Best downloading of music and words?
August 9, 2005 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Napster Vs. Kazaa? Or is there anything better?

I'm still compiling a songs, poetry and literary excerpts for an upcoming wedding. So It would be useful to me to preview songs in their entirety. (I'm willing to pay for the service and downloads.)

Also, is there anything like Napster for the purchase and downloading of literature. (Again, I am willing to pay for the service and downloads.)
posted by snsranch to Computers & Internet (23 answers total)
All Of MP3 is excellent (not really legal, if you're in the US/UK at least, but since you're OK with Kazaa...) - you pay a very small amount to download, but you can preview whole albums for free (not high quality, but good enough to see what you like). I have been using my credit card to top up my account for ages now and never had any problems/dodgy charges.
posted by speranza at 7:32 PM on August 9, 2005 is cheap if you know what you want to buy. However, previews are only 30 seconds each.
posted by dobbs at 8:08 PM on August 9, 2005

Kazaa-lite, Soulseek, or Azureus and The Pirate Bay.
posted by Manjusri at 8:12 PM on August 9, 2005

and #bookwarez
posted by Manjusri at 8:16 PM on August 9, 2005

I use Limewire - same as Kazaa with no spyware or popups. Whatever I can't find there I buy on
posted by kdern at 8:16 PM on August 9, 2005

The full length previews on AllOfMP3 are really useful, even though they are only 24kbps. Too bad you have to join to get to them — though I don't know whether you actually have to pay something or not just to join.
posted by smackfu at 8:21 PM on August 9, 2005

Don't forget Usenet.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on August 9, 2005

How does one use Usenet to download MP3s, FFF?
posted by soiled cowboy at 8:54 PM on August 9, 2005

Or WinMX.
posted by Vidiot at 8:56 PM on August 9, 2005 is a great site. They have just about everything you could possibly want. $5 will get you five songs from iTunes and about 50-75 on allofmp3. Do the math. $10 bucks will get you over 100 songs at 192k.
posted by Independent Scholarship at 10:24 PM on August 9, 2005

Sorry - the quicklink above for allofmp3 is actually:

Sure wish there was an edit function.
posted by Independent Scholarship at 10:28 PM on August 9, 2005

Try DC++, client available at SourceForge.
posted by ZakDaddy at 11:15 PM on August 9, 2005

If you mean classical literature, it's likely in the public domain (ergo, free!) and can be found at Project Gutenberg (here's some prettier/more semantic versions).

The best eBook seller (yeah, I know why pay for something you could get for free) is unquestionably Fictionwise. Cheap prices, and more importantly, they sell titles in a variety of formats.

As for spoken word recordings, you can find many (but not that much poetry, I'm afraid) free ones at the Internet Archive. For free (public domain) readings of classical literature, a good site is Telltale Weekly. They also have non–free but quite cheap (less than a dollar) recordings elsewhere on their site. Fictionwise also has audiobooks, but AFAIK none are free.
posted by Monochrome at 11:30 PM on August 9, 2005

i 2nd Lime Wire
posted by crewshell at 1:37 AM on August 10, 2005

A friend of mine says that Shareaza is really good for finding books, or music, or TV shows, movies, et al, and even includes a "book" filetype in the search dropdown. Or so he tells me.
posted by The Monkey at 1:43 AM on August 10, 2005

Mini Nova has links to bit torrents.

But the problem, as with most p2p, is that you are trapped in a library built by someone else's tastes, and those tastes can feel pretty narrow, unless you're really into bad science fiction and anime porn.

"dime a dozen" has torrent links to live shows, some of them quite good, as does
posted by mecran01 at 5:30 AM on August 10, 2005

epitonic has some gems as well.
posted by mecran01 at 5:31 AM on August 10, 2005

oh, and the weblog "largeheartedboy" will link out to great stuff on a regular basis.
posted by mecran01 at 5:31 AM on August 10, 2005

AllOfMp3 is crap in that you're paying money to someone who is unlikely to pass any of it on to the artist. If you're willing to download music without paying the artist, just use soulseek or a similar service. is good for a pay site but their terms aren't as open as they once were. iTunes Music Store is functional for me and the DRM can be easily removed if that's a concern. That's less true for sites using WMA.
posted by mikeh at 8:57 AM on August 10, 2005

soiled: you go to the MP3 newsgroups and download MP3s. Naturally, you can only get what is posted, but that's one helluva large selection of music.

It also has the advantage of being anonymous. Only your ISP has the ability to know what you're doing; RIAA and the like simply can not know.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 AM on August 10, 2005

"Don't forget Usenet", best quote in ages. Search for a program called "GrabIt" which is my favorite and even has a search feature. A lot of decades groups just repost "best 1000 songs of the 70s" every month or so it seems. If it's obscure you'll have to request.
posted by geoff. at 1:51 PM on August 10, 2005

Usenet! Go to "alt.binaries.whatever" and get whatever. Most groups have FAQs which they post regularly, read them, they will tell you what unpacking programs to use, and answer almost all newbie questions.

The best binary newsgroup reader/downloader for most people on Windows = Forte Agent

Best on Linux = Pan

Best on Mac = Unison, by far.

Many ISPs filter out the binary newsgroups, "Common Carrier" status notwithstanding. Even if they do, they likely put them on a really short queue. That means you have to check all the time before the files fall off the end of the queue. A good (pay) news service will put them on an enormous queue, allowing you to get files which were posted weeks ago. Also, theoretically, if you use their new server, your ISP could turn your access logs over to RIAA with just an email request.

Given all that, I pay Titannews $50 for 100 gigabytes of downloads. Quite a deal. Plus, they keep absolutely no logs.

I don't see how people can stand Kazaa and the like. 90% of the time, the file is junk, has only very-slow uploaders or craps out mid-download. Why bother, when usenet is so fast, anonymous, and (once you learn the ropes) easy?
posted by Invoke at 10:52 PM on August 10, 2005

Limewire contains spyware. Read their website carefully - they don't call it spyware, but they describe what it does well enough. It monitors all the internet activity on your machine while it's open, and reports back to Limewire Central. They claim the paid version is free of this.

For Mac, Acquisition is my favorite gnutella client. It continues to earn its shareware fee many times over. Even the freeware version is superb - it contains a nag dialog but otherwise is fully functional.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:00 PM on August 11, 2005

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