I would like to occasionally download music. Not often, but occasionally, I’ll think of a song and feel a hankering to hear it. Today, it’s “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. I would like to download this legally; I don’t want to just google for a ripped version of it. To that end, I’d like to find a good music downloading service and pay them my money, to reward them for being a good music downloading service. Good music services fulfil the following criteria, all of which are non-negotiable:
- I can download one track, instead of a whole album; I don’t want ten Nina Simone songs, I just want the one I’m looking for
- No DRM. None. I don’t mind what the format is, if there’s no DRM, as long as it can be played on Linux (which is pretty much everything). Bonus points for oggs. Half a bonus point for just plain mp3.
- A track costs a pound or less. I’m not paying more than a quid for one song.
- I feel comfortable putting my credit card number into the site. This means, in practice, that if it’s called something like mp3downloads.haxx0r.ru, I am not interested.
- I can just buy a song by putting my credit card number in and getting it for download. I don’t need to sign up for an account, give them all my details, none of that.
- My music tastes aren’t very eclectic, so I’d expect the service to carry most of what I’d want to listen to. This means that a service for one label alone isn’t really what I want. I don’t want to discover new music with this; I want to get the stuff I already know about and want to listen to.
- I’ll get, probably, about five songs a year. So a subscription service is out, especially since with most of them your music stops working when you unsubscribe.
Does anywhere like this exist? Tesco Downloads ships DRM-encumbered WMA files, which I’m not interested in. Yes, I could convert them to mp3 myself, but that’s not the point; I want to encourage a firm doing the right thing, and I’m interested to know whether it’s actually possible to download music legally without jumping through DRM hoops and giving away all my marketing information. Let me know.