The University of Texas at Austin

Security Awareness

Finding Legal Online Music, Movies, and Other Electronic Content

There are numerous legal sources for online music, movies, software and other intellectual property. Major labels, indie labels and studios, solo artists, movie studios, and many others are choosing to distribute via the Web. Information Technology Services (ITS) encourages students to explore and use these resources to maintain compliance with university policies, including the Resnet Acceptable Use policy, and the law. The commercial music, movie, radio, and software services listed below allow students to purchase/license and download content. All of the listed services assert that they comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Other than services it provides, ITS does not recommend the use of a particular service, nor does it warrant that a service is compliant with the DMCA. Students are responsible for reading and understanding service agreements and for complying with the law and ITS and university policies. Remember to choose intelligently: know what issues to consider when choosing a service.

Please refer to the service provider Web sites for current pricing and services as they may be subject to change. This list last updated October 18, 2006. Recommend a Site

Music Services

Provider URL Operating System(s) Notes

Audio Lunchbox

Audio Lunchbox

Linux and Windows

Independent labels

BuyMusic@ Buy.com

Buy Music

Windows

No subscription necessary

Cdigix

Cdigix

Windows

Subscription and download options. Special prices for students with an e-mail address ending in '.edu'.

eMusic

eMusic

Mac OS and Windows, some Linux support

Independent labels, large library

iTunes Store

iTunes Store

iTunes Jukebox download for Mac and Windows

Mac OS and Windows

Very large library

MusicMatch

MusicMatch

Windows

Radio, streaming, or purchase

Napster

Napster

Windows

Radio, streaming, or purchase

RealRhapsody

RealRhapsody

Mac OS, Windows, Linux (streaming)

Desktop program is Windows only

Subscription-based streaming service from RealNetworks

RealPlayer Music Store

RealPlayer Music Store

Windows

Download store from RealNetworks, works with Harmony™ technology in RealPlayer 10.5 to allow transfer to multiple formats

Sony

Sony Connect

Windows, IE 5.0 or higher

Uses Sony’s proprietary file formats

TheKompany

TheKompany

Linux, MacOS, and Windows

New in December 2004, focused on open standards and independent music

Virgin Music

Virgin Music

Windows

Radio, streaming, or purchase

WalMart Music Downloads

WalMart Music Downloads

Windows, IE 5.0 or higher

Purchase only. Some edited content.

Yahoo! Music

Yahoo! Music

Windows 2000 or XP

Free Yahoo! Music Engine to manage music or buy downloads.

Video and Movie Services

Licensed movie services are not as widely developed as licensed music services because the widespread use of broadband is more recent and movies require a lot of bandwidth. Be aware when you sign up for a service and read the fine print. One widely available model is renting online and receiving a DVD in the mail, such as at Netflix.com. Other services let you stream or download a temporary file. If the service lets you buy online, there may be restrictions such as device limitations. If you have cable or satellite TV service, you can watch pay-per-view movies, or go the old fashioned route and rent from the local video store.

Remember, if you’re not paying something for a movie download, or the service is simply a gateway to a peer-to-peer network (this is very common), then it is highly likely the provider is not licensed to distribute the movie, and that downloading the movie is a violation of the copyright.

Provider URL Operating System(s) Notes

iTunes

iTunes

Mac OS and Windows

Download music videos, TV shows and more

MovieLink

MovieLink

Windows, IE 5.0 or higher

Rent a download

MovieFlix

MovieFlix.com

Windows

Rent a download

CinemaNow

CinemaNow

Windows

Rent or purchase

Real Movies

Real Movies

Windows

Rent a download

Online Radio

Provider URL Notes

Live365

Live365

Internet radio network with more than 2.6 million listeners each month.

Omniglot

Omniglot

Links to online radio stations around the world, both multilingual and single language.

Pandora Radio Logo

Pandora Radio

Internet radio that creates a station customized to your tastes based on music qualities.

Radio Paradise

Radio Paradise

Listen to streaming radio, use forums to discuss songs and anything entertainment, rate music, talk about streaming/media, and more.

Software

Students at The University of Texas at Austin have tremendous software resources available at very low (and sometimes no) cost.

UT Austin Service URL Comments

BevoWare

BevoWare

Download at no extra cost for students, faculty and staff. Critical tools for managing and protecting your computer.

Campus Computer Store

Campus Computer Store

Brought to you by ITS. Buy your computer and the latest software at discount prices.

I T S

Software Distribution and Sales

Brought to you by ITS. Students, faculty, staff, and departments can obtain software at greatly reduced prices.

Issues to consider when selecting a service:

Security

It cannot be said often enough: READ THE EULA (end user license agreement) and all terms of service. Research your provider. Know whether they are permitted to sell your information to third parties. Some software allows adware, spyware, malware, and other malicious code to be downloaded to your computer. The malicious code transmits information from your system. It may capture personal information, including passwords other data that could allow someone to steal your identity. Make sure you practice safe computing, install anti-virus software on your computer, and regularly scan for viruses and malicious code.

Licensing and terms of use

Some commercial services limit your access to the term of your subscription. Once you end your subscription, you can no longer play the music.

Cost and quality

Streaming services typically are available for a monthly subscription, while downloads are usually (but not always) provided on a per-item basis. Less expensive downloads may have a lower quality.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions

DRM is encryption embedded in data to protect the rights of the copyright holder and prevent certain activities. Some services provide music with embedded DRM encryption, and players that cannot successfully decrypt the media will not be able to play the music.

Legality

Services should provide statements asserting that they are compliant with the DMCA. Remember that you are responsible for any stolen intellectual property. The university cannot protect you.

Type of service

Some services offer streaming audio only, others purchase only, and others let you choose between streaming and purchase. Other sites offer access to online radio stations (usually commercial-free), media management tools, and other electronic content.

Transferability

Some services restrict your ability to transfer downloads to other media, computers, and portable devices.

Supported platforms

Most commercial music services support Windows operating systems. A few support Mac OS and Linux operating systems.

Supported file formats

Services usually provide only one or two of the many available audio formats: MP3, AAV (Apple iPod), WMA (Windows Media Player), and Ogg (Linux) among others. Different portable devices support different formats.

Catalog

Music catalog size, timeliness, and focus vary. Some commercial music services specialize in primarily independent or small-label artists; others have large catalogs, but the music may not be current. Larger services can offer a large selection of the latest popular music.

Tools/client support

Most services require the use of client software installed on the computer to facilitate downloads and manage music collections. If the service does not require a client, they likely provide an optional one.

Flexibility

The online music market is constantly changing, there are many competitors, and technology continues to evolve. Look at whether the service seems to have room to adapt to change or locks you into a particular format or technology.