I want to buy LEGAL MP3s

I need some suggestions here folks. What I am looking for is some website where I can search a (big) database of MP3 files, pay for them and then download them. That’s all. I don’t want to have to install crap, I am not excited about a zillion pop ups. Just looking for places to buy legal music.

I know I shouldn’t have to reiterate this, but just in case a nervous Mod is passing I will. I am 100% not interested in anything nefarious or illegal. All that I am looking for is a good place to buy legal MP3 files without all of the stupid crap that seems to want to come with it, at least as far as my early searching has found (you know, the active X controls or other applications that they want me to install, the pop-ups and so forth).


If you don’t want to have to install stuff you’re going to be limited.

www.emusic.com lets you download stuff without installing anything, and I like it a lot, but it won’t work if you want the newest pop music. Classical and Jazz and indie stuff (and others…), it’s got a lot of though.

Plain old .mp3s too, so you can play them on any player, burn them to a CD, etc. Anything you want.

You do need a player, and most legal mp3 sites are tied in with one.

Wal-mart.com and Buymusic.com use Windows Media Player, so they will play with any Windows computer.

iTunes is also pretty good, but you need to install their player. which is actually a pretty good piece of software.

There are also free legal MP3s. You usually can find one or two at the website of your favorite musician.

I know you said you didn’t want to install, but the iTunes player is pretty okay, and it’s easy peasy.

Yeah, I did look at that. The issue is that I have a pretty darn old computer at home and so there are compatability issues.


Do you have a fast connection?

A slight hijack as this is IMHO and not GQ.

I have bought .wma files (windows media) from a legal site in Canada that have digital rights management. I copied them yesterday to a shiny new DVD player that can specifically play .wma files. No go. The player just skips right over them. I know there are (perhaps illegal) workarounds, but I paid a dollar each for those songs and I want to play them!

I now use a Russian site that as far as I can tell is legal in Canada. These songs do not have DRM. I took a quick look at www.e-music.com. They say you can use the files on many computers and CDs. Does anyone know exactly what digital rights management restrictions these files have?

No. Lets just say that it is slightly surprising that my PC is not steam powered.

Ouch. I feel your pain.

My computer at home? No problems. Fast computer. Fast connection.

This computer? Ha! It’s ten years old and we’ve got a dialup connection that can’t hit 28.8 with a running start.

You’re probably not going to find a really good answer to this. MP3’s, by their nature, lack (technical) copy protection. So you generally the “big” record labels won’t let their stuff be released in that format.

As others here have pointed out, this doesn’t apply to many types of music, but the stuff you’d generally find in a mainstream record store just isn’t going to be available in MP3 format.

So you get to pick your choice of: (1) limited selection, (2) non-MP3, or (3) illegal.

The other option, of course, is to burn the MP3s yourself: buy CD’s (which you might be able to get at a discount). This is expensive if you only want individual tracks.

Sorry, I know it’s not what you want to hear.

e-music’s downloads are .mp3s. They have no copy protection.

Sweet. How is their selection?

As I said…

it won’t work if you want the newest pop music. Classical and Jazz and indie stuff (and others…), it’s got a lot of though.

Just go check it out and browse around. I don’t think you have to be a member to browse.

As far as I know, no disk players or DVD players specifically support DRM .wma files. (Plain wma files, such as you can create when you rip a CD in windows media player with the copy protect option turned off, are substantially a different animal. That is normally what’s supported when you see a DVD player with 'wma capabilities.)

The issue is that there is as yet no way to transfer your licenses to such players.

You might want to find out if it’s against the terms of your contract to burn your WMA files to an audio CD and then rip them again as MP3 files for personal use. I was told by the helpdesk at puretracks that I could do this, so I don’t consider it as blanket illegal.

I’ve gotten good music from Magnatune. When you buy an album, they offer MP3s, uncompressed WAVs for burning a regular audio CD, OGGs, and other formats. And they take PayPal.

You gotta love their slogan: “We’re a record label. But we’re not evil.” :smiley: