I just got an awesome cell phone that accepts a 2.0 GB MicroSD card, allowing the phone to double as an MP3 player. Now I just need the MP3’s. Can anyone recommend an MP3 download site that offers a wide selection of music for a reasonable price-per-song (I’ll consider a subscription if the price is right)?
The only thing with eMusic is that they specialize in independent stuff, so you aren’t going to find anything on there that’s under a major label. The upside is, a lot of good music IS independent, and it’s cheaper. (IIRC like 25 cents a track!)
Magnatune offers DRM-free mp3s and lets you set the price (ranging from $6 per album on up, I think). The site encourages you to share the music you download from it with up to three other people. I haven’t seen any big names on there, but it’s great for classical. I found some good Ukrainian liturgical music on the site.
Much as I hate to toot WallyWorld’s horn, there’s a time and place for it. walmart.com has a thorough catalog of mainstream rock/pop, and has more of the more popular alt stuff than you’d expect. 88¢ per track, with very mild copying restrictions.
I know I’m about the 10th person to say it, but please give eMusic a shot. If you’re not into independent music, just realize it’s never too late. Go to Allmusic.com and find your favorite bands, it will give you a big list of independent bands that have similar styles.
People sometimes assume that “independent” means or lower quality or poor production values. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Independent just means music that is made by people who are not trying to appeal to the widest audience. The music production is just as good as mainstream stuff.
Also I think a lot of people assume that “indie music” = “indie rock”. No!!! There’s indie rap. Indie hip hop. Indie country. Indie pop. Indie everything!!! And you don’t have to be some hipster or in the “scene” to enjoy this type of music. I love the music because it’s great. It has nothing to do with image.
If you want to get a free sample of independent music I highly recommend www.kexp.org. They have live streaming music with almost no commercials. You can also go into archive and listen to anything that has been streamed for the last two weeks. So if you find a song you really like you can play it over and over.
Also I’m not saying all mainstream music is bad. At least half the bands I enjoy have had some mainstream success. There is good and bad mainstream, just like there is good and bad independent music.
All along, Apple has allowed you to burn their AAC files to a CD, then rip them back in as MP3, which will then be free of DRM. I’ve taken advantage of that with every track I’ve bought from iTunes as my Squeezebox can’t play AAC files with DRM. (One of these days, I’ll eventually replace it with an Apple TV box.)
I haven’t looked at their new DRM-free offerings yet, but believe the primary attraction is that the files are MP3 from the start, so you don’t have any quality losses in that detour through a CD, and are higher quality as well - less compression, better bitrate, etc.