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How To Buy Your Favorite Music Online Legally For Just Pennies

As you no doubt have heard, the music industry has undergone major changes during the past decade. Nowhere has the progress of technology brought more change than to the recording business.

In the 90s, music was overwhelmingly distributed on CDs. In the 80s, everyone bought cassettes. In the 70s, the venerable LP record was still in wide use. Good memories aside, those forms of music distribution were expensive, both for the record company AND for the consumer.

The average hit LP cost several dollars to produce and sold for $5 to $10. The CD cost just fifty cents to make, but sold for $10 to $15.

Then the Internet hit, and boy did it ever change things. Music could be downloaded in digital form making the massive cost of distribution almost nil. But digital music could also be traded easily. Bootleg sites and systems sprang up and came close to bankrupting the music industry.

Like a cat clawing its way out of a pool, record companies lashed out at anyone and everyone who might have been abusing digital files.

Today, after much deliberation by courts, governments, lawyers, and even concerned citizens, an air of calm and order has taken over the online music industry.

These days you can legally download your favorite music for as little as nine cents per song. Why so cheap? Artists and record companies realize there is massive access to huge audiences online. They also know that online digital distribution is dirt cheap -- almost free. When they offer you music for just nine cents, they are still amassing reasonable profits.

Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing music -- and attempting to save money in the process:

1. Licensing makes downloaded music completely legal. At first the music industry fought downloading, but later realized the trend was far too big to be stopped. Today the industry negotiates licensing deals so that sites may offer a wide range of music to their customers while doing so legally and paying fair royalty fees to record companies and artists.

2. Not all countries are equal in the online music world. Many national governments have negotiated their own licensing contracts with the record industry. Buy music from a site based in Los Angeles and you can expect to pay significantly more. Buy from a site based in Russia, where much lower licensing rates are available, and you'll get those nine cent songs I mentioned earlier.

3. Take care to read the "legal" page of a music download site. Not only will that page explain why the site is legal and legitimate, it can help instill confidence that you are on a reputable site. You won't have to worry about malware and viruses being downloaded along with music files, as has often been the problem on lesser organized peer to peer systems.

4. Cheaper music means more opportunity to explore wider avenues of style and artistic range. Now that you can afford a LOT of music, branch out to check out types of music and artists you might not have heard otherwise. Your music experience will be richer and you'll help support progress in music.

5. Make sure the download site you join has access to a wide variety of the styles of music you enjoy. Some carry the top hits from many countries.

Music downloading is one of the hottest and most rewarding activities to come along in decades. Now, thanks to legal download sites, you can enjoy your favorite music at unprecedentedly LOW prices.