Music Download Services

I’ve begun research on a series of articles about downloading music and I need your help. While there are scads of (legal!) download sites these days, the bulk of my music downloading experience is with the iTunes. While Apple leads in the market, it faces a barrage of competition from the likes of Real, Wal-Mart, and the reconstituted Napster, among others. The competition is tripping over itself with free trial offers, and the like …

… but are any of them really worth the coin, once it’s all said and done?

I signed up with one of the other music download services ages ago. I canceled almost immediately after I learned that I couldn’t play the songs I downloaded on my old Archos (a.k.a.: the doorstop).

Here’s a handful of music download service special offers and one-upsmanship:

  • eMusic – 50 free MP3s, from a catalog of more than 600,000 songs.
  • Real Rhapsody – 14-day free trial access to over 1,000,000 songs.
  • Napster – 7-day free trial to over 1,000,000 songs.
  • Yahoo – 7-day free trial.
  • MegaWaltonBox – Nothing (in life) is free, but downloads are 88 cents a pop (Sam may be late, but he’s cheaper than Steve).

Free trials might not be such a bad idea … considering how tough it can be figuring out if the music you want to download is offered on any particular service before your sign up for the plan.

While I’m partial to the good-old “you buy it, you own it” model, some folks might prefer the schemes where you pay an ongoing monthly fee to access a complete music download library. Hey, it’s a free world … for a week or two.

If you download music (legally) from the Internet and have a moment, could you drop me a line? Got a gripe you want to air or praise you want to heap? I’m all ears, baby!

Related: Music Ripping Services