If you’re looking for music downloads, there are a number of places to look. In the recent past, people were nervous to download music in the fear that they would be violating copyright laws. These days there are a number of options that offer music downloads on an individual or peer-to-peer basis, all through legal means. These sites may offer an extended range of videos, podcasts, films and other perks such as unreleased material and special offers; either on a one-off basis, or through a subscription service.
What are MP3 downloads?
MP3s (or MPEG Audio Layer 3) offer a way of compressing music files into a smaller digital format, which can then be easily stored and sent over the internet as music downloads. Audio files are converted via psycho-acoustic algorithms that remove inaudible detail -producing an MP3 file that can be one-twelfth of the size of the original. MP3s can be played using software such as Winamp or Windows Media Player – or decoded and recorded into a CD format, or sent over the internet as MP3 music downloads.
Peer-to-peer music downloads
In the past, companies offered music downloads from other people who were registered on their site, via a centralised list of songs on their database, which people could then connect to another computer to download. The problem with this was that some of the songs were not obtained through legitimate copyright channels. There are now other ways for people to share playlists, either through a subscription service, or using online communities provided by online music stores.
Some new companies offer individual songs or albums of MP3 downloads to purchase without committing to a subscription service. This type of music download site offer the benefit of news stories, samples and freebies, and operate more like a traditional music shop. Some may even offer reviews and compilations by music-industry professionals, which combines the technology of MP3 downloads with the appeal of music press insider knowledge. These companies are able to offer great deals to the consumer – since they are often the record industry’s main way of offering the MP3 downloads to consumers. The most enthusiastic music fans will look for sites that offer extensive lists of independent and mainstream labels.
The best music download sites should offer you the chance to browse by artists, genre or label – and will offer the opportunity to comment and review music purchased.