I’ve repeatedly said that I would sign up to a site that allowed me to download DRM free MP3s from a decent sized library. EMusic is close to being that service. It has over 3 million songs in its database and is quite easy to navigate. It doesn’t have every song you could ever want, because I guess a few record companies haven’t signed up yet- I couldn’t find the Camper Van Beethoven, Breeders or They Might Be Giants albums I was looking for- but there are a lot of smaller bands and oddities to be harvested. I spent a lot of my 50 free tracks getting country and western covers of songs like Ace of Spades and grabbing albums by Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend.
If they could get the back catalogues of the major labels I’d pay for unlimited downloads just so I could fill in the gaps in my record collection. This should be the future of music sales.