Accessing Music & TV Online

Locating and Acquiring Legal Online Music, Movies, and Other Digital Content

The Appropriate Use Policy at Occidental College requires students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Oxy community to use College computing and networking facilities and resources in a way that complies with any applicable laws, contractual agreements, or licenses, including copyright laws.

Many legal sources for online music, movies, books, television programs, software and other intellectual property are readily accessible through the Web. Some sources provide stores where music can be purchased or licensed. Other sources may include personal web sites for artists where they provide access to their intellectual property for a fee or for free. Occidental College strongly encourages you to investigate the offerings at these sites and to use these resources to legally purchase or license digital content. Please study the service agreements with these sites to make sure that they are compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Occidental does not recommend any particular service nor does it warrant that the service offerings comply with the DMCA.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you are in compliance with the Occidental College Appropriate Use Policy and that the music that you download is obtained through a legal purchase or license. Remember, infringing on copyright through file sharing is illegal and Occidental College will not protect you against claims of infringement.

The following list of content providers is provided as a resource for you. Please refer to the individual web sites for current service agreements and pricing. Many peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, such as LimeWire. Warez, Morpheus, BitTorrent, iMesh and KaZaA, are designed to make it very easy to exchange files with others over the Internet. In most cases, obtaining music, movies, software or television programs through these services is a violation of copyright and can lead to severe financial penalties. Be extremely careful not to violate the law or the College acceptable use policy if you choose to use peer-to-peer file sharing.


Music Services

Amazonmp3 Beta Linux, Mac OS, Windows MP3 format, no DRM. Windows, IE 5.0 or higher No subscription necessary.
Downloads include DRM.
eMusic Linux, Mac OS, Windows Independent labels, large library.
MP3 format, no DRM.
Site features music discovery tools.
iTunes Mac OS and Windows Very large library. 
(October 17, 2007) Price-drop on DRM-free downloads.
Access to numerous other multi-media options (TV, movies, podcasts, and more).
Napster Windows and MP3 players that support Windows-DRM  Radio, streaming, or purchase.
Downloads may include DRM.
Includes a user-to-user messaging function that will share the users' e-mail addresses.
Spotify Window, Mac OS, Android, Linux Listen free or subscribe to Spotify Premium for $9.99/month. Play any song, Just search for the music you love and hit play. Download music & listen offline. 
Yahoo Music Windows Radio, streaming, or purchase. Site features music discovery tools. WMA format. Downloads may include DRM.


Television and Movie Services

Amazon Prime Video Window, Mac OS, Android, Linux Enjoy unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. Anywhere, anytime. Watch from the web or with the Prime Video app on your phone, tablet, game console, set-top box, or select Smart TVs. Students get a 6-month free trial which renews for 50% off regular price.
CinemaNow Windows, IE 6 or higher Rent or purchase movies and TV shows.
HBO Now Window, Mac OS, Linux, Windows RT is not supported Watch ALL OF HBO PROGRAMMING Series, movies, documentaries, sports, specials and more. Watch across unlimited supported devices. A standalone, streaming-only service for $14.99/month.
Hulu Window, Mac OS, Android, Linux Watch premium original series, full seasons of hit shows, current episodes, movies and more. Plans start at $7.99/month. SHOWTIME® available for an additional $8.99/month.
iTunes Mac OS and Windows Very large library.
Some downloads include DRM (users can pay more for non-DRM version).
Access to numerous other multi-media options (TV, movies, podcasts, and more).
NetFlix All computers plus most mobile devices, tvs, and blu-ray players with internet access Subscription service 
RedboxInstant All computers plus most mobile devices, tvs, and blu-ray players with internet access Subscribe, rent, or purchase (live news, shows) Window, Mac OS, Android, Linux Watch & record your favorite shows on the go with YouTube TV. Try it Free for 1 month. Live TV made for you, watch on multiple devices. No DVR Space Limits with access to local TV stations like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, TELEMUNDO, 
Vudu All computers plus most tvs and blu-ray players with internet access; iPads Rent a download
YouTube Red (movies, no ads) Window, Mac OS, Android, Linux YouTube Red is a paid streaming subscription service exclusively for YouTube in the United States. It provides advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, offline and background playback of videos on mobile devices, access to advertising-free music streaming through Google Play Music, and access to "YouTube Red Original" series and films. 1 month free which renews at $9.99/month 


Online Radio

PROVIDER NOTES Internet radio that creates a station based on your music tastes, using a downloadable tool. Includes social networking aspects. Internet radio network with more than 2.6 million listeners each month.
Omnilight Links to online radio stations around the world, both multilingual and single language.
Pandora Internet radio that creates a station customized to your tastes based on music qualities from the Music Genome Project.
Radio Paradise Listen to streaming radio, use forums to discuss songs and anything entertainment, rate music, talk about streaming/media, and more.
World Map of Radiostations Use a 3D Google earth like globe to search and find radio stations from around the world. This is a free service provided by Radio Garden


Issues to consider when selecting a digital content service



Things to look out for include whether the service agreement allows downloading of adware, toolbars, spyware and other malware to your computer or other device. These types of malevolent code can compromise your identity by stealing passwords and personal information and making it available to other malicious programs.

Licensing and terms of use

Some licenses may contain provisions that restrict the number of devices on which you can use the content or limit your access to a period of time. In the latter case, it may work like a subscription. When you stop subscribing your access to all of the content disappears and you can no longer play the music.

Cost and quality

Streaming music or video is usually available as a subscription that you pay monthly or annually. If you are interested in purchasing material on an item-by-item basis, look for a service that offers item downloading.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions

DRM is a term that describes a set of technologies that use encryption and authorization to establish and enforce the manner in which people use digital content. The technologies are intended to protect the rights of the copyright holder and are found in music, movies, books, software and other digital content. Some services provide DRM-protected material and can only be used on devices that can decrypt that material.


Make sure to READ the service agreement, often called the EULA (End User License Agreement). It will describe your legal rights to the materials that you are licensing or purchasing. Agreements most often forbid the sharing of the content with others and often prohibit the modification or adaptation of the content to create a derivative work. The service should also indicate who holds the copyright or has legal rights for the material and describe the ways in which the end user can legally use the material. The services written above are both legal and secure when used as advertised. Remember that you, not Occidental College, are responsible for any copyright infringements.

Type of service

Services may offer streaming audio or video, downloads, subscriptions or purchase or any combination of these. Sites for digital content such as books may offer free as well as for money content.


In some cases, a service may restrict your ability to transfer your digital content from one device to another. The service may configure their content so it can only be used with certain devices.

Supported platforms

Many commercial music services support Windows operating systems. Some support Mac OS and a few support the Linux operating system. Some allow you to access the content through a web interface, but it cannot be used locally.

Supported file formats

Make sure that our devices are compatible with the file formats offered by a service. The most common formats include MP3, AAV (Apple iPod), WMA (Windows Media Player), and Ogg (Linux) among many others.


Different services offer different selections of music and other digital content. If you have very specialized tastes in music or video, make sure that the service’s catalog offers what you are looking for. Some independent artists also provide music through their fan sites.

Tools/client support

Client software installed on a computer or other device is a requirement of most services. Services provide this software that enables downloading and often management of the digital content on your device.


A characteristic of many services is providing the digital content in a particular and often proprietary format or technology. While this may provide a better user experience in some aspects, it also reduces your ability to switch devices and maintain your collection. The continual changes in technology and in the delivery of digital content may create difficulties for a service or for you if you are locked in to a single format.


Adapted from Used with permission.