How did my legal digital music project go?

musicians-with-masks-1921Six months ago I set out to make sure all the music on my devices was legitimate. How did the project go?

Now there are legal and affordable ways to legitimately own digital music, there are no excuses for owning pirated material. 

Or maybe not, checking all the songs stored on my computer are legal proved harder than expected.

Just to be clear, illegal means songs I haven’t paid for but should have. If I own the CD, then rips for my personal use are legal. Songs downloaded from band sites or other legitimate online services offering free material don’t count.

When I started there were 15,000+ songs in my iTunes library. I guess most were illegal.

Today I’ve around 10,000 songs. Nearly all are legal. If I come across anything potentially dodgy, I buy a legal copy or trash the file.

I’d like to say all are 100% kosher, but that’s not realistic. I’ve deleted everything I know is dodgy. Where possible I’ve either purchased songs from iTunes, brought the music on CD or downloaded them from Auckland Library’s Freegal service.

One big problem is knowing for sure something is legal. iTunes songs are straightforward, I can tell from the app what was paid for and downloaded. With CD rips I can look at the physical media.

There’s nothing so obvious on the Freegal songs to tell me they were legitimate free downloads. The same goes for other legitimate free downloads.

The other huge problem is that Apple’s New Zealand iTunes site doesn’t offer many of the songs I’d like to buy – nor does Amazon. Generally I note the song and head off to TradeMe or Real Groovy to find a CD copy – most CDs cost under $10 and can be a much cheaper way of buying music than iTunes.

4 thoughts on “How did my legal digital music project go?

  1. Have you checked how Google Play Music compare in terms of track availability in New Zealand? I’ve never been able to use iTunes because all my devices are Linux/Android, so my music is almost entirely ripped from 1000′s of CDs that inhabit the backs of all of the wardrobes around the house.

  2. Yes per the earlier comment be good to compare what services provide the best experience for kiwis….google play, xbox music, nokia mixradio etc

    • I’ll get on to that in a few weeks, I think it will take a lot of research, one thing I know already is that no single service carries all the music in my purchased collection.

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