Learn About Digital Music

Much like music itself, the way we listen to music continues to evolve. Not that long ago, you needed a record, CD, or cassette to play music. Fast-forward to today and we’ve entered a whole new era of musical enjoyment thanks to digital technology, which has made music more accessible than ever before. With more than 70 authorized digital music services in the United States, it’s easier than ever to download, store, transport, and listen to music anywhere, anytime. From premium radio to downloads, from on-demand streaming to mobile services, digital music comes in more shapes and sizes than ever before. And it’s available nearly anywhere you go.

Today’s music marketplace offers a wide variety of digital options:


Digital song files available for purchase and download to a computer or mobile device. Downloaded songs can be easily transferred to a portable music player. 


Music listening via a computer or mobile device is as easy as the press of a button. In most cases, songs and albums are played directly from the streaming site itself, without needing to download additional software.

You can stream songs in various ways. Some ad-supported services offer free music listening. Others provide ad-free streaming with a paid subscription.

  • On-Demand: Instant streaming access to songs and albums of your choice on your computer or mobile device, without needing to download files.
  • Premium Internet Radio: Personalized stations or playlists tailored to your musical taste, available on your computer or mobile device.
  • Internet, Satellite, & Cable Radio: Preprogrammed music channels streamed to a variety of devices from the following services: Internet-only radio, satellite radio, cable TV, and AM/FM re-transmitters.


Digital storage space that lets you store, manage, and listen to your music purchases anywhere, anytime, without a physical storage device. Some cloud services store songs purchased from a single music service, while others enable you to include music from your personal collection. Many cloud services easily sync to portable players, providing remote access.

Music Videos:

We’re not talking about 1980s videos on TV. Music videos are back in a big way, often crafted by professional producers and directors and serving as a primary way for fans to discover and enjoy new music online. Videos are widely available for streaming or download on a variety of services. 


Ringtones can be purchased, downloaded, and streamed on a mobile device, allowing you to customize your phone, and are available through your wireless provider or various independent services. Ringtones are available a la carte or on a subscription basis.