Trying to find out how to download MP3 music? Ah, let me count the ways... Downloading MP3s legally is of course the more expensive route, but by paying for music you're rewarding the artists you like by giving them money for the work they've created.
If you want to download MP3 music illegally, you are hurting the people who created the very music you are trying to find. So we're not going to cover that here.
The easiest and most popular route to download MP3 music is via iTunes. Apple's iTunes is very easy to download from, even if you don't have an iPod. You can download iTunes here.
Amazon also offers a simple service to download MP3 music. Search for the artist you want, and it will likely come up as a "MP3 Download" along with the more traditional CD media. The Amazon MP3 Downloader will add songs instantly to iTunes or the Windows Media Player.
Songs on both these stores cost around $0.99. There are often discounts for buying the entire album. The music you get from these sources is compressed, meaning it doesn't sound as good as if you bought a CD. That may or may not be an issue for you.
Lastly, in terms of music download services, there's Napster.com. You pay a monthly fee to listen to whatever, whenever you want. Stop paying the fee, though, and you no longer have access to any of the music you downloaded.
If you are trying to get your own CD collection into your computer for download to your iPod or other portable device, you can "rip" your CDs via a number of different software packages, the most popular of which are iTunes and Microsoft Windows Media Player, both of which are free. Ripping music is normally just a matter of loading the software program, inserting your CD into your CD tray, and selecting the "rip" option in your chosen software program.
Most programs (including iTunes and Windows Media Player), will present a dialog box to you on screen as soon as you insert your CD, along with several options about how you want to store your music. Generally speaking, ripping your CDs using a higher sampling rate (i.e., 320 KBPS instead of 120 KBPS) will give you higher quality sound. Many programs have "lossless" ripping options which are allow you to compress the size of your music files (so they take less room on your computer's hard drive and on your portable player) without any loss in quality.
But these are topics for a different article so stay tuned for "How to Rip CDs using iTunes and Window Media Player."