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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music mp3 service suggestions?
mp3 service suggestions?
purple jade
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 1450
From: New Orleans
Posted: 2005-11-28 12:16 pm   Permalink

(Mods, please move if not proper forum)

I've been thinking, since I lost a truckload of CDs and downloaded music from blogs like bellybongo and such, that eventually I'd subscribe to a legal mp3 service.
Any suggestions as to which one would offer the best selections?

Really not interested in the latest Hillary Duff jam...


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-11-28 1:20 pm   Permalink

Hi PJ -

It's always nice to hear from you again! I hope things are going better for you.

I did a little research on this. There are 3 main subscription sites for music that allow unlimited downloads for a small monthly fee: Rhapsody, Napster, and Yahoo Music. iTunes is not subscription, meaning you have to pay for every file you download.

I started by reading the reviews on Cnet.com. I liked the idea of Rhapsody to Go and Napster to Go that let you use the music on your desktop and a portable device.

http://reviews.cnet.com/Napster_30/4505-3669_7-31302303.html?tag=coco

http://reviews.cnet.com/Rhapsody_30/4505-3513_7-20050753.html?tag=coco


In comparing the 3 sites, I searched for albums that I've been wanting to get. Most were fairly obscure, some new bands but mostly old, and not on major labels. I found that Napster had the most that I wanted for downloading, followed second by Rhapsody, and last was Yahoo. Some albums required purchase but most didn't. Napster is excellent for old blues, jazz, lounge, and pop standards. They were pretty good for classic punk and new bands. They're not so good for rockabilly and 60s garage. In 2 or 3 weeks I've downloaded hundreds of albums. One example: they have the complete box set of Ella Fitzgerald songbooks for download (a box set that sells for over $150). And they had all 10 volumes of Bob Will's and the Texas Playboys' Tiffany Transcriptions.

I signed up for Napster to Go which for $15/mo gives you unlimited downloads and transfers to a portable device (iPODS are not supported). This is another reason why I picked Napster. I got it to work with my Dell Axim which was a bit tricky as it's not a supported device.

There are some drawbacks with the subscription services. 1. iPods only work with iTunes because of Mac's strict protection schemes so that more people will use iTunes. 2. Napster only works with Windows XP computers w/Windows Media Player 9 or higher. 3. You can't burn the tracks to CDs unless you buy them. 4. If you cancel your subscription you can no longer access the files unless you buy them. You are only borrowing them (like from a library) to listen to. 5. The software and/or web sites are sometimes slow and clunky. iTunes is easier to use.

If you think these restrictions are too much, you could just buy music online. The cheapest service is probably Yahoo Music.

Another alternative is eMusic. They claim to have a large selection of independent labels. I found some stuff I was looking for here, but not a lot. No SST label stuff? They practically invented the indie label. Also, you have to pay for each album. It starts at $9.99 for 40 songs, which is cheaper than most pay sites. And it works with iPods.


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-11-28 1:23 pm   Permalink

Also, all sites offer a free trial so you can check them all out before you pay.

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2005-11-28 2:58 pm   Permalink

More and more music blogs are popping up every day, where people share mp3s of records in their collections for downloading for a limited time. I've got a list in Bloglines.com of some that I could send to you. Once you find one music blog it often has many links to other ones that will keep you busy listening for hours. And it's all free.

 
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