Thursday, May 28, 2009

Green Day's New Album Not in Wal-Mart Due To Parental Advisory Sticker

So how's about this one. Walmart refuses to put Green Day's new album, 21st Century Breakdown, on their shelves due to the parental advisory sticker. Then you have Green Day sticking to their guns and unlike practically every other music group and artist, refuses to make a special edit for them.

Here's the full scoop:

You Won't Find Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown at Wal-Mart - Full article at MTV.com

Saying no to the biggest retailer of physical CD's in the US requires a hell of a marketing plan to compensate and seeing as this stunt put them in every newspaper, online magazine, and blog (even our music download sites blog), I guess it was actually a marketing genious who thought it up because they are getting press from avenues who would have never taken notice to the fantastic album.

That aside, opening weekend brought them 215,000 sold copies so it will be interesting to see how the numbers increase after all of this attention. Doesn't feel like they even needed an extra push really.

For Walmart, hard to say if this will hurt or help them since you have all the parents now convinced that they are looking out to keep 'filth' off of the shelves, but any real music lover couldn't possibly want to buy an edited version of an album. Music is created as a form of expression. How can you censor what you're really feeling? The message is no longer the real one. I'd hate to feel like every artist and music group out there is forced into modifying their message in any way after so much work is put into a music album just so it can be sold in it's true, original form.

Music downloads are gaining steam and perhaps stunts like this will push some music lovers into ways to download music instead.

This aside, the album is great and one of the upcoming projects of our music blog will be to have album reviews. Until then, the lowest price on the digital album could be found through Amazon MP3. Here's an album sample. Enjoy!





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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Was The Pirate Bay Trial Judge Bias

Last week, we had a post called File Sharing Service Owners Sentenced to Prison which had 4 men prosecuted and sentenced to 1 year in jail along with a fine totalling roughly $3.6 million for starting and operating a Swedish BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay, which helped users find pirated software and files leading to illegal downloads, and so a copyright infringement towards the entertainment industry. Why people are not yet making the switch to legal music download services, I don't know. Here's the follow up.

The defence for the case is demanding a retrial saying the judge for the trial was bias as he is a participant in the Swedish Association of Copyright, along with a board member of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Copyright, and if that's not enough, a member of .SE which is the Internet Infrastructure Foundation. Talk about a conflict of interest.

Bias or not, illegal music downloads are way out of hand. I understand there needs to be an example made out of someone but it is still the user's fault in my opinion. You don't go suing a sports store because a customer bought a bat and broke into someone's home with it, you should go after the customer who decided to make an illegal action with something the sports store was offering.

In a way I'm hoping someone is made an example of to a certain extent perhaps with a warning to monitor operations and illegal music downloads going on with a file sharing software or BitTorrent site and being obliged to report such users who are taking advantage of these services in an illegal way, but I wouldn't be ready to send these guys to jail as even file sharing sites could have great use in legal ways to transfer free material without any copyright on it. Maybe start up bands look to put out free music for everyone to download. These sites can help them promote their material which they are giving out for free so why take them completely off the net?

It's a touchy subject, always was, but either way, to anyone who wants to download music, forget about file sharing and BitTorrent sites as the actions you are doing to get free copyrighted materials off of these sites is illegal. Find yourself a solid music download services and stick to it.

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iTunes Pass Benefits Who Really

iTunes is now offering a new music product - iTunes Pass. Think of it as a fan club membership you would be able to get for your favorite music group.

When they announced it late February, Depeche Mode was the only band available. For $18.99, you would get everything the band puts out on iTunes until June 16, 2009 which includes the new single, some promo materials (ex. remixes, videos, etc ...), and the Sounds of the Universe album when it's made available.

iTunes says the cost of the pass would always be less expensive than what you would get for it, but lately with their new pricing model that increased per-song prices by %30, I find it hard to believe any product they put out is in the best interest of the customer. Someone has done the math on this and you can bet it's going to bring iTunes another great source of revenue. Hopefully they will at least follow through and the pass will be a positive addition for all true fans out there that can't get enough of their favourite music group since, as a concept, I can see it as very attractive to both music groups and fans.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jack Black Speaks Up on Piracy

This video went up a little while ago and I figured it was fitting to share due to all the recent progress going on in the fight against file sharing and piracy like the File Sharing Service Owners Sentenced to Prison, or the New Law in Sweden Against File Sharing.

Whether you're a fan of Jack Black or not, take a look:

Jack Black Speaks Up on Piracy



I think it's awesome another artist speaks up on piracy. When it comes down to it, though he still delivers it in a funny way, the message is right on. Artists work hard to create movies, music, and other forms of art. You wouldn't steal a CD from a store or movie from the shelves and using a file sharing site or program to pass on copyrighted material without compensating the artist is stealing. How are these artists going to get paid for their work if everyone takes what they want for free?

I read some comments about this that rock stars don't need the extra little bit of money they are loosing out on music downloads. Already, because someone has money doesn't make it any more justifiable to steal from them, but leaving the rich rock stars out of the equation, think of all the bands and artists starting out. They spend all their money to record an album and CD sales have dropped a huge amount due to illegal downloads. How can any new artists start a career if people steel from the little they could be making, and how can you expect these guys to go on and record a second album? How do they even measure if it was worth recording it in the first place? Where's the money come from to start touring, or promoting the album?

Quit stealing, use one of the legal music download sites mentioned on our main page. Read through the reviews and you'll see how reasonable being part of one of these services really is. I'm also speaking as a musician trying to get a career started as well so even if you don't listen to a guy like me, if you are one of those people using illegal means to get copyrighted material like movies and music, check out the video and at least admit to yourself your actions are illegal and you are stealing when you could maybe buy that same song for $0.69 or listen to as much legal music as you want for the cost of an album a month with one of the music subscription services we review.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

File Sharing Service Owners Sentenced to Prison

First Sweden passes a new music download law requiring ISP's to turn in user's IP address if they are suspected to download music illegally, now they are shutting down one of the biggest file sharing services. Another point for the good guys.

For those new the topic, file sharing services allow users to share any file they want across the net. This is a huge problem with music downloads as it makes copyrighted material accessible to anyone for free, by-passing compensation to the artist and bands working to record them, and ultimately making it easier to steal music online. Unfortunately, there was little to do against these sites but now Sweden courts have taken a huge step.

One of the biggest file sharing services, The Pirate Bay, went to court. The 4 men who started the site were prosecuted and were sentenced to 1 year in prison and fined a total of roughly $3.6 million in damages that they will have to pay to the entertainment companies. Here's the story:

File-Sharing Site Violated Copyright, Court Says - Article from the NY Times.

It's touchy as the ones who started the site were not really hosting any of the files, but did provide a service making it very easy for users to get their hands on stolen copyrighted material by making links to these files available.

Personally, I'm happy about the ruling as it's a nice wake up call if nothing else to users that what they are doing is wrong and if you want a song or album, you need to go the right way and use one of the legal music download sites out there, but at the same time, I feel it's really the users who should be to blame and not the site owners. As an example, sports stores sell baseball bats. If a customer buys one and smashes a car window, the store shouldn't go to court for selling the bat. The action the customer decided to take using the bat was illegal and is where the problem lies, in the same way if people use a service in an illegal way, then they are to blame.

This will be another one to keep an eye on and see if it changes anything but really, if people were using a file sharing site before, chances are they'll flock to another one but at least there's a chance it'll convert a few along the way to give a try to legal music download services instead.

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Ad Supported Music Download Site Spiral Frog Shuts Down

We got a lot of emails asking why we never reviewed the 'free' ad-supported music download site Spiral Frog. Our response was always that it seemed like a fragile approach and was lining itself up to making users unhappy. That's besides the fact that they went for deals with the major labels and only 2 of the 4 agreed. Never the less, they went on with a very aggressive marketing strategy for the music download service but in the end, they had to close up shop. The full story:

Ad-supported music download service SpiralFrog enters the dead pool - Article from Last 100.

I have a lot of respect for the guys at Spiral Frog who dove in and gave it a real shot. You don't know unless you try. The only way we'll evolve and get this music industry back on its feet is by people trying sometimes risky approaches that could pay off so hopefully we will see other legal music download sites in the near future with different creative approaches. Till then, I suggest we stick to the legal music services that have been there for years and who we can trust.

Be sure to check out our reviews on all the top legal music download services at our main site:

Compare Music Download Sites

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Band Uses Twitter as a Close to Real-Time Broadcast of a Show

A band is making use of Twitter in a new way. They are setting up their CD release to be recorded, quickly mastered, and right away put up on the net and sharing links to the music downloads for each song as close to real-time as possible. Though there will be a delay between the time the song was played and is available, this is a good attempt at using Twitter as a close to live broadcast of a band's show. Here's the full story:

Tech-studded rock band Moonalice offers closest thing yet to live music on Twitter - Article from Venture Beat.

With so many platforms available for bands to promote their music, it's hard to find one to stick to and stay active with but Twitter has definitely created a buzz in the past weeks and months and is prooving once again that it is a fun networking site with many possibilities, now sharing music downloads and making them available practically in real-time.

On that note, you can visit our Twitter page at www.twitter.com/TopMusicSites if you are already part of the networking community. If not, what are you waiting for!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

iTunes Goes DRM Free and Removes DRM Restrictions

Good news for iTunes users. After a long wait, Apple is following through with their promise and working to remove DRM (Digital Rights Managed) restrictions on their entire catalogue. 8 million tunes done for the music download service, just 2 million to go. Catch the full story:

iTunes Gets DRM Free, New Prices, Purchase Over 3G - Article from Gizmodo.

Coming at the same time as the new iTunes Variable Pricing model, this is a move in the positive direction answering to the customer's demands as before, with DRM restrictions, when people would download music with them, the files would have limitations to how many computers the song could be on at once, or how many times it could be burned to disk. These restrictions would also limit the type of devices you could use to listen back to the music purchased. For iTunes, this is all a thing of the past.

Check out our iTunes Review for a look at what our reviewers think.

A friendly tip, if you download more than an album's worth of music a month, it is much more cost efficient to go with one of the music subscription services reviewed on our site. Only legal sites are reviewed and we take a look at everything from music selection to customer service. Take a look at some of our top sites:

Music Subscription Sites:

Rhapsody Review
Napster Review
eMusic Review

Alternative Pay-Per-Song Site:

If you haven't checked them out yet and are still convinced on the pay-per-song model, read the following review and compare it to our iTunes Review. We might just convert you:

Amazon MP3 Review

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Legal Music Downloads Up in Sweden Due to New Law

Legal Music Downloads jump a huge amount in Sweden after the ISPs stepped in following a new law. Here's the full scoop:

Legal Music Downloads Soar in Sweden - Article from CD Freaks.

The iPRED law was put into place to help stop illegal file transfers, music being one of the major culprits, which infringe on copyright law. It requires internet service providers to give user's IP if they suspect illegal files are being transferred. Within a week, legal music downloads have increased an astonishing 100%!

It will be interesting to see if this is only due to people trying out the legal route to see what it's all about so very possibly a temporary boost of interest in the legal music download world. Ways around the bill like pirated software is already making its way available to counter this effort.

We'll have to wait and see how this pans out but one thing is for sure, it's an eye opener if nothing else to some of the legal music download sites out there for the people in the area who may have never looked into it if not for the new law. A step in the right direction I think ...

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Universal and YouTube to Start a New Music Download Service

Looks like there will be a new site to add to the list of music download services ...

Perhaps not the first 2 companies that would come to mind in a joint venture such as this but seems like Universal Music Group will be partnering up with YouTube to start a new music download service called VEVO. Read the scoop:

Universal joins with YouTube for new download service - Article from The Insider.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. We'll keep you posted and who knows, maybe in the near future, you'll be seeing VEVO reviewed at our main music download site.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

iTune's Variable Pricing Model More Costly than Amazon

This Tuesday, iTunes introduced a new 'variable pricing' model where, in brief, according to the popularity of the digital track, prices would range from $0.69 to $1.29 for the bigger sellers. Here's an article from LA Times to get you up to speed:

ITunes' variable pricing gives Amazon's music store a leg up - Article from http://www.latimes.com/.

The interesting part is that Amazon, iTune's biggest competition, still has the popular tracks at the good old $0.99. Perhaps it's simply a delay and the 2nd most used music download site Amazon will soon follow as did Wal-Mart, but if not, this could be the kick Amazon needs to take an even bigger piece of the pie from the online music download world which right now is split roughly 87% iTunes, 16% Amazon. Let's see how this plays out.


Visit our main site comparing the top legal music download sites and read through the reviews for both services, along with the other large players in the game:

Pay-Per-Song Services

Amazon MP3 Review
iTunes Review

Music Subscription Services

Rhapsody Review
Napster Review
eMusic Review

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Recession Not Affecting Music Festivals

I read an article at billboard showing that music festivals aren't being drastically affected by the recession. With all the negative news around, I wanted to share something a little more positive for a change:

Music Festivals Not Feeling Economical Pinch - Article at http://www.billboard.com/

This is great news for the music world and it makes sense. Think about where you turn to when things are rough? A break up maybe, a loved one that passes away, ... Music is a therapy and the right song can sometimes be the perfect remedy so in a rough time like any other, it seems fitting for us to turn to art and not give up entertainment so easily.

I guess when concert tickets plunge, we'll know we're in real trouble. Until then, I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to another rocking concert season!


Reminder as always, don't steal music. Be sure to check out our main site filled with helpful info and reviews on the best music download sites on the net. If you are to download any digital music, please do it legally.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

IFPI vs Major ISP in Ireland to Stop Music Download Piracy

Looks like the 4 major labels (EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner) in Ireland, along side the IFPI are in legal proceedings against Eircom, Ireland's largest internet service provider in an attempt to have the ISP step in using filtering technology to block it's users from music download piracy. I'll sum it up here but check out the full story:

IFPI vs ISP: Piracy Means Less Sex and Drugs for Rock Stars

The IFPI wants to hold Eircom liable for it's user's actions as they make it easy for them to infringe on copyright law and aren't stepping in, while Eircom's position is that as a carrier, it is not obligated to monitor the content of traffic throughout it's network.

I don't blame Eircom for fighting this hard since legal music downloads are practically an unknown term to so many. If they stop users from downloading music illegally which so many got used to, the user simply has to switch to another ISP without this technology implanted so they are lining themselves up to loosing a lot of customers.

Some of the arguments going around are if Eircom should even be considering this tactic? A great comment left by josh.f13 on the original story was:

So if I make a phone call to a friend and agree to make him a copy of a DVD that week, is the phone company part of the problem? And when I drive to meet him at his house, is the car company I bought the car from and the government whose roads I drove on responsible?

I agree something needs to be done to regulate music download piracy and I lean towards the ISP's stepping in personally since if we were talking about much more controversial subjects like the distribution of 'child pictures' and knowledge was out of technology that could filter these users from transferring and sharing these images with a flick of a switch, I don't even think it would be a debate.

Sticking to my point, stealing music is illegal so if we can stop it, what are we waiting for? It's way overdue for people to start using legal music download sites.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

95% of Music Downloads Illegal according to the IFPI

I found this article and thought I'd share it with you guys:

95% of Music Downloads Illegal:IFPI

In brief, a report was put together by the IFPI stating that 95% of music downloads have been downloaded in an illegal manner which accounts for roughly 40 billion song downloads!

There were polls conducted to see what would shake people up more and have them stop downloading illegaly. One poll asked if internet service providers stepped in and disconnected accounts found to download music illegaly, or have a 3 strike rule which got a high response of people saying it would drastically change their downloading habits.

One of the points the writer made was that perhaps if companies would dismiss the DRM model (digital rights managed - music downloads with limitations as to how many copies could be burned, or how many computers the song can be on at once, ...) and lower their prices, there would be less piracy. I strongly disagree.

I think the ones who have been downloading music illegaly are in a comfort zone and are used to getting any music they want for free without running into any legal trouble (yet) so why even spend $1 for an album you can get for free?

I guess for a lot of people, morals are out the window for some reason when it comes to music downloads which I can't understand. It's really not that hard to grasp.

Downloading music illegaly is stealing any way you want to look at it. If you haven't yet, check out our main site with loads of info on music download along with reviews of the best music download sites on the net. Only 100% legal sites reviewed and included.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

New American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi

Songwriter Kara DioGuardi will be the fourth judge in Amercian Idol's 8th season. Finally they are planning to spice things up a little in the reality show that's providing songwriters like her with plenty of work. Way to have an in and maybe a favored first dibs on working and writing for the winners. Not that she needs it but in any case.

You might not know her yet, but I guarantee you've heard some of the songs and music this 38 year old songwriter has composed or had a part in composing within the last few years. Here's just a sample of the artists she's writen music for:

- Celine Dion
- Kelly Clarkson
- Pink
- Christina Aguilera
- Enrique Iglesias
- Marc Anthony
- Taylor Hicks
- Carrie Underwood
- Hillary Duff
- Paris Hilton
- Bo Bice
- Diana DeGarno

What else. She worked for Billboard, was a judge on 'The One' (short lived reality series similar to Idol, canned after 4 episodes but what can you do), and currently senior vice president of A&R at Warner Brother's Records which she will still be doing during Idol. You figure someone who makes a living finding new music, new bands and artists to sign to Warner must have a strong opinion about music and performance.

Fun fact, she and Paula Abdul previously lived and wrote together for a few weeks. One of the co-written songs was 'Spinning Around' which became a #1 hit in Britain for artist Kylie Minogue.

I'm looking forward to seeing how things go this season of Idol with Kara DioGuardi added to the mix. Should be very interesting and at the least, distracting from the mostly predictable comments of the others.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Top Selling Digital Albums of 2008

Music downloads are doing much better but I still thought these numbers would have been more impressive. You be the judge. Here's a list of the top selling digital songs of 2008 according to the Nielson SoundScan:

Top Selling Digital Albums of 2008


#ArtistAlbumAlbums Sold
1ColdplayViva la Vida617,000
2Jack JohnsonSleep Through The Static325,000
3JunoSoundtrack280,000
4Lil WayneThe Carter III267,000
5Taylor SwiftFearless225,000
6TwilightSoundtrack214,000
7Jason MrazWe Sing We Dance184,000
8Kanye West808'S & Heartbreak183,000
9Britney SpearsCircus172,000
10MetallicaDeath Magnetic158,000


There were a few surprises for me. I wasn't expecting 2 soundtracks in the top 10, nor seeing Metallica; the band that got Napster into a whole lot of trouble when they used to be a file sharing program. If you don't know the story, Metallica was the one that stepped up to the media going against file sharing programs, using Napster as the example, since artists weren't getting compensated for their work. People used to download the music for free illegaly and share it with everyone. It's nice to see a lot has changed since then and music download sites and services are getting more and more popular.

Since the incident and after loads of media attention, Napster built itself up to being one of the top legal music download services around now compensating the artists for music being downloaded and heard through their service.

For more information and to learn about some of the top legal music download sites on the net, visit our main site at http://www.comparemusicdownloadsites.com/.

Related Posts:
Top Selling Digital Songs of 2008
Top Selling Albums of 2008

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Top Selling Digital Songs of 2008

People are finally purchasing legal online music downloads instead of stealing them by downloading them illegaly. The numbers aren't fantastic but you asked for them so here's a list of the top selling digital songs of 2008 according to the Nielson SoundScan:

Top Selling Digital Songs of 2008


#ArtistSongUnits Sold
1Leona LewisBleeding Love3,420,000
2Lil Wayne feat. Static MajorLollipop3,161,000
3Flow Rider feat. T-PainLow2,979,000
4Katy PerryI Kissed a Girl2,977,000
5ColdplayViva la Vida2,914,000
6RihannaDisturbia2,776,000
7T.I.Whatever You Like2,682,000
8Jason MrazI'm Yours2,655,000
9Jordan Sparks duet w/ Chris BrownNo Air2,612,000
10PinkSo What2,590,000


These numbers combine all versions of the songs.

We still have a long hill to climb before everyone purchases the music they download but things are looking up. Music download sites and services are very affordable, conveniant, and awareness of these sites is growing.

If you want to learn more about some of the top legal music download sites on the net, visit our main site at http://www.comparemusicdownloadsites.com/.

Related Posts:
Top Selling Digital Albums of 2008
Top Selling Albums of 2008

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Top Selling Albums of 2008

With online music downloads up, album sales took a massive hit in 2008 but some artists are still managing to bring in some numbers. Here's a quick list of the top selling albums of 2008 according to the Nielson SoundScan:

Top Selling Albums of 2008

#ArtistAlbumAlbums Sold
1Lil WayneThe Carter III2.87 million
2ColdplayViva la Vida or Death and All His Friends2.14 million
3Taylor SwiftFearless2.11 million
4Kid RockRock N Roll Jesus2.02 million
5AC/DCBlack Ice1.92 million
6Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift1.6 million
7MetallicaDeath Magnetic1.57 million
8T.I.Paper Trail1.52 million
9Jack JohnsonSleep Through the Static1.49 million
10BeyoncéI Am ... Sasha Fierce1.46 million

To give you an idea of how low these numbers are, just take into consideration the #1 selling album of 2000 was N Sync's 'No Strings Attached' with 9.94 million copies followed by "The Marshall Mathers LP" by Eminem with 7.92 million copies sold. Back in 2000, there were 18 albums that sold more than 3 million copies which would all beat out 2008's top seller.

People are becoming more aware of the legal music download sites out there and so digital sales have skyrocketed in the past few years. Successful artists are the ones who are adapting to the changes and have a team that is on top of technology and moving with the consumer's new needs. Might be a scary time for a lot of people in the industry, but you have to admit, they are interesting times none the less.

Related Posts:
Top Selling Digital Albums of 2008
Top Selling Digital Songs of 2008

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Digital Sales beats out CD sales at Atlantic Records

Big news for the music downloading world, digital sales accounted for more than half of Atlantic Record's revenue beating out physical CD's!

Don't think you know Atlantic Records?

- Simple Plan
- Billy Talent
- Kid Rock
- Bloc Party
- Led Zepplin
- and the list goes on ...

This is big news since this is the first time a major company like Atlantic that physical CD's were bumped down to second place. These guys have to be doing something right as their parent company, Warner Music Group, has digital music sales representing only 27% of revenue.

A few years back, the bigger music labels and majors had the formula down of how to sell albums and promote their artists to make their millions. Ever since the original Napster got in the picture and people became more aware of digital music downloads, things were shaken up. Now you have so many new promotional avenues that are available for all scale of artists (MySpace, Facebook, YouTube ...) that the playing field for getting music and artists noticed is so much larger and available to everyone.

While a lot of the major labels and other large music labels are cracking their heads trying to get figure out a new formula that works with all the new avenues introduced, looks like Atlantic is way ahead of the pack.

You might want to check out this article from the New York Times which goes into additonal details about Atlantic and their success with music downloads and digital products:

Atlantic Records Says Digital Sales Surpass CD's

If you want to learn more about legal music downloads and services available, visit our site at:

http://www.comparemusicdownloadsites.com/

You will find complete updated reviews of the top legal music download sites on the net, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about music downloads, and questions to ask yourself to help you decide on the perfect service according to your music needs and downloading habits.

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