Karma Download RIP

Whilst most of the attention is on the BPI’s attack on All Of MP3, another MP3 download site quietly died yesterday.

Karma Download is currently showing a page which says that it’s “temporarily suspended”, but I hear that it’s very unlikely to return.

That’s a real shame. Like All Of MP3, Karma Download sold its music without any DRM. You were free to play the files wherever you wanted.

Of course, I’m slightly biased here as in early 2004 I wrote the backend of the site and it’s a project I’m really proud of. In a couple of months I took a prototype that was written in a very nasty selection of technologies (Cold Fusion, Access, IIS, Windows) and rewrote it using sensible technologies (Perl, MySQL, Apache, OSX – the last one wasn’t my choice!)

The places where you can legally buy digital music files without DRM are shrinking fast. It’s no wonder that people are drawn to places of dubious legality (like All Of MP3) or illegal file-swapping networks.


  1. This is why I’ll continue to buy CDs and rip them myself. Any music format I can’t move between computers, hifis within my house and my car is just not worth spending my money on.

  2. But I don’t have room for any more CDS :)And you have to be careful buying CDs these days. A couple of times I’ve accidently ended up with nasty copy-protected pseudo-CDs.

  3. Aaargh! I only discovered Karma Download a couple of months ago. I was recommending them to a friend only this weekend. I’m going to miss them, and I wish I’d known about them earlier.Dave, may I suggest that next time you do some work on an excellent and really useful website you blog about it to promote while it’s still viable, not after it’s just gone under?

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