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Legal Music Downloads are Here to Stay

There are mainly two kinds of music download services online. There’s the services that allow you to buy tracks you can download and then there are subscription services that let you listen to full tracks online in return for a monthly subscription fee. Some do both.

Introducing Walmart.com

Pretty straight forward service that lets you purchase tracks to download. Last time I checked, they were offering music downloads for 88 cents per download and let you choose from over 800,000 songs in their catalog. They also have a service where they let you choose up to 20 tracks from about 500,000 songs, burn them to CD and then ship you the CD.

They are the only service in the four mentioned in this article that allow you to view and purchase music from their catalog without having to download some kind of player to your local computer. All you need is Internet Explorer.

Itunes.com, the Grand Dad of revolution

Owned by Apple, Itunes was responsible for really kicking off the music download service industry in a big way. They were the first ones to offer the ability to legitimately pay only 99 cents for a track.

Their music catalog includes over 2,000,000+ songs, more than any other service, over 3000+ music videos, tv shows, 20,000+ podcasts, 16,000+ audiobooks and more. As you can see, they are more than simply a music store but instead offer a whole range of multimedia downloads and options.

One small drawback to their service is that you have to download and install their player which at last count was over 34MB in size before you can use their service. Walmart.com in contrast allows you to browse and purchase music entirely from within Internet Explorer.

Napster from pirate to megastar

Napster offers you unlimited access to 1,500,000+ songs.You can listen to an unlimited amount of music each month. You get over 50 commercial free and interactive radio stations. You can discover what other people are listening to with easy to use sharing features allowing you to swap songs with other Napster members.

Napster also allows you to burn the tracks you buy to CD and listen to them wherever you go. Napster offers a 7 day free trial of their subscription service.

Rhapsody, Real’s music juggernaut

Rhapsody is a service that is owned by Real. With Rhapsody you get unlimited access to over 1,500,000+songs, complete music jukebox software to manage your entire collection, and over 80 ad-free radio stations. They also allow you to create and share your playlists (a standard feature among most online music services.) You can even watch music videos and see pictures of the artists from your favorite band.

Rhapsody includes a free 14-day trial of Rhapsody Unlimited. If you don’t own a credit card, they have a service they call Rhapsody – FREE where you can listen to hours of free music every month. Besides these subscription type services, you can also purchase music downloads from their RealPlayer Music Store. They have over 1,000,000 songs that are ready for purchase.

So which service is right for you? I would suggest you give each of them a try. All of them let you listen to short clips of the music before buying and the subscription services have free trials. You can’t lose.

Keep Your Free Music Downloads – I Don’t Like Prison!

It honestly seems like the Feds could break our door down at any minute and haul us off to jail for downloading free music. Plus, thanks to well-paid lawyers and filthy rich record executives, you also have to worry about getting sued for some pathetic Britney Spears single that you downloaded from Napster back in college! While the iPod and increasing number of companies offering legal music downloads (for a fee, of course) appear to show that consumers still want their MP3s, the truth is that you should be leery of the words “free” and “MP3″ appearing together on a website.

Well, free downloads brought down Napster and they’re illegal – why even risk it?

Actually, that’s not true. Napster fell from grace and had to start charging for downloads because people were swapping entire CDs on the site. Now in all honesty, the system was abused, which is what caused the lawsuits in the first place. Plus, and I know this is getting technical, Napster allowed “swapping” of MP3 files, not downloading.

So file swapping, which costs nothing, and free MP3 music downloads are different…do explain!

With file swapping, two people were exchanging songs that had to first be purchased (at some point) at a store. When the song or CD was purchased, the record company got their cut, the musicians made their money, and a whole lot of record store clerks and warehouse people had jobs, as well. Swapping cut everyone out of that loop so that all lost money – lots of it – except Napster, which made a killing off of advertising. But free MP3 music downloads are offered by artists, and sanctioned by music companies, as a way of attracting new fans. One is stealing, while the other is marketing.

There has to be a catch…nothing is free!

Well, as I said, free MP3 music downloads are about promoting an artist, and getting them some exposure that would not be possible otherwise. But there are some things to watch out for when thinking about any free MP3 music downloads. First, it is common for older songs to be listed as free MP3 music downloads, but the kicker is that you only get a sample of the song instead of what you are really after – you know, like the whole song or something silly like that!

Another thing to watch out for are information mining sites. Before you ask, let me just tell you – these are sites that offer up free MP3 music downloads, but ask that you fill out a “quick survey” first. Buried twenty pages deep into the book that is the site’s Privacy Policy, these sites clearly state in the smallest print allowed by law that they can turn around and sell this information. Now, you may think it a good trade for free MP3 music downloads, and willingly give out the information for some decent tunes at no charge. However, if you are a little nervous about who has your information and for what purposes, you may just want to spend a buck or two for the song and be done with it. No matter how you look at it, though, free MP3 music downloads are out there, and you really can add some great tunes to your collection – without worrying about being served a warrant!

Iphone Music Downloads – Where To Get Iphone Music Downloads From

You just got your awesome new iPhone and can’t wait to start using it. After all, the device works in two innovative ways; as a phone and a portable digital media player that stores 100o’s of songs. So now that you have your nifty new toy you need to figure out where to go to grab some iphone music downloads. Here are some iPhone music downloads tips that will help guide you in the right direction.

1. Free Iphone Music Downloads or Paid Music… That is the Question

Okay, so free iphone music sounds like a win-win situation for everybody but the truth of the matter is that free iphone music downloads do indeed come at a price. Most free downloading websites are loaded with spyware, viruses and adware that are harmful. Do you really want to expose your brand new baby to these types of risks? If you want to play it safe and actually be able to use your iPhone for a while you should really consider paying for your music. You may be saying to yourself – but services like HMV and iTunes run for $0.99 and up per song, how will I ever afford 100 songs? Easy. Check into services that charge a flat fee for a lifetime membership that offers access to unlimited downloads. It’s safer, cheaper and much more reliable than the free stuff.

2. Go for Fast Downloads

When choosing a music provider make sure that the download speeds are up to par. Music files are typically around 3-4 MB a song. You want to make sure that if you are downloading multiple songs at a time that the service you use does not limit the amount of bandwidth usage you are using by slowing down speeds to snail’s pace. Many second-rate companies will do this to you so make sure you find just what you need.

3. Size Does Matter

You might love rap music so much that it’s all that you care to listen to. On the other hand, your ears may prefer to hear several different genres of music for a little bit of variety. If you are a lover of many differing music types than picking a service which caters to all your musical needs is a must. Many top sites are now providing more than 100 million music files as well as music videos, movies, television shows and games.

4. Easy Download Navigation

What’s a great music downloading service if you can’t quite figure out how to use it? Choosing a provider that has a simple download interface can save you a lot of time and frustration. To get an idea of how well a service is going to work for you, check out how well the website looks and read comments or complaints from existing users.

5. Good Customer Support?

Let’s face the facts, a lot of companies out there are only looking out for themselves by trying to make a quick buck off of you. It is important to go with a service that has a good customer service reputation. One way to find out which providers really care is to check out company reviews online or go to their website and see what others have to say about it. A better way is by emailing customer support yourself to see firsthand how you are treated and how long it takes to get a response.