In the past I’ve used bignoisemusic (I won’t dignify it with a link) to listen to music online. It’s a legal download/streaming site, where you can stream songs for 20p or something like that, and part of it goes to Oxfam. I’d previously only used it for streaming, I just wanted to hear something once, couldn’t be bothered dowloading it and probably wouldn’t play it more than once. Even then the site was flaky – it lost my money on one occasion, the songs often didn’t work and the site was designed not to work in any other browser than IE and then badly.

This time, Madame and Pestilence wanted the new K T Tunstall album. Because I believe, naive old me, in artists getting some revenue for their work, I thought I’d download it from bignoisemusic, helping my conscience, giving K T a pittance and Oxfam another pittance. Bad idea. You download it in WMA, you can’t play it on an mp3 player. The site says it will play on ‘most’ mp3 players, and direct you to a list. My iRiver H320 is there, Pest’s Packard Bell Audio Dream isn’t, but that is already full of working WMAs. Both players just skip the files. Fine I thought, I’ll put it on CD. Try to burn it – Nero says ‘ burn licenses exceeded’ or some such, and Windows Media Player just sits doing nothing. Bignoise’s FAQ suggests burning CDs is easy. I emailed bignoise’s support address but they ignored it. I emailed it again today asking for my money back. Highly unlikely I know. Following discussion threads I stumble on a whole world of battle between Digital Rights Management software and hackers trying to free up the files so we can use them as we want to. No wonder nobody younger than me uses legal sites to get their music.

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