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"How To Download Online Music - No Muss, No Fuss, No Scruples"

Updated on July 12, 2013

At one point in my life, I made a living composing and performing music; now, it's an important part of who I am, but it's not my main income source. Making good music would still be the way I earn a living if not for a phenomenon known as free online music downloading AKA "file sharing."

Downloading free online music is easily done using shareware; and by typing in keywords to your favorite search engine, you will find many websites that specialize in creating an environment where free downloading is not only accepted, it's encouraged.

"What A Great Song AND It's FREE - WOOOOHOOOO!"


"The Song"

You hear a song on the radio, TV, Internet or maybe through a friend's recommendation. You listen one time and you are hooked... you just gotta have this song. What's your next move?

This scenario repeatedly happens to me and it began in my teenage years. Back then, only one way existed for me to own that incredible song. I even learned a term existed for owning the song; the word was 'BUY'. Yeh, see, I would drive to the record store, find the record, bring it to the cashier and actually BUY it for the right to play this amazing song anytime I so desired.

Oh, but I'm getting way off track here--you must excuse me. This Hub is titled "How To Download Online Music - No Muss, No Fuss, No Scruples." OK, back to the subject. Wow, I'm sorry but something just came to mind that IS appropriate and fitting to the title... especially the 'No Scruples' portion.

Picture this:

The scene is the same record store and I want to own The Beatles' first album. I walk in, rummage through the Beatle's album section, find the album I want, bypass the cashier, and walk directly to my car; album in hand not one penny poorer.

What do you think would happen?

YOU and I both know the consequences of stealing, and don't come back to me with the getting caught part is the evil. Stealing is wrong whether you sugarcoat it under the lame belief that it's OK on the Internet, but not in a record store.

"The Good Doctor"

You awake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, your fever is 103 and climbing. You are experiencing pain that defies description in your right flank. You've got appendicitis and you are screaming for help.

You finally make it to the hospital where a doctor immediately diagnoses your condition. You are wheeled into surgery where your appendix is successfully removed. This wonderful doctor saved your life and removed the excruciating pain associated with your condition.

A month later, you are totally recovered; back to work or school and life is again good.

You then receive a sizable bill from this wonderful doctor who saved your life and removed your pain. Do you accept the fact this doctor did a wonderful thing for you and gladly pay him what is just and fair? Or do you bemoan the fact his years of medical school, the all-nighter studies and the ensuing countless years of practice saved your life, but now he burdens you with a bill that enables him to do the same thing for his next patient?

If you are like most rational people, you pay the bill - no questions asked!

"Musicians Study Longer and Harder Than Do Most Doctors"

Great musicians and composers have a quality known as "intuitive fluency", a fancy term describing an ability to perform a craft relying totally on the subconscious. A performer who has this earned talent is rare and he or she has paid long, expensive, tough and hard dues to reach its attainment

If I, for example, had to tally the number of years spent over my lifetime in study, practice, live performance, adding the hours invested in learning production techniques, mixing, mastering, learning software programs... (the list is seemingly endless): 25 years would be a good estimate. NO physician even approximates this number and yet, their patients don't mind paying for their services. If anything, they are happy to pay the doctor his just due.

"Now Let's Talk Money"

Not only do the great musicians log thousands of practice hours, sleepless nights, roadhouse bars and education learning their craft, all of us have invested:

  • Multiple $1,000's of dollars in school tuition
  • Gear
  • Books
  • Studio equipment
  • Computer software and hardware
  • Publicity fees
  • Studio fees
  • Production costs

And now let's look at the costs of that one song you downloaded for nothing and you tell me if it's a fair and honest proposition.

The average album AKA a CD:

  1. Must first be composed... creative fee=$25,000 (This figure is in fact, priceless)
  2. Recorded: Studio time and engineer=$100,000
  3. Mixed: Studio time and engineer=$20,000
  4. Mastered=$10,000
  5. Artwork=$5,000
  6. Mass Duplicated: 100,000 copies=$220,000

Grand Total= $360,000

".99 cents"

So, we now come to you, our buying public, and ask you to pay us less than a dollar for the fully-produced song we've given our life and wealth for.

The memorable tune that:

  • makes you happy
  • gives you goosebumps when you dance to it with the one you love or
  • reminds you of that special someone or place ...

And you repay us by attaching a 21st. century term like "file sharing" when "stealing" is the correct descriptive terminology for what you are doing.

Not only that, you TEACH others how to steal music in ways that, in your mind, make it OK to do so.

You have no clue what goes into creating that song you've stolen other than what I've just written and that's the tip of the iceberg. So much more is involved with getting a song to CD, I would need 3 more Hubs for a full and total description.

Bottom line is: If you steal music by illegally downloading, you are a thief with No Scruples.

Pay the small download fee and feel good about having done the right thing... even in this economy, you can afford 99 pennies!



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    • copywriter31 profile image

      James Ranka 8 years ago from Port Neches


      Very well said... If and when you discover the new business model where we recording artists can be fairly compensated while knowing our music is being stolen, please inform me... I'll be the first to jump on that bandwagon.



    • AaronBeats profile image

      AaronBeats 8 years ago

      I totally agree with what was said here. As a composer/producer myself, I have tried to communicate to others what it actually takes to bring a song from one's head to a listener's ears.

      If I were able to recoup all of the investment that I've made into my music career, I would be in a much better financial position. But its hard not to invest in a true passion and gift such as music and the ability to be creative.

      The 'corporate stiffs' of the music industry are making it difficult to be creative nowadays as well, as they employ mediocre artists to create carbon copy songs of "what's hot."

      There are other frustrations as well, but as you said, it would take 3 hubs, or one extremely long one.

      Unfortunately, we alone can't stop it, which is why it is my hope that I can have a part in developing a new music profit model that allows us and other musicians/artists to make a living while providing the fans with legal free downloads.

      Any ideas or thoughts are welcome, as I don't see this problem going away without a new strategy.