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How To Download Music

There are several viable sources for downloading music.

Downloading music is especially popular among teens. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Downloading music is especially popular among teens.

How to Download Music

Learning how to download music is easier than ever. But if you think that MP3s are just for the Web-savvy, think again. There are many ways to get low-cost, legitimate MP3s onto your hard drive and into your headphones.

How to Download Music from Apple's iTunes Store

The Apple iTunes Store is one of the most popular places to download music. To access the iTunes store, you need Apple's iTunes software (offered for free for Macs and PCs) and an iTunes account. There's no fee to create an iTunes account, but you'll have to pay for songs and videos that you download. The songs on iTunes are usually 99 cents each.

Most of the files you download from iTunes are encrypted with a digital rights management (DRM) technology. This technology gives Apple a great deal of control over what you do with a song after you've paid for it.

Apple's DRM technology limits the number of times you can burn a song to a CD as well as the number of computers you can copy your songs onto. Perhaps most importantly, it prevents you from playing the songs with any program other than iTunes, or on any portable device that's not an iPod.

How to Download Music from Amazon Music Store

The Amazon Music Store lets you buy music downloads in much the same way that you'd make any other purchase on Amazon.com. You don't need any special software to access the store. Most songs are 99 cents apiece.

The Amazon Music Store has two advantages over the iTunes Store:

  • The files are not encoded with DRM, which means you can play them on any device you want (including an iPod), and copy them to as many computers as you want.
  • The files are higher quality than most of the files available through iTunes. They're encoded at a higher bit rate, which means that they are closer to CD-quality sound.

How to Download Music from Rhapsody Music Store

Rhapsody (a joint venture of MTV and RealNetworks) is another large online music store. Much like the Amazon Music Store, it offers DRM-free, high bit-rate MP3s for 99 cents apiece. One unique feature of Rhapsody's music store is that it offers full-length song previews for most of its music library.

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