Comparison of digital music stores

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Digital music stores sell copies of digital audio, for example in MP3 and WAV file formats. Unlike music streaming services, which typically charge a monthly subscription fee to stream digital audio, online music stores download songs to the customer's hard disk drive of their device. The customer will have the copy of the song permanently on their disk, provided the track is not deleted by the customer, the disk does not get physically damaged, or suffers from being corrupted. Major examples of online music stores include iTunes Store, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and 7digital.[1]

Different platforms may offer a different selection of digital audio, for example, some may only sell music that is of a particular genre, or some may only feature independent content.

Comparison of online music stores[edit]

Store Tracks
(million)
Geographic
restrictions
Purchase platform FLAC ALAC WAV AIFF AAC MP3 WMA Vorbis DRM Preview (seconds) Stream
purchases
7digital 81[2] Yes
[3]
Web, Android 24-bit No No No 320 kbps 320 kbps No No No 30 Yes
Amazon Music 75[4] Yes Web, Android[5] No No No No No 256 kbps No No No 30 Yes
Bandcamp 18.1 No Web 24-bit 24-bit 24-bit 24-bit Yes Yes No Yes No Full Yes
Beatport 9[6] Yes
[7]
Web No No 16-bit 16-bit No 320 kbps No No No 120 Paid service
Bleep ? No Web 16-bit No 24-bit No No 320 kbps No No No Full Yes
Classical Archives 1.17 Yes Web No No No No No 320 kbps No No No 60 No
eMusic 17[8] Yes
[9]
Web[10] No No No No No 320 kbps No No No 60
[10]
Yes
HDtracks ? Yes
US
[11]
Web 24-bit 24-bit 24-bit 24-bit No No No No No 30 ?
iTunes Store 75[12] Yes
[13]
Windows, macOS
iOS, tvOS
No No No No 256 kbps No No No No
(previously FairPlay)
90
[14]
iTunes in the Cloud
Jamendo 0.21 No Web No No No No No Yes No Yes No Full ?
Juno Download ? Yes
[15]
Web 16-bit 16-bit 16-bit 16-bit No 320 kbps No No No 60 No
Magnatune 0.01 No Web Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Full ?
mora 4.4 Yes
Japan
Web 24-bit No No No 320 kbps No No No No 30 ?
NoiseTrade ? No Web No No No No No 320 kbps No No No Full ?
ProStudioMasters ? Yes Web 24-bit No No 24-bit No No No No No 90 No
Qobuz 70[16] Yes Web, Android, iOS
Kindle, Windows 8[17]
24-bit 24-bit 24-bit 24-bit 320 kbps 320 kbps 320 kbps No No 30-60 Yes
Supraphonline 4.3 No Web 16+24-bit No No No No 320 kbps No No No 30+30 ?
Tidal 70[18] Yes Web 16-bit No No No No 320 kbps No No No 30 No

Defunct retailers[edit]

  • MSN Music closed on November 14, 2006. Its DRM servers were originally scheduled to shutdown August 31, 2008, but they later relented and committed to keeping the DRM servers active through the end of 2011.
  • Yahoo! Music Unlimited ceased operating on September 30, 2008. Users' purchases were transferred to Rhapsody.
  • Walmart.com operated an online music store, but discontinued it in 2011.[19]
  • Puretracks operated an online music store, but discontinued it in 2013.[20]
  • Pono Music closed in July 2016.[21]
  • GhostTunes closed on March 3, 2017.[22]
  • Microsoft's Zune Music Marketplace was rebranded as Xbox Music in 2012.[23] In 2015, Xbox Music purchasing was folded into the Windows Store and Groove Music app. The Windows Store was rebranded as Microsoft Store in 2017, but then the Microsoft Store removed music sales from its store on December 31, 2017.[24]
  • BuyMusic was a digital branch of Buy.com, launched around 2003, was later merged into the music section of Buy.com, and then shut down a few years later.[25]
  • Technics Tracks closed on June 30, 2018.
  • Onkyo Music, a reseller of 7digital's services, closed worldwide on October 6, 2019.[26]
  • CD Baby closed its retail store on March 31, 2020.[27]
  • Google Play Music began to shutdown its music store in September 2020 and completed its shutdown worldwide by December.[28]
  • Acoustic Sounds shutdown its Super HiRez digital downloads service on December 31, 2020.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Getting into the charts - Meeting the chart rules". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  2. ^ "7digital". Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...81 Million Tracks in Catalogue...
  3. ^ "Music Start-Up Page". Archived from the original on 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  4. ^ "Amazon Music Unlimited". Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...access to 75 million songs...
  5. ^ "MP3 Music Downloads: Install the Amazon MP3 Downloader". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
  6. ^ "Beatport: 16 Years In Numbers". Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...9 million tracks available on the Beatport store...
  7. ^ "Restricted tracks at Beatport". Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  8. ^ "About eMusic". May 2011.
  9. ^ "eMusic.com Terms of Use". Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Emusic Technical Help". Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  11. ^ "HDtracks high resolution audiophile music downloads". Retrieved 2012-09-24.
  12. ^ "Apple Music - Apple". Apple. Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...over 75 million songs...
  13. ^ "Apple PR". Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  14. ^ "iTunes Music Store". Archived from the original on 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  15. ^ "Release of Tim Hecker's 'Instrumental Tourist' as of 20 Nov 2012 (restriction information not detailed in generally available information)". Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Qobuz Unlimited Streaming Offers". Qobuz.com. Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...Over 70 million tracks available...
  17. ^ "Qobuz About Us". Qobuz.com. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  18. ^ "What is TIDAL?". Retrieved 2021-07-13. ...library of over 70 million tracks...
  19. ^ "Walmart Music Downloads Questions". Archived from the original on 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  20. ^ "Has Canada's answer to iTunes gone silent?". Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  21. ^ "Pono is dead. Probably. Long live Xstream". www.cnet.com. 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
  22. ^ "GARTH BROOKS IS OFFICIALLY CLOSING GHOSTTUNES". 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  23. ^ "Xbox Music heads to Xbox 360 first tomorrow, PC / tablets on Oct. 26, WP8 soon after; we go hands-on". 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  24. ^ "Microsoft will soon shutter its music store and streaming service, move users to Spotify". 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  25. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/2003/08/07/the-taglines-for-apples-itun/7b136151-71aa-41c6-ad7e-d8d9ebfb2a51/
  26. ^ "Say Good-bye to Onkyo Music". 2019-09-16. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  27. ^ "What you should know about the retirement of the CD Baby store, and thank you". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  28. ^ "YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music by end of 2020". 2020-08-04. Retrieved 2020-10-07.