07 May 2007


How can it be so difficult to legally buy a song online?

Here's the challenge- find a service to download a song. It has to be adhere to the following standards:

  • Encoded in a standard format (no iTunes m4p), and works on a music player (xmms/vlc/banshee), so music should be a legit (read: standard) sound format

  • Doesn't need an application to interface with the service. (Haven't we been using a browser to search/sort/browse/download fairly well?)

  • Gives me the same flexibility as a CD would: I can back it up, rip to my computer, make copies for my use.

After a day or two of fruitless searching, I found a couple of candidates: mp3tunes, and maybe emusic. But, both seem to be indie-label oriented.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious here, and there really is an easy way to do what I want to do: get music legally without being encumbered by some third party software. At the moment, the only viable avenues I seem to have are:

  • hit the P2P clouds and "acquire" my music

  • buy a CD and be legal, but land up paying extra for tracks I don't want

I'm not going to hit the P2P could (I have a wife and dog to think about), but perhaps it answers why so many people do lean that way. I know I'd gladly pay a buck a song if I could get it on my terms- but alas, that seems impossible at the moment.

Perhaps the RIAA won't issue a license to someone that wants to provide music in a fairly open way. Perhaps no one has thought of that yet? Is it illegal? I don't know. Have you had better luck finding music online?

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