- Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment. Peer-to-peer filesharing is a common form of illegal downloading.
Popular examples of online music stores that sell digital singles and albums include the iTunes Store, Tune App, Napster, Zune Marketplace, Amazon MP3, Nokia Music Store, TuneTribe, Kazaa and eMusic. Paid downloads are sometimes encoded with Digital Rights Management that restricts making extra copies of the music or playing purchased songs on certain digital audio players. They are almost always compressed using a lossy codec (usually MPEG-1 Layer 3 or Windows Media), reducing file size and therefore bandwidth requirements. However, this may cause an apparent loss in quality to a listener when compared to a CD, and cause compatibility issues with certain software and devices. Uncompressed files and losslessly compressed files are available at some sites. These music resources have been created as a response to expanding technology and needs of customers that wanted to have an easy and quick access to music. They can be referred to as business models that responded to digital revolution by making legal services attractive for users.
As of January 2011, Apple's iTunes Store alone saw $1.1 billion of revenue in fiscal Q1.. Now they are claimed to have covered 85% of legal music market in USA.
Music downloads offered by artists
Some artists allow their songs to be downloaded from their websites, or an online music store often as a short preview or a low-quality sampling.It is also compared to listening to a piece of music in the store before making a decision whether to buy it or not[sample sharing]. Others have embedded services in their sites that allow purchases of their singles or albums.The web site Torrentfrak presents a research that shows that 38% of Swedish artists supports file downloading and claim that it can be helpful during early stages of the career. A Swedish band that has profited from filesharing is the rock group "Lamont." 
Challenges to legal music downloads
Even legal music downloads have faced a number of challenges from artists, record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America. In July 2007, the Universal Music Group decided not to renew their long-term contracts with iTunes. This legal challenge[clarification needed] was primarily based upon the issue of pricing of songs, as Universal wanted to be able to charge more or less depending on the artist, a shift away from iTunes' standard 99 cents per song pricing. Many industry leaders feel that this is only the first of many show-downs between Apple Inc. and the various record labels.
The RIAA against illegal downloading
The Recording Industry Association of America launched its first lawsuits on September 8, 2003, against individuals illegally downloading music files from the Kazaa FastTrack network. At first, the RIAA's campaign to sue illegal downloaders looked like a bad idea to many critics; however, two years after it began, the campaign had survived at least one major legal challenge and began to pick up speed. The RIAA said that it filed 750 suits in February 2006 against individuals downloading music files without paying for them in hopes of putting an end to Internet music piracy. Many[who?] say that it is unfair for the RIAA to choose certain individuals to sue out of millions, but the RIAA dismisses the charge that the suits are unfair, comparing them to those who get targeted for speeding tickets. The RIAA hopes their campaign will force people to respect the copyrights of music labels and eventually minimize the number of illegal downloads that happen every day. Additionaly according to newest statistics published on IFPIs website, one third of music CDs sold worldwide are fake and piracy surpass legal sales in 34 countries. 
Legal music downloads were first compiled by Billboard in 1993, but they did not gain mainstream acceptance in the United States until around February 2005, when digital sales for singles started to be included in the Billboard Hot 100 and other Billboard charts. In the year before, the Hot 100 chart was similar to the Hot 100 Airplay chart, because only minor CD-single sales affected the chart. The inclusion of digital singles, as seen in the Hot Digital Songs, has immensely helped many songs chart and peak higher, in some cases in the absence of a radio release.
Single certifications were introduced in February 2005. Songs that sell a certain number of copies are often certified by the RIAA with the permission of the artist and the record company.
The UK Official Download Chart was launched on September 1, 2004 and included any Permanent Digital Download track, under 10 minutes long, being sold for a minimum price of 40p (0.4 GBP). In January 2005, downloaded tracks outsold physical singles for the first time in UK music history, prompting The Official UK Charts Company to begin to incorporate downloads for the first time into the UK Singles Chart on 17 April 2005, at which time Radio 1 stopped broadcasting the separate download chart, although the chart is still compiled. Initially this was on condition that the song must have a physical media release at the same time; this rule was fully lifted on January 1, 2007, meaning all download sales are now eligible in the chart.
In November 2005, the record for the best-selling digital single in the United States was held by Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", which had sold over one million downloads, making it the first song to achieve platinum download status. As of 2009, the record for the best-selling digital single in the United States on the iTunes Store is held by The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling", which had sold over 5,561,000 downloads. The highest weekly sales record was held by Kanye West with the single "Gold Digger", his record was broken by Britney Spears's "Hold It Against Me", which had first-week sales of 411,000. Later, the record was broken by Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", with 484,000 downloads.
Digital sales records
The following albums are the albums that have passed 1 million downloads. They are listed in chronological order
Artist Album When Eminem Recovery July 8, 2011 Adele 21 July 15, 2011 Mumford & Sons Sigh No More October 3, 2011
- Comparison of online music stores
- Digital Economy Act 2010
- HADOPI law
- On air on sale
- Open Music Model
- United States v. ASCAP
- ^ January 19 2011, Apple's iTunes revenues top $1.1 billion in Q1, FierceMobileContent
- ^ [http://torrentfreak.com/sweden-artists-filesharing-080401/2011-10-17 October 17 2011, "Swedisg artists want to legalize filesharing"
- ^ Bold text/business/media/02universal.html Universal in Dispute With Apple Over iTunes
- ^ Riaa Announces New Round Of Music Theft Lawsuits
- ^ Jason Krause. "Breaking up dowloading." ABA Journal 92.(2006): 16,18. Research Library. ProQuest. Georgia State University Library, Atlanta, Georgia. 12 November 2008 ProQuest.com
- ^ Sapients.net: Downloading Music: Awful or Average? 6 July 2011 
- ^ 
- ^ http://thenextweb.com/2009/07/02/michael-jackson-sell-1-million-downloads-week/
- ^ http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/retail/lady-gaga-s-born-this-way-sets-one-week-1005209622.story
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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