Online music store

Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope
Digital music

The term online music store describes a website or online service that lets you browse through and buy music from many genres and artists. Most online music stores allow the customer to listen to samples of songs, and buy single songs and full albums. Some are subscription services, and others offer one-time purchases. Audio streaming services may also be available for a small subscription fee.

After making a purchase, you can download the complete song in MP3 or other formats. You can then burn them to a CD (compact disc), transfer them to an MP3 player, or stream them from the cloud.


Considered as the first online music store, the Internet Underground Music Archive was started in 1993, allowing users to download individual songs. In 1998, was launched, allowing users to browse over 300,000 songs using a catalog with a jukebox style interface. Users could then buy any song for $.99 or a full album for $9.99. Since then, many online music store websites have launched, some focusing on only music and others offering other media and entertainment products. Well-known services include Rhapsody, eMusic, Amazon, and the iTunes store. Unlike file sharing using peer-to-peer networks and other methods, obtaining a copyrighted song from an online music store is entirely legal.

Amazon Music, Apple Music, Internet terms