Don writes:

Been a long-time customer of Worldstart and a happy one, too. I hope I’m not out of line by asking, but can I download some of my favorite music to CD. I’m wondering if there is a way I can do this legally. I’m 70 years old and still tying to learn the !@#$%^&* computer. Can you help out an old customer?

Don, I’m still trying to learn the !@#$%^&* computer. But we can work through this together. You certainly aren’t out of line and it’s actually a question I’ve been meaning to address.

First of all, any digital music files that you have on your computer can be burned to a CD for your listening purposes with no problem. Additionally, you could make digital files from your albums or tapes and burn them to CD for your own listening purposes.

You would accomplish this by using devices like this turntable archiver that converts analog files into digital files.

Don, you didn’t specifically say you were looking for free or low-cost music, but for those who are, here are some tips on how to do it legally:

If you are looking to find free digital music to burn to CD, you could check out sites that sell music like They usually have a selection of free MP3s to try out. 


There are also public domain music sites like that offer a lot of older music. Many artists also offer free downloads from time to time on their websites.

If you aren’t strictly committed to the idea of burning music to CDs and would just like to listen, you can also check out streaming services like Pandora or Spotify that will allow you to listen to music for free on your computer or smartphone.

As digital music and streaming booms, CDs are starting to fall by the wayside. Check out garage sales, thrift stores and used CD stores for deals on music you enjoy. I’ve found CDs ranging in price from 25 cents to a dollar.

Since you were careful to say that you were looking for legal options, I know you wouldn’t  download music from some shady site that promises to get you the latest music, movies or TV shows for free. But a lot of people would. They’d never walk into a store and shove a CD in their pocket then leave without paying, but they feel okay doing it via the Internet.

First of all, no one should do this because it is stealing. The 50 cents an artist might make off a $1 download is important to their income. If a million people choose to steal that download, that’s a lot of income.  Sites that allow you to download illegally usually contain malware that can attack your computer. A recent study showed that 97% of them involved either malware or some type of credit card scam, so it’s in a user’s own best interest not to use the Internet to steal.

 I hope one of these options works for you.

~ Cynthia