You have to always pay attention to the size of the files you're downloading. A music file is going to regularly be anywhere between two and five megabytes. If you notice anything much smaller than this, beware. This is usually only going to be a text file and might contain a harmful virus.
Check out mainstream MP3 stores and look for their free music section. Often this is populated with songs from up and coming artists which are worth checking out. For example, MP3.com has a whole category dedicated to free songs. You can sample each and then download those that sound great.
Use caution if you decide to download music from free sources. These may be infected with malware from sneaky hackers who are taking advantage of people's love of music. Viruses are easily put into these music downloads, and you could be totally unsuspecting.
If you want to quickly find songs you might like, check out the lists on Billboard.com. They provide you with a ton of ideas thanks to informing you about which songs are hot right now in each genre. They also have historical lists you can peruse as well for all genres.
If you find that you like different songs from one artist, think about getting the entire album. Some albums are cheaper than buying each single separately. You also have lots of music to explore and enjoy. You might just realize that you have a favorite song now that you've never heard.
When downloading through peer to peer networks, play with your settings until you are getting good results. While they may seem complex and over your head, you can find explanations of what those settings do online, making the process of tweaking them much easier. The more you fiddle, the better your downloads can be.
Try browsing the daily deals sections on Amazon.com and iTunes for some great music downloads. Some of the tracks sell for about a penny a piece. Most of this is older music, but a lot of it is considered "classic." This is also a great way to find some interesting albums or tracks that you may never have considered for your collection.
Be wary of any music download provider that doesn't charge per track. Websites that offer a multitude of songs for a flat fee or monthly fee might block your access to your music when you stop paying. Sites that offer mp3 files for free might just be fronts for pirating and torrenting, which are usually illegal.
Rdio is a great way to get access to a ton of music without having to buy or download each song. If you like mainstream songs, then you'll be able to find everything you want in one place. If you like more obscure music, then this isn't the option for you.
Do not download music illegally through file-sharing websites. What seems like a good idea to get free music can come back to bite you. Many internet service providers are now working with publishing companies to find and prosecute online pirates, and you do not want to be one of the unlucky ones.
When you want the fastest music download possible, make sure you're the only one using your Internet connection. If I Am Nova you want to get the best possible connection, reboot your computer and shut down anything else on the network. Double check to make sure you don't download the same song twice. If you don't, you are simply wasting money. Most services have a history page for you to use.
There are literally thousands of sites which host music files. Even though many of these website are safe, there are still a great number that contain some infected files. Downloading just one of these infected files could possibly destroy your computer, so it is wise to be cautious. Before downloading a file, always scan it first with your anti-virus program.