With todays technologies no one has to go without music. MP3 players are very cheap now and CD players are practically given away – you could find anyone of the devices for around $20 or less. Getting a music player is not at all difficult. Getting legal music doesn’t have to be either. Their are many alternatives to peoples favorite illegal methods (limewire, thepiratebay, mininova, etc;). Some cost money and other are free; all of them support the arts.
One of the most popular methods of downloading digital music is iTunes. iTunes offers over two million tracks and counting for only 99 cents. Some of their tracks are also DRM-free. They also offer a multitude of other media solutions (video, podcasts, etc;). I however strongly encourage you NOT to use iTunes. There are much better alternatives in the market and the artists only get roughly 15-25% – I have heard that the average is 7 cents per track. Also you do not own the song, you basically just ‘lease’ it.
amazonmp3 is a popular alternative to iTunes. They have about the same number of tracks but they are cheaper! Only 89 cents fper song. They have a multitude of album prices. I saw one album for only $1.99. The best thing about amazonmp3 is that ALL of their songs are DRM-free and compatible with iTunes. Sadly, I could not find out how much the artists gets per track (enlighten me if you find out). If you like big labels and live in the USA use amazonmp3.
Magnatune is an independent music retailer. You can download of license the music. There is no DRM and everything is CD-quality with a bunch of formats to choose from. They also let you share the music after you buy it for as low as $5. On top of that the artists gets 50% of all sales. The only downside I saw, which I am not sure if it was magnatune’s fault of the artists, was that the album I purchased Surfacing by Roots of Rebellion (rr44). Please comment if you download so I can take the link down after three.
Jamendo is the perfect place for artists. Jamendo supports six different languages so they attract people from all over the world. They have over 5,500 artists who all use Creative Commons licences. All of their songs are DRM-free and cost nothing. If you do choose to donate the artists makes nearly 100%. Jamendo takes about 80 cents per donation of five dollars or more for bank fees and service charges. They also give 50% of its advertising revenues to the Artists who opted for the Program ‘Revenue Sharing’.
You can have a music collection of legal music that doesn’t cost you a penny. However, if you like a band, please donate to support their music.