Legal Music Downloads
From Only 100% Trusted Sources Reviews of The Internet's Top Music Download Services
Legal Music Downloading Facts

Here are some facts about downloading music that you may not know. We hope you find them educational and informative.

Fact #1 - Most of the sites that promote legal music downloads are, in fact, promoting illegal file-sharing software. They charge you a "one-time fee" for a lifetime membership. Once you’ve paid your "membership fee" they direct you to download a piece of software that is nothing more than software that you could have gotten for free if you had spent a little time searching the internet. This software is typical peer-to-peer file-sharing software that promotes illegal sharing and swapping of copyrighted digital music, movies and software. So, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay away from these sites like a bad disease!

Fact #2 - Many people don't realize that pay-per-song is not the only way to get music legally. Paying per song can get expensive in a hurry! Imagine paying $.99 for each song and downloading several hundred songs per year, which is pretty realistic. It can add up really quickly. Monthly subscription services, on the other hand, make music affordable. Paying one monthly fee for a subscription is more economical and makes more sense.

There are 2 subscription models that we want to tell you about. The 1st model is what eMusic offers its members. This type of subscription gives the user the ability to download and own a specific number of DRM-free MP3 files each month. The typical plan will give the user 24 MP3 downloads for $11.99 per month. These songs are yours to keep and you’re free to burn them to CD, transfer them to your MP3 player or iPod.

The 2nd subscription model is what Napster offers. This model lets you use the music, but you don’t own it. Basically, it’s like renting the music. You pay a monthly fee and you get to listen to unlimited numbers of songs, but you never own them unless you buy the songs individually, or buy a complete album to download. These types of subscription tracks can’t be burned to a CD. They can typically, however, be transferred to a portable MP3 player and played anywhere, but you still don’t own the tracks, and your portable player must be connected to your computer every 30 days or less to synch your music licenses and keep the music playable.

Fact #3 - More than 20% of the files downloaded illegally contain viruses. Many unscrupulous people share thousands of files loaded with viruses, for the sole purpose of infecting people's computers. Worse yet, most of the peer-to-peer file-sharing software that is used to download music illegally is loaded with spyware that eventually renders people's computers unusable, due to pop-ups and poor performance. Because of this, the "free" music that they have downloaded ultimately costs them money when they have to have their computer repaired to remove the spyware. Don't risk this. It’s not worth it.

Fact #4 - You don't need to buy individual songs in order to download and listen to them. I know that sounds contradictory to what we have talked about on the rest of the site, regarding downloading music legally, but here's the deal. There are three different ways to get music downloads legally. The first and most obvious way is to pay for each song that you download, individually. Doing it this way means that you actually own the songs that you download, but this can get expensive if you buy a lot of music.

The other, less expensive way, is to sign up for a music subscription service. Music subscription services come in two varieties, which we covered above. One type will allow you to use the music in their libraries for one low monthly fee. You don't actually own the songs, but you get unlimited use of them, so you never have to buy CDs. You simply grab the songs you want and listen to them on your Computer, MP3 Player or Home Stereo. The other subscription model gives you music downloads to keep each month, based on paying a flat monthly fee.

Fact #5 - DRM is a much-misunderstood technology. DRM (digital rights management) is the technology that is used with music subscription services, to make sure that the songs you listen to don't get passed on to non-subscribers. This helps to protect the artists and make sure they don't get ripped off by unscrupulous listeners who just want free music. On the other hand, though, DRM is also used by services like iTunes, where people pay for each song they download. In this case, DRM is used to put restrictions on purchased music, to make sure that it doesn't get burned to a CD more than a pre-set number of times. That number typically ranges from 5 - 7 times, depending on the music service offering the purchased songs.

Some music subscription service, such as eMusic, offer DRM-free music downloads with their subscription service. When you download music from eMusic, you own the music. There’s no funny business to worry about. You just download your music and you own it... period.

Fact #6 - Using a legal music download or subscription service is the best way to find new artists and get new music. It gives you the opportunity to listen to music without having to pay for an entire CD. Ever hear a new tune on the radio and want to check out the whole CD? This is where music subscription services shine. You can listen to every song by that artist before deciding whether to download it or not, and do it 100% legally.