DRM free me baby!
June 3, 2008 7:51 AM   Subscribe

How can I be sure I buy DRM free?

I'm trying to get away from buying actual CD's and there is a lot of good music coming out this month (and the rest of the summer) but how can I be sure what I am buying/downloading is DRM free? I have no preference where I buy from (historically itunes) I just want to be sure I can backup as much as I want (no software needed) or I'll have to turn to buying actual cd's.

So my question really is where can I go to be sure my legal downloads are DRM free and how can I make sure it is DRM free going fwd?
posted by doorsfan to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Buy from a service that refuses to use any DRM. I suggest emusic.com.
posted by dobbs at 7:58 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

Or Amazon Mp3.
posted by sharkfu at 7:59 AM on June 3, 2008

Amazon's new music download service is DRM-free. It's just mp3's.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:00 AM on June 3, 2008

There's a pretty cool DRM free music search engine at drmfree.org.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:00 AM on June 3, 2008

There might be others, but the only DRM free source that I'm certain about is CD Baby. A bonus is 91% of the entire price from downloads there go directly to the musicians. Their selection tends to lean more towards independent artists, however.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:02 AM on June 3, 2008

If it's electronic you're after (although they have plenty of other stuff) bleep.com is DRM-free.
posted by jontyjago at 8:05 AM on June 3, 2008

Best answer: Any MP3 you buy is DRM-free. Amazon has MP3s, ITunes Plus uses MP3s, Napster has MP3s, eMusic has MP3s.
posted by gramcracker at 8:06 AM on June 3, 2008

iTunes Plus does NOT use MP3s. It uses MP4 - aka AACs.

They're still DRM-free, mind you, as free as any MP3.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:24 AM on June 3, 2008

Huzzah for CD Baby. I think they're great.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 8:38 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've been really happy with the selection, quality and overall experience at the Amazon MP3 Store, and their MP3 Downloader is available for Linux as well as PC and Mac.
posted by quarterframer at 9:18 AM on June 3, 2008

Many of the options have already been mentioned, but we have a Guide to DRM-free Living at http://defectivebydesign.org/guide. Might be helpful.
posted by johnsu01 at 11:16 AM on June 3, 2008

Response by poster: Great suggestions all! I'll have to check out those sites other than amazon and itunes plus.
posted by doorsfan at 11:32 AM on June 3, 2008

Magnatune is also DRM-free, plus they have multiple formats you can download, and you name your own price (to an extent, anyway).
posted by dirigibleman at 11:46 AM on June 3, 2008

One suggestion with emusic... Use google to search the site for tracks ("site:emusic.com whatever track or group you're searching for") as it can be hard to search for non-subscribers.
posted by drezdn at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2008

wal*mart has mp3s for sale online. But, they told me I should "upgrade" to XP (from Ubuntu!), so that's not an option for non-Windows users.
posted by philomathoholic at 2:21 PM on June 3, 2008

both Rhapsody and Napster at this point allow you to buy MP3s in addition to their on-demand streaming business.
posted by softlord at 10:34 PM on June 3, 2008

I wouldn't use emusic personally, they're spam-a-licious,

an email address i used only for them (emusic@mydomain...) regularly receives spam, and not just newsletters but full on herbal viagra etc.

Any UK/European suggestions? I'd love to use amazon, but it's currently US only...
posted by tanc at 7:03 AM on June 4, 2008

tanc: I loved emusic and didn't have any problems with spam. Maybe a spammer was able to guess you email address.
posted by vegetableagony at 10:07 AM on June 12, 2008

vegetableagony: tanc isn't the only one who feels that emusic spams them.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:12 AM on June 13, 2008

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