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Options for Purchasing Music

The digital world affords us many different ways to enjoy music. In this article, I will be going over some of the best ways to listen to or purchase music in my opinion.

online musicOne great thing about the Internet world is that is has provided a way for people to listen to countless hours of free music. If it's amateur performances you are interested in, Youtube has thousands of musicians who record music on a variety of instruments such as piano, violin, or voice. You can also find professional videos on Youtube of your favorite artists and songs. This used to be one of my favorite ways to listen to music online. Lately, however, Youtube ads have increased in number and this can be a bit frustrating, especially if you are listening to just the first few seconds of a song, then selecting a different tune. In such cases, you'll find yourself having to skip over numersou commercials. So when I want to listen to professional recordings, I tend to go elsewhere.

My favorite site for listening to a variety of music is Radiotunes. What is great about this site is the sheer number of channels they have. Whether you want to listen to top 40 or something more obscure like relaxing piano music or movie soundtracks, you should find a channel that fits your mood. The site does have ads, but you also have the option to upgrade to a commercial-free premium account. I especially like Radiotunes since they have a lot of stations based on a certain decade, such as the 60s or 70s. It really allows you to narrow down the type of music you want to hear in a way that isn't possible at most other music sites.

Some people also prefer Pandora. What's unique about this site is that it allows you to create your own radio stations based on the songs and artists you are interested in. However, I myself am not the biggest fan of Pandora. The concept is nice, but I just find that the song selection is not as vast as I would like.

If you already know the artist or song you want to listen to, then Spotify is another great choice. Again, they do have commercials, which will go away when you upgrade to a premium account. I do not recommend Spotify, however, if you just want to listen to a variety of tunes such as you would on a radio. The reason for this is that their stations currently lack variety and tend to play the same selection of songs. That said, the user-created playlists tend to be pretty good, and I use them quite a bit when I am on Spotify.

So those are some great options for people who want to listen to music online for free. But what if you want to purchase and own your music? You options in this case are Amazon MP3 and iTunes. Of the two, I prefer Amazon because their files are DRM free, which means you are free to copy them and distribute them to your various devices. As for price, both iTunes and Amazon MP3 charge the same amount for recently released songs, and the price they charge is $1.29.

If you don't want to pay $1.29 for each song you own, a possibly cheaper option for you is to get a subscription to Spotify or Rhapsody. This will allow you to add songs to your playlist without cost (other than your subscription fee). You can listen to your songs whenever you want, on multiple devices. However, there is a catch. You can only keep your playlist and songs so long as you maintain a membership, which is currently around $10 a month for both sites. If you ever cancel your membership, you will literally lose all of your music. That said, $10 a month is not much considering you get virtually unlimited music. If you didn't pay for a subscription, you could use the same amount of money to buy 7-8 songs a month. So you just have to decide which is more important to you: owning your music permanently, or having access to a greater number of songs.

Whatever approach you take to listening or buying music online, it's safe to say that consumers in the Internet age are the real winners, since they have plenty of options that were not available prior to the Internet. I personally like to buy songs and do most of my listening on Radiotunes, but each of us is different and you may end up taking a very different approach to how you listen to and manage your music.