Finding iPod-compatible music online

Q: The iTunes Store doesn’t have the album I want to purchase. What legal sites do you endorse for the purchase of music via download.

– Robert

A: While iLounge doesn’t specifically endorse or promote any specific music download sites, the most common legal alternative to the iTunes Store for iPod compatible music is eMusic which uses a standard MP3 format, so their music will play on any digital audio player.

Although there are a number of other online music stores available such as Napster and Yahoo Music, most of these stores use the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and protect their tracks with digital rights management.

These tracks will therefore not be playable in iTunes or on the iPod, since the WMA format is not supported by the iPod, nor is it possible to convert DRM-protected tracks except by burning them to CD and re-ripping them, which can be a time-consuming process.

There are also many more sites popping up on the Internet these days offering legitimate free music downloads.