This stuff was seperated in several old posts in the old blog, but I felt now was as good a time to bring people to it, if they haven't seen it before. It came up some this weekend, in fact. I have a large interest in music and a keen want to ethically obtain good cheap music. Obviously, people's opinions of good vary, but here are some of my thoughts:
I just pre-ordered Machinae Supremacy's first album. It's already in its second release. Machinae Supremacy is a Swedish "sidmetal" band. They mix metal (Metallica, et al) with a heavy influence from old school gaming music (one of their major "instruments" is the SiD chip, which was the music engine of the Commodore 64). It's fresh and enjoyable, and if you don't believe me, most of their catalog thus far is available for free download from their webpage (in Ogg Vorbis format, even).
I'm also planning to finally start buying some of the awesome albums on Magnatune. For those who haven't yet met Magnatune, they are a music label that is not evil. First of all, they support Open Music (they use the same CC license I apply to all of my own content). They promote a "choose your own price", promise that at least 50% of what you pay makes its way directly to the artist, and offer a wide range of formats to download your purchase in (from lossless WAV or FLAC to lossy MP3 or Ogg Vorbis).
I keep looking at buying a Neuros to carry my music around portably. Admittedly I can use my laptop for some of that, and I already have a Rio CD MP3 player, but the one is too large for just, say, random roadtrips, and the other, as much as it has served me well, won't play Ogg Vorbis and I've gotten tired of CD burning and swapping. Neuros is also cool because the firmware and schematics are now both open source.