How to buy music
A music buying guide
When you want to listen to music, it's important to know how to buy music. You should purchase music you enjoy - not necessarily the top music brands or the types of music other people like. Ultimately, it's about personal preference and what makes you feel good when you hear it. However, it's useful to know both different types of music and how to buy songs or albums before you create a music checklist of must-have tunes. That way, you will know how to evaluate songs when you're exposed to music's new releases, as well as older songs. Use this music buying guide to help as you learn how to buy music.
>> Consider different genres
The advantage of understanding different genres is that you can skip music you don't like and gravitate toward songs that you enjoy. If you really like country music, for example, country artists you haven't heard of before may have tracks you'll enjoy. This breakdown of different types of music will help you as you learn how to buy music.
- Hits are the most popular songs on the radio. When something is declared a hit, it doesn't mean that you will like it. Instead, it means that some population, at some point, really enjoyed it. Often, hits are at the top of music charts such as the Billboard rankings.
- Rock music usually places an emphasis on guitar and can be fast or slow. Drums, electric instruments, pianos, keyboards and synthesizers are also used. Most rock has lyrics. Because rock has so many different singers, styles and bands, it's difficult to pin down the exact characteristics that define the genre.
- R&B and soul music feature some of the same elements as rock, but the music can be mellower and smoother.
- Country music features both guitars and orchestra instrumentals and usually includes lyrics. It's a folk-based type of music with lyrics that speak to everything from family to pickup trucks.
- Rap and hip-hop music are popular types of music to consider when deciding how to buy music. Rap contains spoken lyrics, while hip-hop sometimes has only instruments. The music is usually looped and frequently includes information about the life of the singer or rapper.
- Christian and gospel music celebrates the Christian religion with lyrics that speak about faith and love. Songs may be more traditional hymns and ballads or be styled after rock, country or other genres. Some Christian music is geared toward specific age groups or types of Christians.
- Latin music originated in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes a wide range of styles, both with and without lyrics. It's impossible to accurately define the genre because many countries and cultures have contributed to it and each one is different from the others.
- Children's music is designed to educate and entertain children. A lot of children's music comes from television shows or movies geared toward kids. The lyrics are simple, easy to understand and family friendly. The music is often repetitive.
- Classical music is instrumental and can consist of new or old compositions. A single piano or an entire orchestra might play classical music. The music itself can range from soothing to exciting.
>> Listen to music samples
Before you settle on a particular type of music or band, listen to samples of different songs. Most streaming services offer clips from songs that you can play to help you learn how to choose music. Other songs can be found on radio streaming services and band websites. If you prefer to buy your music at a retailer, most music stores have CDs available to listen to before making a purchase. Some sellers act as a music buyer's guide, pointing you to different genres or artists depending on your preferences.
>> Compare different music formats
|Digital ||Digital music is a file that is downloaded to your computer or music player. Once you download it, you own it and can burn it to other types of media, depending on the rules of the service from which you downloaded the music. ||Digital music can be purchased from any participating store as long as you have an Internet connection. You may be able to purchase a single song or an entire album. ||Some file formats don't work on all music devices. |
|Streaming ||Streaming music plays on an Internet-connected device you own. ||The file doesn't take up space on your device's memory. ||You can't access it without an Internet connection, and you can't burn it to a CD. |
|CD ||You can purchase a CD online or at a retailer. It is placed in a compatible device that plays it. ||You can use it in traditional CD players. Some CDs let you copy the files and use them in other formats. ||You have to back it up if you want to keep a copy in case the CD is destroyed. It may be protected to prevent you from copying the files. |
>> Are you purchasing music as a gift or for work?
One thing to consider when figuring out the best music to buy is whether you're purchasing the music as a gift or for business use. How to buy music depends on who will listen to it. If the music is a gift, find out what genres and artists the person you're shopping for enjoys before settling on one of many types of music. If you're purchasing music for a business, the music features must include inoffensive lyrics and melodies that don't distract customers or employees. Music benefits many businesses by creating an enticing or pleasing atmosphere in which to work.