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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > MP3

MP3 Cost

How Much Does an MP3 Cost?

 average costMedium: 88-99 cents per song 
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The cost of MP3 songs varies from 30 cents to $1.00.

Typical costs:

  • Through iTunes[1] , the most widely used downloading service, songs cost 99 cents each. For the same price, iTunes also now offers some iTunes Plus songs with higher-quality encoding and free of digital-right management (DRM), so they can be played on an unlimited number of computers and freely burned to CDs. This service now includes about one million new tracks from indie labels.
  • Amazon[2] recently launched an MP3 marketplace that sells songs compatible with all players for 89 cents to 99 cents each. The songs are DRM-free, so they can be played on an unlimited number of computers and freely burned to CDs. However, their selection is not as wide as iTunes'.
  • For owners of Microsoft's Zune player, the Zune Marketplace[3] , sells songs for about 99 cents Or, subscriptions cost $15 a month.
  • Slightly cheaper, but with less selection, offers downloads for 94 cents for songs that will play on iTunes and Zune players; or, for 88 cents for songs that will only play on only select players.
  •[4] , offers 30 downloads a month for $10. All songs are DRM-free. The downside is that the site offers songs only from independent record labels, so its selection skews toward indie rock, jazz and classical music.
Related articles: MP3 Player, Home Theater, Stereo Receiver, Speakers, iPod

What should be included:
  • If the song is protected by digital rights management (DRM) technology it can be listened to on a limited number of other computers and burned onto 5-7 CDs.
  • DRM-protected iTunes songs are compatible only with the iPod; DRM-free iTunes songs can be played only on iPods and other players that can handle .aac files, such as Microsoft's Zune. Zune Marketplace songs are compatible only with Zune players. Songs from will play on just about any MP3 player.
Additional costs:
  • You will need jukebox software in order to store and play the songs on your computer. Apple[5] offers iTunes jukebox software for free.
  • iTunes features one song each week that may be downloaded for free.
Shopping for an mp3:
  • Visit the iTunes Store[6] , Amazon mp3 Store[7] , or[8] to get started.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
A sort-of free alternative
Amount: $0.00 per song
Posted by: rare_music in San Jose, CA.Posted: December 5th, 2008 11:12AM
Store: Youtube.comArtist: MANY
Some people may disagree with this, but while iTunes can be great for current stuff, I am taking music lessons and sometimes I am interested in hearing professional and amateur versions of older songs, which could include classical music, art songs, or even different covers of current songs. I discovered YouTube actually has a better selection of these kinds of less-mainstream music, although often the artists are amateur or semi-professional. But there are also a lot of pirated historical copies, like performances Ike and Tina Turner might have given on a TV show decades ago, and you can't get that -- with all the dancing and energy -- on someplace like iTunes.
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use a lot of iTunes
Amount: $1.00 per song
Posted by: PCGuyinCali in Campbell, CA.Posted: February 9th, 2007 03:02AM
Store: iTunesArtist:
I use iTunes a lot. I've now bought two iPods, which are great devices when they're working (the first one only lasted about a year and a half). It's incredible convenient to buy songs from iTunes, track my songs in iTunes, and play them on an iPod, though I worry that if I ever switch away from Apple, I may lose my songs.
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