Legal mp3s - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Legal mp3s
Monday, 13 March 2006 at 09:49 pm
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Today is Purim, when Jews are supposed to: get drunk, read the Biblical book of Esther, cross dress, give charity (specifically, small change to beggars; other kinds of charity are a general good thing, but not particularly associated with Purim), and give gifts to friends, traditionally edible ones.

This year, I have failed to go to the purim party cos my mother doesn't really like purim, and had just done a big teaparty for all the old people in the community so she didn't feel like going out this evening. I am not drunk, but I only very rarely get drunk on purim; it's not one of the commandments that I find most personally meaningful. But I would like to give gifts and charity. pthalogreen had this very cool idea of celebrating a Bahai gift-giving festival (that I can't spell) by giving all her friends list mp3s, and I want to copy this idea.

The trouble is that I don't want to take part in illegal filesharing. Partly because I personally believe that artists should get financial rewards for their work, and partly because, well, it wouldn't be very appropriate to celebrate Purim by giving stolen gifts! So what I originally planned was that for every mp3 I uploaded, I would make sure to buy a legitimate copy of that mp3. However, I can't find a way to buy mp3s that doesn't involve dodgy business practices. I don't want to use a subscription service, because I want to own the mp3s permanently, not pay a stupid amount per month to "rent" them. And I don't want to pay to download mp3s in a way that requires me to install lots of icky software on my computer, and which can only be played using a particular proprietary program, and which has all kinds of restrictions built in on making even perfectly legal copies for personal use.

So I'm asking my knowledgeable friends list: is it even possible to do what I want, namely: pay a sensible price to an above-board company (who will then pass on the appropriate licensing fee to the musician), in exchange for being allowed to download a normal, unadulterated mp3 file? If this isn't possible, what I might do is give away my own (normal) mp3s from various sources, which technically isn't legal but I don't feel too bad about it, and also buy a legit copy with DRM so that the artist gets their fair share. But not bother to actually use it, because it's too much of a nuisance.


Whereaboooots: Shelford, Cambridge, UK
Moooood: goodgood
Tuuuuune: Green Day: Basket case
Discussion: 14 contributions | Contribute something
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leora: ouroboros
From:leora
Date:March 13th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
23 minutes after journal entry, 02:49 pm (leora's time)
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I hadn't realized it was Purim. Happy Purim. Purim is one of the holidays I like more. I like the idea of a holiday where you're nice to others and help out those in need. but also have fun and celebrate life.
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ursamajor: default
From:ursamajor
Date:March 13th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
25 minutes after journal entry, 05:51 pm (ursamajor's time)
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I'd be interested if you hear of one, but afaik, the only files that really fit your specifications are ones the artists in question have freely shared on their own official websites. And there, they're not directly profiting; they're trusting that if you like what you've seen, you'll shell out the money to go see them in concert or buy a CD.

There are a few mp3.com-esque places such as http://www.epitonic.com and http://mp3.washingtonpost.com and http://www.phoenixbandguide.com that require you to give them an email address, but otherwise leave you alone. But even less here do I think the bands themselves directly profit. Indirectly, perhaps, by dint of exposure.
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ursamajor: default
From:ursamajor
Date:March 13th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
27 minutes after journal entry, 05:54 pm (ursamajor's time)
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And Purim Sameach to you! :)
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rho: default
From:rho
Date:March 13th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
29 minutes after journal entry, 10:55 pm (rho's time)
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I asked a similar question a whie back, and the answers that I got weren't encouraging. That I could find, my options in downloading music were either:

Flat out illegal
Probably illegal and definitely dodgy Russian sites
DRM
Artists I've never heard of

So I decided that I'd just carry on with buying CDs for now, which isn't really very helpful for your situation.
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pocketnovel: default
From:pocketnovel
Date:March 13th, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
40 minutes after journal entry, 03:06 pm (pocketnovel's time)
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I use iTunes--which does give you the tracks in a proprietary format, but there's a workaround. I download the tracks in icky iTunes protected format, burn them all to a CD, and then rip them back onto my computer in nice, normal MP3 form. Hardly ideal, but still better than paying $10 a month to rent a song, I suppose.
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From:menin_aeide
Date:March 13th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
49 minutes after journal entry
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Calabash Music is a very nice site for download of world music in non-icky MP3 format. And you can give vouchers to friends.
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(no subject) - monanotlisa (3/13/06 11:30 pm)
timeplease: default
From:timeplease
Date:March 13th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Magnatune does this. (And you can also download OGGs and FLACs for higher quality; all of these are free from DRM.)

But it only does it for artists who have signed up with Magnatune, which gives you an interesting selection of music which is generally very good but not necessarily exactly what you were looking for. (Anyone signed to a 'mainstream' label is unlikely to be able to sign up with Magnatune, because they'll already have signed their life away.)
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:March 14th, 2006 10:21 am (UTC)
11 hours after journal entry
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Magnatune's classical rep is wonderful, featuring excellent "mainstream" artists - Paul Agnew's Dowland lute-songs for instance...
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synergetic: default
From:synergetic
Date:March 14th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I'm also very interested in this question so if you get an answer I'd like to know. I have a large mp3 collection from a mispent youth and I would legitemise it if someone would let me do so in a way that's faster than CDs.

Currently the best bet for what you want is iTunes where you can download the song and then rip the DRM out using HYMN (Hear My Music Now). Technically illegal but the best option available as of now.
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gnimmel: default
From:gnimmel
Date:March 14th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
14 hours after journal entry, 12:38 pm (gnimmel's time)
(Link)
emusic (I'm guessing at the url) is good for getting mp3s -- the downside is that the selection is limited to those labels who don't mind people getting mp3s of their songs, of course.
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blue_mai: default
From:blue_mai
Date:March 14th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry, 03:26 pm (blue_mai's time)
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i wish i could be helpful here, as i feel i _should_ be able to.. but actually...
i buy hardcopy only. but i do download a lot of legal, free mp3s. you might feel that it's a problem that no money goes back to the artists - but basically a lot of labels and artists see it as good promotion - so you could too, ie. you give someone a free mp3, they might like it, and go out and buy the cd.
another problem is that free downloads are often not great quality - cos their intention is as a taster, rather than a quality product - some labels do it deliberately, most just compress to save space and speed downloading.

i dont know anywhere that's like a massive music store - i go direct to labels/bands own websites.

myspace is an obvious place to look - lots of smaller bands especially let you download up to 4 tracks, but the quality's usually pretty poor (crude compression).

emusic and magnatune have already been mentioned..

so some non-obscure labels:

saddlecreek (label to bright eyes, the faint, rilo kiley, cursive) has a couple of songs by each artist, good quality. (go to "downloads" under each band's profile)

subpop (label to loads and loads of mostly american mainstream indie and rock such as mudhoney) go to "multimedia"

english indie label track and field (home to broken family band, dressy bessy, saloon)

you can buy good quality mp3s of full discographies, in exactly the manner you're looking for (no registration required etc), from Kompakt, a german label. they have a lot of artists, but it's all in the electro, house, techno area, though they do have pop leanings. (i havent done it myself, but i can't find some of their things on cd, so i checked it out and i will probably buy some downloads at some point)

interestingly, 4AD (home to lush, cocteau twins, lisa germano, the birthday party, the breeders) sells the same format downlaods as itunes - but without the DRM. (i find the website awkward - but at least i know most of the artists..)

wasn't really aware of the issues, in background reading came across this interesting article about the problems libraries face.
and this came up too - the swedish "pirate party"?!

i guess if you have specific songs in mind, then just check their/ their label's site. majors will be a problem though.

good luck
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:March 14th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry, 04:17 pm (lethargic_man's time)

Legal acquisition of music in alternative formats

(Link)
This is a good question, and has prompted me to post with a similar request of my own, which, for maximum exposure, I will quote here:
In the wake of livredor's question as to where one can get legal protection-free mp3s, I have a similar question:

Like synergetic, I had a misspent youth acquiring tracks by dodgy means; but am now buying back legal copies of everything. I'm 95% of the way through buying back my album collection, and seven tenths of the way through buying back individual tracks, but, having bought back all the easy-to-gets, I've got to the point where I can't find compilation CDs any longer with enough tracks I'm interested in on to justify buying them. (I'd like to stick to £1 a track, though I'm prepared to stretch that to £2 depending on the track.)

So, my question is: Is there somewhere where one can order bespoke compilation CDs (i.e. of pretty much any moderately-well known track that has ever been available on CD)? Again, the same restrictions apply in re legality. I once did come across a service that was offering something like this, but they only had a couple of thousand tracks or so; i.e. recent chart music, which was insufficient for what I was after.
Anyone able to help me out here?
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:August 30th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
169 days after journal entry, 09:43 pm (lethargic_man's time)
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Looks like Wippit sell un-DRMed mp3s too. (Heard about them on an article on the BBC site, have so far read their FAQ but not had a chance to investigate further.)
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