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11 music download sites compared

DRM-free digital downloads

Is DRM dead? As more and more music sites sell unrestricted tracks, PC Advisor investigates the best places to download your favourite tunes.

CD Baby


This online record store sells albums by independent musicians in both CD and MP3 format. You can browse CD Baby's collection by genre or mood (or both), or use its Discover Music search engine to find something new. We typed ‘dark' and ‘stormy' into the search box and CD Baby pulled up a couple of albums with short descriptions and listed similar artists. The site's Search by Location and Sound Like features also impressed, allowing us to find new music in our area or find similar music to that produced by our favourite artists.

Artists set their own prices at CD Baby, so prices can vary depending on artist and album length. Expect to pay between $1 (66p) and $9.99 (£6.66). It's important to note that you can't buy individual MP3s on CD Baby, but a catalogue of 192,542 albums is available. Files are encoded using the LAME codec and are available to download at 192Kbps VBR quality.

Note that CD Baby's delivery time from the US can take up to 30 days. We'd stick to its digital downloads.


Music downloads index:

  1. DRM-free digital downloads
  2. Amazon MP3
  3. Amie Street
  4. Apple iTunes
  5. Audio Lunchbox
  6. Bleep
  7. CD Baby
  8. eMusic
  9. Jamendo
  10. LiveDownloads
  11. Napster
  12. 7Digital
  13. Limewire Store

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