If you have no intentions of owning a portable music player, then this is no big issue.

    Every legal downloading site has copy protection of some sort(known as DRM, or digital rights management), copy-protected .wma is available on all the options outside of iTunes. iTunes uses DRM'd .aac.

    There is a debate about which format sounds better, most numbers point to .aac as being superior(as it is a standard's based evolution of .mp3) but I do not put much stock in numbers for such analysis. Still though, .aac does seem to be a superior format in most respects, that said, it's all compressed audio anyway, so if you're okay with that in the first place, the minute differences between formats probably won't matter.

    The reason some companies are offering tons of free songs to sign up is because they have lost so much market share to iTunes/iPod. It is kind of risky to invest into a non-iTunes service due to the market dominance of the iTunes model, since, iTunes is not going anywhere, but all these other services could easily belly up.

    Of course, once you have bought the music there ARE ways around copy protection, so if you're okay with that(it's usually time consuming, and sometimes quality sacrificing), then go with whatever is cheapest or has the music you want.

    I think there are a couple of sites that offer non-DRM'd .mp3s, but they are either illegal or based around indie music and have really small selections.
  4. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    Ah, I see!

    I'm mostly looking for mp3s for my Creative Labs portable player. I guess getting legal mp3s might be tricky. For the record, eMusic does have them without copy protection.

    *keeps looking*
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The reason legal .mp3s are tricky to obtain is because there is no copy-protection for the .mp3 format. Both .wma and .aac have proprietary elements(though .aac is more standard's based), and as such, they are easy to DRM and therefore the record labels can get behind them. Emusic seems to be catering 600,000 songs from and to the independent crowd.
  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Yeah, emusic.com has a ton of indie stuff as well as some mainstream but I've really enjoyed it simply because I've found a ton of great indie music that I wouldn't have heard of before. I'm really enjoying emusic much more than I ever thought I would.

    EDIT: It does take a bit of a time investment though to really discover the great stuff at emusic but I enjoy that part.

    brad cook
  7. I don't trust iPods, every single person I know thats owned one has complained about something. I own a creative muvo2, and that works brilliantly, and plays .wmas, so if I ever get some money, and buy some tracks I'll be using one that offers .wma. But being in New Zealand, I think all the services only offer .wma.