Anyone buying mp3's online these days?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Tim K, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I am just wondering if anyone is buying mp3's (paying to download) online these days? I know most people use Kazaa or other programs to get them "free", but I am curious about paying to download music. Where are people getting their music legally?

    While I think that the music industry has done many, many illegal and unfair things in the last 10 years, I still have trouble justifying downloading pirated songs.

    Sure, CD's have been and continue to be overpriced, and the class action suit has done nothing to change that.
    Sure the RIAA is a dirty organization that buys legislation.
    Sure artists put out alot of CRAP...and I blame both artists and labels for that. Labels force artists to produce albums, artists complain about being rushed to create songs of "lesser quality", but they signed the contract...so who is to blame?

    Anyway, I can't bring myself to pay $18 for a 12 song CD that at best will have 2-3 good songs. I've always said (to myself at least) that I would pay for MP3's given the following:
    1) I am able to download pretty much any song I wanted (at say 192kbps or better)
    2) Streaming audio samples of any songs on any available albums for me to preview (at LEAST 30 secs if not the whole song)
    3) Song prices at $1 or less per song
    4) Unlimited ability to duplicate the MP3 onto CD's for use in my PC, Portable MP3 player, CD player, Car, Home Audio system, etc.

    So are there places that meet these requirements?
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I like iTunes. It meets your requirements except #4. While it doesn't give you *unlimited* ability, I think the limitations are reasonable. And it takes very little effort to overcome them (ie, change the song order).
     
  3. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    iTunes here as well although I find that there are some holes in the catalog.
     
  4. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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    I'm with Tim - I'd like to buy my music online but I haven't found a suiteable service yet.

    What format does iTune use? If not MP3 or WMA, can it be converted to one of those? I'd hate to make my current MP3 devices obsolete. Also, what restictions does iTune have in regards to moving the files between devices? I'm the kind of guy that likes to own things without any restrictions (which is why I buy DVDs).
     
  5. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as I can tell by doing my own research over the past couple of weeks, Apple iTunes is primarily and only AAC format. This is Apple specific and won't play on anything but IPOD.

    The 2 services that have interested me for MP3 or WMA are buymusic.com and Musicmatch Downloads. Both use WMA DRM files. The reason I've only looked at these are:
    1. Decent sized catalogues
    2. Allows for transfer to portables
    3. Allow Downloads (Some of the services, like Rhapsody, are only streaming and you can't download.)

    So the only thing that I'm struggling with before I decide to go with one or the other is the DRM security. Neither of the sites are clear on the file transfer policies.

    For me, I have a Zen Xtra, I want to be able to keep a copy on my PC HD and sync that with my Zen. If either of those drives fail, I want to be able to re-sync to a new drive. That way I always have a back up.

    I don't know, maybe I'm asking too much.
     
  6. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I recently signed up with Rhapsody, i really love the ease of use when looking for an artist and you can play any song on the fly (streaming)

    It burns cd for you as well at $0.79 a song, not too bad.

    They dont have every artist, but continually are adding new ones.

    It doesnt burn in mp3 however but in regular .wav, or .cda whatever it is for regular cd players.

    Its like $10 a month, ill try it for a while.
     
  7. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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    Once it gets burned to an audio CD, doesn't it lose all of the DRM info? There's nothing to stop me from buying an WMA with DRM, burning it to CD, and then re-ripping it back to WMA again w/o DRM, correct?

    What bitrate does Rhapsody support? I prefer 192kbps WMAs.
     
  8. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    iTunes will let you burn the AAC onto an unlimited number of CD-R's. The only portable device supported by iTunes is the iPod. iTunes may support MP3's if used on a PC, I wouldnt know, I have a Mac.
     
  9. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    AAC files can be convered to MP3s. Yes, once the cd is burned it's lost it's DRM so you can then rip the cd to MP3.

    I looked into MusicMatch's service and found it entirely too restrictive. The biggest problem I have is that you have to register each PC you use it on and are limited to 3. If you want to use the service on another PC you must deactivate one of your PCs. Once a PC is deactivated you can never use that PC again.

    Sorry, I have many PCs at home and no way in hell am I going to restrict myself to only 3 of them.
     
  10. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    So, I checked out iTunes and it seems pretty good. It lets me browse and listen to 30sec samples. Selection is good. $0.99 per song is fair.

    My question is about the files themselves. It seems they are AAC format which is Apple only.

    How would I combine these files and files I have ripped off of CD to create a CDR?
    How do I convert AAC to WMA?
    Can I convert AAC to MP3 or must I first convert to WMA then to MP3? This would allow me to load iTunes files onto my MP3 player.
    How good is the AAC quality? (ie what bitrate are the files equivalent too)
     
  11. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  12. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Is the allofmp3.com site legal? The website claims that they are legal (and I've seen them mentioned in a few news articles about legal MP3 download sites) but the pricing structure seems too generous.

    Is there a site that lists all the legal download sites?
     
  13. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    WIth Rhapsody you can have as many PC's as you like, but only one can access your Rhapsody account at any one time.

    Burned CD's can be copied to your harddrive and reburned if you like later, im not sure what bitrate Rhapsody uses as the files are not MP3 and burned directly to your CD.

    Is Itunes a subscription service? 30secs is sad [​IMG]
    Rhapsody lets you hear the complete song but it should, its a subscription service.

    I think you can use it free for 14-30 days depending on the coupon you might have, no coupon is 14 days.
     
  14. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    None of the services provide a DRM scheme that I find acceptable yet.

    If a record label wants to sell me a 320kbps mp3 for 0.99, I'll buy it. Until then, the control rests with me as an individual. I'm not going to lease music.
     
  15. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I'm very happy with iTunes (I've got it installed on 3 macs and 1 PC). The AAC files work great on my macs and ipods. Apple's DRM is simple; you can make a playlist containing an AAC file, and you can burn that playlist up to 10 times. After that, you need to modify the playlist so that you can burn the AAC file again. Try as I might, I can't think of a legimate reason to burn a single playlist more than a few times.

    The files also sound great, no complaints there. The rest of my CD collection has been compressed using LAME with the --alt-preset standard flags.
     
  16. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Not that any of you guys probably care, but none of the "pay" mp3 downloading software has ANY selection of J-Pop or J-Rock tunes.

    Until then, I gotta stick with getting songs the old fashioned way (preburned). Honestly though, I would go as far as importing a domestically-released CD if it meant the RIAA wouldn't get a penny. [​IMG]
     
  17. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    --alt-preset extreme
     
  18. Tim H

    Tim H Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been using iTunes exclusively for a few weeks. I have an iPod so it seems to be a good fit with that. I haven't bought a full album on there yet. So far it's just been singles (Howie Day, Annie Lennox) and some of the exclusive material. I'm too big a fan of artwork and packaging to go fully online with music purchases.

     

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