Since the introduction of Napster, online music downloads have become a prominent source of songs in digital format. Although Napster was later brought under legal restriction (due to the infringement of copyright issues), it brought about the phenomena of online music downloads. Now with the rise of iTunes and the iPod (as well as other formats of MP3 players) online music downloads are more popular than CDs. Currently iTunes holds the largest market share of online music downloads with 80% of the market.
There are some issues that must be taken into consideration with online music downloads. First of all, and probably the most crucial, is that there is usually a restricted use with the purchase of online music downloads. You can usually use the song on only five computers and then you lose your ability to use the song. This is to prevent mass distribution of the song once purchased. Also, some bands will not allow their songs to be sold through such venues as iTunes and other online music download stores (a recent example of such a band is Radiohead). All in all though, online music downloads will continue to take over the digital music scene and has revolutionized the way companies now market their songs.
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