MP3s Without Subscriptions Attached

Rommel asked the Music & Video Software where to buy MP3s without a monthly subscription fee.

The obvious place to look is Amazon.com's MP3 Store. There you'll find a very wide selection of new, old, famous, and obscure tunes. You have to have an Amazon account, of course, but you only have to pay for what you buy. The songs are all DRM-free, high quality 256kbps .mp3s. And with downloads, there's no shipping fee. No Beatles, though. (To be fair, no legitimate sites have Beatles downloads.)

But I've got a couple of obscure sites I'd like to recommend:

If you prefer concerts to studio albums, check out Wolfgang's Vault. The "Wolfgang" here is the late rock impresario Bill Graham, and the site plugs you into his organization's vast collection of concert recordings. You can listen to any of the available concerts for free as low-grade, 96kbps streams. But some of them (not enough, in my opinion), are also available as 256kbps .mp3 downloads, and, for a little more, lossless FLAC files.

If your heart sank when you read that Wolfgang's Vault wasn't named for Mozart, check out eClassical. This is the bargain-hunting classical music lover's dream site. Here you can buy four Bach Oboe Concertos (64 minutes worth), conducted by Alexei Ogrintchouk, for $6, or Vivaldi's Four Seasons, performed by Jindrich Pazdera, for only $2. That last one has a downside, however: it comes as a single, 44-minute .mp3. Their .mp3s are very high-quality 320kbps.

You'll find other people's recommendations at the original forum discussion.

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