The choice of where you download music from is growing all the time. Researching the Internet trying to find the best digital music services to use can be very daunting -- not to mention time consuming. To aid in your search, this quick-fire top list gives you a run-down on some of the best music services on the Web. Be sure to read our full reviews too in order to find out in detail what each service offers.
1. iTunes Store
Apple's iTunes Store is regarded by many as having the biggest selection of music tracks on the planet. iTunes software is used to access Apple's Store which also has built-in support for syncing music to your iPod, iPhone or iPad if you have one. However, it's not essential to have an Apple device to use this service.
Apple's online store is also more than just an online music service; there are other sub-stores too which offer music videos, audiobooks, movies, free podcasts, apps, and more. Read our full review of Apple's iTunes Store to find out more
2. Amazon MP3
Amazon MP3 which first launched in 2007 has grown to be one of the largest a la carte stores for purchasing and downloading digital music. With many songs and albums retailing at a very competitive level in the digital music market, Amazon MP3 is certainly worth a look as an iTunes Store alternative. One of the most impressive aspects of the Amazon MP3 service is its Cloud Drive feature -- any digital media that you purchase is automatically stored in your own personal music locker for safe keeping. You can also use Amazon's Cloud Player to stream your music too.
Even though Spotify is essentially a streaming music service, its special Offline Mode also qualifies it as a music download service too! In this mode you can effectively (over time) download and listen to thousands of songs without having to be connected to the Internet. With iPod support, the ability to import your own music library, and social networking, is this the ultimate online music service? Find out in this full review of Spotify.
Napster is both a subscription based service and an a la carte music store. Selecting the subscription route gives you the opportunity to use Napster for music discovery -- you can listen to as many songs as you like providing you keep your subscription going. You also get MP3 credits by subscribing which you can redeem for MP3 downloads.
Note: Even though Napster US has been acquired by Rhapsody, it is still very much alive in the United Kingdom and Germany. So, if you live in these countries, be sure to read our full Napster review that cuts to the bone.
The Rhapsody music service provides millions of digital music tracks for you to listen to or download via their subscription membership service. You can also buy and download individual DRM-free tracks in the MP3 format using this music service. For more on this cloud music service, read our full review of Rhapsody.
eMusic is a subscription based service that provides a large library music and audiobooks. The big plus about this subscription service is that all songs are DRM-free -- you get a set amount (depending on your subscription level) to download and keep every month. This service is iPod friendly and a free trial is offered, giving you the chance to try out their service before splashing your cash.
7digital is a media service that not only provides millions of music tracks, but also offers videos, audiobooks, soundtracks, and a selection of free MP3 downloads. The media that is purchased from 7digital is typically high quality with MP3 downloads of up to 320 kbps. A digital locker is provided for free with your account which helps you to store all your purchased tracks safely in the event that you need to download them again.