You should always have an antivirus program if you download music on a regular basis. An antivirus program will scan a file before it is downloaded, letting you know whether the virus has a virus or not. If a virus somehow gets into your hard drive, then the antivirus program can neutralize and remove the virus.
Stick with trusted websites for your music downloads. The biggest problem with untrusted sites is that they can contain viruses, but you might also be putting yourself in legal jeopardy if you download music from a less respectable site. Take the time to research a site before you download to make sure it is both safe and legal to use.
When choosing to download music, be wary of giving out your credit card. Only do so if you know right away how much the service is going to charge. Some companies are sneaky and charge you a monthly fee, but end up limiting your downloads. The most reputable companies will charge you per track or album, so your credit card is safe.
Rather than trying to download music illegally, think about using a legal online radio station. Pandora, Slackr, and Last.fm are all options for those who want to listen to music without illegal downloads. Most of these sites also have apps available if you have a smart phone at your disposal.
Want access to thousands of songs without clogging up your hard drive? Invest in a subscription from a site like Spotify instead of purchases on iTunes or Amazon. This allows you unlimited streaming of songs from their massive catalog, plus it's totally legal. That said, you need an internet connection to listen, of course.
If you're using a major service for your music downloads, keep an eye out for Singles of the Week. These are normally free downloads that you can enjoy. Who doesn't like the gift of free music? Oftentimes the free download will also include a discount on the full album, so you could save some money in this way.
If there is a site that you frequently download music on that offers a membership, you may wish to look into it. Some of these websites offer monthly or yearly memberships for a small fee. That small fee generally lets you download all that you want within that time frame. This may be a cheaper option than just buying individual songs or albums.
Look for sales and promotions to save money on your downloads. Check back often, you can often find freebies as well. When you download a song online, check its size. If it is less than 2 megabytes, unless it is a very short song, it is likely to be a virus. Most viruses are just text and they don't take up much hard drive space, so be wary of small files.
Avoid the temptation of downloading popular lily tomlin music from new websites that promise you free music downloads. Due to copyright reasons, most legitimate music downloads are available only with a fee. Websites that advertise free downloads of the latest songs need to be scrutinized because there are often strings attached to their offer which makes the download much more complicated.
If you don't use Genius in iTunes, turn it off! It eats up resources and slows down downloads and uploads. If you go to the Store menu, you will find "Turn Off Genius", so just click that and you should notice a significant change in the speed at which iTunes works.
If you use iTunes, make sure to sign up for their email alerts. They often send out specials and discounted albums that are available at a lower price for a very limited period of time. If you do not sign up for the email alerts, you might miss out on these savings.