First there were vinyl albums. Then there were cassettes. Eventually there were CDs, but now even those have all but disappeared. Music has gone completely digital these days and any collection you have can now be found on the screen of your laptop. The possibilities are endless when it comes to downloading music now that you don’t have to wait for your local retailer to stock the album you’re looking for. But what are the easiest ways to get your digital fix? Take a look at some of the lesser-known ways to get the tunes you love.
- Cell Phone –Depending on your carrier you can download music for free or for relatively low costs up to a certain amount. Data plans from mobile broadband providers allow up to 40 song downloads for only £4.94 on a monthly basis for example. Although this number may fluctuate based on providers (Mobi-data was the most competitively priced provider I found at the time of writing this.) Other plans have different restrictions but they’re definitely worth looking into, especially if you’re like most people and keep a lot of music on your phone to use while working out or on the go. You can generally move the music to other listening devices if you wan to, though most carry their phones around regularly anyway.
- Amazon–Huge online retailer Amazon sells MP3s at a reasonable price, a little cheaper than iTunes is able to offer it. They carry just about every album and artist on the market and make it incredibly easy to search for the music you’re looking for and download select songs or whole albums. Their Cloud Player is accessible on most devices, both Apple and Google. And because of the convenient Cloud Player, you can easily move music from one device to another while under the same account name. Leave it to Amazon to give you millions of options in an easy to use setting.
- YouTube to MP3 –If you’re a fan of a particular version of a song that doesn’t appear on an album (such as a live performance or alternative session), if you can find the video on YouTube you can make it into your own MP3. Using sites like YouTube to MP3 Converter, you can convert videos to actual songs and play them through any player that accepts MP3 files like iTunes. You can find just about any song in the world on YouTube and the download process is quick and painless (takes less than 30 seconds). You don’t have to be a computer genius to use this method, however I would be very careful with the licensing rights involved with this method – always err on the side of caution if in doubt.
Illegal downloading has made it incredibly easy to get whole albums for no money at all, but it also creates problems for artists trying to track the sales of their albums and eventually make money off of it. There are plenty of legal and safe ways to get the music you’re looking for at reasonable prices if you know where to look. If you’re looking for a tried and true way you can obviously always go with iTunes but there are far more alternatives out there to get what you’re wanting.