Street musicians fairly regularly perform here and there in Tokyo and - when I can afford to (and like the music) - I sometimes buy a CD or two from the musician (or musicians, but usually just one). I've had mixed luck with the CD's - some I have enjoyed listening to and some I didn't like as much as the live performance that prompted me to buy them in the first place.
A few weeks back, I bought a CD of some guitar music I particularly wanted to hear, but when I got home, the disk wouldn't play in my computer (I no longer have a CD player, so I have to listen to disks with my computer). It was a computer-made disk, so I'm not sure whether I just got a bad disk, or whether it has some kind of very heavy-handed mutations thrown in to stop people from copying it (I was hoping to make some MP3 files for my MP3 player).
Within the disks I can play, like them or not, I'm at least glad my money went directly to the artist. With regular commercial stuff, you have to wonder how much of your money actually finds it way back to the artist who made the music, so it's satisfying in a way to give it directly to the artist.
Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon