The Evolution of Music
In the olden days, if you wanted to buy music, you'd go down to a record store. You'd fork over your cash - often $10-17 for a record, tape, or CD, and you'd go home and sit and listen. Now, record stores are pretty much done with, except for collectors and music geeks who love to browse through obscure metal bands and stacks of old LPs.
It's much more convenient to find and buy music these days, thanks largely to the Internet. Perhaps the biggest change the Internet has had on music is through iTunes. Not only is iTunes a great piece of software that makes organizing your music easy, but the iTunes store has revolutionized the way we purchase music. Apple and the record labels set music prices at $.99 per song and usually around $10 an album. This is cheaper than the old days of record stores. You can download your music almost instantly, adding it into your collection and syncing it up to your portable music player or iPhone. Through tools like Genius, iTunes can also recommend new artists and songs based on the music in your collection. This is a great way to discover music you would otherwise have missed.
An alternative to iTunes is eMusic. eMusic is a haven for independent music, like Alternative, and Jazz. Tons of smaller labels and independent artists offer their songs on eMusic. eMusic is affordable as well, offering a free trial that includes a month of listening and 25 free downloads (with no DRM, or digital rights management, meaning you can transfer them from computer to computer or to as many music devices as you'd like). If you opt to keep the service, it's just $11.99 a month for 25 songs, or under $.50 a track. That's an even better deal than iTunes!
Amazon.com offers a similar music service to iTunes, but uses a "no DRM" policy which allows users to put the tracks on any MP3 player or CD you like. Also down the pipeline for Amazon is lower pricing. In the UK Amazon has dropped the price to a measly 29 pence per track, which is equivalent to 42 cents.
You can also find new music through music blogs. These are generally run by music fanatics, and have the advantage of introducing you to more new music than you could handle. Most music blogs focus on a particular type of music - Heavy Metal, say, or Electronica - and allow the bloggers to show off their impressive knowledge of their genres. These have the added benefit of offering up free tracks to download, so that you can familiarize yourself with the songs and artists before deciding whether or not to purchase their music.
Whatever genre of music you like, the Internet offers lots of options for enjoying it.
With all these choices, its a wonder if music sales aren't blossoming. You have the choice of any service you want and you can use it for your specific player without complications. If its music you want, then you should have no problem finding it in this day and age.