Finding Music Online: Alternatives to iTunes and Amazon
If you are looking for alternatives to the more mainstream musical content that is available through the big online music services, try Beatport or Wax Poetics Digital. Offering rare and offbeat tracks, these sites can open a world of cool or obscure stuff that you won’t find anywhere else.
These two sites cater to specific audiences, rather than trying to drag everybody into the same place. Beatport targets the house and techno DJ and fan alike, offering hundreds of thousands of thumping tracks perfect for club or portable player. For the rare groove and dusty relic fan, there's Wax Poetics Digital. Their stock ranges from obscure hip-hop gems to offbeat children's records, and you never have to worry that somebody made off with the last copy. Check out these resources if you just can't find what you're looking for, you're jonesing for the latest remix that hasn't caught the public's eye yet, or you're just wondering what's out there.
Granted, huge marketplaces like Amazon, iTunes, and eMusic offer a great selection, and you can preview and then legally download music for a small price in just a few seconds (depending on your download speed). But part of the allure of a music store (at least for the hardcore fan) is going in and finding things you weren't looking for, lurking beneath the radar. If you're looking for something a little different, try to include the boutique music store in your search.