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Music download pay-sites: recommendations / news / discussion [PART 2]

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Music download pay-sites: recommendations / news / discussion [PART 2]

Old 02-14-05, 11:57 AM
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Music download pay-sites: recommendations / news / discussion [PART 2]

Hi, I bought my daughter a Mini Ipod for Xmas. She wants to download music now. for her birthday I would like to pay for her to use Napster or ITunes. Can anyone offer some advice on which to choose? Are they the same? Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
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Old 02-14-05, 12:16 PM
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Napster only allows you to rent music, you're paying a monthly $15 fee. Stop paying, your music stops working. Oh, and it doesn't work with an iPod.

iTunes Music Store is a purchase, sort of thing. However, it basically only works with iPod's, it won't work on other players unless you take special efforts.

My suggestion is to find a good music store and buy used CD's instead. Cheaper, better quality. Rip them into iTunes and then put them on the player from there.

If you really must buy music online, then use the iTunes Music Store or allofmp3.com (russian site but very cheap.. basically 10 cents a song or so, depending on the song).
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Old 02-14-05, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Napster only allows you to rent music, you're paying a monthly $15 fee. Stop paying, your music stops working.

!!! That's unbelievable. They should just go out of business immediately.

I use iTunes occasionally and giving her a gift certificate would be a pretty cool thing, but you could also (as was suggested above) take her used CD shopping. That could be fun too.
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Old 02-14-05, 12:34 PM
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That's Napster to go. Unless I missed something you can still buy songs for .99 cents each from napster if you opt not to enroll in the to go program.
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Old 02-14-05, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
If you really must buy music online, then use the iTunes Music Store or allofmp3.com (russian site but very cheap.. basically 10 cents a song or so, depending on the song).
Seconded.
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Old 02-14-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Gil Jawetz
!!! That's unbelievable. They should just go out of business immediately.
Hells yes! Round up those idiots at Blockbuster too! The nerve to charge me to rent all those movies, and then I have to return them!

In all seriousness though, Napster Regular (9.99/mo) is good if you live in a dorm or something and your computer is the main source of music. Napster to Go (14.99/mo) is good if you have an mp3 player like Zen Micro. iTunes is the best if you can afford the iPod and songs.
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Old 02-14-05, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Triple S
In all seriousness though, Napster Regular (9.99/mo) is good if you live in a dorm or something and your computer is the main source of music. Napster to Go (14.99/mo) is good if you have an mp3 player like Zen Micro. iTunes is the best if you can afford the iPod and songs.
Can you burn the Napster songs to CDR?

They can't stop you from listening to them once you put them on your mp3 player.
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Old 02-14-05, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Can you burn the Napster songs to CDR?

They can't stop you from listening to them once you put them on your mp3 player.
You got to pay the standard .99 per song to burn/own.

Somebody could explain the technical schematics on Napster to Go better than I can, but the bottom line is that the WMA files have an experation date on them so that you won't just buy one month of service, stuff the player, and quit.
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Old 02-14-05, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
...
They can't stop you from listening to them once you put them on your mp3 player.
Not true. Napster-to-go uses the latest Microsoft DRM. It prevents the songs from playing unless you keep paying your monthly sub. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but I imagine the songs have a built-in expiration date and you need to sync the MP3 player up to the PC/internet periodically to reconfirm your subscription.

It's just a music rental model, as opposed to music sales. Not for everyone, but an alternative for some.
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Old 02-14-05, 03:23 PM
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Why the hell would anyone want to rent music?
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Old 02-14-05, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cdollaz
Why the hell would anyone want to rent music?
I guess it's ok for someone that gets sick of music easily and just wants to listen to new stuff all the time. Then the fee gives you instant access to thousands of songs whenever you want.

Doesn't apply to me though. My tastes are fairly narrow and I want to own the music I love to listen to over and over.
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Old 02-14-05, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Triple S
You got to pay the standard .99 per song to burn/own.
Isn't it just an mp3? Can't you just burn the mp3 you download to CDR?

They just lost a sale to me though. I definitely can't go w/ Napster if you're just "renting" the songs. If it's a popular song I want, I'll just tape if off the radio and burn it to CDR.

Also, how's Napster's collection? If I want to check out a song from the new Queers album, or the Methadones, or the new Backyard Babies, am I going to be able to find it?

Do they have live concerts on there? Like the '04 Pixies shows? Or the Donnas live on Boston on the last tour?

I guess maybe I would go with Napster if I could just check out stuff like that. Before Lars killed Napster, I bought so many CDs because of it was so easy to check out new bands.

Last edited by nodeerforamonth; 02-14-05 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 02-14-05, 05:26 PM
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If your daughter has an iPod mini, I would have to give the edge to the iTunes Music Store. She already has the iTunes software for synching her iPod, so it'll be the easiest to use. The AAC format also sounds noticably better than MP3s encoded at the same bitrate (actually, a 128kbs AAC sounds better to me than a 162kbs MP3). The songs won't be playable on most other portable devices, but they'll play on her computer with a variety of software and you can easily convert them to WAV for burning to CD (which will sound better than files converted from MP3).
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Old 02-14-05, 06:15 PM
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I have an ipod and use itunes and only have two gripes. 1- some well-known artists don't appear on itunes, such as metallica (depends on the band). 2- the files you buy are 'protected'. this means they only play on up to a certain number of ipods and PCs. but it does keep music from shifting around on the internet illegaly, which is what the industry wants.

but there are MANY good things about iTunes. the search queries are extremely helpful.. can't remember the name of a band but remember the name of the song (or the opposite) type it in and the band's name appears.. also, type in the name of a band and get the top downloaded songs by that artist. that helps find the 'greatest hits' by the band, and i always end up finding another song or two by the band i either forgot about, or a new song that appeals to me. there are also "customers who bought this song also bought...." to help find similar artists, awesome for expanding your collection. also, you can burn unlimited CDs with the music you buy, and they play in any capable CD player. and of course, itunes and ipod were made for each other, and sync very efficiently.
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Old 02-14-05, 10:54 PM
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If your daughter's tastes aren't geared toward the mainstream/Top 40 scene, I can't recommend http://www.emusic.com enough. Prices are MUCH cheaper than iTunes and the other "biggie" stores, and the sound quality of the MP3 files blows everyone except allofmp3.com out of the water. You can get a free trial if you enter your credit card information - you will not be billed if you cancel before the trial period ends.

It's sad that the most popular MP3 sites also have the lousiest-sounding files.
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Old 02-15-05, 01:52 AM
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I prefer the used cd route myself, but I'll throw in another vote for itunes. It's got about everything your daughter would probably want. As far as the files being protected, it doesn't take much work to record an audio cd from the songs, and then reimport them as unprotected files.

Napster doesn't get a thumbs up from me at all. From the aforementioned Napster-to-Go being rental and unuseable on the ipod, to the .99 songs. If you are going to pay .99 for a song, why not do it with the program you already have installed for your ipod?
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Old 02-15-05, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
Isn't it just an mp3? Can't you just burn the mp3 you download to CDR?
No, it's not an MP3. It's a WMA, Microsoft's music format. It's DRM protected using their latest Media Player 10 DRM. So you can't burn it to CD unless you pay the 99 cents. And if you put it on one of those new portable players with the "Plays For Sure" logo (the only kind it'll work on), it'll eventually stop playing without you periodically resyncing the player to the PC. And when you stop paying the monthly fee, all the downloaded music expires and is useless.

That's the whole backbone of the new Windows Media 10 DRM. The "Plays For Sure" logo is Microsoft's new certification program that verifies that the player works with the Windows Media 10 DRM, meaning that when you stop paying, the music stops working everywhere, not just on your PC.

They just lost a sale to me though. I definitely can't go w/ Napster if you're just "renting" the songs.
Well, that Napster's whole business model now. You can pay the $10 a month to play only on the computer, the $15 a month to also be able to put the music on a portable player, and still have to buy the tracks for 99 cents when you want to burn them to a CD.
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Old 02-15-05, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by WillySi7
I have an ipod and use itunes and only have two gripes. ... 2- the files you buy are 'protected'. this means they only play on up to a certain number of ipods and PCs.
Five PC's, no limit on the number of iPod's. And if even that is too restrictive for you, or if you want to play the music on some other device that supports M4A music (unprotected AAC), then google for "JHymn" to unprotect it. JHymn will remove all the protection, however don't use this to then share the files, because the unprotected files can still be traced back to you.
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Old 02-15-05, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Gil Jawetz
I use iTunes occasionally and giving her a gift certificate would be a pretty cool thing, but you could also (as was suggested above) take her used CD shopping. That could be fun too.
I also just discovered www.yourmusic.com which is kind of a different concept.

Basically it's a subscription service. You sign up, and they charge you $5.99 a month. For that $5.99 a month, they send you a CD off a list of CD's that you create on their webpage. So you get a new CD every month off a list you build. The catch is that if your list is empty, you get nothing and they still charge you the $5.99. So you gotta keep your list full of CD's. You can also purchase CD's at $5.99 each, straight up, once you have a subscription.

Saw this one over in the Zeppelin thread, because they're offering the Zeppelin box set for $60 (instead of the more normal $120 or so). So it appear to be $6 a disc regardless of the normal price of the sets, even with box sets from various artists.

I haven't signed up, but it could be a good deal. Just read the fine print.
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Old 02-15-05, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Five PC's, no limit on the number of iPod's. And if even that is too restrictive for you, or if you want to play the music on some other device that supports M4A music (unprotected AAC), then google for "JHymn" to unprotect it. JHymn will remove all the protection, however don't use this to then share the files, because the unprotected files can still be traced back to you.
JHymn removes all traces of the DRM as far as I know. Hymn left "atoms" in the file that showed the files origins.
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Old 02-15-05, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
I also just discovered www.yourmusic.com which is kind of a different concept.
I saw that. Kind of interesting sounding...
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Old 02-15-05, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Five PC's, no limit on the number of iPod's. And if even that is too restrictive for you, or if you want to play the music on some other device that supports M4A music (unprotected AAC), then google for "JHymn" to unprotect it. JHymn will remove all the protection, however don't use this to then share the files, because the unprotected files can still be traced back to you.
Still an unwarranted hassle IMO, compared to just buying cds which comes out equal or less than the .99 cents a song /9.99 an album.

Moot point for me as I don't have an iPod and no way I'd hassle to unprotect and convert to mp3 every file I bought to put on my Dell DJ and Creative MuVo.
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Old 02-15-05, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
If you really must buy music online, then use the iTunes Music Store or allofmp3.com (russian site but very cheap.. basically 10 cents a song or so, depending on the song).
Is this allofmp3.com legit or is it a legal end-around? I've heard about these Russian sites before but I've done no research or visited any yet.
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Old 02-15-05, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jray
Is this allofmp3.com legit or is it a legal end-around? I've heard about these Russian sites before but I've done no research or visited any yet.
Yeah id like to know if this is legal as well. Anyone know?
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Old 02-15-05, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Hinkle
Still an unwarranted hassle IMO, compared to just buying cds which comes out equal or less than the .99 cents a song /9.99 an album.

Moot point for me as I don't have an iPod and no way I'd hassle to unprotect and convert to mp3 every file I bought to put on my Dell DJ and Creative MuVo.
Its a tradeoff. You put up with the hassle (and Apple has managed to be the only company to come up with anything acceptable) in exchange for having instant access and a saved trip to the record store (where they probably won't have what you want anyhow).

And you only need to convert files you bought from iTMS. It takes about 30 seconds. What files can you buy without DRM that can go on a Dell DJ?
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