Best legal mp3 music download subscription sites?

I am looking to download 30-50 songs for my iPod in the next week from popular artists of several genres. Downloading them from iTunes is 99 cents/song, so I’m looking at spending about $50 on this. Is there a service I could subscribe to, pay a monthly flat rate, and then download all these songs during that one month subscription? Would that be cheaper than using iTunes to pay per song, and would I get as much selection? Thanks for any advice on this, as I am relatively new to the iPod and its ways.

I asked this same question about a month ago. Here y’go.

If you want to download the music and put it directly on your iPod, you have two choices: iTunes or eMusic. Since you specified popular artists, eMusic is probably not for you.

The other simple option is ripping CDs you already own.

Many (possibly most) “subscription” sites are “all-you-can-eat” in the sense that you pay a fee to subscribe per month, and then you can download all you want – the catch is that once you stop paying, the tracks you have cease to work and you legally have no right to keep them. In order to do this, the tracks you download have copy protection and, to my knowledge, won’t work with the iPod. Rhapsody and Napster are examples of this.

There are some subscription sites for which you pay a certain amount per month, and they allow you to download a certain number of tracks per month. The difference between this and paying per track is negligible – the end result is basically the same but the cost is usually lower since the company banks on some users not downloading their tracks for that month. One of these companies offers .mp3 files (which work with iPod), and some offer DRM-protected tracks (which don’t).

The other sites I’m aware of are all pay-per-track and have DRM, meaning they won’t work with the iPod (aside from iTunes, of course). For these, and the subscription services which are not all-you-can-eat, most or all allow you to burn the songs to an audio CD, which you can then rip into plain .mp3 files. This is of questionable legality, however.