Best music download site that does not install software on my pc?
December 22, 2005 6:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for a good music download service that allows me to download mp3s to my pc without having to install software (e.g. iTunes...). The larger the library the better. Thanks.

Note: I am talking about pay sites here.
posted by batou_ to Media & Arts (24 answers total)
I really like Not nearly as big a selection as itunes, mostly indie labels. Much better value though.
posted by twistedonion at 6:14 PM on December 22, 2005
While they have an executable to install, a bit of simple decoding in a script allows you to download using wget. As it happens, I know someone who wrote such a script.

The selection is not at al popular (no Britney or Twitney) but includes a nice selection of Classical and Folk music.

I ultimately left because it's a monthly subscription for X mp3s, use them or lose them. When emusic began billing every 30 days, rather than once a month, I found I was losing more than using, and left.
posted by orthogonality at 6:16 PM on December 22, 2005

yeah, I'd probably not end up getting my monies' worth (sp?) using a subscription based service.
posted by batou_ at 6:24 PM on December 22, 2005

AllOfMP3. Technically it's a pay site, but it's not exactly legal (in the US, anyway). You get a lot for your money though.
posted by speranza at 6:26 PM on December 22, 2005

I'm a wussie - legal sites only.
posted by batou_ at 6:28 PM on December 22, 2005

It's unclear whether or not AllOfMP3 is legal. If the RIAA thought they could close it, they would so, it looks like it might be legal.
posted by orthogonality at 6:33 PM on December 22, 2005

Check out Audio Lunchbox.
posted by helios at 6:49 PM on December 22, 2005

I think the RIAA aren't doing anything about it because it's based in Russia and the amount of red tape they'd have to go through and the level of attention it would draw to the site just wouldn't be worth it. A lot of people still don't know the site even exists. But I think if you're using it in the US/Europe, it's almost certainly illegal. However, I don't think it's too likely you'll get caught and it's a risk I'm willing to take. Also, I figure I'm probably supporting the Russian mafia, and it's always good to have those guys on your side, right? ;)
posted by speranza at 6:58 PM on December 22, 2005

Rhapsody now has web access, requiring no installation of software. I like a lot, but no question Rhapsody has a far more extensive music library, and I've been very happy with their service. You can always give 'em a whirl on the 14-day free trial.
posted by Kat Allison at 7:15 PM on December 22, 2005

i like

allofmp3 is not illegal, you will not get problems being a user atm
their files are lower quality tho.. it's known that they take their files from many sources (p2p, group releases, personal rips of their users), transcode these to a 384vbr mp3 (dunno why 384) and when a user chooses his audio format they transcode it again..
posted by suni at 4:14 AM on December 23, 2005

I've built about 90% of my music collection from AllOfMP3 and never had a single problem with file quality.
posted by speranza at 5:13 AM on December 23, 2005

Incidentally - does not REQUIRE you to use their download manager - you can set it up to just download stuff the old fashioned way. But, the dl manager is (surprisingly) very handy.
posted by jaded at 5:37 AM on December 23, 2005

suni, MP3 only goes up to 320KBps
posted by Sharcho at 5:39 AM on December 23, 2005

I imagine you'd have to use a number of different services to get different music.

Zunior is a great little independent reseller.
posted by juiceCake at 7:35 AM on December 23, 2005

sharcho, _standard_ mp3 only goes to 320cbr.. google it
posted by suni at 7:50 AM on December 23, 2005

I have to chime in on allofmp3. It may be a loophole but it's not illegal. They're selling the stuff legally online in their country and there are no laws against importing music.

Google around for the numerous essays and reports.

I think the quality is great. Out of hundreds of albums purchased from them there was one bad track but given the price I didn't even complain and just paid for a new copy. They're always prompt to resolve questions or problems but the nickel that the song cost wasn't worth my time to compose an email.

They do have software that streamlines the downloads but I just use the downthemall plug in for firefox. Look for the "List of all links" link from the downloads page.

allofmp3 does support the sundry lossless compression schemes if mp3 bugs you. Of course, they charge by the megabyte so you pay more for the beefier files

Supposedly, allofmp3 is paying appropriate royalties but if you really have a guilt trip over it, look up your favorite artists and send them some cash. Of course, this is true of CDs, iTunes, etc.; we should be reflecting on what are fair artists royalites for all sources of music.
posted by deanj at 9:15 AM on December 23, 2005

I wouldn't write off emusic so quickly. It's not quite the usual subscription model because you own the music, and if you don't use all of the allotted downloads in a given month, they do indeed carry over. You get 40, 65, or 90 downloads a month for $9.99, $14.99, or $19.99 respectively, which is as low as $0.25 a song, and there's no DRM. Look into it - you do get 50 free mp3s to start with. Also, I don't see much use in using a "legal" service like AllOfMp3 if it doesn't benefit the artist; you might as well use Kazaa.
posted by youarenothere at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2005

my conscience does not like allofmp3, still they save people time and effort (using the russian/chinese web, google time, unicode problems) and i like the fact that people can easily get their music without paying the music and movies mafia
posted by suni at 10:30 AM on December 23, 2005 is my suggestion. I've been using it for years.
posted by dobbs at 10:34 AM on December 23, 2005

Though the site may not be illegal, that, imo, should not be your only gauge for who to deal with. If you want to support the artists who are giving you the enjoyment you get from good music, allofmp3 is not the place to buy from.

Supposedly, allofmp3 is paying appropriate royalties but if you really have a guilt trip over it,

What's your source of this? I know many artists who have albums on allofmp3. They and their labels have never gotten a dime or signed any contracts. The albums just appeared there.
posted by dobbs at 10:39 AM on December 23, 2005

allofmp3 pays the russian rights managing organisations, they don't share it with the real rights holders..
posted by suni at 1:19 PM on December 23, 2005

allofmp3 is a straight out racket. Please don't encourage this.
posted by Wolof at 7:51 PM on December 23, 2005

dobbs, here's a source where allofmp3 claims to pay ROMS.

As far as your artist friends not getting checks from allofmp3 sales, this seems to say that they should be getting compensation.
posted by deanj at 2:36 PM on December 31, 2005

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