How to Download MP3 Files to a Computer

by Ian Moore ; Updated September 22, 2017

The emergence of online file-sharing services like Napster in the late 1990s changed the way many people listen to music. Although numerous illegal file sharing sites exist on the web, there are a number of legal avenues to obtain digital versions of your favorite music. Downloading MP3 files is convenient because you can save the song file directly on your computer--and transfer it to a digital music player, like an iPod, in a matter of minutes.

Downloading From a Website

Go to a music downloading website. Sites such as Imeem allow free streaming, but charge for the MP3. Legal download sites such as MP3 Raid do not charge, but the selection of material is limited.

Search for a song. Type the name of the artist or song title into the search bar and press the "enter" button on your keyboard.

Select the file. Right-click on the download link. Select "save link as" and choose a location on your hard drive. If you are downloading from a pay site, click the download link and enter your payment information. Create a user account by clicking "register" if you are required to do so.

Locate the file on your hard drive. Double click on the file to play it.

Downloading From Software

Go to a website, such as Napster or iMesh, that offers legal music downloading software.

Create an account and download the program. Click "sign up" and create an account if you are using Napster. Upon completion of the registration you will be directed towards the download link. Click the "download Imesh" link if you are using iMesh.

Install the music downloading software. Restart your computer upon completion of the installation process.

Open the music downloading software. Go to "file" in your application menu and select "connect" to connect to the network. Depending on your Internet speed, it should only take a few minutes to connect.

Search for a song. Type the name of the song or artist into the search bar and press "enter."

Select a file that has the highest rating. Double-click on the file name to begin downloading. View the progress of the download by going to the "downloads" window.

Locate the file on your computer. Double click on the file to play it.

About the Author

Ian Moore is a student pursuing an associate degree in music and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Moore has been a writer for more than 10 years. He holds a TESOL certification and has taught English abroad. Moore has published work for Transitions Abroad.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera music image by bociek666 from Fotolia.com