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Comparison Chart of Music Download Sites
We review only the best music download sites offering nothing but legal music downloads. Get a quick overviews of the services with our comparison chart!

Many may think every music downloading site out there is the same however making this assumption can have you settling with a service that is more expensive than others, or worse, can even get you into some hot water if you are not using one of main legal music download sites to begin with. Read more >>

 

Music Download Sites

Superpass

Superpass Music Download Service

REVIEW

Superpass - EXPIRED

While SuperPass was an excellent service, we've recently gotten news that it will no longer be available as a music download site.

We are keeping its review active for now until we know more however at this time, we would strongly suggest taking a look at eMusic which unless something changes with SuperPass, will soon be our top recommended music download service.

Superpass Review.

Superpass Rating

eMusic

eMusic Music Download Service

FREE TRIAL REVIEW

eMusic

A membership based service currently holding the lowest average cost per song and a generous trial offer for our visitors however with what is in our opinion an incomplete song library. Though it holds millions of songs, it is missing many top 40 artists due to the lack of a distribution deal with some of the major labels. Still, here are a few points to consider:

- Over 17 million songs.
- Low $0.49 / song average
- Free trial with $10 of free music!

For music buffs looking for the latest hits and only that, you may find our top recommended service a better fit however for everyone else, we highly recommend giving this site a try.

eMusic Review.

eMusic Rating

Napster

Napster Music Download Service

REVIEW

Napster

Napster has now become a property of 'Real' networks and joined forces with what is currently on top of our list of legal music download sites; 'Superpass'.

Try Superpass for free through our links and get a $10 free music download credit that is yours to keep, or read the Superpass Review for an in depth look and analysis at the service.

We have kept the review page for Napster available for anyone interested in taking a look at the music download site before the merger however if you were originally interested in Napster, we now recommend giving Superpass a try who is operated today by the same company.

Napster Review.

Napster Rating

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3 Music Download Site

VISIT REVIEW

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3 is our top recommended pay-per-song service out of the music download sites reviewed. The links provided on this website will bring you directly to their music page where you can get some latest news and use their straight forward search features to find the songs you want.

The music downloads are in MP3 format which make them compatible with practically all portable devices and software. Prices at this music download service are very reasonable with songs generally around the $0.69-$1.29 mark, and albums $10-$12. They regularly have specials on albums for $3-4 and the occasional free albums and songs.

Of all music download sites reveviewed, this is the ideal site for those only looking for the occasional songs with no membership commitments however if you download around an album's worth of songs a month on a regular basis, it becomes more economical to go with one of the first two recommended music download sites on this page.

Amazon MP3 Review.

Amazon Rating

iTunes

iTunes Music Download Site

VISIT REVIEW

iTunes

The most famous of music download services offering a pay-per-song model with the largest library of songs boasting over 26 million in their catalog and growing.

Prices range from $0.69-$1.29 / song depending on popularity, and albums closer to $9.99-$11.99 on average. You will find some free song give aways from time to time, discounts regularly for artists running promos and even exclusive iTunes tracks from top 40 artists.

As we mentioned with the music download site Amazon MP3 however, for anyone downloading an album's worth of tunes on average per month, music downloads become more economical with one of the membership services we mention above.

For iTunes, the reason we currently recommend Amazon MP3 over them a tad as a music download site is simply due to the mandatory iTunes software. Without it, you cannot download music and it can be frustrating software to deal with when it comes down to the syncing process with your devices. For this reason, Amazon ranks higher on our list of legal music download sites however for anyone that does not mind the software, you can't go wrong downloading music with iTunes.

iTunes Review.

iTunes Rating
Picking the Right Music Download Site

Let's get right into it and filter through our list of best music download sites to find you the ideal service that fulfills your needs. Start by asking yourself these questions:

- How many songs do I, or would I download a month from a music download service?
- Will I be using a portable device and if so, does it only support a specific file format (WMA / MP3 / AAC / WAV)?
- How important is selection and am I only looking for Top 40 artists?

Keeping the answers in mind, take a quick glance through the following comparison chart of legal music download sites to see which services remain as options:

Music Download Sites - Comparison Chart

#
Site
Score
Songs
Top 40
MP3
WMA
Free Trial
Review
1.

9.4 / 10
+16,000,000
check
check
check
2.

Download 25 FREE songs at eMusic.com!
8.6 / 10
+17,000,000
check
check
check
3.

Download Napster 2.0 now!
8.4 / 10
+16,000,000
check
check
check
check
4.

Amazon MP3
7.2 / 10
+20,000,000
check
check
check
check
5.

6.6 / 10
+26,000,000
check
check
check
check

Read through the following options to help narrow down your list of potential music download sites:

Average Music Downloads a Month of +50 Songs

For those out there downloading a fair amount regularly, from the music download sites reviewed, our top suggestion is taking a look at some of the plans offered by eMusic. As plans are on a credit type of system that is reloaded each month, their memberships can have you covers for up to 24, 34, 46 and even 73 song downloads a month.

The one downfall is that with eMusic, you may not find all of the Top 40 artists in their library. With one of their plans in place, for the occasional Top 40 hit you may not find, you can always use the pay-per-song option of Amazon MP3 to take care of those few songs a month which if used in this manner, will be the most economical set up for those of you looking to download a large amount of music regularly.

 

Average Music Downloads a Month Between 10 - 50 songs

Under 50 songs a month, from the legal music download sites available, eMusic is still a great choice for their low per song cost average however Superpass is also a fair option with a pay-per-song service like Amazon MP3 on the side for the occasional downloads you may want to get your hands on that aren't included in their membership.

In this range of songs, as two music download sites are great options, it comes down to personal taste and if one offers something that peaks your interest more than the other. The strength of eMusic is in their low per song cost however with a music download site like Superpass, you can start enjoying a global entertainment service that brings you not only a reliable and easy to use music download service, but also an antivirus and a movie / high definition television service all in one.

We have in place promotions currently active for both these services so you can test them out for yourself before committing to anything. In both cases, you get a free trial period including $10 of free legal music downloads that are yours to keep:

- Try eMusic free for 7 days and download $10 of free music
- Try Superpass free for 14 days and download $10 of free music

Average Music Downloads a Month -10 songs

For those with a song downloading average of about an album's worth of tunes a month or less, from the music download sites mentioned, our recommended service is Superpass. Not only are they a fantastic music download service all around (read our Superpass Review), but their membership brings you an all in one entertainment service including $10 of free music downloads every month, high definition movies and television shows such as Big Brother, Biggest Loser, Survivor and more, behind the scenes live cams for Big Brother and an anti virus with McAffee to keep your computer protected. It becomes very hard to beat the value of their service, even for those only looking to use the service for song downloads which makes our recommendation easy.

If none of the bells and whistles hold any value, and if you do not want to commit to a membership type of plan, your next best bet is a quality pay-per-song site which will sell you individual songs or albums at rates close to, or the same as with the membership services. Our top recommended music download site option in the pay-per-song category is Amazon MP3 followed closely by iTunes. We recommend reading our short summaries of each of these services above, or their full reviews (Amazon MP3 Review - iTunes Review) for more details on each.

The Music Download Sites We Review - What Makes Them Legal?

This site is owned and operated by musicians and artists. We take legal music downloading very seriously and will only review website and services that offer legal music downloads. There are many other review sites out there including additional music download services in which some take advantage of technology and provide methods of music downloading that bypass compensation to the artists and copyright holders which makes downloading from these other services stealing and can, and has gotten a lot of people into hot water.

That said, we make it a point to research and look into every site we review to assure they are offering legal music downloads. Each service passes the test by having the appropriate distribution agreements in place with major record labels, indie labels and copyright holders (publishers, songwriters, etc...) for each song in their catalogue. What this means is that the copyright holder (the owner to the rights of the song and its use including where it is being sold / distributed) has given permission to these websites to put their material out there to be found and bought through their service. When a purchase is made, or in some cases even when a song is streamed, everyone who has a part of the copyright is compensated, as they should.

If you have specific questions or needs that were not addressed in the material provided through our site, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to help.

Helpful Info
About Music Downloads

Rating System


In our attempt to providing you with the fairest ratings and reviews, we rate music download sites on the following criteria:

  • Customer Service
  • Ease of Use
  • Free Trial
  • Selection
  • Cost


We find all of these aspects very important to ensure a quality music service and we make it a point to test each site in the same manner and for each criteria.

All music download sites we review need to have a minimum overall score of 6 to even be considered.

Customer Service

We contacted each of the music download sites and their support team, took in consideration the amount of ways they could be reached (email, phone, and/or chat), how long a response took when emailing, and how thorough our questions were answered to rate each site.

Ease of Use

Some music download sites require users to download software before being able to purchase or download music files. This, along with site layout, search methods for finding songs, and overall features available with the music download sites are considered and ratings are provided accordingly. All services currently reviewed have generally a high score in this area as functionality continues to improve and these are the types of sites that regularly update their layouts and features to continuously improve their website's load speed however if you see differences in scoring and are wondering why, more details can be found within the complete reviews for any of the sites.

Free Trial

Some music download sites offer a great deal of features that are simply easier for users to test out before becoming a subscriber rather than reading 20 pages off a manual. For this reason, we made it a point to consider free trial offers when rating music download sites. We also see this as a sign of confidence by the service and a huge benefit to consumers to test before becoming members or using the site regularly.

Selection

We base a perfect score on selection as a service offering anything above 15 million legal music downloads and including top 40 hits. Points are removed for any music download site not meeting this criteria.

Cost

For pay-per-song sites, we pinned each of the music download services offering legal music downloads against the other and awarded a higher score to the ones that had an overall better price per song while considering regular specials, per song and album pricing. For music download sites offering a subscription based services, pricing is very similar between each site however we considered overall features, selection, and customer service to award higher scores to the services that provide a better user experience and more for the cost.

 
 
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