I am not a big fan of music, so when it comes to digital audio, I don’t download or use it as much as most people do. What music I do listen to is in mp3 form these days, but I do not purchase them through iTunes or Rhapsody, or any other music service. I will actually listen to them on youtube, as they’re usually music I want to listen to spur of the moment, but don’t really want or need to have a permanent copy of. That said, listening to music this way will usually lead me to the music videos, or fan made videos with the lyrics included. This is helpful at times and can enrich the experience for me.
Another way I listen to music is through an App called Pandora Radio on my iPhone. This is probably the most frequent method of me streaming digital audio, as it allows me to find radio stations with specific groups and music tastes. There’s no annoying DJs and very very few advertisements.
A long time ago, I did get an MP3 player, before even the iPOD came out. It was a small 64MB Rio player from Diamond, a company that used to make video and sound cards for PCs. It was just big enough for me to load up an hour of music for listening to while working out, and it served that function well. As for the MP3s, back then I used the Napster, the infamous free sharing peer-to-peer service that has since been shut down and restarted as a subscription service.
Today, I’d have to agree that downloading music for free is theft. A lot of companies have made moves against this kind of piracy, and many cases are ruling in their favor. People all argue about invasion of privacy and their rights, and that the companies make enough money already. That, however, is just trying to cloud the issue, and at its most basic, downloading free music that isn’t distributed directly from the company that owns it is illegal.