Thinking about getting a new computer, but not sure how to download music onto it?

Don’t despair.

There are a variety of ways to get new music on to your computer or other device so you can listen to your favorite music any time you’re in the mood.

You have two options:

  1. you can download music directly to your device, or;
  2. you can use a streaming or cloud-based service to listen to music that acts like a custom radio station of just your favorite tunes.

Each method has its pros and cons.

How to Download Music

Downloading means it takes up space on your device, but it's always available whether you are online or not. This solution works great when you're traveling or where you might not have a reliable (or free) Internet connection. With no worries about connectivity, you can relax and enjoy the music.

One option for downloading music is through Xbox Music*, the iTunes equivalent in the Windows 8 world. It’s a great app and easy to work with too.

Start by going to your Start screen, then tap on the Music tile. When Xbox Music launches, you can slide across to see all the options, just like you would in every other Metro Windows app. Look for “Top Music”, and tap on it. By default, you will see all the top selling artists, but tap on "Artists", and you can choose "Songs" instead.

You would think that you tap on a song to buy it, but that actually brings up a streaming play option. To buy it so you can listen to it whether or not you have an Internet connection, slide the info box towards the right, and a “buy song” button appears.

Tap on “buy song”, and if you already have your Xbox account set up, it will let you confirm your purchase. If not, setting things up is a quick minute or two, a credit card, your address, and you’re done.

Tap, listen, enjoy. Easy!

How to Stream Music

Streaming gives you access to an infinite playlist and some of the most popular sites to stream music from are Pandora*, Spotify*, and Rdio*. Being able to listen to whatever you want is great, but if you don’t have an Internet connection, it’s a no go.

For your Kindle*, you can use the Pandora app if you’re on a Wi-Fi* network. That way you can listen to music while you’re reading an ebook without worrying about the relatively small storage capacity of the Amazon Kindle devices.

On the iPad* there are a number of options: You can use iTunes* to listen to purchased music or stream music directly from Pandora or Spotify. There are also tons of Internet-based radio stations. An app like I Heart Radio* lets you listen to your favorite radio stations without a tuner, whether it’s island music from Miami, indie rock from Los Angeles, or jazz from New Orleans.

2 in 1 devices have even more options. If you have an Ultrabook™ with Windows* 8, you can also use TuneIn Radio’s* super-easy Win8 app.

To find Internet radio stations with TuneIn, just tap on the app’s tile from the Start screen:

Then, select your favorite genre or type of music. Tap on Jazz, and you will see a wealth of choices—all free, all live:

To listen to Denver-based jazz RM KUVO, just tap on its corresponding tile, and you’re jamming:

An iPhone* works exactly like an iPad, so if you're online or want to use your network, you can use Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, or Internet radio. Have music downloaded? iTunes works great, especially in shuffle mode.

If you have a smartphone with Android*, it is mostly the same except there is no iTunes. Instead, you can also use apps like Double Twist* or PowerAmp* in addition to Pandora, Spotify, or Rdio. It is just as easy, and you can still grab I Heart Radio if that's your preference.

Downloading or Streaming: The Choice is Yours

If you want to listen to music there really are a lot of great options, whether you're on a smartphone, tablet, or the newest Ultrabook 2 in 1 device. Happy Listening!

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