Free music downloads — The Past
“Free mp3 music download!” “Peer-to-Peer file sharing!”
It sounded great. It brought in millions — of people who wanted to download free music. It brought in nothing to the music companies and the performers whose music was being uploaded and downloaded by those millions of users.
The thrill of downloading music from “peer to peer” (P2P) networks has burned out for most people. The lawsuits against P2P software companies and against individuals who “shared” the music files online saw to that.
The Internet made it easy. The P2P network made it seemingly anonymous — but, as many found out in the last couple years, not anonymous enough. Not only have the P2P music sharing networks crashed and burned, but now individuals who made their downloaded or ripped music available for further downloads, are seeing their own lawsuits. The courts came down with the infamous “Grokster” decision — which required the juries to judge the intent of the software maker — and became an open invitation to lawsuits against P2P software writers.
All is not lost, however…
Free MP3 Music Downloads — TODAY!
There really are a world of legal free MP3 downloads available on the Internet today. These legal downloads are not the “ripped” music tracks from a commercial music CD. They are not the tecordings from a hidden tape recorder at a concert.
Free MP3 downloads are the marketing tools for every small group of musicians, and even a few large groups, that want to break into the music scene.
The free music download scene is their opportunity to record their creations, convert them to mp3 format, and release them as teasers to the public. These performing artists have bypassed the traditional recording studio and music CD economics — which have proved to leave most of the money in the hands of the record companies and the wholesale/retail distribution channel
They hope that, once you’ve heard their music, you will share the knowledge with your friends, share the free MP3 music files with your friends, and come back to purchase more — directly from the artists!
Check out the free legal sources of MP3s. You can support the actual performing artists, without passing all your money to the retailers and the recording industry
Peer-to-Peer networks still exist. Now, however, they focus on legal file sharing of large open-source programs and provide quick distribution of free Linux distributions (typically 2 or 3GB in size).
MP3 Music Downloads — Online Services
You can also purchase music downloads through services such as Apple Computers’ iTunes online store and the Rhapsody subscription service.
While not every recording is available either way, let alone both ways, your options today include both the ability to download free music and to buy mp3 music downloads.