The Benefits of Digital Music Downloads

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than buying an entire CD after you’ve heard a single good song on the radio, only to find out that that song is the only decent track on the album. That problem doesn’t apply to you when you take part in an Internet-based wave that is sweeping the music industry. Music downloads that allow you to pick from among thousands of songs – singles – that sound great. And you can pick them one by one.

The Internet offers instant gratification for those who want to buy and listen to music. You now don’t need to leave your house. If you hear a great song on the radio, you can log onto one of these sites and download it within seconds. It is just really easy to use and the music sounds great. Even more importantly, perhaps, every major record label is on board with Internet music finally, and a significant number of independent labels are coming on board.

Many single tracks are encoded in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format at a bit rate of 192 kilobits per second (kbps). This is a smaller file with a much higher quality than most MP3-encoded files at 128 kbps. And the music is supposed to be a perfect copy from the master, so users will not need to download 20 songs to find the right one, only to find the end of the song cut off.

Most Windows-based computers should be able to play digital music files. That is, 233 MHz with 64 megabytes of RAM should do the trick on the low end. A sound card and speakers (or earphones) are also required to hear audio. If you have a portable digital music player, make sure it will support the format that you are downloading.

Because these music files are compressed, a large hard drive is not required to store downloads. A 20-gigabyte hard drive should be fine, though most PCs these days ship with at least 40 gigabytes. In plain English, this means you can store thousands of downloaded songs without running out of hard drive space. However, you can always burn music to a CD if you want to free up space.