Purchasing music online
September 16, 2020 7:31 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy some music (especially the cast recording to Mean Girls) to play on my phone. I also expect to move countries soon. What do I need to know?

I don't usually purchase digital music, I either buy the CD and import it manually, or just listen to music online. But I want to buy more music to support the artists, and I need help.

If I buy the mp3s on the Japanese Amazon store (where I currently live), and then move to Europe and get a new Amazon music app, will the music disappear? I don't want to keep switching accounts to listen to different albums. Frankly, if possible I'd like to avoid Amazon in the future.

I have an iPhone but can't make purchases on it because it thinks I am still in Switzerland, and I can't really be bothered to reset everything to make it think otherwise. (This is actually a new phone I got in Japan, and it still doesn't believe me...) I cannot use my credit card with this phone (iPhone SE - not SE2!) and would like to just buy music using my PC.

Do I really have to wait for the CD to be shipped to me if I want to be on the safe side?
posted by LoonyLovegood to Shopping (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mp3's from amazon are typically DRM free. You can purchase the mp3s from amazon, download them to your computer. Then you can usually play them on the player of your choice.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:48 PM on September 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

I you want to maximize the amount to that goes to the artist, nothing online (as far as I know) beats Bandcamp. The downloads are available in a wider variety of formats than any other music service and are DRM-free. Years ago there were really only indie artists there, but the variety of what's available is constantly expanding. Still no Mean Girls cast recordings, but a good place to check first.
posted by quarterframer at 10:07 AM on September 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you are safe with MP3s. No DRM, just compatible-everywhere files you can keep hold of, and not have to worry about your tracks becoming hostages in some vendor's walled-garden turf war. It is an odd and depressing quirk that this equitable outcome only seems to have happened for music sales (and not video or e-books).

[Although having said that the default music players on mobile platforms these days seem to be intent on making it annoying to just play locally-stored files. They would very much like you to be dependent on their vendor's streaming service instead of downloading your own files, and they won't hesitate to let you know. Other, less pushy players are available.]

Personally I like to buy lossless FLAC in preference to MP3 when I can, so I'd head to the likes of Bandcamp (best option, when the artist is on there), Qobuz, Juno or Beatport (there are surely others). Is this what you're after?
posted by BobInce at 2:44 PM on September 17, 2020

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