A New Musical NoteThe Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA), founded by Rob Lord, Jeff Patterson and Jon Luini in 1993, was the first ever free high-fidelity online music archive of downloadable songs.
For any music lover, there can be no technological feat greater than the digitization of music. We no longer need to stack a room full of cassettes or DVDs with our favorite music albums, we can instead buy music online and choose to carry our entire music library in a music player about the size of a matchbox.
Online music stores are the rage these days, with more and more people opting to buy music online rather than go to stores and buy CDs or DVDs. So, which are the stores that offer the largest variety of songs and don't charge a premium for it? We're glad you asked. Given below are the best websites to buy music online.
Apple's iTunes Store is, by far, the most popular music store on the Internet today. The store boasts of a collection of more than 20 million non-DRM tracks (tracks with no restriction on playing or copying) across most popular genres. Amongst the pioneers of online music stores, iTunes sold more than 25 billion non songs by February 2013. It is also one of the most updated stores on the Internet, with even the latest albums finding their way to it within hours of their release. To add to its long list of superlatives, this is also one of the most organized stores around. What makes using iTunes such a breeze is the dedicated app for your iPhone and Computer, which seamlessly syncs with the store online, and registers all your purchases. Songs can be previewed for up to 90 seconds, and most can be purchased for as little as USD 0.99.
Close on the heels of Apple's music store is Amazon MP3. The store is arguably, the pioneer in bringing the best tracks at the cheapest rates to the customers. It offers more than 16 million DRM-free songs across all popular genres, and these can be purchased for as little as USD 0.69. The mobile app for the store can be downloaded onto Android devices, and is extremely easy to use. You can also use Amazon Downloader for accessing the store from your computer, but the app is often plagued with problems. What makes the deal even sweeter is that the tracks you purchase from the store can be easily transferred on to the Amazon Cloud Drive for free.
The Internet giant made a very late entry into the field of online music, with Google Music. It, however, has caught up with the competition real fast, and now offers more than 13 million tracks. What makes it stand apart from the rest of the competition is the fact that it lets you download DRM-free 320kbps mp3 files, as opposed to the standard 256kbps files on other stores. It sports one of the largest libraries of Indie albums and has tons of content by independent artists. The store comes pre-installed on Android devices and seamlessly syncs with your Google Music account. It also offers free cloud storage for all your purchased from the store. The tracks usually range from 0.99 - 1.29 USD. The main drawback here is that the store is currently not supported across most of the world.
eMusic is a popular name in the online music industry, with more than 17 million tracks on offer. This is a membership-based service which starts at USD 11.99 per month for up to 24 tracks. It sports a large library of DRM-free tracks across most genres. The only major letdown for this service is its unavailability across most countries.
Rhapsody is very similar to what was once the most popular music hub, Napster. Its catalog includes more than 16 million DRM-free tracks across various genres. It features loads of playlists customized by editors and other music enthusiasts. It also offers an innovative Channel feature, which lets to tune into Radio stations, most of which are free. The store offers up to 25 free full song previews every month. Its membership starts at USD 9.99.
There's an absolute treasure trove of music waiting to be explored on the Internet. All you need to do is access one of these amazing stores and get transported into another world as you hum your favorite tune. Cheers.