What music downloading
software matches your requirements?
Almost any online music store
features it's own music downloading software. We give you an overview
about their strengths and weaknesses
success of Apple's iPod and the online music store iTunes a lot of
copycats entered the scene. We now have about ten serious players on the
online market of music file distribution and they are about to become
As any of them
wants to play it's own game, they all have their own software to
let you download, organize, burn CDs and transfer your files to external
is, which of these programs can manage these tasks efficiently and
programs are roughly in sequence of their usefulness.
Downloading Software for Pay Services
Yahoo Music/Yahoo (PC)
iTunes is a software
that is specially designed for using the iPod but is also a good player and
organizing program. It is all a touch easier and more human than with other
programs. Holding about 80% of the market share
in the on-line music download service arena it has to make something
right. Convenience is the key of it's success, not compatibility, because
all songs downloaded with iTunes are coded in the AAC audio format.
Probably the slickest interface after
apple's iTunes. The Rhapsody service used to be focused on streaming audio
(no wonder since it's owned now by RealAudio). It offers now Rhapsody To Go, which let's you transfer your
tunes to an external player.
Good overall player with some
Media Player/Microsoft (PC)
Yes, your standard Windows Media Player is
also a music downloading software
for the MSN Music service. If you never used this function before, go on and
try it now. You can choose from a variety of online stores (except iTunes)
but it's less convenient and more complicated than apple's iTunes.
Juke Box/MusicMatch (PC)
The music match software is available in
two flavors. The free Jukebox and Jukebox Plus which burns and rips faster,
lets you print custom CD labels
and covers, find duplicate tracks, etc... Functionality is pretty similar to
the Windows Media Player, so I can see no need to change if you are familiar
with the Windows Media Player.
Napster to go/Napster (PC)
The positive of the Napster software is
that looks very simple. Yes, you could use it as your music central to
organize your tunes, but it's far behind other music downloading software.
You can only rip in WMA and installing an mp3 plug-in is a tedious task. You
need an ID and login just to browse music and in some countries it doesn't
work at all. Not recommended.
Cheap music service but buggy interface. It
looks somehow similar to Rhapsody, but probably needs a few versions to
emerge into a really good player. Reads and rips into a lot of Audio
Formats. Low compatibility with external player.
Web Browser (Mac/PC)
The simplest way to download is of course
by your web Browser.
MSN Music, eMusic and Wal-Mart let you
download without proprietary software just by using your standard Web
If you own an
iPod or are interested in legal music downloads from the biggest online
catalog of music, than choose iTunes.
The best service
for streaming audio is Rhapsody with a good player and lots of artist
more than one online music store and organizing all kinds of media files,
you can stay with the Windows Media Player.