Legal Music Downloads

Downloading music from the internet is a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to expand you music library. Music downloads can even let you listen to music that you wouldn’t otherwise have had access to. The only problem is that there have been so many illegal music download sites in the news that a lot of us are afraid to get any music online.

The legal repercussions of downloading music from an illegal site range from annoying to devastating. Even if you don’t realize that music downloads you’ve been enjoying were from an illegal site, you can be held liable for having them on your computer.

How can you be sure that you are getting legal music downloads and not files that will get you into legal trouble? The best way to go is with a well-known and reputable site that charges you for the songs that you download. By downloading your music from a site that you know and which provides music legally, your can eliminate the risk of having illegal files on your computer.

Two of the most well-known paid download sites that most of us already know about are Napster and iTunes. These sites offer you the convenience of downloading music directly to your computer to listen to on your portable music player. You may even be able to use your purchased tracks to burn CDs for backup purposes.

Which of these sites will provide you with the best quality downloads for the best price? They’ll both provide you with easily-accessible music download options, but there are some significant differences in ease of use, price, and overall experience.

Napster is well-known as one of the most famous previously-illegal music sites. The takedown of Napster’s illegal music download service was felt all throughout the Internet community. Napster then came back as a legal service, which has cemented its reputation as one of the world’s leading music download services. Napster’s intuitive site design and huge library of over 5 million tracks let you choose the music that you what and the method of listening that suits you.

Napster lets you either stream music directly from the website for free (up to fives times per track with no downloads allowed) or pay to download your favorite songs. If you choose to download your music, you’ll have the choice of using them only on your computer or loading them onto your portable music player.

The good points of Napster are its ease of use, its attractive and intuitive user controls, and the fact that it allows you to stream full songs for free (up to five times each).

The price points of Napster’s paid plans are higher than other comparable services. If you choose to download your songs to a CD, you’ll pay additional 00 cents each on top of the monthly subscription fee. The songs are in WMA format, so you won’t be able to play them on your iPod or some other MP3 players. And perhaps the biggest negative of all is that when you cancel your Napster subscription, you lose access to all your download music.

iTunes is well known for being Apple’s digital music product.It’s free to download and doesn’t require any monthly membership fees. Every music purchase is made on an individual basis, whether it’s one song or an entire album. You can burn CDs from your purchased music, and you can play purchased music on up to five computers. iTunes is, of course, compatible with iPods. Its interface is attractive and ease to use, and the program’s library makes it simple to organize your music. The songs that you download are yours to keep and don’t go away when you stop using iTunes, which is a huge benefit that it has over Napster.

On the down side, iTunes can take up a lot of memory when it’s running. The songs you’ll get from the iTunes store are in a proprietary format that can’t be played in other types of MP3 players or with other software on your computer. There is no subscription service available, which a lot of music lovers fell would help to round out the offerings.

Overall, both services have a lot to offer. Although Napster’s unlimited downloads are cheaper in the beginning, you end paying more per song that you want to keep permanently or burn to a CD. On the other hand, this allows you to try out lots of music before deciding which tracks to buy – something that iTunes doesn’t offer.

The choice is yours, and it can be a hard one to make. The best way to decide is to take advantage of Napster’s free introductory offer and compare the two sites before committing to one or the other.

Today’s Music Is An Even More Social Experience

When it comes to things that we enjoy in life, very few things have quite the same power to move as as the sonic arts. It turns out that music is one of the things that is tying together generations as traditions evolve over time and continue to emerge. Those who love to listen to it often have favorite groups, bands or singers that they prefer and one of the best things about these modern times is that we now have a far greater ability to share the tunes that we love with those around us. It is no longer just through the songs being broadcast over TV or radio because now there are options that turn each of us into our own broadcaster, in a way. If you look at the popularity of a group like JLS, a British boy band that has gained in popularity following their appearance on the X Factor TV show which airs in the United Kingdom, you can see that many people are involved when music comes into play. Often, a number of people will work to achieve the goal of being able to see a band reach its peak of success and they will share songs today as they never could have in the past.

Now that the MP3 has risen to popularity, people are sharing songs at the speed of light and it is becoming increasingly easier for an artist to achieve some level of recognition even outside their core fan base. For those who know the music scenes of today it is not hard to see just how fast the songs can travel when they are in such a compact digital format. It is relatively easy for fans to transfer the tunes to one another and give others a listen of groups like Kings of Leon so that they can see what they think of the group’s music. It is definitely much easier to help a band you love get to where you want to see them now thanks to all of the hi tech tools that we can enjoy these days in terms of transferring sound files.

Many people now prefer to buy anything they want to listen to, from individual songs to entire albums right over the web and when they do this, they are able to get more value for their money because they pay less. You can find all sorts of music online these days if you want to order it in MP3 format that is definitely possible, but it is just as easy to get a CD version. Robbie Williams is a popular UK performer and one look at his catalog can show why. This is but one example of a hit maker that is often spread across the net by rabid fans.

Music Artists: 5 Ways to Start Promoting Your Music Online

There have been many technological advances in recent years that have completely changed the way we listen to and enjoy our music today. If you are a music artist in today’s age, promoting your music online has opened up many opportunities to reach your fan base that were pretty much nonexistent in the past. There has been no better time in history for music artist to be able to independently make money off of their music than right now. In the past music artists had to get signed and backed by a record label or distribution company in order to get their music out there. The traditional way to market our music has evolved along with the evolution of technology. The same way CDs came and replaced the vinyl, mp3 players and iPods have come and replaced CDs. The internet has made it easier for music artists to be able to reach international audiences around the globe. Today many opportunities are available to us through the power of the internet and digital distribution. Below are 5 ways music artists can effectively market and promote their music online.

1. Build A Website

One way an independent music artist can get exposure and build a web presence is by creating a website. This is a way for people to check out your music and possibly sell your music. Some of the things you want to have on your site include a digital player or some way to showcase your music, some info about you or your band, and some contact info. You can also create a mailing list on your site to keep in touch with your fans and keep them updated on your upcoming events, new releases, shows, merchandise, etc.

2. Post Videos on YouTube

Videos are a great way to broaden your fan base. Your fans will be able to connect with a visual experience of your life. This is a great way to express emotions that you can’t normally convey through an email or text. Whether you make a video of you in the studio working on a song, a video of you chilling, eating a hamburger or you at a concert, you always want to keep them engaged and interested. Always remember to put your brand or website URL in your videos

3. Post music on free and paid sites

There are a number of free and paid sites that you can submit your music to. You can even sell your music on some of these sites or put them up for download. Either way this is a good way to get exposure and increase brand awareness. You can also network with other artists on these sites. Here are a few music sites that you can post your music on:

iTunes.com

Cdbaby.com

Payloadz.com

Tunecore.com

Bandcamp.com

4. Social media

Social media is one of the best ways to promote your music online. With millions of people using Facebook and Twitter on a day to day basis to interact with people all over the world, you too can use this method to get your marketing message out there which in turn will get your music the maximum exposure and increase visibility. Your fans can also connect with you through social networks and they can begin to promote and spread your messages virally by posting/retweeting your messages, your music and your videos. This is also a great way to network with other music artists, producers, promoters, bloggers, DJS, and A&Rs.

5. Send music to media outlets

Today everyone uses the internet to find what they need, even businesses. There are many media outlets on the internet looking for fresh new talent and new music such as internet radio stations, TV stations, independent distribution companies, just to name a few. They are all over the internet and always need music. It is much easier today to get access to these major outlets and most times they can be reached by a phone call or simple email with a sample of your music.

Music Online Glossary – When Music, Music Careers and PCs Collide

The Internet has proven to be where music can be discovered, reviewed, discussed, shared, and purchased. Musicians know this and get online to upload their music and become a part of the world wide music machine process. They come on the Web at every age, at every experience level – musically and computer savvy. From youngsters starting out to seasoned musicians just learning where the computer on switch is, the workings of being on a computer can be overwhelming with everything else they have going on in their lives.

The Web also allows musicians access to music knowledge. Artists will come across difficult terminology and phrases that they do not understand. Compiled in the following mini glossary are music business, digital, organizations, record biz lingo, computer terms and basic need-to-know info. Hopefully, something listed here will help you navigate music online a bit easier, and so you know, this glossary is an excerpt of an extensive list found on Artistopia.

A&R – Artist and Repertoire, aka talent scouts: a record company liaison whose duties may include to find, select and develop the music artist, band and/or songwriter.

Affiliate Program – a way to earn income by linking your Web site to another site, depending on the action taken by the visitor.

ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers which licenses and distributes royalties to it’s members’ copyrighted works.

Bandwidth – has nothing to do with the size of a band but is a measure of the amount of information (data) that can be sent over a network connection in a given period of time. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second.

Bitrate – The number of kilobits per second of data in your audio file. The bitrate you choose when creating an MP3 file determines the size and quality of the resulting MP3. The highest commonly available bitrate is 320 kbps and the higher the bitrate, the closer the encoding is to the original source of music.

Blanket License – allows the user to perform any or all, in part or all, of the songs in the ASCAP repertory. What a warm and cozy license.

Business Manager – an artist or band manager that specializes in the financial matters, including planning, investing, income, taxes, decisions and contracts.

Buzz – to get people talking about a new artist, band, song or album, creating intense excitement and/or rumors.

Clause – a chubby fellow in a red suit is Claus: in a record contract, there might be certain limitations, specifications, or modifications that stipulate the final outcome of that contract.

Concert Promoter – with duties including ticketing, PR, marketing, and booking, this agency or agent responsibilities are for concert event promotion.

Content – to make the Search Engines happy and have pages rank well in a search result, a good quantity of well written text aligning with the site’s keywords and theme updated regularly is a Webmaster’s steak and potatoes.

Cookie – no, not chocolate chip, but a piece of software that records info about your visit to a Web site, then holds the info until the server requests it.

Copyright – a set of exclusive rights regulating the use of a particular expression of an idea or information, in our case artistic properties, the songs and sound recordings.

Derivative Work – a new work based on or resulting from one or more preceding works.

Digital Licensing – the use of copyrighted music compositions including downloads, on demand streaming, limited use downloads and CD burning.

Distributor – the agency or agent that handles the sales and shipment of the music (records, CDs) to the marketplace or basically, gets the product to the consumers.

Domain Name – a sign post on the Internet, it is a unique name that identifies an Internet site.

DRM – Digital Rights Management is a technology that protects a piece of intellectual digital property such as a music, video, or text file.

Encoding – the process of converting audio to or from a compressed format like MP3 or WMA.

Exclusive Rights – under copyright law, the privileges that only a copyright owner has with respect to the copyrighted work.

Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) – a file format for audio data compression that does not remove information from the audio stream, as MP3, AAC, and Vorbis do.

Grammy Awards – an award ceremony for all genres presented by the Recording Academy for outstanding achievements in the recording industry: a gold megaphone for your mantel.

Groupie – what’s the point of being an act without groupies? Overly enthusiastic fans with much love to offer.

HTML – HyperText Markup Language, programming language for the world wide web. A web browser interprets the code written and displays it for a web page and web sites. Some very basic knowledge of HTML may help on some sites.

Hook – a pirate: a music phrase, a passage, an idea – something (catchy and/or repetitive) that makes the song stand out and be more appealing and remembered.

Hype – sensational and extreme promotion of a person, idea or product.

Indie – an independent artist or band that desires to do-it-all-themselves and/or not affiliated with a larger record label.

Intern – usually a college student job at a record label in a no or low paying position, more of an apprenticeship learning the ropes and gaining business experience.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) – how and who connects your computer or network to the Internet, whether dialup, DSL, Cable, T1 or T3.

Master Recording License – pertains to the recording of a performance itself, which are usually controlled by the record label.

Mastering – the final stage and preparation in a recording before weapons of mass duplication, includes the consistency of audio levels and quality perfecting.

Mechanical License – the use of copyrighted musical compositions for use on CDs, cassettes, record albums.

Music Contracts – all the various bits of paperwork used in the music business, always read the “fine print” to the many contracts – recording, management, finders fee, general release contracts. When the contracts come in – time to get an Entertainment Attorney.

Music Industry – all things pertaining and related to the business of music, dominated by the Big Four major labels: Sony BMG, Warner, Universal and EMI.

Music Publisher – provides services such as marketing, pitching and promoting works written by songwriters. Deals with the commercial exploitation of music catalogs and songs.

Press Kit – aka media kit, a prepackaged set of promotional materials for a music artist or band for distribution including song samples, bio, historical info, photos and contact information.

Producer – duties include: controlling the recording session, guidance of the artist(s), coaching, organizing, scheduling of production resources and budgets, as well as supervising the process of recording, mixing and mastering.

Publishing Royalties – income paid to the writer of a song.

RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America, the organization that represents the interests of record labels and producers in the USA.

Ripping – means to take an audio CD and record it to a computer in an uncompressed file format (wav). Digital audio extraction from one media form to a hard disk.

Roadie – the road crew that travels with a band on tour. These hard working individuals do everything but the performance, are technicians, do the set up and take down, security, bodyguards, pyrotechnics, and lighting.

Sampling Rate – the number of samples taken per second when digitizing sound. The higher the number, the better the quality of the digital reproduction.

SoundExchange – an independent, nonprofit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties for recording artists and record labels when their sound recordings are performed on digital cable, satellite TV music, internet and satellite radio.

Sound Recording – the copyright of the recording itself (what you hear, the entire production) as distinguished from the copyright of the song (words and music owned by the songwriter or publisher).

Synchronization License – aka “synch” license, allows the user to reproduce a musical composition “in connection with” or “in timed relation with” a visual image, motion picture, video, advertising commercial – from the copyright owner of the music.

Talent Agent – or booking agent, the representative of the music artist(s) that sets up the live performances.

Vanity Label – a celebrity recording artist is given a label within a label and runs under the umbrella of the parent label.