There are several viable sources for downloading 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.
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.
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:
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.