Most of you have probably heard of the RIAA’s quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via the MP3 format over the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars. This is conventionally done using illegal file sharing programs like KaZaa and iMesh. This article explores the legal ways to download and enjoy music from the Internet.
Method 1: Check out Free Music Sites
There are many free music websites which provide free music downloads. These are not the websites of your music pirates – they are totally legal. Don’t expect to find full albums to download, particularly if the song is from a famous artist (only music pirate websites allow full album downloads). You’ll only find a few “teasers” intended to make you want to buy the artists’ CD. Independent, less well-known artists are an exception – many of them will let you down their complete song catalog to promote themselves.
Here are a few of the free music websites which I recommend:
- Amazon.com Digital Music Downloads
- The Internet Underground Music Archive
Method 2: Buy Music Online
An increasingly popular way to find and download music online is to head for legal online music services. The most popular of these is the Apples iTune service. Currently it provides over 400,000 songs from all five major labels. Each song is available for a standard price of 99 cents each. Here are the best online music services I’ve come across:
- MusicMatch Downloads
- Napster 2.0
It is very tempting to use KaZaa and other file sharing programs to download music – but please don’t. If you wrote a song and sold a CD, would you be happy to see millions of people distributing that song for free? No. You don’t have to break the law to find and download free MP3 music. There are many websites out there offering free music – you just need to find them.