Legal/Pay music download sites. Opinions please.

I just bought my Wife an Ipod Nano for Christmas. She will be using it for training (she’s a runner/triathelete).

Anyhoo, I’m am just looking for recommendations for music download sites, I would like to get things all set up before I give her the gift.

And ya know what? I trust you guys.

You’ll have to install iTunes anyway, so why not just use that?

Yeah, pretty much the only place I go for downloads is iTunes: it’s cheap, easy, and has a good selection.

Thanks Southpaw. Didn’t know that. I looked at Itunes and it’s a buck a song. That’s fine with me.

Wasn’t sure if that was the right route to go.

It was a long quest yesterday. Seems silly but it was.

I started with asking a workmate what kind of player he would recommend. His Wife uses a SanDisk player, An e140. She has her own landscaping business, and the SanDisk has worked flawlessly for her.

Cool. Sounds like it can take some abuse.

So I search. Find SanDisk and find the one I want. The website did not allow me to buy it online. Not sure what the problem was. Soooooo……. I find out where I can buy one. OfficeMax is the closest retailer to me. Twenty five miles one way. I call them. Yes they say, we have the specific model you want.

So I drive.

And they don’t have it. Oops. Thought you said ‘e’ and not ‘c’. Ok.

Very nice fellow at OfficeMax. Very apologetic. I could have bought a bigger model for the same price, but it just was not right. Too big.

I asked if they have Ipods. Nope, but I can get one at Target down the road. I asked him what he used personally and he said an Ipod. And recommended for my Wife (though they do not sell them).

I went on to question him about the Ipod and if it has the option to play to the FM tuner in the car like the Sandisk does. Yep, it can do it with this accessory. Great. So they sell that accessory for the Ipod, but no accessories for the Sandisk.

They sell the Sandisk, but no accessories for it. They sell accessories for the Ipod but don’t sell Ipods.


Soooo…. on the OfficeMax guys recommendation, I drive to the next city and get an Ipod Nano. And of course, they don’t have the accessory to play it in your car through the FM tuner.

Back to OfficeMax for the car tuner charger thing.

Okay, you got her a Nano. Here are the formats an iPod can play: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV. This means you have only two choices, really, for easily buying online. You can get things through the iTunes Music Store as DRMed AAC or you can get nonDRMed MP3s from a place like eMusic. Any other store you can think of (Napster, Yahoo Music, and so on) are all going to be PlaysForSure DRMed WMA and incompatible with the iPod without some transcoding work on your part as well as stripping the DRM. There are ways to transcode without too much sound quality loss (the lossy reencoding of a lossy file does have some effect, though it can be debated how much) but the admin here seems to have a slavish devotion to the DMCA, so I won’t go into how to strip the DRM, but it’s really easy to find all the info you might need online.

You’ve still got time and if you’re sick of driving all over the place, basically every iPod accessory ever made is available through the Apple store online. I think RadioShack also has a decent selection of stuff if you’ve got one of those fairly close. I’d also suggest getting a case as Nanos scratch pretty easily.

Thank you asterion. I am looking for somthing easy and fast. My Wife would prefer to spend as much time away from the computer as possible. I really don’t want to have to convert stuff. She has a Samsung yepp player right now. It’s a bit old, might hold 100 songs (yeh, we are a bit behind).

I will grab that Samsung, dump it back into my box to preserve those songs. Not sure what format they are in.

As far as the existing CD’s that we have, I assume I will be able to load them into my computer and then convert them to MP3’s? I think I have seen some down loadable free online conversion programs for this.

I guess that’s the point. I have no problem downloading and paying for music. But will we be able to load existing CD’s into the Ipod nano?

And yes, I bought her a case for the Nano.

And some earrings too…

I suspect I/we am/are getting a new camera.

Oh. I already bought it. Thing is, I want to get things all set up for her so that all is in place on Christmas morning.

No surfing Web sites, this is the best way to go. Looks like Itunes is the way to do it.

I wonder if I should get the Nano out of it’s box and do a trial run on it. Just so I can show her how the thing works.

Plug in the USB, here is your password, go get songs. Bingo.

Of course. iTunes can do it practically automatically for you, including finding the cover art to display. By default iTunes rips to non-protected AAC at 128 kbps but you can easily change what format and what bitrate is used. is one of the few sites out there that sells plain .mp3s. That means once you buy them, they’re yours and you can burn them to CD as many times as you need, or transfer them to pretty much any portable device. They also come with the ID3 tags filled out (making cataloging in iTunes pretty easy).

It’s a subscription-based service. Their basic level is $10/month to download 30 tracks, and there are discounts the more you buy. If you don’t download them within that month, they go away and are refreshed the next month (they don’t accumulate).

They have a fairly decent selection of nearly everything but current popular music, their classical and jazz sections are huge.

Hokay… So the iTunes software that is pre-loaded in the Nano can do this. Right? It did not come with a disk.

I’m going to try to get ahold of my Wifes Samsung yepp and transfer it into my computer. This is her training music.

On the one hand, I would like to get this all set up and working for her before I give it to her. On the other hand, I hate to open it up first.

I’m probably over thinking this. Sounds like it will do everything that we want it to.

Thanks all, I think that I just need to keep my paws off of it till Christmas. :smiley:

I’m pretty sure the software isn’t loaded IN the nano or anything. You can download it for free from here though.

You don’t have to open the package to pre-configure your computer. Just install itunes from Garfield226’s link then follow the directions to register at the itunes music store. Itunes is the only software you’ll need to organize music on your hard drive, transfer files to the ipod, and rip music from your CDs. When she opens her new ipod, all she’ll have to do is plug it into the computer and start browsing.


Heh. Never used that smily before. I’ll check out Garfields link and get it set up. I even know what password she would like.

Thanks a lot guys and gals. I can always count on the SDMB.