Tuesday, August 09, 2022
For men, women, and teens

How to buy MP3 music on Amazon - a step by step illustrated guide

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Woman with headphones listening to music - how to buy and downbload MP3 tunes on Amazon

Amazon is a great choice of where to buy digital music, because you are then able to play those MP3's on your different devices (desktop, laptop, phone, etc). For this tutorial, I will show you how to buy an MP3 on Amazon.com on your desktop or laptop computer and download it with step by step illustrations. It's similar but not quite the same as placing an order for a physical product with a shopping cart, so even if you're very familiar with that, this is going to look just a little bit different.

In another article, I also cover how to download your past MP3 purchases again (without having to buy it again) and move your MP3's onto your other devices. For now though, we are looking at how to buy an MP3 track at Amazon and download it onto the desktop or laptop device you're using.

First, log in to Amazon.com on your laptop or desktop computer. In the search bar, type in the name of the tune you are looking for, and just to the left of that, use the category menu (circled in image below) to select "Digital Music":

Screenshot of Amazon.com showing search results

Click on the search result that seems best for you. In this case, my one was 3rd on the list they gave. Once you have clicked on your tune, it will go on to that specific tune on Amazon Music (it has a dark themed background - that's OK) and your page will look something like this:

screenshot of a track on Amazon Music

As you can see, in the image above, in my case the tune was part of an album. That's fine, it will still let you buy the individual tune even if it's part of an album; you don't have to buy the whole album if you don't want to.

FYI - I've circled this in red in the pic above: when you hover over the tune you selected, you'll get a play button that gives you the option to listen to a short sample of the song to make sure it's the tune you were thinking of.

If that was the tune you wanted, scroll up and go to "Purchase Options" and "MP3 Music" as seen in the image below. Don't worry! This does not mean you want to buy the whole album, clicking will just list the individual tracks with a purchase price on each.

Screenshot of purchase options on an album on Amazon.com

It will list the tracks with the prices clearly labeled, as shown below. Just scroll down to your desired tune and press the yellow button to buy it. If there is no yellow button for your tune, it's because that individual track is not available on its own and can only be purchased via the whole album. Fortunately in this case the tune we wanted here is available as an individual track:

Screenshot of MP3 album listing on Amazon.com

The purchase works the same way as all your other Amazon purchases, with a couple of main differences:

  1. MP3's do not go into a shopping cart like your physical purchases do. Therefore, if you want to buy 5 songs then it has to be done in 5 transactions. Yes, it's a bit annoying.
  2. After you buy it, you will have the option to download it. To make life easy, take the download option once it presents itself! If it's too late, it's OK you can still download it again without having to pay money again (I show you how to do this in a separate article).

Once you hit the yellow buy button, here is what happens:

Screenshot after buying MP3 from Amazon.com

Don't stress too much about the Amazon app that they're pushing. There are better ways to get your music onto your phone - if you use their phone app to listen to your tunes, you could wind up chewing through your data plan. I usually just close that dialog box to make sure I'm not getting into anything I don't need. Next, you'll get this window, where you have the option to download:

Screenshot after music purchase on Amazon, showing download button

I know it's more tempting to press "Play now", but really you do want to press "Download purchases" so you can have your music on your computer and not have to log into Amazon every time you want to listen to it. Once you press the download button, you'll get a dialog box come up from your computer asking if you want to save it, so go ahead and confirm that. I recommend saving it into your "Music" folder and not the default "Downloads" folder. Most computers and laptops have a pre-made Music folder, and this is where your computer's built-in music player will tend to look first for tunes. But the main thing is to download it somewhere on your computer.

That's it! How to play your music:

In the example above I bought just one track so it's an MP3 file that I downloaded, but if you bought an album, it'll arrive as a zip file, by which I mean it'll end with .zip. That's fine; the zip file is kind of like a box and the MP3 tracks from your album will be inside it. Go to whatever folder on your computer that you downloaded your music, and double-click on the zip file. If that doesn't unbox it for you, then right-click on it and one of the options will be "unzip", select that and it will unbox it. You should now be able to see all your MP3 tracks here.

If you're not sure how to play your MP3, just double-click on the track; your computer's default music player will know what to do with it.

If you're in search of inspiration, take a look at the digital music category on Amazon.com - you'll be able to click on subcategories you like and explore from there.

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