Thursday 29 January 2009

Where to buy DRM-free MP3s online

Written for internet-connected, iTunes and Mac OS-using, (South) Africans

If, like Steve Jobs, Mark Shuttleworth and I, you believe that the Digital Rights Management-free music is ultimately the way to go, then your options for purchasing music online in SA are still suprisingly limited :(.

As Lloyd Gedye wrote, despite the example of the success of the iTunes music store (launched way back in April 2003!) and EMI's success with moving away from DRM-protected music, the South African music industry is still dead-set on enforcing DRM! So much so, that typing in 'buy mp3' into its website's search engine delivers no results. DOH!

So, what options does this leave you with; as a socially-responsible customer, who wants to own (not rent!) the music you buy online? Here are three suggestions:

1 Get DRM-free MP3s from overseas
Check-out how to buy music from Amazon relatively easily at Alternatively, try or

2 Buy from your local...
You can buy proudly South African, DRM-free mp3s online from these shops*:
Rhythm Records offers mp3s from R 7 a pop!
Music.Overtone focusses on "high quality South African music".

3 Do the iTunes Music Store work-around...
Visit MediaWob to buy a voucher that you can redeem through the iTunes Music Store. The process is easy.

* Please note that this is not an exhaustive survey; these are the DRM free sites I could find through search engine look-ups. Please post other shop suggestions. Thanks!

Related links

Your 99c belong to the RIAA – Steve Jobs

Waiting for iTunes to come to SA? Don’t. Use Amazon MP3!

Find South African Music is a resource for promoting and exposing South African music to the world.

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