How do I Download Music Legally?

J.S. Metzker Erdemir

There are a couple of ways to download music legally into a computer or mp3 player. One way is to pay for the music to ensure the artist and recording company are compensated for their work. The other way is to download music directly from the websites of artists who have given their permission to download the music without paying them for it. Free music downloads are available from both well-known and lesser-known artists.

If music is paid for, it can be legally downloaded.
If music is paid for, it can be legally downloaded.

Since the well-publicized trials of music downloading websites like Napster® and Kazaa®, music fans who want to download songs or albums from the Internet might be nervous about having legal action taken against them. Downloading music without paying for it is considered a crime, and there have been cases of individual users being punished for having illegally downloaded music files on their computers, or for sharing those files. Digital storage and recording make it very easy to share and copy music files, but it is even illegal to download music from legal peer-to-peer file sharing sites like Limewire™.

Some people have been brought to court for uploading or downloading music illegally.
Some people have been brought to court for uploading or downloading music illegally.

One way to download music legally is to get it from a website that asks you to pay for each song individually. iTunes® and are both companies that let users choose songs and pay for them before downloading them. Users can also download whole albums by paying for individual songs, which might be advantageous for people who don’t like every song on an album. also has a limited selection of free songs for downloading. This list of tracks changes regularly.

Other websites offer customers a subscription service to download music. Superpass™, Napster®, and eMusic® all ask users to pay a monthly fee which allows them to download a certain number of songs each month. They all have large song catalogs, and some of these sites offer other perks with the subscription fee, such as radio streaming or free games.

There are a lot of musicians who want their fans to download their music, which they might make available on their own websites, their MySpace® profiles, or through their record companies. Some of these artists might be on small, independent labels and giving their music away is a way of marketing themselves to a broader public. Other artists like Nine Inch Nails are part of a growing movement to make music free, and they allow fans to download songs and albums for free directly from their websites.

Downloaded music might be transferred to an MP3 player.
Downloaded music might be transferred to an MP3 player.

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Discussion Comments


@ PelesTears- Another good way to download music from the internet is to check websites and twitter feeds of artists and bands that you follow. They will often give away tracks to promote a release of their newest album or tour. You tube also has good impromptu performances, songs, and live edits of a ton of artists that you can download to your phone or computer.


@ pelestears- I think that Amazon is the best music download site. All the music that amazon sells is DRM free. The site also offers free downloads that change every so often. Best of all is the fact that they have five-dollar deals that change often. These deals are not just on older albums or albums that no one wants. These deals are on new releases, platinum hits and the likes. I recently downloaded Bruno Mars and Cee-Low Green for ten dollars. There was no tax, no wait, and the files are large, high quality files. It is also nice because I can share the music with my fiancée and put it on both of our cell phones. We simply download the tracks to an external hard drive that we use for all of our family multimedia.


Where can i download DRM free music? I hate that I pay for music and can only leave it on my computer, or put it on one device. I want to be able to buy my music, burn it onto cd, share it with the rest of my family, and put it on my phone and mp3 player. I hate that record labels try to control what I purchase after I have already forked over the money, especially considering very little of that money actually goes to the artist. I feel like downloadable music should benefit the artist more since it is the same price as buying a cd, but costs much less to deliver to the customer.

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