It is not a problem to download music online nowadays. There is an overwhelming selection of websites offering just about anything, so even if your taste is quite specific chances are you can find what you are looking for. The following information will give you an idea what to look for as well as watch out for when you decide to download music online.
First of all, differentiate streaming and downloading. The first variant is when music is played live as long as you are online; in case of downloading you get music files copied to your hard disk, so they can be saved and played offline. Downloads also differ. Some are permanent, meaning that you can burn the songs to a CD or transfer them to a portable player. However, downloads protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management) usually last as long as your subscription does. You are also limited in moving and copying your music files.
Clearly, getting full control over your downloaded music files is what you should look for. However, if you are only looking to listen to songs online, streaming is sufficient as many radio stations offer it for free.
Free Stuff Does Not Mean Best
The first thing that many people look for is to download music online for free. However, if you take time to read user reviews, you will realize that people face a lot of problems on these sites. They vary from slow downloading speeds to poor selection and quality of songs to improper functioning of a website to virus attacks and inadequate file content… File sharing is the fastest way to expose the data stored on your computer to other users, so you need to realize that the whole idea of free music downloads is potentially dangerous in many ways.
Needless to say, the majority of free music download sites are downright illegal (though unabashedly claiming the opposite). A good example is the famous Napster, which used to be a P2P kind of website, but had to stop free services under legal pressures. Even Kazaa and some other large music sharing websites don’t seem to function properly according to the latest user reviews given the fact that they also face a lot of copyright challenges.
Paid websites vary a lot when it comes to payment plans they offer. Subscription is the most common variant, but unfortunately not the cheapest. Pay per download is even more expensive option unless a couple of particular songs are all you need. The alternative to download music online, which is becoming more and more popular, is to purchase a lifetime membership. You can get access to unlimited music downloads and all the necessary technical support for less than $50 in most cases.
Other things to look for when deciding to download music online are: usable format, free trial period and/or samples of music available, free downloading software, clear instructions, and 100% malware protection.
Read my entertainment blog for a full review of the most popular sites where the majority are going to download music online.