Broadband internet connections and music and movie downloads
The proliferation of high speed broadband internet connections now means internet users can easily download large video or music files over the internet. There are several ways to do this; either via a paid download or for free through peer-to-peer networks. Many Australian internet service providers have responded to the popularity of available film and music downloads by offering broadband internet plans with large download limits. How long it will take to download a movie or a music cd will depend on the speed of your internet connection and where you are downloading from.
The popularity of iPods has created a huge market for digital music downloads. ITunes allows users to download many types of files, including new music releases and podcasts of their favourite TV shows. Some of these items must be paid for in advance and are fast becoming a popular way for music fans to download the latest tracks over the internet. You will need to remember that files downloaded from iTunes will count towards your monthly internet usage quota so it is important to make sure you subscribe to a broadband internet plan with the correct monthly data usage limit.
In order to use iTunes, you will need to download the iTunes software and have access to the internet.
Peer-to- Peer networks are networks of individual computers that transfer files such as music or movies between them. Users within a peer-to-peer network do not necessarily know each other and generally remain anonymous. To access files to download users search on torrent sites that will then allow them to download torrent to connect to other users who have the file on their computer.
Peer-to-peer networks can be illegal as they share often copyrighted material without permission. There have been several legal cases against torrent websites that allow users to download material for free. Many torrent sites will argue that as they do not distribute anything then they cannot be responsible for what files their users share. Peer-to-peer networks are difficult to trace and are still gaining popularity despite legal warning from copyright holders.
In order to use peer-to-peer networks you will need to install software and then browse torrent sites to find the right file to download. You will need to be careful as occasionally file downloads can contain viruses or spyware that can infect your computer. If you are not an experienced user, it is advisable that you don’t try and use peer-to-peer networks.
With the popularity of internet downloads many Australian broadband internet providers offer downloads for their customers. These may include movie trailers or new music tracks and are often not counted against the monthly download usage of their customers. For example, Telstra Bigpond offers its customers access to the latest music via Bigpond Music. On Bigpond Music consumers can download single tracks or entire albums for a varying fee.