Well, I know there are a lot of people that pirate music, but I am not one of them. I like to buy my music, especially when I know I am supporting an artist I enjoy. I thought I would make a thread as a resource for everyone here on sites to buy music from online.
To start off, here is a list of legal music providers certified by musicunited.org:
Amazon.com AOL Music Apple's iTunes Music Store Artist Direct AudioCandy BestBuy BET BuyMusic.com Catsmusic CD Baby Circuit City College Concerts Compact Disc World Corner CD Dimples Music Electric Fetus Emusic Exitos Musical French Pro-Music Full Audio's MusicNOW FYE Gallery of Sound German Pro-Music iMesh Independent Record Instavid Latin Noise Lifeway LiquidAudio Mainstreet Millennium Music MIRA Coalition MP3.com Musicmatch Music Millennium MusicNet@AOL Music Rebellion Napster Netscape Music New World Record Passalong Peer Impact Pro-Music Quonset Hut RasputinMusic RealNetworks' Rhapsody Record and Tape Trader Rolling Stone Ruckus Sam Goody Sony Connect Spinner Streamwaves Top Hits Music Tower Records Wal-Mart Windows Media Yahoo Music Unlimited
Here is a list of DRM-Free Music Providers with short descriptions:
DRM= Digital Rights Management, i.e. an mp4 from Itunes.
eMusic is among the top digital music services, selling millions of downloads each month and offering a diverse catalog of over 2 million tracks from established and emerging artists in every genre from the world's top independent labels. Unlike other services that restrict what you can do with your music, eMusic allows members complete flexibility to burn CDs, transfer to MP3 devices and make multiple copies for personal use. eMusic subscription plans are also extrememly affordable, with per track costs that are a fraction of what you'd pay for music on other major digital music stores
Emusic is my favorite music provider personally...
Audio Lunchbox: www.audiolunchbox.com Looks to have a pretty good selection of indie bands. Plus some not-so-indie artists like Bob Marley, Sloan, Hot Hot Heat... Only mp3 192kbps VBR format. Would love to try it out but only available in the USA so to hell with them.
Livedownloads: www.livedownloads.com/ Professionally mastered recordings of live performances from a number of bands. Also some studio recordings for some bands. Primarily jambands like Widespread Panic and The String Cheese Incident but also a growing number of bands not traditionally associated with the jamband scene such as Gomez, The Go! Team, Iron & Wine (to name a few). Both mp3 and FLAC format - although you must understandably pay more for FLAC. A good choice if you'd like higher quality than is available from the free etree or EZTorrent
Live Phish: www.livephish.com/ Similar to the above but only for the now-defunct band Phish as well as current projects of former members - for example Vida Blue. Trey Anastasio studio albums are also available. mp3 and FLAC format.
The Philadelphia Orchestra music store: www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com/ Similar in concept to the above two music stores, with both live and studio music from - you guessed it - The Philadelphia Orchestra. mp3 and FLAC.
Magnatune: magnatune.com/ mp3 format only. A number of relatively obscure bands in a wide number of genre's, with some very liberal licencing policies. I like the integration with Amarok.
All of Mp3: allofmp3.com Just about everything an online music store should be, except for the questionable legality. A huge selection, in a wide variety of customizable formats (mp3, ogg vorbis, flac). The legality has been debated long and loud - just google for more information. I'm not interested in rehashing any of it except to say this - none of the money paid by customers to Allofmp3 for music ends up in the hands of the artists. However this is not because the royalties are not made available to them - royalties are paid by Allofmp3 to the Russian ROMS where they are made available to the artists or record labels. The recording industry refuses to claim the royalties from the ROMS because it would legitimize Allofmp3s business model which they are very much against (because they can't control it). Make your own decision about whether or not to use it. Personally when I pay money for music it's to support the artists, not the music store, not the record labels and not the Russian government - so from that perspective, whether Allofmp3 is legal or not, I don't really see how it's any better than piracy.
The major record labels would like to combat piracy on college campuses via peer-to-peer networks. Ruckus Network has been authorized by major record labels to offer a catalog of nearly 2.5 million tracks for free to anyone with a dot-edu email address.
The music library is really good. You can't download .mp3's obviously, but you download a ruckus song file that plays in the Ruckus player. If nothing else, you can listen to whole songs from a library of 2.5 million songs. Thats about it, but I use Ruckus to preview albums before I buy them, its a really cool site, and it is totally legal.