Audio Lunchbox is a DRM free download services based around a 2-million strong track list of independent musicians. They offer both a pay per track and a subscription service, which allows users to buy ‘credits’ to spend on music which would otherwise cost a far greater cash equivalent. They don’t have deals with Universal or the other bigger players, so should you subscribe, you’ll find yourself looking around for new and interesting music to spend your money on, rather than being able to get hold of stuff that you’ve heard on Radio 1.
The subscription plan does work out far cheaper per track than the cash option; depending on which package you purchase you’ll be getting tracks for less than 25 cents, as compared to 99 cents. The month by month plan costs $9.99, for which you get 40 credits a month (enough for 4 albums) plus 50 bonus credits to start you off. This might seem like a pretty cheap way of buying music, especially compare with iTunes basic and inflexible pricing scheme, but if you’re prepared to commit to a monthly outgoing to buy music, you might be well advised to check out Spotify’s subscription service; similarly priced at GBP£9.99 (the dollar is at 1.59 to the pound as I write) you get access to all the streamed music you could possibly want, advert free, with a catalogue that includes artists on both indie and major labels, and a widget for your android or iPhone that will allow you to listen to playlists you’ve created offline.