Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

listentocd   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before BuyingHow many times have you bought a CD only to find that most of the songs are not to your liking? I am sure most of you have this kind of experience. It is definitely not a good feeling, perhaps coupled with a pain in the wallet. This doesn’t apply only to physical CD that you buy off the shelf, but also those songs that you bought from iTunes store or Amazon.

Won’t it be great if you can listen to the whole songs (or CD) before you buy? iTunes store and Amazon has the preview feature, but they only come with a 30-second preview, which is not enough to sample a song.

We need some alternatives, great alternatives. So, here are my favorite websites where users can listen to CDs before buying them.

1. AOL music

AOL music is one of the best place in the Web that offers free full length songs and music for listening. It has a huge database of songs. You simply pick the songs you want. If the song is not available, AOL will search for it in the web and playback (from the remote location) the song on the fly.

In addition, AOL music always have a “New music releases” section where you can listen to new CD releases for free in their entirety every week.

aolmusic   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

This is not only a good way to sample the CD before you buy, it is also a good way to discover new CDs in the market.

2. Youtube

At Youtube, you won’t be able to sample the whole CD at one go, but surely you will be able to find most of the tracks (in music video and other forms) in its database. When you search for the songs/artists/albums in the search bar, there is a high chance that you will find what you want in the search result.

Furthermore, with all the YouTube and other video conversion tools previously highlighted by MakeUseOf, you can also convert and download the music video to your desktop, even though the music quality differs a great deal from those in the music store.

youtubemusicvideo   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

5. Rhapsody

With Rhapsody, you never have to worry about a lack of songs. They have more than a million songs in their database and there is a very high chance you will find what you want. Rhapsody operates on a subscription model (only available in US), that is to say, you pay a subscription fee every month ($12.99) and you have access to all the songs in their database and you can listen to them again and again, unlimited times.

With the subscription account, you can also download the software and access to your favorite songs from your desktop.

rhapsody   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

If you are not willing to pay the subscription fee, Rhapsody also allows its users to listen to 25 songs for free. That should be enough for you to sample two and a half CD of songs before you make your purchase decision.

4. Imeem

Imeem is a social network that enables its users to share media, including music, video and photos with each other.  In here, you are likely to find the songs/CDs that you want. Some of the music are restricted by the label/artists and features only a 30-second preview, but there are still a great deal of them that are full length and you are able to listen to the full CD.

imeem   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

5. Baidu MP3

This may not be suitable for everyone, but if you are a Chinese song lover, like I am, then this is the place to listen to free songs.

All you need to do is to perform a search with the search bar and it will fetch the required songs from the artists. You can then scroll to find his/her current album or previous albums. You can click on the link beside the song to hear the full song.

baidu   Top 5 Websites To Listen To CDs Before Buying

Other alternatives that did not make the list

MySpace

I am sure some of you will swear by MySpace. I am not an active user of MySpace and I don’t have much love for it. Personally, I find the layout very messy and it crashes my browser (and computer) very often.

Last.fm

While there are plenty of songs and information in Last.fm, you seldom have the chance to sample the full CD of your favorite artists. I do use it for occasional listening, but when it comes to CD sampling, I guess there are better sites out there.

If you are interested in purchasing music online, Simon listed out 3 Ultra Cheap Alternatives to the iTunes Store. Check it out.

What other websites do you go to listen CD before buying? Do you prefer digital copies or physical CDs? Comment away!

Image credit: SChristineBrink

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18 Comments -

0 votes

nayten

Grooveshark! I can’t believe you guys didnt feature that!

grooveshark.com

and it’s awesome cousin:

tinysong.com

0 votes

Justin

Yeah I don’t know how you could write an article like this without making groovshark #1

0 votes

Damien Oh

Somehow, I guess Grooveshark must have slipped under my radar. After checking it out, I agree that it should be in the list.

Thanks for pointing it out to me.

0 votes

David ben-Avram

Do not forget lala.com! Great place to listen to any album once!

0 votes

Mike

Ditto on lala.com play the whole CD for free.

0 votes

Maddy

I listen to Largehearted Boy’s weekly Try It Before You Buy It lists:

largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2009/06/try_it_before_y_89.html

0 votes

AaronBaer

Definitely GrooveShark – but I also like to search a band/song out on pandora first – often times I can tell if I’ll like a new artist if I like the other music that Pandora compares it too.

0 votes

Damien Oh

I will only include Pandora in the list if it allows non-US visitors to enter its site. At the moment, I have no way to test it out.

0 votes

grooveshark ftw

another grooveshark fan as it grabs 95% of what i want and i have some odd msical tastes…and yes a second for pandora for the best set and forget e-radio–just take the time to add a good set of what you like and hit quickmix! Have found tons of new artists i like using pandora.

0 votes

Brandt

uhh… Grooveshark (listen.grooveshark.com) should definitely be #1 on this list.

0 votes

Altzan

LOL at the numerical order – 1,2,5,4,5

Great list!

0 votes

Matthew

Spotify!
Heck, unless you need your music to be portable with Spotify you’ll barely need to buy another cd. Doesn’t have every band/song obv. (sadly it has no Metallica, last time I checked :(, pretty much everything else though) it has ALOT.

The free version is ad supported, with ads in the window and audio ads between songs every twenty minutes, but they’re barely noticable and a small price to pay. There’s also a premium version which gives you extra features, like access to songs before they’re officially released (I think…) and removes those ads for a tenner a month.

0 votes

Jalley

Spotify looks cool… but it’s unavailable to those of us in certain countries, including the United States where I reside.

0 votes

l3utterfish

I just love the title of this post..
so correct.

0 votes

Jalley

Have to wholeheartedly agree with the other users who’ve mentioned Lala. HQ mp3′s, an enormous library of music that’s continually growing, the option to listen to individual tracks or any album, and a willingness to listen to user’s suggestions for improvements make this my favorite music site.

0 votes

Celeste

Apart from AOL Music’s CD Listening party, their Spinner.com site also has a CD Listening party that, while there is some overlap, also carries a number of new releases that don’t make it onto AOL’s. They lean a lot more towards alternative.

0 votes

Simon

i use fizy.com to find new music & music videos.

simple interface and millions of choices.

0 votes

Roshan

deezer.com/

the best i’ve used so far..