In an ongoing effort to be a good online citizen, I'm trying desperately to find a website where I can download reasonably priced music. Let me just say it would be easier to break the law and download unlimited mp3s for my player for free. Sites like Limewire take less time to download, are more user friendly, have a better selection of music, and did I mention that they're FREE. It's no wonder people would prefer to download pirated music.
So I started searching for other ways. There are approximately one gajillion websites out there claiming to have "legal" music downloads. First off, most of them aren't legal. Not even close. They try to convince you that they're legal by making you pay a user fee. Then you can download pirated music to your heart's content. Same as Kazaa and Limewire, only you pay a one-time user fee to make you feel better about your illegal activity.
I finally got it narrowed down to 5 or 6 legitimate music download sites. Some have monthly fees, some have per song fees, some have both depending on your needs (burning CDs vs. listening only on your computer.) Reading the fine print on these sites is like getting through the first part of the Old Testament -- computer begat mp3 player begat playlist, etc. I'm blind from all of the tiny letters. At this point in the research, it appears to me that Napster is going to be my best bet. They have a monthly fee, but I can download unlimited songs for my player for $10/month. If I want to burn CDs, I have to pay 88 cents/song, but that still not too bad.
I'm about ready to sign up for my free trial when I see in the fine print that Napster's services don't work with all players. In order to guarantee that the downloads will work, I need to have a player made by one of the companies that the Napster gods deem acceptable. Even Napster, which started out as one of the little guys, has jumped into bed with the Sonys and Samsungs of the world to ensure that the little guys can't swim in the big kids pool. Grrr.
So, I'm resorting to the oldest form of piracy. I will not pay my money to the musical conglomerates, online or otherwise. I'm asking all of my readers to lend me any clubby/dancey/techno-y CDs that they own. I will copy those (for free, mind you) and finally have my running playlist. Can't I just get some good fast tunes to get myself back into shape?