To some, downloading music is just as easy as throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave, while other folks are still left wondering how everyone is able to get all this music and at no cost to them. The biggest question that pops into people's heads when considering downloading music: is it legal?
Unfortunately, at least for those in the U.S., having too much Internet traffic from downloading so many songs can have the eyes of the law looking your way. It is absolutely illegal to download music that you do not own or have not paid for.
This does not have to mean the end for those of us looking to download music without the paranoia of doing it illegally. Ah yes, there is an alternative to putting yourself at risk or being labeled a thief or pirate, and the alternatives are more numerous than you might have thought.
Here are just a few alternatives to get you started.
At soundcloud.com, you can find a plethora of new and emerging artists posting their songs free for you to listen to, as well as bigger and more well known artists who often offer free downloads from their newest albums, or limited numbers of free downloads.
Anyone who uses any apple products will know about iTunes, the music store that can be found already integrated into any iPhone or Mac computer. Though if you do not have an apple phone or computer, you can still download iTunes for free to your PC. Here you are able to browse through their free songs available to download by simply clicking Free On iTunes link, and this selection of music changes often so keep checking back.
Beemp3s is about the borderline of safe downloading, before you cross into the pirating territory. Through this site and others like it, one is able to download songs directly from the various hosts and servers that have the songs on them. Beemp3s claims to simply be a search engine, that allows people to locate the songs they are looking for and then it goes on to state in their terms that "You MUST remove a song from the computer after listening."
Although, if you want to avoid worrying about downloading the files, you can listen to the song right through the website in a nifty little streaming player.
Now, if you feel as though you still want to push on and truly download music by the album and movies by the score and your favorite TV shows by the series, you could use uTorrent. And for perhaps a less risky way, you could use mp3 conversion sites like this. But beware – converting YouTube files to MP3 is a violation of their terms and could have your IP banned from their services if caught.
In the end, it is up to you to decide what is best for you and to decide what risks you are willing to take. And of course, beware: download at your own risk, friends!