I just remembered a really neat thing about Bǎidù. Remember how you used to be able to get MP3’s straight from a search engine? On Chinese search engines you still can. Go to http://www.baidu.com, click on the MP3 at the top, type in the name of the song you want and go.

This second picture has the various search terms labelled in English. Baidu will let you choose what filetype you want to download: .mp3, .ram, .wma, etc… There’s also a lyrics search, and the functionality to hear a sample before downloading the whole thing. It’s the most convenient way to download music I’ve ever seen.

I guess I should warn my readers in the US, the penalties for downloading songs this way could be worse than those for arson, auto-theft, assault, battery, or even manslaughter. With the RIAA successfully suing thousands, including children, it needn’t be said that some things in the US are seriously messed up right now. But hey, in China there’s already more freedom in a lot of regards. If you are American and any of this bothers you, consider contributing to the EFF or the ACLU.

Update: The timing of this is amazing. A grand total of three days after I published this post, Baidu started blocking searches for US songs. Sorry for getting your hopes up everyone.