Guide to DRM-Free Living: Audio


Literature · Video · Audio
Software (external)


Worst offenders

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Crowdfunding Platforms

  • ArtistShare is a platform that connects creative artists with fans in order to share the creative process and fund the creation of new artistic works.

Community and Self-Publishing Platforms

  •'s huge music and audio collection contains over two hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download.
  • Bandcamp sells music in a variety of DRM-free formats
  • CC Mixter is a community music site where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want, supports some free culture licenses.
  • Dogmazic has streamed 55628 tracks and served 259584350 downloads of shareable music since 2005.
  • Electrobel is an online community for electronic music artists available in Belgium & Luxembourg and The Netherlands.
  • Faircamp Webring is a webring of artists and music producers using the free software platform Faircamp to host their own music for their fans.
  • Khavi offers DRM-free electronic music under a CC-BY-NC-ND license.
  • is the free software alternative to and plays freely licensed music in free formats.
  • Musopen has public domain, DRM-free recordings of many classical compositions and composers.
  • Noisetrade is a music distribution platform sponsored by Paste Magazine that offers no-cost and DRM-free downloads from a wide variety of independent artists.
  • SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere.
  • Wikimedia Commons is the media hosting platform for Wikipedia and uses entirely free formats.

Music Stores

  • 7Digital sells music in a variety of DRM-free formats.
  • Analekta sells DRM-free classical music.
  • Archambault is a Canadian DRM-free music store.
  • Beatport is an online music store specializing in electronic music and culture.
  • Digital Tunes is a Web-based music store specializing in underground dance music.
  • emusic is an online music store with all tracks available in MP3 format. With over 1,000,000 songs from over 3,800 record labels and no DRM, you never have to worry about whether tracks downloaded from eMusic will play on your music player. They're guaranteed to play.
  • HDTracks is a DRM-free music store with thousands of files available in a variety of genres.
  • Juno Download offers MP3, WAV and FLAC electronic music.
  • MusicZeit sells music in FLAC and MP3 format
  • Qobuz offers high-fidelity downloads, listening on demand, music information and exchanges.
  • Rhapsody -- Experience DRM-Freedom: Rhapsody MP3s aren't restricted; that means; when you buy a song or album from Rhapsody you can do whatever you want with it. Put it on your iPod or any other MP3 player, play it on as many computers as you want, or burn it to a CD as many times as you want. Disappointingly, in 2016, Rhapsody rebranded as Napster and added Helix, their own version of DRM.
  • Trackitdown sells DRM-free electronic music tracks in MP3 and WAV formats.
  • Zunior "the little digital music store" offers full album downloads of a number of indie and alt-country darlings, including Neko Case and The Be Good Tanyas. Zunior takes a strong stand against DRM, believing that you should be able to play your music wherever you want. All songs available in DRM-free MP3 or CD-quality FLAC formats. Miss your album art? Album packages include PDF files of artwork and liner notes, so you go home happy.

Record Labels

  • Basspistol is a collective of musicians who release their work DRM-free and under libre licenses. Check them out!
  • AudioDefine Records is a DRM-free indie record label that offers their recordings in a dazzling array of mixes, codecs, and file formats.
  • Bleep is the highly successful online music store for UK darling Warp Records. If you're looking for electronic, dance and hip hop without all the DRM strings attached, visit Participating record labels include underground hip hop legends like Ninja Tune and Stones Throw records. All songs available as MP3s.
  • Discord Records 320kbps MP3 downloads from Fugazi and others.
  • Folkways is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institute
  • Magnatune is a record label for independent artists, and all their releases are DRM-free. The company's motto is "we are not evil" -- and in this case, it's true!
  • Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989, by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, NC. The first couple releases were cassettes (remember those?), by WWAX and Bricks, followed by the first Superchunk (then known only as "Chunk") 7-inch single.
  • Nettwerk Records -- the influential Canadian record label home to such pop giants as Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies and Dido, offers individual tracks and albums absolutely DRM-free. It's a great way to purchase directly from great artists who believe that DRM is bad for business and bad for fans.
  • Yes No Wave Music -- a nonprofit music label that uses Creative Commons licensing for all works they distribute. And to top it off, they don't use DRM either!

Individual Artists and Albums

  • The Funny Music Project has a variety of DRM-free comedy songs.
  • The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! by Saul William's can be purchased as a collection of MP3 files (encoded at either 192kbs or 320kbs), or in the lossless and free FLAC audio format. They state: "All files are 100% DRM Free."
  • They Might Be Giants are a rock band from Brooklyn, NY with a variety of DRM-free downloads.
  • Jonathan Coulton Folk rock singer and songwriter, Jonathan Coulton, is selling his music (by album and by individual song) in lossless FLAC format, 192kbps MP3 format, as well as the MP3+G Karaoke format.
  • Nine Inch Nails -- Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails have released a 36 track instrumental collection entitled Ghosts I-V. The first 9 tracks are available at no-cost as "high-quality, DRM-free MP3s, including the complete PDF." They note that MP3s were encoded using the free software program, LAME, at 320kbps. Several other Reznor/NIN albums are also available from the site.
  • Voluntocracy Music hosts libre folk music with ABC source, sheet music PDFs and MIDI files.

Streaming and Online Radio Stations

  • Digitally Imported is a multi-channel internet radio service that focuses exclusively on electronic Music. Their team of curators sifts through petabytes of new releases and back catalogs to find only the best from each genre or style.
  • NUGS is a music delivery and webcast platform.