I was browsing through the growing mp3 download site on amazon.com the other day, looking at the upcoming new releases, and I discovered that beginning on January 8th, the entire Chandos catalog will be available as DRM-free downloads on Amazon. For several months Chandos has been selling songs on iTunes with DRM, but for more than a year they have sold them on their own download site without DRM. The only problem with that is that it is a U.K. site and charges only in GBP, so U.S. buyers pay a rather stiff premium for the privilege of a low US$ value, plus a currency exchange fee on your credit card. Chandos has a vast collection of all kinds of (classical) music, but it is especially strong in British music.
The download scene has now reached the point where if I can buy something DRM-free from another source than iTunes, that’s what I’m doing. I’m still waiting for Warner Music (with its Nonesuch label) and Sony BMG to get with the program, especially for classical music.