Music Download Site Reviews
In recent years, one of the fastest growing industries has been the vast market for music downloads. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, iTunes, the largest and most successful of all online music download services saw $1.1Billion in revenues, reflecting wider growth across the whole industry.
Various services have sprung up to take advantage of the considerable opportunities in this market, including Napster, Zune Marketplace, Amazon MP3, iTunes and more. Alongside these mainstream services, a number of peer-to-peer and niche websites have also been developed, many of which offer music downloads for free and open up the music download market to less well-known artists.
There are loads of advantages to downloading music directly from websites, peer-to-peer services or online music stores, rather than opting to buy music in more traditional formats (such as CD’s for example). One of the most obvious is that music is easily transferred between devices (such as computers, laptops, MP3 players – including the ubiquitous iPod – harddrives and more) or streamed directly to televisions, speakers, car stereos and across wireless networks.
The rise in music downloads has, ultimately, seen the music industry develop considerably too, with new forms of media being produced and far better sound quality as technology develops. As well as standard “download” sites, a number of services, including Spotify and LastFM, operate a streaming service, whereby customers simply pay for a monthly subscription and have access to a wide collection of music without any need to download files to a particular device. This opens up access to a vast collection of music across an unimaginably broad set of genres, as well as giving users the opportunity to access music on-the-go using a number of different devices.
One of the biggest bug-bears for many individuals who download music online is so called “DRM” restrictions (which stands for “Digital Rights Management”). DRM restricts the copying and use of music files after sale to prevent piracy. While these protections do go a long way to ensuring that the music industry continues to thrive, critics have argued that the restrictions placed on the use, management and transferral of music that is protected by DRM affects legitimate users in an unfair and disproportionate manner.
The opposition to DRM has led a number of major providers of music downloads, including the biggest single provider, iTunes, to remove DRM protections from their downloads. As such, as of 2009, iTunes has been completely free from DRM on all music downloads – great news for consumers of music downloads the world over!
Regardless of which method buying music online you choose to use, the ability to pick up music from a wide range of genres at the touch of a button and be listening to it in a matter of minutes really shouldn’t be understated. The digital music age is well and truly upon us, so it’s down to consumers to embrace all of the different options available to find something that suits them – financially and otherwise.
If you’re presently undecided about what sort of services offer the best quality and choice – head over to No.1 Reviews to read more about music download services and everything they offer to their customers.