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How to get free music on the Internet

By CHRISTOPHER BLANK, Times Correspondent

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 15, 1999

Using MP3 requires some spare time, a connection to the Internet and a computer (PC or Mac) with free space on the hard drive. Here are the steps:

1. Find the software. You will need an MP3 player, which can be downloaded from MP3 Web sites. A leading site: MP3.com (www.mp3.com).

2. Pick a player. Some are free, others are shareware (requiring a registration fee from $5 to $10). Some are more complicated to use than others.

3. Download and install the player. Keep it on your computer's desktop for easy access.

4. Find your music on the Internet. Once you click on a link to an MP3 file, the computer may ask where to save it. Keep MP3 files in a common folder. With Windows 95 and 98, bypass Microsoft Media Player by right clicking the link and using the "save as" function. On the Mac, click on the link and hold down the mouse button, then "save this link as: source" to download it to your hard disk.

5. Wait. A 4-megabyte song takes a couple of minutes to download on a fast T1 line; up to a half-hour on a 33.3 Kbps modem connected to your phone line.

6. Load the files into the player. Most players have a "Find File" or "Add Tracks to player" option. Click on the file (it may have the ending .mp3), and it will appear on the playlist. On the Mac, some players will let you drag and drop the sound files to add them to the playlist. Enjoy MP3.

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