9 legitimate Music Sharing Websites

Splicemusic.com music-sharing site

Ever fancied giving Pete Tong or Judge Jules a run for their money? Now you can, with Splicemusic.com, a free online sequencer that allows users to mix tracks and share them with other members of the community. Splice encourages users to collaborate by offering a public sounds vault, to which you can upload your own copyrighted samples and sounds for use by other Splice members.

• Try your hand at mixing sound samples • Share your work with Splice's community

There's a tutorial for those who aren't used to sampling software, but you'll soon get the hang of it. Choose a kit to remix pre-created dance tracks or create your own from scratch by filling a clean sequencer with bass lines, melody and effects. Finished tracks can be shared with the Splice community or saved privately. Splice only let users upload sounds and samples with the copyright-holder's permission.

Verdict

Suitable for anyone who fancies trying their hand at becoming the next Pete Tong.

Where: www.Splicemusic.com

How Much? FREE

Rating: 3.5/5

Sellaband.com music-sharing site

Sellaband is talking up its service as the perfect community for band lovers. Unsigned acts can create a SellaBand profile and upload three tracks for free. They must then persuade fans to join the service. If the fans like an act, they can choose to 'buy into' them for $10.

• Share your band's music with your fans and a wider audience online • In with a chance of getting a chance to record and distribute your own album

The site aims to help up-and-coming bands raise US$50,000 — enough to pay the studio, recording and marketing fees for an album, and start a band on the road to megastardom. Adverts are stitched on to the free downloads and profits are split 50:50.

Verdict

Suitable for anyone after a record deal.

Where: www.sellaband.com

How Much? Free for bands; US$10 for fans

Rating: 3.5/5

CD Baby music-sharing site

CDBaby.net is one of the most popular music aggregators. The company requires a US$35 registration fee, but will then sell digital files and CDs through music stores including cdbaby.com, iTunes, Yahoo Music, Best Buy, Rhapsody, Napster and MSN Music.

• Sell your own music through iTunes • Set the price yourself

Users can set the price of their tracks at whatever they like and CD Baby takes a 9 percent cut of this, or US$4 for each CD.

Verdict

Suitable for anyone keen to make a profit from selling music, while retaining control.

Where: www.CDBaby.net

How Much? US$35 Registration Fee

Rating: 3/5

Napster music-sharing site

Napster_large

NOTE: Some pricing for this service is in UK currency

Napster.com was once touted as the future of downloadable music. It began life as the most successful of all the illegal music download services. After being shut down, it re-emerged as a legitimate service in 2003. Initially, it became known as a subscription service, but this is only one of Napster's offerings.

• Choose from five million tracks online • Stream music as many times as you like

Napster offers a catalogue of more than five million tracks. From US$12.95, a monthly membership permits you to listen to tracks on your PC on and offline as many times as you like. The Napster To-Go membership adds the option of transferring these tracks to a compatible portable player. You can also buy tracks outright. DRM-free tracks cost 79p, or less for bundles or complete albums. Napster subscribers can buy individual tracks at a discounted rate — sometimes as little as 68p. Peer recommendations and artists you're likely to enjoy are offered via shared libraries.

Verdict

Suitable for those who are after a primarily PC-based service and who are happy with the subscription concept.

Where: www.Napster.com

How Much? From US$12.95

Rating: 4/5

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

PC Advisor (UK)

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