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Guide to the best sites to download digital music online

If you have an iPod or other digital music player, you can download the music you like to buy direct. While there are a number of illegal sites allowing you to do this free (and at a risk), we focus in this section on the legal UK download sites where you can buy digital music secure and safe.

7 Digital

7 Digital work with large record labels like Sony Music, Warner and EMI to bring you legal music for download by artists like U2, James Blunt, Coldplay, Queen, Oasis and many more. They offer high quality downloads in 192 kbps and multi download formats (MP3, ACC and WMA) suitable for your iPod or other digital music player. You pay per song or album download.
Click here to visit the 7 Digital web site

Amazon UK

They may not have been the first of the established music retailers to offer legal digital music online, but at download prices of £3 per album they're extremely competitive. Their service pretty is also pretty good since you can listen before you buy. They offer a good selection of the latest songs and the digital download format is MP3 256 kbps.
Click here to visit the Amazon web site

Apple iTunes

If you're one of the many iPod converts than you may already be familiar with Apple iTunes. Their official and legal download site lets you buy downloads from all the current artists, with a massive back catalog available too. You can listen to 30 second previews and purchase individual songs as well as full albums. Songs are downloaded in the Apple ACC format at 128 kbps (which means they will only work on the iPod players).
Click here to visit the Apple iTunes web site


If you're into dance music then this is the place to download all the latest tunes. Used by all the world's top DJs, at Beatport you'll find everything from trance, house and techno to hip hop, funk and chill out. You can preview online as well. You can choose tfrom various digital formats and all legal of course.
Click here to visit the Beatport web site


At Epitonic you can download a selection of alternative music completely free ... and yes, it is legal. This is because they work with smaller independent labels who are happy to introduce you to some of their artists and music for free. Genres include electronica, darkwave, goth, hip hop, techno, punk, jungle, world music, indie rock, hardcore and others.
Click here to visit the Epitonic web site


HMV has also entered the download market with HMV digital. They have over 1.8 million tracks available with many exclusive content too. The download format is MP3, which plays on Windows PCs, most digital players including the iPod. You pay for each song you download and download prices for new music albums are £7.99 and singles from £0.49.
Click here to visit the HMV web site

MP3 unsigned

As the name suggest, this site lets you listen and download tracks by unsigned artists. All music genres are covered and most MP3s are free.
Click here to visit the MP3 unsigned web site


As the pioneer of music downloads, Napster is probably the place to be for downloading legal digital music these days with over 8 million music tracks available. You can pay per track from 68p or ... for only £5 per month you can listen to an unlimited amount of music of their massive catalogue and download 5 MP3 tracks to keep per month. Their "unlimited" monthly subscription is the cheapest we could find and great to discover new music.
Click here to visit the Napster web site

Tune Tribe

Tune Tribe are a dedicated digital music store, bringing you a wide range of genres from rock, pop and indie to dance, folk and reggae. Downloads are available in 192 kbps MP3 or Windows WMA formats (depending on the artist's label). They enrich the buying experience by offering 30 second previews, exclusive downloads, recommendations on new talent, interviews and editorials by music journalists.
Click here to visit the Tune Tribe web site

Still stuck?

You can always search the web for some more sites where you can download songs and albums ...

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