In this article for the top 10 list of the best music download sites we’ve reviewed each to help quickly identify features, price, and other important advantages/disadvantages of each music download service. There are many music sources online that are available for anyone to discover and buy songs. We’ll continue to update this list of mp3 download sites to include any new features or more kickass sites to download music. If you know of any other great services, leave your comment below and we’ll add it to the review list.
Amazon MP3 – A great MP3 service provider that makes it easy to discover songs using their large selection of over a million tracks to choose from. You can view “Top Downloads” and “New and Future Releases”. You can browse music by genre, album, price and search by song, album or artist. Each song has a free 30-second sample which lets you listen before buying. Buying is easy with their 1-click process and, downloads start automatically. Downloading music is easy with the Amazon MP3 Downloader, and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The downloader is required for downloading full albums and more than one MP3 at a time. If you use iTunes or Windows Media Player, your music can be automatically added to either program. All songs are in MP3 format and free from DRM (digital rights management), which means that you can listen to them on any MP3 supported device. Unfortunately, Amazon MP3 is only available to US customers.
Cost: Songs range from $.89 to $.99; Albums range from $5.99 to $9.99.
iTunes – An online digital music player and media store, is well-known by most Internet users. iTunes is available for Mac or PC and is a great application for organizing your music and/or video library. It also allows you to sync all of your digital media with your iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. Through the iTunes store you can purchase songs, albums, movies, TV shows, iPhone and iPod Touch applications, podcasts, audiobooks and even university lectures. With over 11 million high-quality, DRM-free songs it’s no wonder why iTunes is so popular with thousands of users. You can preview songs before you purchase them and even get recommendations based on your favorite music.
Cost: Songs range from $.69 to $1.29; album prices vary but most are $9.99.
Walmart MP3 Music Downloads – Not only does Walmart offer just about anything you can think off, they also offer over 2 million MP3 music downloads. You can search their music catalog by genre, song, album, artist, top downloads, top songs, and new music (which is added every Tuesday). You’ll be able to hear a small clip of the song before purchasing. In order to download music on Windows XP or Vista you’ll need to install their Download Manager. Your downloaded music can then be found in your “My Music” folder or in your Windows Media Player Library. If you use iTunes, you’ll be able to see your music in a special “Walmart Purchased Media” playlist. For those with Mac or Linux, you will have to download each song separately. Their MP3s have a high bit rate to ensure top-quality sound.
Cost: Most songs are $.64, $.94, or $1.24. Most albums are $9.00 – “album pricing can vary depending on the number of songs available for download”.
Napster – Gives you MP3 credits and On-Demand music for one low price. MP3 credits allow you to download songs and then play them on any compatible device such as an iPod, Zune player or cell phone. You can listen to thousands of full albums from major and independent artists, all before purchasing. You can also listen to the commercial-free radio or create your own playlists. Their Automix feature will create a playlist for you based on the type of music that you like. If you use iTunes or Windows Media Player to listen to music on your computer, transferring is super easy since Napster automatically adds your MP3s to either library.
Cost: Subscriptions – $7/month; $15/every 3 months; $60/annually. Individual MP3s range from $.49 to $1.29.
eMusic – Works on any MP3 player and has over 6 millions songs to choose from. You can browse by genre or artist. eMusic includes a “state-of-the-art recommendations system” and Facebook Connect, which lets users integrate their music preferences into their Facebook profiles and news feeds. As well as DRM-free MP3s you can also purchase DRM-free audiobooks. Even though there is a free trial, to sign up you will need to choose a plan and enter your credit card information.
Cost: There is a 7-day free trial, after which song costs are based on which plan you choose. Basic plan – $11.99/month for 24 songs or $.50/song. Plus plan – $15.89/month for 35 songs or $.45/song. Premium plan – $20.79/month for 50 songs or $.42/song. Connoisseur plan – $30.99/month for 75 songs or $.41/song.
Zune – Many people know about Zune because of their impressive, iPod-like Zune MP3 player. Their software lets you purchase and listen to music right from your computer. Their Smart DJ features will automatically create playlists for you based on the music you already have on your computer. As well as streaming music, you can also rent or buy movies and TV shows as well as watch free trailers. Zune Social lets you share what you’re listening to with your Windows Live Messenger contacts. If you want so share what you’re listening to elsewhere on the web, you can use a Zune Card. This can be added to your blog, MySpace, Windows LiveSpaces or any other website where you can insert HTML widgets.
Cost: $14.99/month for unlimited music downloads.
Google Music – Lets you search for artists, albums, songs and lyrics. Google will simply search through their partner sites (Imeem, LaLa, MySpace, Pandora, Rhapsody) to provide you results. You can then preview and purchase the songs that you like. Results will show in Google fashion. Once you click on play a small window will pop up with a music player. From there you can listen to the full length service and purchase it. Click on “Buy MP3” will take you to the site source; you may need to sign up for an account for that particular service if you don’t already have one.
Cost: This is dependent on each partner site, but most range from $.89 to $.99.
Cost: Gold plan – $9.99/month for 40 credits. Diamond plan – $24.99/month for 125 credits. Gold plan – $100/year for 30 credits and 120 anytime use. Diamond Plan – $250/year for 80 credits and 250 anytime use. A la carte/pay as you go plan.
Puretracks – Provides both WMA and MP3s for download and has full music licensing in the US and Canada. You can search for music by genre, artist, album or song. In order to download music you’ll need to use their Download Manager, which will launch after payment. The download manager is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Mac OS X and can be used on Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. It’s recommend that you use Windows Media Player or iTunes to listen to your music downloads. Your music is automatically stored in your “My Music” folder by default. You can also use Puretracks Web Service to create your own music store for your personal business.
Cost: Most songs are $.99; most albums are $9.99.
Rhapsody – You get unlimited access to their entire library (over a million) songs for a monthly fee; there is no fee per song. Their selections range from new releases to oldies but goodies in all types of genres. You can search by artist, title or genre which makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll also get tailored song recommendations based on your listening history. Not sure what you want to listen to? There are preset channels to choose from, based on genre, which provide continuous music without ads. You can also create playlists and then share them with others. Rhapsody also makes it easy to listen to music anytime, anywhere, anyplace via your PC, web browser, Tivo, or any compatible music player. They even have their own devices that are made to work flawlessly with Rhapsody To Go. Best of all, you can listen to a full song before buying it – no 30 second clips. Just like with Amazon MP3, Rhapsody has their own MP3 Download Manage that makes it easy to transfer music to your PC (Rhapsody, iTunes, RealPlayer).
Cost: Rhapsody Unlimited – $12.99/month; Rhapsody To Go – $14.99/month.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
Please Tweet, Bookmark, or Share This Free Content Using These Services: