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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.

Jamendo

jamendo.com

This community-based site differs from others on our list in that the music is absolutely free. That's right: no subscriptions; no per-track cost; no album download fee; and no limitations. The catch? You probably haven't heard of most artists on the site. Top 40 this isn't, but that's why Jamendo is so fun. You can find everything from Chilean folk pop and Italian metal to the next big indie hip-hop star.

Listen online to any song and download it either directly from the site (in MP3 format) or through BitTorrent servers (where you can find MP3 and Ogg Vorbis formats). This site is completely legal because its artists use Creative Commons licences - the same licenses used by Flickr, Deviantart and other content-sharing sites.

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More than 150,000 tracks are currently available at Jamendo as 192Kbps MP3s or 220Kbps Ogg Vorbis files.

Members of Jamendo can get their hands on more than just music. Users can create a personal space, similar to your MySpace or Facebook profile, on which you can publish playlists of your favourite music and even invite your friends to join and then share music with them. You can even write and publish reviews of the albums you've listened to. It may not be mainstream, but it'll certainly encourage you to broaden your musical horizons.

NEXT PAGE: LiveDownloads

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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