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Free or Fee? What is Music Worth?

We are much more reliant today than ever before on technology and the many contributions it makes to our lives every second. Perhaps most notable is the many options technology has given to the Internet and the world of entertainment, making many artistic projects and productions, from digital music albums to e-books to short and long films and television programs available to a larger audience of people.

Steadily children that grew up with the Internet and don’t remember a time without it are reaching adulthood, and attitudes about both the monetary value of artists’ works available online and the cultural value of these works are changing. This revolution began with the introduction of CD’s, which became easy to copy and distribute to friends.

There are certainly varying opinions about the worth of downloadable music and purchased music in general; while a younger generation of music lovers is certainly divided on whether music downloaded online should be free music, there are definitely more in that generation deciding that perhaps people should be more freely allowed. When it is so much easier to copy mp3′s online and from friends, and also easier to record entire albums in the studio with full digital capabilities, many young music listeners wonder, is a musician’s work and the musician him/herself really worth as much as at the dawn of the recording industry?

Many studies have shown that adults that remember a time when recorded music was expensive and more difficult to obtain are much more cognizant and respectful of basic music Copyright Law. They understand why certain laws are in place, and some that are artists themselves have relied on Copyright Law to protect their creative expressions. Copyright Law also allows music and other art forms to perpetuate in the world, and is the reason there is so much variety available.

The music industry has been cracking down on how people get their music recently in response to the increased availability of downloadable music and digital music on the Internet. The music industry was largely unprepared for the sudden introduction of file sharing programs to music lovers, and it has taken several years for them to realize their impact on musicians, songwriters, other music professionals and record companies. Before the Internet, most young people bought CD’s, and shared them by simply burning a copy for friends. While this was certainly a violation of Copyright Law, it somehow did not pose as large of a problem as when mp3 players became available and people downloaded free music off the Internet en mass through high-speed connections. The music industry has recently started filing lawsuit after lawsuit to stop this phenomenon and put systems in place to make music lovers pay for downloadable music. As was evidenced in recent lawsuits that were filed against those in small towns in middle America, you do not have to be high profile to suffer consequences for violating the law when it comes to digital music.

The industry has been driving hard to try to get the public to recognize that not paying for music takes money away from artists and musicians that they deserve for their hard work. While music is a source of entertainment and a cultural commodity for most, for those involved in creating it, it is a job that they rely on to make lives for themselves. Like any other professional, musicians can’t be expected to do their work for free. While the amount some receive is certainly debatable, what is not debatable is that they should receive something. The latest drive to enforce Copyright Law by the music industry is causing a stir among young people. New anti-piracy software is now being put on CD’s to cut down on illegal CD copying. The software prevents listeners from burning the CD more than five times.

Teens especially are noting that this will not stop others from discovering new ways to get music. Many adults agree that someone is bound to come up with a way around the software, as technology always seems to find a way to surmount obstacles that prevent free sharing of music, DVD’s and other media.

Many teens note that there is an obvious and simple way around the anti-piracy software; all a person has to do is make a copy of the CD once and then use the copy to make more copies. Those invested in the downloadable music and digital music craze feel the anti-piracy software is really just a way to slow down some of the most avid copiers while the industry thinks of a more permanent solution.

Other teens support these new attempts to prevent people from getting music for free. They feel that music is a valuable part of everyone’s lives that touches so many aspects that certainly free music or even cheap music should not even be an option. They fully understand why musicians deserve to be paid for the privilege of owning and listening to their music over and over again.

So what are some alternatives to illegally downloading digital music or free music?

There are many services that provide low-cost and virtually free music for professionals and individuals simply hoping to expand their music collection. For those still entrenched in the CD movement, there are some subscription services in development that will allow people to freely share unlimited CD’s through the mail at very low cost and without violating Copyright Law.

As more services for downloadable music and digital music arrive on the scene and make a more competitive market, track downloads and album downloads are becoming cheaper. Even iTunes offers songs as 99 cents apiece, and entire albums at cut rates, so even young people can afford to buy music legally to enjoy.

As an alternative to digital music provided by major music providers, reputable royalty free music companies are bringing original tracks of music plus many high quality royalty free music versions of some favorite classical pieces to listeners at affordable prices and sometimes even free. Royalty free music companies such as Royalty Free Music.com offer huge and very comprehensive downloadable music libraries with collections from every genre from classical and jazz to rock, techno, dance and Hip Hop. And with royalty free music, you pay to satisfy Copyright Law upfront so you don’t have to worry later about any additional fees. Many royalty free music companies even offer totally free music that is of excellent quality and different from anything else available.

The point with digital music is that listeners will continue to try to find ways to get free or cheap music; at this stage of technology, finding loopholes and ways that allow for freer sharing of information is just human nature.

Downloading Ringtones Can Be Fun

Your mobile phone is a necessity you have with you always. Probably, your ring tone is something you keep listening to very frequently. Dreary and plain ring tones tend to get on your nerves.

If the ring tone is your favorite song, then you will actually wait for it to ring. Songs, which are available on the Internet, can be downloaded as a ringtone. Most of the ringtones are available for free downloads. This is possible with just a few things like the song of course available for download, computer software and an MP3 or MIDI music enabled phone.

Audio CD’s are converted to digital music with the help of the computer software. Everyone, especially teenagers find downloading ring tones on to their mobiles fun. This is very popular with them. In fact, some of them keep changing their ring tones on a regular basis.

The option of downloading favorite songs in a digital format on to their mobiles has put an end to the need for purchasing CD’s which are priced high. The ringtone industry is thus becoming very active with almost forty percent of their users opting for downloading music they offer for free. Users do not mind the minutes of talk time they use up for this purpose.

Apart from ring tones, phones these days are equipped with the facility of storing photos, video clips and even store full songs in the MP3 format. You can even send and receive e-mails from your mobile phones. The technological advancement in recent times is mind boggling.

Ring tones can be accessed on the internet or can be chosen from your favorite list on the CD. If the songs are not in the MP3 format, which is compatible for download, they can be converted using certain softwares. Popular software, which can be used for converting songs into downloadable format including music match, iTunes, Real player and Windows Media Player. Ring tones give us an indication of the type of person the user is.

Ring tones which are also referred to as sing tones can be downloaded in full or in part along with the lyrics. Ring tones are even supported in formats such as AAC, MP3, WMA, QCP, WAV, and AMR.

Ring tones have in fact become a medium of recognition and advertisements for musicians. Mobile phones are more than that now. They are used more as music players with prominent companies coming out with mobiles with handsets and iTunes compatible.

Though music players are popular all over, a music player combined with a mobile is bound to be popular. A variety of music resounding all around is the order of the day. It is fun to use mobiles now. You have the option of downloading music of your favorite artists on to your mobile now. Artists have stuck a deal with mobile phone companies and most of the songs of prominent artist songs are available for download.

Download music on your phone, set them as ring tones and enjoy unending music. Ring tones are fun. Take advantage of the technological revolution.

How to Download Music Online Safely

It is so easy to find places to download music online that you can simply do a search on the internet and you instantly can find millions of results. You would even find free services that provide you with free client software to download music online for free and share them with your friends. This can be tempting to users but you need to understand that using music sharing networks can prove to be a huge mistake.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is taking action against some big time culprits who are sharing music online. This can be a potential pitfall against you if you download free music as well as share them using Peer-to-Peer P2P networks. So you are responsible for the way you treat this way of getting music. Of course, there are safer ways to download music online legally by spending a couple more dollars.

The file sharing client application that the P2P websites provide to you free is something you need to be careful with. While you may at first jump at joy that they are giving it to you free to download music online, this software is actually a gateway to a host of unwanted problems such as infiltration of spyware, adware and computer viruses.

These client software needs to be installed on your PC. Each time you download a music MP3 file, you could also be downloading an adware together. Once your computer gets clogged with too many of these advertisements spawning software, your entire computer would slow to a halt. Another malware, Spyware is a worse culprit in the sense that it would secretly send your personal details to people who can do a thousand and one things with the information.

As if these are not enough, each time you download music online in the unsecured environment, your PC also runs the risk of being attacked by viruses like Trojans and so on. File sharing software has been a big headache to users and unless you switch to using legitimate music downloading services, you probably would have to live with the potential risks.

So if you are now using P2P sites, the bare minimum you need to do is that make sure that your antivirus and anti-malware program are up to date. Still, that does not necessarily mean that your PC is safe since the hackers and rogue software programmers are constantly working hard to release stronger and more malicious malware and viruses.

Another problem with downloading music online for free at P2P sites is the exposure to pornographic material. The music file may actually contain a link to a pornographic site and your teen may become an unknowing victim as a result. So parents, watch how you are getting your music files as well as keep watch over your kids.

Take time to understand more about the free service as well as the file sharing application they want you to download. If you can do a little bit more research online to find other alternatives, I am sure you can find other ways to download music online without spending too much money.

For example, you can get hold of a lifetime membership from the recommended music services at my blog that allows you to download music online for unlimited number of times at anytime, anywhere for less than $50.