Is DRM dead? As more and more music sites sell unrestricted tracks, PC Advisor investigates the best places to download your favourite tunes.
Some web users will fondly remember Napster from before it became legit, but then the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had to go and ruin their fun. Napster has been in business as a legal download service for six years. As well as the subscription-based service that allows users to download tracks but not transfer them to digital audio players, you can simply buy as you go using Napster Light.
You can browse and even preview 30-second clips of the five million tracks available on the site, before deciding if you want to download the DRM-free WMA files for 79p each.
The tracks are available to download at either 128Kbps or 192Kbps format, and artists range from major-label superstars such as Britney Spears and Akon to indie artists including Mary Timony and The Gaslight Anthem.
However, there is a snag. While there's no problem burning the files to CD, they can only be transferred to digital audio players that support WMA. This immediately rules out the Apple iPod. If you don't own an iPod, the long list of compatible devices will almost certainly include your device.
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Music downloads index:
- DRM-free digital downloads
- Amazon MP3
- Amie Street
- Apple iTunes
- Audio Lunchbox
- CD Baby
- Limewire Store