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Sources of Free to Download Music File Online: Advantages and Disadvantages

Updated on March 6, 2020
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After living in the city for 30 years, EC moved to the countryside. He writes about life in the mountains, dogs, plants, and cooking.

Tha Magic of MP3 Music

According to one survey on MP3 users: more males listen to MP3 players than females -- plus they are young, educated, and have high incomes. A large number of individuals downloading free legal MP3 music often end up buying music CDs. It is very easy to download. Just right-click on the link of desired song, and 'save'. Because the MP3 file is so small, downloading is a zip.

Advantage of MP3

The main advantage of MP3 is its compact size. MP3 music files are smaller than a typical audio CD. Most MP3 players in the market are small and not bigger than your palm. You listen to it through use of headphones or earphones. You download music from different music directory sites. And there are millions of MP3 songs available online. Everyday, lots of musicians around the world are creating songs and music to cater for everyone's different taste in music.

MP3 and Music Piracy

Because MP3 music is quite easily ripped off from CDs, the sharing of free music has spread faster and wider than a prairie fire. This practice was rampant since 1994 and it started hurting the music industry due to piracy. Apple's iTune becomes the main source of clear and quality licensed music - and available to purchase online anytime.

What Types of Free Music to Download Online?

Sadly, music by both the Beatles and the late Michael Jackson are not available for free legal downloads. However, there are lots of big acts and well-known musicians who are clearly visible in almost all music directories. Browse bands in alphabetical order: acoustic, ambient, classical, country, dance, drum-and-bass, electro, electronica, folk, funk, hiphop, industrial, jazz, latin, pop, punk, rap, rock, techno, world, and many more. Find different genres as well, music from the fifties, sixties, and onwards to the new milleneum.

What is MP3?

MP3 is just a nickname for its true name MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. As a common audio format for consumer audio storage, MP3 files are reduced to 11 times smaller than the CD files created from original audio source. The technique is similar to JPEG principles, which is a popular format for image compression. From mid-1994 to 1999, MP3 files had risen to rapid popularity through audio player Winamp (1997). In 1999, Napster became the first and largest peer-to-peer network of MP3 filesharing. Since MP3 music were ripped from CDs, the widespread free sharing of music had resulted to copyright infringement, which major record companies called music piracy. Napster was sued and shut down. Websites with authorized services are allowed to sell unrestricted music using MP3 format (like Amazon, eMusic, Beatport, Walmart, Juno Records, Bleep, and Zune).

What is MIDI?

MIDI, stands for Musical Instrumental Digital Interface, lets most electronic musical instruments to control, communicate, and synchronize with one another. Examples of electronic instruments are synthesizers, sound cards, samplers, drum machines, MIDI controllers, and computers. Unlike MP3, MIDI transmits only ‘event’ messages—not audio signal or media. Event messages are:

  • Pitch – intensity of musical notes to play
  • Volume, cues, vibrato and panning – signals that control parameters
  • Tempo – set my clock signals

MIDI messages can be collected and stored in the computer as MIDI files. MIDI 1.0 is also used as control protocol in non-musical applications like: Vjing, DJing, sound design, special effects, show control, theater lighting, audio processing, animation, and many more.

What is WAV?

WAV or WAVE, is coined name for Waveform Audio File Format. It is also known as Audio for Windows because WAV is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format—the standard format for storing audio bitstream files in computers. WAV files are larger in size than MP3 and MIDI files; thus, WAV lost its popularity.

When storage size is not an issue, and when high quality files are required, the WAV file format is commonly preferred; especially during audio editing, where time involved in compressing and uncompressing is an issue.

WAV format is quite simple to use because its structure is based on RIFF file format. It is still widely used in various software applications when exchanging sound files between different programs. WAV is limited to files less than 4gb in size.

Jazz Legend David Sanborn


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