Music Buying Sites LINK
Whether you're looking to buy a music single or a whole album, here are the best sites to visit. I'll start with the biggies -- iTunes and Amazon -- and move on to some of my favorites that you may not have heard of, including Bandcamp. If you want to play these files, most phones offer apps for each store or have their own native music apps.
music buying sites
iTunes may no longer be the star of Apple's lineup, given that Apple Music is the company's focus right now, but it's still one of the biggest digital marketplaces. iTunes still sets the standard for lossy music downloads, and its catalog should furnish all but your most obscure needs. Technically iTunes doesn't sell MP3s -- instead it sells its own AAC format, but these files can be read by almost every modern player.
If you use MacOS Catalina you can access it from Music > iTunes Store. Additionally, if you want to download lossless files you will need a Music membership, but you won't be able to keep the music if your subscription ends.
With the support of many indie music labels, Bandcamp (now a part of Epic Games) is perhaps the best alternative to iTunes or Amazon, particularly if your tastes run to the more esoteric. The site enables you to download in whichever format you like (MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless) and seemingly as many times as you like, without paying extra. In addition, the site runs regular Bandcamp Friday events, which give 100% of the proceeds to the artist.
If you're an Amazon Prime member, then Amazon Music makes a lot of sense. You get a (limited) streaming service and a music store to buy MP3s from, in addition to streaming and automatic rips of physical discs that you buy. However, recently the company appears to be sidelining the service in favor of its subscription service --for instance, the digital music homepage is now essentially an ad for Amazon Music Unlimited.
If you're looking for a wide selection of MP3s (and also FLAC files) 7Digital is a viable alternative to the Qobuz download store (which is fantastic, but doesn't have MP3s). 7Digital is available in a number of countries and has decent pricing and regular sales offers. Though music is added to the site regularly it's often more difficult to find than on other sites -- for instance, the US store's front page and other discovery features haven't been updated in over two years.
If your tastes run to dance music with a sprinkling of indie, then you'll find a lot to love about Bleep. The site also has a good selection of 16-bit and 24-bit FLACs that aren't subject to the price hikes of some competitive vendors.
Despite the rise of streaming, millions of MP3s are still available for sale and the number of tracks is growing all of the time. All of the stores listed here enable you to either download songs legally to a computer or directly to your phone -- and most offer dedicated apps for Android. Be aware that due to Apple restrictions, iOS users may not be able to buy music from sources other than iTunes on their phones.
Google Play Music stopped selling MP3s in late 2020 as the company moved to the streaming-only YouTube Music. All of the above services offer an excellent alternative to Google Play Music, and some such as Bandcamp offer higher-quality lossless for the same price. One feature that YouTube Music did carry over from Google Play Music is the music locker, which lets you upload your own music library.
MP3 is known as a "lossy" format because it removes audio information in order to reduce file sizes, even at the maximum 320kbps rate. By comparison, FLAC is a "lossless" format because it doesn't remove info and instead compresses music in a similar way to a ZIP file. As a result, a FLAC sounds better than an MP3, especially one that's been ripped at a low 128-kbps bit rate.
Buying music online means you own it outright rather than using it under license. As such, tracks aren't going to disappear from your library suddenly. Plus, there's no danger of the parent company going out of business and taking your music collection with it.
When you enter the listing of a song or album that's available on Amazon, you will see a selection of purchase options. Depending on availability, you can choose to grab the MP3 or physical version. Buying MP3 music online is generally cheaper. However, if you buy the CD version, you will typically be granted a free copy of the MP3 version.
Apple iTunes Store was the original online music store, and it continues to thrive to this day, albeit in a slightly re-imagined format. Most singles on iTunes cost $0.99, though popular songs are usually $1.29; the default price of an album is $9.99.
The number of songs/albums available for purchase on 7digital is in the millions. As such, you can be confident you will find the music you want, even if it falls into a niche genre. All the latest hits from the world's biggest music stars are also available.
There are both pros and cons when compared with its rival. On the upside, HDtracks has a greater number of audio formats available. The highest quality tracks (24bit/192kHz) are a significant step up on the best high-res tracks on 7digital, though most of the music available in the highest-quality format falls into the classical music genre.
Musicians have spent much of the last decade criticizing services like Spotify for their payment models. At $0.006 to $0.0084 per play, artists and bands need to rack up hundreds of thousands of listens before they make money. Understanding how Spotify makes money can be confusing, which is why buying a physical CD or vinyl feels like a more direct way to support your favorite artist.
If you're a traditionalist who prefers owning CDs over digital music, check out CD Universe. The site is fairly basic, but it has one of the most in-depth collections of CDs and vinyl records available online. At the last count, there were more than 800,000 titles.
The collection of titles isn't as deep nor as niche as Amazon and the like, but if you're looking to pick up the latest music from today's stars, you'll find the albums readily available at competitive prices.
Bleep offers digital sales in the form of mp3, FLAC, and WAV, with the addition of CDs, vinyl, and even cassettes to buy. Founded in 2004, Bleep has aimed to support independent artists and labels. So for all indie-music lovers, this is a fantastic store to buy music.
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to where to buy or stream music online, and we're not going to say that one approach is better than another. Whether you prefer the ease of streaming music on Spotify or find satisfaction in the legal ownership of buying music outright, there are still plenty of options regarding the best places to buy music.
Remember, you can download your most-loved albums on Spotify for offline listening. However, you cannot export them outside the Spotify ecosystem. On the other hand, buying music means you get to keep it for life, whether in mp3 format, CD, or vinyl.
Want to build a library of high-resolution music but don't know where to start? Whether you've only just taken the plunge into hi-res audio, or are wondering what other online stores have to offer, we've rounded up some of our favourite hi-res download websites.
With major music labels such as Sony, Warner and Universal making their extensive music catalogues available to these hi-res download services, there's a huge variety of genres, file formats and download options available for fans of high-resolution audio.
We've focused on the biggest and most popular download sites that let you buy and download single tracks and full albums in various hi-res formats. Each has its own distinct flavour, bitrates and features to offer.
You may ultimately end up with a favourite go-to site, but even then, it's worth checking across the different sites for the same album or track, too, as some stores can offer better prices than others.
We've knocked HDtracks in the past for shunning more current or popular music in favour of jazz, classical and dad-rock, but glance at the home screen and Bestsellers tab now includes the likes of Billie Eilish, Halsey, Muse and more.
A helpful search bar runs across the top of the interface to help you find exactly what you're after and the website is simple to navigate. You can easily spot hi-res recordings thanks to a yellow '24-bit FLAC' badge on an album or song's thumbnail, and there's also a dedicated hi-res section for some focused browsing. You can preview 30 seconds of a song before buying it, too.
Apple Music is a streaming service that allows you to listen to over 100 million songs. Its features include the ability to download your favorite tracks and play them offline, lyrics in real time, listening across all your favorite devices, new music personalized just for you, curated playlists from our editors, and much more. All this in addition to exclusive and original content.
Classical music has a fundamentally different metadata structure from that of genres like pop, hip-hop, and country. As a result, it requires a unique approach to search, browse, library, and recommendations features. In addition, presenting the data about each album requires completely different formats. Classical listeners also have specific interests, such as composer bios and descriptions of works.
Already a classical music enthusiast and Apple Music subscriber? All the classical music in your Apple Music library will automatically appear in the Favorites tab of Apple Music Classical, ready for you to enjoy.
Yes, both apps will offer the largest classical catalog in the world. However, Apple Music Classical will include multiple additional features, such as classical browse, a search engine designed for classical music, handpicked recommendations, composer and artist bios, and descriptions of the works.
No, Apple Music Classical is classical only, but it does include lots of film and other crossover genres with classical music. Apple Music Classical users can also listen to more than 100 million songs on Apple Music through their subscription. 041b061a72