How much should I pay to download music?

One site I checked out wanted between $6.00 and $9.00 for a complete album, or individual songs for $0.99 each. Is this about what most people pay, or is it the recording industries “we wish” price?

I’m thinking 99 cents is a fairly average price, but I don’t know if places ever have sales, or what.

I heard on the radio <NPR> that record companies are finally moving over to a 10.00 price tag for their physical CDs, because that approximates the price of them being downloaded online.
So…I guess 99 cents apiece isn’t off-base.

A buck a song seems to be the going rate for many sites. However, you can get better deals if you’re not looking for mainstream top 40 type stuff.

My personal favourite site is emusic.com where prices can be much cheaper (depending on the act or label) but the selection is heavily skewed to indie rock, jazz, classical, world, etc. Which is awesome if you’re adventurous but not so much if you’re looking for big name acts.

I check Amazon daily. They have one download special every day for around 2-4 dollars. They also have quite a few $5.00 downloads each month.

Try Amie Street. Songs start out free, then go up in price as they get more popular. Lots on independent artists, though you can find an established name here and there.

Blogs…check the blogs man, all free!

Oh wait…you have to be Canadian so you won’t be prosecuted.

$0.99 per song was the price per song on iTunes for a long time and seems to be the industry standard. More recently iTunes changed so most songs are still $0.99, but big hits are $1.29 and tracks by certain lesser known artists are only $0.69. Complete albums are usually $9.99, although some are a bit more or less. I don’t think I’ve seen any albums on iTunes for less than $6.99, though.

So the site you’re looking at seems roughly comparable to iTunes, although depending on the particular song/album you may get a better deal at one place over the other.

If I want to listen to songs I buy in my car what are my options? I know I can put my iPod in my car - is that the best option? I think I cannot burn iTunes songs to a regular CD can I?

No, that’s incorrect. You are able to burn iTunes music to a CD to play in the car. I do it all the time myself.

I believe there is some software imposed limit on how many times you can burn the same CD (or playlist? I dunno). I’ve never run up against it though I’ve probably never burned a CD of a particular album more than three times.

Yes you can burn iTunes songs onto a CD.

If your car CD can play mp3 then it’s easy. If your car cannot play mp3, you must convert the mp3 to a wav file to play it.

If you have iTunes you can do this easily

Open up iTunes

At the top you’ll see a horizontal menu

Click Edit -> Preferences

Then Go to the tab marked “General”

About half way down you’ll see a button marked “Import settings”

Click this

You’ll see “Import using” with a drop down box.

Select WAV Encoder

Then click OK

Go to main screen

Pick your mp3 or (m4a if you bought the tune in that format) and right click on the file. It will give you the option of “Create WAV version”

Then click this and iTunes will make a wav version of your mp3 file

Then use a burning program to burn these wav files to a CD

The prices sound about average (and reasonable) to me barring any amazon dot com or similar specials.

The way I look at it when deciding if the price is appropriate for me to part with my money is like this: how much would I pay for the CD? How much does would a blank CD cost me? And that give me a good guideline if that particular album is “worth it”.

For most of my music I would be willing to pay 10-15 dollars for the CD, a blank CD costs me (less than) 1 dollar, so any between 9 and 14 dollars for the complete album (depending on artist) is fine. For my kids’ music (that changes frequently, they never like the same thing for more than a few months at a time) I won’t pay that much; so the MP3 version must be available for download at a much lower price or they will go without (or use their own money to pay, but they are kids, so they don’t have much ;)).

An even easier way is, once you’ve made your playlist of songs in whatever format they’re in, click the “Burn Disc” button at the bottom right of the iTunes window, make sure the burn setting that pops up is set to “Audio CD,” and then click “Burn.”
That will make a regular CD playable in any CD player.

Yeah, there’s no need (or benefit) in iTunes to decode to WAV first. iTunes does it automatically when it burns.