Download Music Legally on the Cheap

Let's face the music, the days of Napster and the free lunch are over. While there still exist plenty of ways to get music illegally, the legal ways are getting easier and easier and finding a MP3 free online often takes too much time or ends in a distorted dead sounding rip. Personally, I always felt guilt over downloading music through other means than the legal ones and wanted to support the artist. As a struggling artist myself, sometimes it is hard to spend full CD price on music, yet I have amassed over 20 days of music on my hard drive through (almost) entirely legal means. How?  Today with the amount of music stores online, when I want to download a track, I can usually name my price by checking the following services:


iTunes - Alright, I know iTunes is nothing new and since Apple handed over the pricing to the music labels, not always the cheapest way to buy music. iTunes, however, can still not be beat when it comes to convenience and selection. Apple also secures great exclusive singles and live albums, so they are sometimes the only way to go. The fact I can download and listen to virtually any song that gets stuck in my head while I am alway from my computer on my iPhone is pretty futuristic and amazing. - Very often I will check Amazon's MP3 store before I buy on iTunes, as they are known to run crazy sales, like $5.00 albums and free mp3 samplers. Amazon, however does not have as sleek an interface as the iTunes Music Store and it often gives me a headache with the amount of cross-sales and add-ons it tries to shove on the buyer. The other thing that I think is outright stupid, is if I buy a cd from Amazon, I should just be able to download the MP3s for free. I know that the reason I can not is no-doubt the record labels, who count on people downloading a song or two and then buying the full cd.

Cheaper - Lala is a flat out dream come true for music fans. It is a music store that runs completely in the browser, but has its own media player. Pricing is in two tiers, you can buy a standard mp3 for $.89-$1.29 or buy the full album for about one dollar to listen to and make playlists out of in the browser on

Unlike most other services, when a song is previewed on Lala the preview isn't 30 seconds, but the full song in a lower-quality stream.  With Youtube having a free full-length sample of virtually every song ever, the fact other sites limit to 30 seconds just makes zero sense. Even better, a user's whole collection moves with them whatever computer they are on. For many people who do the majority of their music listening sitting at their computer or at work, Lala is a gift from the Rock Gods. Lala was just purchased by Apple, with their founders becoming apart of the iTunes team. If eventually Lala and iTunes become one model, expect total music dominance. - I am personally not a fan of subscription download services (except for Audible), but for people who do not mind paying plans starting at $12/a month for 24 songs up to $31 for 75 songs, emusic can be tempting. Anyone who wants can sign up for eMusic and get 35 free songs with no commitment. They initially sold themselves as the best repository of more indie and alternative music, but iTunes and Lala have caught up to them.

Cheapest - This site is one of the best kept secrets on the internet, so I am a little afraid to spread the the word around on it. GoMusicNow legally sells cd-quality MP3s for $.09-$.15 a piece and yes you read that correctly. The accounts are loaded with $25 at a time, which will buy roughly 270 songs from a library as inclusive as most other music sites.

How does this work and still be legal? Even though the site is in perfect english, GoMusicNow is based out of Russia. Through some crazy legal trickery, they figured out a way to pay record labels through a Russian system. Once the exchange rate of US Dollars to Russian currency is thrown in, each song is worth cents. Is this completely legal? I can not give you any guarantees, but the site has existed for a few years and won a few legal battles.

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21 Responses to “Download Music Legally on the Cheap”

  1. Jeff June 29, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Been using gomusicnow for over six years…nothing but accolades!!

    • Soda October 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Can’t add funds to gomusic anymore. Have you found the same? Do you have a decent alternative?

      • Drew October 17, 2012 at 1:09 am #

        Yes I have the same problem but I can still download music for no charge. I don’t know why but it lets me download everything for free. I’ve tried to add more credits but it won’t work. Im not really complaining though.

    • Julie December 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

      I recently created an account on and was unable to load money on my account with my credit card. I did some searching online and apparently they are having some issues. I am able to download music and not pay for it but I am afraid to do that!! I only hope they resolve the issues soon cuz this is a great site!!!

  2. Jim December 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Yes gomusic is the way to go I to have been using them for years well over 50gb & counting

  3. Jim-Jeff January 1, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Also been using for years – they have consistently provided excellent service.

    I love is the way mp3obsession has attempted to blackball gomusicnow. Who’s paying those turkeys?

    • bobo February 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

      lololol its great to find anything other than itunes which dominates everything, but these prices look great!

  4. Tray April 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Gomusic rules! got Foo Fighters 2 days before release

    • Krijn April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      What happened to their site?
      Suddenly their openingsite looks quite different and starts not with their usual screen but with a blank page asking my name and password to log in…..
      Any ideas? I have used Gomusic for years and no problems and always familiar, but this I don’t trust anymore. Looks like its opening site has been taken over to me…

  5. Ryan April 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    I’ve been using gomusicnow since it was I love that site. Let’s keep it on the dl though.

  6. Jules August 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    A friend put me on to gomusicnow a year ago. Friends I’ve poiinted this way love it too. Unbelievable value. It’s by far my most used download site. Check it out and be impressed.

  7. Sam Skwirl April 6, 2012 at 11:38 am # is the best one out there. Been using them since 2002! I have about 90 days of music I purchased from them. I pay in a lot to get “Free” percentage upgrades (IE Pay $60 to your account and get %6 free added to your total.) Forget iTunes, gomusicnow blows them out of the water.

    • Moe May 24, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Can these downloads work through a Mac system and can they be synced to am IPad? I keep getting error messages that does not read the source. Does ITunes have to be used to facilitate syncing to an IPad or IPod?

  8. Mike May 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Does anyone know of a site for videos (movies/tv shows) similar to GoMusicNow? Thanks!

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  15. Biff January 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

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