Building Your Music Library on the Cheap

For those who lived in the birth of the modern Internet age in the 1990s and early 2000s, downloading music is a breeze. All you need is Limewire, Napster, Kazaa, or a host of other peer-to-peer sharing programs. These give you access to hundreds of thousands of good-quality audio files. As a result, your music library is the envy of your classmates. If you have a pretty solid Internet connection at home, you’ll be downloading music files all day long.

Those days are long gone now. For your iTunes, remove duplicates with ease, but downloading and adding songs are another matter. It used to be so easy to download stuff from the Internet, but it has since become such a scary place where hackers wait for an opportunity to pounce. One minute, you’re downloading a small music file. The next minute, your personal and financial records have been hacked with nary a sign.

Thankfully, there are still ways to build your music library without spending too much. While you do have to pay for some services such as Spotify’s premium membership, it won’t cost as big as downloading every single track on Apple Music. You have to be resourceful if you want to get as many tracks as you want.

Transfer from Old CDs

Wait, don’t just throw away those old CDs. They contain the music you want, right? Why not get a disc drive for your computer and transfer the songs to your music library? Most computers have a standard program that can import digital music from CDs and store them on your hard drive. Digitizing song files is time-consuming. You can create a schedule, so you’ll be able to complete at least one disc per day. Hopefully, you’ll be done in a month.

Search Digital Stores for Free Tracks

Sometimes, digital stores such as iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify have free tracks for those who want to download them. Scourge their libraries for some tracks that you can download for free. Most of the tracks are singles by independent music acts. Sometimes, you’ll get a free track from a popular artist. Their older songs, for example, will be on sale. You can get them for less than $1 each.

Visit the Artist’s Website

Up and coming artistssimply want to be heard. If you have a band or an artist in mind, visit their websites and see if they’re offering the tracks for free. Most of them will give you a download link of their single or the entire album in exchange for an email address. All they want is to market to you when the time comes. Even big names and labels do this, so take advantage of this marketing scheme.

Sign up for a Streaming Service

Choose the music streaming service you want. Premium membership costs less than $10 a month. For that amount, you’ll get access to a large library of tracks that you can play anytime anywhere. You can download these tracks to your library and play them without an Internet connection.

While downloading digital files in the past was easier, don’t forget that the Internet was a far safer place back then, too. Not only should you respect royalties and copyrights, but you should also be eliminating the habit of downloading unauthorized links from the Internet. Unless you’re a computer genius, there’s no way to know if you’re downloading a virus that can hack through your entire system.