A music download is the transfer of a song from the internet to a user’s computer.  This can either be for free or for a fee depending on the nature of the material.  A copyrighted song, for instance, can only be legally downloaded if it is with the permission of the owner or with payment.  It is also possible to get free music downloads legally from the net.

More often than not free music downloads are compressed using a lossy codec, which could be MPEG-1 Layer 3 or Windows Media.  Although this reduces file size and therefore bandwidth requirements, it affects the quality of the material, and transfer of the file results to further loss in quality.

With the growing popularity of MP3 players, either as a stand-alone device similar to the Apple iPod or integrated with another device like most smart phones, users look to the net to get free music downloads legally.  The procedure is really very simple, choose a site, pick your song, and then download to your heart’s content.   There is really not much to it.

It may be necessary to install a download accelerator to speed up the activity because depending on the compression, MP3 file sizes could be large.  Especially if you are to download several music files or several albums, it may take a while.  Also, make sure your anti-virus is updated because these sites could be teeming with viruses and malware.

Also make sure that the file type is outright compatible with your target music player.  If you will just be playing the songs in your computer, the standard MP3 or WMA would suffice.  However, transferring the music files to a lesser known player may result to compatibility issues which would necessitate file conversion.  Remember that conversion will result to the degradation of the sound quality and this is compounded by the lossy nature of most free music downloads.

If your gear is designed for high-end professional music playback, free music downloads legally or otherwise may not be the right route for you.  As mentioned earlier, file compression will bring about quality issues which will be quite obvious when played through your high-end sound equipment.  Detail will be lacking and especially if you’re a sound connoisseur, you will not find the music experience satisfactory.  In such instances, you would be better off playing the songs from original CD’s.  But for regular Joe’s like most of us, the quality of MP3 downloads are pleasing enough for our untrained ears.

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