Music Download Sites (16/44 a list)

Here's a list of sites that offer CD-quality downloads (16/44) mostly in FLAC format, some in WAV. This list does not include sites that only offer MP3s (they're free, right?) or High Definition Downloads since those are listed on the big HD Download Sites list. If you find some are missing, and my guess is there are, please leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll add 'em. Enjoy!

[Updated 7.15.13]

Additech Records

Website: www.addictech.com

Description: Dealing the purest quality electronic music.

Format: FLAC & WAV

All Celtic Music
Website: www.allcelticmusic.com/

Description: With over 30 years of experience in traditional distribution and a passion for embracing new technologies, you can be assured of our quality and service whether you require a full CD quality digital download or secure mail order of our unequalled range of CDs and DVDs.

All Celtic Music covers all types of mostly traditional music though, like us, some of our artists do take the odd jump into using new technology too!

Format: FLAC

Amoeba Music
Website: www.amoeba.com/

Description: Vinyl Vaults is our boutique, curated collection of digitized vinyl and 78s, available for download exclusively here! Vinyl is the ultimate expression of an artist's work, and we're doing our best to preserve our history! Enjoy the depth and warmth of these vinyl masters, and for the full sonic impact upgrade to M4A (Lossless) or WAV Files.

Format: WAV

Ariama
Website: www.ariama.com/

Description: An online classical music store offering recordings from more than 200 major and independent labels on CD and in high-quality digital download formats.

Format: FLAC

ATO Records
Website: atorecords.shop.musictoday.com

Description: According To Our Records (ATO Records) is a record label committed to artists and building their careers. Founded by Dave Matthews, manager Coran Capshaw, and two associates – Michael McDonald and Chris Tetzeli – ATO seeks out talented songwriters, musicians and performers for whom there is genuine passion and belief. ATO strives to build career artists. As a truly independent label ATO is steadfast in our commitment to maintaining that focus.

Format: FLAC

Bandcamp
Website: www.bandcamp.com

Description: We're a publishing platform for bands, or, anthropomorphically/arthropodically-speaking, your fifth, fully geeked-out Beatle -- the one who keeps your very own website humming and lets you get back to making great music and building your fan base. If this all sounds as highly satisfactory to you as we hope, we invite you to check out the screencast, or cut straight to the chase and sign up for a free account. Welcome!

Format: FLAC

Barsuk Records
Website: www.barsuk.com

Description: Barsuk Records is an independent record label based in Seattle, Washington, started and still managed by the members of the band This Busy Monster, Christopher Possanza and Josh Rosenfeld, who created the label in 1994 to release their band's material.

Format: FLAC

Beatport
Website: www.beatport.com

Description: Beatport is the recognized leader of electronic music downloads by DJs and fans alike delivering content in premium-encoded formats that match the professional performance quality standards of the world's leading sound systems. Beatport.com allows users to access the world of club music through secure, legal, hi-speed, high quality downloads in MP3, MP4 and WAV formats on a pay per download basis from an impressive library of the world's leading independent labels.

Format: WAV

Boomkat
Website: www.boomkat.com

Description: Welcome to Boomkat - A specialist music website brought to you by a dedicated team who have been operating in this field for over 7 years now - building up a huge resource of information and opinion about music that exists beyond the radar. Our product extends to cover the most underground forms of Electronic music, Hip Hop, Post-Folk, Alt.Country, IDM, Electro, Acoustica, Post-Rock, Ambient, Micro House, Detroit Techno, Mentalism, Electropop, Indiepop, Grime, Free Jazz, Modern Composition, Cologne Techno, Future Disco, Drone, Sublow, Soundtracks, Noise and out and out post-generic objects of wonder.

Format: FLAC

Burning Shed
Website: www.burningshed.com

Description: Run by Artists for artists (artists include King Crimson and Porcupine Tree)

Format: FLAC

ClassicsOnline
Website: www.classicsonline.com

Description: ClassicsOnline is a dedicated music download service offering over 40,000 albums and over 3/4 million tracks from a comprehensive catalogue of classical, classic jazz, blues, folk and world music. Naxos, the leading independent label of classical music, launched ClassicsOnline in May 2007 to serve as classical music enthusiasts’ go-to resource for digital downloads, the latest releases and artist spotlights.

ClassicsOnline’s entire catalog is digital rights management (DRM) free and available at no less than 320 kbps bitrate/quality. The site features more than 300 independent labels with more labels being added every month.

Format: FLAC

Crammed Discs
Website: crammed.greedbag.com/

Description: To hell with false modesty: Crammed seems to be recognized as one of the most exciting, adventurous and boundary-breaking independent labels worldwide. Based in Brussels and resolutely cosmopolitan-minded, the label has kept reinventing itself, and has been constantly coming up with new blends, mixing elements of rock, world music, pop and electronica ever since its inception in the early '80s, often anticipating the musical movements which bloomed during the next three decades.

Format: FLAC

Destination: OUT
Website: destination-out.bandcamp.com

Description: Selections from the German Free Music Production (FMP) catalog.

Format: FLAC

Deutsche Gramophone
Website: www.deutschegrammophon.com

Description: Deutsche Gramophone is classical music

Format: FLAC

DigitalSoundboard.net
Website: app1.dsbd.net

Description: Welcome to DigitalSoundboard.net where customers OWN the music they purchase. We provide untethered access to FLAC and MP3 music files. Why rent music, when you can own it here at DigitalSoundboard.net?

Format: FLAC

digital-tunes
Website: www.digital-tunes.net

Description: Drum and Bass, Dub/Reggae/Dancehall, Dubstep/Grime, Electro House / Breaks, Experimental/Electronica, House, Jazz/Funk/Hip-Hop, Skweee/Wonky/Aquacrunk, Techno UK Funky/Garage

Format: FLAC & WAV

Diogenes
Website: diogenes.greedbag.com

Description: Digital home for experimental music.

Format: FLAC & WAV

Discogs
Website: Discogs

Description: Discogs is a user-built database containing information on artists, labels, and their recordings. Discogs also incorporates a Marketplace where you can buy and sell the recordings. Discogs is constantly growing as users submit releases to the database.

Format: WAV

Drag City
Website: www.dragcity.com

Description: Our version of music. Guaranteed to satisfy the most tolerant listener.

Format: FLAC

Experimedia
Website: www.experimedia.net

Description: Record shop and label based in Kent Ohio USA supporting the esoteric outsider independent music community with reckless abandon since 2000. Format: FLAC

Fast Atmosphere
Website: www.fastatmosphere.com

Description: Internet solutions for music. A collection of Artists sites including Norah Hons and Booker T. Some music available for download.

Format: FLAC

Festival Link
Website: flink.livedownloads.com

Description: FestivaLink.net recordings are not simple board tapes. We work hand in hand with an all-pro recording team, capturing every note in high-resolution audio. Then, the recordings are carefully mixed and mastered, and offered in three popular formats: protection-free and speedy MP3s and CD-quality FLAC downloads compatible with your iPod or other MP3 player, and the still-popular and convenient CD, sent to you by mail.

Format: FLAC

Fret Tunes
Website: www.frettunes.com

Description: Fret Tunes is a specialist guitar music download store. Ultra high quality MP3 albums are US$8.99. FLAC albums are US$9.99. These are exact copies of CDs.

Format: FLAC

Hyperdub
Website: www.hyperdub.net

Description: Hyperdub is a London-based record label, founded and run by Steve Goodman, aka Kode9. It was formed in 2004. Artists who have released on Hyperdub include label owner Kode9, Pressure, and Burial.

Format: WAV

Hyperion Records
Website: www.hyperion-records.co.uk

Description: Founded in 1980, Hyperion is an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. We have been described as 'Britain’s brightest record label'. In January 1996 we were presented with the Best Label Award by MIDEM's Cannes Classiques Awards. The jury was made up of the editors of most of the leading classical CD magazines in the world - Classic CD (England), Soundscapes (Australia), Répertoire (France), FonoForum (Germany), Luister (Holland), Musica (Italy), Scherzo (Spain), and In Tune (USA & Japan).

Format: FLAC

indietorrent.org
Website: indietorrent.org

Description: The indietorrent.org project provides an e-commerce framework that enables independent musicians to sell their own music while keeping all profits. There are no record labels and no middlemen, and artists may join the indietorrent.org community free of charge. The only requirement for an artist to join is that he electronically signs a straightforward document certifying that he owns the copyright to the music he is attempting to sell. The indietorrent.org platform is very simply an e-commerce store that was built from the ground up with the express purpose of selling digital music and merchandise.

Format: FLAC

Innersong
Website: www.innersong.com

Description: InnerSong™ was established in California in 1989 with the idea of creating a convenient source of kiirtan music. Starting out with a few kiirtan cassettes, InnerSong got off the ground by the efforts of Kamala, with the support of a number of others. In 1995 Kamala moved to Australia and InnerSong moved to Vermont, where Giridhara and Ac. Cirasmita’ took over the day to day operations. Our first Kiirtan CD was Touched by the Sea, by Jyosna, now an all-time classic. That was in 1995- and it seems the quantity and quality just keeps getting higher. We have gone from a few titles to over 100, and are now able to offer a truly global selection.

Over the years we have seen the evolution of kiirtan recordings go from small, handheld cassette recorders, to 8 track to 24 track to DAT to fully computerized, state of the art recording studios. The Internet has given us a greater opportunity to work with artists and kiirtan lovers all over the world and we are ever closer to our goal of making kiirtan available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Format: FLAC

Juno Download
Website: www.junodownload.com

Description: Welcome to Juno Download, the dance music MP3 and WAV site from the makers of Juno Records! We have over two million tracks available - watch this space every day for the latest exclusives, dj charts, recommendations & more...

Format: WAV

Maple Music
Website: www.maplemusic.com

Description: MapleMusic.com provides e-commerce services to hundreds of Canadian artists. Founded in 1999 and based in Toronto, we're proud of our role in bringing Canadian music to the world, and the world's music to Canadians. We support artists in selling physical and digital goods, from recorded music to t-shirts to concert tickets, in a fair and transparent way. Shop in our secure online environment and if you have any questions at all, please contact our friendly and attentive customer care team.

Format: FLAC

Matador Records
Website: store.matadorrecords.com

Description: Independent Record label and home to artists including Sonic Youth, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Cold Cave, Girls, Thurston Moore, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks and many many more.

Format: FLAC

Merge Records
Website: www.mergerecords.com

Description: Merge Records is an independent record label based in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1989 by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. It began as a way to release music from their band Superchunk and music created by friends, and has expanded to include artists from around the world and records reaching the top of the Billboard music charts.

Format: FLAC

Mindawn
Website: www.mindawn.com

Description: Mindawn was launched with the intention of giving artists and labels more direct control over their content than that afforded by other online music services, as well as a higher royalty rate and support of open audio standards. This is why you will see the lossless FLAC audio format and the lossy OGG format on this site. OGG can be thought of as MP3 files. There is a huge and growing amount of support for these formats, you can find out more by clicking the 'Customer FAQ' link above, including how to play these formats in iTunes and Windows Media Player.

Format: FLAC

Music Is Here
Website: www.musicishere.com

Description: Online music store of independent music.

Format: FLAC & WAV

MusicZeit
Website: www.musiczeit.com

Description: What Makes MusicZeit Different?

We all jumped for joy when CD came along, right? Great sound quality, no scratches, no messing about. So now what's happening? Download music is everywhere, and CD is being put out to pasture. But wait, there's a catch. Most download music is "lossy". And this means inferior sound quality to CD. MP3, AAC, WMA. It's all lossy.

We at MusicZeit.com believe you should have the best of both worlds. Instant download access to the music you want, but no loss of quality. That's why all our albums are available in lossless CD quality as well as high quality MP3 if you want to listen to things "on the move". And we don't do individual tracks. Like you, we feel the music needs to be heard in context, as part of a full album or EP.

Format: FLAC

Nonesuch
Website: www.nonesuch.com

Description: Founded as a budget classical label in 1964 by Jac Holzman, head of the then-independent Elektra Records, Nonesuch Records has grown over the last nearly five decades to pursue a broad mission, including classical music, contemporary music, jazz, traditional American and world music, popular and alternative music, music theater and dance.

Format: FLAC

Other Music
Website: digital.othermusic.com

Description: OTHER MUSIC (uth'er myoo'zik) n. Abbr. OM (om)

1. A Manhattan-based record store specializing in amazing sounds, past, present, and future.
2. An unparalleled selection of underground and experimental CDs, LPs, imports and out-of-print rarities.
3. A venue hosting in-store performances from the likes of DJ Shadow, Yo La Tengo, Jim O'Rourke, Tindersticks, Mouse On Mars, etc. and others still to come.

A unifying aesthetic for a cornucopia of seemingly disparate musical genres; an attempt to classify the unclassifiable by delineating the common threads among these genres.

Format: WAV

Paper Recordings
Website: www.ecordlabelservices.com

Description: Welcome to the home of Paper Recordings, Defdrive and We are Woodville.

We sell digital downloads of our entire back-catalogue, and still have some limited edition vinyl releases in stock.

Our download catalogue is available in both FLAC and MP3 formats. We have previews available of each track for your shopping pleasure.

Format: FLAC

Passionata
Website: www.passionato.com

Description: Passionato's aim is to become the world's most comprehensive online classical resource and offer classical music lovers the largest available collection of high-quality DRM-free classical music downloads. Passionato provides access to catalogues from most of the major labels (including Universal Music and EMI) as well as numerous independent labels.

Designed for classical music lovers, Passionato's main features are: DRM-free recordings, transferable to any portable device and burnable to CD; high quality downloads (320kbps DRM-free MP3 and lossless FLAC); an unprecedented level of recording information available via the Passionato store, and the ability to search our extensive catalogue of recordings using multiple fields.

Format: FLAC

Plague Recordings
Website: plaguerecordings.bandcamp.com

Description: Plague Recordings (also known as Plague) is an independent record label formerly operating from Belgium specialising in ambient, industrial and experimental electronic music.

Format: FLAC

Planet Mu
Website: www.planet.mu

Description: Planet Mu is an electronic music record label run by Mike Paradinas (also known as µ-Ziq) based in Great Britain. From 1995 until 1997 the label was a subsidiary imprint of Virgin Records, releasing µ-Ziq's own records and the "Mealtime" compilation. In 1998 Mike Paradinas took the label independent, distributed through SRD. The label started releasing music by like-minded experimental electronic musicians, it’s earliest successes in this field being Mike himself, Jega, Capitol K, Hellfish & Producer and Luke Vibert. Since the early 2000’s the label has also tracked and reflected Mike’s love of British dance music, releasing one of the first Dubstep albums, Vex'd’s "Degenerate" and one of the first Grime artist albums, Virus Syndicate’s "Work Related Illness" both in 2005, as well as many 12" singles by the likes of Benga, Distance, Boxcutter, Pinch and more. In 2003 Planet Mu released the first of it’s reissues of peerless British dance producers in Remarc’s two retrospective albums; these have been followed by the acclaimed retrospectives of Terror Danjah and Bizzy B. In 2006 Mary Anne Hobbs curated the peerless "Warrior Dubz", the first of three very successful compilations with the label. Planet Mu has followed this many-forked path to this day, in 2009, releasing cutting edge music by Floating Points, Brackles, Gemmy and Falty DL among others and 2010 will be no exception, showing some incredible releases from the likes of Starkey, Raffertie, Slugabed, 0=0 and Rudi Zygadlo.

Format: FLAC

Presto Classical
Website: www.prestoclassical.co.uk/

Description: Underpinned by an evident love of music and the world of recordings' , Presto offers classical music/opera CDs, DVDs & sheet music for delivery worldwide

Format: FLAC

R&S Records
Website: randsrecords.greedbag.com

Description: Belgian independent techno label releasing music by Joey Beltram, Jaydee, Aphex Twin and Dave Angel.

Format: FLAC

Rhino Records
Website: www.rhino.com

Description: 1978. The Bee Gees dominate the charts. Billy Joel reigns at the Grammys. The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on SNL. And Richard Foos and Harold Bronson make pop culture history when they take Rhino Records from local record shop to worldwide label with the release of “Go To Rhino Records” by Larry “Wild Man” Fischer.

From our humble beginnings pressing novelty records to releasing archival reissues like Aretha’s Young, Gifted And Black and definitive anthologies like John Coltrane’s Complete Atlantic Recordings, Rhino strives to be your trusted authority on quintessential collector’s items. Today, we’re making it our mission to deliver vinyl, CDs, DVDs and digital releases with the same uncompromising commitment to quality and irreverent attitude that Rhino’s carried on throughout the years.

Format: FLAC

Room40
Website: emporium.room40.org

Description: ROOM40 is a label and multi-arts organisation based in Brisbane, Australia.

Since 2000, ROOM40 has released over 60 high quality editions and multiples in the fields of electronics, improvisation, experimental-pop and sound-art. Curated by Lawrence English, the label continues to publish in and around the margins of each of these fields drawing on a diverse roster of both established and emergent sound-makers.

ROOM40 also produces numerous events, festivals and exhibitions in Australia and beyond.

Format: FLAC, WAV

SamadhiSound
Website: www.samadhisound.com

Description: Samadhi Sound (or samadhisound) is an independent record label founded by singer and musician David Sylvian.

Format: FLAC

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Website: www.folkways.si.edu

Description: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. We are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials we seek to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. Our mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document "people's music," spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world. The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways commitment to cultural diversity, education, increased understanding, and lively engagement with the world of sound.

Format: FLAC

Soma Records
Website: www.somarecords.com

Description: Independent record label based in Glasgow.

Format: WAV

subradar
Website: www.subradar.no

Description: Subradar is an artist friendly website dedicated to free-jazz, noise, improvised and contemporary music. Subradar has been developed in close collaboration with musicians and record labels and is a non-profit organization run by artists.

File Formats: FLAC

The Leaf Label
Website: www.theleaflabel.net

Description: The Leaf Label was established in late 1994, with the sole intention of releasing music by Graham Sutton of Bark Psychosis. That first Boymerang 12" sold out in a matter of weeks, so it seemed like a good idea to carry on...

In late 1996 label founder Tony Morley took the plunge and left his day job at the influential 4AD label, making Leaf a full-time priority. We've had our ups and downs, but in an increasingly squeezed music industry, we're stronger now than we've ever been. In 2004 we opened an office in New York, and the UK office relocated to its spiritual home in Yorkshire in 2006.

Our passion hasn't really changed in all that time - we want to bring the music we love from the fringes to as many people as possible. Every artist is treated as individual, with careful attention to detail and presentation, and we try not repeat ourselves, so the label keeps evolving. Our outlook has always been very international, and in artists like A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Colleen, Efterklang, Murcof, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Asa-Chang & Junray and volcano!, we have brought fascinating and original music to the attention of music lovers worldwide.

Format: WAV

Touch Shop
Website: touchshop.org

Description: TouchShop offers CDs, vinyl, cassettes, digital downloads, print editions and more by Touch and associated labels. Our latest editions are featured below, with catalogue editions listed to the right - by artist, format and imprint. Do keep an eye out for re-issues, new compilations and the occasional returns of deleted or unavailable stuff...

Format: FLAC

Trunk Records
Website: trunkrecords.com

Description: Music, nostalgia and sex. We deal with these three important commodities, and try and mix them up as often as possible. So in the past we've had a pretty sexy and noisy time. To date we have released some records, dealt in old porno posters, published some books, performed some theatre and started some peculiar trends.

On this site you have an opportunity to explore our little world, and maybe communicate with us too. There are things for sale, things to look at and things to hear, so please join in.

Format: WAV

Universal Music
Website: store.universal-music.co.uk

Description: From Abba to The Who.

Format: FLAC

World Connection
Website: worldconnection.greedbag.com

Description: World Connection is one of the most energetic Dutch record companies focusing on world music in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Among other artists you can find Mariza, Sara Tavares, Netsayi, Bole2Harlem, Tito Paris and Waldemar Bastos within World Connections' catalogue. World Connection is today well represented in more than 35 countries worldwide. The synergy between the label and the agent, World Connection Agency, ensures that the company can offer the artist a total package in which their career takes centre stage. Some of the artists on the label are Mariza, Sara Tavares, Tito Paris, Netsayi, Bole2Harlem, Neco Novellas, Kiran Ahluwalia, Elizabeth Ayoub, Zuco 103, Deolinda & Blick Bassy.

Format: FLAC

Zunior
Website: www.zunior.com

Description: The future of music is digital. Owning a high quality personal music collection is easier than ever thanks to the depth and reach of the Internet. Searching, buying and playing great music is a snap with the usability and simplicity of the digital format. The digital music revolution balances the importance of portability, size and consistency that allows all of us to enjoy more music in more ways that ever before. Zunior.com sells high quality digital music from independent artists. Many people have asked me to explain Zunior, and the Digital Music Manifesto gives you the straight goods.

Great price!
All albums on Zunior.com are available for $8.88 as high quality 192 kbps MP3 format. It is also possible to pay an extra $2.00 and get your music in the highest quality lossless file format called FLAC (free lossless audio codec). However, if you're new to digital music, MP3 is the place to start as it combines the best elements of price, quality, and simplicity.

Format: FLAC

7digital
Website: us.7digital.com

Description: Our 7digital download stores enable you to browse and purchase high quality MP3 (320k) downloads from a catalogue of over 17 million tracks that includes all the major labels and independent distributors.

[note: 7digital offers a few FLAC downloads which is why they're listed here. Hopefully we'll see more soon]

Format: FLAC

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COMMENTS
slim's picture

Nice list, Michael! Now the next step for the avid FLAC consumer would be to hunt for the best price for a given album through some meta-engine. Have you come across anything like that?  

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I have not come across a FLAC-specific search engine yet…but that’s a good idea.

One thing you’ll notice with these sites is there’s very little overlap of inventory between them with the exception of classical music. I did a quick search on the DG site and Passionato and the DG site is selling the same FLAC download for £ 8.99 ($ 14.17) that Passionato has for $10.99.

slim's picture

yeah, I was thinking too far ahead. A "best price" search will certainly become available once there is more overlap of repertoire.

For the time being, I would be happy with an engine to find me a legal FLAC/WAV of a given artist/album (at any price) ...

findhdmusic's picture

Hi Slim,

I realize this thread is now verrry old, but in case you're still interested there is now a search engine for finding legit CD-Quality lossless downloads at http://flacme.com

- Brett

slim's picture

Thanks, Brett - I'm so glad that FLACME exists now; I have commented on that on ML's new thread :-)

vc's picture

Hi Michael,

Thanks for compiling the list of CD and HD-quality download sites.

Have you come across websites selling CD or HD-quality versions of the popular music found in iTunes store?

sg60's picture

http://www.matadorrecords.com/

 

Good for some indie/underground music. I've used it a number of times.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I dreamed Matador offered FLAC downloads!! Man O Man this is News deserving of its own post. Coming right up.

Thanks!!!

acd6977's picture

Drag City has been offering FLAC for a while too: dragcity.com

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Excellent! & Thanks !! (Drag City - added)

More last minute shopping is in order!!!

jeffreyfranz's picture

Michael, I guess your holiday is over? Back to work already.crying

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