A Guide To Music Downloads
If you want to download music legally read out guide to find the best sites and the cheapest way to do this.
Increasingly music downloads are becoming the route of choice for people to access information any time of the day or night - just look at how the iPod has taken off in he last two years.
We thought we could give you a very quick rundown of essential things to know when you're downloading music - just so you can see what you need to look out for :
- Get a decent computer. High-performance PCs can be bought for as little as £299.
- Get as much RAM (Random Access Memory) for your computer as you can afford. More RAM equals better performance
- Prepare to "rip" your CD collection. Ripping is the process by which you load all your favourite music - whether complete albums or just song by song - from CDs onto your computer as small digital files
- The most common digital format is the MP3. The type of file you use will depend on which music jukebox software you use for your digital music library. If you have a Mac, it will come with iTunes ready-loaded If you have a PC, it should have Windows Media Player (which uses WMA). But you can also download free ones, such as Musicmatch and iTunes for PC
- Organise. Once you've got your music collection on PC, you can set up "playlists" of songs
- Expand your digital music collection by either shopping at an online "record store", or visiting a band or artist's own web site (these often offer free downloads). Via the internet, these files are downloaded directly into your music library. You can buy single tracks rather than an entire album and you can preview each song with a simple mouse click before you buy. Good stores are iTunes, Oxfam's Big Noise Music and Napster
- If you intend to buy music online, get a broadband internet connection - downloading via a dial-up modem is slow and frustrating
- Don't forget that when you buy a legitimate track or album, you are entitled to burn it onto a CD
- If you want to listen to your digital music collection on the move, the choice of mobile player is mind-boggling. The market leader is the iPod, and its storage capacity is enormous. Other good brands are Creative and Phillips
- Finally - don't share your music with others. This is illegal. But if you only download from legitimate sites, and you don't allow people to copy your collection, you're fine