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#162160 - 03/21/07 03:29 AM Legal MP3 Sites?
BrenR Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
Where do you guys get your MP3s from?

Lisa wants to download some songs, but I'm always leary of sites I've never heard of before.

Primarily she's looking for newer pop/rock stuff, of good quality (wherever she was downloading from apparently didn't have great audio quality)... and without requiring a software download to get them.

Ideas? I was supposed to post a link to the new site she found that looked too good to be true, but I've forgotten the URL.

Bren R.

#162161 - 03/21/07 03:45 AM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: BrenR]
millerbrad Offline

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 45
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
There's always, but the "legal" part is pretty questionable with them. If you're brave enough to try, you can download lossless DRM-free tracks for around US$0.50-1.00 each.

Unfortunately, it's getting pretty difficult to buy from them lately, as the credit card companies seem to be discouraging sales through the site. I used to be able to "launder" my payments to them with PayPal/Xrost, but that's been shut down last I checked. I'm nervous about giving the Russkies my credit card number, which is about the only way to pay now., now I'm buying my music via CDs on eBay.

Edited by millerbrad (03/21/07 03:56 AM)

#162162 - 03/21/07 04:23 AM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: BrenR]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10412
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
The itunes store does have good quality, I have good ones from puretracks and futureshop's Bonfire.


#162163 - 03/21/07 07:41 AM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: jakewash]
bray Offline

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Colorado
Personally I dont care for the quality of the iTunes MP3s.
As far as I know you cant buy them at anything better than 128kbps.
Did they change that?

#162164 - 03/21/07 11:32 AM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: bray]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
They have not, but 128k AAC files are said to sound better than 128k MP3s. It's probably not all that much of a difference, but I am happier with the AACs I've purchased at 128k than the MP3s that I have at 128k.

However, Bren will not deign to touch an Apple product, so he'll need to look somewhere else.

As far as purchasing music goes, you'll have to go with WMA with DRM if you want anything mainstream, Bren. For non-mainstream stuff, there is another store that does sell unprotected MP3s, but I'm not remembering what it is off of the top of my head. I'll post back if it comes to me.

The WMA stores are probably largely similar, since they all use Microsoft's Plays4Sure licensing, files, and DRM.

In short, you're probably better off buying the CDs and ripping them yourself.
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#162165 - 03/21/07 12:13 PM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: Ken.C]
Lorenzo1000 Offline

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 537
Loc: Winterpeg
Well there's Amie St Music Amie St

Doesn't seem to be a lot of well known artists though.

Unprotected and prices start at free and go up to 98 cents per song depending on popularity.
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#162166 - 03/21/07 12:15 PM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: Lorenzo1000]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
EMusic. Sadly, it requires a subscription/membership. But that's the one I was thinking of.
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#162167 - 03/21/07 01:50 PM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: BrenR]
PeterChenoweth Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
To anyone offering their credit card number to an overseas clearing house, you are a brave soul!

I use iTunes for non-critical listening material and when I'm too lazy to go buy the CD. I find most of their stuff to be quite acceptable. I agree with kcarlile; Apple says that 128kb AAC sounds better than 128kb mp3, and I agree. I have, however, heard a few things on iTunes that sound awful and seem to have been encoded at like 64kb.

How about Linn's online store? I haven't purchased/ downloaded any of their online tracks myself, but all of the Linn recordings I've ever heard from CD have been extremely well done.

Linn Records

They offer 320kb MP3's and lossless 16 and 24 bit WMA files (1.2GB for a 65 minute album, muwahaha!! )that are also DRM-free. Kinda neat that they give you a choice in what format you desire, IMHO. If you're looking for 'audiophile' quality downloads, I believe they are the one and only place to get them (for the moment).

The downside is that it's only their own artists. So the selection is limited and it's all classical & jazz music.

Realistically, you're not going to find a legal site that allows for mainstream pop/rock mp3 downloads without DRM. Indie stuff, sure. But not mainstream. I just don't think they exist, due to pressure from the RIAA. You're probably going to have to bite the bullet and go with a DRM + downloaded software solution like iTunes, Napster, Urge, Wal-Mart's music store, etc.

Edited by PeterChenoweth (03/21/07 02:20 PM)
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#162168 - 03/21/07 06:31 PM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
BrenR Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
Odd, I never mentioned DRM-free... while I'd prefer it (let's face it, she has an MP3 player, a CD head unit in the car and a home stereo - that's all 3 uses under DRM isn't it? Any reloading of the MP3 player would be over the 3 uses? I've never really dealt with DRM since I buy CDs, and most punk ones aren't crip... er, saddl... er... I mean... graced with DRM), someone else added DRM-free to my wish list in one of the responses.

KCarlyle - not sure how iTunes works... I'm really in the dark about downloaded music... can you just receive the files from the site without having to install iTunes onto your computer? And her MP3 player doesn't do AAC, are they available in MP3 as well? Quality DOES seem to be an issue with iTunes, I've heard?

I'll be sure to pass your suggestions along to her.

Appreciated, guys.

Bren R.

#162169 - 03/21/07 06:46 PM Re: Legal MP3 Sites? [Re: BrenR]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8462
Loc: Tacoma

can you just receive the files from the site without having to install iTunes onto your computer?

Ha ha ha ha ha!! And you're going to say "no, thank you" to the Kool-Aid, too, I suppose?

I got some REALLY cool, free content from The Live Music Archive recently. Probably not going to be everything you need, but recommended anyway.


What is the Live Music Archive all about?

This audio archive is an online public library of live recordings available for royalty-free, no-cost public downloads. We only host material by trade-friendly artists: those who like the idea of noncommercial distribution of some or all of their live material. Live recordings are a part of our culture and might be lost in 100 years if they're not archived. We think music matters and want to preserve it for future generations.

The LMA draws strength from the members of and other online communities of music fans devoted to providing public access to high-quality digital recordings of tradable performances. Typically, recordings are made by the fans themselves. Recordings are preserved in "Lossless" archival compression formats such as Shorten or FLAC (MP3 is not Lossless) for highest quality preservation.

Patrons may download from the LMA with the understanding that the artists still hold their copyrights. All material is strictly noncommercial, both for access here and for any further distribution.

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