The following services provide legal downloads in Canada. Free mp3 downloads legal.
Nettmusic MP3s (160 Kbps, 192 Kbps) of Nettwork Music Group artists, including Sarah McLachlan. Prices are in US dollars.
HearsayMusic.ca sells MP3s of Canadian independent artists
Sheeba Store is Jane Siberry's site to sell her music as MP3s (128 Kbps, 192Kbps). Set your own price.
The three below are all Windows-only, using WMA files.
Sympatico, Telus, FutureShop ("Bonfire") and Aliant use PureTracks for their music services. Telus is also providing something they're calling PureRadio.
Jazzpromo is a site that promotes Canadian jazz. It has free MP3s (requires registration).
Canadian Music Lives Here
Personally I have thousands of tracks that are either from my own CDs, or legally purchased from sites like Emusic and iTunes Music Store.
Although not located in Canada, many of these services are available to Canadians.
I used to recommend EMusic.com for MP3s. I have used it from Canada. It was great, but now it has some limitations.
EMusic changed their terms so you can no longer get unlimited downloads. EMusic is currently owned by Dimensional Associates, LLC.
On the plus side, it has a good library of music, and the MP3s are unencumbered (no digital rights management). They changed from encoding at 128 Kbps fixed to using higher quality Variable Bit Rate (VBR) encoding. You have to use their download manager software, but there are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Smithsonian Global Sound has folk and world music for U$0.99, you get both an MP3 (128 Kbps?) and a FLAC (uncompressed) file.
Magnatune try before you buy MP3 music. Features the awesome slogan
Hi Quality Free and Legal MP3 Music
The Best MP3's from New and Unsigned Artists
www.realworld.co.uk/od2/ music by Peter Gabriel and others, click on "free downloads", WMA format
Google free download mp3
downloads various artists, seems to be mostly WMA
The following are US-only and may have additional limitations. This is just a selection; there are more services than I have listed.
Tower Records Powered by LiquidAudio (but still WMA format). Has some free WMA downloads.
In Europe, OD2 (On Demand Distribution)
provides a secure distribution service for music over the Internet. The company was co-founded in 1999 by Peter Gabriel and Charles Grimsdale (IT executive).
pro-music / music online has a nice list of available digital music services from a European perspective, as well as lots of other info.
Legal MP3 Downloads scroll down on this blog and you will see links to tons of artists
MP3.com is now a metaservice with a list of other Digital Music Services
The online music scene changes every week. Here are some articles that may help you to figure it out.
2004-12-02: The iTunes Music Store Canada is active today.
2004-11-22: The iTunes Music Store is definitely coming to Canada. In Apple press release Apple Launches EU iTunes Music Store they state
Apple... will launch the iTunes Music Store in Canada in November.
to be integrated into Buy.com March 27, 2004
2004-05-09 At some point in the recent past, CNet launched music.download.com as a free music download service, and relaunched MP3.com as a metaservice with MP3 resources and ("coming soon") the ability to search across multiple music download services.
2003-05-31 The latest news is in two parts: Apple's iTunes Music Store, which is currently only available in the United States, and Roxio, who purchased the Napster "brand" and then recently purchased PressPlay.
Real is offering something called RealOne Rhapsody on Windows only in the US only, which is just a branded frontend onto Listen Rhapsody. They lowered their price to burn to CD to US$0.79, but you still have to have a subscription.
The 5 major labels have consolidated into two groups (and then cross-licensed everything):
pressplay - Sony, Vivendi Universal (Pressplay is now owned by Roxio, who turned it into Napster 2.)
Canadian Major Label Sites
Has UMusic Radio (Windows Media format). Powered by the usual suspects: and moontaxi.ca
Note that these companies are perpetually buying, merging and de-merging with one another.
There are lots of ways to do this.
Erno Mijland has made a nice page with lots of music search options at www.lookingformusic.org
last.fm - lets you create and listen to radio stations (was AudioScrobbler) - optional plugins that track what you listen to (Mac/Windows/Linux)
Pandora - Flash based, makes "radio" channel based on your selected artist
Goombah - music recommendations based on your iTunes (Mac/Windows)
Mobster - music recommendations based on your iTunes (Mac/Windows)
a service designed to help bring independent music to new listeners
Musicvine (powered by liveplasma)
Predixis Recommends based on playlists. Mac, Windows and Linux.
If you want to expand your CD collection, or just your musical taste, new websites aim to recommend songs you are bound to love
If you have a broadband connection, rather than going to the work of picking and choosing files and downloading them, you might enjoy just listening to streaming radio stations on the net. Note that you will probably require some support software (listed at the bottom of the page) in order to access all the content on these sites.
Nettradio from Nettwerk Music Group. Uses RealAudio.
theiceberg Canadian Internet radio. Requires free registration. Uses Windows Media.
FatPipeRadio.com is another offering from the Iceberg people. Requires free registration, Windows Media, Flash.
My music mp3 download free
MoonTaxi.ca "Tour the universe of music". Associated somehow with HMV and maybe UMusic.ca? Requires Macromedia Flash and Windows Media.
Radio @ Netscape has a good selection of channels, but AOL has made it a bit annoying and Windows-only.
Live365 is a central site for locating and listening to tens of thousands of channels of audio. They also provide easy tools for setting up your own net radio station. Unfortunately there are now fees for running a station.
a collaborative filtering system for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X that downloads and plays music. As you rate music it automatically finds more free music that you'll like by finding people who like similar music.
Radio Free Virgin (Windows only) has a few free channels, but no free virgins. You have to subscribe in order to get royally streamed.
Listen Rhapsody (Windows only) has a limited number of free stations. Most of their stations are only available if you subscribe to their Plus service.
Canadian Radio Stations is another such listing. Be warned that many of the links on both sites are dead.
Some of these also have built-in net radio features.
QuickTime Mac and Windows. It will sometimes bug you to upgrade to the Pro version.
Real.com: Real 10 for Windows and MacOS X, RealPlayer 8 Basic for MacOS 9. NOTE: They sometimes don't make it easy for you to find the free versions to download, but they are there. Try this link.
iTunes is free software for Mac and Windows that includes a "Radio Tuner" for access to net radio stations, as well as a music store.
(Bell) Jukebox for Windows only.
Jukebox for Windows. In addition to the free radio channels, you can subscribe to "Radio MX" which offers additional stations and features. It is "annoyware" - it will keep bugging you to upgrade to the pay version. MusicMatch for the Mac has been completely discontinued which is a shame because it was a good player.
Incidentally, Yahoo owns MusicMatch.