Online music store

Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

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


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 search through over 300,000 songs using a catalog with a jukebox style interface. Users could then purchase any song for $.99 or a full album for $9.99. Since then, many online music store websites have been launched, some focusing on just music and others offering other media and entertainment products. Some of the more well-known include Rhapsody, eMusic, Amazon, and the iTune's store. Unlike file sharing through the use of peer-to-peer networks and other methods, obtaining a copyrighted song from an online music store is entirely legal.

After making a purchase, the online music stores allow you to download the complete song in MP3 or other formats that can be burned to a CD, stored on an MP3 player, or played on the cloud.

Internet terms