This article provides links to websites that provide Music downloads. We don't even try to list them all - mostly just those that offer CD quality or better downloads, or lower-def items of particular interest. If we missed any sites that meet those criteria, please send us a note. Most of these CD and HD downloads cost money. Some charge an excruciatingly high price considering the tiny marginal cost of distribution, especially when the content is recycled from decades ago. But some free samples are available too.

Also we include a few websites offering free material such as out-of-print/copyright recordings, and some creative commons material.

Note that not all music downloads are available in all world markets, thanks to the recording music industry's quaint attitude that means they choose not to take money when it's offered to them but expect you to go off and hunt for their product somewhere else. If a download is listed on a site but they won't let you buy it, then it's probably because it's also being offered by a download site in your home market.

2L Music - Samples in FLAC, DSD, DXD [Note 1], MQA [Note 2]. See also KlickTrack for the 2L Music Store selling additional downloads.

Acoustic Sounds - Selected recordings from hundreds of labels covering all genres. Downloads available in FLAC, ALAC and DSD [Note 1] formats. FLACs are available in HD from 44/24 up to 192/24. (There's also one album available at 352/24. Not sure that the ears and equipment in my living room are capable of handling that, but if you're into that, now you know where to go.)

AIX - See iTrax.

Analekta - Analekta label, mostly classical, with some emphasis on leading Canadian orchestras and musicians. Excellent recordings available as 24/88.2 and 24/96 FLAC downloads, CDs, and MP3s. Samples on the website are full-length tracks, which really helps when exploring new music and new artists. HD downloads cost less than buying the CD by mail, which is just as it should be. Thanks for setting a good example.

Avantgard Project - Out-of-print LPs digitized as 44.1 FLAC files. Without this website, many of these recordings would be unavailable to new listeners. Includes a wide range of 20th-century classical, experimental, and electroacoustic music. Now relocated to the Internet Archive.

Bandcamp - A long-established site where musicians can sell their music. Now offers CD-quality and sometimes HD downloads in a variety of formats FLAC, ALAC, WAV in addition to lossy versions in MP3, OGG, AAC.

Bleep - A mixed bag of just about everything not mainstream. Lots of experimental and fun music from now and not now. House, Ambient, World, MP3, FLAC HD. Also CDs and vinyl.

Blue Coast Records - High quality acoustic music. WAV files up to 24/96. Also DSD files [Note 1]. See also the Blue Coast run site for WAV, FLAC and DSD downloads from Blue Coast and some other labels.

BOAC The online store for the Canteloupe record label, which is the label of the Bang on a Can organization. If you know Bang on a Can, you'll know what kind of music to expect: contemporary, unusual. The Canteloupe Music website links to BOAC and also to Bandcamp and iTunes. (iTunes AAC only.)

Boomkat - A wide range of current music from more labels than I can count. MP3, FLAC, WAV downloads, plus physical CDs and Vinyl. 

Bowers and Wilkins - Society of Sound (subscription required). A yearly subscription gives you about 24 album downloads, mostly at 24/48 or 24/96 quality, mostly from the London Symphony Orchestra and from Peter Gabriel's Real World Music. Apart from the subscription plan, there's a small number of HD albums available for purchase - latest sample includes Bjork, Maria Callas and Mike Oldfield.

Canteloupe Music - see BOAC.

Channel Classics - FLAC, MP3 and DSD [Note 1] downloads from the Channel Classic label ... all classical, as you might expect.

CHARM: AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music. FLAC downloads of out-of-copyright 78rpm Classical recordings! A research project with content from the early days of the recorded music industry. High definition versions of low-definition recordings (limited bandwidth, surface noise) but fascinating nevertheless. 

Downloads Now - See Blue Coast Records. - See Opus3.

e-classical - At least 300 labels including BIS, Harmonia Mundi, 2xHD, Mirare, Naxos, PentaTone, Academy of Ancient Music. MP3 and FLAC 16/44 up to 24/96. - Based in Hong Kong and offering Evosound recordings in CD, DVD and BluRay formats, and now starting to add a few in 24/96 FLAC and (oddly) 16/44 WAV for download. The website is not easy to navigate and some searches fail to reveal what is actually available, which can't be good for business. But there's a wide range of genres and a quirky selection of music from around the world.

Free Music Archive - A free music download site run by WFMU, a "freeform radio station". Visit the site If you don't know what freeform radio is, then visit the site. A wide range of genres, all in MP3, Creative Commons license. From the website: "Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet."  Worth a visit, and if you download stuff, please make a donation.

Gimell Records - Specializing in music performed by The Tallis Scholars, up to 24/96.

HD Classical Music - The good people who run the website "believe that the world’s classical music is a heritage of humanity and therefore everyone should have free and easy access to it". The website is accumulating a growing library of classical music performances, donated by musicians and sponsors and published under Creative Commons licenses (mostly). Some of the music is in FLAC format, some, despite their aspiration to deliver just HD quality, is in lossy MP3. If you kinda agree that music makes the world go round more sweetly, visit the website, enjoy the music, and donate some time or money to the cause. If you're a classical musician, you might consider making a special recording for this project, say of a small concert that otherwise wouldn't be published.  (Note this site is closed, at least for now, because of increased costs.)
HDTracks - A wide range of music from many labels (hundreds, in fact) covering most genres. US-based. MP3, CD-quality, and hi-res up to 24/192.
High Definition Tape Transfers - "Rare Classical Recordings in Audiophile Sound". 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC downloads, also some DSD128 & DSD64 downloads. Sample tracks available, and also physical media (CD/HQCD). Note that the previous storefront link no longer works. Use this one:
Hyperion Records - Classical music from Hyperion and several other labels. Mail order CDs, plus MP3, ALAC and FLAC downloads at CD quality and better, up to 96/24.

Isabelle Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston - This interesting and idiosyncratic museum occasionaly holds music recitals, mostly classical chamber music. Some are recorded, and the recordings are made available for download on the museums website. The museum is worth a visit when you're in Boston!
iTrax - Originally the AIX download site, now around a dozen other labels too. Includes some multi-channel music downloads. Plus informed comments by Mark Waldrep of AIX records.

iTunes - Lots of downloads of many different types of music, all in AAC. No HD downloads, not even CD quality downloads, but their extensive libraries of lossy files are fine for an iPhone with earbuds. For years now, people have been predicting that Apple will get into HD: no sign so far. BTW, AAC and ALAC will play just fine on your Squeezebox-driven system.
James Kibbie, Bach Organ Works - This website does what is says: offers downloads of the complete Organ Works of J S Bach, played by James Kibbie on various baroque organs in Germany. Free downloads sponsored by the University of Michigan with support from Dr. Barbara Furin Sloat in honor of J. Barry Sloat. MP3, AAC (lossy) and AIFF (CD).

Klicktrack Records (2L) - Downloads from Norwegian record company 2L Records and many others. Up to 24/192 resolution. Also, you can get some free 2L test tracks here including some multi-channel audio sample tracks. 

LessLoss Audio - LessLoss sells high-end audio cables, speakers and other audio equipment. They sell high-end gear, so their customers need high-end content to hear them at their best. Therefore LessLoss sensibly offers a small number of free Sample High Resolution Audiophile Recordings for download. Well-recorded CD and 96/24 downloads available in return for taking a look at the website and performing some mental arithmetic. Cool.

Linn Records - One of the first websites to offer high quality non-DRM HD downloads. AIFF, FLAC and ALAC, from CD-quality to 24/192. Mostly Linn record label recordings.

Musopen - A collection of varied classical music donated by artists and organizations from around the world, and some archival material. Audio quality varies widely, but you can listen before you download. Some of this music is duplicated on the HD Classical music site, but there's a lot that isn't (and vice versa). Some fine performances by the mysterious Musopen Orchestra and Musopen String Quartet. Mostly MP3s, some FLAC. Registration is required. MP3s are free to download, lossless (ie CD-quality) requires a subscription. And ... sheet music is also available for download if you want to follow the score, or even play along!

Naim Label - Another audio technology company now producing quality material to play on their gear. And anyone else's good gear, of course. CD-quality and HD 24/96 WAV, FLAC, ALAC. Music categorized as Classical, Edge and Jazz. What's Edge? Visit and find out.

NativeDSD - Classical, Jazz and more, in DSD (DSF) format. [Note 1]

Nimbit Music - Described as a "direct-to-fan" site which means artists themselves provide the content for fans to buy. Nimbit originally sold just MP3 downloads and physical CDs, but has now added HD files, including WAV and FLAC, but with no indication of sample rates. Oriented towards attracting artists rather than buyers at present: the interface needs to be improved so that potential buyers can browse the music library and find artists. At present a potential buyer needs to know the band is actually there and search for them.

Nonesuch - Nonesuch records now offers some of the albums from ther extensive (and excellent) catalogue as FLAC CD-quality downloads.

Opus3 - The Swedish record company Opus3 ( has a fine portfolio of CDs, SACDs, Vinyl, and even Analogue Masters on tape(!) The company now offers some of their Classical, Jazz and Blues content as DSD downloads. [Note 1]

Pono - Big on promises, not so big on delivery. After a lengthy and overhyped launch process, Pono eventually went on line in 2015 offering a range of new and back-catalog music for download, mostly mainstream rock and pop. Download quality from 16/44 (CD) up to 24/192. Pono actually offered some downloads we couldn't get anywhere else. But it didn't last long: the site went down months ago for "rebuilding" and last time I checked (June 2017) it was still down. Come on ... just as you didn't actually invent high definition, you don't have to reinvent how to do downloads. (BTW, there's no need to buy a Pono device to play Pono material. Squeezebox works fine for Pono HD downloads.)

Premonition Records The Premonition label's on-line store for CDs and Vinyl now offers some downloads: FLAC, MP3 and also DSD. [Note 1]

Presto Classical - CD/SACD store, plus some lossless CD quality and HD downloads. More than 20 'major' record labels represented, and a host of niche labels. 

Primephonic - Classical downloads from several labels including 2L, Chandos, Linn. FLAC, WAV, DSD. Stereo and Surround. CD-quality upwards. (As of June 2017 Primephonic also has a classical-only, CD quality streaming site, but no Squeezebox plugin. Yet.) 

Pro Studio Masters - 24-bit AIFF, FLAC and DSD (DSF) downloads. No 44/16 or low-def. 

Qobuz - Definitely a website worth a visit. Not just CD-quality and 24-bit downloads, but also CD-quality streaming, and even a Squeezebox streaming plug-in. A wide range of international labels. A lot to like. Based in France and available across Western Europe, but not yet in the rest of the world. 

Sound Liaison - HD downloads from the original masters, recorded by Sound Liaison in Studio 11 Hilversum. A small collection but some really excellent recordings at 96/24: jazz, baroque, and even jazz/baroque. Try their sampler. Patiently waiting for them to issue Enghave Baroks's Bach Live HD volumes 2 and 3 in 96/24.  Downloads in 96/24 PCM and FLAC, also in DSD/DSX.

Subradar - A download website for interesting music! From Folk (?) to Free Jazz to Noise to ... . A must visit site with 30-second samples and some full-length tracks for audition online. Downloads available in 24/96, CD-quality and lossy. FLAC, ALAC, AAC, MP3.

Tidal - This is a streaming service more than a download site but it does allow some offline playing, and also delivers streams at CD (44.1 kHz / 16bit) quality, so we decided to include it. Advertises 25 million tracks available, and also "expertly curated Editorial". Covers a wide range of genres. (There's a squeezebox plugin for Tidal, apparently, but we haven't tried it.)

the Classical Shop - Over 90 labels, mostly classical but some not-very-classical stuff too. MP3s, CD-quality and Studio Master downloads. With Linn's decision to focus on Linn and shed third party labels, this UK site will see a lot more traffic. By the way, they now offer Linn Records downloads too. 


Another website that lists download websites.

Just in case we've missed some (we're not perfect) here's another website that provides links to websites that offer CD-quality and HD downloads: - Does more than list the sites - also provides a cross-site search engine and details of discounts being offered.


Note 1. DSD downloads. DSD recordings in DSF format can be tagged just like FLACs and MP3s, so work fine for computer audio, providing you set up Squeezebox in the right way and have capable playback equipment. See this Easysqueezebox article on DSD.

Note 2. The MQA files on 2L download as .mqa.flac files. They play rather well on Squeezebox where they are identified as 44.1 CD quality files. An MQA decoder is required to take full advantage of this compression technology and play back at original recording resolution. Not yet available for Squeezebox as far as I know!

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Last updated: 2017-10-16 07:51:44