Can anyone recommend a good, LEGAL MP3 download site?

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)?


In addition to other sites, I go to for their audio selections, which include a vast amount of live music, some podcasts, radio drama, and other things.

Their stuff is free.

I’ve been a member of eMusic for a couple of years; they’ve got a huge catalog, though whether you like them may depend on what your musical tastes are like.

If you should decide to join, and want to do a stranger a favor, shoot me an e-mail (in my profile), please. I get something like 50 free downloads for a referral.

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!)

Remember that you can legally rip .mp3s from CDs you already own, and copy those mp3s to your player.

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.

I rarely buy downloads, but just rip CDs of mine, or friends and family and put them all on my mp3 player.

I’ll second eMusic, if you find their selection to your liking. I was worried about selection initially, but I’m still finding a ton of stuff I like, and the price is about 1/3 of iTunes.

No RIAA stuff, so no DRM to deal with either.

All good suggestions, but I’m not really looking for indie music. What’s a good, cheap site that carries major labels?

All of the mainstream sites are about the same when it comes to price.

Rhapsody and Napster would be my go-tos.

You are going to have to look at iTunes. There is allofmp3, but it is at best a semi-legal alternative.

As has been stated this is legal.

However, this part is not legal.

If you want MP3s specifically (i.e. DRM-free) then eMusic is the best and largely only option for a sizable catalog that I know of.

Rhapsody and Napster are not DRM-free and require specific devices.

eMusic also gives a 20 (or so) free downloads when you join so you can try it and cancel if you don’t like the selection. I’ve done this a couple of times and am tempted to stay with them next time.

Much as I hate to toot WallyWorld’s horn, there’s a time and place for it. 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.

iTunes also has their DRM-free tracks, currently the songs under the EMI label. You can convert the AAC files to MP3. Your phone might also be able to play the AAC files, as well.

I’m looking to check out eMusic so if someone wants me to be a referral, private me. First private gets it.

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 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 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.

I live on Limewire. Is that illegal?