How to live without the Music Industry

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2005
Updated • Nov 4, 2017
Music, Music and Video

We read it in the news every day. Major music industry firms like Sony BMG or EMI are reporting losses all over the place and blame it solely on Internet pirates. Internet pirates are actually a very good excuse for bad times.

Hard facts do not exist and no one is able to check on the numbers the Music Industry provides for losses because of  internet pirates. A common theme seems to be to calculate each illegal download as a lost sale. The method has that many flaws that it hard to list them all. Imagine a 16 year old who downloads hundreds of CDs per month. Is it likely that the person would be able to buy more than a hundred CDs per month if there would not be illegal download options available? Not very likely, do you think? You can only spend money once.

They don't seem to realize that they criminalize their own customers with measures like copy protected cd's and rootkit software installed on customers PC.

More and more customers are becoming aware of this and are looking for good alternatives. Don't buy Cds from major record labels anymore but still enjoy music, is that possible at all?

Yes it is possible, there are numerous ways one could get his daily dosis of music and even download it to his personal computer without feeding the dragon.

1. Buy used CDs

This one is pretty obvious. As soon as a CD is released it shortly thereafter appears on virtual marketplaces like eBay and amazon as used used copies. The music industry won't see a dime if you buy a used CD instead of the original one.

2. Record and Listen to (internet) radio:

Thousands of independent internet radio stations exist. Sites like offer a large variety of genres and cater to every music taste. The traditional radio stations tend to become less of an alternative to internet radio. The main reason is that is difficul to record "clean", meaning without someone babbling at the beginning and end, versions of a song and transfer it to the computer.

Recording internet radio has never been that easy, I've published a tutorial about this, just take a look at my guide to streamripping

3. Trade CDs with friends:

The CD and tape trading that our fathers excelled at is slowly been put to rest. Its far easier to download the latest album and have it immediately on the PC than to trade it with a friend and copy it by some means.

Trading CDs has some advantages and also some disadvantages. To trade CDs one must have some, e.g. buy them. Then you need someone with the same music taste to trade CDs with. The big advantage is that its 100% legal to trade music CDs with your friends. In most countries you are even allowed to copy the CD and then trade it and keep the copy. Check your local laws on this.

4. Download free music

Independent musicians and bands often offer their work for free on the internet. Portals like amazon also offer music downloads of known artists for free download. I compiled a incomplete list of some.

Take a look at and the wikipedia entry for free music for good lists.

5. Audio Blogs:

Audio Blogs offer another possibility, they have become increasingly popular since 2003. Visit for a large list of audio blog sites.

Visit the top list over at for a listing of audio and music blogs.

6. Support local bands

Local bands tend to produce and sell their CDss on their own. Visit festivals and concerts, buy CDs there and support those independent bands and musicians.

Tip: Check out the follow-up article how to live without the music industry (feedback)

How to live without the Music Industry
Article Name
How to live without the Music Industry
If you don't want to be criminalized by the Music Industry anymore, try out these suggestions to enjoy music without having to deal with the industry.
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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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