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Ask Slashdot: Which International Online Music Stores Are Legit? 166

rjnagle writes "I'm an American lover of music who is interested in buying legally music from other countries. How do I know which CD/online music stores are legit and actually benefit the artist? I'm very cost-conscious and prefer indie music anyway, but the types of international music for sale on Amazon/iTunes tends to be from the bigger labels. Suppose I wanted to buy music from Pakistan/Ukraine/China/Brazil/Chad. What's the best way to identify which labels or online stories are authorized to sell them? Perhaps all I need is a list of the best known online music stores for each region (, etc)."
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Ask Slashdot: Which International Online Music Stores Are Legit?

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  • Magnatune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:29AM (#42024977)


    Fantastic music: Magnatune works with artists directly, not with record labels, and all their music is hand-picked. On average, they accept 3% of submissions

    Perfect audio quality: you get CD quality audio WAV files, as well as super-high quality VBR MP3s, AAC, and open source friendly FLAC and OGG formats

    No DRM: No copy protection (DRM), you can do what you like with your music

    Listen to everything: all their albums can be listened to in their entirety before you become a member

    Download everything: their monthly membership allows you to download anything from their entire catalog--no limits.

    Musicians get paid: 50% of your purchase price goes directly to the musician, not to labels and their lawyers

    Album art: every album includes high quality album art (in both Adobe Acrobat and 300DPI JPG formats)

    Give to your friends: They encourage you to give 3 copies of any music from your membership to your friends

    Artists direct: They sign contracts directly with musicians, so you can rest assured that they can legally license music to you, and no middlemen get in the way of the artist's royalties

    Podcast-legal: non-commercial podcasters can use their music for free

    No major labels: they have absolutely nothing to do with major labels or the RIAA

    Financially support Open Source: they financially support several open source projects such as Amarok and Rhythmbox

  • Online music buying (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aurizon ( 122550 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noskcaj.llib>> on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:40AM (#42025019)

    Benefit the artist directly, as in you buy a song and the artist get a portion? None of the established music publishers, none on itunes - unless it is an artist submitted track - wherein he gets the $$, less the itunes bite. That is not to say the established music publishers do not pay their artists, they usually do, via various mechanisms - just not a direct slice from each download.
    So find stuff listed by the artist, and buy those. In time the traditional publishers will fade away and all manner of created work, books, music, pictures, will involve direct purchase from the srtist via online purchase. There may be an online portal, like Amazon or itunes, but the artist will get the lion's share of the revenue. Now they get the mouses share - just a nibble.

  • Pakistani Music (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ryzvonusef ( 1151717 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:56AM (#42025081) Journal

    For a sample of great Pakistani music (Legally!), visit Coke Studios: []

    As for buying, try the website of a label. One of the biggest labels is FireRecords: []

    I will post more links as I find them.

    The problem is, most of the music in Pakistan is from Indie bands, who are in it more for the passion than money; for those you will have to scour youtube and other fansites.

  • Is this a joke? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:35AM (#42025237)

    Seriously, is this a joke? First, the list of countries is a who's who of who ignores copyright. China especially is legendary for pretending the concept doesn't even exist. Second, let's say in some fantasy world, these countries decide to honor copyright, at least of their own artists. Guess what happens? They grow a tumor known as "the Music Industry."

    It's a horrifying system of lies and betrayals where a corporation demands artists sign for many many albums before they will publish the first album, then loads the bill with so much random assorted bullshit that by the end of the first album, the artist owes more to the record company than their record will earn. This cycle is repeated for each album. It includes such creative accounting as astronomical studio fees, ludicrous equipment fees, and "promotion" that never actually happens at all. Then, when the artist is played out even as catalog filler, they are dismissed, never to be heard from again. If they attempt to self-promote, they discover that the record company owns everything they ever did, may even own the name under which they did it, and will not even answer the phone if they attempt to negotiate to perform their own back catalog. Contract law is enforced with draconian measures against the artists, in favor of the record company, in an asymmetrical relationship that only misses literal slavery by a hair's breadth.

    But all of that pales in the face of one monstrous truth: record companies steal more from artists than consumer copyright infringement ever has or ever will, and for one simple reason: record companies steal the proceeds of actual sales from artists. They lie about the accounting, claim with a straight face that the album has never turned a profit, and pocket every dime of the income. Actual money.

    Let me repeat that, because it's something that keeps getting lost in all of Slashdot's attempts to talk about copyright. Record companies steal real money from artists. Enormous amounts of it.

    What do you think pays for those asymmetrical laws, and asymmetrical enforcement? Stolen money. Boatloads of it. What do you think pays for all the propaganda Slashdot is forever at pains to fight? Stolen money. Actual stolen money. Consumer copyright infringement rarely involves money changing hands. The number of dupers who charge money for copies is microscopic. Certainly all downloading, including torrenting, does not involve money. So we all know the RIAA's claims of huge amounts of money "lost" are nothing but creative lies. What we persistently forget is the huge amounts of actual money being paid to them that the artists never see.

    So I ask again, is this a joke? And if not, why do you hate those countries you named? Why would you wish upon them this cultural parasite that the US has? This parasite that is so bloated, so greedy, and so entitled that it has caused international incidents in the pursuit of its own thieving ways. The police (and citizens) of New Zealand have been humiliated and shamed for knuckling under to the demands of this "industry". I put "industry" in scare quotes because you should be scared of anything that has systematically raped culture and those who create it for nigh on a century.

    The answer to your question is this: the artist. ONLY the artist. No other source is legitimate. No reseller, no record company, no middleman, no matter how altruistic they claim to be now, can be trusted. Nor should they be encouraged to develop in places that aren't already subject to this scourge. This is the Information Age. Indeed, I've heard claims that we're already in the post-Information Age. Go straight to the artists. Tolerate no middlemen. They will turn into monsters before your eyes if you give them any money at all. Keep them starved, and ignore them.

    How then do you find artists, you ask? Ask your friends. Seriously. This has always worked best, and always will. A lot of the affect of music on human culture is the shared exp

  • A Word of Caution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fearofcarpet ( 654438 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:55AM (#42025309)

    I stumbled across an indie artist from Uruguay on a late-night radio show and wanted to throw a couple of bucks his way. I went to his band's website and followed the link to a legitimate online retailer for indie artists in Uruguay. The next thing I knew, weird charges started showing up on my credit card--e.g., someone in France started a WoW account, someone in the Ukraine started making a bunch of in-game purchases for online games, etc. Even though it was a "legit" site linked to by the artist with the proceeds going to the artist, either it was a front for stealing credit card numbers or had terrible security. Either way it was a PITA and not at all worth the album.

  • Re:Magnatune (Score:5, Interesting)

    by olau ( 314197 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:32AM (#42025423) Homepage

    I bought a lifetime membership of Magnatune not long ago for $240, after having followed them since their inception. They keep adding music to the collection, so at some point it went from "I should probably support these guys out of principle" to "they have enough music that this is a cheap deal".

    In addition to your points above, John Buckman is a cool dude. You can write a comment on his blog and get a reply.

  • Re:All of them (Score:4, Interesting)

    by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:11AM (#42025531) Journal
    The best selling songwriter in the UK is Mel C from the Spice Girls. Seriously. She writes a high percentage of all the UK produced pop songs. "Chart" music has very little to do with artists, it's more of a fashion marketing company than anything else.
  • by slim ( 1652 ) <> on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:29AM (#42025595) Homepage

    Yes. This. And it only occurred to me recently.

    I'd seen a band at a festival, and decided to buy some of their stuff. I could have just gone to Amazon, and usually I would have done. But on a whim, I posted on their facebook page -- "hey, if I want some of your CDs, which online shop gives you the biggest cut of the profit?" They replied "buy it direct from us".

    I ended up sending a cheque in the post to a residential address -- and the CDs arrived a few days later, and I have warm and fuzzy feelings from supporting the artist. They also had "tour exclusive" CDs which weren't available any other way.

    Of course if I'd had my wits about me, I could have bought those CDs from them at the gig.

    It might be harder work with World Music, but it's surely worth investigating.

  • Re:Hard to tell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:13AM (#42025953)

    Agreed. Many artists only have themselves to blame for being too lazy to sort their own affairs. But I'm not surprised as the artists who are too lazy to do this also happen to be the ones that believe in perpetual copyright - i.e. those who only want to spend a few days in a recording studio actually working, and then profit off it for life. The whole situation is born entirely out of the fact that these sorts of artists are simply bone idle layabouts.

    It's no different to any other industry, if you want to make the real money from your skillset you do it yourself as a contractor and sort your own tax dealings etc.

    The only problem is that most musicians nowadays know full well that they wouldn't make it as a "contractor" because the flip side of being a contractor is that you have to be uniquely skilled enough that someone is willing to hire you. Most modern artists simply don't have the raw talent to make it without the music industry acting as a crutch for them.

    Hopefully though, given time, those artists with both the competence and the work ethic to actually do what needs to be done to self publish will become ever more prominent, pushing the layabouts dependent on the music cartels into irrelevance.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger