Most of the online music services we’ve discussed so far offer plenty of access to major-label music, but much of that is music you’re already familiar with from radio airplay. If you’re like most people, you’re probably missing out on a vast variety of independent music that is every bit as good as, and often better than, the major-label offerings. Granted, it takes a lot of surfing and listening to find good music, but hey, listening to 10 songs you don’t like to find one gem is just part of the fun.
Following are descriptions of some of the better-known sites where you can find great music from independent artists. Most of these sites offer free downloads—it would take years to listen to all of it. Many of the larger sites also sell downloads and CDs.
CDbaby.com (http://www.cdbaby.com) is one of the largest online sellers of music from independent artists. The music sold on CDbaby.com covers dozens of genres and is personally selected by CDbaby’s founder, Derek Sivers. A nice aspect of CDbaby.com is that, typically, 50% or more of the proceeds from each CD sold gets paid directly to the artist. Downloads of music by artists signed with CDbaby.com are available from several online music stores, including the iTunes store and the Napster 2.0 service.
Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) has sold CDs online for many years, as you probably know. Many of the product listings for albums include streaming samples of selected tracks in ...