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How to download music from the Internet

Most of you have probably heard of the RIAA’s quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via MP3 format over the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars. This is conventionally done using illegal file-sharing programs such as 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 that offer free music downloads. These are not the websites of your music pirates, they are totally legal. Don’t expect to find entire albums to download, especially if the song is by a famous artist (only pirate music websites allow full album downloads). You will only find a few “trailers” meant to make you want to buy the artists’ CD. Lesser-known independent artists are an exception: many of them will disappoint you with their full catalog of songs to promote themselves.

Here are some of the free music websites that I recommend:

  • digital music downloads
  • The Internet’s Underground Music Archive

Method 2: buy music online

An increasingly popular way to find and download music online is to head to legal online music services. The most popular of them is the Apples iTune service. It currently offers more than 400,000 songs from the top five labels. Each song is available for a standard price of 99 cents each. These are the best online music services I have found:

  • itunes
  • MusicMatch Downloads
  • Napster 2.0
  • Rhapsody


It is very tempting to use KaZaa and other file sharing programs to download music, but don’t. If you wrote a song and sold a CD, would you be happy to see millions of people distribute that song for free? No. You don’t need to break the law to find and download free MP3 music. There are many websites that offer free music, you just need to find them.

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