Find me an online music source!
February 25, 2007 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find uncrippled (By DRM) mp3's?

I have looked high and low for days, but I cannot find a place to buy semi-rare indie musics online, in downloadable format. I have only 3 criteria, too!

1) In MP3 format
2) Will play on both my Ipod and my Rio
3) NO DRM!

I am willing to compromise on number 3, If there is a reasonable guarantee that the mp3's will not self destruct in any way, including burning to cd, or transferring to many machines.
Caveats: Allofmp3 is not an option, as my credit card will not work with them, and Itunes will not work with my rio. For extra bonus points, the album I have been looking for is "There's Nothing Wrong with Love" by Built to Spill. Thanks!
posted by wuzandfuzz to Shopping (32 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite ?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:40 PM on February 25, 2007

check out: lavamus
posted by gnutron at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2007

posted by enrevanche at 6:50 PM on February 25, 2007

emusic meets your 3 criteria. Personally I'm pretty content with emusic. They only have 2 Built to Spill albums though (Ultimate Alternative Wavers and The Normal Years ), so they fail that test.
posted by cmm at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2007

I don't supposed Amazon would work?

It looks like emusic should fit the bill:
FLEXIBILITY: eMusic's MP3 downloads give you flexibility.

* eMusic is the only major digital music service to deliver music in the universally compatible MP3 format--the most popular and versatile digital file format.

* eMusic is the only major digital music service that allows you to burn as many CDs as you like and copy downloads to an unlimited number of computers and portable MP3 players, including the iPod.

emusic FAQ
posted by niles at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2007

Right..I preview, and nothing shows up, and then I post, and everyone has the same idea. eh.

FWIW, this page has links to places to purchase "Built to Spill" albums/songs.
posted by niles at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2007

Bleep might be worth browsing. It's run by Warp Records, and aside from the usual high-quality electronic music associated with that label, they also carry some indie rock and hip-hop labels as well. It's all unrestricted mp3s (and some FLAC files for the purists). However, it's not a general purpose download site, so you won't find anything from any major label or outside of a handful genres (IDM, experimental, alt. hip-hop, indie and post rock, basically).
posted by cathodeheart at 6:59 PM on February 25, 2007

Just gonna through out the obligatory allofmp3 suggestion.

As difficult as it may be to actually get some credit on the site to buy songs, you can't beat the price.
posted by mrhaydel at 7:10 PM on February 25, 2007

Here's a decent article from USA Today describing emusic and its competitors. Summary: emusic doesn't have any music from the 4 major labels, which is why it can offer DRM-free downloads.

If you're thinking of buying stolen music from allofmp3, I suggest you just cut out the middleman and steal it yourself. Artists and labels receive none of the money you give to allofmp3.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:44 PM on February 25, 2007

Fifthing emusic...another option is to go ahead and buy through iTunes, burn your purchase to CD, and then rip the tracks into good ol' mp3 format. Sure, it's a little extra hassle, but you'll still end up with 1) a back-up of your purchase and 2) DRM-free files.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2007

You are aware there are workarounds for stripping iTunes DRM and ending up with regular MP3s? Depending on how you do it this is arguably a violation of the DMCA. Googling something like "strip itunes drm" (no quotes) turns up various options.
posted by nanojath at 7:51 PM on February 25, 2007


.... get the idea
posted by jmnugent at 8:03 PM on February 25, 2007

I find the best place to get rare indie stuff is just searching through mp3 blogs. You'll have to decide how you feel about illegal downloads (and whether you want to compensate the artist by paying for their music) but I find lots of out of print stuff on my favorite blogs.

Seeqpod is cool, too — you can search and build playlists and then share or download. However, these are gonna be pretty compressed mp3 files. The Hype Machine is also good but for some reason I can;t get to their site right now.
posted by Brittanie at 8:10 PM on February 25, 2007

Further... Built to Spill signed to Warner Brothers in I think '95 so nothing from then on will be legally for sale without DRM until the major labels pull their heads out (hint - don't hold breath).

Though the album you're interested in was their last independent label release (on Up Records) but it still doesn't appear to be available DRM free for legal download - if it was available anywhere it would be available on eMusic.

I don't know why these dips don't get the point, if you sell unencumbered CDs (and you can buy this CD directly from Up) it is just stupid not to sell plain MP3s, man, it just drives me crazy!
posted by nanojath at 8:19 PM on February 25, 2007

(this is available new on CD and on iTunes, you can't really call it rare...) Oh, and man, ikkyu2 is gonna yell at you kids with your alts and your binaries... Why in my day...
posted by nanojath at 8:22 PM on February 25, 2007

You should also check out Magnatune. They probably don't have the specific things you are looking for but the sell not only MP3s but also FLAC, WAV, OGG, and AAC. No DRM ever.
posted by chairface at 9:13 PM on February 25, 2007

Audio Lunchbox. It's the only online music store I've ever bought from, and I've been very happy with their product.
posted by Jimbob at 9:23 PM on February 25, 2007

I wouldn't necessarilly recommend puritycontrol's (mildly anti-eponysterical ) suggestion of burning DRM'd mp3's to CD, then re-ripping, they'll have been through the lossy compression mill twice that way, which is not a good thing. It'll probably still sound OK if you rip at the highest bitrate, but then you're taking up hard drive space with files that pretend to be a higher bitrate than they really are. Also, it would be nice for the DRM sellers to not get the business, so that they (hopefully) get the hint, but it sounds like you're fully aware of that.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:31 PM on February 25, 2007

posted by flabdablet at 11:21 PM on February 25, 2007

I'm with Niles. has a used copy of the cd for $5. Wait, maybe they're new copies for $5. Why not just buy it and rip it yourself?

Grab the artwork from wherever and you're done.

Piggy back question: Where can I see emusic's catalog before joining?
posted by sevenless at 11:24 PM on February 25, 2007

sevenless: Yeah, I imagine it's hard to see the emusic catalog w/o signing in. Try this link, see if you can get to the search bar and then you're set.
posted by special-k at 11:44 PM on February 25, 2007

One of the things I think is really dumb about eMusic is that they intentionally or unintentionally make browsing their collection as a non-user from their front page very obscure. Why not just start a free trial first! Come on, start a free trial? Free trial? You'll only have to enter forty four fields of data and a credit card, come one, twenty five songs free trial!

Browse their catalog here.
posted by nanojath at 12:09 AM on February 26, 2007

A caveat regarding emusic:

I was a member for a few years (2000-2002)until my bank issued me a new credit card due to the expiration of the old one. Rather than bouncing the rebill and sending me a notice that my card was no longer valid, emusic continued to attempt to bill me; for six months after my old card expired (mind you, my account was closed after they couldn't auto rebill).

After six months, I received a letter from a bill collector stating that I owed emusic 6 months of billing. I contacted emusic and they refused to budge. (A friend of mine ran into this same issue with them). I still haven't paid it.

Last March, I decided to try them out again. I canceled after the free 25 downloads. Over the last three months, I've been receiving notices from them telling me that they've been unable to charge my credit card.

While I think emusic has an awesome selection (they carry the entire Invisible Records catalog!!), I don't trust their billing practices. YMMV.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:25 AM on February 26, 2007

Best answer: You could just try The site provides an easy way to search for music with google. The amount of music stashed in public folders is not insignificant.
posted by turing_test at 3:38 AM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

It is reportedly possible to replenish your Allofmp3 balance by purchasing a "gift card" from Xrost and then redeeming that card. Google "alltunes xrost" and you will find instructions. It seems to have mixed results, but whether that is due to the process being unreliable or people being stupid is not clear to me, as I have not tried it myself.

G2P is very useful for very popular tracks, but for anything beyond the classics and the Top 40, it's not so good.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:01 AM on February 26, 2007 are similar to AllofMp3 but take Visa, etc. Same position re legality and their position may be tenuous.
posted by rongorongo at 4:55 AM on February 26, 2007

I was just going to chime in and say I've actually had very positive experiences with eMusic billing, though while a member. I had some confusion switching plans, and they more or less let me keep a fistful of download credits as recompense for a slightly confusing interface on the subscription page.

The selection is good, but not great. I am pretty sure you can search the catalog without being signed in.

"There's Nothing Wrong With Love" is not on there, but it's not actually rare either - Amazon carries it. If you're willing to buy from, I would say you might as well just buy the cd used somewhere and rip it.

as an aside, cat pie, it kind of sounds like you never actually cancelled the service, though if your account was disabled, they don't have any good reason to bill you
posted by mzurer at 8:32 AM on February 26, 2007

I've liked emusic so far (I've been a member for three weeks), if you like underground stuff it is great. For majors you won't find anything, but you probably won't find legit DRM-free versions of their stuff online anyways.
posted by drezdn at 10:59 AM on February 26, 2007

"Itunes will not work with my rio"

It won't? What happens when you try? Which Rio? Most of them should work fine with iTunes.

"If you're thinking of buying stolen music from allofmp3, I suggest you just cut out the middleman and steal it yourself. Artists and labels receive none of the money you give to allofmp3"

Uh, did you read the original post where the OP said allofmp3 isn't an option or did you just want to get your opinion of it in here anyway?
posted by drstein at 12:16 PM on February 26, 2007

iTunes can usually talk to a Rio okay, drstein, but as far as I know Fairplay-DRM-encoded iTunes Music Store tracks only work on iPods.
posted by nanojath at 2:28 PM on February 26, 2007

Oh, you meant the iTunes Music Store and not the iTunes application itself.

I see!
posted by drstein at 8:58 PM on February 27, 2007

Response by poster: whoof; still haven't found quite what I need, but this gives me an alternative to torrenting. Thanks especially for the g2p post. Thanks for all the help!
posted by wuzandfuzz at 10:49 PM on February 27, 2007

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