How to buy individual songs?

With the rise in popularity of online music stores and streaming services, buying individual songs has become much more common than purchasing full albums. There are several benefits to just buying the specific songs you want rather than entire albums.

First, it allows you to cherry pick only the songs you know you like. With full albums there may be filler songs or tracks you’re not interested in. Purchasing singles avoids paying for songs you don’t want.

Buying individual songs is also usually cheaper than buying full albums. If you only want a few songs, it’s more cost effective to just buy those rather than the whole album.

In addition, singles allow you to easily buy songs from multiple artists and genres. Rather than being limited to just what’s on one album, you can purchase specific songs you enjoy across many different albums and artists.

This article will outline the main online stores and streaming services for purchasing individual songs, pricing options, how to find specific songs to buy, the purchase process, downloading options, and legal usage.

Online Music Stores

There are several popular online stores for purchasing individual song downloads, including iTunes, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music.

iTunes ( is one of the largest and most established online music stores. iTunes offers a catalog of over 75 million songs that can be purchased as MP3 downloads. Songs typically cost $0.99-$1.29 each. Pros of iTunes include its massive music catalog, frequent sales and deals, and seamless integration with Apple devices. Cons are that it only works on Apple devices and requires proprietary software to manage purchases.

Amazon Music ( provides access to over 75 million songs for purchase as MP3 downloads. Songs are competitively priced from $0.69-$1.29 each. Amazon offers frequent discounts and sales. Downloaded songs can be played through Amazon apps or transferred as files. A downside is that the user experience isn’t as smooth as dedicated music services.

Google Play Music ( offers over 40 million songs for purchase as high-quality 320kbps MP3 downloads. Songs are usually priced from $0.99-$1.29 each. Google Play makes it easy to find and download songs through Android apps and devices. However, it lacks some of the sales and discounts frequent on iTunes and Amazon.

Streaming Services

Streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music allow you to download individual songs to listen to offline. These services offer large libraries of music that you can stream on demand, as well as the option to download select songs, albums, or playlists for offline listening.

With a streaming subscription, you can download songs without having to pay per track. For example, Spotify Premium subscribers can download an unlimited number of songs to their mobile devices. Spotify also allows you to download songs on your desktop using the Spotify desktop app. Other services like Apple Music and YouTube Music offer similar download capabilities for their paid subscribers.

The advantage of using a streaming service to download songs is you get access to a vast catalog of music for a monthly subscription fee. However, there are some limitations – downloaded songs from streaming services can only be played within their apps. If you cancel your subscription, you lose access to those downloads. Downloaded songs also contain DRM so you can’t transfer them to use elsewhere.

Overall, streaming services provide a convenient and affordable way to download individual tracks to listen offline, but purchases via online stores may be better for owning music long-term without device restrictions.


Individual song prices can vary across different online music stores and streaming services. Here is a comparison of typical pricing models:

The iTunes Store, Amazon Music, and Google Play all offer song downloads starting at $0.69 per track for the most basic quality. Higher quality downloads are usually $0.99 or $1.29 per song. Full albums generally range from $7.99 to $12.99 depending on the artist and label.

Apple Music and Spotify charge a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 for their streaming service catalogs. Subscribers can listen to unlimited songs, but cannot directly purchase and download tracks. Downloaded songs require an ongoing paid subscription.

YouTube offers both purchase options and a streaming service. Individual song purchases start at $1.29. The YouTube Music premium subscription is $9.99 per month for ad-free listening and downloads.

Overall, downloaded songs range from $0.69 to $1.29 from major providers. Streaming services offer unlimited access for around $10 per month but do not allow direct song purchases. Some stores like iTunes have both purchase and subscription options. Comparing pricing models can help find the best value based on listening and downloading needs.

Finding Songs

When searching for specific songs to purchase, the main platforms to use are online music stores like iTunes and Amazon Music, as well as streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music.

On online stores like iTunes and Amazon Music, you can search by song title, artist name, album, or lyrics. For example, searching “rolling in the deep adele” on iTunes will bring up Adele’s song. Streaming services like Spotify also allow searching by song title, artist, or lyrics. Spotify has a large music catalog so you can likely find whatever song you are looking for.Jason Reitman discovered Barry Louis Polisar’s song “All I Want is You” while searching iTunes for music for his film Juno.

YouTube Music has an extensive collection of both popular and obscure songs that can be searched. Apple Music also provides the ability to search its large library of over 90 million songs.

Searching with precise song titles and artist names will yield the best results across these platforms. Using lyrics can also help track down more obscure tunes when you only remember a snippet of the words.

Purchase Process

Here are step-by-step instructions for purchasing a song on a major platform like iTunes:

  1. Open the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device and click on the “Music” tab.
  2. Use the search bar to find the song you want to purchase. You can search by song title, artist name, album name, etc.
  3. Click on the song to open its product page. Verify that it is the specific recording you want to purchase.
  4. Click the “Price” button, which will likely show “$1.29” for a single song.
  5. Click “Buy Song.” Your iTunes account will be charged the listed price for the song.
  6. Once purchased, the song will start downloading to your computer or device. Look for the download progress indicator.
  7. When the download is complete, you will be able to play the song within your iTunes library.

The purchase process is quick and seamless on major platforms like iTunes. Within a minute or two you can search, purchase, and download a song to own forever and listen to anytime.

Downloading Songs

After purchasing songs on iTunes, there are a few different ways to download them to devices and computers for listening offline.

To download purchased songs to a computer, open iTunes and go to Account > Purchased. This will show all the songs, albums, movies, etc. that have been purchased through the account. Select the downloads and click the download icon next to each one to save them to the computer. The songs will be saved in the designated iTunes media folder location (source).

For iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, go to the Purchased section within the iTunes Store app to re-download any previously bought songs. They can also be downloaded through the Account > Purchased section on iTunes and then synced to the iOS device.

On Android devices, download the Apple Music app from the Play Store. Log in with the same Apple ID used to purchase the songs. Go to the Library tab to access all purchased content and download it (source).

To save purchased iTunes songs to an external hard drive, flash drive, or other device, first download them to the computer. Then locate the iTunes media folder (default location is My Music on Windows or Music on Mac). Copy the purchased song files to the external device.

Downloaded songs can also be exported out of iTunes as MP3 files instead of uncompressed AAC files. On Windows, download iTunerSoft iTunes DRM Audio Converter to remove DRM protection and convert (source).

Listening Options

There are many ways to listen to purchased songs after downloading them to your device:

  • Listen on a smartphone or tablet using a music app like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, etc. Make sure to download the songs for offline listening if you want to avoid using mobile data.
  • Listen on a computer using a media player like iTunes, Winamp, VLC media player, etc. This is a good option for listening while at home if you don’t want to drain your phone’s battery.
  • Listen on a portable media player like an iPod or MP3 player. These devices are designed for listening to downloaded music on the go without needing an internet connection.
  • Burn the songs to a CD and listen on a CD player or in your car. This can be a convenient way to listen while driving or on a classic home stereo system.
  • Use a wireless speaker or smart display like Amazon Echo or Google Home to stream the downloaded songs and listen hands-free.
  • Listen on gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox if you’ve downloaded the songs to your console.

The most flexible listening options allow you to download the songs to multiple devices so you can listen at home, in the car, or on the go seamlessly. Be sure to use legal sources for purchases and downloads.

Legal Use

When downloading or purchasing songs online, it’s important to understand the legal limitations around using that content. There are copyright laws that restrict how you can use downloaded music files (Source).

In most cases, you have the right to download a song and listen to it for personal, non-commercial use. This allows you to build your own music library and playback purchased songs on your own devices. However, you typically don’t have the rights to redistribute downloaded songs or use them commercially without permission from the copyright holder.

There are also restrictions around sharing downloaded song files with others. While you may have legally obtained the file, distributing it could be considered illegal file sharing. It’s best to avoid uploading purchased songs to file sharing sites or services (Source).

In summary, respect copyright law by only using downloaded songs for personal listening. Don’t share files or use music commercially without proper licensing. Understanding these legal limitations allows you to build your digital music collection while still honoring creative rights.


In conclusion, purchasing individual songs digitally gives you more freedom and flexibility than buying full albums. With online music stores and streaming services, you can easily find and buy just the specific songs you want. This allows you to create customized playlists and only pay for the music you truly enjoy. Downloading individual songs is affordable, convenient, and lets you access your music across devices. While physical albums may seem more collectible, digital music gives you more control over your library. The ability to buy one song at a time ultimately provides more value for your money as a music fan.

The key benefits of buying individual songs include:

  • Paying only for the specific songs you like
  • Skipping filler songs or tracks you dislike on albums
  • Easily finding and purchasing hit singles
  • Creating tailored playlists and collections
  • Accessing your music across multiple devices
  • Supporting artists à la carte rather than buying full albums

With the power to purchase any individual song you want, you can curate the perfect music library. Digital music stores and streaming services make finding and buying individual songs quick, easy, and affordable.