Arrow review: straightforward mp3 downloads

First published on June 29, 2011

Back in the day, DRM-free mp3s were harder to find, especially in Canada. Online retailers were trying to use proprietary formats, applying licenses to audio files, and making it hard to play digital music files on different devices and in different programs. Basically, they were punishing people for wanting to actually pay for their music. And the American retailers that were selling DRM-free mp3s wouldn’t allow Canadians to purchase them. Thankfully, much of the industry seems to be coming back to straightforward, mp3s.

In addition to the pioneer and Zunior, Canadian online music stores and hmv (among others) are also selling mp3 downloads. Archambault is also an over 100 year old bricks and mortar retailer, and is based in Quebec. Of course, I was looking for a French song at the time, but the Archambault website has plenty of downloadable music in both English and French, as well as versions of the website in both languages.

The purchase process at is incredibly straightforward: you add song(s) to the basket, enter your purchase information, and it sends the downloadable file directly to your browser. You can then choose where on your hard drive to save the song(s), which do not have any digital restrictions. This is how I wish the purchase process had been many years ago! I’m always appreciative of alternatives to iTunes, as sometimes you just want the audio files without the implied device lock-in and bloated application to manage it.

Price per song on everything I saw on was between $0.99 and $1.29, with many albums at $9.99 to $15 (excluding tax).


One Response to “ review: straightforward mp3 downloads”

  1. scruss says:

    Have you tried Zunior – ? I don’t think they sell individual tracks, but they are high-quality MP3s or lossless FLAC files.

    Reply from Peter: Thanks for the tip. I’ll add that to the article.

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