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The MP3 music format has revolutionized the way people distribute and listen to music today. Not long ago, there were serious concerns over the MP3 music format and record companies were quick to blame music piracy on the MP3 format. Today, the same record companies offer their music in MP3 format for online purchase.

If you are thinking of starting your own MP3 music collection here are a few tips that can help you search for music online. The biggest and the most comprehensive online music store is the iTunes music store. Till date the iTunes music store has sold over 3 billion songs and boasts of having a database of nearly 6 million songs. The iTunes music store also allows users to download movies and television shows. The iTunes music store has proved that selling MP3 music online is a viable business, in spite of the fact that all songs are competitively priced at $0.

99. The downside of using iTunes is that Apple uses a DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology called Fair Play TM that prohibits users from transferring songs from one computer to another or to other devices. In a nutshell, once you download a song on your computer it can only be played on your computer and on devices like the iPod and select mobile phones like the Motorola ROKR. Another disadvantage of the iTunes music store is that you can only download songs after you install the iTunes software on your computer.

Apart from the iTunes music store there are other websites that also offer music online. There are numerous sites that allow users access to their database of songs for a small fee. Such sites usually buy songs from iTunes or other music stores in bulk and then sell them at a lower price (they receive bulk discounts from larger music stores). Such sites usually have customized software and also offer the additional benefit of copying files to media like CDs and DVDs.

Unlike iTunes, such sites do not DRM protect their music files. If you are only interested in popular music then the best option is to use sites like the one's mentioned above, you don't need to worry about any legal complications and you can buy music at much lower costs. Also, there are sites that offer P2P software that is available only to paid members. The P2P software allows members to access not just the central file server but also files and music stored on computers that are using the P2P software. Before you begin using any P2P software, make sure the software is not infringing on any copyrights.

If you are not sure of the legitimacy of the software, speak to the seller's customer care team or read the documentation ('read me' file) that usually accompanies P2P software. In any case, before you use any P2P software make sure that it is legal and will not get you into any trouble with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Downloading free music legally Every week iTunes makes a certain number of popular music tracks available for free downloading, all you need to do is install iTunes (it's free) and start downloading free tracks from the iTunes music store. In addition, websites like Amazon.com also offer internet users the opportunity to download sample tracks from new and upcoming albums. There are hundreds of websites that offer music that is free to distribute, naturally new music videos and songs are not available on such sites.

Another way to download music for free is to visit websites of artists and music groups. Most artists and music groups allow registered fans to download their latest music and music videos for free. There is also software available that offers legal music downloads for free. For downloading movies, music and music videos legally visit www.


Kathryn Chandler is the author of this article on Top Rated Download Site. Find more information about Top Rated Download Site here.

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