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Where do you buy MP3s

karzac

(he/him)
I've decided that I don't want to use music streaming services and want to get back in the habit of buying albums digitally. Unfortunately, this seems to be easier said than done. Of course there's Bandcamp, and that's where I buy stuff when it's available, but there are plenty of artists who aren't on there. What do I do in those situations? Is iTunes the only option? What do I do about the DRM on those files? Am I correct that both Google and Amazon have mostly shuttered their MP3 marketplaces? Does anybody have any other solutions?
 

karzac

(he/him)
Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Amazon no longer sells MP3s in Canada. Or if they do, they hide it very well.
 

Krigo

AO Tennis no Kiseki
(he/him)
Yeah, Google closed down their MP3 marketplace a few months back. Really sucks, as I loved purchasing albums there.

As a Canadian, I've previously bought digital codes and game downloads from Amazon.com (the US site), are you able to buy MP3s there or do they stop you?
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
If an artist isn't on Bandcamp, the next place I check is their online merch store and/or record label to see if they're selling downloads directly.

I don't think I've bought anything from iTunes in over a decade, but they stopped using DRM in 2009.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Yeah, I get most of my albums through Bandcamp or iTunes. I've actually bought a few game soundtracks on Steam, too, but it isn't the most convenient way to have them. Sadly, Apple's store offers me the most advantages, because I can easily play anything I buy through them on my computer or any of the family's phones and iPads. But I try to get stuff from Bandcamp too, since they give a bigger cut to the artists. I also try to buy pretty much any album that I really like, since streaming revenue is so insignificant.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I also try to buy pretty much any album that I really like, since streaming revenue is so insignificant.
1000% this. Streaming revenue might as well not exist for the vast majority of artists, gotta buy the album if you want to support them.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
If an artist isn't on Bandcamp, the next place I check is their online merch store and/or record label to see if they're selling downloads directly.
Seconding this. Even big labels do this these days.

For a one-stop-shop, iTunes works well enough; I use it from time to time. The one issue I have with it is that they only sell files at 256kbps.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Seconding this. Even big labels do this these days.

For a one-stop-shop, iTunes works well enough; I use it from time to time. The one issue I have with it is that they only sell files at 256kbps.
Another reason Bandcamp is my go-to! I want my music available at full resolution, not compressed and lossy. Most artists or labels selling downloads directly will also offer you a choice of formats these days, which is nice.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Yeah, that's kind of a jerk move. At least it's one that seems to be on the way out as Bandcamp gains popularity.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Unless you have an EXTREMELY good stereo setup, I highly doubt you can tell the difference between a 256kbps mp3 and the uncompressed original audio.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
Unless you have an EXTREMELY good stereo setup, I highly doubt you can tell the difference between a 256kbps mp3 and the uncompressed original audio.
It's not about the sound itself (I don't actually listen to lossless), I'd just like to have the best-possible version of the files, for back-ups and archival purposes.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
And the ability to convert it into other formats without the specter of generational loss staring at you from the shadows.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
In terms of iTunes and DRM, I believe it is on an album by album basis. Like anything released or rereleased in the last decade is probably fine, but there is possibly still some old legacy stuff by more niche artists with DRM on them still.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Yeah, I discovered that the TMBG album I had bought back in 08 or 09 had DRM. But the rest of my music on there is fine.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Is iTunes required to download mp3s via Apple's music service? As a PC User I kind of hate the application, not out of partisanship but its genuinely terrible on non-apple computers.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Unless you have an EXTREMELY good stereo setup, I highly doubt you can tell the difference between a 256kbps mp3 and the uncompressed original audio.
Actually, I can, but I've been trained to since audio quality is a big part of my job. And since it's the kind of thing you can never unhear once you know what you're listening for, I don't want to listen to files that sound bad to me.

Yeah, I discovered that the TMBG album I had bought back in 08 or 09 had DRM. But the rest of my music on there is fine.
Not sure if you're specifically looking for this, but you can buy downloads of TMBG's entire catalog directly from them, FLAC or 320kbps MP3. Same price for both.
 
bandcamp is always first choice, then it's just kind of free for all for me. basically wherever i can find the file
 

Paul le Fou

ShrimpCerealTopangaHusbandIsAMeTooMilkshakeDuck
(He)
If they're not on bandcamp they don't deserve my money

nah just kiddin'

I've bought albums from Amazon before and downloaded them as mp3s while aggressively ignoring their Amazon Music memberships or programs or whatever, but it's been a pretty long time since I've even looked there, so I don't know if things have changed.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
Actually, I can, but I've been trained to since audio quality is a big part of my job. And since it's the kind of thing you can never unhear once you know what you're listening for, I don't want to listen to files that sound bad to me.
I can (and do) hang with MP3s, but they're kinda like playing video games exclusively using emulators. They give you a perfectly usable facsimile of the music, but from a preservationist standpoint I still want the legit, untouched originals available.

And thanks to the Universal Music Group fire, FLACs and CDs are as close as we're going to get to that anymore for a lot of classic American artists.
 

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)
Because of my musical tastes, I'm pretty much using Beatport, Juno Download, or Bandcamp to buy music.
 
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